Synod Assembly
of the
West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod

Nominations
 
20 January 2023
Public Input Phase Closes 19 February 2023

Don't be shy: Recommend Someone (or Yourself) for elected office.

Contents

This page includes information about the nominating process as well as information about the positions to be elected.


Nominating Process

Nominating Committee
Pr. Ruth Bullwinkle, Chair (MVMC)
Mary Sanders (MVMC)
Pr. Karen Erskine-Valentine (PC)
  Pr. Sean Smith (UOVC)
Pr. Ian Reid (OKVC)
John Perry (OKVC)
Lois Gray (UOVC)
Rick Losh (PC)
The Synod Nominating 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 same governing documents). The list of positions to be elected is to be published 120 days prior to the Synod Assembly. The Nominating Committee, by publishing this list, solicits your input and recommendations of people to be nominated for the various positions to be elected. 30 days after the publication of that list at the 120-day mark, the time for public input closes, and the Nominating Committee gets down to work in earnest. 10 days prior to the Synod Assembly, a list of nominees (those nominated by the Nominating 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.

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.

  • Since the bishop election process, as governed by our constitution, employs an ecclesiastical ballot, there are no advance nominations for bishop. The first ballot is considered the nominating ballot if the the lead candidate does not secure 75% of the vote. (q.v., S9.04)
  • The synod secretary is nominated by Synod Council, but additional nominations may be made from the floor. (q.v., S9.07)
  • The synod treasurer is nominated by Synod Council, but additional nominations may be made from the floor. (q.v., S9.07)

How do I Recommend Someone
for Nomination?


Deadline: 19 February 2023
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 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.

Bulletin
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You may download this bulletin insert in either PDF or MS-WORD.

The list of positions to be elected was officially posted on this page on 20 January 2022, and the online input form went active on the same day. The strict requirement of our bylaws (as amended in 2022) is that the announcement and the solicitation are to be made 120 days prior to Synod Assembly. This has been accomplished 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 will also marks the beginning of the public input phase. Conferences, congregation councils, and voting members may submit recommendations to the Nominating Committee for thirty days from the date of the the posting of positions to be elected. The public input phase closes 19 February 2023.

The report of the Nominating Committee is published 10 Mary 2023, 10 days before Synod Assembly. 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.

Positions To Be Elected
To Elected

Recommend someone (or yourself) for one (or more) of these elected positions

Deadline: 19 February 2023

We will be electing eleven positions this year. The Nominating Committee is responsible for nominating for all these positions except for that of the treasurer. 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.

Officers

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 for those offices. The synod vice president, however, is nominated by the Nominating Committee.

Recommend Someone (or Yourself) for Synod Vice President

Deadline: 19 February 2023
Synod Vice President

Per our governing documents,

†S8.21. The vice president shall be elected by the Synod Assembly. The vice president shall be a layperson. The vice president shall be a voting member of a congregation of this synod. The vice president shall not receive a salary for the performance of the duties of the office.

†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.

The vice president also plays an important role in matters related ot the death, resignation, or incapacity of the bishop and in the termination of an officer:

†S8.54. Should the bishop die, resign, or be unable to serve, 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 appropriate care of the responsibilities of the bishop until an election of a new bishop can be held or, in the case of temporary disability, until the bishop is able to serve again. Such arrangements may include the appointment by the Synod Council of an interim bishop, who during the vacancy or period of disability shall possess all of the powers and authority of a regularly elected bishop. The term of the successor bishop, elected by the next Synod Assembly or a special meeting of the Synod Assembly called for the purpose of election, shall be six years with the subsequent election to take place at the Synod Assembly closest to the expiration of such a term and with the starting date of a successor term to be governed by constitutional provision S8.52.
†S8.56. The Executive Committee of the Synod Council shall determine whether an officer is unable to serve; the officer may appeal the decision of the Executive Committee by requesting a hearing before the Synod Council. A meeting to determine the ability of an officer to serve shall be called upon the request of at least three members of the Executive Committee and prior written notice of the meeting shall be given to the officer in question at least 10 calendar days prior to the meeting.

The vice president also plays a role in the adjudication and consultation process when the bishop cannot fulfill that role because of direct involvement.

†S17.02. The synod bishop and the Executive Committee of the Synod Council shall receive expressions of concern from rostered ministers of this church, congregations, and organizations within this synod; provide a forum in which the parties concerned can seek to work out matters causing distress or conflict; and make appropriate recommendations for their resolution. When a concern relates directly to the synod bishop, the synod vice president will lead the Executive Committee's efforts at resolving the matter. When the matter at issue cannot be resolved in this manner, applicable procedures for investigation, decision, appeal, and adjudication shall be followed. Allegations or charges that could lead to the discipline of a rostered minister of this church shall not be addressed by the Executive Committee but shall be resolved through the disciplinary process set forth in the Constitution, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Lastly, the vice president is, per the CBCR/ELCA Bylaw, an ex officio voting member of the Churchwide Assembly. The vice president may recuse him/herself, in which case, CBCR/WV-WMD B8.10 provides for the appointment of an alternate.

Synod Officer Positions
# to be elected
Title
Geography
Clergy/Laity
Term
Limit
Special
1
Vice President
Synod-wide
Laity
4 Years
No Term Limit

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.
Recommend Someone (or Yourself) for Synod Council

Deadline: 19 February 2023

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).

Synod Council Positions
# to be elected
Title
Geography
Clergy/Laity
Term
Limit
Special
1
PC | Clergy
Potomac Conference
Clergy
3 Years
2 Terms

1
At-Large | Laity
Synod-wide
Laity
3 Years
2 Terms

1
Youth
Synod-wide
Clergy or Laity
1 Years
No Term Limit
Under 18 years of age at time of election.

Consultation Committee
Recommend Someone (or Yourself) for Consultation Committee

Deadline: 19 February 2023

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.

Consultation Committee Positions
Number to be elected
Clergy/Laity
Term
Limit
Special
2
Clergy
6 Years
1 Term
Ineligible: Prs. Linda Muhly, Karen Erskine-Valentine, Ben Erzkus, Michael Wright, Ruth Bullwinkle, and Matthew Riegel
1
Laity
6 Years
1 Term
Ineligible: Joseph Harney, Marvin Beckman, Brian Felici, John Knol, and Lois Broyles

Discipline Committee
Recommend Someone (or Yourself) for Discipline Committee

Deadline: 19 February 2023

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.

Discipline Committee Positions
Number to be elected
Clergy/Laity
Term
Limit
Special
2
Clergy
6 Years
1 Term
Ineligible: Prs. Tony Setley, Sally Bartling, Patrice Weirick, Matt Holbert, Paul Schafer, and Matthew Riegel
1
Laity
6 Years
1 Term
Ineligible: Brandon Mitchell, Nancy Weeks, Pam Pritt, Shawn Gilmore, and Jim Nichols, Cheryl Stemple

Nomination Public Input
                  FormOnline Submission of Nomination Public Input Form

The public input phase closes 19 February 2023.

The Nomination Public Input Form is now live. Click here to access the Nomination Public Input Form or click on the image of the form (at right).

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.

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