I only saw the results of the first ballot, so it kind of shocked me when my wife said there was a new Presiding Bishop of the ELCA.
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Northeastern Ohio Synod, was elected Aug. 14 presiding bishop of the ELCA at the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. She was elected on the fifth ballot. There were 889 votes cast, and 445 votes were needed for an election. Eaton received 600 votes and the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop, received 287. Eaton is the ELCA’s first woman presiding bishop-elect.
The churchwide assembly, the chief legislative authority of the ELCA, is meeting here Aug. 12-17 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The theme for the triennial assembly is “Always being made new.” This year marks the 25th anniversary of this church.
“We are a church that is overwhelmingly European in a culture that is increasingly pluralistic. We need to welcome the gifts of those who come from different places, that is a conversation we need to have as a church,” Eaton told the assembly shortly after the election.
Prior to becoming synod bishop, Eaton served as pastor for ELCA congregations in Ohio. She earned a Master’s of divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., and a Bachelor’s degree in music education from the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.
I’m not familiar with Bishop Eaton, but from what I’ve read, I like her already. I can’t wait to see where the ELCA goes from here! I am curious to see how the LCMS will respond to this…but, we’ll cross that path later.
On a total side note, I am totally bummed that I didn’t get to go to Churchwide Assembly this year. It’s always nice to be back in southwestern PA (I grew up in a small town about an hour south of Pittsburgh) and it would have been nice to see a bunch of my friends from seminary. Maybe I’ll get to go to the next one (this is a not so subtile hint for the NW Washington Synod folks)!
- ELCA elects first female presiding bishop (religionnews.com)
- Largest Lutheran group elects 1st female leader (kvue.com)
- Lutherans elect Cuyahoga Falls bishop to head national denomination (ohio.com)
- Eaton elected ELCA Presiding Bishop (swmnelca.wordpress.com)
- Area bishop named to national post (cantonrep.com)
- Largest Lutheran group elects 1st female leader (sfgate.com)
- Largest Lutheran group elects 1st female leader (mysanantonio.com)
- 2013 Churchwide Assembly – Always being made New (swmnelca.wordpress.com)