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Press Release: Transgender Day of Remembrance, Bishop Megan Rohrer Preaching at St. Francis Lutheran


Written & Distributed by St. Francis Lutheran Church in San Francisco, CA


Bishop Megan Rohrer of the Sierra Pacific Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), will lead worship and preach at St. Francis Lutheran Church on Saturday, November 20, 2021, at 4:00 PM Pacific, as the congregation observes the Transgender Day of Remembrance at its historic church building at 152 Church Street, San Francisco. Bishop Megan is the first openly transgender Bishop in a mainline Christian denomination, who was elected and installed earlier this year to lead 182 congregations in Northern California and Nevada.


The Transgender Day of Remembrance has been observed annually and internationally on November 20 to memorialize those who have been murdered because of transphobia. It is a day to draw attention to the continued violence endured by transgender people. Our observance is sponsored by the St. Francis Lutheran Church Endowment (detailed description below) and will include a candlelight vigil as the names of each of the 29 transgender people killed in the United State so far in 2021 is read.


“The heartbreaking murders of these beloved children of God are attacks on every one of us and an attack on Christ, as well,” said the St. Francis Pastor, Rev. Bea Chun. “This hateful violence is unacceptable and has to stop. It is a call to action and a call to stand in solidarity with our transgender siblings.”


Members of the transgender community will be featured as speakers, and Bishop Megan will preach a sermon to lead the assembled guests in reflecting and remembering on this important and sacred occasion. In 2021, the St. Francis Endowment provided a third additional $3,000 grant (the first two grants were in 2017 and 2018) to the Louise Lawrence Transgender Archive of Vallejo, CA., and the archive’s executive director, Ms. Bob Davis, will be one of the speakers for the observance.


The community is invited to join us. Space is limited. An RSVP with proof of full vaccination against Covid-19 is required to attend. Visit www.sflcsf.org to register by Nov. 17. The event will be live-streamed on the St. Francis YouTube channel for those unable to attend in-person: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7fsmVSvVMl88z014dce_bQ/videos.


ABOUT ST. FRANCIS LUTHERAN CHURCH: Our historic building located at 152 Church Street in San Francisco is a hub of daily ministry for the wider neighborhood, including food and community programs several days each week. Known for being a national leader for LGBTQ+ justice and inclusion, St. Francis, along with First United Lutheran Church, called and ordained a lesbian couple and gay man, respectively, as pastors in 1990, going against church policy at that time. St. Francis and First United were expelled from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) on January 1, 1996.


In the face of this judgment against us, we, along with companion congregations, continued to stand by our decision, and continued to celebrate our diversity as part of our everyday journey with Christ. A nonprofit organization, Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, was started by members of St Francis and other congregations to fight the exclusion of the ELCA.


Since that time, the ELCA has re-examined their constitution, and voted to make key changes in 2009. These changes were more friendly to lesbian, gay and transgender rostered leaders, and allowed them to join the ELCA as clergy. As a result, St. Francis re-joined the Sierra Pacific Synod of the ELCA on February 27, 2011.


Our weekly worship on Sundays at 11:00 AM Pacific includes the celebration of Holy Communion, and our service is traditional yet modern with inclusive language, referring to God in both masculine and feminine forms. At St. Francis, our worship and wider programs reflect the radical love and inclusivity we experience in relationship with God in Christ. All are welcome at God’s table. For more information, please visit: www.sflcsf.org.


The St. Francis Lutheran Church Endowment is a fund started nearly 40 years ago and is mostly comprised of legacy gifts from congregation members’ estates, wills and trusts. The value of the Endowment is nearly $2.4 million and it provides annual grants to both support the ministry of the congregation as well as external grants to ministries and organizations that share our values of justice and inclusion – locally, nationally and internationally. To learn more and apply for a grant for your project, please visit. www.sflcsf.org/endowment.


MEDIA CONTACT: Pastor Bea Chun, St. Francis Lutheran Church; pastorchun@hotmail.com; 408-332-3638.

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