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Abstract: The ELCA Conference of Bishops meets in California, worships in San Francisco.
The ELCA Conference of Bishops met March 6 - 11 just down the peninsula from San Francisco in San Mateo, California, and it was a big deal because the bishops were briefed on the draft social statement on sexuality. LutheranConfessions.com has a lot of ears on the ground in the Sierra Pacific Synod, and numerous reports were filed.
Apparently the big public event of the COB's spring meeting was worship at St. Mark (SF) on Sunday, March 9 with Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson preaching. The bishops were out in force, having been bussed in from San Mateo for the occasion. According to one reporter, Bishop Hanson's quip "We bring our in jokes with us. Some of them are seated among you," resulted in a minor commotion nearby as Central Great Lakes Synod Bishop Thorvald "Wally" Noe-Effingway took an elbow in the ribs from the unidentified person seated next to him.
Another reporter overheard a conversation between Delaware/Maryland Synod Bishop Jerry Knoche and a member of St. Mark's. Bishop Knoche mentioned that he owned a cookbook from a church in San Francisco and wondered if it had been produced by St. Mark's. The parishioner hemmed and hawed trying to remember when the congregation had last produced a cookbook. The bishop noted that the cookbook seemed to have been "nationally produced", and a knowledgeable local intervened to say, "Oh, that's probably Those People at That Church. It was produced by St. Francis Lutheran not far from here. It's a very good cookbook, sadly out of print."
One diligent reporter discovered that bishops who wished to skip the service had the option of taking a Napa Valley wine tour. Our reporter could not say for certain who elected to take the tour, but noted that Bishop Craig Johnson had not been seen at St. Mark.