Nominees for bishop, 2015
Synod Assembly
of the
West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod

Nominations & Elections
Public Input Phase for the nominating process is now closed.

Contents
Nominating Process
Positions To Be Elected
Nomination Public Input Form
In 2019, we'll be electing eight people to various positions (the Synod Vice President, six seats on Synod Council, and one clergy seat on the Consultation Committee). Here's how it works...

The Synod Nominations Committee, having been appointed by the Synod Council, is charged, under our governing documents, with nominating two people for every position to be elected by the Synod Assembly (with some exceptions as outlined in those governing documents). The list of positions to be elected is to be published 90 days prior to the Synod Assembly. The Nominations Committee, by publishing that list, solicits your input and recommendations of people for those various positions. 30 days after the 90-day mark, the time for public input closes, and the Nominations Committee gets down to work in earnest. 10 days prior to the Synod Assembly, a list of nominees (those nominated by the Nominations Committee) is published. Additional nominations may be made from the floor of the assembly at the appropriate time during the proceedings and according to certain rules.

Nominations Committee
Mary Sanders, Chair (MVMC)
Pat Schillings (OKVC)
Heather Ack (PC)
Rick Crummitt (UOVC)
Pr. Karen Erskine-Valentine (PC)
Pr. Carl Ames (OKVC)
Pr. Jerry Kliner (MVMC)
Pr. Joel Richter (UOVC)
Now, here's an important clarification: officially, the Nominations Committee nominates during the assembly proceedings. The public input phase is not, technically, a time when nominations are made. In fact, what the public does during the public input phase is not nominate but rather recommend to the Nominations Committee folks to be considered for nomination by the committee. Picky, yes, but important from a parliamentary standpoint although we will admit that we have colloquially called the submission for consideration a nomination.

Your recommendations are important! It's hard for the Nominations Committee to do its work without your input, and the synod is healthier when it has input from across the synod. Sadly, there have been years in which the Nominations Committee has received no recommendations during the public input phase for some offices. When this happens, the Nominations Committee has to generate potential nominees from scratch---problematic to say the least, assuming we want the church, in its polity, to be a participatory democracy.

Nomination Public Input Form
(to recommend for nomination)

Deadline: April 1
The registration page for the Synod Assembly features a link to the standard "Nomination Public Input Form" (what we have called, in the past, a nominations form), but you can also access the online Nomination Public Input Form. Please think about folks who would do a good job in any of the positions to be elected and recommend them. You may submit your own name for consideration. Some special instructions on completing the form are to be found toward the bottom of this page.

The publication of the list of nominees by the Nominations Committee is not the end of the nominations process. Voting members of the Synod Assembly have the right to nominate from the floor under our rules. Again, there is no rule preventing a person from nominating him/herself. Per our bylaws, nominations from the floor are to be accompanied at the time the nomination is made with a completed bio sheet (a blank form will be provided on the website with the publication of the Nominations Committee Report 10 days prior to the Synod Assembly) and enough copies for distribution to all voting members (130 copies would suffice). Finally, the first general ballot has provision for write-in votes for each position to be elected.

Positions To Be Elected

Here's a quick overview. Scroll down for details such as duties, term, term limits, and special eligibility criteria.

Special note on eligibility: the minimum eligibility criterion for all elected positions is to be a voting member (as defined in the Constitution of the ELCA) of this synod. Unless noted otherwise, all voting members are eligible for all positions to be elected. E.g., just because there is a designated youth member to be elected to synod council, nothing prevents a someone else who is a youth (under the age of 18, per the norms of the ELCA) to be elected to any of the other laity positions to be elected. Likewise, just because there is a clergy person to be elected for the designated slot for Churchwide Assembly, nothing prevents another clergy person from being elected to the youth or young adult slot, assuming that person is under the age of thirty-one, or to the person of color or primary language of then English, assuming that person meets that criterion.

Synod Officer
  • Vice President
Synod Council
  • Clergy | Ohio-Kanawha Valley Conference
  • Clergy | Potomac Conference
  • Clergy | Upper Ohio Valley Conference
  • Laity | Mon Valley - Mountain Conference
  • Laity | Potomac Conference
  • Youth

Consultation Committee

  •  1 Clergy
Now, here it is in detail...

Synod Officer

Per our governing documents,

S8.22. The vice president shall chair the Synod Council.
S8.23. In the event of the death, resignation, or disability of the bishop, the vice president, after consultation with the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, shall convene the Synod Council to arrange for the conduct of the duties of the bishop until a new bishop shall be elected or, in the case of temporary disability, until the bishop resumes full performance of the duties of the office.

In addition, the Vice-President has responsibility in the disciplinary process related to members of congregations.

Vice President of Synod
Number to be elected
Clergy/Laity
Term
Limit
Special
1
Laity
4 Years
No Term Limit
The Nominating Committee shall nominate at least one person for vice president; additional nominations may be made from the floor. (S9.05)

Synod Council

Per our governing documents,

†S10.02.  The Synod Council shall be the board of directors of this synod and shall serve as its interim legislative authority between meetings of the Synod Assembly. It may make decisions that are not in conflict with actions taken by the Synod Assembly or that are not precluded by provisions of this constitution or the constitution and bylaws of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
S10.03.  The functions of the Synod Council shall be to:
a. Exercise trusteeship responsibilities on behalf of this synod.
b. Recommend program goals and budgets to the regular meetings of the Synod Assembly.
c. Carry out the resolutions of the Synod Assembly.
d. Provide for an annual review of the roster of Ministers of Word and Sacrament and the roster of Ministers of Word and Service, receive and act upon appropriate recommendations regarding those persons whose status is subject to reconsideration and action under the constitution and bylaws of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and make a report to the Synod Assembly of the Synod Council’s actions in this regard.
e. Issue letters of call to rostered ministers as authorized by Chapter 7 of the constitution and bylaws of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
f.  Fill vacancies until the next regular meeting of the Synod Assembly, except as may otherwise be provided in the constitution or bylaws of this synod, and determine the fact of the incapacity of an officer of this synod.
g. Report its actions to the regular meeting of the Synod Assembly.
h. Perform such other functions as are set forth in the bylaws of this synod, or as may be delegated to it by the Synod Assembly.
In practice, Synod Council meets face-to-face four times a year. Special meetings are frequently handed by teleconference, or, though unlikely, face-to-face. The face-to-face meetings are typically held on Saturdays and usually on the I-79 corridor between Morgantown and Clarksburg. We have been known to hold the periodic Friday-Saturday retreat and meet in other places. It is incumbent upon Synod Council members to study materials prepared for the meetings and to be in attendance unless good cause may shown for the absence. It is helpful to have access to email.

Synod Council Positions
Title
Geography
Clergy/Laity
Term
Limit
Special
Clergy, OKVC
Ohio-Kanawha Valley Conference
Clergy
3 Years
2 Terms

Clergy, PC
Potomac Conference
Clergy
3 Years
2 Terms
Ineligible: Pr. Christine Olson
Clergy, UOVC
Upper Ohio Valley Conference
Clergy
3 Years
2 Terms
Ineligible: Pr. Sean Smith
Laity, MVMC
Mon Valley-Mountain Conference
Laity
3 Years
2 Terms
Ineligible: Bruce Dalton
Laity, PC
Potomac Conference
Laity
3 Years
2 Terms

Youth
At-Large
Laity
2 Years

Under 18 years of age at time of election.

Consultation Committee

The Consultation Committee plays a role in both conflict resolution and discipline. Though rarely activated---some have served their entire term without being activated---when it is, the work is challenging, demanding good listening and observational skills, analytic ability, a commitment to justice and equity, prudence, the ability to maintain discretion and confidentiality, and an understanding of human nature. It is helpful to have access to email.

Consultation Committee Positions
Number to be elected
Clergy/Laity
Term
Limit
Special
1
Clergy
6 Years
1 Term
Ineligible: Pr. Emilie Theobald-Rowlands, Pr. Linda Muhly, Pr. Diane Day, Pr. Randy Richardson, and Pr. Sally Bartling.

Online Submission of Nomination Public Input Form

Nomination Public Input Form
(to recommend for nomination)

Deadline: April 1
As explained above, the Nomination Public Input Form is online, providing a mechanism for members around the synod to commend themselves or others for positions to be elected at the Synod Assembly.

Some special instructions related to required fields: There are several "required" fields on the form. If you do not know the information for any of the alphanumeric fields (e.g., address), you may enter, "IDK" (for "I don't know"). Also, if you do not have an email account, assuming you are filling the form out for yourself, you may enter "no email." For numeric fields (e.g., ZIP or phone), you may enter, "00000" or "0000000000." Some information, however, must be selected: position to be elected, clergy/laity, and congregation membership. State, too, is a required drop-down. If you do not know, select, "Alabama."

About privacy: Contact information will not appear in the Nominations Committee's report to Synod Assembly (or printed in the Pre-Assembly Bulletin of Reports). Contact information will be used by Nominations Committee members in the course of their work.

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