Greetings on behalf of the Bishop Election Committee,
This is a very exciting time to be the church! Voting members of our next Assembly, to be held May 19-21, 2022, will be electing Pacifica’s next bishop.
Since the inception of the ELCA, elections for the presiding bishop and synod bishops have been conducted using an ecclesiastical ballot in which, on the first ballot, the name of any ELCA Minister of Word and Sacrament may be submitted for nomination by a voting member of the assembly. The Pacifica Synod uses a modified ecclesiastical ballot for electing a bishop, and is guided by the Pacifica Synod Constitution, S9.04.01 through S9.04.04.
Who will be on the first modified ecclesiastical ballot?
The first ballot will contain up to 12 names of ELCA Ministers of Word and Sacrament who have been lifted up by the conferences of Pacifica and submitted to the Bishop Nominating Task Force. The first ballot will also contain a space to write in the name of any ELCA Minister of Word and Sacrament. Voting members can vote for one of the names on the ballot OR write-in the name of an ELCA Minister of Word and Sacrament who they feel is called to the office of bishop.
Where will the names on the first ballot come from?
Last August, the Synod Council appointed the members of the Bishop Nominating Task Force, which included a representative from each of the conferences in the Pacifica Synod. The Task Force consisted of both lay and rostered leaders. The Task Force was charged with asking the conferences to lift up names of ELCA Ministers of Word and Sacrament for the office of bishop. Their process resulted in a large, diverse list of pastors within the ELCA. Every person lifted up in this process was contacted and asked to discern if this was their call. The names that will be on the first ballot will be all of those who said yes to this discernment and are allowing their names to go forward in the nomination process. They have completed a bio and consented to a background check.
When will these names be available?
Under advisement of the Secretary of the ELCA and out of respect for all the congregations and pastors involved, these names, along with biographical information, will first be available in the Assembly Notebook, which is scheduled to be released one month before the Assembly. It is out of the same respect that the names of those who have discerned this is not their call at this time will not be released.
The open space on the first ballot
All voting members will also have an opportunity to include the name of any person on the ELCA Roster of Ministers of Word and Sacrament on the first ballot. These persons will need to consent to allow their name to go forward on the second ballot, and will need to provide a bio at the assembly and consent for background check. Keeping this in mind, it’s required that contact information be provided to affirm their participation on subsequent ballots. Please speak with the individual in advance to verify that they are willing to stand for election to the office of bishop.
Please pray for those involved in this process and those discerning a call to serve this synod in the office of bishop. We are thankful for the service of the Bishop Nominating Task Force, who has spent several months and hundreds of hours reaching out to those who will appear on the first ballot, along with the names brought forward by the voting members.
If you have any questions, please be in touch with one of the
Bishop Election Committee Co-Chairs: