Bishop Megan Rohrer speaks to the press ahead of her installation ceremony at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco on Saturday. John Hefti / AP Hide caption
John Hefti / AP
John Hefti / AP
SAN FRANCISCO – The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America installed its first open transgender bishop in a service at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco on Saturday.
Pastor Megan Rohrer will preside over one of the Church’s 65 synods and oversee nearly 200 congregations in northern California and northern Nevada.
“My calling is … to do the same messy, loving things that I did before,” Rohrer told the believers. “But most of the time, if you let me, and I think you will, my hope is to love you and beyond what you love.”
Rohrer was elected bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod for a six-year term in May after the current bishop announced his resignation.
“I come into this role because a diverse community of Lutherans in Northern California and Nevada has prayerfully and thoughtfully voted for a historic cause,” Rohrer said in a statement. “My installation will celebrate everything that is possible when we trust that God will bring us forward.”
Rohrer, using the pronoun “she,” previously pastored Grace Lutheran Church in San Francisco and was a chaplain coordinator for the city’s police force, and also helped out with the city’s homeless and LGTBQ community. They studied religion at Augustana University in their hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota before moving to California to do Masters and PhD degrees from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley.
Rohrer became one of seven LGBTQ pastors accepted by the Progressive Evangelical Lutheran Church in 2010 after allowing pastors to be ordained in same-sex relationships. Rohrer is married and has two children.
The Church is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with approximately 3.3 million members.