I'm writing today to announce that I will be participating in a street retreat in Minneapolis, MN on August 17-23rd during the ELCA Churchwide Assembly.
I'm calling it: Will Work for Food - because at this assembly the ELCA will yet again be voting to decide if LGBT folk should be allowed to be pastors. Or as they'll say it: if gay and lesbians in "life long monogamous relationships" can be on the "official roster" of the church. Lutherans have been studying this issue since 1976 (it's actually the 6th study by my count if you count those of the churches that preceded the ELCA).
I am a pastor. I have been doing ministry. Ordained by Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, my ordination followed Martin Luther's tradition of ordaining pastor's when bishops try to require a vow of celibacy (which Luther thought was against the gospel).
As a pastor who works with the homeless and hungry, on the one hand I'm hoping the church will vote to change their policy. On another level I'll be begging for my food the entire assembly - as a way to point out how much money the church (and those who are allowed to vote) spend on an assembly and how we should pay attention to those living in poverty who deserve pastors even when they can't afford them (or the upkeep of their building).
My plane ticket was free - a gift from United Airlines for mechanical delay on my flight back from Philadelphia. My registration for the assembly cost $50 to be a visitor - without registering as a visitor the armed guards won't let me inside the building. No really.
I plan to wear my clergy collar for my entire retreat and to carry a cardboard sign that proclaims will work for food. I will blog - both with words and with video. I also hope to bring some flyers that let people know what I'm up to, so they can learn about this blog and my work at Welcome in San Francisco.
I am beginning to learn about the laws about homelessness in Minneapolis. Also I'm thinking about mosquitoes and how to prevent being eating alive.
Since begging will be what provides me with my meals on my journey, I begin now by begging you to support Welcome. Send donations now or please let others know about what I'm doing so we can call attention to poverty.
I truly believe that when Lutherans cannot agree on policy, words or theology that we can agree on justice, to help the poor and help our neighbor. Join me August 17-23.
Pastor Megan Rohrer
Welcome - a communal response to poverty