Call and Ordination, Extraordinary!: On Sunday, March 25, St. Francis Lutheran in San Francisco voted overwhelmingly to call Ms. Dawn Roginski to be Pastor of Parish Programs. Ms. Roginski is rostered with the Extraordinary Candidacy Project (ECP).
The call is a three year term call with the possibility of extending for up to three additional years. This arrangement was recommended by the church's visioning team before the call process began.
Ms. Roginski's ordination extra ordinem will be the third such event in less than a year. The exact date has not been set, but we'll let you know as soon as we hear.

Pro-Homosexual/Drag Queen Hate Crimes Bill Will Move Quickly!: ...or so we were informed by a frenzied e-mail Action Alert from Rev. Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC). The bill in question is usually known as the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HR 1592) introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D, MI).
Let's just say that Rev. Sheldon is against the bill, believes it to be "anti-Christian," and is overly fond of inflammatory rhetoric. You can read the text of the bill for yourself at the Government Printing Office website.
If you're a "Bible-believing" person and you support this bill, we suggest that you immediately contact your representative and Senator and let them know. You might also encourage your Bishop to present a positive model of Christian faith in action by taking a stand in support of this legislation.
"It is vital that Bible-believing people immediately contact their U.S. Representative and Two (2) U.S. Senators."

Happy Anniversary: March 26 was the one-year anniversary of Pr. Robert Goldstein's installation at St. Francis in San Francisco. Pr. Goldstein left the Metro Chicago Synod (where he enjoyed amicable relations with Bishop Paul Landahl) to accept the call to St. Francis (an independent Lutheran congregation since being expelled in 1995, along with First United, by the ELCA). Bishop Landahl preached at Pr. Goldstein's installation at St. Francis in 2006. We're not sure if Sierra-Pacific Synod Bishop David Mullen has visited St. Francis.
Pr. Goldstein is on the ELCA roster, but he's listed as "On Leave". If he remains on leave for 3 years, he will be dropped from the roster.
In the past, the Sierra Pacific Synod has adopted resolutions declaring its intention to be friendly to St. Francis and First United, and one way to be friendly to them might be to extend synodical calls to the ELCA-rostered pastors (Pr. Goldstein and Pr. Susan Strouse) who serve those congregations and whose service is not recognized by the ELCA.
Of course, the visionary thing to do would be to extend synodical calls to the ECP pastors serving ELCA ministries in this synod as well as to the ELCA pastors serving ministries the ELCA has excluded.
Synod Assembly in the Sierra-Pacific Synod is April 19-21.

Sustainable Hosannas: The week before Palm Sunday we discovered the following:

  • A congregation of about 1200 members will order approximately 700 palm fronds for Palm Sunday services.
  • Palm purchases for Palm Sunday may be worth up to 4.5 million dollars/year.
  • At least half of the farmers in the Central Peten of Guatemala earn an additional income from harvesting fronds, and more than a quarter of household heads support themselves exclusively by collecting fronds.

    Sinfully Delicious: You'll be the envy of everyone in your lectionary study group, and your Fair Trade Coffee will be sinfully delicious because you're drinking it from the Official LutheranConfessions.com MUG!

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  • Pr. Sophie is all a-Twitter. Again.
    Pr. Sophie's Tweets:

      Hot Dish Hotline: "We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard." What have you seen or heard that other people really need to know about? Use the Hot Dish Hotline to submit your item online.

    • Each palm plant produces 2 to 5 harvestable leaves over a 2 to 4 month period.
    • Palm gathering can actually protect valuable natural forests.
    • The University of Minnesota's Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management (CINRAM) hopes you (or your congregation or your congregation's palm supplier) will be moved to participate in the Eco-Palms program and purchase palm fronds from fair-trade certified communities that practice sustainable forestry.

      Sierra-Pacific Synod Again: Maybe it's the Synod's extraordinarily early deadline for submissions (Feb. 1!), but the upcoming Sierra-Pacific Synod Assembly (April 19-21 in Reno, NV) will consider only a single "grassroots" resolution: The Purpose of the Church, Stewardship, and Disciplinary Activity. That happens to be a variation on the resolution first proposed here in LutheranConfessions.com,Vol. I, xi, January 16, 2007.

      Discussing Sexuality in the Global Church: In a plenary session, participants in the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Council meeting and Church Leadership Consultation in Lund, Sweden discussed a report on guidelines and processes for respectful dialogue on marriage, family and human sexuality.
      The guidelines invite LWF member churches to address the issues and potential disagreements in light of the central message of Scripture, salvation in Jesus Christ, and justification by faith alone.
      The 16-page document urges the member churches to recognize that disagreements over family, mmarriage, and sexuality can arise from the different ways these issues are perceived in different contexts.
      Responses to the proposed guidelines were understandably diverse.
      Rev. Hedwig Partaj, Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Austria commented "We need not have the same opinion on marriage, family and sexuality, but should, nevertheless, respect each other."
      Bishop Dr Steven Munga, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, said he appreciated the report as "good and fair," but pointed out that the issues being considered were affected by cultural traditions as well as by biblical interpretation.
      Ms Satou Marte Hamadou, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cameroon opposed the idea of having the discussion on marriage, family and sexuality noting that the place of woman in God's creation was to bear children.
      Bishop Joseph P. Bvumbwe from Malawi said the issue was about a "potentially church-dividing issue."
      Archbishop Janis Vanags, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia, said his church did not find the report helpful. "In my church, homosexuality is regarded as a sin. When some churches have a different opinion, then it means division," he said.
      Rev. Susan Johnson, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, said the issues in the guidelines were not the only set of challenges before the LWF communion but pointed out that the guidelines could be used to address other issues. "They show a way of talking with each other with respect," she said.
      Bishop Harlen Simangunsong, chairperson of the LWF National Committee in Indonesia, noted that in his country it is taboo and impossible to discuss human sexuality.
      The LWF vice president for the Asia region, Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan reminded the LWF member churches that they belonged to a wider community, and urged them to consider their ecumenical context in their discussion about marriage, family and human sexuality.
      The LWF Council received the report of the task force as well as responses to the proposed guidelines from the regional discussions. The proposal will now be sent to the member churches for further discussion.

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