In what has to be the strangest title for a post we’ve ever written, we wanted to bring you this story in case you ever wondered how “different” the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has become.
It’s the tale of the ordination of Pastrix Dawn Bennet into the ELCA, and the celebration surrounding that most cursed of days.
This was a special day for her, as one might imagine. There were all sorts of pomp and pageantry on display in what will probably go down as one of the most unique services ever.
On one side of the sanctuary, a black choir belted out gospel tunes. On another, 10 drag queens dressed as nuns, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, sat and cheered. These performers are an LGBT protest group that uses ” religious imagery to call attention to sexual intolerance and satirizes issues of gender and morality.”
The lecterns (those who read the scripture for everyone) were comprised of a “pagan wiccan priest who loves Jesus,” an agnostic best friend, and a gay pastor.
While they took communion, Jennifer Knapp (yes, that one) sung some of her “old stuff” over them. Communion occurred while wearing her rainbow colored sneakers- holy shoes that she only wears while she preaches to remind herself of the necessity of radical LGBT inclusion.
Her vestments were smattered with rainbow stripes and accessorized with rainbow pins.
She was prayed over and blessed by an assemblage of theologically aligned ELCA ordained ministers, rejoicing as they laid hands.
And then took this picture for which I have no words.
In the months since she became ordained, she’s led an active and aggressive inclusive church-type group. The Easter sermon she preached on Sunday was about not being afraid to affirm one’s true, authentic gay/transgender self.
She made the point while reading from the inclusive bible and prayed to “Holy Father, Holy Mother, Holy Parent”, thanking…(They?)….for our collective queerness.
That’s the ELCA for you.
Thought you might want to know.