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The Rev. Jessica Crist, bishop of the ELCA Montana Synod and chair of the ELCA Conference of Bishops, presented the Conference of Bishops report to the 2013 Churchwide Assembly Aug. 16. The conference is an advisory body of this church that includes the 65 synod bishops, the presiding bishop and secretary.
Crist told the assembly the conference brings together the 65 synods like no other church body. She said although the make-up of the conference is predominately “male, straight and Anglo, we carry the breadth and depth of this church. Collectively we have our pulse on the people of the ELCA.”
Crist said although the bishops come from different lives and bring different strengths to the group, “we learn from each other and challenge each other.”
She reminded the assembly that not one of the bishops resigned after the decision of the 2009 Churchwide Assembly to adopt the social statement on human sexuality.
Crist said the conference “embodies interdependence,” leading the synods by daily interaction with congregations and leaders of this church in order to “do God’s work with our hands.”