Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Room for All Christian Camp

Here at the LCNA office we've recently learned of a new camp opportunity for Christian youth aged 15-17 who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. The camp will take place in Highland Park, New Jersey from August 19-22 and is sponsored by the Reformed Church of Highland Park, a welcoming and affirming congregation of the Reformed Church of America. The camp registration fee is $125, but some scholarships are available. For more information and to register, click here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Let the Whole Church Sing!

Attention, Pittsburgh area residents! Lutherans Concerned/Pittsburgh and St. John's Lutheran Church of North Versailles, Pennsylvania are pleased to announce their upcoming eucharistic celebration of unity in diversity, Let the Whole Church Sing!

Pastor Bradley Schmeling of St. John's Lutheran Church in Atlanta, Georgia will preside and preach. The service will take place on Saturday, June 26, 2010 at 1:00 pm, with a social hour and refreshments to follow. The address for St. John's of North Versailles is 715 Lincoln Highway, North Versailles, PA 15137.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Achieving Marriage Equality in the Heartland

PFLAG Northeast Iowa, Luther College Upward Bound, Luther College PRIDE and Northeast Iowa Community College GSA invite you join them in a multi-state conference called Achieving Marriage Equality in the Heartland. The event will take place August 13-14 at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. The event will include keynote speeches byHarry Knox, Director of the Human Rights Campaign's Religion and Faith Program, Sharon Malheiro, President of the Board of Davis Brown Law Firm in Des Moines and founder and Executive Director of One Iowa, and Patrick Murphy, a Representative in the Iowa Legislature since 1989 and the current Speaker of the House.

The event will also include a panel discussion, facilitated group discussions, and more. Registration is $50 before July 15th and $60 after. For more information or to register, contact Jean Huffey at jhuffey@acegroup.cc or (563) 535‐7680.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Let Justice Roll's Let It Out! Celebration - There's Still Time to Register!

If you were at the Minneapolis Convention Center when policy change and the social statement were passed last fall, or if you wish you had been, you've still got a chance to join with Lutherans Concerned as we celebrate those historic events with a worship service at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis and a banquet and festivities at the Convention Center.

Worship begins at 3:30pm on Saturday, July 10th at Central Lutheran Church, with transportation from Augsburg College provided. After the service concludes, the banquet, auction, awards presentations, and dance will take place in the Minneapolis Convention Center. The price for this double whammy celebration is just $75 and tickets are still available. If you're registered for Let Justice Roll, the event is included in your registration.

Order your tickets now while we've still got room!

From Promise to Pride - Resurrection Lutheran Church in Chicago Celebrates

Resurrection Lutheran Church in Chicago (Lakeview), a long-time RIC congregation, is holding a celebration eucharist and reception around the upcoming Pride Week. The eucharist will take place on Wednesday, June 23 at 7:00pm, with a reception to follow.

The celebration comes after Resurrection's pledge to increase its mission support for the ELCA from 10% to 11% in support of the ELCA's recent moves towards more complete LGBT inclusion.

If you're in the Chicago area, be sure to join Resurrection for their celebration!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sharing the Love

We here at LC/NA want to give a shout-out to Kelly at Progressively Lutheran for bringing to our attention an idea so simple and so good that, frankly, we're a little embarrassed we didn't think of it ourselves.

Along with Justin at DarthJedi and Brant at Both Saint and Cynic, Kelly is calling on those of us who support the changes made at ELCA CWA '09 to write to our church leaders and express our gratitude and pleasure. So let's bust out our pens and paper and remind our fearless leaders that we're here and we're happy and supportive of the new policies adopted by the ELCA.

Read more of Progressively Lutheran and check out some of Kelly's sample letters here.

Rev. Ralph Wushke Receives Reinie Heydemann Justice-Seeker Award

On Sunday, June 6th, the Lutherans Concerned in Canada Society presented the Reinie Heydemann Justice-Seeker Award to Rev. Ralph Wushke, pastor of Bathurst United Church in Toronto, ON. The presenters surprised Rev. Wushke in an appearance during his normal Sunday service; Walter Rothenburger provided a tribute to him, saying: "(Rev. Wushke) has worked tirelessly for many, many years promoting the LGBT cause, attending countless meetings and conventions, travelling, telling his story. (He) has inspired many people, straight and gay, to go on journeys of growth."


Left to right: Bill Bartlett, Lionel Ketola, Carol Peck, Herbert Harms, Walter Rothenburger, Ralph Wushke, Steve Loweth, David Vereschagin, Olga Cosburn

Rev. Wushke is a former Lutheran pastor. He worked in the Canadian HIV/AIDS movement during the 1990s. In addition to his ministry at Bathurst United Church, Rev. Wushke completed his Master of Theology at Toronto School of Theology, working in queer theory and ethics. He was admitted to the Order of Ministry of the United Church of Canada at the annual meeting of the Toronto Conference in May 2004.

In response to receiving the Justice-Seeker Award, Rev. Wushke said:

I was deeply touched, both honoured and humbled at the same time, that friends and colleagues from the trenches of the past would call to mind the last three decades of our collective work for sexual and gender justice in Lutheran churches and focus recognition on my contribution.

In returning thanks, I salute you, for whatever we have managed to achieve by way of greater conscientization, inclusion and justice, it is because we worked together in many different times and places. [...] I pray that this work may continue to find places to spring forth and flourish.
The Lutherans Concerned in Canada Society’s board created the Reinie Heydemann Justice-Seeker Award in 2006 to recognize, foster, and encourage leadership among all people seeking to further the work of full inclusion in the Church. The office and staff of Lutherans Concerned/North America joins with the Lutherans Concerned in Canada Society in offering our congratulations to Rev. Wushke for the recognition of his hard work and dedication to the inclusive church community!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Abiding Peace Celebrates the Lifting of Censure

Abiding Peace Lutheran Church of Kansas City, Missouri recently celebrated the lifting of censure which had been imposed in March 2001 after the congregation called and ordained Pastor Donna Simon the previous October. Pastor Donna is rostered with Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM) and was ordained extraordinarily (meaning outside the normal rubrics of the ELCA) under a provision in the Lutheran Confessions allowing such ordinations when bishops can't or won't.

During the celebration service, Abiding Peace gave thanks for "the boldness and faithfulness of the people of the ELCA for the passage of the Statement on Human Sexuality, and for the ministry policies that have been adopted." They also gave thanks for Pastor Donna and her witness and struggles within the church, and for the candidacy committee as she reaches the conclusion of her ordination process.
 
About 25 people attended the service, which ended with a joyful hymn that had originally been written for the extraordinary ordination of three pastors in San Francisco in 1995.

Standing on the Side of Love for Marriage Equality: An Interfaith Public Witness Event

Join the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) as they host an inerfaith event with worship, music, testimonials, and information about what action you can take to support GLBT equality. Hosted by UUA's Standing on the Side of Love campaign, the event takes place on Saturday, June 26 from noon to 12:45 pm at Twin Cities’ Pride Festival, Loring Park, Loring Stage. Bring your family and come stand on the side of love! For more information contact laura.smidzik@gmail.com.

Friday, June 4, 2010

South Texas Chapter Celebrates and Gives Thanks

The South Texas Chapter of Lutherans Concerned/North America will sponsor a worship service to celebrate the ELCA and its new possibilities, openness, and energy for new mission at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 13 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in San Antonio. The service will include a celebration of decisions made at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, which made it possible for people in committed, same-gender relationships to serve as leaders in the ELCA. The offering received at the service will be designated for ELCA mission support and the ELCA campus ministries at Texas State University and The University of Texas at Austin. Good Shepherd is located at 1630 Goliad Road in San Antonio. For more information about the service, contact the Rev. Steve Behr at (210) 333-0460 or behrstv@aol.com.  Please stay for fellowship and refreshments at the conclusion of the service.