The Office of the Bishop serves the congregations and rostered leaders of the Florida-Bahamas Synod through resourcing, walking with, and leading the mission of the synod. The Reverend Edward R. Benoway serves as the current bishop of the synod. He is charged with the duties of being the "pastor to the pastors" of the synod, exercising the church's power to ordain, commission, and call candidates for ministry, and a variety of other duties relating to the mission and ministry of the synod.
Click for more information:
The Rev. Robert G. Schaefer, Venice, Fla., was elected May 4 to a six-year term as bishop of the Florida-Bahamas Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Schaefer was elected on the sixth ballot during the synod assembly May 2-4 in Orlando, Fla.
“I am deeply grateful for the confidence that our assembly has placed in me in this call to serve as their bishop,” said Schaefer, who serves as lead pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Venice.
“I pray for a fresh outpouring of God’s spirit on the entire Florida-Bahamas Synod as we walk together into this next chapter of sharing Christ, making disciples, and doing justice in a mission territory that continues to become more diverse in every aspect,” he said.
A mp3 recording of his acceptance speech is available here.
Schaefer will be installed Aug. 31 at St. Timothy Catholic Church in Lutz, Fla.
Schaefer was elected on the sixth ballot with 319 votes to 170 votes for the Rev. Jack Palzer, senior pastor of Calvary Lutheran in Apollo Beach, Fla. The Rev. Dr. Rita Gardner Tweed, director for evangelical mission and assistant to the bishop of the ELCA Florida-Bahamas Synod, was also a nominee on the fifth ballot with108 votes to 170 votes for Palzer and 243 votes for Schaefer.
Schaefer was an executive for worship with the ELCA churchwide organization here from 2009 to 2011. He served as assistant to the bishop of the ELCA Florida-Bahamas Synod from 2004 to 2009 and co-pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran in Tampa, Fla., from 1998 to 2004.
Pr. Schaefer served congregations in the Metropolitan New York Synod from 1984 until coming to Florida in 1998.
He earned a degree in psychology and sociology from Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y., in 1979, and earned a master of divinity degree from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia in 1984. The seminary is one of eight ELCA seminaries.
Schaefer is married to the Rev. Jennifer Schaefer, who is a pastor at Emmanuel Lutheran in Venice. Together they have three adult children and one grandson.
Re-published from: ELCA NEWS SERVICE, May 8, 2013.
January 30, 2013
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
On Ash Wednesday, Feb. 13, we begin our annual 40 day Lenten journey beginning with ashes reminding us of our mortality and leading to the waters of new birth and resurrection on Easter. Lent is a time to renew our life together in Christ. This year I am traveling across the synod to provide opportunity for our gathering together for conversation and worship.
The following schedule provides information regarding the dates, times and locations of each of the 2013 Bishop’s Lenten Visitations:
We will begin our time together with fellowship and informal conversation regarding any questions you may have regarding the role of the bishop in the Florida-Bahamas Synod. I will certainly be pleased to share any information or insights that you feel might be helpful in your discernment of the gifts that might be desired in the next bishop of this synod.
We will conclude our time together with the Bishop’s Chrism Eucharist. This service has its roots in the early church as an annual time to bless the oils used at baptism and with the sick. Rostered leaders renew their vows and commitment to public ministry. With prayers and thanksgiving, we are then joyfully sent out for the sake of the world.
Please review the above schedule and determine the gathering that best suits your schedule. For those gatherings other than Messiah, Panama City, it would be helpful that your register online beginning Monday, Feb. 4, at http://www.regonline.com/2013BishopLentenVisits.
I look forward to this opportunity to again gather with pastors and lay rostered leaders from across our synod for conversation and worship together in advance of our 2013 Synod Assembly (May 2-4) in Orlando.
In Christ and His Love,
The Rev. Edward R. Benoway, Bishop
Florida-Bahamas Synod, ELCA
The Rev. Bishop Edward R. Benoway is the third bishop to administer the work of the Florida-Bahamas Synod. He was installed on November 18, 2001 and reelected to a second term in 2007. The Bishop is the Pastor to the Synod Community and exercises the church's power to ordain, commission and consecrate the Rostered leaders of this church. The Bishop is also responsible for strengthening the unity of the Church, exercising leadership in the mission of the church, and oversee and administer the general work of the synod and staff.
The mission of the Office of the Bishop is to shepherd and resource rostered leaders and congregations as they proclaim Christ to the world.
The Rev. Edward R. Benoway was elected third Bishop of the Florida-Bahamas Synod, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, in May 2001. He was reelected to a second term in 2007. Born in Zanesville, Ohio, Bishop Benoway was raised and attended schools in Tampa. He graduated from Newberry College and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary.
A retired pastor in each conference has agreed to serve as a Bishop’s Chaplain in his or her conference. These chaplains will serve as an extension of the Office of the Bishop in order to assist with the pastoral care of other retired rostered leaders, spouses and the widows/widowers of former rostered leaders.