‘My call is … to be up to the same messy, loving things I was up to before,’ bishop tells worshippers
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has made history by installing the first openly transgender bishop.
The bishop uses the pronoun “they” and is married with two children.
The reverend was installed in the post during a ceremony at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco le samedi. They will be in charge of almost 200 congregations as they lead one of the church’s synods – a church council.
Bishop Rohrer is the first publically transgender person holding the post in any mainline Christian denomination.
“My call is … to be up to the same messy, loving things I was up to before,” the bishop told worshippers. “But mostly, if you’ll let me, and I think you will, my hope is to love you and beyond that, to love what you love.”
Following the retirement announcement of the previous officeholder, Bishop Rohrer was elected in May to lead the Sierra Pacific Synod.
“I step into this role because a diverse community of Lutherans in Northern California and Nevada prayerfully and thoughtfully voted to do a historic thing,” Bishop Rohrer said in a statement, The Associated Press signalé. “My installation will celebrate all that is possible when we trust God to shepherd us forward.”
Bishop Rohrer previously worked as the pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in San Francisco and also served as the chaplain coordinator for the San Francisco Police Department. They also worked with the city’s homeless and LGBT+ community.
Bishop Rohrer studied religion at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota – their hometown. They then moved to California to earn a master and a doctorate at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley.
The progressive Evangelical Lutheran church began allowing pastors in same-sex relationships in 2010.
Bishop Rohrer was one of seven LGBT+ pastors accepted that year.
The church has 3.3 million members and is one of the largest Christian denominations in the nous.