Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Elizabeth Eaton Elected

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has been blessed with good leadership from its inception 25 years ago. I have held its three Presiding Bishops--Herb Chilstrom, H. George Anderson, and Mark Hanson--in high regard. Today, in a historic vote, we elected our first non-Minnesotan, Elizabeth Eaton. 

Oh, Bishop Eaton also happens to be female. 

The ELCA has often upset certain sectors of Christianity, never moreso than in 2009 when our Churchwide Assembly voted to allow congregations to call qualified pastors living in life-long, covenanted, monogamous same-sex relationships. Our commitment to God's grace and Christian freedom, and our respect for the believers' bound conscience don't satisfy everyone. 

I have noted before that some Christians disapprove of women serving in positions of church leadership. I have already seen a snarky tweet from one such group. It is, I suppose, to be expected. 

As a voting member of the Churchwide Assembly I can say honestly that I believe Bishop Eaton was elected because, of the candidates who emerged, she was the one who seemed best, to a majority of the Assembly, to lead the ELCA at this juncture. She seems to be a gifted, faithful, visionary leader who also happens to be female. 

I am pleased to be a part of the ELCA. i am thankful for the ministries of our three previous Presiding Bishops. I pray God's blessings on our Presiding Bishop-elect. 

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