The Church Council voted at its September meeting to check “Yes” on the ELCA Ministry Site Profile to the question of whether or not we would welcome a pastor who is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). Answering Yes does NOT mean we have asked specifically for an LGBT pastor. It simply means we have told the synod we want them to look at a larger roster of candidates when selecting a good fit for our congregation. If we interview candidates that are LGBT we are committed to being fair and interviewing in good faith that the time and effort spent is beneficial for both the candidate and Call Committee in working towards a new pastor.
The ELCA is considered the most welcoming and deliberately inclusive Lutheran Church toward LGBT members and has had an inclusion policy since 1991. However, the ELCA has only been ordaining LGBT ministers since 2009 and gives individual congregation autonomy in calling ministers to serve. Our congregation members had a chance to share their views on whether Grace Church would be accepting in interviewing a pastor that is LGBT, in a discussion that was held after the August 30 worship service. Respect was shown from both sides of the discussion and a written poll of members was taken, resulting with 34 voting yes, 9 no, and 2 abstaining.