The installation was poignant for its historical signficance, but in my case, it was also poignant for its personal significance. In the fall of 1980, Liz arrived at my home congregation, All Saints Lutheran Church in Worthington, Ohio, to be our intern (she ended up being called as assistant pastor and stayed another 10 years)! I was a member of her high school youth group that year and she became an important mentor for me, eventually serving as the sponsor at my ordination. Until I met her, I didn't even know that women could be pastors. She has been a model for me and my pastoral ministry in many ways. It was an honor to be at her service and to have been among those asked to participate in the service (I read the second lesson). [Note: The picture of us above is from her 25th Ordination Anniversary Celebration this past June, at Messiah Lutheran in Ashtabula. For pictures from the installation, click here].
I know that the Northeastern Ohio Synod will be led ably by Bishop Eaton, who will bring energy, compassion, wisdom, a love for the whole church, and a clear passion for sharing the good news and speaking out for the poor and marginalized to her new office (not to mention a killer sense of humor). Godspeed to you, Liz, and the people of the Northeastern Ohio Synod, as you begin your new call and ministry!