R. Guy Erwin elected bishop of ELCA Southwest California Synod
6/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Rev. R. Guy Erwin was elected May 31 to a six-
year term as bishop of the Southwest California Synod of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) at the synod’s assembly May 30-June 1
in Woodland Hills, Calif.
Erwin was elected on the sixth ballot receiving 210 votes of 381
cast. The Rev. Scott Maxwell-Doherty, campus pastor at California
Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, Calif., received 171 votes.
The bishop-elect is interim pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in
Canoga Park, Calif., and the Gerhard and Olga Belgum Professor of
Lutheran confessional theology at California Lutheran University in
Thousand Oaks, Calif. The university is one of the ELCA’s 26 colleges and
universities. He serves as the ELCA representative to the Faith and Order
Commission of the World Council of Churches since 2004.
Erwin said he brings a “deep faith in Christ’s presence in his
church lived out in 20 years of parish experience blended with university
and seminary-level teaching. In the years I’ve waited for the day I could
be ordained, I lived out both vocations at the same time. They have been
mutually enriching, and I am a stronger scholar (and a better pastor) for
having done both,” according to his biographical information.
Ordained in May 2011, Erwin is the ELCA’s first synod bishop who is
gay and in a partnered relationship with Rob Flynn, a member of the ELCA.
He is part Osage Indian and is active in the Osage Indian Nation.
From 2010 to 2012, Erwin served as interim pastor for two ELCA
congregations in California. Prior to that, he served as minister for
worship and education at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in North Hollywood,
Calif., principal instructor for the Lutheran Studies Program and
lecturer in church history and historical theology at Yale Divinity
School, New Haven, Conn., from 1993 to 1999. He served as parish
associate at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in New Haven from 1986 to 2000.
Erwin also served on a variety of boards and committees for ELCA-related
institutions and agencies.
Erwin earned a doctorate degree, two master degrees and Bachelor of
Arts degree at Yale University. He engaged in seminary studies at the
University of Tuebingen in Germany and at University of Leipzig in
The ELCA Southwest California Synod is made up more than 120
congregations in five counties. Information about the synod is available
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:
Melissa Ramirez Cooper
773-380-2956 or Melissa.RamirezCooper@ELCA.org
Living Lutheran: http://www.livinglutheran.com