Volume 81, Number 18 | October 6 - 12, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

The Reverend Mark E. Erson.

Mark Erson takes over pulpit at St. John’s Lutheran Church

By Albert Amateau

The Reverend Mark E. Erson was installed as the new pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church on Christopher St. at the 6 p.m. weekly Jazz Mass on Sun., Oct. 2.

He was ordained in 2009 as a minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and has more than 25 years experience as a teacher, theater artist and lay minister. He is also serving as chairperson of the Metro New York Synod’s Commission for Gay and Lesbian People.

A graduate of General Theological Seminary in Chelsea, he was a lay leader, serving as president, worship leader and drama director, in several congregations. For the past three years he served as intern and then pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Queens Village.

“This is a rich and crucial time to be doing a ministry in this context as the national church embraces the full welcome of all people, including L.G.B.T.Q. people, that previously was practiced by individual congregations,” he said last week. Reverend Erson said he was particularly excited to be in this neighborhood in the wake of New York State’s new marriage equality law.

He replaces the former pastor, Reverend Linden Harris, who is concentrating on his Garden of Forgiveness project.

St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church has been on Christopher St. between W. Fourth and Bleecker Sts. since 1855. The church will host a series of events to mark National Coming Out Day on Tues., Oct. 11, with Bishop Robert Rimbo of the Metro New York Synod of the E.L.C.A. joining a Mass for Reconciliation and Healing at 7 p.m.

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