The Rev. Erika Uthe has accepted the call to serve as Director for Evangelical Mission/Assistant to the Bishop for the Southeastern Iowa Synod and will begin serving in this new role on April 1, 2016.
Directors for Evangelical Mission (DEM) are employees of the churchwide organization who are located in each of the sixty-five synods of the ELCA. Their primary areas of responsibility include:
- the renewal of congregations,
- education and leadership related to financial partnership between congregations, the synod, and churchwide ministries, and
- planning and implementation of strategies for mission in local contexts.
As a deployed staff member of the ELCA churchwide organization, the DEM is directly supervised by the synod bishop so that this “churchwide” ministry is fully integrated with the life and priorities of the synod.
In sharing the news, Bishop Michael Burk said, “While there are a number of interested and qualified candidates from across the ELCA, we are grateful that the successful candidate in the process that led to this call, is one who knows the Southeastern Iowa Synod and has served in positions of synod leadership.”
In 2013, Pastor Uthe was the first parish pastor to be awarded a Thrivent Leadership Fellowship after being nominated by the Office of the Presiding Bishop. The fellowship program seeks to train young leaders for positions in Lutheran organizations. Pastor Uthe currently serves St. John Lutheran Church, Ely, Iowa. She was recently re-elected to serve a second term on the Southeastern Iowa Synod Council, where she is a member of the executive committee.
Pastor Uthe succeeds the Rev. Gloria Keiser Dovre, who served as DEM from early 2009 through January 2016. Pastor Dovre serves St. Paul Lutheran Church, Ottumwa, Iowa.