Pastor Mark Vainikka will be the next LCA Queensland District bishop. He was elected unopposed during the District Convention of Synod at Eight Mile Plains last month.

He will succeed Bishop Paul Smith, who has served in the role since June 2015 and did not seek re-election.

Ordained in 2002, Bishop-elect Mark has served in parish ministry, school ministry and as the full-time first assistant bishop. He was the vice-president/assistant bishop for eight years, first assistant bishop since 2018 and the full-time first assistant since 2019. Addressing District Synod after his election, he said: ‘It’s very humbling. You have entrusted me to be your bishop. It is a call to serve you.’

Pastor Ben Hentschke of Ipswich Parish will succeed Pastor Mark as the District’s first assistant bishop, while Pastor Nathan Glover of St Andrews Lutheran College Tallebudgera is the new second assistant bishop.

Meanwhile, Pastor Matthias Prenzler of Goulburn Murray Parish is the new assistant bishop of the Victoria-Tasmania District, which held its Convention of Synod at Geelong on 22 May. Victoria-Tasmania District Bishop Lester Priebbenow, who has served in that role since 2017, was not up for re-election.

Also in May, Pastor David Altus was re-elected unopposed for a further two-year term as bishop of the South Australia – Northern Territory District at its Convention of Synod at Tanunda. Bishop Altus first led the district in late 2009. Pastor Andrew Brook of St Johns Unley was elected to serve as first assistant bishop, while Pastor Joel Cramer of The Ark Salisbury is the SA-NT second assistant bishop.

The Lutheran Church of New Zealand Synod met at Upper Moutere in June. LCNZ Bishop Mark Whitfield is halfway through his third four-year term and was not up for election. The incumbent assistant bishop, Pastor Jim Pietsch, of St Pauls Wellington, was re-elected.

Earlier this year, Bishop Mike Fulwood was returned for a third two-year term leading the Western Australia District in a part-time capacity, along with serving in parish ministry at Parkwood. WA Assistant Bishop Peter Hage of St Johns Perth was also returned for a further two-year term in his role.

The New South Wales District will not hold a Convention of Synod this year.

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