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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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'My dear twin sister church'

National bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada addresses assembly

Susan Johnson, national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, told the Churchwide Assembly she'd been reading Abraham Verghese's Cutting for Stone, an account of conjoined twins separated soon after birth. It made Johnson think of her church and the ELCA.

"Together in predecessor church bodies we underwent a process of mitosis and have been sister churches growing side by side," she said, referring to a decades-old separation between U.S. and Canadian Lutherans.

Julie Fletcher
Susan Johnson, national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.

She then listed recent ELCIC actions, including restructuring, moving to triennial conventions, merging some synods, committing to right relationships with indigenous people, and adopting a social statement on human sexuality. "Kind of sounds familiar, eh?" she asked the assembly.

"We are freed in Christ to serve, but sometimes the call to serve feels overwhelming and lonely," Johnson said. "That is why we have partners. ... Thank you, my dear twin sister church, for our shared history and for the promise of walking together in a shared future — freed in Christ to serve."


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