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Abstract: Last year's bishop and this year's bishop respond to extraordinary ordinations.
When Pr. Erik Christensen was ordained extra ordinem at St. Luke - Logan Square in October, 2006, the Metro Chicago Synod did not officially acknowledge the event, yet two bishop's assistants vested, processed, and laid hands on the ordinand with the rest of the clergy. Bishop Paul Landahl attended, but did not vest.
Over the summer, Metro Chicago elected the Rev. Wayne N. Miller as bishop, and when Jen Rude was ordained extra ordinem at Resurrection Lutheran on November 17, neither the bishop nor any of his assistants were present. Their "visible absence" was evidence to some of a "staff decision." Former bishop the Rev. Paul Landahl attended, but did not vest.
On the other hand, Bishop Miller did send Jen a letter (reproduced in the service folder) acknowledging the new phase in her ministry. The letter reads in part:
I write to wish you well as you begin a new phase in your ministry at Resurrection Lutheran Church. Know that my prayers and the prayers of the synod are with you and the members of Resurrection Lutheran Church. Ministry to a community takes different forms, and is expressed in different ways that are right for a time and a place that needs to hear of God's love continually made known in Jesus Christ.
Bishop Miller's letter is a welcome departure from the silence of local bishops in previous extraordinary ordinations. Indeed, the only hint that relations might not be exactly normal is the absence of the word ordination in the bishop's remarks.