HRC Blog

Dalai Lama Honors Lutheran Church’s First Transgender Pastor

Post submitted by Diane Martin, HRC Religion and Faith Assistant

In 2010, Pastor Megan Rohrer was one of seven LGBT pastors in the San Francisco Bay Area who, after being previously barred from serving the church, were reinstated to the roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in the first ceremony of its kind.  Now, Pastor Megan is the first openly transgender pastor to be ordained in the Lutheran Church and to lead an ELCA congregation after being installed at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church this past Saturday. 

But Pastor Megan’s work and ordination is not only notable as a first for the LGBT and Lutheran communities, but as tremendously impactful for the greater San Francisco community—so much so that this past weekend Megan also received an honorable mention as an Unsung Hero of Compassion by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who was in San Francisco for the ceremony held by Wisdom in Action, a Bay Area nonprofit. 

Pastor Megan has served for the past 12 years as Executive Director of Welcome Ministry, working with homeless and impoverished people in San Francisco.  As Executive Director, Megan spearheaded several programs, including the Urban Share Community Gardening Project and the Homeless Identification Project, which have enabled more than 150 homeless individuals to find and maintain residencies in the San Francisco area.

Pastor Megan has also worked closely with HRC’s Religion & Faith Program to create resources and lead trainings for congregations taking on conversations about gender identity within their faith communities.  We at HRC are grateful for Pastor Megan’s continuing partnership and look forward to seeing what comes next from Megan’s inspiring ministry.

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