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Sheep, Goats, Surprises
Abstract: New Bishop installed in Sierra Pacific Synod; Presiding Bishop says "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered" from pulpit.
Our diligent reporters in the Sierra Pacific Synod tell us that there was an overflow crowd at St John Lutheran in Sacramento for the July 12 installation of Bishop Mark Holmerud.
ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson presided at the rite of installation and preached. The Gospel lesson and text for the sermon was Jesus' judgment separating the sheep from the goats in Mathew 25. Bishop Hanson also worked in one of the slogans of his tenure: Doesn't like surprises!
More than one correspondent noted that Bishop Hanson's sermon included a call for full participation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the life of the church. Though none could provide the exact wording of the Bishop's comment, all agreed that the remark was received with sustained enthusiastic applause.
Ever sensitive to the nuances of such occasions, our reporters submit the following:
Pr. Robyn Hartwig, who is dually rostered with both the ELCA and Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM) served as crucifer. She is currently on leave from call.
Pr. Steve Sabin, who is rostered with ELM participated with other conference deans in the distribution of Communion. Pr. Sabin was elected Dean of the San Francisco Conference earlier this year, but Bishop David G. Mullen refused to recognize the election (because Pr. Sabin is not rostered with the ELCA) and declared the dean's post vacant.
Our department of parliamentary minutiae insisted that we mention the wording of one of the ordination vows: Will you discharge your duties in accordance with the Holy Scriptures and the Confessions of the Lutheran Church and in harmony with the constitution of this synod?
At the reception following the installation, one reporter glimpsed Bishop Hanson in conversation with Dr. Margaret Moreland who has served as Mission Development Chairperson for Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM). Perhaps they were discussing fine points of the Presiding Bishop's strategy for full inclusion.