Much has happened in the 30 years since the ELCA was formed. Our church, all other churches, and our whole society have undergone dramatic changes. Yet consistent throughout those years has been the guidance of God in calling each member, each congregation, each synod, and all our churchwide endeavors to the ministry of reconciliation and renewal.
As we embark on a time of discernment for the calling of a new synodical bishop, we keep our eyes focused on a promising horizon. At the same time, we rejoice in each present moment as God keeps calling us to witness and service.
The fall gatherings of conferences will offer opportunity for mutual learning as we anticipate the future of this synod. Those gatherings will be one of the engaging elements in our life together during these coming months. Crucial for our health in being the church together will be this: Not treating this "interim" time as a period of waiting and rest. Rather, the wholesome momentum reflected in this synod throughout the service of Bishop Stephen Talmage offers us guidance for moving into the future with strength, courage, and vision.
I ask you to embark on the journey with me -- a journey of discovery and abiding hope.
--The Rev. Lowell G. Almen, Interim Bishop