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

Nominations & Elections

Your Help Requested

The Nominations Committee is short only one nominee to fulfill the synod bylaw that requires two nominees for every position to be elected. That position is...

Synod Council Youth Member.

Details on this position can be found as you scroll down this page.

If you would be interested in serving in any of these positions or know someone who would be good in a given position, please complete the bio sheet accessible here.
In 2018, we'll be electing seventeen people to various positions on Synod Council, two councils, and Churchwide Assembly. Here's how it works...

The Synod Nominations 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 outlined in those governing documents---this year, none of those exceptions apply). The list of positions for elected is to be published 90 days prior to the Synod Assembly, though, some years, it comes out a little earlier. The Nominations Committee, by publishing that list, solicits your input and recommendations of people for those various positions. 30 days after the 90 day mark, the time for public input closes, and the Nominations Committee gets down to work in earnest. 10 days prior to the Synod Assembly, a list of nominees (those nominated by the Nominations Committee) is published. Additional nominations may be made from the floor of the assembly prior at the appropriate time during the proceedings.

Now, here's an important clarification: The Nominating Committee nominates, officially, during the assembly proceedings. The public input phase is not, technically, a time when nominations are made. In fact and, again, technically, what the public does during the public input phase is not nominate but rather recommend to the Nominations Committee folks for nomination by the committee. Picky, yes, but important from a parliamentary standpoint, although we will admit that we have colloquially called the submission of a recommendation a nomination. Your recommendations are important! It's hard for the Nominations Committee to do its work without your input, and the synod is healthiest if it has input from across the synod. Sadly, there have been years in which the Nominations Committee has received no recommendations during the public input phase for some offices. When this happens, the Nominations 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 registration page for the Synod Assembly, features a standard recommendation form (yes, it's called a nominations form...we'll get that changed someday). Please think about folks who would do a good job in any of the positions to be elected and recommend them. To submit a recommendation to the Nominations Committee, click here for the form. You may recommend yourself.

The publication of the list of nominees by the Nominations Committee is not the end of the nominations process. Voting members of the Synod Assembly have the right to nominate from the floor under our rules. 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 (or something similar) and enough copies for distribution to all voting members (130 copies would suffice). Finally, the first general ballot has provision for write-in votes for each position to be elected.

Positions To Be Elected

Here's a quick overview. Scroll down for details such as duties, term, term limits, and special eligibility criteria.

Special note on eligibility: the minimum eligibility criterion for all elected positions is to be a voting member (as defined in the Constitution of the ELCA) in good standing of a congregation 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 laity members to be elected. 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.

Update on the Work

The Nominations Committee has met three times since the close of the open submission phase on April 2, 2018. At the close of open submission phase, we were short 22 nominations to meet the bylaw requirement of two nominees for every position to be elected. Over the course of those meetings, Nominations Committee has whittled this number down to only one nomination short, "Synod Council Youth Member."

The Nominations Committee is searching for that final nominee to fill out the ballot for "Synod Council Youth Member."

The Nominations Committee has also reviewed the "bio form" and determined which elements will be published prior to the Synod Assembly. This should produced a streamlined and cogent published report while protecting the nominees' contact information.

The Nominations Committee has also discussed the need for revision of some of the bylaws and standing rules that govern our nominations and elections process.

The Nominations Committee is on track to publish both the list of nominees and the candidates' information on May 22, 2018.
Synod Council
  • Clergy, Mon Valley-Mountain Conference
  • Laity, Ohio-Kanawha Valley Conference
  • Laity, Upper Ohio Valley Conference
  • Laity, At-Large
  • Youth, At-Large

Consultation Committee

  • 2 Clergy
  • 1 Laity

Discipline Committee (6-year term, 1-term limit)

  • 2 Clergy
  • 2 Lay

Churchwide Assembly 2019

  •  Clergy
  •  Laity, Female
  •  Person of Color or Primary Language Other than English
  •  Youth or Young Adult
APPENDIX D Now, here it is in detail...

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 and, as needed, meets by teleconference. The face-to-face meetings are typically held on Saturdays and usually in the Fairmont, WV, but 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
Clergy, MVMC
Mon Valley-Mountain Conference
Clergy
3 Years
2 Terms

Lay, OKVC
Ohio-Kanawha Valley Conference
Laity
3 Years
2 Terms

Lay, UOVC
Upper Ohio Valley Conference
Laity
3 Years
2 Terms

Lay At-Large
At-Large
Laity
3 Years
2 Terms

Youth
At-Large
Laity
2 Years
1 Term
Senior, Junior, or Sophomore in high school 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.

Consultation Committee Positions
Number to be elected
Clergy/Laity
Term
Limit
Special
2
Clergy
6 Years
1 Terms
Ineligible: Pr. R. Paul Schafer, Pr. Matt Holbert, Pr. Emilie Theobald-Rowlands, and Pr. Sally Bartling.
1
Laity
6 Years
1 Terms
Ineligible: Mrs. Dorcas Freidline, Mrs. Pam Pritt, Mr. Steve Gnegy, Mrs. Dinah Courrier, Ms. Jeannie LeMasters, and Mrs. Jane Hazer.

Discipline Committee

The Discipline Committee plays a roll in the discipline of ministers and members of the synod and its congregations. It is a twelve member committee, and, in the event of discipline hearing, a specified number of the committee members are selected for service. A discipline hearing involves the hearing of testimony, rendering judgment, and imposing discipline in cases of guilt. This committee has never met in this synod, but, should it be called upon, those serving will find it challenging work, 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
2
Clergy
6 Years
1 Terms
Ineligible: Pr. Randy Richardson, Pr. Sally Bartling, Pr. Jason Felici, Pr. Carl Ames, Pr. Ian Ried, and Pr. Paul Schafer. APPENDIX D
2
Laity
6 Years
1 Terms
Ineligible: Mrs. Tamara Riegel, Mr. Don L. Heare, Mr. Paul Wangerin, Mr. Joseph Solberg, Mrs. Norma Gensler, and  APPENDIX D Mr. Jim Nichols.

Churchwide Assembly 2019

Voting members of the Churchwide Assembly participate in the highest legislative authority in the ELCA. Roughly 900 voting members from across the 65 synods of the ELCA. Service requires commitment to participate in the week-long event to be held in August 5-10, 2019, in Milwaukee. The cost of transportation and lodging is covered by the ELCA.

Churchwide Assembly Positions
Title
Clergy/Laity
Sex
Color/Language
Age
Clergy
Clergy
Either
Any
Any
Lay Female
Laity
Female
Any
Any
Person of Color or Primary Language other than English
Either
Either
Person of Color (includes all non-anglo and mixed race persons) or Primary Language other than English
Any
Youth or Young Adult
Either
Either
Any
Under the age of 31 at time of election

Online Recommendation (Nomination) Form

Once again, to submit your recommendation to the Nominations Committee, use the online form found by clicking here.


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