MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A Minneapolis congregation installed a lesbian as its pastor despite a requirement by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America that unmarried clergy be celibate, whether they're gay or straight.
The Lutheran Church of Christ the Redeemer embraced the Rev. Mary Albing as its pastor on Sunday, in a service presided over by three former bishops of the country's largest Lutheran denomination.
Albing, 48, is in a committed relationship.
While sanctions are not expected from the ELCA's national headquarters, the current bishop will not "sign the call," meaning the synod will not officially recognize Albing's installation.
Also Sunday, congregants at Pilgrim Lutheran of St. Paul overwhelmingly passed a "statement of welcome" to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people at its annual meeting.
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