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2020 Election of a Bishop
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Resources for Discernment
In our life together as a Synod, we are entering into a season when more and more of our time, energy, and attention will turn to the election of a new Bishop to lead and serve us in mission for the sake of the world. The coming months are best viewed as a time for intentional discernment about what our needs and opportunities for mission are in the South Carolina Synod, and on that basis, to consider who God may be calling to be our next Bishop. In short, it’s a season of vocational and spiritual discernment, in contrast to being a time to campaign for people for a particular office. To serve our discernment, we are offering these resources for worship, prayer and discerning conversations.
There is a liturgy of Holy Communion that can be flexibly adapted for local use—in congregations, small groups, and other local gatherings of one sort or another. Moreover, you can cut and paste portions from this material for your own local needs—Bible Studies, a Service of the Word, litanies and petitions for Prayers of Intercession for use during Sunday morning worship, hymn sings, and perhaps other occasions that you are drawn to creatively plan. There also are suggestions in the resource for guiding informal, holy conversations on such documents as our Synod Ministry Profile, our Synod’s constitution describing the responsibilities of a Bishop in the ELCA, as well as the Rite of Installation of a Bishop. Again, you can adapt the material as is, and/or use it as inspiration for your own creativity in planning and leading local discernment occasions.
We ask that you take a moment to look at the Bishop’s Election Glossary for important dates and terminology, and familiarize yourself with the ELCA Constitution, Chapter 8, Duties of the Bishop.
ELCA Constitution, Chapter 8, Duties of the Bishop
Who Are We?
The South Carolina Synod Council appointed eight members to the Bishops Election Committee back in April 2019. Since then the Bishops Election Committee members have been leading listening sessions, which began at our 2019 Synod Assembly, then in our conferences, and finally through an online survey. All of these sessions were designed to listen to the Spirit and Scripture and answer 6 questions that could serve as a guiding tool to help us all discern our next bishop elect. The Bishops Election Committee has now compiled all the responses from those listening sessions into two documents. One document is a condensed and categorized version of the responses collected. The second document is a full length, 29 page document with every single thoughtful response we received over the past year. We encourage each voting member of the upcoming Synod Assembly to read these documents with an open mind and heart to listen for whom God is calling to be our next bishop.
Bishop Election Survey Response Data - Condensed
Bishop Election Survey Response Data - Complete
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