Sunday, 22 March 2009

A woman bishop for the newly united church in central Germany

In Wittenberg yesterday the synod of the Evangelical Church in Central Germany elected Ilse Junkermann from Stuttgart as Bishop of the new church, which has come into being from a union between two German Landeskirchen - the Thuringia Lutheran Church and the Church of the Church Province of Saxony. The bishops of the two churches both stood down to allow the new church to have a clearly new leadership.
I'm really glad that they have elected a woman. The Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Oberlausitz Church is also due to elect its new bishop this year. There's a woman on the list there too though she's not a front runner it would seem. The first generation of women bishops in Germany are beginning to retire - Bärbel von Wartenburg-Potter last year and Maria Jepsen in the next couple of years.
Junkermann's election means she will be one of three female bishops in Germany, Margot Kässmann and Maria Jepsen being the other two.