Sierra Pacific Synod Election of a New Bishop

Possible Nominees for Bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod

In fall 2019, each of the nine Conferences of the Sierra Pacific Synod held a gathering where it invited congregations and individuals within the conference to suggest names of those eligible persons on the clergy roster of the ELCA whom they believe to have the gifts and graces necessary for holding the office of bishop. Each Conference could put forward up to five names, and a total of twenty-eight names were brought forward to the Synod Nominating Committee. (Some names were put forward by more than one Conference.) The Nominating Committee contacted these individuals to ascertain their interest and willingness in having their name put forward as potential nominees for the bishop election. The pre-identification at the Conference gatherings was not a nomination process.

The following thirteen pastors agreed to have their name lifted up as a potential nominee, and each submitted a brief biographical questionnaire. This is a way for voting members to have more information in advance of the 2020 Synod Assembly; however, a traditional ecclesiastical ballot will be used for the bishop election. This means that any Minister of Word and Sacrament on the active or retired rosters of the ELCA can be nominated. It also means that a person pre-identified at a Conference gathering will still need to be nominated on the ecclesiastical (first) ballot at the Synod Assembly to be considered a nominee for bishop. The following names may or may not appear on the ecclesiastical ballot; additional names may be nominated to the ballot from the floor of the assembly. The Spirit will be present. This process allows preparation while also being open to how the Spirit may move.

When the 2020 Sierra Pacific Synod Assembly was originally delayed from May to September 2020, the Bishop Election Committee decided to offer an opportunity to the Possible Nominees for Bishop to respond to two questions, by video and in written form.  The questions were:

  • As we are in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, what have you learned personally and as a pastor that you would bring to leading the Sierra Pacific Synod?
  • There seems to be an awareness that our society is facing a growing crisis of spiritual rootlessness. How would you lead this synod to more publicly present a path forward?

The Possible Nominees were recorded during the month of June.  Those videos can be found with each person’s linked name.  Note: YouTube allows you to turn on captions for these videos in English as well as many other languages.  (On YouTube, in the lower right corner of the screen, click first on the “CC” button to turn on subtitles, then on the gear symbol to change to another language if desired.)

You will also find a link to their written responses, which were translated from English into Spanish.

We hope that these responses will aid in our discernment as the Spirit guides us in electing our next bishop.  Even as that election has now been delayed until May of 2021, we pray that these pastoral leaders’ responses may help us during this tumultuous time.

Please click HERE to view the potential candidates responses.