ELCA Newshttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/Bryan Penman Elected Bishop of the ELCA Southeastern Pennsylvania Synodhttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/8227https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8227<div class="ExternalClass6EC2B4748CD947ADB82F480C9B56D7C5"><p>​CHICAGO&#160;— The Rev. Bryan J. Penman, Conshohocken, Pa., was elected May 4 to serve a six-year term as bishop of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election took place during the synod assembly, May 3-4 at Franconia Mennonite Church in Telford, Pa.</p><p>Penman&#160;was elected on the fifth ballot, with 203 votes. The Rev. Karl M. Richard, pastor of St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Springfield, Pa., received 122 votes.</p><p>The bishop-elect has served as pastor of St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Conshohocken since 2013 and also as co-director for evangelical mission in the synod since 2022.</p><p>Penman earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and religious studies from Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C., in 2004; his Master of Divinity from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) in 2012; and a certificate in youth and family ministry from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (LTSG). Lenoir-Rhyne is one of 26 ELCA colleges and universities; LTSP and LTSG are now part of United Lutheran Seminary, one of seven ELCA seminaries.</p><p>He will be installed Sept. 14, time and venue to be announced. </p><p>The Rev. Patricia Davenport is retiring after serving as bishop since 2018.</p><p>Information about the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod is available at <a href="https&#58;//ministrylink.org/">ministrylink.org</a>.<br></p><p>- - -</p><p><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with 3 million members in more than 8,600 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of &quot;God's work. Our hands.,&quot; 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.<br><br>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> 773-380-2877<br> <a href="mailto&#58;Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org">Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org</a><br> &#160;</p><p><br></p></div>05/10/2024A pastoral letter on the United Methodist Church General Conferencehttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/8226https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8226<div class="ExternalClass8FC6A1A2A96F47ABA42EB6B79F63F7ED"><p>Dear church,<br></p><p>In 1 Corinthians 12&#58;26 the apostle Paul reminds us that &quot;if one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.&quot; For 15 years we have accompanied our full-communion siblings in the United Methodist Church (UMC) through joyous and challenging times. We know firsthand the pain of debate, disaffiliation and division that they have experienced. Yet we also know the hope-filled renewal of Christ's church.</p><p>Last week the <a href="https&#58;//www.resourceumc.org/en/churchwide/general-conference-2020">UMC General Conference</a>, postponed since 2020, concluded in Charlotte, N.C. With each day's news we witnessed our partner church emerging strengthened, revitalized and united. Several actions will shape the future of the UMC. These include the adoption of a plan for worldwide regionalization to restructure the UMC as a truly equitable, diverse and global church, which now goes to annual conferences for ratification. Regionalization will allow for unity within the worldwide UMC structure, even as members hold diverse opinions on the following actions&#58;</p><ul><li>Lifting a 40-year ban on the ordination of practicing homosexual clergy.</li><li>Lifting restrictions on clergy to officiate at, and on congregations to host, weddings between adults of the same gender.</li><li>Eliminating from the UMC's Social Principles the assertion that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.</li><li>Broadening the definition of marriage to be between either a man and a woman or two consenting adults.<br></li></ul><p>The UMC welcomed over 70 ecumenical guests, who were present when the conference adopted a proposal for full communion with The Episcopal Church (TEC); this now awaits action by the TEC General Convention. Worship included a postponed celebration of full communion with the Moravian Church in America (Northern and Southern provinces), ratified in 2018, and a sermon titled &quot;Christian Unity Matters,&quot; preached by the Rev. Dr. Jerry Pillay, general secretary of the World Council of Churches.</p><p>These significant actions and the UMC's witness to the ecumenical vocation we share come as we celebrate 15 years of full communion. The ELCA rejoices and gives thanks to God for the opportunity to proclaim together, from this point forward, that Christian teaching is for all people and that the gifts of all are welcome and needed to serve Christ's church.</p><p>In unity,</p><p>The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton<br>Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</p><p><br></p><p>For more information see&#58;<br><a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0MIgpdq8Ng">Key Outcomes of the Historic 2024 (postponed 2020) General Conference&#58; Full Wrap-up (youtube.com)</a><br><a href="https&#58;//www.umnews.org/en/category/general-conference">General Conference Articles And Stories From UM News.</a></p><p>- - -</p><p><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with 3 million members in more than 8,600 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of &quot;God's work. Our hands.,&quot; 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.<br> <br></p><p>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> 773-380-2877<br> <a href="mailto&#58;Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org">Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org</a><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p></div>05/08/2024Jen Nagel Elected Bishop of the ELCA Minneapolis Area Synodhttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/8225https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8225<div class="ExternalClass169495B97E424EF28C2A0A5FC91D5F6D"><p>​CHICAGO&#160;— The Rev. Jen Nagel, Minneapolis, Minn., was elected May 4 to serve a six-year term as bishop of the Minneapolis Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election took place during the synod assembly, May 2-4 at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Ramsey, Minn.</p><p>Nagel was elected on the fifth ballot, with 316 votes. The Rev. Natalia Terfa, associate pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Brooklyn Park, Minn., received 146 votes.</p><p>The bishop-elect has served as lead pastor of University Lutheran Church of Hope in Minneapolis since 2015. Previously she served as pastor of Salem English Lutheran Church in Minneapolis (2003 to 2015) and as a teaching staff coordinator at Holden Village, Chelan, Wash. (2011).</p><p>Nagel earned her Bachelor of Arts in religion and classics from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn., in 1994; a certificate of studies from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) in 1999; and a Master of Divinity from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 1998. Concordia is one of 26 ELCA colleges and universities; LSTC is one of seven ELCA seminaries.</p><p>She will be installed Sept. 21 at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.</p><p>The Rev. Ann M. Svennungsen is retiring after serving as bishop since 2012. Her last day will be July 31.</p><p>Information about the Minneapolis Area Synod is available at <a href="https&#58;//mpls-synod.org/">mpls-synod.org</a>.</p><p>- - -</p><p><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with 3 million members in more than 8,600 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of &quot;God's work. Our hands.,&quot; 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.<br> <br><br>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> 773-380-2877<br> <a href="mailto&#58;Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org">Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org</a><br> &#160;</p><p><br></p></div>05/08/2024Susan Briner reelected bishop of ELCA Southwestern Texas Synodhttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/8224https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8224<div class="ExternalClass3A756F00F2094094BDA1EC6AE08B9A7B"><p>​CHICAGO&#160;—The Rev. Susan J. Briner, Seguin, Texas, was reelected May 5 to serve a six-year term as bishop of the Southwestern Texas Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election was held during the synod assembly, May 3-5, at the Omni Hotel in Corpus Christi, Texas.</p><p>Briner was reelected on the fifth ballot, with 146 votes. The Rev. Michael C. Coffey, lead interim pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Brenham, Texas, received 104 votes.</p><p>Briner was elected bishop of the Southwestern Texas Synod in 2018. She previously served as a bishop's associate in the synod (2012 to 2018) and as pastor of St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Summerville, S.C. (2003 to 2012). </p><p>The bishop earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from Duke University in Durham, N.C., in 1984, and a Master of Divinity degree from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS) in Columbia, S.C., in 2003. LTSS is one of seven ELCA seminaries.</p><p>Information about the Southwestern Texas Synod is available at <a href="http&#58;//www.swtsynod.org/">swtsynod.org/</a>.<br></p><p>- - -</p><p><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with 3 million members in more than 8,600 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of &quot;God's work. Our hands.,&quot; 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.<br> <br>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> 773-380-2877<br> <a href="mailto&#58;Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org">Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org</a><br> &#160;</p><p><br></p></div>05/07/2024Timothy Oslovich Elected Bishop of the ELCA Alaska Synodhttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/8223https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8223<div class="ExternalClass0353148A50464FADB78C7AED3A23780D"><p>​</p><p>CHICAGO (April 30, 2024) — The Rev. Timothy R. Oslovich, Vernon, Conn., was elected April 27 to serve a six-year term as bishop of the Alaska Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election took place during the synod assembly, April 26-28, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Anchorage.</p><p>Oslovich was elected on the fifth ballot, with 52 votes. The Rev. Susan Halvor, manager of the Spiritual Care Department at Providence Alaska Medical, Anchorage, received 49 votes.</p><p>The bishop-elect has served as pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Vernon since 2003. From 1997 to 2003, he was pastor of Shishmaref Lutheran Church in Shishmaref, Alaska, and from 2009 until this year he was an adjunct professor at Bay Path University, Longmeadow, Mass.</p><p>Oslovich earned his Bachelor of Arts in political science from Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pa., in 1991; a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., in 1993; and a Master of Divinity from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (now United Lutheran Seminary) in 1997. United is one of seven ELCA seminaries. In 2008, Oslovich earned a graduate certificate in nonprofit management from Bay Path. </p><p>He will take office July 1 and be installed Aug. 24 in Anchorage (location to be determined).</p><p>The Rev. Shelley R. Wickstrom is retiring after serving as bishop since 2012. Her last day will be June 30.</p><p>Information about the Alaska Synod is available at <a href="https&#58;//www.elcaalaska.net/">elcaalaska.net/</a>.</p><p>&#160;</p><p>- - -</p><p><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with 3 million members in more than 8,600 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of &quot;God's work. Our hands.,&quot; 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.<br> <br></p><p>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> 773-380-2877<br> <a href="mailto&#58;Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org">Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org</a><br> <br></p><p><br></p></div>05/01/2024Meghan Johnston Aelabouni Elected Bishop of ELCA Rocky Mountain Synodhttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/8222https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8222<div class="ExternalClassF3C53831610643508F810EC62D1A9BFE"><p>​CHICAGO — The Rev. Meghan Johnston Aelabouni, Jerusalem, was elected April 27 to serve a six-year term as bishop of the Rocky Mountain Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election took place during the synod assembly, April 25-27, at the Embassy Suites in Loveland, Colo.</p><p>Johnston Aelabouni was elected on the fifth ballot, with 232 votes. The Rev. Barbara Berry-Bailey, pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Denver, and special assistant to the synod bishop for diversity, equity and inclusion, received 148 votes.</p><p>The bishop-elect has served as pastor of Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem and as theologian in residence with the ELCA Middle East and North Africa Desk since 2021. Previously she has served as country coordinator for Jerusalem and the West Bank with ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission (2019-2021); co-pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Fort Collins, Colo. (2010-2016); and associate pastor of Christus Victor Lutheran Church, Elk Grove Village, Ill. (2007-2010).</p><p>Johnston Aelabouni earned her Bachelor of Arts in religion and English from California Lutheran University (CLU), Thousand Oaks, Calif., in 2001, and a Master of Divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) in 2006. CLU is one of 26 ELCA colleges and universities; LSTC is one of seven ELCA seminaries. In 2021 she earned a doctorate in religion from the Iliff School of Theology and the University of Denver.</p><p>Johnston Aelabouni will take office Aug. 1. She will be installed Oct. 5 at Augustana Lutheran Church in Denver.</p><p>The Rev. James W. Gonia is retiring after serving as bishop since 2012. His last day will be July 31.</p><p>Information about the Rocky Mountain Synod is available at <a href="https&#58;//www.rmselca.org/">rmselca.org/</a>.</p><p>- - -</p><p><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with 3 million members in more than 8,600 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of &quot;God's work. Our hands.,&quot; 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.<br><br>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> 773-380-2877<br> <a href="mailto&#58;Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org">Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org</a><br> &#160;</p><p><br></p></div>04/30/2024