Welcome Bishop Eaton!

Sunday, July 26, 2015 is a day to Rejoice!  We continue to celebrate 150 years of God's faithfulness through the ministry of First Lutheran Church and we welcome our ELCA presiding bishop, The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, as we give God thanks through worship today.  Bishop Eaton was elected to a six-year term at the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Pittsburgh. Prior to this historical election, she served as pastor for congregations in Ohio and as bishop of the ELCA Northeastern Ohio Synod from 2006 until her election as presiding bishop. Her experience in local ministry and issues of global concern reflect the ELCA's commitment to working as a partner and influence across denominations, faiths and organizations.

We're happy to have Bishop Eaton with us in the role of preacher on Rejoice Sunday. She has just returned from the ELCA Youth Gathering in Detroit and from the Worship Jubilee of the ELCA and Biennial Conference of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians in Atlanta. In addition to fulfilling such roles as preacher, teacher and administrator of the sacraments, which traditionally belong to the ELCA Office of the Presiding Bishop, the presiding bishop also serves as president and chief executive officer of the corporation and oversees the staff, budget and overall administration of the church. The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with more than 3.8 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region.

Bishop Eaton chairs the triennial Churchwide Assembly and provides for the preparation of agendas for the assembly, the ELCA Church Council and its executive committee, the ELCA Conference of Bishops, and the Cabinet of Executives at churchwide ministries. The presiding bishop is also the chief ecumenical officer of this church and provides leadership and care for the bishops of this church's 65 synods. In addition, the presiding bishop is often called upon to make theological statements and write letters to world leaders when global relations impact the life of Christians and neighbors throughout the world. 

Every function of the Office of the Presiding Bishop serves to support and guide members of this church as we wonder, discover and boldly participate in what God is up to in the world. It is an honor and a delight to have Bishop Eaton with us as we celebrate that we are the church that shares a living, daring confidence in God's grace. Welcome Bishop Eaton!