Posted by: smstrouse | July 28, 2010

Proud to Be Lutheran, At Last

Ross Merkel vkr

Craig Minnich vkr

Dawn Roginski vkr

Jeff Johnson vkr

Megan Rohrer vkr

Paul Brenner vkr

Sharon Stalkfleet vkr


Nicole in Gospel Procession vkr

Pastor Donna vkr


Orion Carrying Our Banner vkr

I don’t know how it could have been any more awesome. From the opening confession and blowing of the shofar (which I have seen only on video since I was outside with the other 140 people in the procession), to the sermon, and the music, and the packed house – to the actual rite of reception/reinstatement – it was, as Jeff Johnson would say, “fabulous!” 

First United was well represented. Our “All Are Welcome” banner, created by Jay Beatty, was processed in with sartorial elegance by Orion.  Nicole Bohn read the Gospel and Pastor Donna read the Ephesians text in the Rite of Reception. 

If you haven’t seen pictures and videos, go to  Lots of pictures are on Facebook and I hope they’ll be posted elsewhere too. 

There have been oh, so many times when I have been angry with the Lutheran Church, times when I myself have been hurt or when I have watched others endure rejection, shaming, and cruel cluelessness. And I know that there are other ELM pastors still struggling through their synod processes. I am under no illusion that we have overcome racism, sexism, heterosexism, and all the rest.  There will always be more work to be done.  

But on Sunday I was proud to be a Lutheran, as we took one giant gospel step, as Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber told the ELM 7 and all the rest of us, too: 

” … know this: The Kingdom of God is also like right here right now. The kingdom of God is like this very moment in which sinners are reconciled to God and to one another. The kingdom of God is like this very moment where God is making all things new…even this off brand denomination of the ELCA. Because in the end, your calling, and your value in the Kingdom of God comes not from the approval of the other workers but in your having been come-and-gotten by God. It is the pure and unfathomable mercy of God which defines this thing. And nothing. nothing else gets to tell you who you are. 


Photos by Vicki Kane Risner and Pamela Diane Gilbert-Snyder 

Pastor Jeff pdg-f

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