Lutherans Concerned/North America (LC/NA) is pleased to announce that the Rev. Anita C. Hill will join the staff of LC/NA as Regional Director for Minnesota and the Dakotas beginning on May 1, 2012. Her first task will be to champion the LC/NA effort to educate Minnesota Lutherans toward the defeat of the proposed anti-LGBT marriage amendment to the state constitution which will come before the people on November 6, 2012.
Emily Eastwood, Executive Director, LC/NA, said, “We at LC/NA are humbled by Pastor Anita’s willingness to join our staff. Her legacy of prophetic action and pastoral presence is long secure. That she would leave her pastorate at St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church for such a time as this speaks volumes about her commitment to justice and equality for all God’s children in church and society. Anita brings with her abundant skills and experience in organizing, training, pastoral care, preaching, teaching, and working at the intersection of oppressions. Anita is a lifetime member of LC/NA and former co-chair of its board of directors. I thank Anita for being willing to take this step at this time and look forward to what our staff will accomplish with her seasoned leadership on our team.”
Pastor Hill said, “I am excited about the opportunity to work with LC/NA in its ministries of reconciliation. When the ‘anti-gay marriage amendment’ was placed on the ballot for the November 2012 election in Minnesota, I wished I had time to devote to organizing resistance, especially among Lutherans, to this discriminatory move. Turning my attention toward defeat of this amendment in the opening months of my service as Regional Director of LC/NA speaks to my passion and commitments. Working with the staff, board of directors, and members of LC/NA has been a special gift in my life and ministry since 1976. Becoming a staff member means I’ll be coming full circle in my professional and pastoral pursuits. I look forward to stepping into a strategically placed and extraordinarily organized group of faithful folk leading Lutheran churches to live into the welcome the ELCA has adopted thus far, all of us striving to make real the full welcome of Christ and the Gospel.”
Anita Hill currently serves as a pastor to St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran church in St. Paul, Minnesota, a position she has held since 1994. Her work at St. Paul-Reformation began in the 1980s in a ministry of that congregation known as Wingspan, which offered pastoral care, education, advocacy and support for LGBT people. In 1994, she was named by the congregation as a pastor to them, and in 2001, she was formally ordained by the congregation. Her ordination there and then was an act of ecclesiastical disobedience because the policy prevailing in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) precluded the service in the church as a minister by LGBT persons who were in a committed, same-gender relationship, no matter how qualified they were otherwise for ministry. Anita Hill has been in a committed relationship with Janelle Bussert for 19 years. The congregation was censured and admonished for calling her as a pastor and her position in the congregation was not acknowledged by the national church body.
In 2009, the Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA voted to remove that policy barrier to ministerial service, and in 2010, Anita was formally received onto the clergy roster of the ELCA.
Pastor Hill’s final Sunday at St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church, Saint Paul, Minnesota will be April 29th.
In her new position, Pastor Hill will work closely throughout Minnesota in Lutheran communities of faith and with similar faith leaders in other denominations, as well as allies in the secular arena, to prevent the adoption of a massively discriminatory, unjust amendment — one clearly not in keeping with the message of Christ, the Gospel, and the love expressed therein for all God’s children. Pastor Hill will also co-chair LC/NA’s committee working at the intersection of oppressions.
After May 1, 2012, Anita can be reached at AnitaH@lcna.org.