The Rev. Thomas M. Aitken was re-elected May 2 to serve a second six-year term as bishop of the Northeastern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). He was re-elected on the first ballot during the synod assembly May 2-4 in Breezy Point, Minn.
Aitken was elected with 285 votes to 40 votes for the Rev. Paul N. Svingen, interim pastor of Salem Lutheran in Longville, Minn. The Rev. Mark W. Skinner, pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran in Brainerd, Minn., received two votes and six other nominees received one vote each. There were 333 votes cast with 250 needed for election.
Prior to becoming bishop in 2008, Aitken served as pastor of Bethany Lutheran in Loman, Minn., and First Lutheran in International Falls, Minn. He also served at Immanuel Lutheran in Hillman, Minn., and First Lutheran in Brainerd, Minn., before moving to International Falls in 1992.
Aitken graduated from the former Northwestern College (now University of Northwestern) and from Luther Seminary, both in St. Paul, Minn. Luther Seminary is one of eight ELCA seminaries. Aitken was ordained in 1985.
Information about the ELCA Northeastern Minnesota Synod is available at http://www.nemnsynod.org.