What is the role of the bishop?
- Synod spiritual guide
- Pastor to the pastors and congregations
- Member of ELCA Conference of Bishops
- Ecumenical liaison
- Speaker and published author
Robert Alan Rimbo is bishop of the Metropolitan New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). He was formerly the pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in New York City, and immediately prior to that, bishop of the Southeast Michigan Synod, ELCA.
A graduate of Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Indiana (1972), and Christ Seminary - Seminex, St. Louis, Missouri (1976), Bishop Rimbo holds an honorary Doctor of Divinity from The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church (2010). He is married to Lois, a retired elementary school reading and language arts specialist. They are the parents of two adult children, Deborah and Justin (married to Angela), and the grandparents of Owen Robert and Zoe Elizabeth.
Bishop Rimbo has served the church in a variety of ways: pastorates in Michigan, New York and New Jersey; assistant to the bishop in the Southeast Michigan Synod; director of music in several parishes; and executive assistant to the project director for the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978). He has worked as chaplain, editor, advisor, and coordinator for many boards and projects relating to worship and parish ministry. He has influenced and guided social services, health, and music through board memberships with Lutheran Services New York Alliance, Lutheran Health Care (Brooklyn) and the national Lutheran Music Program. He is also a member of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians and of the North American Academy of Liturgy.
Bishop Rimbo has given major addresses at the Institute of Liturgical Studies at Valparaiso University, the Pastoral Liturgy Institute of Notre Dame University, the Leadership Conference of Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and at various meetings of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. He has published essays, sermons, and numerous articles about worship and is the author of Why Worship Matters (Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 2004). He was an editorial team member for the Renewing Worship project of the ELCA, which published Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006). He represents the ELCA on the ecumenical Consultation on Common Texts.