It is a privilege to serve you as our church's presiding bishop. This was certainly true during the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee.
Worship was the center of our week. Gathering each day to hear God's word and receive the Lord's Supper reminded us that we did the work of the assembly as forgiven sinners, reconciled in Christ and sent to proclaim the gospel, joining God's mission of healing. I will long remember the sight of 1,000 worshipers quietly moving to stations for anointing and prayers for healing, to be washed in waters of baptismal remembrance, to talk with the preacher — and to gather again for the eucharist.
Assembly actions reflected continuity, change and challenges. Voting members reflected on — and declined — proposals to change the timetable for decisions on the sexuality studies and to require congregational and synodical approval of some Churchwide Assembly actions. Their decisions reflected a commitment to the current pattern of being one church body in three expressions — congregational, synodical, churchwide — and to the principle of interdependence.
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