I had a nice visit yesterday to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on Central Park West and 65th Street.
That’s right across the street from the park, where the traverse road goes through. What a spot.
I stopped by to interview the Rev. Robert Rimbo, who was recently elected to serve as the next bishop of the Metro NY Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He’ll begin a six-year term on Aug. 1.
I’ll write it up for the Journal News/LoHud over the next few days.
Rimbo’s story is an interesting one. He served as a pastor in several states, including a stint on Long Island, before becoming bishop of the Southeast Michigan Synod in 1998.
He was in the first year of his second term as bishop when he had lunch in early 2005 with Bishop Stephen Bouman, then the head of the Metro NY Synod. Rimbo said that he hoped to pastor a church again someday, and Bouman responded “Boy, have I got a place for you.”
Holy Trinity was looking for a pastor and Rimbo left Michigan a few months later to take over.
He did not expect to become a bishop again. Important note: In the ELCA, when a bishop leaves office, he does not remain a bishop. So Bishop Rimbo became Rev. Rimbo again — and will soon become Bishop Rimbo II (so to speak).
Rimbo will face a lot of challenges. I asked him about many of them, and I’ll include his answers in my article.
I can tell you that many of his answers had to do with discerning God’s role in ELCA congregations and ministries and then moving from there. He wants to improve Christian formation for pastors, lay leaders, families, everyone, before addressing the more parochial concerns, however serious, facing the synod.
“We are supposed to be teaching the Gospel of Christ, crucified and risen from the dead,” he said.
He also needs to buy a car. The synod is awfully large…