First female bishop takes over ELCA synod
The synod that comprises all the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America parishes throughout southeastern Minnesota, including Dodge County, has a new bishop.
On Saturday, St. John Lutheran Church in Owatonna hosted the installation service for the Rev. Regina Hassanally as bishop of the Southeastern Minnesota Synod of the ELCA.
Hassanally was elected as the fourth bishop of the synod, and the first woman to hold the position, at the synod’s assembly in May in Rochester.
Presiding minister and preacher for the service was the ELCA’s Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton.
Rostered leaders and bishops joined others attending in the Festival Eucharist. A special choir of members from throughout the synod also took part in the service.
Prior to her election as bishop, Hassanally had served as pastor of St. Luke Lutheran Church in Goodhue since 2012 and as director of shared ministry at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield from 2008 to 2012. She and her husband, Terrence, have four sons.
Following her installation, the new bishop thanked the synod for “this call to serve with you.”
Bishops, pastors, deacons and laity all stand side-by-side in the work of the church, Eaton said. “The bishop needs your prayers,” she said.
The Southeastern Minnesota Synod is one of 65 synods of the ELCA and includes 171 congregations in southern Minnesota.