From the Worldwide Faith News archives

H. Gerard Knoche, Bishop of ELCA Delaware-Maryland Synod, to Retire

Date Wed, 29 Jul 2009 16:29:29 -0500

Title: H. Gerard Knoche, Bishop of ELCA Delaware-Maryland Synod, to Retire

>July 29, 2009  

H. Gerard Knoche, Bishop of ELCA Delaware-Maryland Synod, to Retire

CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Rev. H. Gerard Knoche, bishop of the Delaware-
Maryland Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA),
announced he will retire Oct. 31, 2009.

Knoche, 66, was elected bishop of the synod in 2000 and re-elected
to serve another six-year term in 2006.

In a July letter to members of the synod, Knoche said his health has
been a concern for the past few years.

"The synod has been very patient and much in prayer during my past
illnesses, for which I am most grateful," Knoche wrote.  "But after much
discussion and prayer, I have come to the conclusion that the synod needs
a bishop who does not have to devote so much time to self-care when there
is so much synodical work to be done."

Knoche thanked members of the synod for the "privilege of serving"
as bishop.  "God has sustained me in that calling, and for that I give
thanks," he wrote.

"Bishop Knoche has been a clear and strong voice calling the ELCA to
draw upon the depth of our theological foundations while actively
engaging in God's mission.  He consistently calls us to faithful
proclamation of God's Word," said the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding

"He courageously challenges us to confront racism and injustice in
church and society.  Remaining centered in the means of grace and
ecumenically related are hallmarks of Bishop Knoche's leadership.  We
thank God for his servant leadership," Hanson said.

A special synod assembly to elect a new bishop is tentatively
scheduled for January 2010.

Born in Baltimore, Knoche graduated from Harvard College, Cambridge,
Mass.; Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Conn.; and the Lutheran
Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (LTSG), Gettysburg, Pa.  LTSG is one
of eight ELCA seminaries.

Ordained in 1967, Knoche served as assistant pastor of Grace
Lutheran Church, Westminster, Md.; associate chaplain for Gettysburg
College, Gettysburg, Pa.; director for Lutheran Campus Ministry at the
University of Wisconsin, Madison; and pastor of New Hope Lutheran Church,
Columbia, Md.  Gettysburg College is one of 28 ELCA colleges and

>Knoche is the father of two adult children.

The ELCA Delaware-Maryland Synod includes about 88,000 baptized
members in 183 congregations in all of Delaware and most of central
Maryland.  The synod office is in Baltimore.
- - -

Information about the ELCA Delaware-Maryland Synod is at on the Web.

For information contact:

John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or
ELCA News Blog:

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