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French Lutherans elect new president

May 24, 2012 No Comment


President Roger Jones and President Emeritus Jean Thiébaut Haessig

The Église Évangélique Luthérienne—Synode de France (EELSF – Evangelical Lutheran Church—Synod of France) has elected a new president at its synodical convention May 18-20 in Châtenay-Malabry, France. Rev. Roger Jones, who serves Saint-Sauveur in Paris, was elected on the first ballot. President Jones formerly served the EELSF as vice-president and as a regional president.

The office of president was formerly held by Rev. Jean Thiébaut Haessig, who had announced his intention to retire from the ministry this coming August. He currently pastors the Lutheran congregation of Châtenay-Malabry and is director of L’heure Luthérienne, a French spinoff of Lutheran Hour Ministries. Until announcing his retirement, he also served as president of the European Lutheran Conference.

“It was a great honour for me to serve [EELSF] on the Synodical Board for 36 years without interruption in previous positions,” said Rev. Haessig. He served twelve of those years as president of synod.

Rev. Haessig noted that the overwhelming vote in favour of President Jones demonstrates “the esteem he enjoys in our church after four years of work in our midst.” Before joining the EELSF, Rev. Jones previously served in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of England.

Commenting on this transition, Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) President Dr. Robert Bugbee noted, “The work of our brothers and sisters in France began years ago in Alsace, where churches with a strong German background were planted. Very wisely, the Alsatians felt the call to reach into the mainstream of French society by planting congregations in greater Paris and elsewhere. We all realize that a faithful witness is difficult in the post-Christian societies of western Europe. May God bless President Haessig as he begins a well-deserved retirement, our new colleague President Jones, and bless also the tie between our Canadian church and our friends in France.”

The EELSF is a member church of the International Lutheran Council, of which LCC is also a member.

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