Category: Bishop

June 5, 2020

Church must combat racism at the grassroots

The riots and protests in the United States, following the killing of a black man by a police officer, are an opportunity for people of faith to “live what we profess, to stand behind our statements and to walk according to the teachings of Jesus Christ.” Many pastors and deacons are “on the front line”...

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June 9, 2020

Bishop’s Letter on Black Lives Matter Protests

Dear Beloved, The question has been posed, “Is the bishop going to respond to the horrific death of Mr. George Floyd?”  “What is the bishop’s response to the protesting, the rioting and looting throughout the city of Philadelphia?” I do have a response, and it is not unlike that of Rachel: “A voice is heard...

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May 30, 2020

ELCA presiding bishop calls on church to observe national day of mourning

CHICAGO (May 29, 2020) — The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), has called on the church to join with faith communities across the United States in lament and remembrance, and on our elected leaders to observe Monday, June 1, as a day of mourning to honor...

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May 30, 2020

ELCA Reaffirms Commitment to Combat Racism and White Supremacy

May 29, 2020 What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8).   The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) reaffirms its commitment to combating racism and white supremacy following the recent murders of Black Americans. Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor,...

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May 23, 2020

Bishop Davenport on Opening Churches

Dear Beloved, I am so proud of you for the ways you are keeping the congregations of our Synod open through the pandemic and stay-at-home orders. The church in Southeastern Pennsylvania has truly never “closed,” moving worship and education online and continuing to safely serve people in great need. You, church, are proving to be...

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May 8, 2020

Synod Adjustments Due to Coronavirus

Synod Staff Working From Home During Stay-At-Home Order Per Governor Wolf’s latest order the Synod staff will be working from home through extent of the stay-at-home order issued by the governor for the five-county area. The staff is working hard from home and channels of communication (phone, email) are the same. The staff is in...

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May 3, 2020

Bishop’s Reflection: Beloved Community

Two thoughts as I read this text. First, yes, this is the beloved community that I talk about in Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod. This is what we reflect as the people of God. I continue to pray for that even stronger now in this time of COVID-19. This is the fellowship that I am blessed to...

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May 1, 2020

Bishop’s Letter on Possible Reopening of Churches

Greetings Beloved, Grace and peace to you in the name of the One who can do all things but fail, Jesus Christ, our risen Lord! I pray that you and your loved ones remain safe, sheltered in place and being mindful of others. Siblings in Christ, the questions of “when and how” do we re-open worship...

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April 11, 2020

Easter Greeting From Bishop Davenport

Praise the Lord, everybody. Glory to God in the highest! Grace and peace to you, beloved, in the name of the One who can do all things but fail, Jesus the Christ! Today is Easter. We will gather virtually around the globe, sheltered in place, on one accord. Today we sing: Christ is risen! Alleluia!...

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March 24, 2020

Staying Connected

March 24, 2020 Greetings Beloved, Grace and peace to you in the name of the One who can do all things but fail, Jesus Christ! This is my usual salutation, oh, but these are not usual times. The Coronavirus and COVID-19 has us as Christians, the disciples of Christ, us as the children of the...

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March 18, 2020

Bishop: Churches Should Comply With Governor’s Order

Beloved, I’m sure you aware that Governor Wolf ordered that all non-essential business in Pennsylvania need to close, effective March 17, for two weeks. This is part of the ongoing mitigation efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus. My colleague, Bishop Michael Rhyne of Allegheny Synod, shares that their synod’s attorney informed them that...

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March 11, 2020

Bishop Davenport’s Pastoral Letter on COVID-19

March 11, 2020 Greetings, Beloved! From Genesis through Revelation, Holy Scripture echoes a common theme: “Do not be afraid.” The Holy One knows that there are times that trigger our fear and anxiety. The uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 – how it spreads, how we should respond, how to protect ourselves and our neighbors – has ripple...

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March 7, 2020

ELCA presiding bishop addresses concerns about COVID-19

​In 1527 the plague returned to Wittenberg, Germany. Two hundred years earlier the plague had swept across Europe killing up to 40% of the population. Understandably, people were anxious and wondered what a safe and faithful response might be. In answer to this, Martin Luther wrote “Whether One May Flee From a Deadly Plague.” In...

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February 19, 2020

What Are We Taking On For Lent?

Lenten Message from Bishop Davenport Reflection on Isaiah 58:6-9 Watch video message Download print vision         February, 2020 Greetings, beloved. So what are we taking on for Lent? Jesus’ journey to the cross was a path through sacrifice and discipline. Our Lord took on the weight of the whole world. He poured...

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January 21, 2020

Bishop on 50 Years of Ordaining Lutheran Women

Today, women of all races, backgrounds and experiences lead congregations, synods and the churchwide expression of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. But in the early days, “there were no models except male,” says Elizabeth Platz, the first woman ordained by a Lutheran denomination in the US — the Lutheran Church in America — in...

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December 6, 2019

It’s About Jesus – A Christmas Message

  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13       Beloved, “It’s about Jesus!” That was the theme for the ELCA’s exciting Congregational Vitality gathering this year. And it could...

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September 17, 2019

Bishop Joins Forum On Racial Policies

Bishop Davenport will join Dr. Jim Wallis, Bishop Gregory Ingram, Dr. William Shaw and Rev. Luis Cortes in “The Elders Speak,” a forum on a Christian response to the radicalized public and corporate policies and practices impacting communities of color on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 6:30 pm at Teatro Esperanza, 4261 N. Fifth Street, Philadelphia,...

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August 16, 2019

Bishop’s Message on ELCA as ‘Sanctuary’

August 2019   Beloved siblings in Christ, Last week at our Churchwide Assembly, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recommitted itself to walking alongside immigrants and refugees as a matter of faith.This Assembly action affirmed our history as an immigrant faith in the United States and the Lutheran church’s long history of assisting strangers in...

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May 10, 2019

Bishop Davenport: “We are co-creators of our joint mission”

2019 Assembly logo Bishop Patricia Davenport, the Fifth Bishop of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA, opened the Synod’s 2019 Assembly (her first as Bishop) with a reading from Psalm 34: 1-3.  “… O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt God’s name together.” From the excitement of her election at the 2018 Assembly, to...

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April 10, 2019

Bishop Davenport: A Pastoral Message on Standards for Pastors and Deacons

Dear Sisters and Brothers, This past weekend in Chicago, the ELCA Church Council considered how to move forward with a new statement describing the church’s vision for its rostered ministers. Titled “Trustworthy Servants of the People of God,” it is intended to replace the current document known as “Visions and Expectations.” Last month, the Conference...

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