It was with great joy that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) named lesbian pastor Anita C. Hill the regional director of ReconcilingWorks, a church-recognized group that works to create an inclusive environment for LGBT parishioners and their families.
Hill has been open about being a lesbian for nearly 40 years—her old congregation actually faced serious sanctions for ordaining her in 2001, but she got to see ELCA change its rule on gay clergy in 2009. Called “historic,” her promotion ceremony on Saturday evening brought more than 100 people to Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church in St. Paul.
“There seems to be an awful lot of folks out there who just don’t want to accept anything that they’re not comfortable with,” said Paddock, who called the police. Though the vandalism hasn’t been labeled a hate crime yet, an investigation is ongoing.
Rising above the unfortunate incident, Hill said, “I think we have some work to do to get to know one another fully. And that will break down the barriers between us.” She wants to focus on her new role, where she’ll be “spreading the good news of Christ Jesus, sharing the ministry of reconciliation, facilitating workshops such as anti-bullying, faithful conversations about LGBT concerns, and generally building an inclusive church.”
Talk about turning the other cheek: We’d be all asking God to smote people and stuff.