The Gulf Coast Synod had plans to celebrate these anniversaries at our 2020 Synod Assembly. Unfortunately, the pandemic kept us from marking these occasions in the way we would have liked.

Until we can gather to celebrate safely and with pomp, we’re offering a way to mark the anniversaries digitally with a 50/40/10 Sermon Series.

Eighteen ministers (pastors and deacons) currently rostered in or connected to our synod, whose ministries are made possible by God and these anniversaries, are contributing to this series.

Their sermon videos will be paired with personal biographies and discussion questions. The sermons will be released for use in our synod, whether in worship, small groups, forums, devotions, or however they might add depth to your gatherings. The intent is to celebrate God’s call in the lives of these preachers and for congregations to have an opportunity to hear a voice or perspective that may differ from that to which they’ve become accustomed.

Sermons and accompanying materials will be released weekly, continuing through the end of the year. Check back early next week for the first video.

In the Gulf Coast Synod, we continue to advocate for the full inclusion of women, persons of color, and LGBTQIA+ persons, especially in the areas of Candidacy, Call Process, and Leadership, and we are delighted to introduce you to gifted leaders God has called!

50/40/10

50 years of ordained women
40 years of ordained women of color
10 years of ordained LGBTQIA+ persons

Matthew 18:15-20

Rev. Marvin Havard
Pastor
Salem Lutheran Church
Houston

Biography
Sermon Download
Discussion Questions

Matthew 20:1-16

Rev. Karen Buck
Interim Pastor
Texas-Louisiana
Gulf Coast Synod

Biography
Sermon Download
Discussion Questions

Luke 6:32-36

Rev. Ele Clay
Pastor
Covenant Lutheran Church
Houston

Biography
Sermon Download
Discussion Questions

John 6:1-21

Rev. Rachel Ringlaben
Country Coordinator
ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission

Biography
Sermon Download
Discussion Questions

Verse

Rev. Barb Simmers
Pastor
Peace Lutheran Church
Slidell, LA

Biography
Sermon Download
Discussion Questions

Matthew 22:1-14

Rev. Sandra Barnes
Pastor
Gethsemane Lutheran Church
Chalmette, LA

Biography
Sermon Download
Discussion Questions

Verse

Rev. Karin Liebster
Associate Pastor
Christ the King
Houston, TX

Biography
Sermon Download
Discussion Questions

Verse

Marie Martinez
Candidate
Word & Sacrament
TxLa Gulf Coast Synod

Biography
Sermon Download
Discussion Questions

Verse

Morgan Gates
Interim Campus Minister
Houston Area Campus Ministry
Houston, TX

Biography
Sermon Download
Discussion Questions

Verse

Verse

Verse

In 1970, the Lutheran Church in America (LCA) voted to ordain women at their Fifth Biennial Convention, as did the American Lutheran Church (ALC) at their Fifth General Convention that year.

On November 22, 1970, Elizabeth Platz was the first woman ­of European descent ordained in a Lutheran church body in North America.

Some time later, in 1979, the church ordained the first women of color. Lydia Rivera Kalb was the ­first Latina woman ordained in a Lutheran church body in the United States (LCA), and that same year, Earlean Miller became the ­first woman of African descent ordained in a Lutheran church body in the United States (LCA).

Many years later, in 2009, at the Churchwide Assembly, a vote made it possible for LGBTQIA+ persons to enter Candidacy and become ordained. In 2010, pastors who had been previously removed from or barred from the roster on account of their sexual orientation were welcomed into leadership.

Elizabeth Platz, 1970

As it is, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you.”

~ 1 Corinthians 12:20-22a

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