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First female bishop of Western Iowa Synod to be installed

Lorna Halaas

SIOUX CITY — Bishop Lorna H. Halaas, the first female bishop in the 31-year history of the Western Iowa Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, will be installed during a formal ceremony at 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 17 at First Lutheran Church, 3939 Cheyenne Blvd., Sioux City.

Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, the fourth Bishop of the ELCA, will preside, preach and install.

On Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 5200 Glenn Ave., Sioux City, there will be a supper at 6:30 p.m. followed by Holden Evening Prayer at 8 p.m.

All are invited to these free public events.

On May 4 at the 2019 Synod Assembly, Halaas was elected to a six-year term as Bishop, effective July 1. The Synod consists of 125 Lutheran congregations in Western Iowa and is one 65 U.S. synods of the church.

Reflecting on her election as a significant milestone in the work of the Church, Halaas said, “In celebrating the world God has created, there are no differences among us. We are as one. My election is about continuing God’s work among all people wholeheartedly with inclusivity and diversity.”

Previously, Halaas served the Synod as assistant to the bishop. Prior to her Synod post, Halaas served the congregations of Hope Lutheran Church, Sioux Center, and Immanuel Lutheran Church, George, both in Iowa; First Lutheran Church in Hoople, and Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Williston, both in North Dakota.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia College, Moorhead, and a Master of Divinity degree from United Theological Seminary, St. Paul, both in Minnesota.

Halaas succeeds the Rev. Rodger Prois, who served as bishop since 2013.

About the ELCA

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with about 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.