Seven LGBT Lutheran pastors from the Bay Area were reinstated on Sunday after being banned from serving in the church for two decades. The “Bay Area Seven” were welcomed back into the church about a year after it decided to allow gay and lesbian pastors.
In 1990 two San Francisco Lutheran churches, First United and St. Francis, ordained gay and lesbian pastors and were expelled from the denomination. On Sunday St. Francis also voted to rejoin the national Lutheran church.
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
It was a day of mixed feelings for the “Bay Area Seven” – the Revs. Jeff Johnson, Megan Rohrer, Paul Brenner, Craig Minich, Dawn Roginski Sharon Stalkfleet and Ross Merkel – who saw the event as an act of reconciliation with the church that once shunned them.
“We finally got to the direction we knew the Lutheran church was heading. It just took it longer to get there,” Johnson said…
“It’s like an individual who was separated from his family after his mother kicked him out,” said the Rev. Robert Johnson, head pastor at St. Francis. “The mother church has come around and said ‘you were right.’ “
It’s worth noting that the San Francisco Chronicle mentioned in their headline to this story that the group of pastors include gay and transgender folks. Other media publications, including the New York Times, only talk about gay pastors. This is exactly the sort of media exclusion trans folks don’t need, having our existence removed from a positive and uplifting story.