• Alton Zenker, 72, was named interim bishop of the Grand Canyon Synod, effective Feb. 15, following Michael Neils’ resignation as bishop and as an ELCA pastor on Jan. 24. Neils resigned after admitting to sexual misconduct with an adult woman during his call as bishop (March, page 51). Zenker, Hot Springs Village, Ark., is a former bishop of the Central/Southern Illinois Synod.
• A 2006 proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Minnesota is getting plenty of press and uniting congregations. An alliance in Duluth called “Opening Our Doors” includes Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, which voted at its annual meeting to oppose the amendment. “This fits into our wider and deeper church mission—to advocate social justice for the poor, hungry and outcast,” David M. Carlson, pastor, told the Duluth Budgeteer News. The Northeastern Minnesota Synod office isn’t aware of an ELCA congregation that has formally taken an opposing stance.
• On Feb. 10, Paul C. Pribbenow, president of Rockford [Ill.] College, was elected the 11th president of Augsburg College, Minneapolis. Pribbenow will succeed William V. Frame, who retires this summer.
• Gail and Arthur White, members of Atonement Lutheran Church, Wyomissing, Pa., were hoping for a miracle—a kidney for Arthur, according to the Reading [Pa.] Eagle. So they wrote to the Berks Mission District, a coalition of 47 Lutheran churches in Berks County, Pa. The request was opened by Dawn Baxter, the coalition’s office administrator and a member of Allegheny Lutheran Church, Knauers, Pa., who decided to offer her kidney. On a Monday, Baxter went in for tissue tests; on Wednesday she sent Arthur one red rose with a note: “Time to celebrate, we are compatible.” The transplant was in November, and the Whites joined the Baxters for Christmas Eve worship at their church.
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