On Saturday, September 26, 2020 our East Central Synod of Wisconsin hosted its first virtual synod assembly. The main focus of our business was to have the election of bishop. Not to be overshadowed, it is also the year that we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women. The 40th anniversary for the ordination of women of color. It’s hard to believe it took ten more years for this to happen. And the 10th Anniversary of the ordination of LGBT people was permitted. Signs of gender justice does not all happen at the same time. This is a year of reckoning. A year of coming to grips. And a year of realizing just how people (men or patriarchy in this case) seek power and how we use language, labels and isms to retain our place in this world. It all comes at the expense of another.
There is a great deal of excitement to share about the election and about how the Holy Spirit works through the process of voting and hearing from our candidates. On this 50-40-10 year, this is the year our synod has elected our first female bishop. I am happy to announce God’s love coming to life in the election of Anne Edison-Albight will be our next bishop, beginning Dec 1.
Here is the bio of our Bishop-Elect
As we welcome Bishop-Elect Anne, we also must say farewell and Godspeed to Bishop Gerald Mansholt. Bishop Mansholt has served us for the past six years. He began as our interim bishop and was then elected as our local Bishop for the last 4 and half years. His love of God and love of the church has been seen in many ways, but most specifically through his work of listening deeply to God and to the other. Bishop Mansholt has been working on the Arise campaign to raise money to help support the synod send leaders to seminary and bolster ministry opportunities of our laity. We wish him Godspeed as the Spirit directs his next steps to serve the church.
I celebrate with my female colleagues and with the women of the church who revel with great joy and relief this milestone. God can use anyone to spread the good news message and I look forward to what God has in store for our synod in the days ahead.
Christ's Blessings & Peace,