In a very close election Pr. Roger Gustafson of Advent Lutheran Church, Olathe, Kan. was elected bishop of Central States Synod, Saturday, June 8. The fifth ballot results were: Pr. Gustafson 183; Bishop Mansholt 180. Our congratulations and prayers are with Bishop-Elect Gustafson as he enters this new phase of his ministry.
Roger Gustafson has served Advent Lutheran Church, Olathe, Kansas, since being ordained a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 1990. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota and his Master of Divinity degree with honors from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California, where he met his wife-to-be, Susan Langhauser. Roger’s first career was in print journalism, and he worked on a variety of newspapers in the Midwest and West.
In addition to serving as a pastor at Advent, he also has volunteered as a mediator at Johnson County Small-Claims Court, has served as a mediator in church leadership disputes and coached mediation classes at Johnson County Community College. He also has worked as a consultant on clean-water initiatives with Children International, a non-profit corporation that offers sponsorships of children born into extreme poverty.
Roger has served in several capacities in the Central States Synod of the ELCA. He was a member of the Pastor-to-Pastor pilot project; a member of the Bishop’s Pastoral Care Team; co-dean with Susan Langhauser of the Kansas City Area Ministry; co-chair of the Local Arrangements Committee for the 1993 Churchwide Assembly in Kansas City; a voting member at the 2005 Churchwide Assembly in Orlando; and chair of the synod’s Evangelizing Strategy Task Force. He has chaired the Church Planters missions team for the Kansas City metropolitan area. He is a contributing writer for “Lectionary Homiletics.”
Roger and Susan are the parents of Andy, who works as an account manager for Lockton Insurance, Kansas City. Roger is a fan of rock and jazz music, motorcycles, and barbecue.