From a Pastor's Desk

A series of opinion articles from rostered ministers and lay leaders from our Synod.


We Are a Reconciling in Christ Synod

May 04, 2018


By The Rev. Mark Erson,
Chair of Commission for Gay and Lesbian People, Metropolitan New York Synod

Dear Friends in Christ

St. Paul wrote to the church in Galatia: As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. (Galations 3:27-28)

We are a Reconciling in Christ synod.  We have made a commitment to live into our unity in Christ, especially through building new relationships with those who have in the past been ostracized by the church because of they identify themselves in the LGBTQIA community.

As in any relationship, this does not mean we proclaim connectedness and we are done.  If there is not growth through: new learning, facing challenges together, and ongoing communication, then there is no relationship.  We are wise, and must continue in our commitment, to listening as more stories are told by and about this emerging community of children of God.  Only then can we continue our journey towards unity in Christ.  Only then can we be allies and advocates, through the power of the Holy Spirit for those whose voices too often are silenced.  

Recent events in the ELCA have born witness to the need for this ongoing learning and communication so that we might grow in our unity in Christ.  We are thankful and rejoice that Interim Bishop McCoid pledged specifically to support LGBTQIA students at ULS seminary in this challenging time.

In preparing to walk the way of the cross with Christ in the days of Holy Week, let us also recommit ourselves to imitate Christ's outreach to the marginalized, the disenfranchised, and the outcast.  We encourage congregations to take steps to further understanding and to increase the voice of radical welcome so that all might know that we are loved by God, saved by Christ Jesus, and sustained by the Holy Spirit by grace alone through faith.

Together in Christ,

The Rev. Mark Erson,
Chair of Commission for Gay and Lesbian People, Metropolitan New York Synod