In 2022-2023, Pastor Kirsten applied for and received a SHARE grant from our synod to bring in guest preachers who are BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) and/or LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, +). Representation matters, and the diversity of humanity reflected in the church is a gift. We wanted to lift up the voices of people whose voices aren’t heard as often in the pulpit for the betterment of the church; to hear different viewpoints, and celebrate the diversity in the ELCA.
Most of these sermons were submitted by video, which makes it easy to post them on here. There is a short bio of each preacher, a link to the text they were preaching from, and the video of their sermon. We are thankful for their witness and their voice, and their proclamation of the gospel!
Rev. Paul Larson – Paul preached this sermon for us when he was serving as vicar in the Sierra Pacific Synod (ELCA). He is now ordained and is the pastor at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Salinas, CA. He is a third-generation Mexican American, and a native Californian.
Rev. Elle Dowd – Elle (she/they) is a bi-furious PhD student at Chicago Theological Seminary and the campus minister of South Loop Campus Ministry in Chicago (ELCA). She was formerly a co-conspirator with the movement to #decolonizeLutheranism and currently serves as a board member of the Euro-Descent Lutheran Association for Racial Justice. She writes regularly as part of the vision team for the Disrupt Worship Project, and facilitates workshops in both secular conferences and Christian spaces. In 2021 she published a book with Broadleaf, Baptized in Teargas, about her conversion from a white moderate to an abolitionist.
Rev. Gabi Aelabouni – Gabi is currently serving as the ELCA Area Desk Director for the Middle East and North Africa. He was born and raised as a Palestinian Christian, in the Galilee region of Israel/Palestine, and moved to the U.S. as a young adult to attend the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Gabi has served congregations in Chicago, IL and Fort Collins, CO, as the director of the ELCA Fund for Leaders, and as a Country Coordinator for the Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program. He lives in Jerusalem with his spouse, the Rev. Dr. Meghan Aelabouni, and their children.
Rev. Edwin Weber – Edwin was born and raised in South Carolina and is a lifelong Lutheran. He served a congregation in Anchorage, AK before moving to Spokane, WA with his husband, where he currently serves St. Mark’s Lutheran Church (ELCA). In addition to his MDiv, he has a Master of Sacred Theology and loves preaching, worship leadership, and teaching.
Rev. Emily Ewing – Emily (they/them) currently lives in Baltimore, MD where they serve part-time as pastor of Salemn Lutheran Church and Episcopal Church of Redemption. They also cohost and coproduce the NerdsAtChurch podcast connecting the Revised Common Lectionary to all things nerdery and cohost the Horror NerdsatChurch podcast, a ridiculously queer podcast about horror, faith, and theology. Emily is also part of the diakonia.faith collective, exploring how to make faith more accessible.
Dr. Kelly Sherman Conroy – Kelly (Mato Wašté Winyan (Good Bear Woman)) has grounded her life in the Holy Spirit and the deep spiritual practices intertwined between her Lakota identity and Christian beliefs. She is a proud member of the Oglala Lakota Nation, dedicating her time to social justice, racial reparations, trauma and healing, and Storytelling. Kelly has a Doctoral degree in systematic theology from Luther Seminary. Her work focuses on Lakota Spirituality, history, and culture, and how these inform Christianity and move past trauma to healing. Kelly is also a liturgist, having written liturgies for the ELCA, Festival of Homiletics, and World Council of Churches to name a few. Kelly is currently the Director of Public Ministry at Nativity Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, MN, in addition to many other local, regional, and national ministries.