Contents
Nominations
WV-WMD Synod Assembly 2024

Public Input Phase Status Report

StatsThe Rev. Ruth Bullwinkle, chiar of our nominating committee, says, "Pick your nominees now, so that you can have a voice later!"

The chart at right shows the status of recommendations submitted to the Nominating Committee by 20 February 2024 at 10:45 a.m.

We are short recommendations for all those positions indicated by red in the variance column. Note well: recommendations have not yet been vetted; there is no guarantee, at this point, that all names submitted meet eligibility requirements.

Don't be shy: Recommend someone (or yourself) for elected office.

Nominating Committee
Pr. Ruth Bullwinkle, Chair (MVMC)
Pr. Sean Smith (UOVC)
Lois Gray (UOVC)
Rick Losh (PC)
Pr. Tom Darr (OKVC)
Pr. Daniel Collins (PC)
Cindy Murphy (MVMC)
Mackenzie Rice (OKVC)
To contact the Nominating Committee,
email NomComm@WV-WMD.org.
Nominating Process

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 said publication, the public input phase closes, and the Nominating Committee begins its 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.

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. This is 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:

  • 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).

Important Dates
Closure of the public input phase
3 March 2024

Report of the Nominating Committee
22 May 2024

Floor nominations at Synod Assembly
1 June 2024
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 2 February 2024, and the online input form went actice at 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. Conferences, congregation councils, and voting members may submit recommendations to the Nominating Committee for 30 days from the date of the the posting of positions to be elected. The public input phase will close 3 March 2024.

Congregations are invited to assist in publicizing the positions to be elected directions for submitting recommendations to the Nominating Committee. This webpage may be shared. Additionally, a copy ready bulletin insert is provided (at right).

The report of the Nominating Committee will be published 22 May 2024, 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 (125 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.

To Be Elected

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

Deadline: 3 March 2024

Positions To Be Elected

We will be electing 16 positions this year. The Nominating Committee is responsible for nominating for all these positions, and according to our rules, that will be a total of 28 nominees. 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.

We add to this four additional nominees as part of the nominating process for Church Council of the ELCA.

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. For example, just because there is a designated youth member to be elected to synod council, nothing prevents 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 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.

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: 3 March 2024

In practice, Synod Council meets face-to-face four times a year. Special meetings are frequently handled 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
Position
Geography
Clergy/Laity
Term
Limit
Special
Clergy | MVMC
Mon Valley-Mountain Conference
Clergy
3  yrs
2 terms
Ineligible: Pr. Ruth Bullwinkle
Laity | OKVC
Ohio-Kanawha Valley Conference
Laity
3 yrs
2 terms
Ineligible: Andrea Brock
Laity | PC
Potomac Conference
Laity
3 yrs
2 terms

Laity | UOVC
Upper Ohio Valley Conference
Laity
3 yrs
2 terms

Laity | At-Large
Synod-wide
Laity
3 yrs
2 terms

Young Adult
Synod-wide
Not specified
3 yrs
2 term
Must be 18 to 30 years of age (inclusive) at the time of election.*
Youth
Synod-wide
Not specified
1 yr
No term limit
Must be under the age of 18 at the time of election.*

* CBCR/ELCA 5.01.F19. It is the goal of this church that at least 10 percent of the voting members of the Churchwide Assembly, Church Council, and churchwide boards and committees be youth and young adults. The Church Council shall establish a plan for implementing this goal. For purposes of the Constitution, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the ELCA, the term “youth” means a voting member of a congregation who has not reached the age of 18 at the time of election or appointment for service. The term “young adult” means a voting member of a congregation between the ages of 18 and 30 at the time of election or appointment for service.

Consultation Committee

Recommend someone (or yourself) for Consultation Committee

Deadline: 3 March 2024

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
1
Clergy
6 yrs
1 term
Ineligible: Prs. Linda Muhly, Karen Erskine-Valentine, Ben Erzkus, Ruth Bullwinkle, Matthew Riegel, Nancy Knol, and Kevin Mackey
1
Laity
6 yrs
1 term
Ineligible: Joseph Harney, Marvin Beckman, Brian Felici, John Knol, Lois Broyles, and Eric Valentine

Discipline Committee

Recommend someone (or yourself) for Discipline Committee

Deadline: 3 March 2024

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
1
Clergy
6 yrs
1 term
Ineligible: Prs. Tony Setley, Sally Bartling, Patrice Weirick, Matt Holbert, Matthew Riegel, Courtney Erzkus, and Randy Richardson
2
Laity
6 yrs
1 term
Ineligible: Brandon Mitchell, Nancy Weeks, Pam Pritt, Shawn Gilmore, Cheryl Stemple, and Lynn Newman

Churchwide Assembly 2025

Recommend someone (or yourself) for Churchwide Assembly

Deadline: 3 March 2024

Churchwide Assembly is the highest legislative authority of the ELCA's Churchwide expression. The Churchwide Assembly meets every three years for several days. The next Churchwide Assembly will be held in Phoenix, 28 July - 2 August 2025. Travel, lodging, and most meals are covered (with some limitations) by the Churchwide Assembly. Voting members must be able to attend all sessions. Once elected, a voting member remains a voting member until the next regular Churchwide Assembly, meaning a voting may be called upon for a special meeting. Visit the ELCA's Churchwide Assembly page to learn more.

The number of voting members apportioned to each synod is determined by a formula defined in the Churchwide governing documents coupled with additional voting members being allocated by the Church Council to select synods. WV-WMD is one of those select synods, receiving two voting members above the number determined by the formula. The distribution of voting members across certain demographics is also set by Church Council. For 2025, WV-WMD has an allocation of six voting members, one of whom, according to the governing documents, must be the bishop and one of whom must be the vice president, leaving four seats to be elected.

Churchwide Assembly 2025 Voting Members
Seat
Clergy/Laity Gender
Special
Clergy
Clergy
Not specified Ineligible: Bp. Matthew Riegel
Laity | Male
Laity
Male

Youth or Young Adult
Not specified
Not specified CBCR/ELCA 5.01.F19. It is the goal of this church that at least 10 percent of the voting members of the Churchwide Assembly, Church Council, and churchwide boards and committees be youth and young adults. The Church Council shall establish a plan for implementing this goal. For purposes of the Constitution, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the ELCA, the term “youth” means a voting member of a congregation who has not reached the age of 18 at the time of election or appointment for service. The term “young adult” means a voting member of a congregation between the ages of 18 and 30 at the time of election or appointment for service.
Person of Color and/or Primary Language Other Than English
Not specified
Not specified CBCR/ELCA 5.01.C21. The term, “persons of color and/or persons whose primary language is other than English,” shall be understood to mean African American, African Descent, Black, Arab and Middle Eastern, Asian and Pacific Islander, Latino, American Indian, and Alaska Native people. This definition, however, shall not be understood as limiting this church’s commitment to inclusive participation in its life and work.

CBCR/ELCA 12.41.11. Each synod shall elect one voting member of the Churchwide Assembly for every 6,000 baptized members in the synod. In addition, each synod shall elect one voting member for every 50 congregations in the synod. The synod bishop, who is ex officio a member of the Churchwide Assembly, shall be included in the number of voting members so determined. Unless otherwise determined by the synod, the synod vice president shall serve as an ex officio member of the Churchwide Assembly and be included in the number of the synod’s voting members. The voting members elected by each synod shall comply with the principles of organization, commitment to inclusiveness, and interdependence as specified in Chapter 5 of this Constitution.
    In addition, each synod shall elect one additional voting member who is a youth or young adult at the time of the election and one additional voting member who is a person of color or a person whose primary language is other than English. The Church Council may allocate up to 10 additional voting members among synods, but no single synod may be allocated more than two additional voting members. The secretary shall notify each synod of the number of assembly members it is to elect.
    CBCR/WV-WMD B8.01. If the vice-president is unable to or recuses his/her prerogative to serve as an ex officio voting member of the Churchwide Assembly, an alternate lay person of the same gender, meeting all other requirements, may be credentialed by the authority empowered to do so under the governing documents of the of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Church Council of the ELCA

Recommend someone (or yourself) for Church Council of the ELCA

Deadline: 3 March 2024

Church Council of the ELCA is the board of directors and trustees for the Churchwide Organization. It serves as the interim legislative authority between meetings of the Churchwide Assembly. It is responsible for most policy documents of the ELCA. It also appoints and has oversight of several committees, task forces, and commissions. For details, review Chapter 14 of the Constitution, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the ELCA.

Every twelve years, there is a seat for a voting member of the WV-WMD Synod on the Church council of the ELCA. The demographic category of the seat typically rotates. The seat to be elected in 2025 is for clergy. Term of office is six years, with a limit of one term.

The Churchwide Assembly elects to Church Council of the ELCA, selecting one of two names placed before the Churchwide Assembly by the ELCA Nominating Committee. The synod, however, plays a role in the nominating process. This year, Synod Assembly selects two clergy on the roster of the WV-WMD Synod to be submitted to the Nominating Committee of the ELCA. Executive Committee has ordered that this selection be accomplished through the Synod Assembly elections process. Therefore, the WV-WMD Nominating Committee will be bringing a minimum of four names before the body for the selection of two.

Church Council of the ELCA
Number to be elected
Clergy/Laity
Term
Limit
Special
2
Clergy
6 yrs
1 term
Ineligible: Bp. Matthew Riegel
CBCR/ELCA 19.02(a). In preparation for the Churchwide Assembly, the Church Council shall determine how this church’s commitment to inclusive representation will affect the next election to the Church Council. For 32 of the council members, the Nominating Committee shall invite each eligible synod to submit suggested nominees and shall then nominate persons who fulfill the categories assigned by the Church Council. ....
    CBCR/ELCA 19.02.A21. On behalf of the Nominating Committee, the secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America—in the year preceding each regular meeting of the Churchwide Assembly—shall solicit from eligible synods on a rotating basis the names of two persons in specified categories, in keeping with the representation principles of this church, for possible election to the Church Council. Upon their selection as nominees by the assemblies of the respective synods, the names of the two persons shall be presented to the Nominating Committee for submission to the Churchwide Assembly. In the event that any nominee withdraws or is disqualified from possible service, the Nominating Committee shall request that the nominee’s synod provide a replacement name. In the event that the vacancy occurs subsequent to the preparation of the report of the Nominating Committee to the Churchwide Assembly, a floor nomination shall be provided from the same synod as the original nominee. Except as provided herein, no floor nominations for positions on the Church Council shall be permitted at the Churchwide Assembly.

2024
                  NomComm Form ThumbSubmission of Nomination Public Input Form

In accordance with B9.01 and B9.02 of the Bylaws of the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod, the public input phase will open (officially) 2 February 2024 and close 3 March 2024.

We are running ahead of schedule and have unofficially opened the public input phase. Closing of the public input phase will remain 3 March 2024.

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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