July 3, 2012
Historic First – Lutheran Presiding Bishop Keynotes Pro-LGBT Faith Group ELCA Bishop Mark Hanson addresses ReconcilingWorks Assembly in Washington, D.C. July 7, 2012
Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson of the Evangelical Church in America (ELCA) will deliver an historic keynote on July 7, 2:30 pm, to the ReconcilingWorks biennial gathering running from July 6-10 in Washington, D.C. Formerly known as Lutherans Concerned/North America, ReconcilingWorks launched its new organization name, ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation, on June 12th, to better reflect their ongoing ministry with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, their families and congregations throughout the denomination.
This first-ever presentation by a presiding bishop of the 4.2 million member ELCA Lutheran denomination follows a 2009 ELCA assembly decision to drop the prohibition against partnered gay or lesbian ministers. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada in 2011 also voted to permit marriage or blessing of same-gender couples.
“We are honored to have Bishop Hanson address the ReconcilingWorks Assembly,” said Emily Eastwood, executive director. “Bishop Hanson is an important spiritual leader, the visible head of our church. Today as we live into our new name, ReconcilingWorks, we look forward to hearing Bishop Hanson on the subject of reconciliation and look forward to our work helping to create a church where Christ’s reconciling love is embodied through full participation in the church.”
When prohibitions were dropped, many ELCA congregations celebrated that they could call ministers to serve regardless of whom they love or how they express their gender. LGBT people in committed relationships have been ordained, reinstated and called to serve since the change in policy.
The ReconcilingWorks assembly is being held at Luther Place Memorial Lutheran Church, 1226 Vermont Avenue Northwest Washington, DC 20005