Looking Ahead

Vivid moments of history are unfolding these days in the Grand Canyon Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

When the thirty-first annual Synod Assembly ended on Saturday, June 16, we embarked immediately on weeks of preparation for transition in the bishop's office.

Mark your calendar : The installation of the sixth bishop of the Grand Canyon Synod will take place on Saturday, September 8, at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 1500 W. Maryland Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85015.

Although the service will begin at 10, pre-service music will commence well before that time.

ARRIVE EARLY: Pastors and deacons will need to arrive early. The procession for pastors and deacons steps off at 9:45 a.m., followed by the Synod Council at 9:50, and ecumenical representatives and service participants at 9:55.

Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton will install the newly elected bishop, assisted by the ELCA bishops in the synods of Region 2. A reception will follow the service in the Fellowship Hall.

The new bishop takes office on September 1. I will complete my tenure as bishop during this time of transition on Friday, August 31, but will remain, of course, for the installation of my successor.

Thank you . . .

On behalf of this synod, I have conveyed our gratitude for the presence of Presiding Bishop Eaton at the Synod Assembly. Keep in mind that all 65 ELCA synods gather each year and the heaviest concentration of assemblies falls on the first two weekends in June. She graciously accepted our invitation to be present for the assembly this year at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Oro Valley, Arizona.

We convey heartfelt gratitude to Pr. Al Jensen and coordinators Char Jensen and Carolyn Nichols, as well as all the staff and other pastors of Resurrection Lutheran Church for demonstrating once again such generous hospitality.

Thank you, too, to Kim Stevens in the synod office. Much of the preparation for the assembly demands hours and days leading up to the assembly. She carries out her responsibilities quietly but with utmost quality. "We couldn't have done it without you, Kim!"

And a word of gratitude to all who participated in the assembly: I hope that the experience prompted within you a widened vision of the manifold ways in which we are church together for the sake of the Gospel and the world.

Jesus calls us to unity in witness and compassion in service. Hear anew that call in this time of transition.

Sincerely in Christ,

The Rev. Lowell G. Almen