Camp Luther ... Vespers Knoll cross
Polity
of the
West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod

Governing Documents
Page Contents
  • Governing documents
  • Synod Assembly
    • 2022
  • Synod Council
    • Executive Committee
    • Standing committees appointed by Synod Council or Executive Committee
      • Nominating Committee
      • Finance Committee
      • Audit
      • Mutual Ministry Committee
      • Bylaws Committee
    • Select Committees appointed by Synod Council
      • Commission for Synodical Lay Worship Leadership
  • Standing committees elected by Synod Assembly
  • Conferences & deans
  • Other Entities and Appointees

The current governing documents of the WV-WMD Synod can be downloaded here. N.B., the Synod Council adopted a new continuing resolution and amended two other continuing resolutions at its 22 January 2022 meeting.

For information regarding congregational governing documents, visit the Congregations page.

Newly Elected Take Their Seats 1 August 2022

Per our bylaws, newly Elected offices, councilors, and committee members take their seats 1 August 202. Until then, the committee rosters below reflect current members.

To review election results from Synod Assembly 2022, access the Synod Assembly 2022 Proceedings.

Synod Assembly

There has been a major redesign of our Synod Assembly constellation of pages. If you want to find out about Synod Assembly in general, visit the new Synod Assembly page.

2022

Synod Assembly 2022 was held 4 June 2022. Visit our Synod Assembly 2022 page to review information on pretty much anything and everything related to the assembly.

Officers

An asterisk (*) indicates those whose terms expired while we are unable to hold an assembly because of the pandemic. They continue in office until replaced by the next regular Synod Assembly. New terms begin 1 December 2021.

Office
Occupant
Term
Term Period
Bishop
The Rt. Rev. Matthew Lynn Riegel, S.T.M.
2
2015-2021
Vice President
Paul Wangerin
3
2019-2023
Secretary
Norma Gensler
3
2017-2021
Treasurer
Brian Crawford
1
2021-2025

Synod Council

Synod Council meets regularly three to four times during the year with special meetings held, often by teleconference, as need. The Synod Council is chaired by the vice president. The membership of the Synod Council includes the four officers of the synod and twelve voting members from around the synod, representing a balance of clergy and laity, geographical distribution, and age. An asterisk (*) indicates those whose terms expired while we are unable to hold an assembly because of the pandemic. They continue in office until replaced by the next regular Synod Assembly. "Until next regular assembly" indicates that a vacancy appointment has taken place, and those appointments continue until replaced by the next regular Synod Assembly. New terms begin 1 December 2021.

Seat
Occupant
Term
Term Period
Clergy MVMC
The Rev. Ruth Bullwinkle 2
2018-2021
Clergy PC
The Rev. Jason Felici
1
2019-2022
Clergy OKVC
The Rev. Kevin Mackey
U
Vacancy appointment 2021-2022.
Clergy UOVC
The Rev. Bill Ridenhour
1
2019-2022
Laity MVMC
Debby Borrelli
1
2019-2022
Laity PC
Rick Losh
1
2021-2024
Laity OKVC
Andrea Brock
2
2018-2021
Laity UOVC
Nancy Weeks
2
2018-2021
Laity At-large
Mary Sanders
2
2018-2021
Laity At-large
Bruce Dalton
1
2021-2024
Young Adult
Laurel Muhly-Alexander
1
2021-2024
Youth
Rachel Shockley
1
2021-2022
WELCA (Advisory)
Priscilla Horner

WELCA designee

Executive Committee of the Synod Council

The four offices, one clergy member of the Synod Council, and two lay members of the Synod Council are appointed by the Synod Council to serve as the Executive Committee of the Synod Council.

Seat
Occupant
Bishop
The Rt. Rev. Matthew Lynn Riegel, S.T.M.
Vice President
Paul Wangerin
Secretary
Norma Gensler
Treasurer
Brian Crawforf
Clergy
The Rev. Ruth Bullwinkle
Laity 1
Nancy Weeks
Laity 2
Bruce Dalton

Standing Committees Appointed by Synod Council

Nominating Committee

Seat
Occupant
Clergy MVMC
The Rev. Ruth Bullwinkle, Chair
Clergy PC
The Rev. Karen Erskine-Valentine
Clergy UOVC
The Rev. Sean Smith
Laity MVMC
Mary Sanders
Laity PC
Wm. "Bill" Ack
Clergy OKVC
The Rev. Ian Reid
Laity OKVC
John Perry
Laity UOVC
Lois Gray

Finance Committee

Members: Paul Wangerin, The Rev. Bill Ridenhour, Bruce Dalton, with the treasurer and bishop serving ex officio.

Audit Committee

Members: Bruce Dalton, The Rev. Daniel Warntz, and Paul Wangerin.

Synod Mutual Ministry Committee

Appointed by the Executive Committee, the Synod Mutual Ministry Committee (SMMC) is described in nebulous terms in the required provision in the CBCR/WV-WD. In meetings over the past year, SMMC worked out a plan to make its work more effective and relevant to the life and ministry of the synod. Synod Council took action to request the Churchwide Assembly to amend the required provision of the Constitution for Synods to allow the changes sought by this synod.

Members: Paul Wangerin, The Rev. Ruth Bullwinkle, the The Rev. Sean Smith, The Rev. Patrice Weirick, and Paula Mitchell.

Bylaws Committee

At its 22 January 2022 meeting, Synod Council enacted a continuing resolution establishing a standing bylaws committee "with those duties and prerogatives normally associated with a bylaws committee, including, but not limited to, regular review of the governing documents of the synod, recommendation of amendment of the same to the Synod Assembly or the Synod Council, and execution of referrals by the Synod Assembly or the Synod Council."(CR8.01) Appointment is made by the Synod Council. The current members are The Rev Jason Felici, Laurel Muhly-Alexander, and The Rt. Rev. Matthew Riegel.

Select Committees Appointed by Synod Council

Commission on Synodical Lay Worship Leadership

Charged with review of the Plan for Synodical Lay Worship Leadership, reporting back to Synod Council with recommendations, and with development of initial steps for implementation, an ad hoc committee of The Rev. Sean Smith (Chair), The Rev. Sally Bartling, and Stephanie Setley rendered valuable service. Its work being completed to the satisfaction of the Synod Council, the ad hoc committee was discharged by Synod Council at its April 2021 meeting, and new appointments made with The Rev. Sean Smith (chair), Paul Wangerin, The Rev. Ian Reid, and The Rev. Ruth Bullwinkle.

Standing Committees Elected by Synod Assembly

Consultation Committee

To learn what the Consultation Committee does, click here.

Seat
Occupant
Term Period
Clergy 1
The Rev. Linda Muhly
2018-2024
Clergy 2
The Rev. Karen Erskine-Valentine
2021-2027
Clergy 3
The Rev. Ben Erzkus
2021-2027
Clergy 4
The Rev. Jess Felici
2019-2025
Clergy 5
The Rev. Michael Wright
2021-2027
Clergy 6
The Rev. Sally Bartling
2016-2022
Laity 1
Joseph Harney
2018-2024
Laity 2
Marvin Backman
2021-2027
Laity 3
Brian Felici
2021-2027
Laity 4
Dinah Courrier
2016-2022
Laity 5
Jeanne LeMasters
2016-2022
Laity 6
Jane Hazer
2016-2022

Discipline Committee

To learn what the Discipline Committee does, click here.

Seat
Occupant
Term Period
Clergy 1
The Rev. Tony Setley
2018-2024
Clergy 2
The Rev. Sally Bartling
2021-2027
Clergy 3
The Rev. Patrice Weirick
2021-2027
Clergy 4
The Rev. Matt Holbert
2021-2027
Clergy 5
The Rev. Ian Reid
2017-2023
Clergy 6
The Rev. Paul Schafer
2017-2023
Laity 1
Brandon Mitchell
2018-2024
Laity 2
Nancy Weeks
2018-2024
Laity 3
Pam Pritt
2021-2027
Laity 4
Shawn Gilmore
2021-2027
Laity 5
Norma Gensler
2017-2023
Laity 6
Jim Nichols
2017-2023

Conferences & Deans

The WV-WMD Synod has four conferences, three of them further divided into two clusters each:

  • Mon Valley-Mountain Conference (MVMC): The Rev. Ruth Bullwinkle, Dean
  • Ohio-Kanawha Valley Conference (OKVC): The Rev. Randy Richardson, Dean
  • Potomac Conference (PC): The Rev. Karen Eskine Valentine, Dean
  • Upper Ohio Valley Conference (UOVC): The Rev. Paul Schafer, Dean

A full listing of the congregations of each conference can be found here and in B12.01 of the Synod Bylaws.

A new protocol for deans was adopted by Synod Council at its January 2020 meeting. It is currently under review for codification by the Ad Hoc Committee on Governing Documents. It will be posted upon completion of codification. In the meantime, you may request a copy of the Provisional Guidance Related to Deans from the bishop.

Other Entities & Appointees

Various church-related entities have boards or other positions which are filled through the appointment of the Synod Council or the bishop.

Entity
Position
Occupant
Term
Appointment
United Lutheran Seminary
Board of Directors Melody Stevens
2020-2022 Synod Council
West Virginia Council of Churches
Council
The Rt. Rev. Matthew Riegel N/A
Ex officio
Caroline Furnace
Board of Directors The Rev. Karen Erskine-Valentine At Will
Bishop
WV-WMD Hunger
Hunger Lead
Mary Sanders
At will
Bishop
Lutheran Campus Foundation at WVU
Board of Directors
The Rev. Sean Smith
N/A
Bishop

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Updated: 17 June 2022