FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For more information contact the synod office. August 29, 2020
Duluth, Minnesota — The Rev. Amy Odgren has been elected bishop of the Northeastern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). She succeeds Bishop Thomas Aitken who was elected bishop in 2008 and is retiring after serving two six-year terms. The election was held in an online virtual synod assembly on August 28 and 29. Bishop-elect Odgren was elected on the fifth ballot with 167 votes. The Rev. Dr. David Carlson, pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Duluth, received 140 votes on that ballot. More than 300 voting members of the synod participated in the online assembly and election. Due to the pandemic, the assembly was postponed from May. Bishop-elect Odgren currently serves as Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Evangelical Mission for the Northeastern Minnesota Synod. Prior to that she served as Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Evangelical Mission for the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin, and as pastor of ELCA congregations in Wisconsin. Ordained in 2001, she is a graduate of Warburg Theological Seminary, one of seven ELCA seminaries, and she completed a B.A. in education and psychology at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota. She has served on the Board of Directors and Presidential Search Committees at Wartburg Theological Seminary, as well as a volunteer and leader of numerous congregation- and community-based organizations. Concerning her role as bishop, Bishop-elect Odgren said “I see our principal challenge as engaging this culture as evangelists who share the gospel of Jesus in ways that will make a difference in the world. I think a bishop needs to listen extensively, pray often, and be bold to move the vision of the kingdom forward. And through this all, I trust in God’s resurrecting grace that keeps working and setting us free to love and serve.”
The new bishop takes office on November 1. ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton will preside at an installation to be held on October 17. Information on how to view the installation service online will be available prior to the event. The Northeastern Minnesota Synod is one of six ELCA synods in Minnesota and 65 in the ELCA. Comprised of 130 ELCA congregations with about 55,000 members, it is one of the largest ELCA synods geographically, stretching from Princeton in the south to International Falls in the north, Brainerd in the west to Hovland in the northeast. Bishops are elected to six-year terms and may serve two terms. +++
The Rev. Amy Odgren, Bishop-elect, Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA
About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.5 million members in more than 9,100 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of "God's work. Our hands.," the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther. More information is available at www.elca.org.
New Synod Assembly Registration packets were mailed July 30th, to your church's address. In this packet will be detailed instructions on how to register 2020 Voting Members for the upcoming Virtual Synod Assembly. The deadline to Register is August 21st, so please notify us if you have not received any information by this date. This is the Registration Letter sent with the Synod Assembly packets. This is the Bishop Election Committee Letter that was sent also.
How to Register Since the Assembly has moved online, there is now a three-step registration process.
Step 1 – Register via Eventbrite – Deadline is August 21, 2020
As a congregational leader, you are responsible for ensuring that you and your voting members are registered.
If you registered yourself and/or your voting members for the May Assembly, you DO NOT need to re-register.
Because only voting members will be allowed into the Zoom meeting, current visitor registrations will be cancelled, and full refunds will be issued.
If your voting members have changed, please contact Registrar Anne Laechel at 218-851-2214 or email@example.com to update this information. The voting members must be the same for both days of the Assembly.
If you HAVE NOT already registered yourself and/or your voting members, please register online with the Synod for attendance at the Assembly. The link to register online is: https://nemnsynod-sa2020.eventbrite.com/If you don’t have capabilities to do so online, please find someone in your congregation that can assist you or register for you. You may also call Registrar Anne Laechel at 218.851.2214 for assistance.
Step 2 – Register via Zoom – Deadline is August 21, 2020
Each voting member (Clergy & Lay) must register via Zoom with a unique email address to receive the video link and participate in the online voting. Voting member couples who share an email address may need to create an additional email address so that they can register and vote separately online. The link to register for the Zoom Assembly is https://bit.ly/39HJ5Mi
Please enter the required information. You will receive an email with a link to the online Assembly after your voting credentials have been confirmed.
Registration Fee Registration for the online Assembly is $25 per person. If you have already registered, you do not need to pay again. If you would like a partial refund of the balance paid previously, please use the Eventbrite link you will receive via email or send a refund request to Registrar Anne Laechel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 218-851-2214. Partial Refunds are available upon request only.
What if I have technical problems?
Before and during the Virtual Synod Assembly/ Bishop Election, we will have technical support people on site to answer phone calls and assist voting members. Please call the Synod Office at 218-724-4424, or email email@example.com and they will assist you shortly.
Are there Assembly Materials?
The Bulletin of Reports, which includes the agenda, election information, and other materials is available HERE. Please be certain that you, your voting members, and any others attending from your congregation have read these materials before the Assembly and have printed out materials necessary to have in hand during the Assembly. We will not be using the Guidebook app this year as it may decrease the internet strength needed to stream the Zoom meeting at your location. Using an ethernet connected device is highly recommended.