The bienniel convention of Lutherans Concerned North America (LCNA)opened yesterday at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. LCNA is the principal LGBT advocacy group for Lutherans and several hundred gathered for the first time since the historic policy changes at the 2009 ELCA churchwide assembly. Not surprisingly, the mood was electric and celebratory.
The stirring opening worship was led by chaplains Lura Groen whose sermon offered many rivers of justice images, Jay Wiesner who presided during the eucharist, and Matt James who led in prayer–gay clergy all. David Lohman at the grand piano accompanied the rafter raising singing and also offered his own composition.
Following the worship, executive director Emily Eastwood and deputy director Ross Murray offered comments and updates to recurring standing ovations, especially when Emily read from her blackberry that the Presbyterians had passed a resolution for gay clergy and the US courts had struck down DOMA.
After breakout sessions and dinner, the highlight of the evening was the keynote session that began with the presentation of an award to retired ELCA presiding bishop Herb Chilstrom and pastor Corinne Chilstrom for their contibutions as straight allies. More standing ovations. Ethicist Miguel de la Torre was the keynote speaker, and he offered an impassioned call to justice, to read our Scriptures through the eyes of the oppressed, and to remind all that seekers of justice are called to advocacy for all the marginalized. More standing ovations.
The evening closed to the jazz and blues riffs of Rachel Kurtz. Off to bed. More tomorrow.