On August 14, 2013, I offered up a Thankoffering. Why August 14th? That was the day the voting members of the ELCA Churchwide Assembly called the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton as the fourth presiding bishop of this church. Why a Thankoffering? The discipline of making Thankofferings helps us regularly recognize God’s presence in the big and small activities of our lives.
Bishop Eaton is a great leader, highly qualified and full of many gifts needed to lead our church in the 21st century, not the least of which is her good humor. It’s also a blessing because she has broken what has been dubbed the “stained glass ceiling” in our church, showing that all roles within the church are open to men and women alike. It’s a blessing because girls (and boys) now know that not only can their gifts be used in ordained ministry, but they can also be used for leading synods and the whole church.
Today we join in prayer and celebration as the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton is installed as the fourth presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. That’s one way women in the church achieve that portion of our Purpose Statement that calls us to support one another in our callings.
A version of this message appears in the Grace Notes column of the November 2013 issue of Gather magazine. It was written by Linda Post Bushkofsky. Today’s installation service is being livestreamed, beginning at 1:30 p.m. (Central).