HR 1592 Update: On May 3 by a vote of 237 to 180, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the historic Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HR 1592). The bill adds sexual orientation and gender identity to existing federal hate crimes laws, ensuring that law enforcement officials have the resources needed to investigate and prosecute hate violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

New Night Minister in San Francisco: Pastor Lyle Beckman will be installed as Night Minister for the San Francisco Night Ministry on Sunday, May 20th, 4:00 P.M. at St. Mark (SF).
Pastor Beckman has been an Assistant Night Minister for the past three years and takes this new role following the retirement of Fr. Don Fox who has served as Night Minister for eleven years.
Pastor Beckman is dually rostered with the Extraordinary Candidacy Project and the ELCA.
The San Francisco Night Ministry provides middle-of-the-night compassionate, nonjudgmental counseling, referral, and, when requested, intervention for anyone in any kind of crisis or distress, both in person by ordained clergy on the streets of San Francisco, and over the telephone by trained volunteer Crisis Line Counselors.

Less is More, Isn't It?: On May 1, the ELCA News Service announced as 'Significant News' a new direction for its news reporting. The new direction will include:

Shorter stories
More emphasis on mission and ministry
Less coverage of church conferences and meetings
More 'Storytelling' with increased use of audio, video, and photography
More "media relations" help for congregations and local ministries
Better web navigation

The changes are in response to recent research in which key church leaders and representatives from selected secular news organizations offered suggestions.

Frankly, we're a little worried that the "new direction" will sacrifice some of the information for which the ELCA News Service is the sole source.

How Did I Get Here?: If you've ever wondered how we got into this mess in the first place, check out the


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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.

    timeline that has just been published by Lutherans Concerned/North America (LCNA). The timeline is a brief history of actions by the ELCA and its predecessor church bodies regarding the roles of LGBT people in the church and in the church's ordained ministry and is part of "Are We Really Living Together Faithfully?", an eight-page handout to provide background information about the disciplinary action taken against Pr. Bradley Schmeling by the Southeastern Synod earlier this year.

    Windfall: We hear rumors that St. Paulus (SF) has sold its property, and that should put a lot of money to do ministry in someone's hands. Expect some jostling for how the proceeds should be used: the Sierra Pacific Synod is seriously conflicted about the fiscal priorities of urban, justice-based ministry and new suburban mission starts.

    For Those Keeping Score: If you're having troubble keeping your official August Madness Brackets up to date with the latest synod assembly developments, the folks at Word Alone are ready to help. They publish a running account of actions taken at synod assemblies throughout the ELCA. Of course, they won't tell you what's goiing on in the Central Great Lakes Synod and alas there was "Nothing of interest to report." from the poor Pacifica Synod.

    Meanwhile, Back in Minnesota: On May 8, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty vetoed a Health and Human Services Bill and one casualty of that veto may be the AIDSLine service of the Minnesota AIDS Project (MAP). Earlier this year, MAP mounted as successful campaign with legislators to have AIDSLine funding included in the bill. Visit the MAP web site if you're in a position to help.

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