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Synod Narrows Bishop Ballot to Two Candidates


COLUMBIA, SC Saturday, July 25, 2020 – On the fourth Ballot for Bishop-Elect, more than 500 Rostered Leaders and Lay Voting Members representing churches of the South Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America have narrowed the candidate list to the following Rostered Leaders:

The Reverend Virginia Aebischer of Columbia, South Carolina;

and The Reverend Jacqueline Utley of Columbia, South Carolina.

Pastor Aebischer serves as the Assistant to the Bishop under the current Bishop, Herman Yoos. Pastor Utley serves at Ascension Lutheran Church in Columbia, near the seminary.

The year’s election for a Bishop-Elect and the 2020 South Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America ELCA Synod Assembly are being held online due to the current health crisis.

 In the ELCA, Bishops serve six-year terms. According to the Synod’s Constitution, the bishop is elected by the Synod Assembly by ecclesiastical ballot.

A vote of more than sixty percent was ere necessary for election on the fourth ballot. The assembly fifth ballot this afternoon.

The fifth ballot is limited to the top two candidates who received the greatest number of legal votes on the fourth ballot.

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About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:

The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.6 million members in more than 9,200 worshipping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. The ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA’s roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.

About the South Carolina Synod:

The South Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has nearly 52,000 members worshipping in 150 congregations across the state of South Carolina. We Lutherans in South Carolina are part of a church that shares a living, daring confidence in God’s grace — and there’s room for all here. We seek to respond to God’s love by loving him and serving the people he has created not only in the state of South Carolina, but in many parts of the globe.

For information contact:

Neal F. Fischer

Director of Communications

803-509-8325 or 607-349-8072

Mission Partners

We are over half way to our goal! Join the effort to launch Latino ministry to new levels in South Carolina. Make your gift today.

And, help us reach the $50,000 challenge if at least half of our congregations participate. Click here for more information about how congregations can share this story with your members.

This is Christ’s Church. There is a place for you here.

We are the church that shares a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. Liberated by our faith, we embrace you as a whole person–questions, complexities and all. Join us as we do God’s work in Christ’s name for the life of the world.

Contact Information

ELCA South Carolina Synod
1003 Richland Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Telephone 803-765-0590
Fax 803-252-5558

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