Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop of the ELCA
Elected as the ELCA’s fourth presiding bishop at the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, The Rev. Elizabeth Eaton earned a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School and a Bachelor of Music Education from the College of Wooster.
Ordained in 1981, Eaton served three different congregations in Ohio as assistant pastor, interim pastor and pastor before being elected bishop of the ELCA Northeastern Ohio Synod in 2006 and re-elected in May 2013.
At gatherings, she often shares her four emphases for the ELCA: We are church; We are Lutheran; We are church together; We are church for the sake of the world. These four emphases are fundamental to identifying who the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is.
Eaton also represents the ELCA in a wide range of ecumenical and interfaith settings. She serves on the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA Governing Board and Development Committee, Religions for Peace USA Council of Presidents and Lutheran World Federation Council. Eaton’s presence witnesses the commitments of the ELCA to its long-term ecumenical partners, both in conciliar and bi-lateral settings.Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda
Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary/California Lutheran University
Cynthia Moe-Lobeda has lectured or consulted in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and many parts of North America in theology; ethics; and matters of climate justice and climate racism, moral agency, globalization, economic justice, public church, and eco-feminist theology. Her most recent book, Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation (Fortress, 2013), won a Nautilus Award for social justice. She is author or co-author of four other volumes and numerous articles and chapters. The website for her most recent book is: http://resistingstructuralevil.com/.
Dr. Moe-Lobeda was appointed theological consultant to the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and has served as a health worker/church worker in Honduras and as Director of the Washington, D.C. office of Augsburg College's Center for Global Education. She is a co-founder of Seattle University’s Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability. Moe-Lobeda is Professor of Theological and Social Ethics at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. She holds a doctoral degree in Christian Ethics from Union Theological Seminary, affiliated with Columbia University.
Rev. Dr. Surekha Nelavala
Global Peace Lutheran Fellowship
Rev. Dr. Surekha Nelavala is serving a mission church, Global Peace Lutheran Fellowship, to build a community with multicultural focus through praise, worship and fellowship. Dr. Nelavala is ordained in the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church (AELC) India, and Rostered in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Dr. Nelavala has a PhD in Biblical Studies, NT, from Drew University, NJ, with several years of teaching experience both in India and in USA. She taught as a visiting lecturer in Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Gettysburg, PA, and as an adjunct faculty at Hood College, Frederick, MD, and served as an Assistant Professor at Gurukul Lutheran Theological College and Research Institute, Chennai, India.
Dr. Nelavala has authored two books and published several articles and essays both in India and in United States. She has delivered lectures and made presentations at several academic and ecclesial forums that included SBL, United Nations, World Council of Churches, and Lutheran World Federation on the topics related to Religion, church and social justice. Dr. Nelavala has traveled internationally and thus cultivated inter-cultural and inter-contextual perspectives as well as multicultural persepctives as a biblical scholar. She is committed to the ecclesiastical cause of bringing scholarship and people of God together in developing praxis-oriented liberating hermeneutics of the Bible, which she intends to use effectively in her ministry. Rev. Nelavala' passion as a minister is to bring good news of Christ to the people effectively while offering theologically grounded Christian teaching through preaching, liturgy and Bible studies.
In addition, Dr. Nelavala has a worked as an Executive Director, Women's Desk, UELCI, and involved in church ministries and social advocacy for justice.Rev. Dr. Surekha Nelavala
Rev. Dr. Moses Penumaka
Director, Theological Education for Emerging Ministries, California Lutheran University
Rev. Dr. Moses Paul Peter Penumaka is the Director of Theological Education for Emerging Ministers at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary of California Lutheran University, Berkeley, California. He teaches theology and religion and culture in Asia and Oceania. His doctoral dissertation is on Communicatio Idiomatum and ahum Brahmasmi, a comparative study on Martin Luther’s and Adi Shankaracharya’s understanding of the nature of God or Ultimate Reality.
Penumaka was born in Andhra Pradesh in south India, was ordained Pastor in the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church, India, served as the national general secretary for the Student Christian Movement of India (affiliated to World Student Christian Federation), Bangalore, India. He was Director of Asia Project of Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA and is currently the Chairperson of the Managing Board.
Penumaka is also a member of Theological Roundtable of ELCA, Select Learning Board, and the Steering committee of Association of Teaching Theologians.Rev. Dr. Moses Penumaka
Author and founder, president and CEO of BuildOn
Founder, President and CEO of buildOn, a non-profit organization that builds schools in developing countries while also running after school service programs in America’s toughest inner-cities.
At home or abroad, Ziolkowski’s goal is to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations through service and education. Inspired by his own travels to some of the most impoverished countries in the world and his experiences living in Harlem, Ziolkowski derailed his fast-track career in corporate finance at GE to dedicate his life to buildOn.
The seeds for buildOn were planted when Ziolkowski was hitchhiking and backpacking around the world after graduating from college in 1989. During a twenty-seven-day hike into the Himalayas, he came upon a village in Nepal that was in the midst of a two-day celebration for the opening of a school. For the last several months, he had witnessed the immense suffering caused by extreme poverty. But in this village he saw something different — the hope and courage of a community, and it all revolved around education.
When he got back to the United States and began his job in corporate finance at GE, Ziolkowski could not shake those memories of poverty abroad and he was more acutely aware of poverty faced by many urban youth here in America. So he quit GE to start buildOn.Jim Ziolkowski