12/01/2020 On the Shoulders of Giants, Part 3 – By Pastor Katie

This image was created in honor of this milestone and includes the names of all of the female rostered leaders in the ELCA.
In the last couple of posts, I’ve lifted up people whose lives and legacy, allow me to live as I do today. First, I reflected on the life and legacy of the “Notorious RBG.” Like many women, after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I mourned the loss of an icon, an inspiration and a woman who opened doors for all. Second, I shared the love story and legacy of the Lovings, a couple whose marriage and court case paved the way for interracial relationships in the United States.
I stand on the shoulders of giants, this year the ELCA recognizes the 50-40-10 anniversary and legacy.

50 years of ordaining white women.

40 years of ordaining black women.

10 years of the policy change that removed formal barriers for LGBTQIA+ leaders.

It was 50 years ago within the Lutheran Church in America, one of the ELCA’s predecessor bodies. On June 29, 1970, the LCA convention voted to change “man” to “person” in its bylaws to allow for women’s ordination.
I had a few female pastors while growing up, they were great preachers, teachers and pastors. It was never a hurdle for me to imagine a female clergyperson, and so when other pastors and lay- leaders encouraged me as I considered ministry I could imagine myself in that role.
At my internship congregation, there was a family whose grandparents always brought the two young granddaughters to worship. When I would out from the altar to the congregation, I would often see one or both of these little girls copying my hand motions, repeating my words, playing the part of pastor—it was a gift and honor to be a (literal) model for them.
Throughout the call process that led me to Faith Lutheran, I gave thanks that for most congregations they didn’t consider my gender, but rather my gifts as we went through the call process. (There was one exception, when my gender supposedly disqualified me from the position…but that is a story for another time.) Eventually, the call process led me to Faith Lutheran and my call to serve as your associate pastor—my honor and joy!
While we’ve certainly made great progress, there is still much to be done. Sexism, racism and homophobia still exist in our world and our church, and I don’t believe these -isms and phobias are God’s will for us as the people of God.
Our stories don’t happen in a vacuum. Though we like to believe it, we don’t enjoy our lives as they are on our own. We are a thread in the tapestry of family history, national history, and international history.
I am grateful for the men and women upon whose shoulders I stand; it is their lives and legacies, often hard won, that allow me to enjoy the privileges and freedoms I do today.
Pastor Katie

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