Friday, June 22, 2007

ELCIC has a new National Bishop

It took six ballots but the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada has a new National Bishop. Rev. Susan Johnson, assistant to Eastern Synod Bishop Michael Pryse has been declared the winner in this slugfest.

While Susan and I have our differences, I know that she is a faithful pastor and hard worker for Christ’s church.

God’s blessing and wisdom be with you, Bishop-elect Susan!

Here's the news release:

Winnipeg, 22 June 2007--Delegates at the Eleventh Biennial National Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) have elected Rev. Susan Johnson, Assistant to the Bishop of the Eastern Synod, as the new National Bishop of the ELCIC. The election occurred on the sixth and final ballot for Bishop.

Bishop-elect Johnson will succeed National Bishop Raymond Schultz who announced in January of this year that he will retire as of September 1, 2007. Bishop Schultz has been serving as National Bishop for six years. He was elected for a four-year term at the 2005 Convention but announced his retirement half-way through the term due to personal and health reasons.

Bishop-elect Johnson is not new to the work of the National Office, from 2001-2005, she served as Vice-President of the ELCIC. In addition to her role as Assistant to the Bishop of the Eastern Synod (which she has served since 1994), Bishop-elect Johnson has served as an advisor to The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Council since 1998, as a member of the North American Regional Committee for LWF since 2005, on the Leadership Development Task Force from 2005-2006 and on a variety of boards and committees both at the national and synodical level.

Delegates have been deliberating on the election of the National Bishop for most of Friday; business sessions on other matters, such as the introduction of a new Stewardship of Creation Initiative (an environmental action plan for the church) and greetings from a number of international partners and guests have been interspersed between ballots.

"I'm just overwhelmed and honoured by this incredible honour," said Bishop-elect Johnson upon the announcement. "I promise to be all that I can to help us together to be In Mission for Others."

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