Augustana College, Rock Island, IL – The Rev. H. Jeffrey Clements of Rockford, IL, was elected June 18 to a six-year term as bishop of the Northern Illinois Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election was held during the annual Synod Assembly, June 16-18 on the campus of Augustana College in Rock Island, IL.
The Rev. Clements was elected on the 5th ballot with 278 votes to 181 votes for the Rev. Stacie Fidlar, pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Rock Island, IL.
“Thank you,” said Clements. “I am overwhelmed…. In my term, I promise to utilize the amazing talents of our lay and rostered leaders across this synod, and they are amazing. I also want to say that I am honored, humbled, and quite joyful in your confidence, but also fearful of what God has in store. I am acutely aware that I am male, white, and approaching old. It is important to know that you, young and old, male and female, person of color, member of the LGBT community, theologically liberal or theologically conservative, you have a voice in this synod, and it will be respected.”
Clements has served as Assistant to the Bishop of the Northern Illinois Synod, since 2002. Clements has previously served at First Lutheran Church, Prophetstown, 1990-2002; Immanuel Lutheran Church, Dixon, 1987-1990; St. John’s Lutheran Church, rural Elizabeth, 1983-1987; and Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, LaCrescent, MN, 1981-1982.
The bishop-elect earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Master of Divinity from Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary.
The Rev. Dr. Gary M. Wollersheim, current bishop of the ELCA Northern Illinois Synod, has faithfully served three six-year terms and will retire this summer.
Rev. Clements will be installed as bishop Saturday, September 24, at 10am at First Lutheran Church, 225 S 3rd St., Rockford, IL with a reception to follow at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 3300 Rural St, Rockford, IL.
More information about the new bishop and the Northern Illinois Synod Assembly is available at nisynod.org.
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About the Northern Illinois Synod
The Northern Illinois Synod is comprised of over 150 individual congregations with a total combined membership of more than 100,000 people. The synod covers the following counties in Northern Illinois: Boone, Bureau, Carroll, DeKalb, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Jo Daviess, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Lee McHenry, Mercer, Ogle, Putnam, Rock Island, Stephenson, Warren, Whiteside, Will, and Winnebago. Find out more at nisynod.org .
About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with more than 3.7 million members in more than 9,300 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of “God’s work. Our hands,” 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. Find out more atelca.org
For further information:
Karin Graddy, NIS Communication Director at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Steve Pressly at 309-781-1626
Hashtag for the event is #NISA16