Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Electing a Presiding Bishop

The first/nominating ballot was Monday, with the results (officially announced at the beginning of the Tuesday morning session) getting out that evening:

* Mark Hanson 440 (ELCA Presiding Bishop)
* Jessica Crist 53 (Bishop, Montana)
* Michael Rinehart 36 (Bishop, Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast)
* Jon Anderson 26 (Bishop, Southwestern Minn.)
* Elizabeth Eaton 23 (Bishop, Northeastern Ohio)

* Rafael Malpica-Padilla 20 (Exec. Dir, ELCA Global Mission; former Bishop, Caribbean)
* Stephen Bouman 19 (Exec. Dir, ELCA Congreagation and Synodical Mission; former Bishop, Metro New York)
* Peter Marty 16 (Pastor, St. Paul, Davenport, Iowa; last host of the ELCA's Lutheran Vespers radio program)
* David Zellmer 15 (Bishop, South Dakota)
* Kurt Kusserow 12 (Bishop, Southwestern Penn.)

* April Larson 12 (Pastor, First, Duluth, Minn.; former Bishop, La Crosse Area, and the first woman bishop in the ELCA)
* Wayne Miller 11 (Bishop, Metro. Chicago))
* Ann Svennungsen 10 (Bishop, Minneapolis Area)
* Michael Burk 9 (Bishop, Southeastern Iowa)
* Peter Rogness 7 (Bishop, Saint Paul Area)

and 107 other pastors with fewer votes. Other than the number of ballots cast being 877, making the required 75% for an election add up to 666 votes, there was nothing remarkable. The main observations seemed to be, Bishop Hanson will be elected on the next ballot, Bishop Crist (who is also Chair of the Conference of Bishops) and Bishop Rinehart (who overnight posted a blog entry explaining why he would withdraw his name from further consideration) seemed to be highly regard as possible successors when Hanson retires. But, no, the important election news would come later this week as a new Secretary (a very powerful office in the ELCA) is elected.

So the second ballot results that came before the Tuesday afternoon session were a bit of a surprise. Of the 943 votes cast (75% to elect being 708), the top 7 vote getters:

* Mark Hanson 369
* Jessica Crist 272
* Elizabeth Eaton 87
* Peter Marty 45
* Ann Svennengsen 36
* David Lose 33 (Homilectics Prof at Luther Seminary)
* Barbara Lundblad 15 (Professor at Union Theological Seminary, New York).

42 other pastors also received votes. But note that Presiding Bishop Hanson's votes went down by 71. And Bishop Crist's went up by 219.

And apparently the Holy Spirit (and others) had been busy Monday night. They would be busy Tuesday night, too, as these top 7 prepare brief bios and statements for the Wednesday morning plenary -- well, four of them, as Pastor Marty and Profs. Lose and Lundblad are not at the CWA and sent word that they would not be there come Wednesday morning.

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