It’s still fun to write it…on Friday, May 31, 2013 the Reverend Dr. R. Guy Erwin was elected bishop of the Southwest California Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) on the sixth ballot. Go here to read our full blog entry on the election.
Our website had 3,655 views on Saturday June 1,2013- our most ever! In case you needed to catch up, we put together a summary of some of the news stories and reactions.
News summary of the Rev. Dr. Guy Erwin’s election to Bishop:
ELCA News Service bulletin: official release here.
Story from GLAAD: here
Coverage in the Advocate: Evangelical Lutheran Church Elects First Openly Gay Bishop
Email sent to Southwest CA synod email list: Immediate press release from the Southwest California Synod
Coverage on CNN.com: here
Coverage in L.A Times: here
Press Release from ReconcilingWorks: here
As with many breaking news stories these days, for many of us, the first news came via Twitter. Here are a few tweets that came out just as the election happened. The first one just prior to the vote and the following just after the vote:
Just prior to the vote, Jennifer Chrien tweeted:
I feel the Spirit moving in this place, and it’s giving me chills!
Just a moment later, Pierce Devol:
Rev. Dr. Erwin wins!
And a moment later, Ahbee Dee,
Bendito sea el nombre del Señor, bendiciones a nuestro obispo Dr. Erwin.
Additional reflections on the historic election:
Bp. Elect Erwin after being elected:
I usually prepare a speech…but I didn’t because I didn’t expect this…what I have to say is this…I love you. And God loves you. And I ask for your prayers.
Proclaim member & Proclaim chaplain Angela Nelson shared:
Stoked that R. Guy Erwin gets the Bishop spot awhile. Look out, church – with a historian around you can’t get away with saying “we’ve never done it that way before”!
Christian Scharen, Director of Contextual Learning and Assistant Professor of Worship at Luther Seminary:
I have tremendous respect for R. Guy Erwin. I’m delighted he’s been elected bishop of SW California Synod. It is true we ought to celebrate the “firsts”: first openly gay bishop; first Native bishop (Guy from the Osage tribe). Yet I think actually it is a huge step to elect a second academic to the conference of bishops (the other I know of is Craig A. Satterlee from LSTC. Craig may be a first as well: first bishop who is legally blind. I don’t know.
But for an intellectual tradition which knows its identity to be held together theologically, we have been surprisingly shy about electing faculty from colleges and seminaries to be bishop…
Now that it is not an academic question for him, he has to figure out how to embody it and we’ll all learn a lot from his leadership. For his part, Craig did his dissertation on the practice of the teaching bishop, in a sense, writing on the mystagogical preaching of Ambrose of Milan. So both Guy and Craig will offer us something, in the end, I believe the ELCA very much needs in this time of anxiety and excitement, of God’s dreams for us as church and our fumbling responses to live into the new creation we already are in Christ.
Proclaim member Rev. Erik Christensen shared these thoughts:
Tonight the Proclaim community is celebrating the election of one of our own, the Rev. Dr. R. Guy Erwin, as the first publicly identified gay, and Native, Lutheran bishop in the ELCA (Southwest California Synod). This election is a sign that history only marches forward, and that those things once thought impossible can be achieved within a lifetime.
Freedom is coming!