Members of the Bishop Election Committee conducted video interviews by Zoom with each of the eight* pre-identified pastors who submitted their biographical information and are open to participate in the bishop election process for our Southwestern Minnesota Synod. These pastors are not automatically nominees for our bishop election, nor are they the only potential nominees for bishop. Their names, as well as any additional names from our voting members, must still be specifically “written in” for consideration on the first ecclesiastical ballot which will be taken on June 6, 2021. After that ecclesiastical ballot, members of the Bishop Election Committee will contact all the pastors whose names appeared on the ballot to ask whether they wish to continue in the election process, or wish to withdraw from consideration.
It is the Bishop Election Committee’s intent for you to become better acquainted with the pastors who were pre-identified by congregations or conferences, and then submitted their paperwork for the election process. You are encouraged to use these videos to further your discernment. All voting members should use this information, as well as prayer and thoughtful conversation with other members of the church to decide whom they wish to officially nominate on the first ballot. (Again, one may decide to nominate a pastor not appearing in these videos.)
For the sake of transparency, the process for the video interviews consisted of each person being given six minutes to introduce themselves and answer the same two questions decided upon by the Bishop Election Committee. The two questions you will hear asked and answered in each of the videos are:
- Identify the three most prominent themes that others would say are strongly evident in your speaking, teaching, leading, and living.
- Describe what brings you energy as you consider the role of Bishop and how this might be a best use of your gifts, skills, and passions to serve the mission of our synod.
Bishop Election Committee members Gwen Arneson (interviewer) and Christina Nelson (recording and timekeeper) took part in the creation of the video interviews.
*On April 27, 2021, one of the eight pre-identified pastors, Pastor Troy Pflibsen, submitted his letter of withdrawal from the election process.
Please visits the synod’s Bishop Election webpage for more information on the Bishop Election process.