This page includes information about the nominating
process as well as information about the positions to be
At the close of 5 April 2022, the Public Input Phase of the synod's nominating process closed in accordance with our Synod Bylaws. Of the recommendations for nomination submitted, none were received for the Youth seat on Synod Council. Three duplicate recommendations were received.
The Nominating Committee will review the recommendations,
contact those recommended, and verify eligibility and
suitability for the positions involved. Where necessary,
the Nominating Committee will attempt to generate
additional candidates in order to meet the requirement
that two candidates be nominated for every position to be
elected—this will have to be done for the Youth seat on
Synod Council. There is no guarantee that recommendation
in the Public Input Phase will result in nomination by the
Nominating Committee. Floor nominations, however, are
permitted under our governing documents, meaning anyone
not nominated by the Nominating Committee may still be
nominated from the floor.
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.
Your recommendations are important! It's hard for the Nominating 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 Nominating Committee has received no recommendations during the public input phase for some offices. When this happens, the Nominating 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.
The list of positions to be elected was officially posted on this page 6 March 2022 (though advance posting took place in late January). The online input form was active on the same day. The strict requirement of our bylaws is that the announcement and solicitation are to be made 90 days prior to Synod Assembly. This was done on 6 March 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), leadership of vacant congregations, and conference deans. This also marked the beginning of the required 30-day public input phase. Conferences, congregation councils, and voting members were invtired to submit recommendations to the Nominating Committee for thirty days from the posting of positions to be elected. This public input phase closed at the close of 5 April 2022.
The report of the Nominating Committee is published 10 days before Synod Assembly (25 May 2022). It will list all the nominations that will be formally made by the Nominating Committee at Synod Assembly.
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 for eleven positions this year (i.e., five seats on Synod Council, four seats on Consultation Committee, and two seats on Discipline Committee). The Nominating Committee is responsible for nominating for all these positions. 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, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions 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 and a teleconferencing platform
(e.g., Zoom or a phone).
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 and a teleconferencing platform (e.g.,
Zoom or a phone). To learn more, visit the Consultation Committee page.
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. To learn more, visit the Discipline Committee page.