Costa Rican Bishop Joins Government

Bishop Melvin Jimenez makes a comment during the 2013 LWF Council meeting. Photo: LWF/S. Gallay
Bishop Melvin Jimenez makes a comment during the 2013 LWF Council meeting. Photo: LWF/S. Gallay

A Moment of Kairos

(LWI) - The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Costa Rica (ILCO) has expressed its joy over the appointment of its president, Bishop Melvin Jimenez, as prime minister in the new Costa Rican government following elections that concluded in April,

ILCO executive director, Rev. Carlos Bonilla P. Avendaño expressed his expectation that the appointment of Bishop Jimenez will help promote social justice, dialogue, consensus-building and the defence of human rights in the new government.

Jimenez was consecrated as Costa Rica’s first Lutheran bishop in 2008. Ordained in 1990, he has been a youth leader and a passionate defender of ethical and Christian education. Since 2000 he has been president of the church. Bishop Jimenez is regarded in his region as a church leader speaking up for the marginalized and oppressed.

From 2008 to 2011 Jimenez served as the moderator of the bishops and presidents of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) member churches in Latin America. The ILCO has 1387 members in 30 communities throughout the Central American country.

While losing the bishop’s experience, knowledge and wisdom, Rev. C. Bonilla said he hoped that Jimenez’ presence in the government will be reflected in policies that favour minorities and disadvantaged populations.

The church’s board has accepted Jimenez’s resignation and granted him a leave of absence while he serves in the government and given him its full support. In his absence the church will continue its restructuring that began two years ago with the assistance of the LWF’s sustainability program.

Rev. C. Bonilla added that the ILCO is at a kairos moment. “Today, God call us to further deepen the path begun by Bishop Jimenez – building a church of Lutheran identity that is clear and deep, and a church of the poor and excluded, and a reformed church in permanent transformation, nurturing and nourishing the global Lutheran communion,” he concluded.