Openly gay Lutheran pastor ordained

July 26, 2008 8:24:03 PM PDT
A Houston church took what it calls an "extraordinary" step by ordaining the first openly gay Lutheran pastor in Texas.Lura Groen says she's thrilled to be pastor of the Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in southwest Houston. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America does ordain gay pastors, but only if they agree to remain celibate. Groen, however, has refused, claiming heterosexual colleagues are not held to the same standard. She says church members have been supportive.

"There's a very good fit between the values of this congregation and the values I want to espouse as a preacher -- to be telling God's love to all the world and the way that that calls us to treat everyone fairly," said Pastor Lura Groen.

Two other American Evangelical Lutheran congregations have ordained openly gay pastors without sanctions.

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