It has been 23 years since First United Lutheran Church began its long time of separation from the Sierra Pacific Synod of the ELCA. In 1989, the local congregation became the center of a controversy when it (along with St. Francis Lutheran Church) was expelled by the synod for refusing to comply with ELCA policy banning the ordination of openly gay pastors.
Earlier this year, two years after the ELCA changed the policy, FULC decided to return. After much internal discussion, the congregation decided that it was important to affirm the decision of the denomination and to make a commitment to continuing to work for change in the church from within.
A religious service of Reconciliation and Healing will be held on Sunday, October 14 at 5 pm. Featured clergy include both the current bishop of the synod, Bishop Mark W. Holmerud, as well as the Rev. Jeff R. Johnson, the pastor who was at the center of the controversy (redundant?). Johnson currently serves as pastor to the University Lutheran Chapel in Berkeley.
Lutheran congregations from all over the bay area have been invited. The October 14 liturgy was developed by FULC music director Orion Pitts, from music culled from different faiths to emphasize the coming together and unity to which we all aspire.
2907 Turk (at Lyon)