Countdown: Four Weeks to Assembly

On Thursday, June 14, the Thirty-First Annual Assembly of the Grand Canyon Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will begin at 6:45 p.m.

Voting members from the 89 congregations of this synod - along with pastors and deacons - will gather for the Service of Holy Communion followed by the assembly's first plenary session at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Oro Valley, Arizona.

To prepare for the assembly, conference gatherings were held last fall and this spring. In addition, a survey was distributed by ELCA Research and Evaluation staff. The results were posted early this year on the synod's website under the "Bishop's Election" tab.

Responses indicated people of the synod are:

  1. looking to the sixth bishop of the Grand Canyon Synod to provide congregations, pastors, and deacons with care, support, and leadership;

  2. committed to offering prayer and financial support for the ministries of this synod;

  3. willing to support the new bishop's vision and ministry plans;

  4. urging that the two top priorities of this synod for the next six years be evangelical outreach and the strengthening of congregations.

Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton will address the assembly and also respond to questions. She will chair the election process for bishop.

The first - nominating - ballot for bishop will be cast on Thursday evening with subsequent ballots on Friday and Saturday. Following the second ballot, biographical information will be provided on the seven nominees receiving the greatest number of votes on the second ballot. The seven also will engage in a question-and-answer session prior to the casting of the third ballot. The three persons receiving the greatest number of votes on the third ballot will address the assembly before the casting of the fourth ballot. Then will follow the fifth ballot with the two nominees who received the greatest number of votes on the fourth ballot. Election on the fifth ballot is by majority of the votes cast.

According to the proposed agenda, the declaration of the election of the sixth bishop of the Grand Canyon Synod will take place shortly after noon on Saturday, June 16, just prior to the assembly's adjournment.