May 6, 2012
“I’ve learned over the last six years that the synod elects a pastor and forms a bishop. And you have formed me,” Bishop Claire Burkat told the 2012 Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod Assembly Friday after it re-elected her to a second six-year term as bishop.
The election came on the first, ecclesiastical ballot of the election process, with Burkat receiving exactly the 75 percent margin required for election. The full Assembly hall erupted in applause when the result was announced. The Assembly then celebrated the election in song.
“I want to thank all of you for your love and prayer and support and forgiveness, and for your truth-telling – even when I did not want to hear it,” Burkat told the Assembly.
“I have been stretched and strengthened in ways I could not have imagined: spiritually, emotionally, vocationally, intellectually,” she said.
“We are embarking on a new world of ways that we can network and reach out to one another, and God will multiply our efforts more than we can imagine,” she said.
In the Synod’s process, any pastor on an ELCA roster may be nominated on the first ballot.
Burkat received exactly the 348 votes required to meet the three-fourths requirement of the 464 legal votes cast as the Assembly opened Friday morning. — Bob Fisher