Transgender pastor preaches to the choir with loveOctober 9, 2016 Updated: October 9, 2016 12:00pm
“I’m going home, quiet-like, some still day, I’m going home,” Rohrer sings with the choir, left hand arcing up and down to conduct the musical flow. “It’s not far, just close by, through an open door...”
Photo: Erin Brethauer, The Chronicle
“We love Megan,” says Kent Hollek, 62, who’d slept the night before on Van Ness Boulevard and carefully stashed his suitcase in a corner of the choir practice room. “She steers us. She guides us. I can’t think of anyone else like her.”
The choir gig actually comes with one of Rohrer’s other jobs in addition to her role at Grace Lutheran. She is executive director of the Welcome ministry, which works with the impoverished all over San Francisco and holds the Singers of the Street practices at First Congregational Church on Polk Street. Having other gigs is nothing new for Rohrer, who seems to be in perpetual motion writing children’s books, helping the homeless with everything from eyeglasses to music, leading garden projects for the community.
And this is all in addition to being a pastor who was born a girl in South Dakota, figured out early she was gender-neutral, and took charge of Grace Lutheran in 2014. That same year, she was honored by the Dalai Lama for her compassionate works.
“My motto is try everything,” Rohrer says. “If it doesn’t work, don’t mention you did that. If it does work, do it some more.” She says this with one of her trademark laughs. And she means it. In the most sincere way possible.
See a short film with Pastor Megan Rohrer and the homeless choir at www.sfchronicle.com/theregulars. The Regulars is a weekly photo and video column by Erin Brethauer that offers a glimpse into the lives of ordinary people in the Bay Area, caught in routine activities of modern urban life. If you know a regular, email firstname.lastname@example.org.