Monday, January 21, 2008

Whoopie! Another Gay Extraordinary Ordination!

Shrimp wrote these comments: How many misstatements can you find in this article from the local paper preparing us for the "ordination" of Jen Nagel?

This Article from has been sent to you by Shrimp.
*Please note, the sender's identity has not been verified.

The full Article, with any associated images and links can be viewed here.
Briefly: Exemption allows lesbian pastor's ordination


You only have a few more hours to call Jen Nagel Jen. After her ordination at 2 p.m. today, you have to start calling her the Rev. Nagel -- unless you're a member of the national board of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), in which case you probably don't want to call her at all.

Nagel is being ordained despite being committed to a same-sex relationship. The national ELCA doesn't approve of the ordination of gay ministers. But an exemption in the bylaws was passed at the national convention in August allowing local synods to not object to such ordinations, which is what is happening -- or not happening, depending on how you interpret all of this -- with Nagel.

"I still won't be listed on the national ELCA roster" of ministers, she said. "Officially, I will not be accepted as a pastor by the ELCA, but the people of the local ELCA are accepting me."

And why not? She's been serving as the pastor at Salem English Lutheran Church in south Minneapolis for nearly five years doing everything other ministers do except calling herself "the Rev." Technically, she's been a pastoral minister, which means that she has done all the things required to be a minister (she has a master of divinity degree) except have an ordination ceremony.

That ceremony will be held in a sanctuary that Salem shares with Lyndale United Church of Christ, 810 W. 31st St. To provide enough parking, shuttle buses will run from Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 4100 Lyndale Av. S. The fact that shuttles are needed has made Nagel realize this is no ordinary ordination.

"It's a little bit about me, and a little bit about Salem," she said. "But it's a lot about a lot of other people. Subtly, my ministry has always been accepted. But this affirmation by a wider community makes this a bigger ordination than normal."


Shrimp here, again. Curiously, at this moment of posting, that is one of exactly two hits for "Jen Nagel" on a Google News search. The other one is here, at That seems to stand for "Angel City's Devil" -- which is about "Celebrating What Makes the LGBT Different" -- who interprets the Star-Tribune article like this:
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) may not have forseen it actually happening often, but a fine-print exemption has allowed a lesbian in Minneapolis to become a pastor of the church. Reverend Jen Nagel has been serving the Salem English Lutheran Church for five years, doing everything Lutheran Pastors do, except for being ordained with the traditional ceremony affording one the title of 'Reverend'. Until today.

Thanks to a provision in ELCA standards, Rev. Nagel has been ordained as one of the church's few openly gay pastors. She is admittedly in a monogamous same-sex relationship, yet because the ELCA lets local congregations decide if they will accept gay pastors, Nagel has been given the 'okay' from her Minneapolis church. Despite the local support, the ELCA is refusing to acknowledge her place within their heirarchy, as they often do when out pastors are ordained. "Officially, I will not be accepted as a pastor by the ELCA, but the people of the local ELCA are accepting me," said Rev. Nagel. "But this affirmation by a wider community makes this a bigger ordination than normal."
Fine-print exemption, eh?

Shrimp out!

(No, not "out" like that!)

No comments:

The good ship ELCA...

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