At a clearly joyous and emotional ceremony on Saturday, Lancaster resident Elizabeth Fulmer became the first openly gay minister to be ordained at Grandview Church in Mannheim.

Welcoming members of the church and guests in front of the church at 888 Pleasure Road before the ceremony, 31-year-old Fulmer briefly said that she was ordained.

“I feel like I have extra energy, a little cheerful and excited … and current. I feel fully connected to what is happening around me and I am totally grateful for that. It used to seem hypothetical and abstract, but now it’s becoming real, ”Fulmer said.

The pastors of the four congregations that instructed Fulmer in the consecration process – Grandview Church in Lancaster, Hope Gateway, Tuttle Road Community Church and the Chebig Community Center in Maine – held a consecration ceremony that included procession, songs and songs. evidence

People from all four churches have played a role in recognizing Fulmer’s gifts and talents for ministry and empowering her as a person ordained by God.

During part of a sermon at the ceremony, Grandview Pastor Rev. Andrea Brown and Rev. Sarah Ewing-Meryl of HopeGateWay Church in Portland, Maine, spoke of the historical significance of Fulmer’s call to ministry and ordination. from the United Methodist Church because of the denomination’s position on sexuality.

Grandview considers itself an open and affirmative church for the LGBTQ community.

“Instead of rejecting (Fulmer), this congregation has always accepted her and asked not to be anyone other than she is. Grandview does not push people into the role that the institution considers it necessary, and does not require a way of being that is not truly theirs, ”Brown said.

Ewing-Meryl, meanwhile, said she believes no one is trying to throw Fulmer off the cliff if they fully understand the meaning of what is happening on Saturday.

“But that doesn’t mean people won’t be uncomfortable. Being yourself, living authentically, you deliver and will deliver people inconvenience. Jesus certainly did. It even made him kill, “Ewing-Meryl said.” You members of the LGBTQ community can imagine that God can love and accept them. You embody this message not only in words but in your life. “

An essential part of the consecration consisted of the laying on of hands by the initiates on Fulmer with a prayer for the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

When the Congregation offered its blessing, everyone was asked to turn to the man behind them and pull the ribbon forward to the man in front of them, holding on to the ribbon as a symbolic way of “hands” on Fulmer.

A stole, which is a traditional sign of consecration, was then placed on Fulmer’s shoulders. As an ordained minister at Grandview, Fulmer now has sacramental authority.

“As an ordained minister, Liz could stay here or look for another church to lead, but of course we want her to stay here forever. Liz is already an assistant pastor, and she is prepared for any role God has for her, ”Brown said.

At the end of the ceremony, when the Congregation was asked to greet the newly ordained Rev. Fulmer, she gave it a long standing ovation and cheers.

“It was a month of celebration for us because April 1 was the anniversary of us becoming a separate church, splitting up and uniting to become something new. We are so happy, ”Brown said.

“I can perform the entire liturgy of communion during the Sunday service I wrote this week, and it will be the first time I do it myself and I can really claim the authority given to me,” Fulmer said. .

A local musician, recording artist and songwriter, Fulmer is a graduate of Conestoga Valley High School and Millersville University. She studied at Berkeley College of Music, and in 2020 received a master’s degree in theology from Lancaster Theological Seminary.

Fulmer is an assistant coach on the McCaskey High School track and field team. She is a member of the Lancaster LGBT Coalition Advisory Board and is an assistant pastor at Grandview Church. She joined Grandview Church staff in 2014, preaching there regularly and providing spiritual care to church members.

https://lancasteronline.com/news/grandview-ordains-gay-minister/article_bdb6a342-c65f-11ec-9a0d-7b6f3d175953.html

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