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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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April 11, 2013

Wisconsin synod continues to express grief

An April 11 letter posted on the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin website said its leaders and members “continue to express sorrow and sympathy for the family of Maureen Mengelt, who died April 7 when she was struck by the vehicle of Bishop Bruce Burnside, who was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide while intoxicated.”

The statement was signed by Eric Peterson, synod vice president, and Blake Rohrer, assistant to the bishop.

“We pray that God will comfort the Mengelt family — especially Maureen’s husband, Kevin, and her children, Megan, Andrew and Allyson — and surround them with peace and grace,” the statement continued. “We ask for prayers for all those left to grieve the death of one of God's dear children. Our sadness for the untimely death of Maureen Mengelt is too great to be adequately expressed.”

According to the statement, Burnside was released on bond and entered an inpatient treatment facility April 11. The synod council confirmed temporary appointment of Rohrer as acting bishop until an interim is appointed.

“Please continue to pray for all those affected by this unfortunate tragedy,” the letter said. “We live in the trust that nothing can separate us from God’s love, and we pray that God’s love will sustain us all today, and in the days ahead.”

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