In the largest Lutheran church in the United States, a person who is openly transgender has been introduced to the office of bishop for the first time.
The solemn service for Megan Rohrer (41) took place on Saturday in Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, California. Rohrer worked as a pastor in San Francisco, as a pastor for the local police and as director of an aid organization for homeless LGBTQ people.
The 41-year-old was elected bishop of the 180 parishes in the Sierra Pacific Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in May. Leading ELCA Bishop Elizabeth Eaton spoke of a historic step that shows that everyone is welcome to the Church. She said that God “created mankind in diversity.”
After the election, Rohrer announced that he wanted to focus on evangelization. Eaton said in her sermon on Saturday that some observers probably wondered what the synod had thought of Rohrer’s election. And further: “Megan Rohrer will preach the gospel and serve all people.”
God was not a God of “either / or”, but a God of “and”, emphasized Bishop Eaton. Rohrer slept on the street with the homeless and was also a police chaplain. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in the USA claims to have 3.3 million members. Rohrer’s term of office runs for a total of six years.
One of Rohrer’s first official acts was to promote vaccination against the corona virus and the wearing of masks. That is “charity”, he explained on his social media channels.