Kathryn Johnson named director for ELCA Ecumenical & Inter-Religious Relations

 — Mar. 7, 20157 mars 2015
From the ELCA news

Kathryn L. Johnson has been named director of Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) effective September 2015.

ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton made the announcement during the ELCA Conference of Bishops meeting here March 5-10. The ELCA Conference of Bishops is an advisory body of this church that includes 65 synod bishops, the presiding bishop and secretary.

“Kathryn Johnson brings that rare and wonderful combination of keen intellect, academic excellence, international ecumenical experience, deep faith and a graceful and engaging presence. We are very excited to welcome her to our staff,” said Eaton.

Johnson is a professor of historical theology and is the Paul Tudor Jones Professor of Church History at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. Johnson joins Kathryn M. Lohre, assistant to the presiding bishop and executive of ELCA Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations. The Rev. Donald J. McCoid will retire at the end of August after serving in the ELCA Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations office since 2007. Prior to that, McCoid served as bishop of the ELCA Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod since 1988.

“Working for Christian unity has been one of the deepest joys of my vocational life. This aspect of the church’s calling is inextricable from the other tasks of Christian discipleship; it strengthens their witness and is undergirded in turn by common work for justice, search for interfaith understanding, (and more),” said Johnson.

“I am excited especially to be joining Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations as we look toward 2017. A range of ecumenical relations can be focused through this lens of thankfulness for reformation and continuation of it. Moreover, the complex interactions of interfaith and ecumenical encounters challenge us all toward growth in faithfulness,” said Johnson. In 2017, ELCA members and Lutherans around the world will observe the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.

Johnson earned a doctorate in religious studies at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and a Master of Arts degree at Cambridge University, England. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. St. Olaf is one of 26 ELCA colleges and universities.

She also has served as assistant general secretary for ecumenical affairs and acting director for theology and studies at The Lutheran World Federation in Geneva. The ELCA is the communion’s only member church from the United States. The highlight of her time at the federation was the Mennonite Action at the 11th Assembly in 2010, an act of repentance and reconciliation with churches of the Mennonite-Anabaptist tradition.

“I am delighted that Kathryn Johnson is willing to serve in this capacity” said Lohre. “One of the most significant gifts she will bring to our work is her international ecumenical relationships, cultivated during her years of service through The Lutheran World Federation. She is highly respected and well-regarded by our friends and partners around the world, with full communion partners in the United States, and by those within our church who have come to know and appreciate her work and witness.”

“I have worked with Kathryn Johnson in The Lutheran World Federation, the U.S. Catholic-ELCA dialogue, the International Orthodox dialogue, and the Declaration on the Way (to unity),” said McCoid. “She is a scholar, an experienced ecumenist, and a committed Christian. Her gifts will provide the ELCA with a solid foundation for ecumenical and full communion relationships. She will be a good colleague with the ELCA executive for Ecumenical and Inter-religious Relations, Kathryn Lohre, as the ELCA looks toward continued unity of Christ’s followers and being a good neighbor with our inter-religious friends.”

“Kathryn Johnson’s appointment is a continuing sign of the ELCA’s deep and abiding commitment to building connections within the church. Her wide experience in ecumenical work and her genuine excitement as she begins this new role are gifts that will enrich our life together,” said the Rev. Donald P. Kreiss, bishop of the ELCA Southeast Michigan Synod and chair of the ELCA Conference of Bishops’ ecumenical and inter-religious relations liaison committee.

“It will be my honor and joy to serve with Kathryn, as we support our presiding bishop in her role as chief ecumenical officer of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,” said Lohre. “Kathryn and I are pleased to give witness to the ELCA’s commitments to the leadership of women,” she added.

Posted: Mar. 7, 2015 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=8583
Categories: ELCA NewsIn this article: ecumenism, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Transmis : 7 mars 2015 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=8583
Catégorie : ELCA NewsDans cet article : ecumenism, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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