ELCA NEWS SERVICE
April 28, 2012
James Gonia elected bishop of ELCA Rocky Mountain Synod
CHICAGO (ELCA) - The Rev. James W. Gonia, West Dundee, Ill., was elected April 28 to a six-year term as bishop of the Rocky Mountain Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Gonia was elected on the fifth ballot during the synod assembly April 26-28 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Gonia is program director for West Africa, Tanzania and Madagascar at ELCA churchwide ministries. He will be installed as bishop Sept. 23 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Denver.
On the fifth ballot, Gonia received 263 votes and the Rev. Bruce Kuenzel, Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Los Alamos, N.M., received 175. Of the 438 votes cast, 220 votes were required for an election.
On the fourth ballot Gonia received 216 votes, Kuenzel received 117, and the Rev. Steven Loy, pastor of Peace Lutheran Church in Las Cruces, N.M., received 116.
Gonia was associate pastor of Atonement Lutheran Church in Denver from 1999 to 2009. From 1988 to 1998, he was an ELCA missionary in Madagascar, a regional evangelism co-director and teacher and director of Betela Seminary there.
Gonia received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Ind., in 1982; a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Northwestern Seminary (now Luther Seminary) in 1988; and a Master of Theology degree in Islamic studies at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., in 1997. Luther is one of eight ELCA seminaries.
Information about the ELCA Rocky Mountain Synod is available at http://www.rmsELCA.org.
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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 4.2 million members in 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:
Melissa Ramirez Cooper
773-380-2956 or Melissa.RamirezCooper@ELCA.org
Living Lutheran: http://www.livinglutheran.com