I had been waiting for this moment for more than 25 years.
I was pretty relaxed, but praying that the Holy Spirit would guide my words. I only had six minutes.
I wasn’t alone. Pastor Jen Rude from Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries and recently ordained Pastor Jason Glombiki sat on the panel with me, addressing the ELCA Conference of Bishops about openly LGBT candidates for ministry.
I thought I’d look out and see stony faces as I spoke. I didn’t. Instead, the bishops were interested and engaged.
They laughed at the right times. They nodded in recognition as we spoke about LGBT candidates whose eligibility may expire because no congregation has yet called them.
Six minutes is a short time to convey the need to support LGBT candidates and to encourage congregations to call them. But those six minutes are already bearing fruit.
Later that day, one bishop told me about the challenges of placing a qualified gay candidate. Instead of giving up, he’s getting creative, introducing this future pastor to potential churches through supply preaching.
Six minutes has turned into six days of great conversations. We’ve been a presence at the Conference of Bishops for years; now we’re a resource.
Our presence with the bishops costs about $600/day in travel and staff time.
That’s a small piece of the $188,524 we have left to raise before June 30 in our Gifts of Love campaign.
Encouraged by our work with the bishops, Mike Crandall has extended his matching $10,000 matching gift to March 10th—that’s a week away! We are making good progress but still need your help to close the funding gap.
If even one candidate gets a call because of our work here, the expense was more than worth it.
You’ve got more than six minutes. Let’s make a difference together.
ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation