National Bishop Susan C. Johnson

Rev Susan Johnson, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, writes a regular column for each issue of Canada Lutheran.

ELCIC congregations are welcome to republish this material in their church publications. Please acknowledge its original publication by including the credit line:

Canada Lutheran, Month, Year, Volume# and Issue#

National Bishop's Turn

Timing is Everything

Who knew that as conflict escalated in Gaza, there would be no better time to support our Middle East partners—in person.

Jan. 3–13 I travelled with 43 other bishops from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to Jordan, Israel, and Palestine as part of the 2009 Bishops' Academy. The eruption of violence in Gaza caused us to reconsider the trip, but after thoughtful and prayerful deliberation, we went ahead. Our decision was affirmed by the people we met—government leaders, Christians, Jews, and Muslims who said, "You came at the right time to uphold our spirits."

Even if I used this whole page, I couldn't begin to share the breadth of experiences, the joys and sorrows we encountered, and the signs of hope that encouraged us along the way. So let these pictures begin to tell the story, and may their images help us keep our partner church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), and the people of the Middle East in our thoughts and prayers.

Bishop Susan C. Johnson

Canada Lutheran, January/February 2009