Monday, October 29, 2007

Sticking to the Roof of Your Mouth

Shrimp here. The November eUpdate for Augsburg Fortress O'Hare Plaza showed up in subscribers' inboxes earlier today, and one correspondent noticed how it opened:
ELCA Open House Brunch
November 9: 9:00am - 12:00pm

Julie Sevig will be signing her new book, Peanut Butter and Jelly Prayers. Everything in the store is 20% off (excluding ELW worship series), and 50% off on select Christmas Cards.
While still somewhat addled from our recent adventures departure and return, that rang a bell for Shrimp. Those who still read The Lutheran will recognize Ms. Sevig as an associate editrix for the ELCA's magazine. Her bio there proudly concludes mentioning the kiddies in her household. It doesn't mention this, but she is also a rostered lay leader in the ELCA, specifically an AIM (Associate in Ministry).

And now for the rest of the story. Ms. Sevig has been with The Lutheran for more years than Shrimp can remember. But in searching recollections, we discovered that our bell-ringing was of something that predated Shellfish by a couple of years, way back to the summer of 2003 when a highly respected ELCA pastor died and his newpaper obituary began flying through the e-mail (the blogosphere hadn't really been invented yet) because among the survivors were a daughter and her domestic partner. The daughter? Julie Sevig. The partner? Michelle Miller, who was then an Associate Director for the ELCA's Commission for Women. Oh, and also an ELCA rostered leader, specifically an ordained minister.

Got it? AIM. Pastor. Both under call to offices at 8765 W. Higgins Road, the ELCA's headquarters. Vision and Expectations anyone? Oh, just to make it all the more interesting, shortly before this Pastor Miller had given birth to a bouncing baby boy -- yes, one of the kiddies in Ms. Sevig's bio. Mind you, this is all in summer of 2003. Old news. Rotting, stinking old news. Shellfish may be immune to it, but how about you?

But we'll freshen this up. This is autumn 2007. There is no more Commission on Women, but Miller is Associate Pastor in an ELCA congregation in Chicago that publishes its bulletin on its website. (Shrimp does wonder about churches that do that, for some information gets mighty personal, doncha know.) 4 Sundays ago the congregational prayers included these people as celebrating: "Michelle Miller and Julie Sevig who celebrate the anniversary of their wedding or holy union this week."

Maybe someone ought to go to Ms. Sevig's book signing: "Oh Julie, I'm soo looking forward to reading your Peanut Butter and Jelly Prayers. I hope they don't stick to the roof of my mouth like your career does!" Shrimp out.


Cap'n Bill said...

Now, I am just a marine salvage operator, and spend a lot of time by myself out on the high seas--don't get out much, ya know?--but even I know that these two people couldn't be more high placed and visible to the muckety-mucks than if they were CoPresiding Bishops (don't laugh, it could be coming).

And your church members are supposed to not know about all this stuff?

Who besides the crabs have their heads buried in the sand?

Pastor Zip said...

Another highly visible ELCA teacher is Augsburg Fortress' star Bible Study author, Kelly Fryer. The current blurb for her No Experience Necessary, which was front-and-center at our Synod Assembly and the Churchwide one, is "Listen up! This Bible study is about changing lives!"

Shrimp might remember posting her letter of resignation from the Luther Seminary faculty and the ELCA clergy roster due to "cataclysmic changes" in Ms. Fryer's personal life while at Luther that lead to the dissolution of her marriage and entering into a committed lesbian relationship with an old friend. Her Reclaiming the F Word blog -- drawing upon her AFP books Reclaiming the "L" Word, Reclaiming the "C" Word, and the apparently forthcoming Reclaiming the E Word (the words are "Faith," "Lutheran," "Christian," and "Evangelism" -- doesn't shy away from gay advocacy.

Glad as I am that she had enough integrity to resign, count me as one ELCA Pastor who is not encouraged by her example of "changing lives."

The good ship ELCA...

The good ship ELCA...
Or the Shellfish blog...