America is the first to open transgender The bishop resigned last week amid allegations of racism following the dismissal of a Puerto Rican pastor from a predominantly Latin American congregation during an important Spanish-speaking holiday.

Reverend Megan Rohrer, 42, who uses the pronouns “they”, said that “constant misinformation, bullying and persecution” led to their resignation from the Sierra Pacific Synod, which oversees 200 congregations in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the North. California and northern Nevada. Rohrer was elected in May 2021 for a six-year term.

The bishop faced accusations of racism after they called police on a church member and her child, which church investigators called an “outrageous act, especially against vulnerable black, indigenous and colored communities.”

Pastor Nelson Rabel-Gonzalez has been fired as head of the Latina Luterana Mission after being accused of harassment

Bishop Megan Rohrer, left, the first transgender bishop in America, has resigned under investigation for improper treatment of Pastor Nelson Rabel-Gonzalez, who was fired for harassment.

Rohrer was also accused of wearing a body armor when announcing the dismissal of a popular priest, Pastor Nelson Rabel-Gonzalez, who was fired from the Latino-Lutheran Mission in December 2021 the day before the Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a major religious holiday. for believers at Stockton Church, California.

Rohrer said they wore a vest when they made the announcement, fearing for their lives.

Rohrer was unknown to the congregation the day they came to the church to announce the cessation of activities. Also on the same day, the bishop threatened to call the police on the child and parents in the church.

Accusations of racism run counter to Rohrer’s progressive policies.

Rohrer was known for defending LGBTQ rights in street activities, preaching and writing, and recognized his work with the homeless.

Proponents of the Latina Luterana Mission were so upset that their pastor was fired that they left the church with a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe

Proponents of the Latina Luterana Mission were so upset that their pastor was fired that they left the church with a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe

Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.

Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.

Megan Rohrer, who was seen here, threatened to call police to two church members after they refused to leave

Megan Rohrer, who was seen here, threatened to call police to two church members after they refused to leave

The bishop fired Rabel-Gonzalez after the church investigated him for verbal harassment and accusations of revenge against the pastor, which he denies.

The Synod Council on December 11 voted to repeal the call of Rabel-Gonzalez as the developer of the mission and to suspend its work after they stated that it refused to comply with some mandatory requirements.

A report on Rohrer’s actions, released on June 1, made several recommendations to the Evangelical Lutheran Church, including publicly apologizing to the Latin American church community for the damage, planning anti-racism training for church staff and leaders. »’To the community and the establishment of a task force to review church policies and procedures.

The church council was in the process of punishing Rohrer when they announced their resignation from the synod.

“Constant misinformation, bullying and persecution have had too much of an impact on the Synod, which I love, my family and myself,” Rohrer said. “Although I am probably strong enough to continue to serve your bishop, I believe I would be a bad role model for my black trans-transgenes if I continued to hold this position.”

On Twitter, Rohrer also accused church leaders of publishing news about investigations and disciplinary action before informing their families.

Rev. Megan Rohrer (pictured) was elected bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church at the Sierra Pacific Synod in America, becoming the first transgender person to serve as a bishop in a denomination or in any major Christian denomination in the United States.

Rev. Megan Rohrer (pictured) was elected bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church at the Sierra Pacific Synod in America, becoming the first transgender person to serve as a bishop in a denomination or in any major Christian denomination in the United States.

Rohrer (pictured with wife and two children) was the first transsexual to be ordained to ELCA in 2006.

Rohrer (pictured with wife and two children) was the first transsexual to be ordained to ELCA in 2006.

According to the group’s investigation, most of the Mexican immigrants of the Congregation Mision Latina Luterana had no idea that their pastor had been fired on December 12. On this day, church visitors planned a challenging program featuring Mariachi singers, traditional dancers and children’s performances led by Rabel-Gonzalez.

The video, which one of the believers recorded live, shows confused believers expressing their concern. One woman said in Spanish, “Pastor Nelson worked hard to make this day happen. He has done a lot for our community. He fought for our rights. “

Others said the move to dismiss him was “unfair” and “racist.” The report mentions that other believers asked if there were any complaints about Rabel-Gonzalez being sexual in nature, and they were even more upset when they did not receive a response from Rohrer or other leaders.

Rev. Elizabeth Ethan, chief bishop of the denomination, announced in a May 27 report to the church that she had asked for Rohrer’s resignation from the synod.

“There are problems of broken trust at all levels, from individual members and communities to the wider church, which needs to be worked on,” she said in the report.

She said she intends to act and study several recommendations of the group of listeners, in particular, the need for training to combat racism and cultural sensitivity.

The Church’s Latin American Service Association spoke strongly to Ethan in a May 28 statement criticizing her for failing to bring disciplinary charges against the bishop for “racist actions” against the congregation.

Association leaders called Eaton’s statement “weak and ruthless,” and called racist actions “unwise decisions” and “unfortunate events.” They also said that her message ignores the suffering of the whole community and gives the “white aggressor the opportunity to decide his own destiny – a solution deeply rooted in the benefits of whites and systemic racism.”

In a preliminary statement, the Synod Council said it had decided to suspend the work of Rabel-Gonzalez after “constant reports of verbal harassment and retaliation by more than a dozen victims from 2019 to the present”. But church officials did not specify what the pastor’s wrongdoing was.

Rabel-Gonzalez was one of the candidates in the bishop’s election. Following Rohrer’s appointment, church officials identified mandatory steps for Rabel-Gonzalez, which officials said he refused to follow on Dec. 9. The action of the council to refuse his appeal took place two days later.

The decision to cancel the pastor’s call also stopped funding the congregation, the report said, leaving the community without a pastor and without a church building.

Rabel-Gonzalez said he continues to lead the congregation under a new name, Iglesia Luterana Santa Maria Peregrina, at the First Congregational Church in Stockton.

Rabel-Gonzalez said he has never refused to follow the synod’s recommendations and just wants to be able to express his case.

“I was removed from the list without due process, without disciplinary action and without any charges,” he said.

Rohrer will now be given the opportunity to organize a defense in a disciplinary process – an opportunity, according to Rabel-Gonzalez, he was denied. He also said he was not giving up on the synod’s mandate to see a therapist. When Rohrer became bishop, Rabel-Gonzalez said he hoped to get an ally.

“Instead, I have an oppressor,” he said.

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