top of page

Policy for Disclosures During Public Elections

This is a new policy that was approved by Synod Council on Saturday, December 11, 2021.


Seeking to be good stewards of the resources of our Synod, the Sierra Pacific Synod uses background checks as one of the tools we use in reflection of the high standards the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has for elected leaders of the church. For example, prior to the public election of rostered leaders, call committees are provided the following disclosure information:

  • Have you ever engaged in, been accused of, charged with, or convicted of illegal conduct or a crime, including conduct resulting in suspension or revocation of your driver’s license? Yes or No. If yes, explain below.

  • Do you have any health conditions (physical or psychological) or any addictive behavior, including a history of drug, alcohol, or pornographic addictions that might interfere with your ability to serve or continue serving as a leader? Yes or No. If yes, explain below.

  • Have you ever engaged in, been accused of, investigated for, sued, or charged with sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, substance abuse, child or spousal neglect or abuse, or financial improprieties? Yes or No. If yes, explain below.

  • While on the roster, have you ever engaged in, been accused of, investigated for, charged with, or disciplined for any conduct proscribed in Definitions and Guidelines for Discipline? Never Rostered, Yes or No. If yes, explain below.

  • Have you ever engaged in any behavior or been involved in any situations that, if they became known, might seriously damage your ability to begin or continue in leadership and ministry? Yes or No. If yes, explain below.

The Sierra Pacific Synod celebrates God’s love and care for all individuals regardless of their background. The transformational nature of God’s grace reminds us that we are all equal in our need for reconciliation and forgiveness. The disclosure of background check information is not meant to publicly shame or unduly influence an election.


When background check information needs to be shared about nominees, it shall be shared prior to their speaking so that the nominee can provide context, lessons learned and the resiliency they have gained from the experience(s) being disclosed.


Individuals seeking election to offices that require a background check, particularly those who are concerned that information may be disclosed publicly, are encouraged to prayerfully discern if they are willing and able to put their name forward for election.


The purpose of this policy is to provide information for voting members, nominees and the newly elected about the disclosure of background check information during a public election (S9.12.A19).


When it is determined that background check information about a nominee needs to be disclosed prior to an election:

  • The Bishop, or the Executive Committee when the results pertain to the election of a Bishop, shall inform the nominee about the results of the background check. When possible, the information will be provided prior to the election.

  • For each election that requires a background check the chair of the nominating committee, or election committee when there is an election of a bishop, the following information shall be shared prior to any speaking by nominees:

    • The candidates who have and who have not completed a background check.

    • Any disclosures that need to be shared.

When it is determined that background check information about a newly elected officer needs to be disclosed after an election:

  • The Bishop, or the Executive Committee when the results pertain to the election of a bishop, shall inform the nominated individual about the results of the background check.

  • The Synod Council’s Executive Committee shall take action as deemed appropriate.

718 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Spirit-Centered Moment: by Emily Pardee

Written by Emily Pardee Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Mi-Wuk Village, CA A response to this week's Gospel text, Luke 14: 1, 7-14... It occurs to me that whether as guest or host, Jesus instructs us h

Comments


bottom of page