A contingent of LGBT Lutherans will be in Washington this weekend for its biennial conference and while the denomination is still celebrating a 2009 decision that allows partnered gay and lesbian clergy to live openly, the group says it still has much work to do.
ReconcilingWorks — Lutherans for Full Participation was founded in 1974 by six people when it was known as Lutherans Concerned for Gay and Lesbian People. This year’s gathering, which runs Friday through Tuesday based at Luther Place Memorial Lutheran Church (1226 Vermont Ave., N.W.) will find a few hundred LGBT believers and allies here to fellowship, lobby, hear a keynote address from Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson and more. Those interested in attending can still get involved — visit reconcilingworks.org for information.
Members say it’s a huge step for the entire denomination to have[Bishop Mark]Hanson address their group. Moeller says Hanson was always sensitive to their issues but measured in his public stance prior to the 2009 vote. He’s been more unequivocal in his support since then, members say, and his appearance is unprecedented for the 4.2 million-member ELCA.
“This is the first time we’ve ever had a presiding bishop address us and it really says something about the change that’s happening within the church,” Moeller says.