Nominations & Elections
Now, here's an important clarification: officially, the
Nominating 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 Nominating 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.
There are a few exceptions to all this.
The standard "Nomination Public Input Form" (what we have called, in the past, a nominations form), is accessible from this page. 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 list of positions to be elected was posted on this page on 12 July 2021, five days ahead of the required public announcement. The online input form was active on 15 July 2021. The strict requirement of our bylaws, however, is that the announcement and solicitation are to be made 90 days prior to Synod Assembly. This was done on 17 July 2021, with posting on the web (here) and announcement and direction to this page via the Synod Facebook page, The Bishop's Roadshow, and email to clergy (with instruction to disseminate to their respective Congregation Councils) and leadership of vacant congregations, and email to conference deans. To further assist in sharing this list across the synod, we provide a copy ready bulletin insert that may be downloaded here in MS-Word and PDF.
The publication of the list of nominees by the
Nominating Committee is not the end of the nominating
process. Voting members of the Synod Assembly have the
right, under our rules, to nominate from the floor (for
all elections except that of the bishop in which an
ecclesiastical ballot is used). 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 and enough copies for distribution to all voting
members (150 copies would suffice). A blank form will be
provided on the website with the publication of the
Nominating Committee Report 10 days prior to the Synod
Assembly. Finally, the first general ballot has provision
for write-in votes for each position to be elected.
We will be electing twenty-six people to various positions, but only twenty-three of them have nominations processed through the Nominating Committee (i.e., eight seats on Synod Council, five seats on Consultation Committee and Discipline Committee each, and five slots for Churchwide Assembly 2022). Scroll down for details such as duties, term, term limits, and special eligibility criteria. Information on submitting a recommendation to nominate is found at the bottom of the page.
Special note on eligibility: the minimum eligibility criterion (as defined in the Constitutions of the ELCA) for all elected positions is to be a voting member of a congregation of this synod or to be clergy on the roster 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 by ELCA definition to be elected to any of the other position for which the individual is otherwise qualified. 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 and/or primary language of then English, assuming that person meets that criterion.
As mentioned above, the bishop, secretary, and treasurer are unusual cases in the nominating process in that the Nominating Committee is not involved, the bishop being elected by ecclesiastical ballot and the secretary and treasurer being nominated by Synod Council, therefore no solicitation of nominees is made during the public input phase.
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:
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.
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.
The Discipline Committee has never been activated in this synod, but, should it be, it will serve as judge and jury in matters of alleged misconduct by clergy, laity, and congregations of this synod. 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.
The Synod Assembly elects voting members to the
Churchwide Assembly, the particular allocation of both
number and class is determined by the Church Council of
the ELCA. Churchwide Assembly meets once every three years
for several days. It will next meet 8-12 August 2022 in
Columbus Ohio. Lodging, transportation, and meals are
covered (with some exceptions and limitations) by the
As explained above, the Nomination Public Input Form was accessible online (beginning 17 July 2021), providing a mechanism for members around the synod to recommend 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").
About privacy: Contact information will not appear in the Nominating Committee's report to Synod Assembly (or printed in the Pre-Assembly Bulletin of Reports). Contact information will be used by Nominating Committee members in the course of their work.