Spring Conference Gatherings
May & June 2023 throughout the Synod
Led by the Bishop’s Election Committee & Conference Deans
This Spring, the Bishop’s Election Committee and Conference Deans will host our Spring Conference Gatherings at various locations throughout the synod. These Conference Gatherings will have two key focuses: discernment of our upcoming Bishop’s Election, and a Conference Assembly for business items.
All Conference Gatherings will follow the same general flow:
1st Half: Discernment of Bishop’s Election
2nd Half: Conference Assembly with Nominations
Click the icons below to learn more about these Spring Conference Gatherings.
Discernment of Bishop's Election
The Spring Conference Gatherings will begin with a time of guided discernment surrounding our upcoming Bishop's Election. All are invited to attend the Conference Gatherings - Rostered Ministers, Lay Leaders, Youth, Parishioners - to be a part of the important discernment of our Bishop’s Election.
“Our decisions and our search for guidance take place in the active presence of a God who intimately cares about our life situations and who invites us to participate in the divine activities of healing and transformation.”— Frank Rogers, Jr.
What is Discernment?
Discernment is the intentional practice by which a community or an individual seeks, recognizes, and intentionally takes part in the activity of God in concrete situations. The aim of discernment is to enhance one's participation in the work of God, for the glory of God and the healing of the world.
The communal practice of discernment places group decisions within the context of God's transforming activity. How can groups get beyond differences, interests, clashes, and power strategies that crowd out genuine dialogue and respect In order to come together for a shared futur ? In what ways can we prepare the soil for what God longs to do in our synod? How do we faithfully listen together for the person God is calling as our next servant leader and Bishop?
How will we Discern as a Synod?
As a synod we have experienced significant hurt, transition, and frustration. As we journey forward together into our next Synod Assembly, our capacity to discern and listen together to the call of God is essential.
Seeking wisdom as a group requires a lot from participants and can be a profound process. As a Bishops Election Committee, we invite you to begin a process of discernment for our next Bishop. Our conference assemblies offer a unique opportunity for us to gather in clusters, hear each other’s hearts, and dream together for the leader that God is preparing for our Synod.
Please consider joining us as we listen together for the heart of God.
Conference Assembly & Nomination Process
Following our Discernment time, Conferences that are gathered with another Conference will divide into two groups to bring their Conference Assemblies. All are invited to attend and participate in the Conference Assemblies, however, only individuals who will serve as their congregation's voting delegate at the 2023 Synod Assembly in September will be able to vote at the Conference Assembly. We'll have special stickers or nametags to help distinguish who is a voting delegate.
What will we vote on at our Conference Assembly?
There are two primary focuses for each Conference Assembly. Raising up pre-nominees for Bishop and nominating individuals for the open Synod Council positions.
Pre-Nominees for Bishop
Each Conference has the opportunity to raise up 5 names of Rostered Ministers as pre-nominees for Bishop in the Sierra Pacific Synod. We invite you to read more about this process in S9.04.01 of the Synod Constitution, found here.
Nominations for Open Synod Council Positions
Additionally, each Conference has the opportunity to nominate one person for the open Synod Council positions. This year, there is 1 At-Large position and 1 Youth position open and to be nominated for. To learn more about these open positions, we invite you to read S10.01 of the Synod Constitution, found here.
Gathering Locations, Times and Details
Conference 3: Capitol Valley Conference
May 6, 2023 at 1:00pm
At Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Sacramento, CA - 1615 Morse Ave, Sacramento, CA 95864
Conference 8 & 9: Sierra Central Valley and Central San Joaquin Conference
May 13, 2023 at 10:00am, lunch will be offered
At Hope Lutheran Church in Fresno, CA - 5435 N Fresno St, Fresno, CA 93710
Conference 6 & 7: El Camino Real and Mt. Diablo Conference
June 3, 2023 more details TBD
Conference 2 & 5: Bridges and San Francisco Peninsula Conference
June 10, 2023 at 11:00am, lunch will be offered
At St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco, CA - 1111 O'Farrell St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Conference 1 & 4: Redwood Mountain and Sierra Nevada Foothills Conference
June 24, 2023 at 10:00am, half-hour screen break for lunch
Those individuals who must drive 75 miles one way or greater to participate in the gatherings for the discernment of the election of the bishop in 2023 shall be reimbursed at the IRS charitable organizations rate by the SPS. Those desiring reimbursement will submit their mileage and map through the usual methods of reimbursement for mileage expenses, found here.