The Reverend Mary Albing, who has been pastor at Lutheran Church of Christ the Redeemer in south Minneapolis since 2003, was finally officially recognised by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) this Sunday.

When Reverend Albing was called to the congregation seven years ago, she could not have her Letter of Call signed because she was in a same-sex relationship. She prevailed in the role, even though ELCA’s records for the period until last Sunday listed the congregation as having a pastoral vacancy.

Last year ELCA voted overwhelmingly to allow LGB people in committed relationships to serve as clergy. The vote however, was divisive, and many broke away to form their own congregation, the North American Lutheran Church.

Reverend Albing said to ksdk.com: “This isn’t a day about me. It’s a day about a congregation that has spent 30 years very intentionally preparing to welcome people of all kinds.”