From the Office of the Bishop
October 18, 2021
Dear Southwestern Texas Synod Rostered Leaders,
Grace and peace to you from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I write to share the news that Mark Gruebmeyer has been removed from the retired roster of the ELCA, by a unanimous vote of Synod Council at a legally called and conducted meeting on October 13, 2021, pursuant to ELCA Roster Manual, p. 34, which says:
A minister of Word and Sacrament who has been granted retired status shall retain that roster status until (1) the minister is no longer on the roster of Ministers of Word and Sacrament, (2) the minister accepts a call, or (3) the Synod Council revokes retired status upon recommendation of the synod bishop. Such revocation of a minister’s retired status may occur only upon a two-thirds vote of the Synod Council, present and voting at a legally called and conducted meeting.
This means that he is no longer able to preside at Holy Communion or use the title “Pastor” or “the Rev.” If he is asked to substitute due to the absence of a pastor, he can do so only as a lay person serving without clerical vestments in leading a Service of the Word.
This action was not taken lightly; Mark has had a long career and has served faithfully in many places. He is well known in our synod and has children and grandchildren who are members of our congregations. It grieves my heart for Mark and for the synod that his career had to end this way. I appreciate how painful and difficult it is for you to learn of this. I encourage you to keep Mark and his family in your prayers as I do.
Rev. Sue Briner