LWF Assistant General Secretary Kaisamari Hintikka elected as bishop of Espoo, Finland
General Secretary Junge grateful for ecumenical and theological leadership
(LWI) - Rev. Dr Kaisamari Hintikka, assistant general secretary for Ecumenical Relations and director of the Department for Theology and Public Witness (DTPW) at The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), has been elected bishop of the Diocese of Espoo in Finland.
“We receive this news with a grateful heart and with joy,” LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge said. “We are grateful because of the outstanding ecumenical and theological leadership Kaisamari Hintikka has provided for the entire LWF Communion in the context of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. We are joyful, as we look to the Diocese of Espoo receiving all her gifts and talents, enriched by her exposure and participation in the global setting of the church.”
“Seeing a capable, theologically grounded woman elected into the office of bishop is a great encouragement to us in the LWF,” he added.
An ordained pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (ELCF), Hintikka joined the LWF in 2012, after working for her home church and the Conference of European Churches. As assistant general secretary for ecumenical relations, she has led the LWF’s ecumenical dialogues with partners such as the Roman-Catholic Church, Orthodox, Anglicans, Reformed, Pentecostals and Mennonites.
We receive this news with a grateful heart and with joy. We are grateful because of the outstanding ecumenical and theological leadership Kaisamari Hintikka has provided for the entire LWF Communion in the context of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
As DTPW director, she has guided LWF’s theological, ecumenical and interfaith work, taking the lead in strengthening gender justice and advocacy across the whole communion. The department coordinated the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and has engaged in foundational theological work, publishing study documents and policies such as the Gender Justice Policy, The Self-Understanding of the Lutheran Communion, The Church in the Public Space, and The Bible in the Life of the Lutheran Communion.
Speaking to Lutheran World Information, Hintikka said, “I am grateful and humbled by this call from Espoo diocese. I pray that we can together with all the members of its congregations participate in God's mission and witness in an increasingly powerful way in this world for hope, peace and justice."
The ELCF has nearly 4 million members. It was a founding member of the LWF in 1947 and hosted the communion’s fourth Assembly in Helsinki in 1963. The church is organized in nine dioceses covering the whole country, each led by a bishop. At the national level, the church is led by Archbishop Tapio Luoma.
Located in the country’s capital, the Diocese of Espoo is the newest in the Finnish Lutheran church. It was created in 2004 and includes 19 parishes serving about 600,000 people. Hintikka will be installed as bishop in Espoo Cathedral in February 2019.
Hintikka, age 51, was ordained in 2009. She studied theology in Finland and completed a dissertation on the history of the ecumenical movement, especially Orthodox churches, in 2000. She is married to Jukka Väinölä, and they have one daughter.