20 January 2023
This page includes information about the nominating
process as well as information about the positions to be
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.
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.
The list of positions to be elected was officially posted
on this page on 20 January 2022, and the online input form
went active on the same day. The strict requirement of our
bylaws (as amended in 2022) is that the announcement and
the solicitation are to be made 120 days prior to Synod
Assembly. This has been accomplished 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), leadership of
vacant congregations, and conference deans. This will also
marks the beginning of the public input phase.
Conferences, congregation councils, and voting members may
submit recommendations to the Nominating Committee for
thirty days from the date of the the posting of positions
to be elected. The public input phase closes 19 February
The report of the Nominating Committee is published 10
Mary 2023, 10 days before Synod Assembly. It will list all
the nominations that will be formally made by the
Nominating Committee at Synod Assembly.
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.
We will be electing eleven positions this year. The Nominating Committee is responsible for nominating for all these positions except for that of the treasurer. 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, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions 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.
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 for those offices. The synod vice president,
however, is nominated by the Nominating Committee.
Per our governing documents,
The vice president also plays an important role in
matters related ot the death, resignation, or incapacity
of the bishop and in the termination of an officer:
†S8.54. Should the bishop die, resign, or be unable to serve, the vice president, after consultation with the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, shall convene the Synod Council to arrange for the appropriate care of the responsibilities of the bishop until an election of a new bishop can be held or, in the case of temporary disability, until the bishop is able to serve again. Such arrangements may include the appointment by the Synod Council of an interim bishop, who during the vacancy or period of disability shall possess all of the powers and authority of a regularly elected bishop. The term of the successor bishop, elected by the next Synod Assembly or a special meeting of the Synod Assembly called for the purpose of election, shall be six years with the subsequent election to take place at the Synod Assembly closest to the expiration of such a term and with the starting date of a successor term to be governed by constitutional provision S8.52.
†S8.56. The Executive Committee of the Synod Council shall determine whether an officer is unable to serve; the officer may appeal the decision of the Executive Committee by requesting a hearing before the Synod Council. A meeting to determine the ability of an officer to serve shall be called upon the request of at least three members of the Executive Committee and prior written notice of the meeting shall be given to the officer in question at least 10 calendar days prior to the meeting.
The vice president also plays a role in the adjudication
and consultation process when the bishop cannot fulfill
that role because of direct involvement.
Lastly, the vice president is, per the CBCR/ELCA
Bylaw, an ex officio voting member of the
Churchwide Assembly. The vice president may recuse
him/herself, in which case, CBCR/WV-WMD B8.10
provides for the appointment of an alternate.
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:
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 and a teleconferencing platform
(e.g., Zoom or a phone).
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 and a teleconferencing platform (e.g.,
Zoom or a phone). To learn more, visit the Consultation Committee page.
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. To learn more, visit the Discipline Committee page.
The Nomination Public Input Form is now live. Click here to access the Nomination Public Input Form or click on the image of the form (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").
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.