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Event Details: (Event Time Line)
July 25th, 2010
 2:30 Press Conference
4pm  Service 
St. Mark's Lutheran Church
1111 O'farrell, San Francisco - Get Directions 

Contact Information:
Bishop Mark Holmerud
Office of the Bishop: 510.430.0500 or 800.275.3522 Extension 116

Brief Background: 
In 1990 two San Francisco Lutheran Churches, St. Francis and First United, defied the policy that prevented openly GLBT individuals from serving as pastors when they ordained a gay man and a lesbian couple.  As a result the two churches were expelled from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  More than 20 years later: 18 pastors have been ordained in defiance of the church, 3 pastors were removed by trial and and countless others were denied the ability to serve openly as GLBT pastors in the Lutheran Church.  Now, the ELCA has changed its policies and on July 25th, the first group of GLBT pastors who faithfully served the church, despite their undocumented status, will be recognized by the ELCA.  Seven GLBT pastors, from the Bay Area will be either received or reinstated to the ELCA roster of pastors. 

Received to the Roster Will be:
Reinstated to the Roster will be:
the Rev. Ross Merkel of St. Paul Lutheran in Oakland

More About the Pastors:
  1.  Short Bios of all the Pastors 
  2. For long bios, click on the names of individual pastors above.
  3. Photos and Links to High Resolution Photos (Please credit: Vince Donovan)

Extraordinary Ordinations: Rooted in the extraordinary ordinations that were performed by Martin Luther and the reformers as recorded in the Lutheran Confessions, 18 Extraordinary Ordinations have taken place to date. In the days before the first Extraordinary Ordination, Krister Stendahl, Harvard Professor and Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Stockholm of the Church of Sweden, wrote to Jeff, Ruth, and Phyllis: “Since I cannot be with you at your ordination which—it seems—must take place extra ordinem, I want to send you a greeting affirming my conviction that the steps that your congregations and you are taking stand well before God.”  See video of the First Extraordinary Ordination

Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries: (ELM) ELM is an organization that credentials qualified candidates of "all sexual orientations and gender identities" for ordained ministry.  ELM rostered GLBT pastors during the past 20 years while it remained against ELCA policy.

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