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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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June 28, 2010

Southeast Michigan bishop resigns

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

In a June 25 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,” Marsh 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 bishop before Marsh’s election.

Olsen “has expressed willingness to serve again in that capacity,” ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson and Synod Vice President Will Scott wrote in a June 25 letter to the synod. Hanson and Scott said that 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 2007-2008, Marsh served as a columnist for The Lutheran.

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