An interesting and engaging piece in the StarTribune today about a small Lutheran church in northern Minnesota that almost welcomed a gay pastor:
My hometown church, with a little more than a hundred members, recently voted on whether to call a new pastor. It has been without a permanent pastor for almost three years, during which the call committee has been working to fill the position.
As with most small-town churches, the budget is tiny. This one allows only for a three-quarter-time position. Paying for the pastor’s health insurance is another obstacle. So is finding someone willing and excited to live in a town of 300 people.
The call committee worked a miracle. It found a pastor who loves small towns and wants to live in one. The limited income is workable. And he already has health insurance. His references are impeccable, and he seems perfect for this particular congregation.
He is in a committed relationship.
With a man.
Gay exists in small-town America. But it’s rarely acknowledged, and even less commonly accepted.
Five years ago, not a single member of the call committee would have considered calling a gay pastor.
But this time, it was different. This committee could see that this pastor was a good fit — not only because he is good at what he does, but because he truly wants to do it, and in a small community.
Be sure to read the rest, to see what happened: 22 votes for a pastor — for progress | StarTribune.com.