Bishop Ann Svennungsen

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 [...]

Showing Up

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen Every Memorial Day, my mother made her way to the cemetery to place flowers on her parents’ graves. For me, All Saints’ is the day I feel a similar need. Our son, John Amos, died at the age of 30 on May 2, 2015. He is interred in the columbarium located [...]

The Critical Need for Leadership Skills

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen Long before women could become pastoral leaders, my mom was a leader in our congregation. I remember her leading in lots of settings – most notably, chair of the building committee for our new sanctuary. Do I continue to grow in leading in an area where God has given me passion [...]

2017-07-18T20:01:50-06:00July 12th, 2017|Categories: From the Bishop|Tags: , , , , |

A Variety of Gifts … for the Common Good

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen There are a varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. Just as the body is one and has many members, so it is with Christ.  To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12) At our office, there is no time when the above [...]

2017-07-18T20:01:53-06:00May 2nd, 2017|Categories: From the Bishop|Tags: , , |

The warmth of Nigeria

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen In the midst of 95 degree heat and under cloudless skies, some 30,000 Lutherans gathered for a five-day annual conference in Demsa, Nigeria. Arriving in vehicles of all sizes and kinds – including pick-up trucks with families sitting on top of their belongings in the cargo bed – attendees set up temporary shelters to house them for the week. . Bible studies, prayer, [...]

2017-07-18T20:01:53-06:00March 7th, 2017|Categories: From the Bishop|Tags: , , , |

Welcomed by God’s Grace, Are We Ready to So Welcome?

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen What joy I felt to see the Star Tribune’s picture of the Somali family reunited last Thursday. Peeking behind a teddy bear as big as she, a four-year-old girl stands embraced by her sisters and mother – together after more than three years of separation. Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota (LSS) [...]

2017-07-18T20:01:53-06:00February 7th, 2017|Categories: From the Bishop|Tags: , , , |

The Hosts of Heaven Present With Us

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen We’re not always good at waiting. Stopped at a red light or standing behind several others in the checkout line, we become antsy, impatient. So, when Advent calls us into the spiritual practice of waiting – prayerful, expectant waiting – we’re not sure we like the invitation. Last year, however, I [...]

2017-07-18T20:01:53-06:00December 8th, 2016|Categories: From the Bishop|Tags: , , , |

Being the Church after a Presidential Election

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen What happens after an election -- especially one as divisive as this? What is the role of the church? The synod? The congregation? As in all elections, there are winners and losers. Most of us learned as children about the appropriate responses to such events. After losing the state basketball championship [...]

2017-07-18T20:01:53-06:00November 10th, 2016|Categories: From the Bishop|Tags: , , , |

Overwhelmed by Prayerfulness

By Bishop Ann Svennungsen Last week I was privileged to travel to the encampment at Standing Rock Reservation with Pastor Marlene Whiterabbit Helgemo, an ELCA pastor serving All Nations Church in Minneapolis. People from around the world are there, prayerfully hoping to prevent the Dakota Access Pipeline’s (DAPL) construction beneath the Missouri River. It is [...]

2017-07-18T20:01:54-06:00October 28th, 2016|Categories: From the Bishop|Tags: , , , |