“For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another” (Romans 12:4-5).

From Wednesday – Friday of last week the ELCA Conference of Bishops met for our Annual Spring meeting. Ordinarily, we gather at the Lutheran Center in Chicago, but this is no ordinary time. Our meeting was virtual, and we were led by Bishop Tracie Bartholomew (New Jersey), who serves as the Chair of the Conference of Bishops.

Some highlights of our time together include:

  • Inspiring Worship
  • Welcoming new bishops and bidding farewell to retiring bishops (There will be seven new bishops elected in 2021)
  • Reviewed the updates and changes to the most recent draft of Definitions and Guidelines for Discipline.
  • Learned about the Intercultural Development Inventory for helping synods and parishes grow in their cultural competency
  • Celebrated that 2020 Mission Support remained steady through a global pandemic. The Northwestern Ohio Synod was commended for sharing $735,896 in 2020 for ELCA Churchwide mission and ministry
  • Bishop Eaton is encouraged by the generosity and resiliency of the ELCA. She is hopeful that we will live into the ELCA’s new mission together, which is, “Activate each of us so more people know the way of Jesus and discover community, justice and love”.
  • Learned more about the Future Church Design and the bold goal to “Share the story of Jesus and the ELCA by engaging with 1 million new people as we grow the church together”.
  • Spent time in deliberation and conversation around the question, “What are some of the values that we hold in common across the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America?”

To view a short video (1:17) of Bishop Eaton highlighting the most recent Conference of Bishops meeting, please click here.