SW MN Synod Assembly voting members will be electing the bishop for our synod. Bishops are elected every six years. They are the highest elected office of synod leadership. Given the importance of this role, the Bishop Election Committee is starting the process to elect the bishop now! Over the next months, you will receive publications, videos, guided discussions regarding this process. Our number one priority is to make this election as transparent and participatory as possible. We believe the Holy Spirit is at work in us all as we wrestle and discern together about the future for the ELCA and our future leadership.
Report of the Fifth Ballot for Bishop: Bishop-Elect Rev. Dee Pederson
Report of the Fourth Ballot for Bishop:
Report of the Third Ballot for Bishop:
Report of the Second Ballot for Bishop:
Report of the First Ballot for Bishop:
Updated Information (5/27/2021):
+Bishop Jon V. Anderson
For those who are pre-identified, nominated and those who might be called to serve, here is some information we want to share for our newly elected bishop. Click here to download and print upcoming dates, and video arrangements for our synod assembly.
Updated Information (5/20/2021):
Bishop Election Information Regarding Interviews and Questions at Synod Assembly
The Bishop Election Committee, during these challenging COVID times, has planned for ongoing opportunities for voting members and other people across the Southwestern Minnesota Synod to get to know those who will be nominated for Bishop during our Plenary Sessions on June 6th.
This document describes the process of electing the new bishop over five ballots.
– Click here to view and download the Bishop Election Information Regarding Interviews and Questions at Synod Assembly.
It is important to note that an election may occur on any ballot if the percentage required for election is realized.
A Message from the Bishop Election Committee:
The election of a bishop in the Southwestern Minnesota Synod of the ELCA is a Call Process inside of a Synod Assembly election. As members of the Bishop Election Committee, it is our goal to approach this work and election process with care and prayer, respecting the way the Holy Spirit will be at work in the discernment by those who stand for election, and those who serve as voting members to the Assembly. We anticipate that a process is in place that has integrity and is worthy of your trust and respect. A timeline of the process is available below, and we pray it will help to guide us through the coming days and weeks with clarity and honor for all who are involved in our shared work. We are grateful for your prayers and support for the tasks at hand.
Biographical Information on Pre-Identified Pastors for Bishop
As of April 9, 2021 the names and submitted biographical information for eight ELCA pastors who have been pre-identified by individuals, congregations, or conferences are posted on the Southwestern Minnesota Synod website. These pastors are not automatically considered to be nominees for bishop, as their names still need to be officially placed by a voting member on the first, Ecclesiastical Ballot which will occur on the afternoon of Sunday, June 6,, 2021. Additional names of ELCA pastors in good standing who have not been pre-identified may also be placed on that Ecclesiastical Ballot for consideration in the election process.
Additional Ways to Become Better Acquainted with Pre-Identified Pastors for Bishop
In the coming weeks, those pastors who have been pre-identified and submitted biographical information will be provided additional questions to which they will be asked to respond. These questions, developed by the Bishop Election Committee, will be asked of the pastors and will be shared online as recorded six minute videos. The same questions will be posed to all eight pastors, and their answers will be limited to the same number of minutes for response. The interviewer will be consistent for all, as we strive for equity and fairness, transparency and integrity in our bishop election process. The goal is to post these videos by May 1, 2021.
In addition, an online link will be available prior to the Synod Assembly for members of the Synod to submit questions they would like to address to those nominated on the Ecclesiastical Ballot on June 6, 2021 and among the top seven nominees after the second ballot that evening. The Bishop Election Committee will be preparing questions for the nominees to answer during the week of June 6th, and again when our balloting gets down to the top three nominees. Your name and congregational membership and voting member status must be on the question form when it is submitted.
As we approach the 2021 Southwestern Minnesota Synod Assembly where we will elect the next bishop of this Synod, we want to remind you to check back here, the Bishop Election webpage to find helpful materials for your discernment. Please click here read and download 2021 Bishop Election (April updates) which include the following:
Leadership Traits and Gifts for a Synod Bishop
In the Study Guide that was prepared last fall for congregational and individual use, there was a list of General Characteristics, Traits and Gifts to Consider for the Role of Bishop.
Prayer Resources for Congregations and Individuals
In the final weeks leading up to the 2021 Synod Assembly, we encourage you to be in prayer in your congregations and homes, that the Spirit will breathe life into and guide our bishop election process, our Synod Assembly, and stir in the heart of the pastor who will be called through an election to serve as the Synod Bishop of Southwestern Minnesota Synod.
Over the course of the past months, there have been additional online zoom opportunities for lay and rostered leaders to learn about the calling to the Office of Bishop from those who have served as a Synod Bishop in SWMN and elsewhere in our region. These voices included Charles Anderson, Jon Anderson, Stan Olson, Andrea DeGroot-Nesdahl, Peter Rogness, Peter Strommen, and Larry Wohlrabe. Many of the traits listed above were expanded upon by these past and current leaders. These zoom conversations were recorded, below are the links and access codes.
Former SW MN Synod Bishop Reflections from Feb. 9, 2021
Click here to view the recording. Access Passcode: Synod3F#
Former Bishop Reflections from Jan. 25, 2021
Click here to view the recording. Access Passcode: Synod3F#
Online Forms and Resources:
-2021 Bishop Nomination Form
-Bishop Biographic Data Form
-Bishop Withdraw Request Form
-2021 Pre-Identified Pastoral Profiles for Bishop (4/8/2021)
-Bishop Election Committee Letter to Congregations (November 1st)
-Conversation Study Guide for Bishop’s Election Pre-Identification Discernment
-Specific Duties of the Synodical Bishop from the Southwestern Minnesota Synod Constitution
-Responsibilities of the Synod from the Southwestern Minnesota Synod Constitution
-In Their Own Words: A former bishop invited colleagues to reflect and respond questions
Bishop Election Timeline:
|November 15, 2020||Pre-Identification Process Begins|
|February 15, 2021||Last day for congregations and individuals to submit nominations|
|March 15, 2021||Last day for Conference Assemblies to submit nominations|
|March 25, 2021||Bishop Election Committee contacts all nominees by this date|
|April 5, 2021||All completed biographical data forms are due for pre-identified nominees|
|April 9, 2021||Bishop Election Committee announces pre-identified nominees|
|May 2021||Pre-Identified Pastors videos will be posted online|
|Prior to the opening of our Synod Assembly, all biographical information and videos will be removed. We are now back to a clean slate. Our first ballot is an ecclesiastical (nominating) ballot. Each voting member of the assembly may submit names of an ELCA pastor in good standing who have or have not been pre-identified may also be placed on that Ecclesiastical Ballot for consideration in the election process. (This means that, even if a person was pre-identified, they must be nominated by a voting member of the assembly in order to enter the election process for bishop). And then the election process begins….|
|Sunday, June 6, 2021||Each Voting Member may nominate ONE person who is eligible to serve|
|June 11-13, 2021||Synod Assembly|