May 19, 2021
To Rostered Leaders and Congregational Offices:
In keeping with Synod Council action SC21.05.07 adopted by the Synod Council of the Southwest California Synod Assembly on May 15, 2021, the registration period for the upcoming Synod Assembly on June 4 - 5, 2021 has been extended until Wednesday May 26, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.
As previously stated, this year's assembly will be held virtually, with a Bishop's Election, the election of 2/3 of the members of Synod Council, and the election of 2022 Churchwide Assembly Voting Members as well as regular Assembly business. Together with many ELCA Synods holding virtual assemblies this year, we will be using the LUMI voting platform together with ZOOM.
Accordingly, each voting member must use their own email address to register and must also use their own device (computer, tablet, etc.) during the assembly. While voting members can view the assembly together on one device, if desired, separate devices for each voting member will be required in order to vote. Voting members will also need to have internet access with adequate Wi-Fi. (Information about using the LUMI platform will be made available and training will be offered before the assembly takes place.)
As per Synod Council actions SC21.05.05 and SC21.05.06, voting at this year’s Synod Assembly has been expanded as per the following Continuing Resolutions adopted by the Synod Council on May 15, 2021:
S7.22.A21. “The Bishop of this Synod shall present to the Synod Secretary and Synod Council a listing of all those Ministers of Word and Sacrament and Ministers of Word and Service who are on the roster of this Synod but who are currently: on leave from call; disabled; retired; or persons who are serving in synod-approved or synod-appointed pastoral capacities (i.e, TEEM candidates) in congregations or in other ministries of this synod. Those listed above may be voting members at this Synod Assembly (Constitution S7.26 & S7.27). Congregations under development or authorized worshiping communities must be in good standing with this Synod prior to the Call to Order of each Synod Assembly. Providing that such persons are in good standing with this Synod at the time of the assembly, such persons shall automatically be granted both voice and vote at the assembly.”
S7.26.A21. “The Bishop of this Synod shall present to the Synod Secretary and the Synod Council a listing of all congregations under development and authorized worshiping communities of the synod, which have been authorized under Evangelical Lutheran Church in America bylaw 10.01.04., prior to the Call of Order of each Synod Assembly. Providing that such congregations under development and authorized worshiping communities are in good standing with the Synod at the time of the assembly, such congregations under development and authorized worshiping communities shall automatically be granted both voice and vote at the assembly consistent with S7.21.”
As of the writing of this letter, the majority of those affected by S7.26.A21 (“SAWCS”) have already completed their registration materials. They will be seated at the Assembly with both voice and vote in accord with S7.26.A21 and with the Constitution and Bylaws of the Southwest California Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (see particularly section 7).
S7.22.A21 requires further explanation, and further action by some, as S7.22.A21 now offers voting privileges at the Assembly to: “…those Ministers of Word and Sacrament and Ministers of Word and Service who are on the roster of this Synod but who are currently: on leave from call; disabled; retired; or persons who are serving in synod-approved or synod-appointed pastoral capacities (i.e., TEEM candidates) in congregations or in other ministries of this synod…”
If you are included in this language and you are already registered for the Synod Assembly, no further action is required on your part (if you are unsure of your registration status you may contact the Synod Office at: (818) 507-9591 or Samantha Henderson at email@example.com. However, if you are included in this language and you have not already registered, or if you have already registered for voice only and wish to now register for voice and vote, you must at this time register before the new registration deadline of Wednesday May 26, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. (see fees below).
Please bear in mind, S7.21 of the Constitution and Bylaws of the Southwest California Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America reads: “The membership of the Synod Assembly, of which at least 60 percent of the voting membership shall be composed of lay persons…” As such, the total number of voting members of the Synod Assembly with vote who are Ministers of Word and Sacrament cannot exceed 40 percent.*
Furthermore, please do not forget as mentioned in previous communications, S7.21.A12 reads: “In order to implement †S6.04.02. each congregation with fewer than 175 baptized members may elect one additional voting member who is a youth or young adult. A congregation with more than 175 baptized members may elect two additional voting members who are youth or young adults, one of whom shall be female and one of whom shall be male.”
The Congregational Registration fee for one called Rostered Minister and two lay voting members for the 2021 Synod Assembly is $395.
If a congregation paid the early bird registration fee for the 2020 Assembly, a refund for the difference will be issued. The congregation also has the option of donating the difference to assist underfunded congregations with assembly costs. If your congregation didn't prepay the registration fee, an invoice was issued for the amount due. If you are unsure whether your congregation has paid a registration fee for 2020 or 2021, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
⦿Additional Rostered Minister Under Call (clergy or deacon): $50
⦿Additional Lay Voting Member (congregations are informed if the size of their membership entitles them to an additional lay voting member or members): $50
⦿Additional confirmed Youth or Young Adult Voting Member: each congregation is entitled and encouraged to register an additional Youth (under 18) or Young Adult (18 – 30) voting member as part of their congregation's representation: NO ADDITIONAL REGISTRATION FEE
⦿Rostered Minister under Synodical or Special Call: $50
⦿Rostered Minister currently: on leave from call; disabled; retired; or persons who are serving in synod-approved or synod-appointed pastoral capacities in congregations and other ministries of this synod granted both voice and vote: $50
On behalf of the Officers of the Southwest California Synod, we look forward to seeing you “virtually” at this year’s Synod Assembly.
Pastor Keith G. Banwart, Jr.
*In the unlikely event of registration requests from Ministers of Word and Sacrament covered in S7.22.A21 exceeding 40 percent, priority will be granted on a “first-come, first-served” basis.