Special Announcement from Bishop Brian Maas

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” –Ecclesiastes 3:1

Dear Saints of the Nebraska Synod:

In this season of giving thanks and this time of reflecting on blessings, I am writing to you with a profound sense of gratitude for the ways in which I am blessed by all of you. It is a privilege to serve as your bishop, and a gift to get to see you in action as Christ’s church. Yet there is indeed a season and a time for everything; for beginnings and for endings. I am writing to share with you that one such ending is coming. I will be ending my term as bishop early, on August 31, 2022.

I have notified the Synod Council and we are working together on the process of preparing for a bishop’s election at next summer’s Synod Assembly, June 2-4, 2022. I have opted to announce my departure well in advance so that there is time for a regular bishop’s election, to allow your next bishop to transition into the office on September 1, as in an ordinary election year. That schedule means that the Nebraska Synod will not have an interim bishop but will simply transition from one elected bishop to the next. More information about the process will be coming your way in early December.

This is news which I suspect will catch most of you by surprise—certainly I was surprised to receive a new call to ministry. After I leave the office of bishop, I will transition into the role of Vice President for Mission and Spiritual Care at Immanuel, one of Nebraska Synod’s Serving Arms ministries. In that role, I will continue to serve the church by fostering ever closer ties between the church and the important work of Immanuel’s ministries with seniors, the community and the church.

Please know that this is a decision that has come only after an extended period of reflection, prayer and consultation. I still believe that serving as Bishop of the Nebraska Synod remains one of the best calls in the ELCA—and I will continue to serve fully through my very last day in office. The synod staff and I intend to finish strong. In the meantime, I cherish your prayers—not only for me, but especially for the synod, its staff and its ministries.

It remains a humbling experience to serve in this role. I get to see so much of the church—of you—in action, and it is an incredible thing. I will always hold you in gratitude for your witness to the Gospel, and for the faithful way in which you carry out that witness. It is truly a privilege to serve with you.

Gratefully yours in Christ,

Brian D. Maas