The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Bishop elections


Elected: Thomas M. Aitken, 52, as bishop of the Northeastern Minnesota Synod, effective Aug. 1.

When: May 4 on the fifth ballot with 254 votes. Lynn R. Ronsberg, a pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids, Minn., received 153 votes.

Bio: Pastor of Bethany (Loman) and First (International Falls) Lutheran churches in Minnesota. Also served Immanuel (Hillman) and First (Brainerd) Lutheran churches in Minnesota.

Replaces: E. Peter Strommen, who served 12 years and was ineligible for re-election.


Elected: Robert A. Rimbo, 57, as bishop of the Metropolitan New York Synod, effective Aug. 1.

When: May 17 on the fifth ballot with 236 votes. Robert G. Wollenburg, assistant to the synod bishop, received 232 votes. There were seven abstaining votes.

Bio: Pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, New York, and former bishop of the Southeast Michigan Synod. Also served St. Paul (Valley Stream, N.Y.), St. James (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.) and Antioch (Farmington Hills, Mich.) Lutheran churches.

Replaces: Stephen Bouman, who left to become executive director of ELCA Evangelical Outreach and Congregational Mission.

Elected: Michael L. Burk, 53, as bishop of the Southeastern Iowa Synod, effective Aug. 1.

When: May 17 on the fourth ballot with 312 votes. Kurt R. Nordby, assistant to the synod bishop and director of Illowa Lutheran Coalition in Rock Island, Ill., received 92 votes.

Bio: Executive of ELCA Worship and Liturgical Resources. Also served Zion (Dysart), St. Paul (Waverly), Holy Trinity (Newton) and Zion (Iowa City) Lutheran churches in Iowa.

Replaces: Philip L. Hougen, who is retiring.

Elected: Herman R. Yoos III, 56, as bishop of the South Carolina Synod, effective Aug. 1.

May 18 on the fifth ballot with 351 votes. Melvin E. Amundson, assistant to the synod bishop, received 243 votes.

A pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Columbia, S.C. Also served St. Mark (Charlotte, N.C.) and Redeemer (Charleston, S.C.) Lutheran churches.

David A. Donges, who is retiring.


Elected: Samuel R. Zeiser, 56, as bishop of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod, effective Aug. 1.

When: May 31, on the fifth ballot, with 366 votes. Mary W. Gade, pastor of Ziegels Lutheran Church, Breinigsville, Pa., received 289 votes.

Bio: Pastor of Christ Lutheran Church, Allentown, Pa. Also served St. John (Nanticoke), Prince of Peace (Bangor) and Bethany (West Reading) Lutheran churches in Pennsylvania.

Replaces: David R. Strobel, who is retiring.





Peter Rogness, 62, as bishop of the St. Paul Area Synod , May 30, by 319 votes with 304 needed for election.


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February issue


Embracing diversity