2018 Bishop’s Election Informational Page
The election of the bishop is a spiritual process in which both the nominees and voting members seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to understand the needs of the synod and discern who God is calling to leadership. Please pray for our synod as we prepare to take this important action.
This page is dynamic; information about the election and process will be updated regularly.
January 31, 2018
Come, Holy Spirit!
With these words all members of the Grand Canyon Synod (GCS) are invited to discuss and pray for the election of a bishop at our next assembly on June 14-16 at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Oro Valley, Arizona. We invite your thoughtful participation.
According to Chapter 9 of the GCS constitution, the office of bishop is open to any rostered ELCA clergy. That person may serve two consecutive, six-year terms. Our current bishop, Lowell Almen is serving through August 31, 2018. Our elected bishop’s term will begin on September 1, 2018.
The Bishop‘s Election Committee, chaired by Mary Beth Baron and under the direction of the Synod Council, is hard at work coordinating an open, orderly, and transparent election process. This committee has been working on gathering and disseminating information, developing a synod profile, and planning for a well-ordered election. This committee will continue its work right up until we have elected a bishop in June. The Election Committee is communicating its progress to congregations, pastors and deacons, and assembly voting members through the synod newsletter and on the synod website.
Nominations for bishop will be brought forward at our assembly on June 14-16 at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Oro Valley, Arizona. As directed by our constitution, the GCS uses an “ecclesiastical ballot.” It is important to emphasize this is not just an election; it is a call process.
Open, respectful and honest discussion of the office of bishop and the mission of the GCS began last fall with a series of Conference Gatherings. This discussion will continue this spring with a second round of Conference Gatherings. Continued thoughtful conversation about our hopes, dreams, priorities, challenges, possibilities, and election process will prepare us for the election of our bishop. Everyone is invited. All church members have a stake in the church’s mission and a stronger partnership with the bishop’s office. Please check the “Spring Gathering” link below to find the date and location of the gathering in your conference.
Come, Holy Spirit! Guide our hearts and minds that we may receive a faithful servant who will care for God’s people and equip us for our ministry, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Paul Gryniewicz, Vice President
Grand Canyon Synod Council
Download as PDF Letter from Paul Gryniewicz
Download as PDF Summary of Synod-wide Survey
From the Bishop’s Election Committee:
The election of the bishop is a spiritual process in which both the nominees and voting members seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to understand the needs of the synod and discern whom God is calling to leadership. Please pray for the synod as we prepare to take this important action.
- Who can serve as the bishop of the Grand Canyon Synod?
Nominees for bishop must be ordained ministers of Word and Sacrament in the ELCA, though they need not be serving in the Grand Canyon Synod. The term of office is six years, with a two-term limit. In accordance with the Grand Canyon Synod constitution (S9.12.), nominees for bishop are required to complete and sign a disclosure form as well as a form authorizing a background check.
- Is there a job description for the Office of Bishop?
- Who elects the bishop?
The bishop will be elected by voting members of the 2018 Synod Assembly—lay members elected by the congregations of this synod together with pastors and deacons under call on the rosters of this synod, the officers of the synod, and members of the Synod Council.
- When will the next bishop of this synod be elected?
The bishop will be elected at our Synod Assembly, June 14-16, 2018, at Resurrection Lutheran Church, Oro Valley, Arizona. The new bishop will assume office on September 1, 2018. The installation of the bishop will be at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Phoenix, on September 8, 2018, beginning at 10:00 a.m.
- How is the bishop elected at the Synod Assembly?
Please see the document “How a Bishop is Elected” provided on the 2018 Bishop’s Election Informational Page on the synod’s website.
- When is the first ballot cast for the election of a new bishop?
The first ballot will be cast on Thursday, June 14, during the first plenary session, beginning at 8:00 p.m. following the Service of Holy Communion. Registration for that first session closes thirty minutes before the beginning of that session.
- How can I learn more about the election process?
The 2018 Bishop’s Election Informational Page on the synod website is a great place to find relevant information. There also will be Spring Conference Gatherings held in April and May where the Synod Profile, the summary of the Fall Gatherings, and election orientation information will be reviewed. The gatherings are open to all. We especially encourage those elected as voting members to the assembly by their congregations to attend. The dates of the gatherings, once confirmed, will be posted on the 2018 Bishop’s Election Informational Page.
- Can a congregation instruct its voting members how to vote at the Synod Assembly?
Each voting member of the Synod Assembly acts on behalf of the Synod, rather than on behalf of the congregation that selected him or her to be a member of the assembly. This role of “voting member” can be contrasted with that of a “delegate” who, according to Robert’s Rules of Order, may be instructed by his or her constituency how to vote in regard to particular matters. There are various ways in which the voting members are representative: balance of women and men, at least 60 percent laity, and proportionate numbers of voting members from the smallest to largest congregations. The governing documents of the ELCA and all ELCA synods refer to members of the assembly as “voting members” rather than “delegates.” The Office of the Secretary of the ELCA explains that this term was chosen to reflect the understanding that the Synod Assembly is an assembly of the people of the church, some of whom have been duly granted voting responsibilities for governance and elections on behalf of the synod.