West Virginia - Western Maryland Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
COVID-19 posses special challenges for congregations and
their leadership. A special page has been set up on the
synod web site for COVID-19 related information. Please
to access the latest material.
The clergy compensation guideline for 2021 has been approved and is not posted. Go to the Clergy Compensation page for details on compensation, family leave, sabbatical, and Rostered Leader Debt Reduction.
On-line Pledge FormClick here to digitally submit your Mission Support commitment (pledge) for 2021. You can still do it by snail-mail, if you prefer, using the downloadable forms linked at left.
Request & Commitment
Form: If your congregation has not yet made its
mission support pledge for calendar year 2021, please do
the mission support documentation here---documentation
includes the form to be completed and sent to the Synod
Office. You may also download the request and
form separately. You may also submit your pledge
using our on-line pledge form.
Form: When remitting mission support, please include
a completed copy of this downloadable
Mission Support Contribution Form with each
remittance. << Fixed 1/21/2021
can scarcely have had much experience in
deliberative meetings of Christians without
realizing that the best of men, having wills of
their own, are liable to attempt to carry out
their own views without paying sufficient respect
to the rights of their opponents.
--- Henry M. Robert*
Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty.
--- Henry M. Robert†
It is difficult to find another branch of knowledge where a small amount of study produces such great results in increased efficiency in a country where the people rule, as in parliamentary law.
--- Henry M. Robert†
*US Army Corps of Engineers, Historical Vignette 038 - An Army Engineer Brought Order to Church Meetings and Revolutionized Parliamentary Procedure.
†Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, 10th Ed., p. v.
It is not uncommon to hear complaints about parliamentary
procedure, complaints ranging from, "It's confusing," to,
"It slows things down," to, "It complicates what should be
simple." We don't know whether a young Captain Henry
Martyn Robert, U.S. Army, thought the same thing before he
went in to chair his first church meeting, but he came out
convinced that he would never chair another meeting
without a grasp of parliamentary law. A few years later,
he was asked to chair another church meeting meeting; this
time, however, it was worse: the participants came from
all across the United States, bringing their different
local customs, customs which did not fit together. This
inspired the now Major Robert to write his first manual of
parliamentary procedure. That's right, folks: The church
is the birth-mother of Robert's Rules of Order!
A recommended provision in The Model Constitution for Congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America states,
C10.07. Robert’s Rules of Order, latest edition, shall govern parliamentary procedure of all meetings of this congregation.
It is doubtful that this recommended provision found its
way into The Model because of the churchly origins
of Robert's Rules of Order. More likely, it is
recommended because it is the most commonly used
parliamentary authority in the nation.
honest, it is not required that a congregation adopt the
latest edition of or even Robert's Rules of Order
at all. C10.07 is a recommended provision. Still, Robert's
Rules of Order, Newly Revised, lasted edition, makes
a lot of sense because it is so popular. Many of your
members will be somewhat familiar with it because of prior
experience in civic organizations. Its popularity also
means you can find a lot of help out there if you need it.
It is, however, the prerogative of the congregation to
adopt something other than RONR, e.g., Cushing’s,
Roberta’s, Martha's, Atwood's, etc.
can all be used instead. A body may even write its own
rules of order. It is vitally important that rules of
order, once adopted, be followed. It is also vitally
important that any rules of order adopted preserve the
rights of the members both individually and collectively.
The 12th Edition has just been released. There
is a very helpful appendix covering modification of the
standard rules for electronic meetings. Several sections
have been clarified, and a new coding system has been
added to make it easier for people to talk across the
print and digital versions of the book.
Association of Parliamentarians is the custodian of
Robert's Rules of Order. You will find on their
website educational resources and an on-line store. It is
even possible to become a member of NAP and acquire
certification and credentials. If you would like further
assistance in matters related to parliamentary law and
procedure, feel free to contact Bp. Riegel.
If you haven't started wondering about this, you will.
The first part and second part of a series related to
Congregation Meeting and the challenges posed by the
pandemic have been uploaded.
Guidance has been posted on the question of email voting
by congregation councils, as the question has come up more
than once and will probably come up even more with the
pandemic-restrictions that are currently in place. Click here to access.
After much prayer and consideration, we have decided to postpone next summer’s ELCA Youth Gathering to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2022 ELCA Youth Gathering will be held July 24-28, 2022, in Minneapolis, with the two pre-events, the Multicultural Youth Leadership Event (MYLE) and the tAble, scheduled for July 21-24, 2022.
We give thanks for your prayers and patience as we have worked through the details with our partners in Minneapolis and across the country. We hope that by postponing the Gathering for a year, individuals and congregations will feel more comfortable and prepared to attend the Gathering in 2022.
For more information about the 2022 Gathering, please visit elca.org/YouthGathering/COVID19. We will be updating our website and social media as more details become available.
We look forward to seeing you and experiencing the boundlessness of God in Minneapolis in 2022!
Pr. Jess Felici adds,
*C9.12(b). The pastor of this congregation: shall submit a summary of such statistics annually to the synod.
Parochial reports are important for strategic planning
and the call process. As our synod plans for the future in
these challenging times, having accurate numbers has
become even more important. You can download the
combination Form A & C Parochial Report at the Secretary
of the ELCA "resources" web page. When you reach the
Secretary's resources page, look for the large button on
the right. You can also submit past reports, but we'd be
really happy just to see 100% for the 2019 reports. When
accessing the Form A & C, you will need your
congregation number. If you are the authorized
congregational agent with respect to the filing of the
report but do not know your congregational number, contact
your pastor. Pastors, if you do not know, contact the
Parochial Reports are due February
15, but we will take them late. Let's shoot to
get them in my the end of May. If you have not gotten it
in, know that we will take it late. Also, the parochial
report for 2019 has extra importance; The 2019 census
determines the number of voting members assigned to the
synod for Churchwide Assembly 2021.
The WV-WMD Synod offers workshops and presentations for
congregations on a variety of topics. The following are
currently available, but more will be added as time goes
on. If there is something you would like to see that is
not listed, contact Bishop Riegel. To make arrangements
for a presentation or workshop, email Bishop Riegel
Events that have been scheduled can be found on the Synod's Education page.
Synod Assembly 1996 established “A Seed Planted” Mission
Fund to stimulate innovative outreach by or from
congregations. Awarded grants went for a range of
activities from a coffee house Bible study to printed
promotional material to efforts with unaffiliated
populations. To download information on the fund and
guidelines on application for a grant, click here.
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