Nuptials!: Pr. Sophie says there is no such thing as "too many" opportunities to celebrate loving relationships, and all of us were delighted to learn recently (courtesy of St. Francis Lutheran (SF)) that many of our favorite couples are celebrating August nuptials.
Mr. Bradford Christian Hubert and Mr. Martin Sven Thompson of San Francisco will be married August 30 at St, Mark's Lutheran Church in San Francisco, CA.
Mr. Bruce Jervis and Mr. James Kowalski of San Francisco were married August 15 in a private ceremony at St. Francis (SF). Bruce and Jim have been partners for 19 years. Pr. Robert Goldstein officiated.
Pr. Ruth Frost and Pr. Phyllis Zillhart of Minneapolis were married in a private ceremony at St. Francis in San Francisco on August 17. Ruth and Phyllis have been partners for 24 years, and this was their fourth ceremony solemnizing the relationship (following a private rite of commitment, registration as domestic partners, and a 2004 marriage in San Francisco). Observers attest that the couple's great joy has not been inhibited by all that solemnity.
To submit news of weddings or other celebrations to Lutheran (True) Confessions, please send an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For wedding announcements, please include the full names of the couple, the date and location of their event. You may also mention their schooling, occupation, noteworthy awards, charitable activities or other special achievements. We also ask that you tell us how the couple met.
Autrefois Acquit?: Apparently church courts provide no protection against double jeopardy. Consequently The Rev. Janet Edwards, a Presbyterian minister in Pittsburgh, is headed back to court later this year for conducting a marriage ceremony for Brenda Cole and Nancy McConn in June, 2005 even though charges against her for performing the nuptials were dismissed in 2006.
Pr. Edwards has never denied performing the ceremony and has argued that there is no prohibition on same-sex wedding ceremonies in the Presbyterian Church (USA) because the courts have said only that clergy “should not” conduct them — language she believes is advisory, not binding.
The Rev. James C. Yearsley, a Presbyterian minister currently serving in Florida, filed a complaint against Edwards shortly after she performed the marriage. Those charges were dismissed in November 2006 when the presbytery's Permanent Judicial Commission (PJC) ruled that the investigating committee had not filed charges against Edwards in a timely way.
Yearsley submitted a new grievance against Edwards in February 2007. Seven other PC(USA) ministers and six elders from Texas, North Carolina, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Washington state signed on to the new complaint, joining Yearsley as "co-accusers."
In the new complaint Edwards is accused of acting in "willful and deliberate violation of her ordination vows" as stated in the Book of Order by performing the 2005 wedding ceremony.
The new charges against Edwards follow an April, 2008 church court ruling in which the Rev. Jane Adams Spahr was found not-guilty of misconduct on charges that she violated the PC(USA)’s constitution by performing weddings for two lesbian couples.
The Permanent Judicial Commission of the General Assembly (GAPJC), the PC(USA)’s highest court, found that Pr. Spahr did not violate denominational law when she officiated at the weddings in 2004 and 2005. The GAPJC found that the ceremonies Spahr performed were not marriages, so she did not violate the church’s constitution, the high court ruled. The ruling overturned an earlier decision by the Synod of the Pacific’s PJC that found Spahr guilty of misconduct and gave her a rebuke — the lightest possible punishment.
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Cafeteria Riot Anniversary: Though no one knows the precise day of the 1966 Compton Cafeteria Riot in San Francisco, its anniversary is celebrated on August 15. As the "first militant outburst of the contemporary transgender movement" the anniversary is also recognized as International Transgender Day of Awareness.
Dr. Susan Stryker, writing in Critical Moment offered this account of the event:
The restaurant's management, annoyed by a noisy crowd at one table that seemed be spending a lot of time without spending a lot of money, called the police - as they had been doing with increasing frequency throughout the summer. A surly cop, accustomed to manhandling Compton's clientele, grabbed the arm of one of the queens.
She responded unexpectedly and threw her coffee in his face. Mayhem erupted: plates, trays, cups, and silverware flew threw the air at the police, who ran outside and called for backup. Tables were turned over, windows were smashed, and Compton's queer customers poured out of the restaurant and into the night. The paddy wagons pulled up, and street fighting broke out in Compton's vicinity, all around the corner of Turk and Taylor. Drag queens beat the police with their heavy purses, and kicked them with their high-heeled shoes. A police car was vandalized, a newspaper stand was burned to the ground...
[I]t was the first known instance of collective, militant, queer resistance to the social oppression of transgender people in United States history.
The Compton's Cafeteria riot is documented in the film Screaming Queens.
Valpo Adds Woman To Pastoral Staff: The Rev. Darlene Grega has been called to serve as associate pastor at the Chapel of the Resurrection at Valparaiso University. She will assume her new role on August 23.
Pr. Grega is a graduate of Valparaiso and the Lutheran Deaconess Program. She has a master of arts in counseling from the University of North Dakota and a master of divinity degree from Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minn.
Before her ELCA ordination, Pr. Grega served as director of international students at St. Cloud State University in MInnesota and as director of the international center at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She also has nine years of experience in campus ministry at colleges and universities in North Carolina, Minnesota and Texas.
Pr. Grega fills a new position on the pastoral staff at Valparaiso and will work with Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod pastors Rev. Joseph Cunningham, University pastor and dean of the chapel, and Rev. James Wetzstein, University associate pastor and associate dean of the chapel.
Pr. Cunningham said:
We are delighted that Rev. Grega has accepted the call to join the ministry team at the Chapel of the Resurrection. The ministry of the chapel benefits from the presence of a pastor from the ELCA. There are many areas of campus ministry where Pastor Wetzstein and I are looking forward to cooperating with Pastor Grega within the guidelines of our respective church bodies.
Pr. Grega had served most recently in a two-year call to Trinity Lutheran Church in Canton, Ohio. In leaving Trinity for Valpo, she has tried to reassure the community that Trinity is not closing its doors.
Downtown Canton is served by five Lutheran churches in a small area. Four of those churches will collaborate in a new parish model and share pastoral staff. Each congregation will maintain its own outreach ministries and missions. Trinity operates the Urban Ark, a food pantry and clothing outreach, and Safe Haven, a parental visitation program in conjunction with the Stark County Family Court.
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