Bishop Ann Svennungsen

Gather at the River

The judicatory leaders of four communities will lead a public worship that incarnates concern for our water systems with a focus on drinking water and the spiritual nature of water baptism. Bishop Bruce Ough, United Methodist Conference of Minnesota Presiding Elder Stacy Smith, Fourth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Bishop Brian Pryor, [...]

We. Are. Fam-i-ly.

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen “My church is like a family!” It’s the most frequent answer I get when I ask what people like about their congregation. “We feel like a family.” There’s much to celebrate in that statement. We imagine families as places of care, deep and ongoing relationships, loving acceptance. “Family is a life [...]

2019-02-04T17:38:25-05:00February 4th, 2019|Categories: From the Bishop|Tags: , , , , , , |

Practicing Justice

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen Each of the three congregations I have served included an aspect of social justice or social ministry in my job description. Zion Lutheran in Iowa City, Iowa, had a peace and justice group; Edina Community Lutheran has an expectation of regularly mentioned social issues in the sermons; and at Trinity in [...]

Wrinkled and Reddened

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen More than any time of year, it seems, Christmas is a season for remembering. The sounds, sights, and smells evoke memories of days gone by. I remember singing carols with my cousins on Christmas Eve – all of us jealous that my older brother got the best solo. I remember my [...]

2018-12-18T15:29:04-05:00December 18th, 2018|Categories: From the Bishop|Tags: , , , , , |

With One Voice

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen Raised in a Lutheran home, I sensed that the biggest stumbling block in Lutheran-Catholic relations was the requirement that, if a Lutheran married a Catholic, all the children had to be raised Catholic. It wasn’t fair (and fairness was next to godliness for us). We were good Lutherans. We could raise [...]

The ministry of consolation

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen It continues to amaze me how clearly I remember the people who attended our son’s funeral in 2015: My brothers’ families from California and Montana who’d just gotten back from their trips to embrace John as he was dying His grade school teacher and principal from Fargo His preschool teacher from [...]

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, [...]