BISMARCK — The Rev. Craig Schweitzer has been installed as bishop of the Western North Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Elected to a six-year term on July 17, Schweitzer is the fourth bishop to serve the 163 congregations of the Western North Dakota Synod since the formation of the ELCA in 1988.
He is the first synodical bishop to be elected during an all-digital assembly in the nation. Schweitzer was installed as bishop during a Nov. 1 worship service which was livestreamed from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Bismarck.
In selecting a scripture for the day, Schweitzer chose words from the book of Matthew: "'Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?' He said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'''
After his installation, Schweitzer addressed those in attendance, both in person and online.
"There are a lot of people across North Dakota that have never experienced the love of Christ or heard the Gospel. There is work to do. Let’s get to work as we move forward as a synod," Schweitzer said.
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region.