West Virginia - Western Maryland Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Parochial Reports were due 1 March 2022, and the
interface closed 3 May 2022. That closure was for the
Office for Research & Evaluation to crunch the numbers
for the reports it has to generate. Now that those reports
have been taken care of, the portal has reopened! You may
now submit a late parochial report (Form A and Form C) for
2021 until December 2022.
A congregation is more like a small town than a small business. That's not to say that there are no business-like aspects to a congregation. It's just an observation about the decision-making processes involved. With an eye to offering some workshops (and other resources) for [vice] presidents, secretaries, and treasurers, we're asking you what you might find helpful and where you are finding particular challenges. If you are a congregational lay leader, please take this very short survey and pass on the link to your fellow lay leaders and your pastor so that we can offer what's of potential use.
At the direction of the Synod Assembly 2021, the Synod
Mutual Ministry Committee is promulgating the Driesen
Manual as a resource for mutual ministry committee work.
Learn more here.
The clergy compensation guideline for 2022 has been
approved and is posted on the Clergy
Compensation page . You will also find details on
compensation, family leave, sabbatical, and Rostered
Leader Debt Reduction there.
Mission Support Request for 2022
Synod Council, at its 15 September 2021 meeting, adopted
the mission support request for 2022 as follows:
This is the same level as was requested for 2021. The
2021 information is provided below for sake of comparison.
What was it for 2021?
can scarcely have had much experience in
deliberative meetings of Christians without
realizing that the best of men, having wills of
their own, are liable to attempt to carry out
their own views without paying sufficient respect
to the rights of their opponents.
--- Henry M. Robert*
Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty.
--- Henry M. Robert†
It is difficult to find another branch of knowledge where a small amount of study produces such great results in increased efficiency in a country where the people rule, as in parliamentary law.
--- Henry M. Robert†
*US Army Corps of Engineers, Historical Vignette 038 - An Army Engineer Brought Order to Church Meetings and Revolutionized Parliamentary Procedure.
†Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, 10th Ed., p. v.
It is not uncommon to hear complaints about parliamentary
procedure, complaints ranging from, "It's confusing," to,
"It slows things down," to, "It complicates what should be
simple." We don't know whether a young Captain Henry
Martyn Robert, U.S. Army, thought the same thing before he
went in to chair his first church meeting, but he came out
convinced that he would never chair another meeting
without a grasp of parliamentary law. A few years later,
he was asked to chair another church meeting meeting; this
time, however, it was worse: the participants came from
all across the United States, bringing their different
local customs, customs which did not fit together. This
inspired the now Major Robert to write his first manual of
parliamentary procedure. That's right, folks: The church
is the birth-mother of Robert's Rules of Order!
A recommended provision in The Model Constitution for Congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America states,
C10.07. Robert’s Rules of Order, latest edition, shall govern parliamentary procedure of all meetings of this congregation.
It is doubtful that this recommended provision found its
way into The Model because of the churchly origins
of Robert's Rules of Order. More likely, it is
recommended because it is the most commonly used
parliamentary authority in the nation.
honest, it is not required that a congregation adopt the
latest edition of or even Robert's Rules of Order
at all. C10.07 is a recommended provision. Still, Robert's
Rules of Order, Newly Revised, lasted edition, makes
a lot of sense because it is so popular. Many of your
members will be somewhat familiar with it because of prior
experience in civic organizations. Its popularity also
means you can find a lot of help out there if you need it.
It is, however, the prerogative of the congregation to
adopt something other than RONR, e.g., Cushing’s,
Roberta’s, Martha's, Atwood's, etc.
can all be used instead. A body may even write its own
rules of order. It is vitally important that rules of
order, once adopted, be followed. It is also vitally
important that any rules of order adopted preserve the
rights of the members both individually and collectively.
The 12th Edition has just been released. There
is a very helpful appendix covering modification of the
standard rules for electronic meetings. Several sections
have been clarified, and a new coding system has been
added to make it easier for people to talk across the
print and digital versions of the book.
Association of Parliamentarians is the custodian of
Robert's Rules of Order. You will find on their
website educational resources and an on-line store. It is
even possible to become a member of NAP and acquire
certification and credentials. If you would like further
assistance in matters related to parliamentary law and
procedure, feel free to contact Bp. Riegel.
If you haven't started wondering about this, you will.
The first part and second part of a series related to
Congregation Meeting and the challenges posed by the
pandemic have been uploaded.
Guidance has been posted on the question of email voting
by congregation councils, as the question has come up more
than once and will probably come up even more with the
pandemic-restrictions that are currently in place. Click here to access.
The WV-WMD Synod offers workshops and presentations for
congregations on a variety of topics. The following are
currently available, but more will be added as time goes
on. If there is something you would like to see that is
not listed, contact Bishop Riegel. To make arrangements
for a presentation or workshop, email Bishop Riegel
Events that have been scheduled can be found on the Synod's Education page.
Synod Assembly 1996 established “A Seed Planted” Mission
Fund to stimulate innovative outreach by or from
congregations. Awarded grants went for a range of
activities from a coffee house Bible study to printed
promotional material to efforts with unaffiliated
populations. To download information on the fund and
guidelines on application for a grant, click here.
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recent version from the server---well, most of the time.