The Evangelical Lutheran Church, one of America’s largest Christian denominations with around 3.3 million members, has made history by appointing The Reverend Megan Rohrer as its first ever transgender bishop.
One of seven LGBTQ pastors who were appointed back in 2010 when the ban on the ordination of pastors in same-sex relationships was lifted, Rohrer will oversee about 200 congregations in the Sierra Pacific Synod which covers northern California and northern Nevada.
Previously pastor at the Grace Lutheran Church in San Francisco, Reverend Rohrer also worked as a chaplain at the San Francisco Police Department as well as working closely with the city’s homeless and LGBTQ_+ communities.
Married with two children, Rohrer said, “My call is …to be up to the same messy, loving things I was up to before,” Reverend Rohrer told worshippers. “But mostly, if you’ll let me, and I think you will, my hope is to love you and beyond that, to love what you love.”
They continued, “I step into this role because a diverse community of Lutherans in Northern California and Nevada prayerfully and thoughtfully voted to do a historic thing. My installation will celebrate all that is possible when we trust God to shepherd us forward.”
Reverend Rohrer studied theology at Augustana University in South Dakota, before moving to California to pursue masters and doctoral degrees at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley.
They were elected to serve a six-year term as bishop after its current bishop announced his retirement.