From the Worldwide Faith News archives

(LWF) Mark S. Hanson Elected LWF President

From "Frank Imhoff" <>
Date Sun, 27 Jul 2003 12:18:45 -0500

LWF Tenth Assembly, Winnipeg, Canada, 21-31 July 2003


Mark S. Hanson Elected LWF President
"Challenge, Encourage, Correct Me, I Lead not Apart but with You"

WINNIPEG, Canada, 26 July, 2003 - The Rev. Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop
of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), was elected president
of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), Saturday, July 26. He was elected on
the first round of a secret-ballot vote, garnering a majority of 267 to 111
votes against the second and only other contender, the Rev. Susan C. Johnson,
vice-president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC). Out of a
total of 379 delegates at the Assembly, 378 cast valid votes. 

Upon his election, Hanson accepted the office "with a great spirit of
humility." * The task for me," he declared, "is to listen, to lead by
learning and accompanying you." He encouraged the representatives of LWF
member churches to "challenge, encourage, correct me . . . I lead not apart
but with you." He concluded that he hopes he never forgets his 22 years as a
parish pastor where the centerpiece of ministry is Word and Sacrament, and so
it should continue to be for the LWF communion. 

At a press conference immediately following his election, Hanson declared
that the new office will allow him to speak even more publicly, with
Lutherans throughout the world, about the economic and military dominance of
the US. But, he added, "The voice of the communion should speak, not just its
On his hopes for dialogue with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) and
the Roman Catholic Church, Hanson said that he is committed to continuing
conversation with both bodies. He ooks forward to the second round of
conversations with the International Lutheran Council in Finland next year,
and stated, "Large churches shouldn't use emerging churches as pawns in power
struggle for Lutheran control."  

With regard to the Roman Catholics, Hanson said, "I'm very heartened *We are
just beginning to experience the fruits of the Joint Declaration on the
Doctrine of Justification, beginning to do catechetical work, and are now in
the difficult dialogue on ecclesiology and nature of ministry. It's
remarkable we've come this far." He expressed the hope that Catholics and
Lutherans could collaborate in some fashion to celebrate the 500th
anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.  

When asked about his plans to encourage the full and equal role of women in
LWF deliberation and actions, he stated, "As men and as men in leadership, we
need to be silent and listen to women and let women lead." Yet he pointed to
the need for sensitivity to each church's historical context, culture and

Hanson declared his commitment to discussions among Lutherans that will
include all points of views. "We should continue amongst ourselves lively
conversations about what it means to be Lutheran." 

Hanson is the eleventh person to hold the position of LWF President since the
Federation was founded in 1947. He will succeed Bishop emeritus of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brunswick, Germany, Dr Christian Krause, whose
term expires at the conclusion of the Assembly next Thursday, July 31. 

A president of the LWF serves a six-year term, from Assembly to Assembly. The
holder of this position represents one of the seven regions of the Federation
namely, Africa, Asia, Central Eastern Europe, Central Western Europe, Nordic
Countries, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America. Krause was
elected at the 1997 Assembly held in Hong Kong, China. 

None of the other six LWF regions nominated a candidate this time.

Mark Hanson, third presiding bishop of the ELCA, was elected to that six-year
pst in August 2001. Born in Minneapolis in 1946, Hanson graduated from
Augsburg College with a B.A. in sociology. He was a Rockefeller Fellow at
Union Theological Seminary, New York City, and received a Master of Divinity
degree there in 1972. He also attended Luther Seminary, St Paul, Minnesota,
and was a Merrill Fellow at Harvard Divinity School in 1979.

Following his ordination in 1974, Bishop Hanson served as pastor of Prince of
Glory Lutheran Church, Minneapolis; Edina (Minnesota) Community Lutheran
Church; and University Lutheran Church of Hope at the University of Minnesota
in Minneapolis. He was elected bishop of the Saint Paul Area Synod in 1995
and had been elected to a second term upon his election as ELCA presiding
Hanson was elected LWF vice-president for North America at the September 2002
Council meeting in Wittenberg, Germany. He serves on the LWF Council, and
Executive Committee. He is a member of the executive board of the National
Council of Churches in the USA. He was president of the Minnesota Council of
Churches from 1998-2000. At the time of his election as presiding bishop, he
was serving as vice chair of the ELCA Conference of Bishops. He is author of
Faithful Yet Changing: The Church in Challenging Times (Augsburg Fortress
His wife Ione (Agrimson) Hanson is a licensed social worker. Most recently,
she was director of social work at Minneapolis and St. Paul Children's
Hospitals. The Hansons are the parents of six children.

LWF Council Elected 
Forty-eight nominees representing the seven LWF regions were elected to the
Council at the organization's Tenth Assembly. 

Africa: Clergy: Marie Barnett (Sierra Leone), Iteffa Gobena (Ethiopia),
Thomas Nyiwe (Cameroon), Zephania Kameeta (Namibia), Nemuel A. Babba
(Nigeria). Lay: Doris Stephen Kitutu (Tanzania), Sindisiwe Ndelu (South
Africa), Angelene Swart (South Africa), Mariette Razivelo (Madagascar), and
Jhon Kundwe Mulanda (Democratic Republic of Congo).  

Asia: Clergy: Chandran Paul Martin (India), Munib A. ounan
(Jordan-Palestine), Jubil Raplan Hutauruk (Indonesia), Julius Paul
(Malaysia). Lay: Kazuhiro Sekino (Japan), Shu-Chen (Selma) Chen (Taiwan, Rep.
of China), Subashini Lal (India), Sophia Judika Hutagalung (Indonesia), Nakei
Siloi (Papua New Guinea), Diadem Depayso (Philippines).

Central Eastern Europe: Clergy: Christoph Klein (Romania), Julius Filo
(Slovak Republic), Alexander Priloutski (Russia). Lay: Milita Poskiene
(Lithuania), Klara Balicza (Hungary).

Central Western Europe: Clergy: Walter Jagucki (Great Britain), Maria Jepsen
(Germany), Claudia Schreiber (Germany), Esther Selle (Germany). Lay: Hedwig
Partaj (Austria), Joachim Track (Germany), Thomas Jensch (Germany), Peter Okr
Stoll (Germany).

Nordic Europe: Clergy: Eero Huovinen (Finland), Anders Wejryd (Sweden). Lay:
Niels Henrik Gregersen (Denmark), Riikka Myllys (Finland), Kristin Thorunn
Tomasdottir (Iceland), Helge Aarseth (Norway).

Latin America/Caribbean: Clergy: Walter Altmann (Brazil), Victoria Cortez
Rodrmguez (Nicaragua). Lay: Sonia Skupch De Amarillo (Argentina), Virginia
Ivanez De Neyeloff (Venezuela).

North America: Clergy: Emmanuel Grantson (U.S.), Barbara Rossing (U.S.),
Raymond Schultz (Canada), David Pfrimmer (Canada). Lay: Abigail Zang (U.S.)

The Tenth Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is taking place
21-31 July 2003 in Winnipeg, Canada, under the theme "For the Healing of the
World." It is being hosted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

There are almost 800 men, women and youth participants in the Tenth Assembly
including 369 delegates from the 133 churches with full membership and three
associate members. The Assembly is the highest decision-making body of the
LWF, and meets normally every six years. Between Assemblies, the LWF is
governed by its Council that meets annually, and by its Executive Committee. 

Further information including photos, video and audio news, is posted on the
Assembly Web site

To order photographs, please contact

*	*	*

The LWF is a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran
tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund (Sweden), the LWF now has 136 member
churches in 76 countries representing over 61.7 million of the 65.4 million
Lutherans worldwide. 

The LWF acts on behalf of its member churches in areas of common interest
such as ecumenical and interfaith relations, theology, humanitarian
assistance, human rights, communication, and the various aspects of mission
and development work. Its secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland.

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