The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Table grace

To understand Mark S. Hanson, the ELCA's new presiding bishop, you need to imagine three tables around which he has received great grace. The tables in Hanson's life offer clues about who he is — and the kind of leader he hopes to be.

Charismatic in speech and expansive when answering questions, Hanson rapidly picked up votes after the bishop nominees addressed the assembly following the second and third ballots. It's not surprising to learn his father was a Lutheran evangelist (also president of the Lutheran Bible Institute), who later lost his voice to Parkinson's disease.

But during an interview the day after his election, Hanson quiets himself and warms with obvious affection as he describes the intimacy of three tables.

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March issue

MARCH issue:

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