Let It Out!
On the evening of Saturday, July 10, we are having a night on the town! We will head over to downtown Minneapolis to revisit the historic place where the ELCA voted for full-participation of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.It’s appropriate to revisit the site. Many people said that celebration felt “stuck in their throats”. We hope that we will be able to clear our throats and cheer with joy. It will be an evening of reconciliation, celebration, and defining our path moving forward. The Saturday Evening Celebration is included in registration for Let Justice Roll Down Like Waters. Saturday-only banquet tickets are no longer available.
At 3:30 PM, over 1,000 faithful we will worship at Central Lutheran Church, the site of the 2009 Goodsoil worship to worship together, seek reconciliation, and celebrate common ministry. This service comes nearly one year after the historic vote by the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly to find ways to recognize publically accountable, lifelong, monogamous same-gender relationships and to allow ministers in such relationships to serve as rostered leaders in congregations of the ELCA. After decades of work to change ministry policies in the ELCA, ministers are now being received or reinstated onto the roster of the ELCA. Thanks be to God!
The service of Word and Sacrament will offer prayers for reconciliation between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families and friends. We do this in the confidence that, in Christ, the dividing walls of hostility and suffering are broken down, thus making peace (Ephesians 2). In that peace, we will celebrate our common ministry as we go forward to live out Christ’s mission in the world.
Our preacher for the worship service will be Stephen Bouman, Executive Director of Evangelical Outreach and Congregational Ministry at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Ministers from all parts of the life of our church are invited to process, affirm the ministry that has occurred, and celebrate the strengthened ministry to come. A particular invitation is extended to those who have been removed from the roster, those whose ordinations were unrecognized, those who have served in silences of many kinds, Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries ministers, ELCA rostered leaders, and straight allies who have journeyed together in the struggle for change. In addition, those who are currently candidates for rostered ministry are invited to participate. The color of the day is green.
The service at Let Justice Roll Down Like Waters will present an opportunity for healing and celebration that is both broad and deep. We will recognize the complexity of our relationships—past, present, and future—both within the ELCA, with other Lutheran organizations and institutions, and with our ecumenical partners. Bishops, teaching theologians, and other leaders from the ELCA and ecumenical partners are invited. The strength of the liturgy lies within the presence of ministers from a variety of backgrounds, affiliations, and relationships with the previous policy of the ELCA. Reconciliation requires participation from all who are affected to be able to worship together and bless one another.
Auction, Banquet, Program, Dance
Following worship, we will cross the street to the Minneapolis Convention Center to continue our celebration. We will celebrate with a silent auction to benefit the ministry of Lutherans Concerned/North America. A variety of items are up for auction from Twin Cities-based businesses, arts and crafts, books and multi-media, to vacation destinations. Appitizers and a cash bar will help to enhance the auction atmosphere. If you have an item you would like to donate to the silent auction, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upon the conclusion of bidding, we will begin our banquet, followed by a program that will honor where we have come and where we are going. We will present the Jim Siefkes Justice Maker Award and the Jeannine Janson Distinguished Service Award. The program will end with a tour up to Hall E, where the ELCA made its decision to recognize commited same-gender relationships and the clergy in such relationships. The Convention Center has promised us that we will give the cheer that we could not give in August of 2009. Finally, a DJ will invite us to dance the night away (at least until midnight).
Jim Siefkes Justice Maker Award
The Jim Siefkes Justice-Maker Award was established by Lutherans Concerned / North America in 1992 to recognize superior and tireless efforts of straight allies on behalf of GLBT Lutherans.
The criteria for the Jim Siefkes Justice-Maker Award reflect the contributions of its namesake:
Recipient must be a non-GLBT Lutheran who has made significant contributions to advancing justice for GLBT Lutherans
Actions should have a broad impact and not be limited to a particular local or region
Nominees for the Siefkes Award are evaluated and selected by the LC/NA Board of Directors, and the Award is presented at the LC/NA Biennial Assembly. A nomination form is available here.
The Rev. Jim Siefkes obtained funding for and convened the initial meeting in Minneapolis in June of 1974 that resulted in the formation of Lutherans Concerned for Gay People (our original name).
Pastor Siefkes also wrote the Affirmation of Welcome, which is the heart of the Reconciling in Christ Program. Even in retirement, Pastor Siefkes continues to advocate for the full inclusion and participation of GLBT Lutherans in the Lutheran Church.
Past recipients of the Siefkes Award:
- The Rev. Stanley E. Olson, Bishop Emeritus
- Joanne Chadwick
- Dr. Paul Jersild
- The Rev. Paul Tidemann
- The Rev. James DeLange
- The Rev. Reinie Heydemann
- The Rev. Paul Egertson, Bishop Emeritus, and Shirley Egertson
- Dr. Margaret Moreland
- The Rev. Lowell Erdahl, Bishop Emeritus
- Bennett Falk
- The Rev. Jayne Thompson
Jeannine Janson Distinguished Service Award
Jeannine Janson served on the LC/NA Board of directors, first as the West/Northwest Regional Director followed by a six-year term as Co-Chair. She managed the ONE VOICE Campaign, the successful first major donor campaign conducted jointly between Lutherans Concerned/North America, Wingspan Ministry of St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church, and Lutheran Lesbian & Gay Ministries (now Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries). Her tireless attention to details and her dedication to Lutherans Concerned were instrumental in creating the professional organization that Lutherans Concerned is today. In 2008, the Distinguished Service award was named in honor of Jeannine Janson.