Dean Lauma Zušēvica Elected Bishop of the LELCL

2014 gada 15. decembrī / Autors: Inga Reča

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LELCL (Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church outside Latvia) has elected Dean Lauma Zušēvica as its new bishop.

LELCL operating rules stipulate that the Church bishop is elected for a period of seven years. After election, the Central Board of the Church grants him/her the title of Archbishop. The successor’s admission to the office is planned to take place before May 1, 2015.

Bishop’s electoral commission was held in the church of Seattle on 15 October 2014. From 183 envelopes with electoral material 172 responses with 196 votes (95%) were received. Churches from 10 countries – the USA, Australia, Belgium, New Zealand, Canada, Russia (St. Petersburg), Latvia, Great Britain, Germany and Sweden – participated in the election.

Three candidates were nominated: Dean Lauma Zušēvica received 140 votes, Dean Andris Abakuks – 35 and Dean emer. Fritz T. Kristbergs – 19 votes.

Lauma Zušēvica (b. Lagzdiņa) was born on 3 July 1954, in Cleveland. In 1976, acquired B.A. degree in religious sciences and languages at the Cleveland State University. In 1980, she received M. Ph. degree in religious sciences at the Yale University. She was ordained pastor on 4 June 1978, in Cleveland. In her work, Lauma focused her attention on young people and children. February 10, 1980 the congregation of Long Island chose Lauma as their pastor.

12 July 1980 Lauma married the architect Ivars Zušēvics. They have two daughters – Zīle and Kaija. A great blessing and joy of the family is grandson Paul (Zīle and Kārlis’ Rudzītis’ son), born in 2011.

Due to her husband’s working conditions, Lauma moved to Chicago in 1984. She continued to lead LELBA Youth sector, conducted worship services in the US Midland County. In 1985, she started to serve in St. John’s church in Milwaukee, WI, which after the merger of three congregations became St. Trinity church.

From 1990 to 1993, Lauma conducted the LELBA School and Christian education sector. October 1995 LELBA Midland County Conference elected Lauma as the area spiritual leader, in February 1996 the Archbishop introduced her to the Dean’s office. LELBA Milwaukee Synod in 2005, Washington Synod in 2008 and the Indianapolis Synod in 2011 elected Lauma the chairwoman of the LELBA. She continues in this work to this day, as well as serves as pastor at Milwaukee St. Trinity Church, Fond Du Lac Martin Luther community and Wisconsin Rapids community.

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