Nominees for bishop, 2015
Synod Assembly
of the
West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod

Nominations & Elections
Public Input Phase for the nominating process remains open until further notice.

Contents
In 2020, we'll be electing eight people to various positions (the Synod Treasurer, three seats on Synod Council, and two seats on Consultation Committee and Discipline Committee each). Here's how it works...

COVID-19 & Nominating Process

As Synod Assembly will not be held 5-6 June 2020 and no date has as yet been set for Synod Assembly, the Public Input Phase will remain open until further notice, further notice begin dependent upon the call of the assembly.

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 governing documents). The list of positions to be elected is to be published 90 days prior to the Synod Assembly. The Nominating Committee, by publishing that list, solicits your input and recommendations of people to be nominated for the various positions to be elected. 30 days after the 90-day mark, the time for public input closes, and the Nominating Committee gets down to 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.

Nominations Committee
Pr. Ruth Bullwinle, Chair (MVMC)
Mary Sanders (MVMC)
Pr. Karen Erskine-Valentine (PC)
Pr. Joel Richter (UOVC)
  Lois Broyles (OKVC)
George Friedline (UOVC)
Pr. Patrice Weirick (OKVC)
  William "Bill" Ack (PC)
Now, here's 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. Picky, yes, but important from a parliamentary standpoint although we will admit that we have colloquially called the submission for consideration a nomination.

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.


How do I Recommend Someone
for Nomination?


Deadline: Open until further notice
The registration page for the Synod Assembly will feature a link to the standard "Nomination Public Input Form" (what we have called, in the past, a nominations form), but you will also be able to access an online Nomination Public Input Form 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.

The publication of the list of nominees by the Nominating Committee is not the end of the nominations process. Voting members of the Synod Assembly have the right, under our rules, to nominate from the floor. 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 (130 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
  • Synod Treasurer
  • Synod Council
    • Laity At-Large
    • Young Adult
    • Youth
  • Consultation Committee
    • Clergy Member
    • Laity Member
  • Discipline Committee
    • Clergy Member
    • Laity Member

Positions To Be Elected

We'll be electing eight people to various positions (the Synod Treasurer, three seats on Synod Council, and two seats on Consultation Committee and Discipline Committee each). 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.

Special note on eligibility: the minimum eligibility criterion (as defined in the Constitutions of the ELCA) for all elected positions is to be a voting member of this synod. Unless noted otherwise, all voting members are eligible for all positions to be elected. E.g., just because there is a designated youth member to be elected to synod council, nothing prevents a someone else who is a youth (under the age of 18, per the norms of the ELCA) to be elected to any of the other position to be elected 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 youth or young adult slot, assuming that person is under the age of thirty-one, or to the person of color 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.
In practice, Synod Council meets face-to-face four times a year. Special meetings are frequently handed 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.

Synod Council Positions
Title
Geography
Clergy/Laity
Term
Limit
Special
Laity, At-Large
Synod-wide
Laity
3 Years
2 Terms

Young Adult
Synod-wide
Clergy or Laity
3 Years
No Term Limit
19-30 years of age (inclusive) at time of election.
Youth
Synod-wide
Clergy or Laity
1 Years
No Term Limit
Under 18 years of age at time of election.

Consultation Committee

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.

Consultation Committee Positions
Number to be elected
Clergy/Laity
Term
Limit
Special
1
Clergy
6 Years
1 Term
Ineligible: Prs. Emilie Theobald-Rowlands, Linda Muhly, Diane Day, Randy Richardson, Sally Bartling, Jessica Felici, and Matthew Riegel
1
Laity
6 Years
1 Term
Ineligible: Joseph Harney, Pam Pritt, Steve Gnegy, Dinah Courrier, Jeanne Lemasters, and Jane Hazer.

Discipline Committee

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.

Discipline Committee Positions
Number to be elected
Clergy/Laity
Term
Limit
Special
1
Clergy
6 Years
1 Term
Ineligible: Prs. Tony Setley, Matt Day, Ian Reid, Paul Schafer, Carl Ames, Jason Felici, and Matthew Riegel
1
Laity
6 Years
1 Term
Ineligible: Brandon Mitchell, Nancy Weeks, Paul Wangerin, Joseph Solberg, Norma Gensler, and Jim Nichols.

Synod Officer: Treasurer

Per our governing documents,

S8.42. The treasurer shall provide and be accountable for:
    a. Management of the monies and accounts of this synod, its deeds, mortgages, contracts, evidences of claims and revenues, and trust funds, holding the same at all times subject to the order of this synod.
    b. Investment of funds upon the authorization of the Synod Council.
    c. Receipt and acknowledgment of offerings, contributions, and bequests made to this synod, collecting interest and income from its invested funds, and paying regular appropriations and orders on the several accounts as approved and directed by the Synod Council. The treasurer shall transmit each month to the treasurer of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America the funds received by this synod for the general work of this church.
    d. Maintenance of a regular account with each congregation of this synod and informing the congregation, at least quarterly, of the status of this account.
    e. Rendering at each regular meeting of the Synod Assembly a full, detailed, and duly audited report of receipts and disbursements in the several accounts of this synod for the preceding fiscal year, together with the tabulation, for record and publication in the minutes, of the contributions from the congregations.
    f. Giving of corporate surety in the amount determined by the Synod Council, which shall be in the custody of the secretary, and the premium therefore shall be paid by this synod. Fidelity coverage provided by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America shall be deemed a fulfillment of this requirement.

Provision S9.07 identifies Synod Council as the nominating body. Consequently, Nominating Committee will not be nominating someone for treasurer. You may still submit a recommendation for this position during the public input phase, and the Nominating Committee will forward that recommendation to Synod Council.

Treasurer of the Synod
Number to be elected
Clergy/Laity
Term
Limit
Special
1
Clergy or Laity
4 Years
No Term Limit
If the treasurer is elected, the Synod Council shall nominate at least one person for treasurer; additional nominations may be made from the floor. (S9.07)

Online Submission of Nomination Public Input Form

Opens March 7

Nomination Public Input Form
(to recommend for nomination)

Deadline: April 6
As explained above, the Nomination Public Input Form is online, providing a mechanism for members around the synod to recommend themselves or others for positions to be elected at the Synod Assembly. Click on the link in the box 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"). Also, if you do not have an email account, assuming you are filling the form out for yourself, you may enter "no email." For numeric fields (e.g., ZIP or phone), you may enter, "00000" or "0000000000." Some information, however, must be selected: position to be elected, clergy/laity, and congregation membership. State, too, is a required drop-down. If you do not know, select, "Alabama."

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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