The Rev. R. Guy Erwin, who was recently elected the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's first openly gay bishop, will attend a White House reception Thursday marking
Bishop-elect Erwin, a theology and religious history professor who lives in Woodland Hills, was elected last month to a six-year term in the ELCA's Southwest California Synod, which includes the greater Los Angeles area.
Ordained two years ago after the church opened the ministry to gay and lesbian pastors and other professional workers living in committed relationships, Erwin will take office Sept. 21, church officials said.
Since 2000, Erwin, a native of Oklahoma with Native American heritage, has taught theology and Christian history at Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. He is a scholar on the life and teachings of Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther.
The ELCA is the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States.