GOODSOIL PRESS ADVISORY
Contact: Phil Soucy
HISTORIC FIRST: For the first time ever, a current Bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) will preside at worship organized during the Churchwide Assembly by advocates of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) equality. Pastor Bradley Schmeling, recently removed from the ELCA ministers' roster for having a same-gender life partner, will preach.
What: Eucharistic Worship Service [Cameras OK – some restrictions]
When: Wednesday, August 8, 2007, 8 pm
(See separate Press Advisory about the display of the Shower of Stoles (a partial display 3:00–8:00 pm, Wednesday; the full 1100 Stoles' display 3:00–10:00 pm, Thursday) and separate Press Advisory about the 6:30 pm LGBT Pastors Press Event)
Where: Hyatt Regency Hotel, East Tower, 151 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, Grand Ballroom E-F
Background: Advocates of LGBT equality will participate in liturgy grounded in the historic liturgy of the church. The theme of the worship is "Anticipation of the Spirit's Movement."
The Rev Margaret Payne, current Bishop of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), will preside. Bishop Payne said of this worship service, "This liturgy represents the commitment to continue support for consideration of change in the policy of the ELCA in a way that depends not on political maneuvering but on the flow of gifts that comes to all of us in the body and blood of Jesus Christ." She is the former chair of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Sexuality Study Task Force. The New England Synod Council recently provided that synod a rite of blessing for same-gender couples entering into a lifelong committed relationship.
Bradley Schmeling of St John's Lutheran Church, Atlanta, recently removed from the roster of ministers for violating the policy that prohibits an LGBT minister from entering into a loving, lifelong, committed same-gender relationship, will preach. Mr Daniel Schwandt, Staff Musician at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and Cantor at Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park, a musician, composer and improvisational artist, will lead the assembly's song in styles representative of the global community of faith.
Other participants are drawn from various organizations and include LGBT persons and allies who serve the church in a variety of capacities.
Interviews: Bishop Margaret Payne (New England Synod), Pastor Bradley Schmeling (St John's Lutheran), LGBT Lutheran Pastors, allied Lutheran Pastors, Emily Eastwood (Executive Director, Lutherans Concerned) and leaders from Goodsoil are available for interviews after the worship service.
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