The Outer Sunset’s Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church pastor Rev. Megan Rohrer just became the first ever trans person elected bishop to a major U.S. Christian denomination.
We don’t follow much Lutheran Church news here at SFist, but this news is significant enough that even the New York Times has picked it up. Openly transgender pastor Rev. Megan Rohrer of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Outer Sunset was on Saturday elected the first transgender Lutheran bishop in the U.S., according to NPR, making them “the first openly transgender person in the U.S. to do so in a major Christian denomination.”
Rev. Rohrer has popped up many times in the local news, as seen above four years ago when they become the SFPD’s first transgender chaplain. (And then later that same year, waded into the cops at the Trans March controversy with “You can't have a rainbow without the blue!”) But more significantly, Rev. Rohrer became America’s first ordained transgender Lutheran pastor in 2006. You may have seen them around town leading memorials for LGBTQ murder victims, or feeding meals to the unsheltered in the Castro.
“I am so proud to be a Lutheran,” Pastor Rohrer said in a statement to the New York Times. “I pray that my election by the faithful people of the Sierra Pacific Synod will become a constant reminder that God’s fabulous love is never limited by the opinions or legislation of others.”
We should note that Grace Lutheran Church in the Outer Sunset is not the towering Grace Cathedral in Nob Hill. According to Grace Lutheran’s website, “We are a small but mighty congregation in San Francisco's Sunset District (near the ocean). While there are many congregations that have a larger attendance on Sunday, Grace has heart and is unafraid of sharing God's love to the full diversity of creation.”
So what does this mean from a Lutheran Church governance perspective? We thought you’d never ask! Per the Religious News Service, Rohrer now becomes bishop of the Lutheran Church’s Sierra Pacific Synod, which “encompasses 180 congregations in northern California and northern Nevada, with more than 36,000 individual members and about 13,000 worshippers attending on Sundays. Bishops are elected to six-year terms.” Rohrer’s terms begins July 1.
Worship Livestream: Easter 6 https://t.co/ik13USVD3f— Bishop-elect Megan Rohrer (@mmrohrer) May 9, 2021
If you want to watch this now very historically significant pastor in action, Grace Lutheran’s Easter service from last month is seen above.
Image: @mmrohrer via Twitter