Pastor James Haak is the new Bishop of the LCA’s New South Wales District.
Bishop Haak was installed by LCA Bishop John Henderson at Immanuel Lutheran Church Woden Valley, in the Australian Capital Territory on 21 January.
Bishop Henderson, who preached on Jonah 3:1–5,10 for the installation, said the story of Jonah was a great encouragement to all Christians, regardless of their roles and responsibilities. ‘No matter how big our challenges, we have everything we need in God’s word of love, and his grace for the world’, Bishop Henderson said.
Most recently the 1st Assistant Bishop of the Queensland District and pastor of the Lockyer Valley Parish (Gatton Ministry Area), Bishop Haak was elected at the New South Wales District’s Convention of Synod at Warrambui Retreat and Conference Centre, Murrumbateman in September 2017.
He replaces former Bishop Mark Lieschke, who did not stand for another four-year term in the role. Pastor Lieschke served for eight years and two terms, first as president, then bishop for the district.
At the time of his election, Pastor Haak said he was ‘extremely humbled’ by being asked by synod to become bishop.
‘From my perspective, it was unexpected’, he said. ‘It shows once again that God’s ways are not always the ways that we believe or imagine.’
Bishop Haak also previously served at Rockhampton, West Logan, and Pittsworth in Queensland and Eudunda in South Australia. As well as his 32 years of parish ministry, he is a current member of the member of the LCA’s Commission on Theology and Inter-Church Relations (CTICR) and has held leadership positions as a member of Queensland District Church Council and Queensland District Finance Committee.
He said he was looking forward to serving the pastors, parishes, and organisations that make up LCANSW and prayed that God would give him ‘the wisdom and strength to carry out this task he has laid before me.’
Bishop Haak is married to Marie and they have two adult children.