First woman pastor president elected to Brazilian church

Silvia Beatrice Genz has been elected the first woman pastor president of the IECLB. She is flanked by Pastor First Vice President Odair Braun (right of picture) and Pastor Second Vice President Mauro Batista.

IELCB elects Rev. Silvia Beatrice Genz

(LWI) The Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil (IECLB) has elected a woman president for the first time.

Rev. Silvia Beatrice Genz will take office in January.

Councilors of the 18 synods of the IELCB met to discuss issues related to the life and government of the church under the motto, “Living the Gospel: empathy, compassion, communion...”.

They announced that the presidency of the IECLB was to be made up of Pastor President-elect Genz, First Vice President Pastor Odair Braun and Second Vice President Pastor Mauro Batista de Sousa.

Rev. Genz was born in the municipality of Linha Nova, in south Brazil. Her work in the parishes was geared toward building communities through leadership training, community action and conflict resolution through reconciliation. As a theologian, she is an advocate of Evangelical-Lutheran confessional theology with an ecumenical stance.

Between 2011 and 2014, Rev. Genz acted as second vice president pastor and since January 2015, as first vice president pastor, which allowed her to closely accompany the church council, meetings with pastors and synodical pastors and with sister churches, both in Brazil and abroad.

From her work as a community pastor and participant in synod assemblies, she brings the conviction that the leadership of the church must become closer to that of the communities, through the presence of synodical pastors.

For Rev. Genz, the sustainability of the church lies in the communities. “It is important to strengthen the reflection on faith, gratitude and commitment; where the community should encourage the participation of as many people as possible in the planning of existing actions, as well as new missionary fronts.” She also emphasizes the need of the communities to focus on stewardship using the tithe system rather than social quotas or membership dues.

The public testimony of the church is relevant because it speaks of its identity in concrete contexts "as a safe space, of living the faith in community, of a democratic environment, which recognizes women and men as persons created in the image and likeness of God and the reaffirmation of dialogue as a way of ensuring respect for differences, maintaining the purpose of being a seed of peace and hope in the midst of situations of war and conflict.” The public testimony of the IECLB, should favor the construction of peace processes, without ceasing to be the clear voice of solidarity with the suffering and distressed,” Rev. Genz said.

Lutheran World Federation Program Executive for Gender Justice and Women’s Empowerment, Rev. Judith VanOsdol said it was with joy and thanksgiving that the communion received the news that the IECLB had elected its first female president. The voting members recognized the leadership of Rev. Genz in parish ministry, as well as her service as second, then first vice-president of the church.

“Parabéns - congratulations, Pastora Silvia. Blessings of joy and peace as you begin your ministry together with the IECLB,” Rev VanOsdol said.

By LAC Communications Network