Wear red is the directive for all Husker fans on game days.
Wear red also is a request for today from the incoming bishop of the Nebraska Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Red is the liturgical color for the Rev. Brian Maas’ 2 p.m. installation today at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Grand Island, Neb.
Maas jokingly said he wants to tell the Rev. Mark Hanson, the national ELCA bishop who will preside and preach at the installation, that the whole state is celebrating with the church.
Maas, 48, has been a pastor for 20 years, the last six at First Lutheran Church in Lincoln.
He spoke in an interview about issues facing the Nebraska church and his hopes for his time as bishop.
Outgoing Nebraska Bishop David deFreese kept the church on a good course, Maas said: “We don’t need any course correction. We’re on the right path.”
But not everything is perfect.
“Our primary issues are the same as are facing every denomination in the country — a shifting religious landscape, the social climate, the economy and incivility and division,” Maas said.
“My hope would be that every member of every church throughout the state would see the bishop’s office as a unifier. While one person holds the single office, it’s a connective office not a divisive office,” he said.
Listening will be a key goal, he said, because of the need to write another 10-year strategic plan.
“I love being with people, I love teaching and I love Scripture,” Maas said. “I find so much liveliness in the Word.”
His favorite passage, the one he turns to again and again is Romans 15:4: “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
Maas sees many reasons for hope.
“I continue to discover things being done in the synod that are phenomenal things. There are just so many great things going on,” he said.
Like other ELCA bishops, Maas was elected to the six-year term as bishop. There are no term limits.
He grew up in Pierce, Neb., received a bachelor’s degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, a master’s in divinity from Yale Divinity School and a certificate of studies from Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, Pa.
Maas served at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Tekamah, Neb., and Immanuel Lutheran Church in Kansas City, Mo., before moving to the Lincoln church.
He and Debbie, his wife of 27 years, have two children, Nathan and Becca, both of whom are in college.
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