Ordination Extra Ordinem!: Pr. Dawn Roginski was ordained extra ordinem at St. Francis (SF) on June 16. Pr. Ruth Frost was celebrant; Bishop Paul Egertson (retired) and Pr. Dan Solberg, Dean of the San Francisco Conference conducted the rite of ordination; Pr. Donna Simon preached. Pr Roginski was installed as pastor of parish programs at St. Francis on June 17 (Pr. Erik Christensen preaching). One petition among the prayers of the people at the installation was simply "Gracious God, WOW!"
A gala celebration in honor of Pr. Roginski and LLGM/ECP visionaries Greg Egertson and Jeff Johnson was held on the evening of June 16.
There was surprisingly little gossip, but we hear that as the clergy were vesting for the ordination, Pr. Solberg lamented the absence of the phrase "Top of All Tops" from the ordination rite. We also learned that in Atlanta's Five Points neighborhood, Pr. Christensen's street name was "Baby Blue Priest."
Bishop David G. Mullen did not attend either the ordination or the gala.
Pride of Atlanta: Grand Marshals for the 2007 Atlanta Pride Parade are Pastor Bradley E. Schmeling of St. John (Atlanta) and Aida Rentas. Grand Marshalls for the Atlanta parade are honored as "those who have made a difference." The parade is part of the (June 22-24, 2007 at Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta) and this year's theme is "Our Rights, Your Rights, Human Rights."
Fram! Fram!: Anant Rambachan, since 1985 a teacher of religion, philosophy, and Asian studies at St. Olaf College in Northfield Minnesota, has been appointed to a three-year term as chairperson of the St. Olaf Religion Department. Interfaith dialog has been an important theme throughout Professor Rambachan's career, and he has a long-standing involvement with the World Council of Churches. He has expressed interest in exploring liberation theology in the Hindu tradition with respect to issues of caste, poverty, and gender. Professor Rambachan is Hindu and in some reports, it is claimed that he is the first representative of a faith other than Christianity to chair the religion department at St. Olaf, and of course, in some quarters that has raised eyebrows. We have to wonder if there's something like "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" at work here: if department chairs aren't obviously affiliated with another faith tradition, are they presumed to be Christian (and not, for example, agnostic or secular humanist)?
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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.
Synod Assemblies, Juggernaut?: With only a handful of synod assemblies remaining, 20 synods have sent memorials to the ELCA churchwide assembly requesting a change in the ELCA policy that bars ("precludes") pastors in committed, same-sex partnerships from serving in the ELCA. The memorials are based on "memorial 1" from goodsoil.org. 10 synods have defeated memorial 1, and 8 synods have submitted memorials asking the churchwide organization to delay any decision until 2009. A detailed account of synod assembly results can be found at Lutherans Concerned/North America.
...Or No Juggernaut?: Responding to the results from Synod Assemblies so far, Word Alone Director Mark Chavez urges readers to keep the results in "perspective": the synod assembly results, he ventures, might not reflect the majority opinion in the ELCA.
Possible reasons for this might include disaffected congregations refusing to send delegates to synod assemblies and excessive influence of clergy.
Of course, there's also some saber rattling:
If you're a churchwide or synodical leader, or a pastor or anyone else who is eagerly pressing the ELCA to change its ordination standards, even if you were to get a majority of synod assemblies to agree with you (which you are nowhere close to getting) or a majority at a churchwide assembly, keep the votes in perspective. They may be misleading. Continue pressing for change and you may very likely drive the denomination to the same precipice as our full communion partners in the United Church of Christ, The Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church USA.
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