GOODSOIL PRESS ADVISORY
Contact: Phil Soucy
What: [Cameras OK] LGBT Lutheran pastors, from among the 82 ministers just introduced to the wider Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, speak out in favor of eliminating the policy that prohibits continued service in the ministry by those in committed, same-gender relationships.
Background: The ELCA policy prohibits LGBT ministers from living as family in committed, lifelong, same-gender relationships. Though the ELCA says it welcomes LGBT persons into the life of the church, LGBT ministers are required to remain celibate their entire lives. This prohibition is discriminatory and flies in the face of Martin Luther's strongly stated rejection of forcing celibacy on any individual.
Eighty-two lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Lutheran ministers have chosen to introduce themselves to the ELCA and speak out against the policy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) that prohibits them from entering into lifelong, loving family relationships.
When: Wednesday, August 8, 2007, 6:30 pm, prior to the 8:00 pm celebratory Goodsoil Eucharist Service
Where: Hyatt Grand Ballroom E&F, East Tower, Hyatt Regency Hotel, 151 East Wacker Drive, Chicago.
Who: Several of the 82 will be present, telling their stories and available for interview at a press event, held in conjunction with the Shower of Stoles and a Eucharistic Service presided by Bishop Margaret Payne, New England Synod. Bradley Schmeling, recently removed from the roster of ministers for being in a loving, lifelong same-gender family relationship, will be among them.
Others present, whose details can be found in the A Place Within My Walls booklet on www.lcna.org or www.goodsoil.org, are: Erik Christensen (St Luke's of Logan Square, Chicago), Katrina Foster (Fordham Evangelical Lutheran, Bronx, New York), Barbara Lundblad (Union Theological Seminary, New York), Jan Nagel (Salem English Lutheran, Minneapolis), Bradley Schmeling (St John's Lutheran, Atlanta), Jeff Zeigler (Reformation Lutheran, Philadelphia).
Bishop Margaret Payne, New England Synod, presiding at the Eucharistic Service, will also be present and available for interview.
Goodsoil is working for full inclusion of LGBT Lutherans in the life of their church and is comprised of Lutherans Concerned / North America, The Network for Full Inclusion, Wingspan Ministry, and the Extraordinary Candidacy Project.
Director Communications LC/NA