Synod Assembly in action
Synod Assembly 2022
of the
West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod

Really Brief Synopsis

The 2022 Synod Assembly of the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod convened in regular session on Saturday, 4 June 2022, at the Mon County 4-H Center, Mylan Park, Morgantown, WV. The weather was perfect for the first assembly of this synod to be held in the open air.

By scrolling through this page, you can review more detailed information about the assembly and find links that will take you deep into the workings. The table of contents at right can assist in navigating what follows.

Formal actions taken by the Synod Assembly included

  • election of eleven people to various seats on Synod Council, Consultation Committee, and Discipline Committee;
  • adoption of two fiscal actions,
    • an escrow of mission support amendment to the FY2022-2023 budget and
    • adopted the budget proposal as amended for FY2023-2024;
  • adoption of eleven amendments to the synod bylaws; and
  • adoption of four resolutions, covering
    • synod office support staffing,
    • commendation of ministries during the pandemic,
    • memorialization of the Churchwide Assembly on restructuring the ELCA, and
    • racial justice work in the synod.

Numerous reports were received in both written and oral form. Of special note was the reports of The Rev. Dn. Mary Ann Schwabe, representing the Churchwide expression of the ELCA. The bishop also reported, giving the required state of the synod report. He also spoke on the recruitment of clergy, distributing small business cards with "Is this your call to the ordained ministry?" printed on one side and a web address to a vocational discernment page on the synod website on the other, instructing the attendees that they each had one year to give that card to someone they thought had the requisite skill, piety, and intelligence for the public ministry of the Word. He concluded with a lengthy exploration of possible future models for congregationl ministry.

Synod Assembly mass was presided over by The Rev. Linda Muhly with the bishop preaching.

Dining and refreshments featured the Stray Cat Chimmi Shack and amazing and beyond the call of duty service by the Lutheran Campus Ministry at WVU.

For the second year in a row, assembly registration was free.


The proceedings are still in the works, but several sections are online and availble for review, but, please, remember, these are not finalized. You can access this draft of the Proceedings on the Manula platform.


The minutes of the the 34th Annual Synod Assembly of the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod are already posted. Click here to review.

The Work of the Assembly


No small part of the assembly's work is the reception and review of reports. The assembly also has the right to take action in response to these reports.

                SchwabeChurchwide Reports

Deacon Schwabe

Our Churchwide Representative was The Rev. Dn. Mary Ann Schwabe. Schwabe gave the Report of the Churchwide Representative. As the assembly was held in the "show ring" (outdoor pavilion), we were unable to show the PowerPoint slides that accompanied her report. We are, however, able to share them here. Click here for a PDF download.

Presiding Bishop Eaton

As has been the custom for many, many years, the Presiding Bishop provided a video for Synod Assembly attendees. This can be watched online at your leisure; click here to view.

Synod Officer Reports

The bishop is required by †S18.12(g)4 to submit a report on the "synod's life and work." This is essentially a "state of the synod report." You may review his written report in the Proceedings under the heading, "Nuts & Bolts (Bishop's Report, Part I)." In addition, the bishop spoke on recruitment of clergy and future models for ministry. He has been asked to prepare a written version of his oral remarks. This is forthcoming.

The vice president's written report may be reviewed in the Proceedings under the heading, "Report of the Vice President."

The secretary's report is a record of actions taken by the Synod Council and the Executive Committee since the last report of the same. Also included in the secretary's report are those actions recommended to the Synod Assembly by the Synod Council. All may be reviewed in the Proceedings under the heading, "Report of the Secretary."

The treasurer's report often focuses on the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. This year was no exception. You may review his report in the Proceedings under the heading, "Proposed Budget for FY2023-2024."

The director of evangelical mission (D.E.M.), while not an elected officer, has her report organized under the reports of officers. You may review her report in the Proceedings under the heading, "Report of the Director of Evangelical Mission."

Standing Committee Reports

Several standing committees report to the Synod Assembly:
  • Nominating Committee,
  • Committee on Elections,
  • Reference & Counsel,
  • Committee on Resolutions, and
  • Bylaws Committee.
These are gathered under the section heading, "Reports by Standing Committees," in the Proceedings.

Affiliate Reports

Written reports were submitted by

  • Camp Luther,
  • Caroline Furnace,
  • Community Lutheran Partners, Inc.,
  • Lutheran Campus Ministry at WVU,
  • Tri-Synod Archives,
  • United Lutheran Seminary,
  • West Virginia Council of Churches, and the
  • WV-WMD Women of the ELCA.
These are gathered under the section heading, "Reports by Synodical Affiliates," in the Proceedings.

Separately Incorporated ELCA Ministry Reports

Written reports were submitted by
  • ELCA Federal Credit Union,
  • ELCA Foundation Regional Gift Planning Partnership,
  • Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service,
  • Mission Investment Fund, and
  • Portico.
These are gathered under the section heading, "Reports from Separately Incorporated Ministries of the ELCA," in the Proceedings.



The Synod Assembly elected eleven to positions on the Synod Council, Consultation Committee, and Discipline Committee on the general ballot.
  • Synod Council: The Rev. Tom Darr, The Rev. Jason Felici, The Rev. Sean Smith, John Knoll, and A.J. Beckett.
  • Consultation Committee: The Rev. Ruth Bullwinkle, John Knoll, Lois Broyles, and Mary Sanders.
  • Discipline Committee: The Rev. Jason Felici and Cheryl K. Stemple.

Full report of the election results can be reviewed under the heading, "Elections," in the Proceedings.


Two budget actions were adopted by the Synod Assembly.
  • An incidental main motion was offered during the treasurer's report to escrow mission support for the remainder of FY2022-2023 until The Rev. Megan Rohrer, bishop of the Sierra-Pacific Synod, was either no longer actively serving in that capacity or until disciplinary charges against said bishop were filed. The motion was interpreted by the chair to be an amendment to the previously adopted FY2022-2023 budget. It was adopted by the required ⅔ vote. To review the motion as adopted, see "FY2022-2023 Budget Mission Support Escrow Amendment" in the Proceedings.
  • The proposed budget for FY2023-2024 was presented. An amendment was offered from the floor to move $50 from the projected $80 surplus to the line for the Tri-Synod Archives. The amendment passed, and the budget was then adopted as amended. To review budget as adopted, see "FY2023-2024 Budget Adopted" in the Proceedings.

Governing Documents

Eleven amendments to the Synod Bylaws were proposed by the Bylaws Committee with recommendation from Synod Council to adopt. All eleven were adopted en bloc. To review these amendments, see "Amendments to Governing Documents Adopted" in the Proceedings.


In addition to the adoption of the budget for FY2023-2024, the mission support escrow amendment to the budget for FY2022-2023, and amendments to the synod's bylaws, four pieces of legislation were adopted by the 2022 Synod Assembly.
  • On Synod Office Support Staffing — proposed by the Committee on Resolutions
  • On Commendations for Ministry during the COVID Pandemic — proposed by the Committee on Resolutions
  • To Memorialize the Churchwide Assembly on the Restructuring of the ELCA — submitted by five voting members and recommended for adoption by Reference & Counsel
  • On Racial Justice — an incidental main motion from the floor in response to the Report of the D.E.M.

All four items, as adopted, may be reviewed under the "Legislation Adopted" subsection in the Proceedings.


The Synod Assembly opened and closed the business session with the appropriate rites.

Assembly mass was held after the conclusion of the of the afternoon business meeting. The Rev. Linda Muhly served as Eucharistic celebrant and liturgist, assisted at altar by Laurel Muhly-Alexander with The Rev. Paul Schafer serving as cantor. Bishop Riegel preached on the Gospel text for Pentecost Year B, pointing out that the text identifies the Holy Spirit as God's defense lawyer (not ours) over and against humanity's tendency, since the Fall, to place God in the dock.

The Synod Assembly used as its worship books hand-me-down LBW Convention Editions given by the Southwest Pennsylvania Synod. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

                ShowRingVenue & Logistics

We returned to the Mon County 4-H Center at Mylan Park in hopes that the assembly could meet outside under the covered pavilion, and we were not disappointed.


We were blessed with gorgeous weather: not too hot, not too cold; sunshine; and an intermittent light breeze which stiffened a bit as the assembly drew to a close.

One voting member commented that being outdoors made it easy to stay awake. Our reason for meeting outdoors was rooted in COVID concerns. Another benefit was the ample space for the assembly. There was no crowding and ease of movement.

Stray Cat
                Chimmi ShackDining

A 90-minute lunch adjournment allowed attendees to pursue various dining options. At least one couple was observed picnicking. Some dispersed to try the various eateries in the area. A new feature of this year's assembly was the presence of a food truck, the Stray Cat Chimmi Shack. Several attendees and and the entire Committee on Elections took advantage of some very tasty chimmis.

                CoffeeCoffee Service Plus

The Chaplains Erzkus were offered the opportunity for the Lutheran Campus Ministry at WVU to provide the coffee service—we've been told that there has to be coffee service—and they jumped at it. In fact, they might have jumped a little too high, by providing mocktails, finger sandwiches, different menus for the morning and afternoon meetings, and even table service. Hopefully, the assembly will not expect such extravagance in the future.


For the second year in a row, registration fee was set at $0.00---that's right,
 free. This is possible because of aggressive cost-cutting measures by last assembly's SAPComm, redesign of the Synod Assembly, an amazingly good deal on the meeting venue, and a surplus in the Synod Assembly fund.


Synod Council decided to set as the assembly's COVID-19 mitigation standard the highest of CDC, WV DHHR, and Mon County Health Department standards. The selection of an open-air venure was part of the COVID-19 mitigation.

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This page was last updated 18 June 2022