++Actions From Meeting 25 March 2017
The council excused William Kohler’s absence.
Synod Council voted to authorize the congregational use of seasonal membership as provided for in *8.02.e of the Model Constitution for Congregations as Amended by Churchwide Assembly 2016.
The Synod Council will formally petition the Church Council to develop an alternative model constitution for small congregations.
Synod Council appointed PR Christine Olson to serve on the Executive Committee with the clergy term to conclude 1 September 2017.
Synod Council appointed Bruce Dalton and Robin Snyder to serve on the Executive Committee with the lay terms to conclude on 1 September 2017.
Synod Council voted to recommend to amend the Synod Constitution with the following provision (S7.11.01):
The time and place of the WV-WMD Synod Assembly shall be determined by the Synod Council. Normally, the time and place for the next regular assembly shall be announced three months prior to the assembly.
Synod Council voted to approve the special rules of order for Synod Assembly 2017.
Synod Council voted to give the Executive Committee the final approval of the Synod Assembly 2017 agenda.
Synod Council voted to authorize the Finance Committee to draft a budget for 2018 to present to Synod Assembly 2017. The committee is identified as Bruce Dalton, Brian Felici, TR Joe Solberg, Bishop Riegel, and VP Paul Wangerin.
Synod Council voted to recommend to Synod Assembly 2017 the site for the SA 2018 at the Clarion Inn, Shepherdstown, June 1-2, 2018.
Synod Council voted to amend the recommended 2018 pastoral compensation package:
(2) The Synod Council expects that the congregation will provide a Social Security Tax allowance for the pastor. Social Security Tax is based upon the addition of the Base Salary plus the Housing Allowance and/or Home Furnishings Allowance. This figure is multiplied by .082837 (8.2837%) to achieve a fair Social Security allowance. For Social Security purposes, a pastor is considered to be self-employed and must pay that tax at the self-employed rate which is 15.3%. Frequently, that takes a giant bite out of the pastor’s salary.
Synod Council voted to accept the compensation package as amended.
VP Wangerin will study the report of the committee on the Bishop’s Synod Assembly 2016 Report to determine if further action is needed.
PR Sean Smith reported on the ad hoc committee regarding SA16.6.9, “Request for Prospectus Regarding the Unification of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg and The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia”.
Synod Council voted that recommendation #2 from the REPORT OF SYNOD COUNCIL APPOINTED AD HOC COMMITTEE REGARDING SA16.6.9 is now #1. The original recommendation #1 is deleted.
Synod Council voted an amended version of recommendation #3, reading:
The West Virginia – Western Maryland Synod, through its bishop, shall invite the first president to come to our territory for relationship building and conversation.
Synod Council voted to amend the original recommendation #6 to read:
Bishop Riegel shall report to the synod council at the fall 2017 meeting the funding formula for synods in Regions 7 and 8 in support of the new school and how well (or poorly) each supporting synod is meeting its obligation.
Synod Council voted to amend the original recommendation #4 to read:
Bishop Riegel shall learn and report to the Synod Council, by the fall council meeting of 2017, processes for aligning with seminaries and theological formation institutions.
Synod Council voted to amend the original recommendation #5 to read:
Bishop Riegel shall consider the viability and wisdom of investigating other seminaries and/or divinity schools (Lutheran or non-Lutheran) whose educational mission holds potential to well serve candidates from this synod. Synod Council recommends the Bishop periodically report to Synod Council.
The Synod Council voted to adopt the following statement as a response regarding SA16.6.9 – “Request for Prospectus Regarding the Unification of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg and The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.”
The Synod Council wants ULS to be successful. The Synod Council recognizes the significant challenges both internal and external faced by ULS. The committee looks forward to this synod having the opportunity to build trust with the new seminary president, a trust that will permit candid and honest conversation about the future needs of theological education, ULS, and this synod. The Synod Council seeks to discern the best and most appropriate manner in which the synod can support theological education. The Synod Council seeks to discern what academic community or communities will best serve our candidates for ministry.
Actions From 27 April 2017 Teleconference
The Council approved the finance committee’s draft budget. The budget will be presented to the Synod Assembly 2017.
The Council approved the recommendation that all congregations “reset” pastoral compensation by recalculating the compensation package according to the guideline. Where the 2017 compensation is greater than the recalculated 2018 compensation, the 2017 compensation shall be continued. In all cases, congregations are reminded that the minimums in this guideline are recommendations that should be exceeded wherever the workload, complexity, or difficulty of the call suggests a higher level of compensation. Likewise, pastors may receive increased compensation based upon merit.
Action By Teleconference 10 May 2017
The WV-WMD Synod Council unanimously voted to extend Tony Setley a call to the specialized ministry of Campus Chaplain to the Lutheran Campus Foundation at West Virginia University in the WV-WMD Synod.
Actions From 2 June 2017 (met just prior to Synod Assembly)
Council approved Norma Gensler’s nomination for Synod Secretary (four-year term).
Council afforded Denis Propst voice and vote at Synod Assembly 2017.
Actions From 19 August 2017
The council accepted Robin Snyder’s resignation as a member at large.
The council excused Rev. Christine Olsen’s absence.
The council approved the appointment of Mary Sanders to a one-year term to fulfill Robyn Snider’s unexpired term.
The council accepted the minutes from sessions III and IV of the 2017 Synod Assembly with the change of the term sessions to meetings.
The council voted to appoint Emilie Theobald-Rowlands to the Executive Committee.
The council approved to give the bishop the authority to draw up the mission support formula for 2018 based upon budgetary need without drawing from reserves divided amongst congregations under proportional shares.
Actions From 21 October 2017
The Council excused the absences for Rev. Christine Olson, Rev. Linda Muhly, Rev. Emilie Theobald-Rowlands, Bruce Dalton, and William Kohler.
The Council accepted the minute from the August 19, 2017, meeting.
The Council granted on-leave from call status to Pastor Doug Knupp.
The Synod Council recommends the Synod use of the United Methodist Church anti-racism program for pastors.
The Council agreed by general consent to halt efforts to secure Camp Dawson for Synod Assembly 2019.
The Council approved to draw $2500 from “A Seed Planted” for a grant to Shepherd of the Hills.
Actions From 20 January 2018
The council excused Brian Felici’s absence.
Voted by general consent for the Executive Committee to take action on the pricing for SA 2018.
Synod Council approved to grant a pre-emptive waiver for all congregational dispensation requests for SA 2018.
Synod Council approved the Bishop’s recommendation for the following SA 2018 nominating committee: Pam Pritt (PC – Minnehaha Springs), Pr. Carl Ames (OKVC – Barboursville), Patricia Shillings (OKVC – Charleston), Nancy Weeks (UOVC – Bethlehem), Pr. Phil Van Dam (UOVC – ecumenical service), Pr. Jerry Kliner (MVMC – Morgantown), Mary Sanders (MVMC – Aurora-Redhouse), and Pr. Karen Erskine-Valentine (PC – Shepherdstown-Uvilla).
Synod Council approved for Grace, Wheeling to host SA 2019.
Executive Committee Actions 2017-2018
Teleconference Actions 4 May 2017
The Executive Committee resolved that the Synod Council be authorized to develop a mission support formula for 2018 based upon the adopted budget for fiscal year 2018, supplanting all standing rules of this synod related to unrestricted mission support, and to promulgate the same among the congregations of this synod.
The Executive Committee recommends that the worship offering of the 2017 Synod Assembly be designated for the Lutheran Seminary in Bezaha, Madagascar.
The Executive Committee resolved that all congregations requesting dispensation from the male-female voting member rule be granted the request so that each might send either two male voting members or two female voting members.
Action By E-Mail 16 May 2017
The Executive Committee unanimously recommends the draft agenda to Synod Assembly 2017.
Action By Teleconference 20 January 2018
The Executive Committee voted unanimously to set the bishop’s housing allowance compensation at $27,500.
The Executive Committee approved the registration fee for Synod Assembly 2018 at $95.00.
The Executive Committee approved the bishop’s recommendation and endorsement, pending Synod Council’s approval, of The Rev. Roger Dallman to exercise Word & Sacrament ministry in the Accident Parish until the return of The Rev. Peter Suwak from congregationally granted family leave. The bishop requested the Executive Committee to act on behalf of Synod Council, approving such service until ratified by Synod Council at its next regular or special meeting (should one be called).