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

Nominations
Public Input Phase Closes 17 August 2021
Click Here for Nomination Public Input Form

Status Report
                          Public Input PhaseNomitnating Committee Chair, The Rev. Ruth Bullwinkle, says, "Pick your nominees now, so that you can have a voice later!"

The chart at right shows the status of recommendation for nomination submissions as of 1 August 2021 at 1800 EDT. The right-most column shows the difference between the number of people recommended vs. how many Nominating Committee is required to nominate. If the cell is in red, Nominating Committee could use your help.

Don't be shy: Recommend Someone (or Yourself) for elected office.

Contents
With the expected 2020 Synod Assembly not being held because the pandemic, we have not only those elections that would normally take place in 2021 but also those that would have taken place in 2020. In addition, we have some vacancies created by clergy mobility to fill. On top of that, we have a bishop's election and the election of voting members to Churchwide Assembly. In total, that is twenty-six positions. Here's how it works...

Nominating Process

Nominations Committee
Pr. Ruth Bullwinle, Chair (MVMC)
Mary Sanders (MVMC)
Pr. Karen Erskine-Valentine (PC)
  Lois Broyles (OKVC)
George Friedline (UOVC)
Pr. Patrice Weirick (OKVC)
  William "Bill" Ack (PC)
Pr. Sean Smith (UOVC)
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 publication of that list, 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.

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.

There are a few exceptions to all this.

  • 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)

How do I Recommend Someone
for Nomination?


Deadline: 17 August 2021
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 insertThe list of positions to be elected was posted on this page on 12 July 2021, five days ahead of the required public announcement. The online input form was active on 15 July 2021. The strict requirement of our bylaws, however, is that the announcement and solicitation are to be made 90 days prior to Synod Assembly. This was done on 17 July 2021, with posting on the web (here) and announcement and direction to this page via the Synod Facebook page, The Bishop's Roadshow, and email to clergy (with instruction to disseminate to their respective Congregation Councils) and leadership of vacant congregations, and email to conference deans. To further assist in sharing this list across the synod, we provide a copy ready bulletin insert that may be downloaded here in MS-Word and PDF.

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 (150 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.

Positions To Be Elected
To Be Elected
  • Officers
    • Bishop
    • Synod Secretary
    • Synod Treasurer
  • Synod Council
    • Clergy MVMC
    • Laity OKVC
    • Laity PC
    • Laity UOVC
    • Laity At-Large (2)
    • Young Adult
    • Youth
  • Consultation Committee
    • Clergy Member (3)
    • Laity Member (2)
  • Discipline Committee
    • Clergy Member (3)
    • Laity Member (2)
  • Churchwide Assembly 2022
    • Clergy
    • Lay Male
    • Lay Female
    • Person of Color and/or Primary Language other than English
    • Youth or Young Adult

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

Deadline: 17 August 2021

We will be electing twenty-six people to various positions, but only twenty-three of them have nominations processed through the Nominating Committee (i.e., eight seats on Synod Council, five seats on Consultation Committee and Discipline Committee each, and five slots for Churchwide Assembly 2022). 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 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 (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 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 youth or 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.

Officers

As mentioned above, the bishop, secretary, and treasurer are unusual cases in the nominating process in that the Nominating Committee is not involved, the bishop being elected by ecclesiastical ballot and the secretary and treasurer being nominated by Synod Council, therefore no solicitation of nominees is made during the public input phase.

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: 17 August 2021

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
Number to be elected
Title
Geography
Clergy/Laity
Term
Limit
Special
1
Mon Valley-Mtn Clergy
MVMC
Clergy
3 Years
2 Terms

1
Ohio-Kanawha Laity
OKVC
Laity
3 Years
2 Terms

1
Potomac Laity
PC
Laity
3 Years
2 Terms

1
Upper Ohio Laity
UOVC
Laity
3 Years
2 Terms
2
At-Large Laity
Synod-wide
Laity
3 Years
2 Terms Ineligible: Debby Borrelli, Paul Wangerin.
1
Young Adult
Synod-wide
Clergy or Laity
3 Years
No Term Limit
18-30 years of age (inclusive) at time of election.
1
Youth
Synod-wide
Clergy or Laity
1 Years
No Term Limit
Under 18 years of age at time of election.

Consultation Committee
Recommend Someone (or Yourself) for Consultation Committee

Deadline: 17 August 2021

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
3
Clergy
6 Years
1 Term
Ineligible: Prs. Emilie Theobald-Rowlands, Linda Muhly, Randy Richardson, Sally Bartling, Jessica Felici, and Matthew Riegel
2
Laity
6 Years
1 Term
Ineligible: Joseph Harney, Pam Pritt, Steve Gnegy, Dinah Courrier, Jeanne Lemasters, and Jane Hazer.

Discipline Committee
Recommend Someone (or Yourself) for Discipline Committee

Deadline: 17 August 2021

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
3
Clergy
6 Years
1 Term
Ineligible: Prs. Tony Setley, Ian Reid, Paul Schafer, Jason Felici, and Matthew Riegel
2
Laity
6 Years
1 Term
Ineligible: Brandon Mitchell, Nancy Weeks, Paul Wangerin, Joseph Solberg, Norma Gensler, and Jim Nichols.

Churchwide Assembly 2022
Recommend Someone (or Yourself) for Churchwide Assembly 2022

Deadline: 17 August 2021

The Synod Assembly elects voting members to the Churchwide Assembly, the particular allocation of both number and class is determined by the Church Council of the ELCA. Churchwide Assembly meets once every three years for several days. It will next meet 8-12 August 2022 in Columbus Ohio. Lodging, transportation, and meals are covered (with some exceptions and limitations) by the ELCA.

Churchwide Assembly 2022 Positions
Position
Clergy/Laity
Sex/Gender
Special
Clergy
Clergy
Either
Ineligible: Matthew Riegel
Laity Male
Laity
Male

Laity Female
Laity
Female

Person of Color and/or Primary Language Other than English
Either
Either
CBCR/ELCA 5.01.C00. The term, “persons of color and/or persons whose primary language is other than English,” shall be understood to mean African American, 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.
Youth or Young Adult
Either
Either
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.

Online Submission of Nomination Public Input Form

Nomination Public Input Form
(to recommend for nomination)

Deadline: 17 August 2021
As explained above, the Nomination Public Input Form is accessible online (beginning 17 July 2021), 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.

Public input will close 17 August 2021.

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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