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Biography of the Rev. Claire S. Burkat, Bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod

The Rev. Claire Schenot Burkat served two terms as the fourth bishop of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod (SEPA) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, (ELCA) called as the spiritual leader of the 80,000 members, 150 ELCA congregations, and 15 Social Ministry organizations, in the metropolitan Philadelphia area. She was elected on the first ballot of her second six-year term. (2006-2018)

During her tenure Reverend Burkat streamlined the Synod staff, initiated a comprehensive deployment of elected deans, led the Synod through two strategic planning processes, and launched a capital campaign called Forward Together in Faith comprised of four key components to equip congregations and leaders for Lutheran witness in the 21st century.

Reverend Burkat has been a prominent leader in local and national ecumenical and interfaith initiatives. For 12 years she was co-convener of the Religious Leaders Council of Philadelphia, bringing together Christians, Jews, Muslims and other faith traditions on issues of moral concern to the region. She served as a trustee on several