March 3, 2017
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
With thanks and praise to God, the Synod Council has voted to appoint the Rev. Marcus Lohrmann as the Interim Bishop for the Florida-Bahamas Synod. Bishop Lohrmann comes to this interim position after retiring in July, 2016, following 18 years as the bishop of the Northwest Ohio Synod. Before serving as bishop, Lohrmann served as pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, St. Louis; St. John Lutheran Church, Hicksville, Ohio; and Olivet Lutheran Church, Sylvania, Ohio. He was ordained in 1977.
Interim Bishop Lohrmann will begin serving in the synod beginning April 1, and will be based in Tampa. He will work with the synod staff to ensure all aspects of ministry are supported, and with the synod council in the process of electing a new bishop. Bishop Schaefer will remain available to handle administrative matters, if and as needed, during March.
We are thankful for the partnership of our ELCA churchwide expression. Presiding Bishop Eaton and the Rev. Walter May, Executive for Synodical Relations, have walked with us, bringing Bishop Lohrmann’s name forward for our consideration. We are most appreciative of their diligence in helping us move ahead, and look forward to continuing to work with them as we journey toward the election of a new bishop.
After faithful prayer and deliberation, and considering all the factors involved, the Council has made the decision to change the date of the Synod Assembly to October 12-14, 2017. This will be a full Assembly and will replace the one presently scheduled for June, 2017. By doing this, there will only be one assembly this year, and the election of a new bishop will take place at that time. The Synod Assembly will still be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Kissimmee.
This decision clearly has an impact on the Conference on Ministry currently scheduled for October. Bishop Schaefer will be following up with details about that event shortly.
There will be more communication about Bishop Lohrmann’s ministry with us as interim bishop, the change in synod assembly date, and the process of a bishop’s election in the coming weeks. Thank you for your continued prayers for all of us as we continue to seek the Spirit’s guidance in these days.
Blessings on your Lenten journey,