Metro-East News

Lutheran bishop to speak at Belleville church

Elizabeth Eaton, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, will speak Saturday at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Belleville.

Eaton will be the featured speaker during the eighth annual Lynn Schaaf Memorial Lecture series. The event starts at 7 p.m. at the church, 105 East D St.

Brian Robison, pastor at St. Mark, said the church is preparing for a crowd of at least 300.

He said to have Eaton, the bishop of the largest Lutheran denomination, speak at a small congregation in Southern Illinois is “quite unusual.”

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has 10,000 congregations and about 4 million members, according to Robison.

This won’t be the first time, however, that Eaton visits Belleville. Robison said Eaton attended a conference at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in January 2014.

Eaton is expected to speak for about an hour Saturday night. Robison said he’s not sure what she will discuss.

On Sunday, Eaton will preach during a 10 a.m. joint church service at St. Mark with St. George’s Episcopal Church.

“Having her here is just such an honor and blessing for us,” Robison said.