Friday, February 20, 2009

Partnered Gay Pastor Leaves Call

Shrimp here, with a bit of something different. Sort of.

Lionel Ketola, extraordinarily ordained the first ELM rostered pastor in Canada last May and last featured on Shellfish in November when the congregation that called and ordained him was suspended by the ELCIC's Eastern Synod, is no longer serving his call.

Currently appearing on the front web page for Holy Cross Lutheran Church of Haymarket, Ontario, is this notice:
Announcement - February 14, 2009

It is with deep sadness that Holy Cross Lutheran Church announces the departure of Pastor Lionel Ketola from the position of Associate Pastor of our congregation and as our Ambassador of Reconciliation to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.

We are grateful to Pastor Lionel for this ministry which embodied the inclusive vision of so many and offered hope to all those who are working to make the ELCIC a church where all God’s children are free to respond to God’s call to ordained ministry. We give thanks to Pastor Lionel for his willingness to share his considerable talents in this important ministry.

We pray that God will continue to bless Pastor Lionel in whatever ministry he undertakes in the future.

We trust that the model of inclusiveness that this ministry of reconciliation bore witness to will continue to inspire hope in those who work for justice in both the church and the world.

We wish to thank all those who supported this vital ministry with their prayers, their presence, their gifts, their talents and their treasure. We give thanks to God for each and everyone of you! We also offer our thanks to our partners in this ministry, for without the support and guidance of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries and Lutherans Concerned North America our vision of inclusive ministry could not have become a reality.

Holy Cross will continue to heed God’s call to be ambassadors of reconciliation. We trust that God has great things in store for our congregation as we seek opportunities to work with our sisters and brothers in the ELCIC to make our church a place where it can truly be said, “As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians.3.27-28)
Hat tip to Lutheran (True!) Confessions. Shrimp out.


Clam said...

My spidey sense says that there is a very interesting backstory here.

Anonymous said...

I'm a member of the Eastern Synod of the ELCIC (I grew up in it, did church camp, youth assembly at Synod convention, the whole 9 yards), but now attend an independent community church with my husband. I live in Newmarket too, about 1 km from Holy Cross, but that's nothing more than coincidence.

From what I can gather (and this is basically rumour), Lionel left so that the church could be back in good standing with Synod so that they could raise this issue, yet again, at the Synod Assembly this year. Never mind that it has been voted down how many times....

Jen in Ontario

The good ship ELCA...

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