Historic votes, Lutherans elect two African-American women bishops

A synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America made history Saturday (May 5) by electing the denomination’s first female African-American bishop. One day later, a synod 900 miles away elected the second.

First, delegates chose the Rev. Patricia A. Davenport for the office of bishop in Southeastern Pennsylvania, a synod that includes Philadelphia. Then on Sunday, delegates voted for the Rev. Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld, a pastor in Beloit, Wis., to become bishop-elect for the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin.

Read the whole article here.

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Alma mater & church convention

From June 19-21, I attended our Alberta & the Territories Synod Convention at Camrose, held on my alma mater-then Camrose Lutheran College, now Augustana campus, University of Alberta. Those who are convention aficionados know that they can range from exciting, surprising and inspiring to boring and divisive and everything in-between. As a seasoned convention attender, I wouldn’t say this was the most exciting one I’ve ever witnessed, nor was it the most boring-rather, it was somewhere in-between. The most upbeat aspects of the convention for yours truly were: i) re-election of our bishop, the Rev Dr. Larry Kochendorfer on the first ballot; ii) the music and worship services; iii) the opportunity to visit with other colleagues and former parishioners whom I hadn’t seen for some time; iv) the keynote speaker, the Rev. Dr. Alan Roxburgh of the Missional Network, addressing, among other things, the new paradigmatic direction of Christendom in terms of what it means to be “missional,” and where God is leading the Church into the future and possible changes needed to be a part of that journey. Below are a some photos I shot of the ever-changing face of my alma mater campus.

New Performing Arts Centre to open this October

New Performing Arts Centre to open this October

Library with the young Luther statue in foreground

Library with the young Luther statue in foreground

The young Luther statue

The young Luther statue

Sign

Sign

Front shot of Luther statue

Front shot of Luther statue

Classroom building

Classroom building

Glen K. Johnson Faith & Life Centre

Glen K. Johnson Faith & Life Centre

Founder's Hall-in my day it was referred to as Old Main

Founder’s Hall-in my day it was referred to as Old Main

A wheelchair accessible elevator tower will be added to one end of Founder’s Hall.

L-R Colleagues: Rev. Ron & Rev. Dr. Gary

L-R Colleagues: Rev. Ron & Rev. Dr. Gary

Both colleagues helped carry some of our books for the book exchange table at the convention.

Colleague Rev. Howard & delegate Phyllis

Colleague Rev. Howard & delegate Phyllis

Re-elected Bishop Larry

Re-elected Bishop Larry

Synod banner

Synod banner

Elements of creation from each of our Synod Conferences

Elements of creation from each of our Synod Conferences

Synod delegates at work in session

Synod delegates at work in session

Another highlight of the convention was the celebration and recognition of those pastors who have served in the church for 25 years, 40 years, 50 years and 60 years. There were 10 clergy celebrating their 25 anniversary of ordination; 7 clergy celebrating their 40 anniversary of ordination; 6 clergy celebrating their 50 anniversary of ordination; and 3 clergy celebrating their 60 anniversary of ordination. I had the opportunity to chat briefly with the Rev. Barry Lyall, who was one of the 60-year clergy. I was amazed at his health and resilience, he told me that he still enjoys serving as a pulpit supply pastor.

 

Around the Lutheran Blogosphere


Professor Kirby Olson over at Lutheran Surrealism asks whether individual states in the U.S. have the right to overturn federal laws.

Over at On The Fritz you can read a reflection on Rosh Hashanah-Birth of Humankind.

Visit the Sundries Re: Blog  to view a video a Rosh Hashanah Rock Anthem, and a lengthy post titled: “The great financial crisis: A biblical diagnosis.

Read a daily devotion by Pastor Kerry Nelson here.

Over at faith in community, a pastor walks her dog and meets a couple of people, which cause her to pause and ask what attracts people to a congregation?

 

 

Around the Lutheran Blogosphere


Professor Kirby Olson reflects among other things, on the leadership of Moses and Dirk Nowitzki over at Lutheran Surrealism.
Over at Sundries, listen to this Pentecost hymn:“Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist/We now implore the Holy Ghost.
On The Fritz reflects on the Holy Spirit and the hymns of Luther and Hildegard of Bingen and a quote from John Masefield here.
The Rev. Joelle Colville-Hanson muses about a polka mass on Pentecost Sunday here.
Read Pastor Kevin Powell’s book review of The Irresistible Church here.

LWF 11th Assembly

The eleventh assembly of the Lutheran World Federation is meeting in Stuttgart, Germany from July 20-27, 2010. The theme is the petition from the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day/today our daily bread.” You can read more or watch videos about it here.