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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Southeast Michigan bishop resigns

Stephen G. Marsh resigned as bishop of the ELCA Southeast Michigan Synod , effective June 28.

In a letter to the synod, Marsh shared that he is "dealing with a number of emotional health issues which include addiction issues, and must now enter an inpatient setting [for] the space and safety to heal."

Marsh said he was "deeply sorry" his situation had led to "another period of trauma, anxiety and concern" for the synod. "I will continue to pray for the forward and missional movement of the Southeast Michigan Synod, and I ask that you continue to pray for me in my healing and my future ministry," he wrote.

Marsh, 55, was elected bishop in 2009, succeeding John H.K. Schreiber, who died in August 2008.

Kenneth R. Olsen, former bishop of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod, served as interim before Marsh's election. Olsen "has expressed willingness to serve again in that capacity," ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson and Will Scott, synod vice president, wrote in a June 25 letter to the synod.

Hanson and Scott said Marsh had also sought treatment for addiction issues in 2009.

The two thanked Marsh for his service and asked for "individual and collective prayers for his full recovery."

From 2007 to 2008, Marsh served as a lead columnist for The Lutheran.


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