Thursday, September 16, 2010

Service of Reception will be webcast live on September 18

The Service of Reception of Pastors Anita Hill, Ruth Frost, and Phyllis Zillhart will be webcast live from Lutheran Church of the Redeemer (St. Paul, MN)  on September 18, this Saturday.

To view the live webcast, go to

The Service begins at 2:00 pm Central Daylight Time. The service is scheduled to run approximately 2 hours.

In 1989, Ruth Frost, Phyllis Zillhart, and Jeff Johnson, lesbian and gay candidates were denied ordination by the ELCA. In 1990, they were ordained "extraordinarily" by two congregations in San Francisco, St. Francis Lutheran and First United Lutheran. Both congregations were expelled from the ELCA for this act of ecclesial disobedience. The three went on to found Lutheran Lesbian & Gay Ministries, a predecessor to the current Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM). The story of these ordinations and subsequent trial was told in a PBS documentary video, "Call To Witness."

Anita Hill was ordained "extraordinarily" by St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran in 2001. The congregation was censured and sanctioned by the ELCA for this act of ecclesial disobedience. The story of this ordination and Anita Hill has been told in a documentary video, "This Obedience."

All three of the pastors will have been on the roster of ELM from their ordinations till Saturday.

Pastor Hill serves as co-pastor of St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church in St. Paul. Pastor Ruth Frost works at the Hospice of the Twin Cities and Pastor Phyllis Zillhart at the Fairview Home Care and Hospice, both in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Saturday, they will be received onto the roster of clergy because of the decisions of the 2009 Churchwide Assembly that voted to eliminate the policy that had since 1989 precluded service as ministers by those in a lifelong, committed same-gender relationship. Pastors Ruth Frost and Phyllis Zillhart have been partners since 1984. Coincidentally, Sunday the 19th marks the 26th anniversary of their relationship. Pastor Anita Hill and Janelle Bussert have been partners since 1993.

Go here for an earlier blog report about this event.

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