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Many factors led to woman's election as Lutheran bishop
The Reading Eagle ^ | 31 August AD 2013 | John W. Smith

Posted on 08/31/2013 11:40:13 AM PDT by lightman

How did Elizabeth Eaton pull off the year's biggest surprise in Pittsburgh, not counting the Pirates?

The unheralded bishop of Northeastern Ohio beat out the two-term incumbent, Mark Hanson, by better than 2-1 for the office of presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, despite trailing him by a 19-1 margin on the first (nominating) ballot. Let us count the ways.

These Mainline Lutherans turned out to be literalists. The convention theme, as veteran attendee Eric Shafer pointed out last week, was "Always Being Made New." Thus many delegates decided to uphold Isaiah 43:19 and "do a new thing," enforcing unofficial term limits.

There was a feeling that a woman should have a shot at the top job. After all, the Episcopalians, the Lutherans' covenant partner, did just that in their last election. Four of Hanson's six challengers who qualified for the second ballot were women. Ann Rodgers, award-winning religion editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, cited "reports of an organized effort to elect a female."

You have to be known outside your own synod to get enough second-ballot votes to make it to the gang of seven. Northeastern Ohio had 14 elected delegates. Where did she get the other votes? I called the Rev. David Anderson, Medina, Ohio, who was runner-up to Eaton in the 2006 synod bishop election, and has family ties both to Lancaster County and her former church. He said Eaton, through speaking engagements, especially with women, had become known and liked in adjoining synods.

Eaton decisively trailed Jessica Crist, the bishop of Montana and nationally known as chairman of the Council of Bishops, on the first two ballots. According to Rodgers, Crist and the other women were perceived as being more liberal than Hanson or Eaton.

Then there's the snowball effect. Eaton's totals went from 23 to 87 to 345 to 523 to 600. "I just wanted there to be a conversation about the new bishop," she told Rodgers. "I didn't think it would get this far out of hand."

The biggest reason: By all accounts, Eaton made the best presentation among the candidates prior to the third ballot, where her total quadrupled. "She was the only one to directly address concerns of theological conservatives," Rodgers wrote. "She said that she supported the decision to allow partnered gay clergy but respected those of a different understanding of Scripture and doctrine" and wants to give them a voice and room.

Eaton's sense of humor also came out. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer reported that in the presentation she was asked what theologian she'd like to share a beer with. She said St. Paul wouldn't be much fun and Martin Luther would talk too much, so she settled for her mother. She has said one of her qualifications for filling bishop responsibilities is that she really likes chicken.

Said Anderson: "I was surprised at first, but after the second ballot, it was no surprise at all. She has such a dynamic presence and speaks from the heart so openly. She'll be a wonderful face for the ELCA."

Next week: One more big reason?

Contact John W. Smith: 610-371-5007 or jsmith@readingeagle.com.


TOPICS: Current Events; Mainline Protestant; Ministry/Outreach
KEYWORDS: bishop; eaton; elca; lutheran
Presiding Bishop-elect Eaton will take office on All Saints' Day; very fitting in that one of her first ministries was as Associate Pastor of All Saints' Lutheran in Worthington, Ohio.
1 posted on 08/31/2013 11:40:13 AM PDT by lightman
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To: aberaussie; Aeronaut; aliquando; AlternateViewpoint; AnalogReigns; Archie Bunker on steroids; ...


Lutheran (ELCA) Ping!

Be rooted in Christ!

2 posted on 08/31/2013 11:42:40 AM PDT by lightman (Prosecute the heresies; pity the heretics.)
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To: lightman

Women ministers is one of the first indications that a church is headed for death.


3 posted on 08/31/2013 11:46:58 AM PDT by kaehurowing
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To: lightman
Eaton's sense of humor also came out. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer reported that in the presentation she was asked what theologian she'd like to share a beer with. She said St. Paul wouldn't be much fun and Martin Luther would talk too much, so she settled for her mother. She has said one of her qualifications for filling bishop responsibilities is that she really likes chicken.

Not to mention that either of those men would have crushed her in any theological discussion. In short another disgrace for the elcans.

4 posted on 08/31/2013 12:18:18 PM PDT by xone
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To: lightman; HoosierDammit; red irish; fastrock; NorthernCrunchyCon; UMCRevMom@aol.com; Finatic; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

5 posted on 08/31/2013 12:19:20 PM PDT by narses
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To: lightman
"She was the only one to directly address concerns of theological conservatives," Rodgers wrote. "She said that she supported the decision to allow partnered gay clergy but respected those of a different understanding of Scripture and doctrine" and wants to give them a voice and room.

Gee, that's nice. Translation: They're going to have more and more gay partnered clergy, but if conservatives object, they are welcome to go into a closet and complain about it.

she was asked what theologian she'd like to share a beer with. She said St. Paul wouldn't be much fun and Martin Luther would talk too much, so she settled for her mother.

Ha, ha, ha.

6 posted on 08/31/2013 12:28:37 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: lightman
This woman sounds like a moron. She likes chicken? How on EARTH is that germane to the issue of whether or not she'd make a good bishop?
7 posted on 08/31/2013 12:31:39 PM PDT by Celtic Cross (The brain is the weapon; everything else is just accessories. --FReeper Joe Brower)
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To: lightman; mickie; flaglady47
The name of the above writer, John Smith, is just an alias.

The article was really written by Chrissy Matthews, who now has a tingle running up his other leg as he gleefully contemplates a woman bishop thumbing her nose at traditional Lutherans.

Leni

8 posted on 08/31/2013 12:32:19 PM PDT by MinuteGal
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To: lightman

This didn’t work out so well for the Episcopalians, did it?


9 posted on 08/31/2013 12:43:44 PM PDT by carriage_hill (Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading.)
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To: xone

And most tragic of all, the ALPB (conservative publication) correspondent talked to several Bishops who said essentially that she was “the best we could hope for.”

The best.

Lord, have mercy.


10 posted on 08/31/2013 12:44:50 PM PDT by lightman (Prosecute the heresies; pity the heretics.)
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To: carriage_hill
This didn’t work out so well for the Episcopalians, did it?,

Can you say, "monkey see, monkey do"

I knew you could.

11 posted on 08/31/2013 12:45:40 PM PDT by lightman (Prosecute the heresies; pity the heretics.)
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To: Celtic Cross; Charles Henrickson

It doesn’t...but she is still a small improvement over the one she replaces.

Nevertheless, the gender is wrong. Do not look for an significant improvement in relations with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Roman Catholics, and the Orthodox.


12 posted on 08/31/2013 12:48:49 PM PDT by lightman (Prosecute the heresies; pity the heretics.)
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To: lightman; carriage_hill

What is Bishop Eaton’s email address? I used google, to look for it, but I couldn’t find it.


13 posted on 08/31/2013 12:58:11 PM PDT by PhilCollins
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To: kaehurowing

Absolutely. It’s also one of the quickest ways for liberalism to gain a foothold in the church.


14 posted on 08/31/2013 1:02:01 PM PDT by kildak
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To: PhilCollins

Try the clergy directory on http://www.elca.org or search for the Northeast Ohio Synod.


15 posted on 08/31/2013 1:07:45 PM PDT by lightman (Prosecute the heresies; pity the heretics.)
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To: lightman
Hey look at it this way it wont be hard to find parking space at these churches on Sunday mornings.
16 posted on 08/31/2013 1:14:49 PM PDT by jmaroneps37 (Conservatism is truth. Liberalism is lies.)
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To: jmaroneps37; Charles Henrickson
Hey look at it this way it wont be hard to find parking space at these churches on Sunday mornings.

Problem is, many people fail to realize that there are other Lutherans.

Our Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod FRiends have been complaining about this for years, and rightly so.

When a headline merely says "Lutheran" we all get tarred by the same brush. Now being LCMC, I fully empathize with my LCMS FRiends.

17 posted on 08/31/2013 1:19:12 PM PDT by lightman (Prosecute the heresies; pity the heretics.)
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To: lightman
A long-time ELCA church in a lovely neighborhood not too far from me just went out of business. It was a beautiful edifice with surrounding modern, attractive outbuildings.....and it had a extremely large, affluent congregation.

Liberal to begin with because it was ELCA, it progressively became more "progressive"......with a sterile modern-language-Bible as its foundation, unfamiliar hymns, altered liturgy, and even Christmas carols with re-written stanzas other than the first.

Attendence began dropping off.....culminating with complete disaster when a woman pastor assumed the pulpit. High numbers of members began dropping out. The accumulated liberalism was all just too much.

I went past there the other Sunday as church was letting out. The new sign showed it's now a non-denominational church of the "social justice" variety......and all the parishioners filing out were black.

That this church won't last long either due to economic reasons is the general opinion in the area.

Liberalism eventually destroys things in its past....even while slowly destroying itself, to boot.

The venerable Boy Scouts of America comes immediately to mind, for another example of self-destruction.

Leni

18 posted on 08/31/2013 1:21:56 PM PDT by MinuteGal
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To: lightman

Why in my posts on ELCAns I am careful to say “Liberal Lutherans.” One of my sons went to a LCMS high school and so I know they are an entirely different breed and still believe in the authority of Scripture and the Gospel.

The ELCAns are about as wacky as the Episcopagans, with whom they are in “full communion.” Which is why my sister refers to both as the “Lutherpis” church. I just call them Luciferians.


19 posted on 08/31/2013 1:28:10 PM PDT by kaehurowing
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To: Cicero

Her theology is simple. Drinking beer with St.Paul wouldn’t be as much fun as drinking beer with gay partners.

Martin Luther is turning over in his grave.


20 posted on 08/31/2013 3:11:33 PM PDT by heye2monn
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To: heye2monn; Chode

“Her theology is simple. Drinking beer with St.Paul wouldn’t be as much fun as drinking beer with gay partners.”

That hit it right on the nose!! Could not have said it better myself.


21 posted on 09/01/2013 2:06:35 PM PDT by Morgana (Always a bit of truth in dark humor.)
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To: Morgana

Thanks. Paul could have probably said it better. :-)


22 posted on 09/01/2013 2:10:24 PM PDT by heye2monn
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To: Morgana
sure, heresy being one of them...
23 posted on 09/01/2013 2:20:23 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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