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Minnesota Pastor Honors Past and Present Love

Rev. Dr. Robyn Provis works for marriage equality, but it's her efforts in suicide prevention that have made her a local hero. Sponsored by Grape-Nuts.

About this sponsorship: In honor of the 60th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary’s historic ascent of Mount Everest, Patch and Grape-Nuts are teaming up to highlight those who inspire people around them to climb their own mountains.

When the news of the passage of the marriage equity bill by the Minnesota House of Representatives reached Rev. Dr. Robyn Provis, the first person she wanted to share it with was her wife of nearly eight years, Kathy Luebbe.

Provis and Luebbe were married in Toronto, Canada, and for years she says they have played a game on road trips of “Now we’re legally married. Whoops, now we’re not.”

The long road to marriage equity mirrors the journey Rev. Dr. Robyn Provis has taken professional and personally to arrive where she is today, pastor of Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Minneapolis and married to Kathy, a music teacher. Provis returned to college at age 45 after having a first career in journalism and advertising.

After receiving her Master of Theological Studies in 2003 from the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, CA, she earned her doctorate in 2010 from the Episcopal Divinity School of Cambridge, MA.

Q. What is the biggest challenge you've taken right now?

I love life and I love to push myself by taking on multiple simultaneous goals. Currently I am the pastor of a diverse church where I am devoted to caring for the congregation and neighborhood. I believe the good news of the gospel isn’t good news until its good news for everyone. I have a deep belief in the centrality of the instruction to “love one another.” I don’t want to argue about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. I’d rather talk about the joy they were feeling that gave way to the dance. My hope is that all faiths can stop fighting over who is in and who is out and get down to alleviating poverty, discrimination, and hopelessness.

The two areas that inspire me the most are marriage equality and suicide prevention. Those may be disparate topics but they are important to me.   

Q.What inspired you to take on this challenge?

I lost my son Jeremiah to suicide when he was 26 years old a decade ago. I will advocate for prevention and anti-bullying until my dying day.

Marriage equality is at the top of my list. Love is love. One day we’ll look back and try to tell our grandchildren why it took so long.

Q.What will you do when you succeed?

I will weep with joy. I’ll know we’ve succeeded when it’s never again a topic of conversation. I look forward to that perfect day, thankful that love and reason prevailed.

Michael Hindin May 16, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Reverend Provis, I applaud your achievement in overcoming a parent's worst tragedy and your purposeful life. In Yiddish you are a mensch! Only the nameless faceless political action committee or interns known as "Mike B" could foul an uplifting story of loss turned to purpose and joy. Sad that there is no humanity and kindness there.
mike savick May 16, 2013 at 04:00 PM
"Mike B" try some "reparative therapy" yourself or actually read the New Testament. Perhaps Mathew would be a good start. There are lots of lessons on how to treat people. In the Hebrew Bible you will find lots of wisdom about how to treat a stranger in your land. That applies to travelers, refugees, immigrants and your next door neighbor as well. In my many years of being a guest at many christenings, communions, weddings, celebration masses, etc., I have never heard the hateful words you often write.
Mike K. May 16, 2013 at 09:38 PM
Whoever said the majority was always right? Anyhow, it is a done deal now and I hope that everything works out for the best. However, I have my doubts about that.
Penny May 18, 2013 at 06:15 AM
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mike savick May 18, 2013 at 02:36 PM
Either Penny's email account has been hacked or she is violating PATCH's service agreement. Please change passwords frequently.

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