Wednesday, December 8, 2010

In the News: McGuire Real Estate Blog

Urban Free Farming?

Blogged on 12/8/2010 by Robert Merryman

The seeds for sharing have been planted in a vacant lot in San Francisco. Located at the corner of Eddy & Gough Streets you’ll find something unofficially tagged as the Free Farm. It’s on the former site of a Lutheran Church, St. Paulus, which was destroyed by fire in 1995 and needed a make-over. After sitting vacant for nearly 15 years and slowly filling with debris, the lot presented an interesting opportunity.

A Mission District resident, a man who calls himself Tree, saw the chance to make a change in the landscape. The 1/3 acre lot is now the home to the Free Farm, an all-volunteer effort to make life a bit easier for those in need of quality food. Granted, the volunteers acknowledged they won’t solve hunger, but make a concerted effort to provide those in need with accessibility to quality organic produce which they otherwise might not be able to afford.

This is not something new for its founder, Tree. In 2008 he established the Free Farm Stand in his neighborhood. According to Tree, together with a team of volunteers, he’s grown and given away more than 6,000 pounds of food to people who otherwise don’t have the means to buy, or have knowledge about, the benefits of quality produce.

As a result, the shepherd of the project, Reverend Megan Rohrer, executive director of Welcome, a non-profit working to end poverty, has convinced six other Bay Area churches to allow vacant lots to be used as urban gardens and farms.

So as you languish in the celebrations of the holiday season, remember there’s always someone with less. Make a difference and volunteer or make a charitable donation to improve the life of another in your community throughout the year.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

New Living Lutheran Post


How can people go hungry in a world of plenty?
November 23, 2010 5:00 AM
I challenged Lutheran congregations to feed the hungry in their neighborhoods and to trust that the resources needed would be found. | Read the blog »

Monday, November 15, 2010

GHCG Wins 2010 NEN Award

The Growing Home Community Garden, which Megan has managed since May, has won the 2010 Neighborhood Empowerment Network (NEN) Best Community Challenge Grant Project Award which will be given out on November 17th, at City Hall at the 2010 NEN Awards in the North Light Court.

Event Details:

6pm to 7pm - Reception (A light supper buffet will be served)

7pm to 7:45pm - Awards Ceremony

7:45pm to 8:30pm - Reception


The event is free. You can register here: http://2010nenawards.eventbrite.com/
We hope to see you there!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Reformation manifesto against poverty & homelessness and for pastor self care




10/22/2010
Times Square New York

My last night indoors before my 7 days and 7 nights on the street this year I'm spending in Times Square. It wasn't planned to be an intentionally poetic thing. I'm doing a panel talk at CUNY's Graduate Center tonight for Out History. I fly back in the early morning and then head immediately to Davis, CA to preside at the closing worship of the Sierra Pacific Hunger Network's gathering. Then, I'll head immediately to Old First Presbyterian for the Saturday Community Dinner which will feed about 300 people. Afterwards I'll be joining the group of fools (no really, that's what we call ourselves - Faithful Fools after St. Francis of Assisi) and I'll be one of the huddled masses sleeping on the concrete outside of First Unitarian Universalist Church.

This street retreat, I'll be working on and off while I sleep on the streets at night. While this is a little different from past years, I think it will be a revelatory experience. First, I always find it helpful to feel how it feels in my bones to participate in the typical activities that I regularly ask homeless volunteers to participate in. Experiencing it helps me to understand what are unhelpful rules or just make life more difficult and painful for folk.

Another purpose of my continuing to work is to highlight the struggles of the working poor. This time in our economy more than ever, there are so many people working jobs that don't pay all their bills. Even I, someone very well off compared to the lives of those living on the streets, is currently working more than one job in order to get out from under debt, to pay my exceedingly high mortgage and because I haven't had a raise in three years.

And though there are a million reasons that my working while on street retreat can be illuminating, the final one I'll give here, is that during this week before the anniversary of the Reformation I want to highlight the way that pastors that chose to serve those with the least are consistently overworked and underpaid.

Without the ability to get good self care (through vacations, time off to think, time away from crisis and time away from bill worries both at work and home.

So for all these reasons, and all those that will come to me along the way, I officially declare my street retreat (from October 23 - 30) a call for a reformation to: solve domestic poverty; to pay living wages for individuals and families; and to provide self care and support with our prayers, money and priorities for pastors, particularly those engaged in community ministry or the diaconate, to get the self care they need.

Join me on my street retreat/reformation at: mystreetretreat.blogspot.com

And since I will beg on the streets, and in most of these notes, you might as well get used to me begging you to support the vital work that I'm able to do at Welcome. (via the mail: 1751 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94109 or via the interwebs at: www.sfwelcome.org).

I get the privilege of developing creative ways for folk to respond to poverty - whether they live in it or not. If you feel like my blog will entertain you as much as a movie, give $11. If it makes you think like a book would, give $25. If it feels like church, consider tithing %15 of next weeks salary. If you learn as much as a college class consider donating $255. If it changes your life, or at least your perspective, how much is that worth to you?

Since most of my time is spent finding ways to make things free that people in poverty can't afford, I won't be upset if you don't give. But, anything you do give will help me spend less time begging (and more time helping those living in poverty improving their quality of life) when my street retreat is over.

Blessings upon blessings to you and yours. May you be warm and fed, today and all the days of your life.

Pastor Megan

Location:Time Square, NY, NY,United States

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

This week the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America launched it's new online forum full of video and interactive ways to ... well be Lutheran.

My blog entry was the sites first of the staff bloggers. I hope you'll check out the site and my first entry. I'll be contributing a post each month on the topic of advocacy.

$300 Raised for Transgender Equality!

Royalties from the sales for Letters For My Brothers: Transitional Wisdom in Retrospect enabled us to send our third royalty check for $100 (for a total of $300) to the National Center for Transgender Equality. %20 of the proceeds for Letters For My Brothers will be contributed to NCTE.

The National Center for Transgender Equality is a national social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people.

By empowering transgender people and our allies to educate and influence policymakers and others, NCTE facilitates a strong and clear voice for transgender equality in our nation's capital and around the country.

Thanks to all who bought books this first month! You have helped us to prove that creativity can make a real difference in the world!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Are you a mushy Christian?

This recent poll about young adults and their faith was really strange to me. This silly little paragraph that stood out the most:
"Among the 65% [of young adults] who call themselves Christian, 'many are either mushy Christians or Christians in name only,' Rainer says. 'Most are just indifferent. The more precisely you try to measure their Christianity, the fewer you find committed to the faith.'"

I don't know what a mushy Christian is. I imagine from the context of the article that it's people who use avoid words like "Jesus is my Lord and Savior" or who do yoga. The author of the article concludes that because old school notions of Christianity don't work for young folk that they are in fact not very solid in their belief(s).

As a 30 year old pastor, I must confess that I am often the youngest person at most church services I preach at or lead. I often feel like I'm not actually an adult at these meetings and gatherings because of the marked age difference. Yet, I often hear that the church wants to engage young folk (read those 30 and below) and become more welcoming and diverse.

Yet, when we young folk with our full diversity of sexuality, gender expression, body art, piercings, ADHD, physical abilities and yearning to mash up some of the spiritual practices and experiences from other faith traditions that help us understand our Christian stories and rituals better show up in their pews, very few churches are willing to let us be fully who we are. Or if they do, they stare, make comments or smoother you.

In the early 60's the National Council of Churches faced a very similar reality. Young folk were not interested in church and worship that did not speak to their experiences. As a result, churches adapted, experimented and were transformed by the contributions of young folk. The sixties also brought a lot of experimentation and over-indulgence that the church still seems to be recovering from. Perhaps the boundaries got pushed too far in the 60's, but I hope that the baby boomers who got this freedom when they were young will be gracious enough to trust a new generation with the future of the church.

Like it or not, we are the future (and present) of the church.

I invite anyone interested in exploring ways we can claim the moving and meaningful parts of the ancient Christian tradition while making it fresh and relevant to our daily lives, to join me and the fabulous Tommy Dillon as a part of the Community of Travelers (starting September 12th at 5pm).

You can participate in person at St. Aidan's Episcopal or join us online via live stream. Mushy or not, all are welcome to worship with us!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Gardens, Mental Health and City wide solutions.

Those who have been following my activities may have noticed that in addition to my work at Welcome, I'm in my 9th year of working with the chronically homeless in San Francisco, I have started to work part-time for Project Homeless Connect (PHC). I initially began working at Project Homeless Connect during a time when foundation support of Welcome wavered and I needed a bit of job security. Of course, the idea of working with an organization that had such a city wide impact to their work was appealing to me as someone who has been advocating for the homeless for so many years.

Thankfully due to a major gift from St. Paulus Lutheran Church, Welcome's funding for this year is back on track and I continue to do the one-on-one work with our homeless guests, to preach and teach about hunger issues and to help organize volunteers and groups to feed hungry people through dinners and community garden at Welcome.

But, I'm also delighted to continue my work at PHC to create opportunities for free mental health care in community gardens throughout San Francisco, enabling people to share skills and improve their quality of life and to help individuals learn employment skills.

At Welcome I'm able to work with people individually over the long term, to be their pastor and work with congregations. At PHC, I'm able to work to find solutions to some of the root causes of homelessness on a city wide level.
Below, I've included information about the Seeding Resilience program that I created and am leading at PHC's Growing Home Community Garden. I hope you'll be as excited about it as I am!


Seeding Resilience
is the Growing Home Community Garden's (GHCG) new project to increase access to mental health services and increase employment opportunities and skills. A two year innovation project with major support provided by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), the Seeding Resilience project is 75% focused on the GHCG (Octavia & Lily) and 25% on Urban Agricultural leaders in San Francisco to build a citywide network of support for mental health consumers.

Outcomes of the project include:
  • 3 weekly skill share opportunities for individuals to learn about: 1) cooking & nutrition; 2) garden skills; and 3) health skills and stress reduction [click on the links for notes and photos from these skill shares]
  • 4 educational opportunities for urban agriculture leaders to increase their awareness, create collaboration opportunities and employment opportunities for mental health consumers
  • regular support groups, workshops and events on topics recommended by garden members and skill share participants
  • information about the learnings of the project that will be made available so that the successful parts of the project can be reproduced in other locations

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Free Farm Harvests 1045 Pounds!

Amount of produce harvested and given a way at the free farm since February: 1045 pounds!

SPS7 Rite Raises nearly $7,000 for the Joel Workin Scholarship

To date, the offering for the SPS7 Rite has raised nearly $7,000 for the The Joel R. Workin Memorial Scholarship!

Twenty years ago when Joel Workin came out as a gay, Lutheran seminarian, he and several others helped spark the current movement supporting openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) persons in ordained ministry. Following Joel’s courageous and faithful act, his certification for ordination was vacated when Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) bishops refused to place his name on the roster of approved candidates waiting for call. The Joel R. Workin Memorial Scholarship was established in 1995 by the generosity of Joel’s family, colleagues and close friends. Joel died of AIDS, before he could see this day when GLBT pastors would be received into the ELCA.

The Joel R. Workin Memorial Scholarship supports seminarians who have been admitted into the Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries candidacy process; and encourages them to persevere in their preparation for ordained ministry. The recipients must be enrolled as an openly gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender student, have demonstrated gifts for Word and Sacrament ministry, and seeks to fulfill their vocations as publicly identified sexual minority persons. The recipients demonstrate academic excellence, integrity and courage in response to the ELCA's discriminatory policies, a passion for social justice, faithfulness to Jesus Christ and potential to become an effective leader in church and society. The early witness of Joel Workin and several other gay seminarians led to a larger movement within the Lutheran Church. Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, a result of this witness, credentials and rosters openly gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people for ministry; supports these pastors by working with congregations that will call them and providing mission grants to support their ministry; and provides a network of support to the congregations and pastors.

If feel moved to support GLBT seminarians, please send a donation to Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries. Please note in the memo line that you would like your funds to support the "SPS7 Workin Offering."

You can make a secure online donation here:
1)Donate via the ELM website
2)Donate through facebook causes here

Thanks for your support!

Rev. Megan Rohrer

Friday, July 30, 2010

In the News: The Underground

Lutheran ceremony admits gay “Bay Area Seven” to clergy roster

Posted on 30 July 2010

Seven gay pastors were reinstated recently into the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America after having been barred from service for some 20 years.

The pastors, also called the “Bay Area Seven” are Reverends Jeff Johnson, Paul Brenner, Dawn Roginski, Ross Merkel, Megan Rohrer, Craig Minich and Sharon Stalkfleet.

They will be officially recognized on the ECLA clergy roster, making them eligible to serve in any of the denomination’s 10,500 Lutheran churches.

In September, three more gay pastors will be admitted and in October, one gay pastor in Chicago and two in St. Paul-Minneapolis will be welcomed. All in all, a total of 46 openly gay pastors are slated to be welcomed to the clergy roster.

The ceremony, which was held at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in San Francisco, is the first of many more that have been scheduled since the ELCA decided last year to accept non-celibate gay ministers who are in committed relationships.

In the past, gay men and women could become Lutheran pastors only if they took a vow of celibacy.

According to The New York Times Rev. Johnson said, “Today the church is speaking with a clear voice. All people are welcome here, all people are invited to help lead this church, and all people are loved unconditionally by God.”

Johnson said the ECLA’s former policy “ruined lives, destroyed faiths.”

Rev. Rohrer said she viewed the ceremony not as her first day as a pastor but a day when “the church gets to receive me as a pastor.” She is a missionary for the homeless and serves in four churches, the San Francisco Chronicle said.

The ECLA, which has 4.6 million members, is the largest Protestant church in the U.S. to admit non-celibate gay clergy. The decision has led 185 of its 10,396 congregations to separate from the denomination.

The United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church permit gay clergy, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) may soon follow suit as its general assembly voted to allow non-celibate gay clergy to serve, however this needs ratification by a majority of the PCUSA’s 173 regional presbyteries.

New blogging gig.

I just got my first assignment today to write for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's new "Living Lutheran" blog. They've asked me to be their advocacy blogger. I'll be contributing to the site once a month. Stay tuned for more info about the blog.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

In the News: Bay Area Reporter

Photo: Lydia Gonzales

The Reverends Craig Minich, Megan Rohrer, Sharon Sue Stalkfleet, Dawn Roginski, Jeff Robert Johnson, Paul Richard Brenner, and Ross Donald Merkel are welcomed into the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America during a Rite of Reception ceremony held at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in San Francisco Sunday, July 25. The national Lutheran Church last year revised its policies, dropping the requirement that LGBT pastors need to be celibate. Those taking part in last weekend's service are now full-fledged ministers.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In the News: Ms. Magazine

Lutheran Church Reinstates Gay Pastors

Seven openly gay and transgender pastors were welcomed back to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) on Sunday after having been excluded from the church's ministry for the last twenty years. The pastors, known as the "Bay Area Seven," were previously banned from the church for refusing to comply with a church policy that said all gay pastors must take a vow of celibacy. According to the Associated Press, the ECLA voted to overturn this policy last year, but Sunday marks the first reinstatement of gay and transgender Lutheran pastors since the celibacy ban was lifted.

The reinstatement ceremony took place on Sunday at St. Marks Lutheran Church in San Francisco. Reverend Jeff R. Johnson, one of the returning pastors, said in a news conference that the Lutheran church was sending the clear message that, "all people are welcome here, all people are invited to help lead this church, and all people are loved unconditionally by God," reports the New York Times.

According to the Times all seven of the pastors had previously been ordained and had been serving in the Bay Area, but were never officially recognized by the ECLA. Megan Rohrer, another reinstated pastor, said she viewed Sunday as the day "the church [got] to receive me as a pastor," not the day she became one, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

With 4.6 million members, the ECLA is now the largest Protestant church to permit non-celibate gay men and women to serve in its clergy. According to the New York Times, since the celibacy ban was lifted, 185 of the 10,396 congregations nationwide have voted to leave the denomination. Reverend Mark Chavez, who leads a coalition of conservative Lutheran churches, told the Times that his group plans to start a new denomination in August.

Lutheran churches across the country, however, continue to plan ceremonies to welcome the 46 gay pastors that have been excluded back into the ECLA. Three more ceremonies are already planned for this fall, reports the Times.

See original article.

Media Resources: New York Times 7/25/10; San Fransisco Chronicle 7/26/10; Associated Press 7/25/10

Monday, July 26, 2010

In the News: The Advocate

Lutherans Welcome Reinstated Gay Pastors


Megan Rohrer x390 (flickr) | ADVOCATE.COM
The Reverend Megan Rohrer
Seven gay and transgender pastors in California who were barred from serving in the Lutheran Church were reinstated in a ceremony on Sunday.

The pastors, all from the San Francisco Bay area, were folded back into the church a year after the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America decided to allow gay pastors serve as clergy. The church previously only allowed gays to serve if they adhered to a vow of celibacy. The "Bay Area Seven" were Jeff Johnson, Megan Rohrer, Paul Brenner, Craig Minich, Dawn Roginski, Sharon Stalkfleet, and Ross Merkel, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

In 1990 two San Francisco churches saw the policy as discriminatory and ordained Johnson and a lesbian couple. The churches, First United and St. Frances, were then expelled from the denomination.

In the News: San Francisco Chronicle

Gay and transgender Lutheran pastors reinstated

Monday, July 26, 2010






Megan Rohrer (right) and Craig Minich are reinstated at the service.




Seven Bay Area gay and transgender pastors were reinstated into the national Lutheran church on Sunday after being barred for two decades from serving in the denomination.

It was a day of mixed feelings for the "Bay Area Seven" - the Revs. Jeff Johnson, Megan Rohrer, Paul Brenner, Craig Minich, Dawn Roginski Sharon Stalkfleet and Ross Merkel - who saw the event as an act of reconciliation with the church that once shunned them.

"We finally got to the direction we knew the Lutheran church was heading. It just took it longer to get there," Johnson said.

The pastors were welcomed almost a year after the national assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America - the largest Lutheran denomination in the country - voted to allow gay men and women, with partners, to serve as clergy members, making it the latest Protestant church to allow such ordinations.

Gay men and women were previously allowed to become Lutheran pastors but had to take a vow of celibacy. Some within the church saw the rule as discriminatory, and in 1990 two San Francisco churches, First United and St. Francis, defied the policy by ordaining Johnson, a gay man, and a lesbian couple.

As a result, the two churches were expelled from the denomination. In the last 20 years, more than a dozen pastors nationwide were ordained in defiance of the church, three removed by trial and many denied the possibility to serve.

It was "a policy that ruined lives, destroyed faiths," Johnson said.

Rohrer, who serves in four churches and as a missionary for the homeless, said she did not feel Sunday was the day she became a pastor, but the day "the church gets to receive me as a pastor."

In an extension of that spirit of reconciliation, on Sunday the St. Francis congregation also overwhelmingly voted to return to the national Lutheran church.

"It's like an individual who was separated from his family after his mother kicked him out," said the Rev. Robert Johnson, head pastor at St. Francis. "The mother church has come around and said 'you were right.' "

E-mail Alejandro Martínez-Cabrera at amartinez-cabrera@sfchronicle.com

This article appeared on page C - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Sunday, July 25, 2010

In the News: KRON 4







Photos by Vicki Kane Risner









Footage of the service appeared on all the news stations in San Francisco. The photos above and video below is from a KRON 4 story, where I was actually interviewed after serving communion to the folks in the over flow room as I was trying to make my way back upstairs and waiting for the upstairs communion to finish. Click here to see video of the full press conference that was held about an hour before the service.



In the News: New York Times

Lutherans Offer Warm Welcome to Gay Pastors
Noah Berger for The New York Times

The Rev. Sharon Stalkfleet, center, was one of seven gay pastors at a welcoming ceremony Sunday at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in San Francisco.
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN

Published: July 25, 2010
With a laying on of hands, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on Sunday welcomed into its fold seven openly gay pastors who had until recently been barred from the church’s ministry.
Enlarge This Image
Noah Berger for The New York Times

The Rev. Dawn Roginski, center, in white, one of seven gay pastors at a welcoming ceremony Sunday at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in San Francisco.

The ceremony at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in San Francisco was the first of several planned since the denomination took a watershed vote at its convention last year to allow noncelibate gay ministers in committed relationships to serve the church.

“Today the church is speaking with a clear voice,” the Rev. Jeff R. Johnson, one of the seven gay pastors participating in the ceremony, said at a news conference just before it began. “All people are welcome here, all people are invited to help lead this church, and all people are loved unconditionally by God.”

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, known as the E.L.C.A., with 4.6 million members, is now the largest Protestant church in the United States to permit noncelibate gay ministers to serve in the ranks of its clergy — an issue that has caused wrenching divisions for it as well as for many other denominations.

Since the church voted last summer to allow noncelibate gay clergy members to serve, 185 congregations have taken the two consecutive votes required to leave the denomination, said Melissa Ramirez Cooper, a spokeswoman for the church, citing a tally that she said was updated monthly. There are 10,396 congregations nationwide.

The Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ also allow gay ministers. And the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s general assembly voted at its convention earlier this month to do so, though the vote will become church law only if is ratified by a majority of the church’s 173 regional presbyteries. Two smaller Lutheran denominations, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, do not ordain ministers in same-sex relationships.

The seven ministers welcomed at the ceremony on Sunday had already been ordained and have been serving at churches or outreach ministries in the San Francisco Bay Area, but they had not been officially recognized on the clergy roster.

“The effect of them being brought onto our roster is they will now be part of our national database of pastors who are available for service in any of our 10,500 churches,” said Bishop Mark W. Holmerud, who leads the Sierra Pacific Synod, which includes San Francisco. He noted that while some congregations were open to consider hiring openly gay ministers, others were not — and each congregation is free to choose.

The Evangelical Lutherans designed Sunday’s special “rite of reconciliation” to mark the formal inclusion of gay ministers who were ordained in “extraordinary rites” that were not recognized by the church but were conducted by a group called Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries. Three more gay pastors will be welcomed at ceremonies in September and October, two in the St. Paul-Minneapolis area and one in Chicago, Ms. Cooper said.

Amalia Vagts, executive director of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, said, “It’s been a long and hard journey for a lot of people, and it feels like this is a new beginning in the history of the E.L.C.A.”

She said that all together, there were 46 openly gay ministers who had previously been excluded from the church’s clergy roster and would now be accepted.

The change was made possible after the Churchwide Assembly, the Evangelical Lutherans’ chief legislative body, voted at its meeting in 2009 to allow the ordination of noncelibate gay pastors who are in monogamous relationships. The denomination appointed a task force to study the issue in 2001, and spent the next eight years in debate. In the end, the proposal to permit openly gay clergy members won just two-thirds of the votes, the minimum required for passage.

Some who opposed it are now poised to leave. The Rev. Mark Chavez, director of Lutheran CORE, a coalition of theologically conservative Lutheran churches, said his group expected to form a new denomination, the North American Lutheran Church, in August.

He said of the ceremony on Sunday, “It’s just another steady step taken by the E.L.C.A. to move the denomination further and further away from most Lutheran churches around the world and from the whole Christian church, unfortunately.”

Before the ceremony, one of the gay pastors, the Rev. Megan M. Rohrer, said it had been a long journey from her home in South Dakota — where fellow Lutherans regarded her sexuality as a demon to be exorcised — to being finally welcomed as a minister in the Lutheran church.

“It’s an invitation,” she said of the ceremony, “to join us in the pews every single Sunday, where not a single one of these pastors will care if you agree with us or if you think our families are appropriate. We’ll serve you communion, we’ll pray with you and we’ll visit you in the hospital.”
A version of this article appeared in print on July 26, 2010, on page A13 of the New York edition.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

In the News: AP

Gay Lutheran Pastors To Join Church Roster



SAN FRANCISCO July 24, 2010, 11:13 pm ET

Seven pastors who work in the San Francisco Bay area and were barred from serving in the nation's largest Lutheran group because of a policy that required gay clergy to be celibate are being welcomed into the denomination.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will add six of the pastors to its clergy roster at a service at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in San Francisco on Sunday. Another pastor who was expelled from the church, but was later reinstated, will participate in the service.

The group is among the first gay, bisexual or transgender Lutheran pastors to be reinstated or added to the rolls of the ELCA since the organization voted last year to lift the policy requiring celibacy.

Churches can now hire noncelibate gay clergy who are in committed relationships.

"It's going to be an extremely glorious and festive ceremony because it's the culmination of decades of work to welcome LGBT people into the ELCA," said Amalia Vagts, executive director of the Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, a nonprofit that credentials openly gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people for ministry.

Megan Rohrer, one of the pastors who will participate in Sunday's rite of reception service, grew up in South Dakota and attended a Lutheran college where she said students tried to exorcise her "gay demons" by throwing holy water on her. Some of those people are now Lutheran pastors in South Dakota, she said.

Rohrer, who is transgender and a lesbian, was ordained by four congregations in San Francisco in 2006, but could not join the ELCA roster until the denomination's national assembly approved the new policy in August.

"I didn't really believe the policy was going to change as quickly as it did," she said.

Rohrer said she is hopeful Sunday's service will be a "symbol" to young people that the Lutheran church is working toward becoming more welcoming of people of all different backgrounds.

Jeff Johnson, another one of the pastors who will be added to the roster, said the ELCA's position for years of not accepting the choice of some congregations to ordain gay clergy was painful and disappointing.

"The actions the church is taking on Sunday affirms the decisions of those congregations," Johnson, pastor of the University Lutheran Chapel in Berkeley, said. "The church is respecting our family, our partners, the choices we're making."

A small number of congregations have voted to leave the ELCA in response to the August vote. Johnson and Rohrer want Sunday's service to heal some of the rifts.

Johnson said the goal, in part, is to show people the church has space for many different opinions.

"There's room for them," he said. "It's a tolerant church."

The special rite of reception that will be used for the first time on Sunday was developed specifically to welcome gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender pastors, said Melissa Ramirez Cooper, a spokeswoman for the ELCA.

Two more rite of reception services are scheduled for September in the St. Paul-Minneapolis area and another will follow in Chicago, Cooper said.


This article appeared online and in print in more than 300 media outlets, including: NPR, The Miami Herald, The Washington Examiner, the DC Daily Caller, the Fresno Bee, USA Today, Yahoo News, The Washington Post, MSNBC, Houston Chronicle, Manchester UK Guardian News, SFGate, Fox News, Star Tribune, Newsday, Seattle Times, ,

Thursday, July 22, 2010

In the News: Bay Area Reporter

Lutherans receive LGBT pastors


m.bajko@ebar.com

The Reverend Jeff Johnson











Twenty years ago two San Francisco Lutheran congregations ordained a lesbian couple and a gay man as pastors in defiance of their denomination's ban against non-celibate LGBT people becoming clergy.

The two churches' decision in 1990 set off a two-decade fight over the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's anti-gay policy. While the congregations were ultimately ejected from the ELCA for their decisions, 15 additional LGBT people became Lutheran pastors in the ensuing years through an extraordinary ordination process.

Although their local congregations considered them to be pastors, in the eyes of the national Lutheran Church they were deemed unofficial clergy. Church leaders subsequently disciplined many of the churches that ordained them.

Last year the national Lutheran Church revised its policies and dropped the requirement that LGBT pastors need to be celibate. This weekend six LGBT pastors ordained extraordinarily and two pastors who had been dismissed from the ELCA clergy roster will be received as full-fledged pastors in the church at a ceremony Sunday, July 25 at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in San Francisco.

"I think this is a very significant step for the church, which has been in this two-decade process of studying gay and lesbian people and talking about finding ways to include us. That process has now come to an end and the church has decided that LGBT people are to be welcomed fully as leaders and members of the church, so it is a huge step that the church has taken," said the Reverend Jeff Johnson, whose ordination 20 years ago as an assistant pastor at the city's First United Lutheran Church sparked the internal dialogue within the national Lutheran Church.

Johnson, 48, now lives in Oakland and is the pastor at University Lutheran Chapel in Berkeley. He will be taking part in the formal Rite of Reception service this weekend presided over by the Reverend Mark Holmerud, fourth bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod, which covers northern California and northern Nevada.

"I am deeply grateful to the [extraordinary] pastors, and the two pastors who were removed from the ELCA roster, for their grace and good will in being a part of this process," Holmerud said in a statement about the ceremony. He added that the actions of the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly "have brought us to a new day."

At the Sierra Pacific Synod assembly in May, Holmerud lifted a public censure and admonition placed on the Berkeley church in 2000 after it called Johnson as its pastor even though he was not on the ELCA clergy roster. At the meeting Johnson was also elected to serve on the regional synod's council pending his participation in this weekend's rite.

The other extraordinary Lutheran pastors taking part in the service are the Reverends Craig Minich, pastor of youth ministries at the Oakland-Berkeley Lutheran Youth Program; Dawn Roginski, pastor of parish programs at St. Francis Lutheran Church; Megan Rohrer, executive director of Welcome, which feeds the homeless in San Francisco; Paul R. Brenner at St. Francis Lutheran Church; and Sharon Stalkfleet with Lutheran Ministry to Nursing Homes in Oakland.

"I think you can't go through this kind of wilderness walking in the church and not be stronger because of it," said Rohrer, 30, who identifies as a transgender dyke and was extraordinarily ordained in 2006 by four San Francisco Lutheran churches. "It feels like coming out to your parents and having them react really poorly for a long time and then one day they change their mind."

The two pastors being reinstated this weekend are the Reverends Ross D. Merkel, pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Oakland, and Steven P. Sabin, pastor of Christ Church Lutheran in San Francisco. In 1998 the ELCA removed Sabin from its clergy roster after he admitted to being in a committed, same-sex relationship while serving as pastor at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Ames, Iowa.

"For two decades, many have been grieved and alienated by the ELCA's exclusion of gay and lesbian pastors blessed with loving spouses. I hope and pray that they can, like me, lay aside the hurts and take hope from the gracious power of God to renew and direct the church into evermore faithful and effective proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ," stated Sabin.

Retired Revered James DeLange, who was the senior pastor at St. Francis Lutheran Church in 1990, called this weekend's service a "vindication" for those who fought against the church's discriminatory policies and the beginning of the healing process for many Lutherans impacted by that struggle.

"For those of us who have been just staying with the struggle and have tried to work to try to change the policy this is a vindication of our efforts," said DeLange, who is straight and chairs the San Francisco Interfaith Council. "I am just glad I lived long enough to see the change of policy."

As for the lesbian couple his church ordained the same day as Johnson, the Reverends Ruth Frost and Phyllis Zillhart, DeLange said they now live in Minneapolis and are expected to have their own rite of reception sometime this fall.

Also this Sunday St. Francis will vote on whether to return to the ELCA. In a nearly unanimous vote, the 300 delegates at the Sierra Pacific Synod assembly this spring adopted a resolution inviting both First United and St. Francis to rejoin the national church. First United has yet to schedule a similar vote.

Johnson expressed mixed emotions about how long it has taken the Lutheran Church to fully embrace LGBT pastors.

"I think that the church's taking this step does not change the difficult things the church has done over the past two decades, so it is very important for people to tell the truth about the discrimination they have taken part in as we celebrate this momentous, wonderful happening," he said.

The formal Rite of Reception for the pastors is open to the public. It will begin at 4 p.m. Sunday, July 25 at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, the corner of Franklin and O'Farrell Streets in San Francisco.

You'll find the original here.

In the News: Argus Leader

Callison: Embracing the Church

Transgender minister to be received as ELCA pastor

Jill Callison • jcalliso@argusleader.com • July 22, 2010

When Darlene Audus was a teenager, her Lutheran father discouraged his daughter from dating Roman Catholic boys.

She didn't understand that kind of prejudice then, and the 76-year-old Clark woman today doesn't understand the prejudice directed at her granddaughter, Megan Rohrer, a lesbian.

"I back her all the way," Audus says. "She's a super gal."


Rohrer, 30, is the first openly transgender Lutheran pastor ordained in the United States. Transgender is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. Only a very few choose to change their bodies through hormones or surgery.

On Sunday, Rohrer will be part of the first rite to receive gay pastors into the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

"She's had a tough struggle to get where she's at," says Audus, a retired county auditor. "I'm proud because she kept at it. It would have been easy to give up. But I wished I could protect her from all those things."

"Those things," as Rohrer tells it in a telephone conversation from her home in San Francisco, include horrifying tales.

After graduating from Lincoln High School, Rohrer enrolled at Augustana College. In the aftermath of the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student, the campus became a hostile place, she says.

"Aggressive football players would knock on my dorm room door and try to turn me into a straight person in violently sexual ways," she says.

In an attempt to exorcise Rohrer's "gay demons," students in her religion class threw holy water on her and sang hymns as she walked to class.

Rohrer moved off campus for three months, fearing for her safety.

But college faculty supported her, Rohrer says, and it also was the place where she discovered her calling and first fell in love.

"I would never wish an unsafe space for anyone, but sometimes having to take a stand helps push a person into a leadership position," she says. "I was able to find the determination to be a pastor in a church that wasn't yet ready to welcome me."

Rohrer entered seminary on the West Coast. She never considered joining a denomination that would welcome her as an openly lesbian pastor.

"Growing up in South Dakota, everything about my culture was Lutheran," she says. "I spoke Lutheran. A lot of the theology Lutherans proclaim and are excited about is kind of the natural way people live. It's hard to leave a culture behind."


Although her home congregation, Hope Lutheran, wouldn't fill out the necessary paperwork to allow Rohrer to pursue her calling, she says, she found support from the South Dakota Synod office.

Rohrer appreciates both sides' honesty.

"When you're in South Dakota, sometimes the person who disagrees with you most is your closest friend because they're honest with you," she says. "In bigger cities, it's different. If you disagree, you don't have to talk again."

Rohrer, who now runs a nonprofit agency for the homeless and serves four churches in San Francisco, was ordained outside the rules of the ELCA in 2006 - an extraordinary ordination. On Sunday, she will become a pastor in the ELCA.

That became possible when in August 2009, representatives of the ELCA voted to allow congregations to call pastors who were in "publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous same-gender relationships."

Rohrer knows how difficult that vote was for many Lutherans. At the Churchwide Assembly last August, she and a Canton woman who opposed the change would pray together before every vote.

"Even when they're hoping the vote will go the other way, I really think God is bigger than this decision," Rohrer says. "I think our faith lives are bigger than this decision. I'm excited to be part of a diverse church where we can pray together."

Rohrer is in a committed, same-sex relationship and, for the past eight years, has served as a pastor to the homeless.

Many of the homeless she works with come from the Midwest. They left home either because their families rejected them or they assumed if their sexuality became public, they would be shunned.

"They left out of fear and never gave anyone the opportunity to accept them," Rohrer says. "That's another reason I continue to be engaged with congregations in the Midwest. We'll always have homeless as long as people can't openly welcome gay and lesbian people into families, church and school."


Audus could never reject Rohrer.

"It wasn't like you could go, 'That wasn't my granddaughter any more,' " Audus says of learning Rohrer is a lesbian. "It was just that the path would be a little harder."

Rohrer, however, might not agree that the path was any harder for her than anyone else. What she does acknowledge is that this is a world where secrets about sex lead to abuse of power.

"I want to be part of a church that holds me accountable, that asks me tough questions," she says. "I want to be part of a group of pastors that are honest about how they're forming healthy relationships. Being gay or straight doesn't matter. What matters is if you're in a loving relationship."

Jill Callison's column runs Tuesdays and Thursdays. Reach her at 331-2307.

You can find the original story here.

Friday, July 9, 2010

In the News: Mission Local

Feeding the Mission, in the Western Addition
Your reporter squealed like a little girl when she realized she had actually found a potato.

By: Heather Smith | July 8, 2010

It starts with a Lutheran Church on fire. St. Paulus at Eddy and Gough burned to the ground in 1995 and has remained a vacant lot ever since. Then, this year, an improbable alliance came together. Case Garver, a 22-year-old Lutheran Volunteer Corps member from Ohio, and Megan Rohrer, a local pastor, were negotiating with local churches to open up unused property in the city for farming.

It was more than just a quaint idea — Rohrer is director of Welcome, an organization that deals directly with the poor, and food banks in San Francisco continue to be stretched to their limit. Rohrer secured permission for the St. Paulus lot. Then came the tricky part.

“Neither of us knew anything about gardening,” says Garver. “Then we found Tree.”

Tree knew how to garden. A Mission resident whose history stretched back decades, Tree had been growing and harvesting food from gardens mostly in the neighborhood, cultivating a group of local gardens and distributing the bounty to a variety of groups. In 2008 he began the Free Farm Stand at Parque Niños Unidos at 23rd and Treat. “People trust him,” says Lauren Anderson, an artist and gardener who runs the foraging nonprofit Produce to the People. “Which means a lot. It’s not easy to invite someone into your backyard, even if it’s just to pick fruit.”

Tree agreed to help run the farm with Anderson and some other nonprofit groups, with the idea that some of the produce would go to the Free Farm Stand in the Mission. The Lutheran synod that owns the church site agreed to cover the water and electrical bills. And so the farming began.

Your average burned-out foundation is not necessarily ideal farmland. The site was sunny, and as Garver puts it, the soil was equal parts sand, KFC buckets, Häagen-Dazs containers and used syringes. When asked if the crew had to use special safety gloves to clear out the soil, Garver deadpans, “It depends on how you define ‛special.’ Or ‛safe.’”

“We did have gloves,” he adds.

“There are so many different urban agriculture groups,” says Anderson. “They all believe in slightly different things: Teaching people how to garden. Getting people community garden plots. Greening the city. Working with youth. Our priority [was] getting food out of the ground and to the low-income people who needed it. The secret was manure. Lots and lots of manure.”

Planting in the basement of a burned-out building turned out to have its advantages — the plants were sheltered from San Francisco’s gale-force winds by the remaining walls. The terrible soil is producing more food than anyone expected.The first harvest at the plot they named The Free Farm — 5.5 pounds of produce — came out of the garden on April 11, just a little over three months after work began. A second mini-stand was established outside and began passing out food to residents of the immediate neighborhood. By the end of June, the free farmers had harvested 784 pounds of produce in six months, the most of any garden in the network supplying the Free Farm Stand.

On a Wednesday afternoon, a volunteer sits outside the farm behind two galvanized tubs of gargantuan, prehistoric-looking collard greens, offering them to slightly confused passersby. The quirks of the landscape are still being discovered — carrots have been challenging, collards and cabbage have done astonishingly well. There is fortune in this: Collards have been one of the most popular crops in both neighborhoods. Attempts to push kale have been met by resistance.

Inside, volunteers are elbow-deep in the dirt, feeling around for the first crop of potatoes. They range from a very enthusiastic visitor from southern Japan to Steve Pulliam, a recent transplant from Atlanta who found the place while walking his dog. When he began, he had no gardening experience. Five months later he is speaking confidently about duck droppings.

“I wanted to be outside. In the sunshine. Not around kids,” says Sarah Hale, a schoolteacher. “So much has happened this year: Haiti, the Gulf. I wanted to do something where I knew that I was doing good. Something small, and effective.”

Anderson, meanwhile, admits to aspirations beyond the small. “This is a terrible, terrible analogy,” she says, jokingly. “But we’re trying to decide if we want to turn this into a franchise.”

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Letters for my Brothers raises $200 for NCTE in less than a month!

Royalties from the three weeks of sales for Letters For My Brothers: Transitional Wisdom in Retrospect enabled us our second royalty check for $100 (for a total of $200) to the National Center for Transgender Equality. %20 of the proceeds for Letters For My Brothers will be contributed to NCTE.

The National Center for Transgender Equality is a national social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people.

By empowering transgender people and our allies to educate and influence policymakers and others, NCTE facilitates a strong and clear voice for transgender equality in our nation's capital and around the country.

Thanks to all who bought books this first month! You have helped us to prove that creativity can make a real difference in the world!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More than 783.57 pounds of food grown!

I haven't blogged about our gardens in a while because I've been so busy. But, I wanted to send an update that 783.57 pounds of free produce have been given away from the Free Farm. Bethlehem Lutheran has also been enjoying harvests lately.

Beyond the food, we've also worked with more than 566 volunteers in the garden this year.

I'm someone who is usually moved more by personal stories than numbers, but these numbers are very impressive.

Thanks to all the great volunteers and leaders at the Free Farm!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Resume

Megan Rohrer, MDiv, DHL

EDUCATION
  • 1994-1998 Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls, SD
  • 1998-2001 BA at Augustana College in Sioux Falls SD
  • 2002-2003 Student at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, CA
  • 2004-2005 Master of Divinity from the Pacific School for Religion in Berkeley, CA
  • 2009-Present Doctoral Candidate, Pacific School for Religion in Berkeley, CA

AWARDS:
  • 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award, Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley.
  • 2014 Award of Merit Winner: LGBT Category for notable artistic and technical productions, Accolade Global Film Competition, for the film Zanderology.
  • 2014 The Castro Lions Club, Richard E. Twining Memorial Award, for outstanding service to our community.
  • 2014 Honorable Mention, Unsung Hero of Compassion, His Holiness the Dalai Lama
  • 2013 Nominee for Historian of the Year, Upcoming Artist of the Year and for the Artistic Film Zanderology, Museum Of Transgender History and Art Awards.
  • 2013, Tenderloin Pride Awards, Gangway.
  • 2012, August 19th declared "Pastor Megan Rohrer Day" by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
  • 2012 Finalist in Transgender Nonfiction, 24th Annual Lambda Literary Award.
  • 2011 Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Palo Alto University for community service.
  • 2011 Finalist in the Bay Area Citizen's Citizen of Tomorrow Award. (The Bay Area Citizen is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization providing local coverage of the San Francisco Bay Area for The New York Times.)
  • 2010 Winner of Out History's Since Stonewall Local History Competition for the online exhibit Man-i-fest: FTM Mentoring in San Francisco from 1976-2009
  • 2007 Honorary Black Belt, Triangle Martial Arts Association, San Francisco, CA

TRAININGS AND CERTIFICATIONS
  • 2012 Completed 291 hours of coursework towards the certification process for the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors.
  • 2011 CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer and Healthcare Provider, American Red Cross Bay Area.
  • 2010 - Received onto the roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Episcopal Diocese of California
  • 2008-2011 Somatic Experiencing Training, Foundation for Human Enrichment: 216 hours in how to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • 2006-2011 Ordained & Rostered Minister, Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries
  • 2005 Clinical Hospital Ministry Training, Sojourn Chaplaincy, San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco, CA
  • 2004 Reiki Master, Care Through Touch Institute in San Francisco, CA
  • 2003 Nonviolence Facilitator Training, From Violence to Wholeness Curriculum, Pace e Bene, Oakland, CA
  • 2001 Counseling Training : 50+ hours including: MABS; safe holdings; sexual abuse; and prevention for sexually active children.
WORK HISTORY
  • 2002-Present Executive Director, Welcome- a communal response to poverty, San Francisco, CA 
  • 2013-Present Assistant Night Minister, Night Ministry, San Francisco, CA.
  • 2010-Present Contributing Blogger, Living Lutheran, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Chicago, IL
  • 2012-2012 Provider and Resource Manager, Project Homeless Connect, San Francisco CA
  • 2010-2012 Growing Home Community Garden Manager, Project Homeless Connect [a project of the Department of Public Health and the Mayor's Office], San Francisco, CA (Growing Home Community Garden won the 2010 NEN Best Community Challenge Grant Project)
  • 2001-2002 Child Care Counselor, Children's Home Society , Sioux Falls, SD
  • 1998-2001 Summer Conference Staff at Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD
SELECTED PRESENTATIONS, PUBLICATIONS, AND CURRICULUMS
  • 2014 Speaker, Sharing Local Histories,Creating Change, National LGBT Equality Conference.
  • 2013 A Giving Season, Café (December 2013).  
  • 2013  What Kind of Giver Are You? Café (December 2013).
  • 2012 Keynote, Transgender Religious Leaders Summit, a project of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA.
  • 2012 Speaker, Creating an Effective Youth Ministry Program Inclusive of LGBTQ Young People, Youth Faith and Family Conference, Coalition of Welcoming Congregations, a project of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA.
  • 2012 "Advocacy: Faith Meets Action," Café (June Issue).
  • 2012 Keynote, Transgender Unity Banquet, Houston, TX.
  • 2012 Featured Speaker, Equality Talks Workshop – Human Rights Campaign, Western Regional LGBTQIA Conference, University of California, Merced and the University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA.
  • 2012 Presenter, A Faithful Response to LGBTQ Homeless Youth, Creating Change, National LGBT Equality Conference.
  • 2012 Panel Speaker, The Pleasures and Perils of LGBTQ History, the American Historical Association Conference.
  • 2011 With Open Arms, Documentary.
  • 2011 Panel Speaker, LGBTQ Youth: Improving Our Response and Gaining Community Support, National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference
  • 2011 Panel Speaker, LGBT Homelessness & Youth: Religious Advocacy and Accountability, HRC Clergy Call
  • 2011 Photo Essay, Everyday Drag: The Aesthetics of Gender and the Pressure to Perform, Briarpatch Magazine, May/June.
  • 2011 Co-editor, Letters For My Brothers, Wilgefortis
  • 2010 Co-editor, Designer and Contributor, Vanguard Revisited Magazine. (exhibited in the 2011 National Queer Art's Festival's Exhibit - Queer it Yourself: Tools for Survival)
  • 2010 Associate Curator, Our Vast Queer Past, GLBT Historical Society Museum
  • 2010 Street Power: The Story of San Francisco's Vanguard, National Queer Arts Festival, GLBT Historical Society
  • 2010 Curator, Man-i-fest: FTM Mentoring in San Francisco from 1976-2009 (online exhibit on Out History and physical exhibit at the GLBT Historical Society)
  • 2010 Queer Public Histories of the Tenderloin, Queer Studies Lecture Series, Sonoma State University
  • 2009 Queerly Lutheran, Wilgefortis
  • 2009 Finding Your Spiritual Path, Philadelphia Trans-Health Summit
  • 2009 Polk Street Stories Project, Hobos to Homeless Exhibit: California Historical Society
  • 2009 Faith and Gender: A Congregational Guide for Transgender Advocacy, Facilitator for the Human Rights Campaign
  • 2009 Out in Season: The Church Year through Transgender Eyes, Online sermon resources for pastors following the lectionary to talk about transgender themes and issues, Human Rights Campaign
  • 2009 “Queering Soteriology,” Stand Boldly: Post Modern Lutheran Theology- A collection of essays from young Lutheran Theologians. Three Trees Press
  • 2008 Queer Spirituality, Class taught at the Faith and Feminism conference at HerChurch/Ebenezer Lutheran in San Francisco
  • 2008 Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries – Creative Ministry to, for and led by queer people, Lutheran’s Concerned North America biennial assembly
  • 2008 “Eye of God,” Schmap Berkeley Guide: Fifth Edition, – Photograph.
  • 2008 Testimony - Documentary intersecting faith and coming out stories.
  • 2007 Out of the Extraordinary: Benefit Album for Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries- Megan co-produced, contributed and designed this CD that includes Bread for the Journey, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, Dakota Road, Jonathon Rundman, Carrie Newcomer and the Indigo Girls and raised more than $7,000
  • 2007 Bound for Glory- Solo CD where Megan handled all aspects of production and creation.
  • 2007 Simul: Lutheran Voices in Poetry, Ed. Odland, Mark, Xulon Press
  • 2005 Gender Plurality and the Church: Serving Transgendered Individuals in Communities of Faith, Pacific School of Religion’s Earl Lectures
  • 1998 Homosexuality, the Church and Reconciliation, Augustana Symposium, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD
  • 1997 The World Would Be a Better Place if Everyone Were Naked, American Academy of Religion, Luther Seminary, Minneapolis MN
Community Work and Activities:
  • 2014 - Present   Member of the LGBT Advisory Committee of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission
  • 2010 - Present   Founding Board Member, SF CARES
  • 2007-2011 Member of the Board of Directors for Sojourn Chaplaincy at San Francisco General Hospital
  • 2006-2010 Director of Candidacy for Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries
  • 2007-2008 Communications Chair Covenant Circle Member for Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries
  • 2006 Tenderloin Community Health Fair Planning Committee Member
  • 2007 Member of the Steering Committee for the San Francisco Trans March
  • 2006-2007 Member of the Goodsoil Consensus Circle
  • 2000-2001 Member of the Board of Directors for Pride on the Prairie, Sioux Falls, SD