The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

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October 2, 2013

Reception planned for Bishop Eaton in Ashtabula

ASHTABULA — A cake and coffee reception will be held from 3-5 p.m. Oct. 13 for the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, former pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church, at the church.

The reception is to celebrate Eaton’s election as the first presiding female bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

Eaton, 58, of Ashtabula, has served as the local bishop since 2007, but will be moving to the ELCA national office in Chicago to start her new duties in November.

She was elected the denomination’s bishop Aug. 14 in Pittsburgh. She  will serve a six-year term beginning Nov. 1.

Eaton will replace presiding Bishop Mark Hanson, who is stepping down after 12 years of overseeing the ELCA — the largest of the Lutheran denominations in the United States, with 4 million members, according to its website.

Eaton served 15 years at Messiah Lutheran, 615 W. Prospect Road, where she was known for playing an active part in the community, and reaching out to poor households on Station Avenue.  

A native of Cleveland, she received a master of divinity from Harvard Divinity School, and a bachelor’s degree in music education from the College of Wooster. She is married to the Rev. Conrad Selnick, an Episcopal priest who is rector of St. Christopher’s by the River Episcopal Church in Gates Mills.

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