ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton has issued a issued a pastoral message on ELCA Presiding Bishop Emeritus Herbert W. Chilstrom, who died at home early this morning. “Bishop Chilstrom was the first presiding bishop of the ELCA,” the message read, in part. “Many of you knew him in those early days when the ELCA was just getting started—there was no furniture at the Lutheran Center, files were in boxes, phones were on the floor, and the skeleton staff worked on card tables and folding chairs.

“He was once told by a corporate executive sitting next to him on a plane that this was no way to start a corporation and it would never work. Thirty-three years later we are still here, entrusted with the ministry of the gospel and serving the neighbor.”

Read the full message.

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