Pastor Peter Hage has been elected as the next bishop of the LCANZ’s Western Australia District.

The pastor of St Johns Lutheran Church in Perth, he was elected unopposed last month for an initial four-year term during the District Convention of Synod at Concordia Lutheran Church Duncraig, in suburban Perth. Pastor Kim Kuchel, who has retired from Army chaplaincy and is serving part-time with the Katanning–Narrogin Parish southeast of Perth, was elected and installed as WA’s new assistant bishop during the convention, held from 3 to 5 March.

Bishop-elect Peter will succeed Bishop Mike Fulwood, who has retired from the part-time role he has served in since June 2017. The pair have been working together during a handover period since the election.

The assistant bishop of the district since 2018, Bishop-elect Peter will also continue to serve St Johns. A self-described ‘reluctant bishop’, he says he is excited to be able to continue in the parish role as well as supporting the WA District as bishop.

‘I say to people I was initially a reluctant pastor and I’m a reluctant bishop’, he said.

‘I just think of those words that Jesus said, “To him who is given much, much is required”. He says that in the context of the master giving servants various talents to serve with and in that context not everyone is given that same ability, but we just simply need to reflect on our gifts. While this has not been an aspiration of mine, I’ve had great encouragement from others that I should take on this role.

‘I’m happy to serve and I’m happy to support but to take the lead is a responsibility that needs to be covered by much grace.’

Excited, too, by the prospects for church planting in WA, along with what is already happening in the Rockingham–Mandurah area, Bishop-elect Peter believes his district role is also to give hope to congregations through changing times.

‘We need to keep trusting in God’s Spirit that he will lead us and guide us’, he said. ‘It’s God’s church, it’s not our church. We need not fear the future but move into the future expecting something different. I am happy to lead our District through a season of transition and change just trusting in the faithfulness of God and the promises that he gives to us that he is always with us.’

Ordained in 1990, Bishop-elect Peter began his ministry in Papua New Guinea and served there for 10 years, before accepting a call to Freeling parish in South Australia in 2001. He also served at Mount Barker in South Australia and Mount Gravatt in Queensland, before beginning his ministry at St Johns Perth in 2017.

He and his wife, Lois, have two adult children.

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