Tags: Lutheran | Group | Female | Leader

Largest Lutheran Group Elects 1st Female Leader

Wednesday, 14 Aug 2013 10:51 PM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The nation's largest Lutheran group elected its first woman as presiding bishop on Wednesday.

The Rev. Elizabeth Eaton was chosen as head of the liberal-leaning Evangelical Lutheran Church in America during its national legislative meeting in Pittsburgh. Eaton won on the fifth ballot with 600 votes, defeating the incumbent, the Rev. Mark Hanson, who is finishing his second six-year term. Hanson received 287 votes.

Eaton, a bishop from the northeastern Ohio district, is taking over leadership of the more than 4 million-member denomination at a time of major transition. In 2009, the denomination cleared the way for openly gay and lesbian ordination, causing losses in a church that, like some Protestant groups, had already been losing members for years. The Chicago-based denomination has trimmed jobs and restructured while redirecting resources into evangelization, especially to Latinos and other groups.

Eaton, at a news conference after she was elected, urged Lutherans to be welcoming to newcomers in their churches. She insisted the denomination could stay unified despite differences over what the Bible says about same-sex relationships.

"We're not defined by that single issue," Eaton said. "We don't agree on everything in this church, but we do agree on the cross of Christ, and we do agree we're going to stick together to have that conversation."

Eaton, a Cleveland native, is bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod. She's a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and the College of Wooster. Her husband is an Episcopal priest, and they have two daughters.

Eaton said she wept during morning worship Wednesday. The balloting had begun the day before, indicating she had a chance to win.

"This is a huge change for me, for my staff, for my family, for my church," she said. "My mother — everyone in her retirement center now knows she is the mother of the presiding bishop elect."

Hanson, in brief remarks to reporters, congratulated Eaton and expressed confidence in her leadership.

"This call process was a call process for new leadership," Hanson said. "In our history we have never looked back. We have always looked ahead."

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Paul Ryan 2016: 7 Key Political Positions of GOP Presidential Hopeful

Monday, 22 Dec 2014 17:20 PM

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan has not yet confirmed whether he intends to run for president in 2016 but as he was recently chosen  . . .

Poll Finds Large Racial Divide in Belief Justice Is Colorblind

Monday, 22 Dec 2014 16:50 PM

White Americans are more likely to believe the criminal justice system is colorblind than non-whites, with 57 percent of . . .

Arpaio Sues Over Amnesty; Boehner Hints House May Be Next

Monday, 22 Dec 2014 16:16 PM

If you want to sue President Obama over his executive order granting amnesty from deportation to five million illegal al . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved