- Synod Assembly 2021
- Call of the Assembly
- Plans for the Assembly
- Synod Assembly 2020
- For the Parliamentary Geeks...
Synod Assembly 2021
This is not the official call of the Synod
Assembly---that is yet to be prepared. This is the
announcement that Synod Council, at its evening meeting of
10 June 2021, set the date for Synod Assembly. Synod
Assembly 2021 is planned to convene on Saturday, 16
October 2021 at the Mon County 4H Center, Mylan Park, near
Synod Council, at a special meeting in December 2020,
pushed back the window for Synod Assembly 2021 to late
summer through fall 2021 while reserving the right to push
it back further. Original plans for Synod Assembly 2021
had placed it at the usual time (late May early June), but
it seemed prudent to Synod Council to push it back in
light of the promise of an aggressive vaccination program.
The Synod Assembly Planning Committee (SAPComm) continued
to monitor the pandemical situation, determining recently
that it was reasonable to hold Synod Assembly this fall.
After agreeing reviewing several locations, the Mon County
4H Center was selected as the first choice and timing
selected that avoided scheduling conflicts with
extra-ecclesial events and other obligations. 16 October
2021 provided the earliest and best opportunity.
Call of the Assembly
As stated above, the "Save-the-Date" is not the call of
the assembly. The call of the assembly must be issued 60
days before the convening of the assembly. There are,
however, other notification requirements which require a
90-day notice. So, for a regular assembly, which this is,
there will be some things kicking off at least 90 days
before the gavel strikes us into session, but the 60-day
notice is the binding notice. As details develop for this
assembly, they will be posted on this page.
Planning for the Assembly
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:
- An easing of government restrictions and
recommendations could not be expected, meaning social
distancing, masking, attendance caps for indoor venues,
and food service requirements (e.g., no buffets) would
all still be in place;
- There would be a general uneasiness on the part of
potential voting members to stay in hotels/motels;
- Potential attendees would be dissatisfied with the
cost and quality of boxed meals and/or would be
uncomfortable with social dining (if even allowed by the
government or venue); and
- The sine qua non of the Synod Assembly is the
conduct of business.
With these assumptions, the following planning goals were
- Synod Assembly should be in a high-ventilation context
(e.g., an pavilion, amphitheater, field house, etc.);
- Synod Assembly should be as short as possible (with a
proposed agenda including only those items of business
required under the governing documents of the Synod and
- Synod Assembly should be planned to be held over two
non-consecutive days and arranged such that it may
adjourn sine die at the end of the first day if
the work of the assembly is completed or deems the
second day unnecessary;
- Synod Assembly should be held within a reasonable
distance to the travel-calculated geographic center of
the Synod; and
- Synod Assembly should be held in proximity to multiple
dining options with an extended lunch hour.
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 further work to the
committee. As mentioned, details will be posted as they
develop and can be formatted for presentation.
Synod Assembly 2020
Synod Assembly 2020 was not be held in Flatwoods, 5-6
June 2020. With the uncertainties occasioned by COVID-19,
Synod Council, by action SC20.4.1, rescinded SC19.9.1 that
had previously set the time and place of the Synod
Assembly. While the Synod Council reserved the right to
call an assembly later in 2020, the pandemical situation
militated against doing so, and no business arose that was
so pressing, in the opinion of Synod Council, to warrant
For the Parliamentary Geek...
Not Cancelled, Not Called
Technically, there was no cancellation of the Synod
Assembly as the official "call of the assembly" had not
been issued, nor was it a postponement for the same
reason. The call of the assembly must be issued 60 days
before the assembly convenes. Communiques related to the
date of Synod Assembly issued prior to the call of the
assembly are but informal save-the-dates.
Our governing documents, in †S7.01, require triennial
assemblies at minimum; there is no requirement for an
annual assembly. Bylaw S7.11.01 empowers the Synod Council
to determine the time and place of Synod Assembly. A
90-day notice is expected under normal circumstances, but
60 days is the requirement for legal quorum. It is
possible for the voting members of the Synod Assembly to
force the call of a special assembly under S7.12. This
requires a petition of 10% of the voting membership of the
Synod Assembly; contact the Bishop for assistance in
navigating this provision.
Synod Business in the Absence of an Assembly
Under our governing documents, in †S10.02, Synod Council
functions as the interim legislative authority and may
discharge all powers excluding those reserved to the Synod
Elections are one of the very few reserved powers of the
Synod Assembly. So, one might ask, "What about people
who's terms are going to be up?" For the vice president,
secretary, and treasurer, †S8.51 answers that they serve
until their successors take office.
The CBCR/WV-WMD (Constitution, Bylaws, and
Continuing Resolutions of the WV-WMD Synod) is
silent on the question of synod councilors. Fortunately,
Pennsylvania corporate is not. This may surprise most
people, but the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod is
incorporated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Commonwealth law related to "domestic nonprofit
corporations," provides an answer to this thorny question.
Per 15 Pa.C.S. §5724, a Synod Councilor "shall
hold office until the expiration of the term for which the
director was selected and until a successor has been
selected and qualified or until the director's earlier
death, resignation or removal." By the way, there is a
parallel provision in West Virginia Code §31E-8-806(e).
That leaves Discipline and Consultation Committees.
Again, the CBCR/WV-WMD does not address this. The
Commonwealth's statutes (q.v., 15 Pa. C.S.
§5731(b)) are also unhelpful because the only committee
terms that are addressed are committees of the board of
directors (i.e., Synod Council), and these
committees are committees of the Synod (specifically, the
Synod Assembly, by virtue of the appointment power).
Further analysis suggests that these two committees are
not actually committees; rather, they are boards. It is a
subtle distinction discussed in RONR §50. As
such, it seems that the rule applicable to the board of
directors would be applicable here.
The public input phase for nominations associated with
Synod Assembly 2020 began March 7. Though originally
scheduled to close April 6, the public input phase will
remain open until 60 days before the next regular synod
assembly (2021). 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 &