Extra Ordinem, One More Time: On December 8, Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion in Center City Philadelphia voted to call and ordain Steve Keiser. Steve, who is rostered with Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, has served the congregation for nine years in the role of "Pastoral Associate". He is a graduate of Wheaton College (1981, BA in Philosophy) and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (1999, M.Div).
Including Pr. Keiser, 18 pastors have been ordained extra ordinem since 1990. Pr. Keiser's ordination will be the 10th since 2006. While no date has been set for the ordination, it is expected to occur in January or February, 2009.

Feast of the Expulsion: The Rev. Bradley Schmeling, pastor of St. Johnís Lutheran Church, Atlanta, Georgia will preach at this year's observance of the Feast of the Expulsion at St. Francis Lutheran Church in San Francisco.
The Feast of the Expulsion commemorates the expulsion (effective January 1, 1996) of St. Francis and First United Lutheran Church (SF) from the ELCA.
Pr. Schmeling (pictured left) was removed from the roster of ELCA clergy on July 2, 2007 for violating the same policy that resulted in the expulsion of St. Francis and First United. Pr. Schmeling is now rostered with Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries. No disciplinary action was taken against St. John's, an ELCA congregation.
January 1 is the day reserved for the Feast of the Expulsion, but the feast will be observed on the preceding Sunday, December 28.

ELM Pastor Called by ELCA Congregation: On November 23, a congregational meeting at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Beaverton, Oregon voted to call Pr. Robyn Hartwig as associate pastor. Pr. Dave Farley was present as a representative of Oregon Synod Bishop Rev. David Brauer-Rieke.
Pr. Hartwig is dually rostered with both the ELCA and with ELM. Pr. Hartwig recently served as pastor of Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer in Sacramento.


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Pr. Sophie is all a-Twitter. Again.
Pr. Sophie's Tweets:

    Hot Dish Hotline: "We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard." What have you seen or heard that other people really need to know about? Use the Hot Dish Hotline to submit your item online.

    Letters Dismissory: On December 6, at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, The Rev. Michael Hiller was received into the Episcopal priesthood by The Right Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California.
    Pr. Hiller now serves Trinity Episcopal Church (SF) as associate volunteer clergy.
    Reception into the Episcopal priesthood is another step in Pr. Hiller's journey in response to his call to ministry. He was ordained in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS), he made a transition to the American Lutheran Church, and in 1984 accepted a call to serve at St. Francis Lutheran (SF) as Associate Pastor for Community and Liturgical Life. When the ELCA was formed in 1988, he was received onto its clergy roster. In 1999 he was rostered with the Extraordinary Candidacy Project (ECP), the precursor of the ELM roster.
    We believe Pr. Hiller had a hand in designing the rites that were used at the first Feast of the Expulsion at St. Francis on Sunday December 31, 1995. During the entry rite, a banner was torn in two from bottom to top and joined the procession. Bishop Robert Matthies preached and presided, and at the dismissal rite, in a gesture of enormous hope, the halves of the banner were tied together.
    Pr. Hiller writes:
    One of my last acts as a Lutheran pastor was to make an appointment with the new bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod of the ELCA, Bishop Mark Holmerud. We met for some minutes on a late Thursday afternoon. I needed Letters Dimissory from him, transferring me from his ecclesiastical oversight to that of the Bishop of California. It was a wonderful moment of closure and respect. He was interested in my journey, and respected the destination. I was impressed that we were starting to grow Lutheran bishops who weren't afraid to be the Church. So we talked, realizing that my leaving would not end the conversation, or even my ministry in the Lutheran Church. It was here that I realized that I was not alone in my journey, in my discernment, in my search, or in my vocation. So many were walking with me.
    Our most sincere congratulations to Rev. Hiller and his spouse Arthur Morris.

    Out In Season: The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has published two new resources for people of faith: Out In Season: a Transgender Encounter with the Church Year and Gender Identity and Our Faith Communities: A Congregational Guide for Transgender Advocacy.
    Out in Season includes stories and reflections by transgender laity and clergy who prayerfully and imaginatively explicate the days and seasons of the Christian church year.
    Gender Identity and Our Faith Communities is a curriculum to provide people of faith with the knowledge and skills needed to transform their communities and congregations into welcoming environments.

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