From the Worldwide Faith News archives

North Americans Choose Nominees for LWF President, Council

From News News <>
Date Fri, 31 Jan 2003 15:01:34 -0600


January 31, 2003


     DENVER (ELCA) -- North American delegates to this summer's
Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Assembly in Winnipeg, Manitoba, selected
the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America (ELCA), as a nominee for LWF president.  Hanson and
other nominees -- to be determined at LWF pre-assembly consultations to
be held on other continents -- will be considered by delegates to the
Winnipeg assembly who will elect a new LWF president to a six-year term,
succeeding the Rev. Christian Krause of Germany.
     In addition, the delegates determined North American nominees for
service on the LWF Council.
     North American delegates, advisors and staff gathered here Jan.
23-26 to learn about the July 21-31 assembly, to discuss possible issues
to be raised at the assembly, and to determine nominees for the LWF
Council and for LWF president.	The delegates represented the ELCA,
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), Lituanian Evangelical
Lutheran Church in Diaspora, Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad
and Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad (based in Germany), all
of whom have congregations in North America and are LWF members.
     Before voting, the pre-assembly consultation participants
identified five characteristics for effective leadership in an LWF
president.  They are an understanding of LWF governances, issues and
structures; ability to exercise leadership to build global communion;
ecumenical expertise and  skill in dialog, ambassador; understanding of
globalization, global economics and Northern-Southern Hemisphere issues;
and ability to communicate theological issues in a global context.
     The delegates selected Hanson on the second ballot as their
nominee for LWF president.  Hanson received 15 votes; the Rev. Susan
Johnson, ELCIC vice president, received three votes; and the Rev.
Timothy Lull, president of the ELCA's Pacific Lutheran Theological
Seminary, Berkeley, Calif., received one vote.
     Hanson led on the first ballot with 10 votes over Johnson with six
votes.	The Rev. Raymond Schultz, ELCIC national bishop, had two votes;
Lull received one vote and Dr. Faith Rohrbaugh, president of the ELCIC's
Saskatoon Seminary, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, had one vote.  There were
10 nominees on the first ballot.
     "I pray that the assembly has as open a process as we had here,"
Hanson told the consultation participants after his nomination.  "I
receive this nomination as the work of the Spirit and the work of the
gathered people."
     If elected LWF president, the volunteer position will be in
addition to his duties as ELCA presiding bishop, to which he was elected
in August 2001, Hanson emphasized.
     Before the voting began, Hanson -- who is presently an LWF vice
president -- admitted he was unsure whether to allow his name for
consideration as a nominee for president, but changed his mind as he
discussed the possibility with several people.
     "I have heard, not only here but from other voices from throughout
the (LWF) communion, there is a desire for leadership from North America
at this time in the LWF's life and work," Hanson said in an interview.
An LWF president from the United States can be a "counterpoint voice" to
messages from the United States that portray great political and
economic power, he added.
     According to the LWF Constitution, the LWF president serves as the
chief official representative and spokesperson of the Federation; chairs
meetings of the LWF assembly, council and executive committee; and
oversees the life and work of the Federation in consultation with the
treasurer and general secretary.
     ELCA and ELCIC delegates determined nominees for the LWF Council,
which serves as the legislative authority of the LWF between assemblies,
held every six years.  The council nominations are expected to the
ratified by the Winnipeg assembly.  The ELCA has four seats on the
council, the ELCIC has one.
     For the ELCA's LWF Council seats, delegates nominated the Rev.
Emmanuel Grantson, pastor of St. Michael's Truth Lutheran Church,
Mitchellville, Md.; the Rev. Barbara Rossing, associate professor of New
Testament, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago; Abigail Zang, student
at the University of Chicago and candidate for ordained ministry in the
ELCA Upstate New York Synod; and Hanson, who is nominated because of his
role as presiding bishop.
     For the ELCIC, Schultz is the nominee because he is ELCIC national
-- -- --
     Information about the LWF Tenth Assembly can be found at on the Web.

For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or NEWS@ELCA.ORG

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