Presiding ELCA Bishop Visits Concordia

The Rev. Elizabeth Eaton issued a challenge to students and local clergy when she delivered the homily during Concordia’s chapel April 24.

“We have to change things up wherever we go,” she said.

The presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America visited Concordia as part of a tour that brought her to the neighboring Northwestern Minnesota and Eastern North Dakota synods.

It’s her first visit to the area since she was installed as head of the ELCA in February.

During chapel, she preached on John 20:19-31. In the gospel lesson, the disciples see the risen Jesus for the first time and Thomas receives his famous nickname.

“Poor Thomas. It’s unfair he gets the moniker for doubting,” Eaton said. “Doubt just lets us get deeper.”

The ELCA can be a place where there is room and a place to question, she said.

What matters is that Christ is crucified and was raised from the dead. This is what frees people to live their lives without fear, she said.

Later in the evening, at a dinner for representatives from the college and synods, she laid out her hope for the ELCA.

“I want Lutherans to live as if the resurrection actually happened. I want them to be an unstoppable force because the death that matters already happened.

“This is life-changing, this whole business of resurrection,” she said.