Ann Svennungsen

The mystery of faiths

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen A couple in Chicago recently told me about their practice when visiting dear friends who are Jewish. “When we’re in their home, we’re invited into the prayers of their faith. When they visit our home, we invite them into the prayers of our Christian faith. We’ve found it to be both [...]

Reforming and reformed

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen As a kid I would never have imagined that Lutheran Church would play such a key role in the ecumenical movement. We weren’t especially ecumenical in Shelby, Montana. And yet, before I entered fourth grade, Lutherans were beginning to lead. I’ve always imagined that the more mainline churches would take the [...]

Checking in

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen It didn’t take long before tears came to his eyes. We were sitting at the pre-game lunch last Saturday before Homecoming at Concordia College in Moorhead. My table mate had come to watch his son play football. I told him about my work as a bishop in the region that includes [...]

Inspired by scripture

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen From the beginning of my Reformation, I have asked God to send me neither dreams, nor visions, nor angels, but to give me the right understanding of God’s Word, the Holy Scriptures; for as long as I have God's Word, I know that I am walking in God’s way. (Martin Luther, [...]

Reflection on Churchwide Assembly action

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen What a blessing it was to attend the 2019 Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee! We worked hard on the decisions facing our church; we worshiped and studied scripture together; we celebrated and communed with people across the ELCA and around the globe. I will not soon forget the long procession during Friday’s [...]

A spirit of change

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen Did you feel the winds shift this month? Maybe it was the same wind that inspired Peter’s Pentecost sermon, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” We’ve heard a few more daughters prophesying in synod assemblies around the ELCA this spring. Seven [...]

More family

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen “I need more family.” These are the words of Jira, an adopted African-American teenager, spoken after her father is killed. “I need more family,” she says, to support her newfound desire to find her birth mother. Her story is told in the mini-series The Red Line, a profound glimpse into the [...]

2019-05-28T08:35:57-06:00May 28th, 2019|Categories: From the Bishop|Tags: , , , , |

A 2020 vision for synod assembly

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen Under the wonderful theme “In this Together: What the World Needs takes all of Us,” we gathered for our 2019 synod assembly, now visible in the “rearview mirror.” “It’s an ‘all hands on deck’ event for the synod staff, with work beginning for next year even before the current assembly is [...]

Triduum tension

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen Where I grew up, we had a festive pie reception after our Maundy Thursday worship. Homemade pies from every kitchen were brought to St. Luke’s and shared with the congregants. Yes, we did the stripping of the altar, symbolizing the abandonment of Jesus and his stripping before the crucifixion. Yes, we [...]