By Jack Davis September 12, 2021 at 12:00pm
He calls himself “they,” and he is now the first transgender bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
The Rev. Megan Rohrer was installed Saturday at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, according to The Associated Press.
“My call is … to be up to the same messy, loving things I was up to before,” Rohrer said in a statement.
“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.
“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,” he said.
“My installation will celebrate all that is possible when we trust God to shepherd us forward.”
Rohrer was formerly pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in San Francisco and served as a chaplain coordinator for the city’s police department.
Thank you @TheAdvocateMag for your story about tomorrow’s @elca bishop installation. https://t.co/oY389gv7cC
— Bishop Megan Rohrer (@mmrohrer) September 10, 2021
He was elected bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod in May, and will now serve a six-year term.
As bishop, Rohrer will oversee about 200 congregations in California and Nevada.
The ELCA has 65 synods and about 3.3 million members, making it one of the largest Christian denominations in the country.
The progressive church began ordaining LGBT pastors in 2010.
.@mmrohrer will be installed Saturday as the first transgender bishop in the @ELCA—or any major U.S. denomination.
They hope people will see God can “do more than we noticed, with more people than we thought possible and in more places than we imagined.” https://t.co/2cUSkCGskK
— Emily McFarlan Miller (@emmillerwrites) September 10, 2021
Rohrer became the first transgender head pastor of a Lutheran church in 2014 and is among seven LGBT pastors in the ELCA.
He is married and has two children.
Rohrer discussed his upbringing with KALW-FM in 2014.
“I grew up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which is the Midwest and cultural heartland of Lutherans,” Rohrer said.
“The motto [there] is like: Be in the paper when you’re born and when you die and don’t get credit for anything in between. Because your job is to just, like, fit in.”
He said he decided he was transgender during his time at Augustana University, a Lutheran college in Sioux Falls. He then studied at a progressive Lutheran seminary in Berkeley, California.