To the Congregations of the Virginia Synod,
At the 2015 Virginia Synod Assembly, a resolution was passed instructing the Synod Council to provide a detailed plan for study and discernment off the bishop election that is to take place at the Virginia Synod Assembly in 2017. In addition, the resolution instructed the Synod Council to provide to the congregations of the Virginia Synod a report prior to the 2016 Synod Assembly with recommendations and a plan for the 2017 bishop election. In response to the resolution, the Synod Council formed a “Transition Committee” to study and discern the transition process that the Virginia Synod will face at the 2017 Synod Assembly.
We are blessed with wonderful leadership, both rostered and lay, and I am thankful for the individuals from each of our conferences that agreed to serve on the committee. The Transition Committee met with a representative of the ELCA to gain a clear understanding of the Bishop transition process and studied the ELCA resource “Toolkit for Synod Bishop Elections.”
Further, the Transition Committee held a number of meetings to develop a plan for the election of a Bishop in 2017 and the transition that will take place thereafter. Attached to this letter is the report and recommendations of the committee that the Synod Council has approved and endorsed. I want to thank all the members of the Transition Committee for their service to the Synod and I want to specifically acknowledge the hard work of the chairwoman of the committee Blythe Scott.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the 2016 Synod Assembly.
Yours in Christ,
Charles Downs Jr.
Vice President of the Virginia Synod