The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


ELCA ‘made new’

Dramatic elections, campaign highlight Pittsburgh gathering

Photographs by Julie Fletcher

What looked to be a routine Churchwide Assembly in Pittsburgh, Aug. 12-17, turned out to be anything but with the election of the ELCA's first female presiding bishop and adoption of a national fundraising campaign.

Not to be outdone, election of the denomination's secretary went to a fifth ballot — the maximum — as did the presiding bishop election. Further, the assembly adopted a social statement on criminal justice with just two amendments and no extended debate.

Many had forecasted a less-than-dramatic and short national gathering. Instead, voting members opted not to give Mark S. Hanson a third six-year term as presiding bishop, turning to a new occupant in that office, Elizabeth A. Eaton, bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod.

Wm Chris Boerger, outgoing bishop of the Northwest Washington Synod, takes over the Office of the Secretary from fellow Seattle-area resident David D. Swartling. Boerger was selected in an election with Michael Cooper-White, president of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (Pa.).

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