The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Associate Pastor at St. John's Lutheran Church, Midland, Michigan - LCMS - On Grindr - Just Like MLC's Zak Stowe

Martin Luther College graduate Zach Stowe referred to his photos on Grindr,
but "no one knew."


Antigay Michigan Pastor Outed by Grindr Messages


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makalaGrindr Journalism may be the only worthwhile social media journalism, solely for its ability to out anti-gay public figures who still think it’s a good idea to troll for same-sex action using the popular app. The latest comes from Queerty, which outed a vociferously anti-gay pastor with his own chat logs from Grindr.
Matthew Makela, formerly an associate pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church and School in Midland Michigan, has an online history with numerous Facebook postings and op-eds railing against homosexuality. “I love people who have same sex attraction, and so does God. The proof is in the sacrifice He made for all of us who sin,” he once wrote in an online comment. “We don’t tell a person born with tendencies to abuse alcohol to keep on giving in to his innate desires because he can’t help it. We try to help him in his struggle.”
So basically, not a fan of homosexuality. Or was he?
A tipster sent Queerty a cache of screenshots from Grindr, showing his chats with a very Grindr-fluent Makela. In them, the pastor sends photos of himself in bed, as well as his desire to “mess around with a bicurious guy” and his preferred bedroom activities. He also mentioned that he had a girlfriend and two children (he has a wife and five children, none of whom were aware of his activities).
The images eventually forced Makela to resign, and he told Queerty that the images were indeed authentic, but declined to comment further. Meanwhile, the church took down its Facebook page andtold its congregants to not read the story, because that’s the quickest way of making a dude not gay.
As for Grindr journalism — we’re starting to think it’s a very real thing of the future: Here’s an example of a North Dakota legislator who voted against a gay rights bill but was outed using Grindr. And here’s a Puerto Rican senator who resigned after his photos emerged on Grindr.
[Image via screenshot/Grindr]

Ordination, 2010,
Midland, Michigan

Makela's Facebook page came down as I was looking it over.
Apparently he is married with four young children.
This is very sad for them.


Pastor Makela Resigns Call

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Dear members of St. John’s,

It is my grief to inform you that Pastor Makela announced his resignation as a pastor of St. John’s through a letter that was read in worship on Sunday, May 17.  Pastor has acknowledged that there was sin and repentance, and I have testified that there is indeed forgiveness through the same Lord who forgives all our sins.  Nevertheless, it is an end of our time together in ministry, and we ask for your continued prayers and support for the Makela family.

To make matters worse, though, the details of sin that have been kept confidential are being posted online by those who seek to do harm to the Makela family and to St. John’s.  This is taking an already difficult situation and making it even more painful.

I write this to you to warn you that you may be confronted with the details of the sin, and to remind you that sin is never pretty.  The facebook pages associated with St. John’s have been taken down in an attempt to remove the opportunity for malicious posters to have access to St. John’s members, but the internet and age of communication being what it is, I have no way of guaranteeing that you will not come across this information in some way.

A few thoughts on how to proceed:
-Don’t panic.  This changes nothing.  Matt is still forgiven and he is still loved, and we will do what we can to stand by him and the family as they face this spiteful attack of shame.  God is bigger than this and will see us through.

-Don’t respond.  Those who are trying to shake up the congregation are doing so, at least in part, to generate traffic to their website.  If you click on a website to see, or respond to what is being said--even in a positive way--you are only rewarding those who are trying to shame the Makelas.

-Please know that the leadership of St. John’s will be forthright with any information the members need to have.  However, we do not intend to use the internet as the primary means of communication at this point.

-Be patient and trust God.  This too shall pass.

In the meantime consider the advice of scripture:  “Be very careful, then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.”

See you in Church,

-Pastor Kempin
- See more at: http://www.sjlmidland.org/announcements/pastor-makela-resigns-call#sthash.sDsn0xcY.dpuf