West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod
|This is going to take a while
Synod Assembly convened Saturday, 16 October 2021, electing 26 people, including a bishop, adopting some interesting recommendations from the Committee on the Bishop's Report, amending its bylaws, doing some other things, and adjourning sine die before exhausting its agenda. There is a lot to report, and there is a lot to update on this constellation of pages---more than we can do this Monday. So, give us a few days, and we'll try to get everything up-to-date. In the meantime, you can read the synopsis emailed to The Bishop's Roadshow subscribers.
Everything after this is line is now out-of-date.
By order of the Synod Council of the West
Virginia-Western Maryland Synod of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America, a regular meeting of the
Synod Assembly shall convene on Saturday, 16 October
2021, at 10:00 AM, at the Mon County 4H Center, Mylan
Park, Morgantown, WV.
As this is a regular meeting of the Synod Assembly, all
business required by the governing documents will be on
the agenda. That includes an explicitly enumerated set of
reports and elections. New business is also allowed, but
there are rules currently in place that set a deadline for
submission of nongermane resolutions and memorials (see here).
The proposed agenda is published in The Pre-Assembly Bulletin of Reports.
It is subject to amendment by the assembly.
The current draft agenda includes
The Synod Council, in special meeting on 15 September
2021, discussed the upcoming Synod Assembly meeting
scheduled for Saturday, 16 October 2021, in light of the
current pandemical situation. Balancing competing concerns
and interests and informed by epidemiological advice,
Synod Council intends to continue with the planned
meeting, convening at 10:00 AM, on Saturday, 16 October
2021, at the Mon County 4H Center, Mylan Park, Morgantown,
WV. The following has also been set by Synod Council as
arrangements for the meeting:
The Synod Council reserves the right, in response to
There is reasonable concern about the current COVID surge
in our region. If this current surge tracks as it has in
other nations and parts of the United States in the past,
there is reason to expect that we will be in a trough by
mid-October. Expert advice suggests that decisions on
gatherings such as ours should be made 7-10 days out from
the event. In other words, it is too early to cancel or
postpone the assembly in response to the pandemical
situation, because that situation may be different than
what we expect it to be three weeks from now. Synod
Council will continue to monitor the situation.
Synod Council advises potential attendees to be prepared
for changes, chief among them a move to the outdoor
pavilion if conditions warrant. Potential attendees are
also reminded that the meeting arrangements set by the
Synod Council are subject to change by the Synod Assembly
itself, i.e., many of these are would be governed
under convention standing rules (rules of the assembly),
and the assembly has the right to change, increase, or
decrease them while in session.
The Pre-Assembly Bulletin of Reports for Synod
Assembly 2021 is now live, on-line on the Manula platform.
You may access here.
You can navigate the Pre-Assembly Bulletin of Reports
by using the table of contents in the left of your Manula
interface (on a computer) or in the upper left corner (on
a mobile device).
Late reports and additional information will be posted
integrated into the Pre-Assembly Bulletin of Reports as
we receive them. To be alerted of such updates, you may
want to subscribe to our text message (SMS) service for
Synod Assembly matters; click here to learn more.
Caveat Lector! Internet
connectivity may be limited at the venue. We recommend
printing or downloading to a mobile device those parts of
The Pre-Assembly Bulletin of Reports that you will
want access to at the venue. The master PDF (see below)
has everything you might need on sight, but, if you want
to be more selective, these sections are vital:
For elections, we encourage possession of the following,
but one could do this work at home, prior to the assembly,
making your own voter guide:
For legislative work, we encourage possession of the
Nominations & Elections page. You will also find information on how to make a floor nomination there.
On-line registration for Synod Assembly 2021 is now
On-site registration opens at 9:00 a.m.. Registration
will temporarily close at 10:50 a.m. (ten minutes prior to
the first ballot for bishop).
If you an alternate for someone who has already
registered but now is not attending, please complete the
late registration form (linked above), filling in the
information for alternates.
Dispensation from M-F VM
Click for form
Normally, a congregation is to send one male and one
female voting member. Dispensation, however, may be
requested of the Synod Council. For smaller congregations,
in particular, it may be difficult to find both a male and
a female willing/able to attend. To request dispensation,
please complete this form: Dispensation from
M-F VM Requirement. Requests for dispensation will
be processed, at minimum, weekly. In the meantime, proceed
with registration of your voting members until informed to
16 October 2021 was announced (by website, Roadshow,
and facebook) on 10 June 2021 as the anticipated date of
Synod Assembly 2021. At the same time, it was announced
that the assembly would convene at the Mon County 4H
Center, Mylan Park, near Morgantown, WV. This
save-the-date was announced 10 June 2021 by website, Roadshow,
Synod Council, at its 21 July 2021 meeting, reserved 13
November 2021 as the date for an adjourned meeting of the
Synod Assembly should it be needed. N.B., Synod
Assembly is being planned as a one-day assembly with the
option of a second day. A second day will be necessary
under two conditions (otherwise we are done at the end of
the first day and go home without having to come back):
An adjourned meeting is not a special meeting; it is a
continuation of session. Folks often get the terms
inverted. A "meeting" is a discreet sitting for business
without more than a momentary recess of short duration,
the assembly members remaining in the immediate area and
prepared to return to work. A dinner break, break for
mass, or the overnight break constitutes a break that ends
a meeting. The "session" is the work of the assembly that
is governed by one agenda. So, our assemblies are already
made up of at least three meetings in one session. An
adjourned meeting is the next meeting in a series of
meetings that make up the session. With an adjourned
Everything mentioned here is already the case with our
Synod Assembly, but we may not have recognized it as such.
Again, the major difference is the longer period of time
The Mon County 4H Center is located in Mylan Park, two
miles west of I-79 Exit-155, providing easy access for
travelers (click here for
google map). You can visit the facility online at
its Mylan Park
website. We are renting both the indoor and outdoor
pavilion, with the assembly business planned for the
indoor space and the outside space available for
exhibitors and socialization. Synod Council retains the
option to move to the assembly chamber to the outdoor
pavilion in response to pandemical and/or weather
conditions. If the adjourned meeting is called for 13
November 2021, it will be at the same venue.
Dining GuideClick here to review just some of the dining options in the area.
There are ample dining options, ranging from fast food
drive-thru to high class sit-down, within a short drive,
the Gateway complex and University Town Centers being two
and three miles away respectively. Drive a little further,
and even more options become available. Lunch will be an
extended period of time not only to allow attendees to eat
with some leisure but also to allow the tellers to count
ballots. It will also be possible for attendees to pack
their own picnic lunches and eat at the pavilions (or
anywhere else in the park). Lunch is not included in the
The Lutheran Campus Ministry @ WVU is offering Synod
Assembly delegates and guests a lunchtime tour of the
Chapel (located at 1497 University Ave, Morgantown, WV
26505) with a free lunch provided, featuring pulled pork
and brats! A freewill offering will be accepted to support
the ministry of the LCM@WVU, with a tithe going to The
Rack (WVU’s student food pantry). Noon Prayer will be held
at 12:30 pm. Reservations are required by 13 October
2021: email RSVP to Chaplain@LutheranMountaineer.org.
Warning: If you have
indicated a willingness to be a teller (help with
elections), wait until 8 October 2021 to RSVP for
this option. Some tellers will be needed to count for the
first ballot for bishop. Teller assignments will be made 7
October 2021. Lunch will be provided for tellers.
Lodging GuideClick here to review just some of the lodging options in the area.
There is also ample lodging in the area for anyone
wishing to secure accommodations, and, it not being a WVU
home football weekend, availability and prices should be
reasonable. Of course, many will prefer to simply travel
in the morning and return home when we wrap up. A lodging
guide is available for your perusal, but there are many
other options that are not listed. The lodging guide does
not imply endorsement. Lodging can be had in the
Morgantown area at a wide variety of pricepoints and
accommodation level. Lodging is not included in the
Synod Council, at its 31 July 2021 meeting, set the
registration fee at $0.00---that's right: Free
registration this year for Synod Assembly! This is
possible because of aggressive cost-cutting measures by
SAPComm, redesign of the Synod Assembly, an amazingly good
deal on the meeting venue, and a surplus in the Synod
Keeping abreast of all the information connected with
Synod Assembly isn't easy. To assist, we automatically
enroll registered attendees onto a dedicated email list.
Other means of communication (the synod website, Facebook,
and The Bishop's Road Show) are also employed.
Visit our new Synod
Assembly Communications page.
We've just added a simply text messaging service to let
you know when announcements related to Synod Assembly are
published. Click here for more info.
Synod Council, at its 15 Setpember 2021 meeting,
discussed COVID mitigation measures. You can review them
in the Special
Announcement of 17 September 2021.
Keep InformedSubscribe to The Bishop's Roadshow for updates on the Synod Assembly.
Concerns about the pandemic have not abated. Synod
Council continues to monitor the situation and reserves
the right to postpone or cancel the Synod Assembly in
response to the pandemical situation. At the same time,
the state, the local health department, or the venue may
respond to the a change in the pandemical situation that
precludes our gathering.
Initial plans for the Synod Assembly were laid out and
accepted in principal by Synod Council at its October 2020
meeting. At the time, both risk mitigation and pandemic
psychology were forefront in the Synod Council's thinking.
The following assumptions drove planning:
With these assumptions, the following planning goals were
SAPComm, monitoring the pandemical situation, concluded
that an open-air assembly, social distancing, and
mandatory masking were no longer necessary but, being of
the opinion that flexibility for response to possible
variants and new waves of the coronavirus, chose to retain
some of the planning parameters.
Synod Council reviewed SAPComm's work, settling on some details and leaving others to the committee for further work. As mentioned, details will be posted as they develop and can be formatted for presentation.
Deadline for Nominations
17 August 2021
The public input phase for nominations associated with
Synod Assembly 2021 closed 17 August 2021. Floor
nominations will be allowed (as well as write-ins during
the election) at the assembly. To learn more about what
positions will be up for election at Synod Assembly 2021
and how to recommend people for nomination to those
positions, visit our Nominations &
Deadline for Reports
3 September 2021
Deadline for Exhibit Application
16 September 2021
There are some significant changes this year when it comes exhibiting. Please visit our Exhibiting at Synod Assembly page for more information.
Deadline for Resolutions and Memorials
26 September 2021
As this is a regular meeting of the Synod Assembly, the
introduction of non-germane new business is not only
permitted by expected. Those interested in introducing new
business should note the deadline, 26 September 2021. Visit our
Resolutions & Memorials page for details on
submission, format, etc..