Author Topic: Written answers to questions  (Read 1969 times)

Richard Johnson

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Written answers to questions
« on: August 14, 2013, 02:30:23 PM »
These are the answers to the written questions from the remaining three:

What gifts do you believe you would bring?

Eaton: 25 years of parish ministry, love for the church, appreciation of Lutheran theology, knowledge and commitment to the greater church, focus on mission, 6 years a synodical bishop, eagerness to serve.

Hanson: A passion to proclaim and serve the Gospel, a love for and joy in ministry, one who inspires others to have confidence in God's grace, interpretor of the Christian faith in a diverse, ever-changing world, a commitment to build relationships--from local communities to global and ecumenical partners, strategic thinker and collaborator, communicator, critical thinker

Crist:As a synod bishop, I have close connection with congregations on the ground, and with the ministries of the wider church. My job is to make the connections and to open up the doors of communication. I have led a synod through some disruption and grief following the 2009 decisions, and I have seen the pain all around. This experience, which I wouldn't wish on anyone, is a gift I bring to the office. It has taught me patience and empathy. Having grown up and served in the eastern part of the church, and having served in the west, I have a sense of the church on the edges, where we are going in the future. And I also have experience with thge heartland, as well as companion synods in Bolivia and South Africa. I am thoroughly Lutheran, thoroughly ecumenical. I have a passion for justice, and a tract record connecting with social issues in our synod. I take seriously the Pentecost story, and I work hard at translating our incredible story into the language of our neighbors.

What is your concept of the primary role of PB?

Eaton: We are a diverse, a pixelated church. We often forget that in baptism we have been incorporated into the body of Christ and are members one of another. The PB can be a powerful and living symbol of our connectedness to each other, and as church together, our connectedness to Christ.

Hanson: Preach the Gospel and celebrate the sacraments as the central act of missional leadership. Call us to be a sent church with high confidence in the Holy Spirit's power to bring renewal in our lives of faith and the ministries of the congregations. Convene us so that with evangelical imagination we might be part of God's mission of reconciliation in our fragmented and fearful world. In all things give thanks to God for God's amazing grace in Christ.

Crist: The PB, whose responsibilities are outlined in the Constitution and Bylaws, is the chief pastor and public face of the ELCA both internally and externally. Preaching and teaching are critical components of the role, interpreting the faith and the work of the church. The PB serves the church in an increasingly complex world, and cannot be all things to all people. But she or he is first and foremost a baptized child of God, and a witness to the love of God through Jesus Christ. In consultation wit the church council and conference of bishops, the PB sets a vision for the church and works to find the most effective ways to implement that vision. The PB, along with staff, oversees the operations of the churchwide organization, and seeks to carry out the direction fo the churchwide assembly, with the guidance and help of the Holy Spirit.


What is the key skill required of a leader in the church?

Eaton: On the wall outside of my office door in my former parish hung the portraits of the pastors who served the congregation. I always noticed that there was plenty of room on that wall for more portraits. There would always be someone succeeding me. A leader in the church needs to hold his or her call lightly. Hold it too tightly and it becomes impossible to serve freely.

Hanson: The ability to hold diverse people, viewpoints, experiences, and cultures in the ELCA with care, respect and wisdom always in the context of our unity in Christ. To accomplish this, the leader will need to be an attentive listener, grounded in the Gospel, actively participating in conversations while sharing a vision for God's mission.

Crist: A good leader listens and love. We are a church blessed with great leaders. A leader in the church needs to communicate effectively in speech and in writing. Good communication involves listening--to the shouts and the cries, to the still small voices, and to the silences. It takes discernment, both communal and personal. And it takes an ability to translate words and concepts from church-speak into the language of the pew and of the streets.

How do you practice care for others and yourself?


Eaton: My family and staff help to keep me honest. I meet regularly with a spiritual director. I try to spend twenty minutes a day in silence and prayer--some days I am conscientious about this, some days less so. I enjoy physical activity and challenges. I stress to my staff that family comes first and that it does not advance the ministry to be utterly used up by work. I laugh a lot.

Hanson: In our home congregation we are nourished in a community of worship and prayer. With Ione, we continue to make our marriage, our six children and five grandchildren the primary relationships in our life. Ione and I delight in being able to travel together and experience the hospitality of people throughout the ELCA. Self-care includes disciplines of individual and corporate prayer, walking, and riding my Honda scooter. I relax most by reading and listening to classical music, especially Rachmaninoff's Vespers. The blues bring joy to my life.

Crist: I care for others with prayer, pastoral care and enouragement. I listen, I emphathize, I connect. Care is not only the work I am called to do as bishop, it is a basic commandment of our faith. For myself, I have a very supportive family, colleagues and friends. I pray. I exercise. I have a mutual ministry counselor, and a book group.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

peter_speckhard

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Re: Written answers to questions
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2013, 02:39:28 PM »
Hanson sounds like too much on an insider, using a lot of buzzwords and well-worn phrases, while Crist seems a tad too eager like a politician who can't stop talking even after the point is made. Eaton wins by simply answering the questions as though she honestly has something to say on the subject.

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Written answers to questions
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2013, 02:49:00 PM »
Too many "I"s in Crists responses.
Greek Orthodox Deacon -Ecumenical Patriarchate
Ordained to the Holy Diaconate Mary of Egypt Sunday A.D. 2022

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

James_Gale

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Re: Written answers to questions
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2013, 02:54:22 PM »
VP Pena sure doesn't seem very comfortable as a public speaker or as a presider.  I feel his pain every time he steps up to speak.

Richard Johnson

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Re: Written answers to questions
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2013, 03:41:20 PM »
VP Pena sure doesn't seem very comfortable as a public speaker or as a presider.  I feel his pain every time he steps up to speak.

Yea, verily.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS