ELCA NEWS SERVICE
August 16, 2003
ELCA Assembly Elects Carlos Pena Vice President
MILWAUKEE (ELCA) -- The 2003 Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has elected Carlos Pena, Galveston, Texas, to serve a six-year term as vice president, the highest elected lay position in the church. "I have been called and I look forward to serving the church," said Pena. "I humbly accept the challenge."
The churchwide assembly, the chief legislative authority of the ELCA, is meeting here Aug. 11-17 at the Midwest Airlines Center. There are about 2,100 people participating, including 1,031 ELCA voting members. The theme for the biennial assembly is "Making Christ Known: For the Healing of the World."
Pena, 50, received 627 votes, 64.4 percent, on the fifth ballot Aug. 16. Mary Froehlig, 43, Southwest California Synod, who was also on the ballot, received 346 votes, 35.6 percent.
Pena, who is the first man elected to the position, cited the strengths of his predecessors, and added, "[They] are very skilled, and I hope I can do half the job they've done." Two women held the office prior to the current vice president, Dr. Addie J. Butler, ELCA Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, who concludes her term this year and did not seek re-election. Pena said he wants to "lead by example." "I want to make sure all sides have an opportunity to discuss," he said.
Pena is the president of Kleen Supply Co, Inc. Galveston, and C.M. Distributing, Houston, which grew from a company his father founded. His first job after college was as a music teacher at the high school he graduated from, and he still keeps a trombone in his trunk "just in case."
Pena finds satisfaction in the business world. "Working for myself has given me the opportunity to use free time in my community and church," he said.
Pena's involvements include serving on the regional governing board of Christus Health Care and as vice president of Galveston Historical Foundation. In the ELCA, he has served as vice president of the ELCA Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod and as a member of the ELCA Church Council, in addition to leadership at First Lutheran Church, Galveston, Texas.
Pena is a native of Texas. He is married to Diane, a teacher coordinator at a church-based school, and has a son in college and a daughter in high school. In his acceptance address, he thanked his wife and mentors. The vice-president-elect said he plans to lean into their strong support as he begins his new post on Nov. 1.
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Information about the ELCA Churchwide Assembly can be found at http://www.elca.org/assembly/03 on the Web.
For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or email@example.com