10/14/2016 12:00:00 AM

CHICAGO (ELCA) – The Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) approved the redesign of the first-call process and continued discerning the church’s future priorities in a process known as “Called Forward Together in Christ” when it met here Sept. 27 – Oct. 4.

The conference, an advisory body of the ELCA that includes 65 synod bishops, the ELCA presiding bishop and ELCA secretary, gathered for worship and study and to continue its conversation on a variety of church matters, such as theological education, pastora  l care and more.

“Even as we engaged the serious and important matters that we and the rest of the church face these days, the spirit of this Conference of Bishops meeting was especially positive, even joyful at times,” stated the Rev. William O. Gafkjen, bishop of the ELCA Indiana-Kentucky Synod and chair of the ELCA Conference of Bishops.

“We spent significant time discussing the emerging future directions priorities, as well as topics like the implementation of the recommendations of the Theological Education Advisory Council, and we also continued to take significant steps forward in building strong and mutually beneficial working relationships with staff of the churchwide organization, members of the ELCA Church Council and seminary leaders,” he said.

First-call process

After a year of discernment, the Conference of Bishops approved the redesign of the first-call assignment process. The team, led by the Rev. Patricia Lull, bishop of the ELCA Saint Paul Area Synod, and a representative bishop from each of the nine regions, presented six recommendations for the new process

For more on these recommendations go to ELCA.org

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