Bishop Henderson was first elected to head the LCA in April 2013. It was a difficult time in which there were many who were trying to persuade the Australian Lutherans to ordain women. While this resolution gained a majority, it was not a sufficient majority to be enacted. Although things have been quiet on the front, the work continues -- especially among those of a certain age and mindset -- to make sure that the Aussies join those of the other more liberal Lutherans in opening the ministerium to women (and, as it has been showed repeatedly to be the case among those who ordained women, from women to all genders and sexual identities).
Bishop Henderson has had a long career in the LCA, serving as Vice President of the LCA 2006-2011, as a member of the General Church Council from 2003-2011, and Principal of Australian Lutheran Council from 2009 until his election as bishop.
So, will Austrailian Lutherans choose a bishop who will push for the ordination of women or will they take a pause in this pursuit. Who knows? The delegates to the General Synod will elect the new churchwide bishop. Pastors at General Pastors Conference in July will hold a nominating ballot to select the nominees for the position of LCA bishop. Those names will be presented to General Synod and those receiving at least 25% of votes will be on the final electoral ballot at Convention of General Synod. In the past there have surfaced two or three candidates from this process. Although there is a special provision for delegates at General Synod to nominate further candidates from the floor, it has rarely been used and would be unlikely to reflect a groundswell of support necessary to elect.
We in the LCMS have enjoyed a great relationship with the Aussies and have been especially blessed with the wisdom and teaching of people like Dr. John Kleinig. While the LCA is not a large church body, it has consistently produced great pastors, theologians, and exegetes who have served the wider church (people like Gregory Lockwood and his Concordia Commentary comes to mind). Pray for our brothers and sisters down under and for the course to be steered clearly on the side of confessional, liturgical, and catholic Lutheranism.