Wednesday, February 9, 2011

In the News: LCNA - RIC Sunday with the Metro Portland Chapter

Lutherans Concerned: RIC Sunday with the Metro Portland Chapter:

The following is a guest post from Vicky Charlston of the Lutherans Concerned/Portland Metro Chapter. Vicky shares her experience of the chapter’s worship celebration of Reconciling in Christ Sunday.

“We Shall Overcome Someday…”

We sang this verse as part of the seventh RIC worship service sponsored by the Portland Metro Chapter of Lutherans Concerned/North America. Lutherans from Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington gathered for the RIC Sunday celebration at First Immanuel Church in Northwest Portland. Pastor Megan Rohrer preached and spoke of the beginnings of Lutherans Concerned thirty-six years ago around the same time that a group of gay youth in San Francisco yearned for a Lutheran worship service where they felt safe and welcome.

Pr. Megan Rohrer preaching the Gospel

The service was a time of remembering how far the ELCA has come in its relationship with the GLBT community and how far is left to go before everyone feels truly welcome in our churches.

Megan also spoke of the ELCA pastors who were called to serve even though they were gay and partnered and how they were subsequently dismissed from the ELCA. Many of them, along with Pastor Rohrer, were recently welcomed back by the ELCA in Rites of Reception and reinstatements over the past few months. Yes, “We Shall Overcome Today…”

Some time for fellowship with Pr. Rohrer and Regional Coordinator Paul Jolly

Pastor Rohrer spent Saturday with chapter members and friends as well. At a catered dinner at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Vancouver, WA, she spoke at length about how she ministers to those who can’t (or won’t, or simply don’t) come inside the church walls. By coordinating community gardens and feeding homeless people in San Francisco as well as by listening to their needs, she creates community with them. Megan continued her story at the adult education class on Sunday morning at Central Lutheran Church in Portland.

Captivated listeners as the RIC celebration continues!

One person summed up the weekend this way: “Megan’s story, from her growing up in South Dakota through her recent reception in July onto the ELCA roster as a transgender Lutheran pastor, brought tears to my eyes—tears of frustration for what was endured and tears of joy for what was accomplished. Add her incredible ministry to the street people in San Francisco and her new venture into community gardening, and I was left with a sense of ministry that meets people where they are and provides what they need. What a “wow” experience.”

Thanks to Vicky and to Jim Morrell for providing the blog post and accompanying images! To hear Pastor Rohrer's sermon, visit (sorry, no transcription is currently available). If you’d like to learn more about the Portland Metro Chapter, sign up for their mailing list.

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