2018 Assembly and Bishop Election


“Come, Holy Spirit!” is our prayer and the theme for the 2018 Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod Assembly and Bishop Election, May 4 and 5.

The highlight of the Assembly will be the election of a bishop to serve for a six year term, starting Aug. 1, 2018. Bishop Claire S. Burkat is not seeking re-election to a third term, and any ordained minister in good standing on the roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America is eligible to be nominated.

Assembly Materials

Proposed Agenda and Rules of Procedure

Bishop Election Materials

Bulletin of reports

Watch this space as additional reports are uploaded prior to Assembly.

An asterisk (*) indicates a revised version of this document has been posted


One resolution/memorial was received by the April 4 deadline and is referred to the Assembly. It was posted two weeks prior to the opening of the Assembly, per the Synod constitution.

The Reference and Council Committee recommends transmitting the Memorial on the ELCA’s 50th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women to the 2019 Churchwide Assembly.

Other Documents

Background Materials

Electing A Bishop

The most important duty of voting members to this Assembly will be to discern and elect a new bishop to serve until 2024. The election begins with a nominating ballot on Friday, followed by up to four additional ballots in which the number of candidates is narrowed until one receives enough votes for election. (See details here.)

Several resources for voting members are available to assist in the discernment process. These include:

We are currently in the second phase of the election process — discernment. You may use this process to pre-identify potential nominees prior to April 1.

The Rev. Wm. Chris Boerger, secretary of the ELCA, will represent the national church at the Assembly and oversee the election of the bishop.

Encourage Youth or Young Adult Voting Members

In order to assure wide representation of synod members, each congregation may send an additional voting member (beyond the allocation described below) who is “a confirmed youth/young adult up to the age of 25 who is a voting member of their congregation.” This gives your congregation an additional voice in the business of the synod. If cost is a concern, scholarship assistance may be available to help cover the cost of an additional person; contact the Rev. Brad Burke () for more information.

Check Your Congregation’s Allocation of Voting Members

According to the Synod Constitution, the Synod Assembly shall include “a minimum of two lay members elected by each congregation related to the synod, one of whom shall be male and one of whom shall be female.” (Learn more)

Congregations with more than 2,000 baptized members shall have a total of four voting members; congregations with more than 800 but less than 2,000 baptized members, bi-lingual congregations, and congregations with significant numbers of baptized persons of color and/or persons whose primary language is other than English shall have a total of three voting members. All other congregations are allocated one lay male and one lay female voting member.

Youth/Young Adult members (above) are in addition to these allocations.

Early registration ends March 15. Registration deadline April 4. There is a premium cost associated with registrations after April 4 and on-site.

Resolutions and Memorials

As part of the Assembly’s business, it considers resolutions (requests for actions by the synod) and memorials (requests for action by the next Churchwide Assembly) by democratic vote. Resolutions and memorials must be received by April 4 to guarantee consideration by the Assembly. (Learn more)

Location: Franconia Mennonite Church

Franconia Mennonite Church will once again be our hosts. The church is located at 613 Harleysville Pike (Route 113), Telford, PA 18969. (Map)

Assembly Hotel: Homewood Suites

The Assembly hotel is the Homewood Suites, 1200 Pennbrook Parkway, Lansdale, PA 19446. (Map) The hotel is about 8 miles from the Assembly site.

To make reservations call 215.362.6400 or visit http://group.homewood-suites.com/SEPA-Synod.

Specify that you are making a reservation as part of the group listed as: SEPA Synod.

Rates: $104.50 per single room, $108.90 per double room (tax included). Complimentary breakfast is included with your stay.

You will need to either give a credit card number or send a check to guarantee the reservation and hold it for late evening arrival.

For more information contact:

Event planner: The Rev. Sue Lang,

Registrar: Cynta Outterbridge,

Learn More