ELCA NEWS SERVICE
May 8, 2013
Robert Schaefer elected bishop of ELCA Florida-Bahamas Synod
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Rev. Robert G. Schaefer, Venice, Fla., was elected May 4 to a six-year term as bishop of the Florida-Bahamas Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Schaefer was elected on the sixth ballot during the synod assembly May 2-4 in Orlando, Fla.
“I am deeply grateful for the confidence that our assembly has placed in me in this call to serve as their bishop,” said Schaefer, who serves as lead pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Venice.
“I pray for a fresh outpouring of God’s spirit on the entire Florida-Bahamas Synod as we walk together into this next chapter of sharing Christ, making disciples, and doing justice in a mission territory that continues to become more diverse in every aspect,” he said.
Schaefer will be installed Aug. 31 at St. Timothy Catholic Church in Lutz, Fla.
Schaefer was elected on the sixth ballot with 319 votes to 170 votes for the Rev. Jack Palzer, senior pastor of Calvary Lutheran in Apollo Beach, Fla. The Rev. Dr. Rita Gardner Tweed, director for evangelical mission and assistant to the bishop of the ELCA Florida-Bahamas Synod, was also a nominee on the fifth ballot with108 votes to 170 votes for Palzer and 243 votes for Schaefer.
Schaefer was an executive for worship with the ELCA churchwide organization here from 2009 to 2011. He served as assistant to the bishop of the ELCA Florida-Bahamas Synod from 2004 to 2009 and co-pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran in Tampa, Fla., from 1998 to 2004.
He earned a degree in psychology and sociology from Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y., in 1979, and earned a master of divinity degree from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia in 1984. The seminary is one of eight ELCA seminaries.
Schaefer is married to the Rev. Jennifer Schaefer, who is a pastor at Emmanuel Lutheran in Venice. Together they have three adult children and one grandson.
Information about the ELCA Florida-Bahamas Synod is available at http://www.fbsynod.com.
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About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with more than 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of “God's work. Our hands,” the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer, Martin Luther.
For information contact:
Candice Hill Buchbinder
773-380-2877 or Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org
Living Lutheran: http://www.livinglutheran.com