The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


An independent witness

Filmmaker Pam Walton's independent film, Call to Witness, documents the controversy surrounding ordination of gays and lesbians within the ELCA.

The hourlong documentary begins with Steve Sabin. The film follows Sabin's story as he retells being asked to resign, through his disciplinary hearings, his removal from the ELCA clergy roster and the refusal of Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Ames, Iowa, to remove him as its pastor.

Also included are the stories of Anita C. Hill, seeking ordination in Minnesota; the 1990 irregular ordinations and subsequent disciplinary hearings of Ruth Frost, Phyllis Zillhart and Jeff Johnson in San Francisco; and an interview with former pastor Jane Ralph in Kansas City, Mo.

There is no narration. The only dialogue comes from the film's subjects, their partners, parishioners and officials.

The film has been featured at film festivals and on PBS stations since its release in January. Future screenings include the Witness Our Welcome 2000 gathering in DeKalb, Ill., Aug. 3-6. Check your PBS station listings (www.pbs.org) for local broadcasts.


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