Monday, November 19, 2007

ELM to ELCA: We Dare You to...

Lie Back and Take It!

Shrimp just doesn't know how else to read it. Faster than you can report the out-of-the-ordinary November 17 ordination of of Jen Rude at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Chicago (catch it also in the Chicago Tribune), Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries is trumpeting another one.

Jen Nagle has been the "pastoral minister" (whatever that is) the last 4 years at Salem English Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. On November 11, she was called by that "transforming congregation" to be its pastor and she will be extraordinarily ordained on January 19. [Aside: You may want to be alert to any congregational meetings on January 13, especially if the agenda includes the call of a pastor or a girl named Jen.]

Currently ELM's home page says, "On November 17, Rude becaem [sic] become the first pastor to be ordained in the newly formed Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM) and the first official challenge to the new ELCA policy of “Refrain and Restraint” that was passed at its biennial assembly August 6-11 in Chicago." Shrimp doesn't know what's big about "challenging" a "policy" of asking Bishops to do nothing with the terms of a congregation's relationship with the denomination. We do think ELM's press release use of the word "challenge" makes more linguistic sense: "Rude’s ordination is the fourth time in 13 months that a Lutheran congregation has directly challenged the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) policy requiring lifelong celibacy of gay and lesbian clergy."

Hmm. That gets our enfeebled mind to devising another way to interpret these things: it sounds like the triumphant blog of a randy teen-aged boy about tonight's date, after learning her father has declared that, as with her older sisters over the last 20 years, he will be "restrained" in defending his daughter's virtue.

God help us!

1 comment:

Rev. Megan M. Rohrer said...

That's pastor Jen Nagel (note your own typo). "Pastoral minister" is a title that congregations tend to call out non-celibate queer folk who they have serving as their pastors when they have not yet called them as pastors and had an ordination ceremony (like Steve Keiser's congregations).

Yes, the word "challange" is intentional. In the same way that Lutheran and the reformers challenged the church. You can read more about it -though I bet you already read about it on Reformation day- in our Theology Statement (

You should expect a number of ordinations coming up. I'm also surprised your not upset that some of the members of our roster have synodical calls! Also did you report about the 83 pastors that came out a churchwide? I think the picture of the pastors who are out and non-celibate was posted on the ELCA website listed as "goodsoil supporters" but it's acutally the out pastors who are serving in the ELCA right now. Only a fraction of the number actually serving in the ELCA are on that list. The policy has never been effective. It only encourages lying and hiding by pastors, bishops and congregations. Changing the policy would mean that congregations who do not want gay (celibate or not) pastors could know they don't have one and that they won't get one. I would think that would be more appealing to you then the current witch hunts.

P.S. I fixed the typo. Thanks for letting me know about it.

The good ship ELCA...

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