It was suspended in 1990 and expelled in 1995 for ordaining an openly gay pastor. At the same time, St. Francis Lutheran Church in San Francisco was suspended and expelled for ordaining an openly lesbian couple.
The Sierra Pacific Synod last year invited both churches to rejoin the synod. St. Francis accepted, but First United spent the year discussing whether to return.
"Opinion in the community was divided," wrote Susan M. Strouse, United's pastor, in her blog. "Some asked, 'Well, why wouldn't you?' Others, 'Why would you?' "
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers