Ann Svennungsen

Tap, tap, tap

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen In the past seven days, I presided at three ordinations. I’m pretty sure that’s a record for me as bishop. Two men and a woman; two full-time and one half-time; two younger and one mid-career; one called to a rural community, one to a suburb, one to the city. All with [...]

Grace-filled daily-ness

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen I’ve blogged before about my family reunions – the Rev. David and Kari Svennungsen Memorial Golf Tournament and Potluck held every year on the last Saturday of July in Montana. I don’t think I have mentioned the tradition of the family worship service held the next day. Early Sunday morning, a [...]

Tempted by fear

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen Our son had little fear of danger. John would see something interesting and wander off, unaware of the risks of getting separated from his parents. I have vivid memories of searching for him after fireworks in a crowded city park and wondering how far he’d gotten in the wilderness outside Camp [...]

This changes everything … every three years

By Pastor John Hulden My siblings and I grew up on a three-year summer schedule. Every third summer, some (or all) of us were off to the next National Lutheran Youth Gathering. We all can name off the gathering cities from the ’60s and ’70s into the ’80s – Miami, Detroit, Seattle, New York City, [...]

Together Everyone Achieves More (Get it? T – E – A – M)

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen After I was called as senior pastor at Trinity in Moorhead, Minnesota, I received an invitation from the ELCA to attend the “New Heads of Staff” Conference, led by Peter Steinke. For me, the learning curve of senior pastor was significant. Hoping for encouragement at the conference, I found Steinke’s long [...]

We’re in this together

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen What words would best capture my feelings three Saturdays ago when our Synod Assembly elected me to a second term? I was truly overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. Any call process is full of mystery. And the process for electing a bishop is particularly so – as a call committee of [...]

The witness and wisdom of the global church

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen If you are Christian growing up in Northeastern Nigeria, you will likely face additional hurdles when applying for university or secondary school. If you were a Christian growing up in Leipzig under Soviet rule, the same could be true. For so many reasons, I am amazed and grateful for our companion [...]

Don’t you just ‘love’ Caesar?

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen Did you get your taxes done? Perhaps, the storm gave you time needed to finish. Perhaps, you just got your Form 4868 done early (and if you’re not familiar with Form 4868, kudos to you). Perhaps, you plan for a big refund, so you mailed your tax return as soon as [...]

From a Distance

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen When I was serving a congregation, I often felt that the pace of Holy Week was similar to that of college finals. Three research papers were due (read: sermons) as well as four oral exams (read: leading worship services). Sometimes I felt like it might simpler to pack a sleeping bag [...]

‘Leading us forth’

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen During our March 5 plenary of the Spring Conference of Bishops, those gathered issued a statement in solidarity with surviving students of the Florida school shooting and supportive of the March for our Lives rally on March 24 in Washington, D.C. March for Our Lives is an initiative calling for legislation to effectively [...]