Category: Bishop messages

March 30, 2020

Synod Adjustments Due to Coronavirus

Synod Staff Working From Home Through April 30 Per Governor Wolf’s latest order and the President’s recommendation, the Synod staff will be working from home through April 30. The staff is working hard from home and channels of communication (phone, email) are the same. The staff is in regular touch to coordinate efforts. Bishop Davenport...

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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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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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March 20, 2019

Chrism Service Tuesday in Holy Week

Ministers of Word and Sacrament and Ministers of Word and Service will gather for the annual Chrism Service on Tuesday of Holy Week, April 16, at 10 am at Christ’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 700 E. Pennsylvania Avenue, Oreland. This traditional service of Word and Sacrament includes the blessing of oil for anointing, healing prayer, and...

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December 22, 2018

Make a Difference Through “It Takes All the Saints” Appeal

An invitation from Bishop Patricia A. Davenport: Beloved Saints of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod – Greetings! In my first few months in office I have been overwhelmed by the many ways our congregations and leaders support the ministries of the office of the bishop …. With your energy and creative ideas, your collaborative spirit, your...

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December 12, 2018

Christmas Message from Bishop Davenport

  Share this message: Right-click and save the image above to share via email or website. Download: Christmas message insert (printable) Copy and paste the text below into your word processing program     Best wishes for a blessed celebration of Christ’s birth, and new beginnings in 2019 Bishop Patricia A. Davenport Bob Fisher, Cynta Outterbridge,...

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November 9, 2018

Bishop’s Message on the 80th Anniversary of Kristallnacht

Bishop Patricia A. Davenport shares a pastoral letter on the 80th Anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, in light the murders at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last month and a rising number of hate crimes against Jews. Noting that later-life writings of Martin Luther were used to justify the pogrom, the...

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May 16, 2018

Historic Bishop Elections: ‘There is Room at the Table’

“I came into the church during an era of ‘You’re welcome to come, but leave your baggage and all of your gifts, all the things you bring, at the door,’ ” Bishop-elect Patricia A. Davenport tells Living Lutheran magazine for a profile of the ELCA’s first two African-American woman bishops. “So this (election) says to...

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May 5, 2018

Rev. Patricia Davenport Elected Bishop

Pastor Patricia A. Davenport was elected the next Bishop of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Saturday, May 5, at Franconia Mennonite Church. Pastor Davenport is the first African-descent woman to be elected a bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. On the fourth ballot, Bishop-elect Davenport, currently our...

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March 29, 2018

Holy Week Message from Bishop Burkat

Bishop Burkat Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light. — John 12:35-36 Blessings to you as you gather in...

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December 19, 2017

Christmas Message: Blessing Generation Upon Generation

Bishop Claire S. Burkat reflects on Mary’s visit with Elizabeth, a Spirit-filled encounter that may have allowed the realization of God’s great promise and fulfillment that was visited upon Mary begin to really sink in. “God did not promise Mary an easy life, a trouble free heart, an unburdened mind…but God promised her a life worth living, a purpose...

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October 31, 2017

The Reformation Was Not Once-and-Done…

In this 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we Lutherans are mindful that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther sought to reform the Church of the 16th Century — not to start a new denomination. The resulting split from the Catholic Church into a Protestant movement resulted in five centuries of division, as well as renewal. I am pleased...

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