Dear People of Pacifica Synod,
Last year, a synod council task force was convened to review our synod constitution and suggest possible changes. That task force included Analiese Christenson, Jeff Cours, Pastor Jay Egenes, Pastor Jeff Lilley, Rachel Line, Pastor Jennifer Shaw, Bishop Andy Taylor, and Pastor Laura Ziehl. Please join me in gratitude for each of these people and their attention to this governing document. The task force reviewed and discussed the synod constitution and suggested changes that clarified the document, corrected small errors or inconsistencies, and put the constitution in line with current practices.
We are now presenting these suggested changes to you, in accordance with †S18.13. This communication allows six months for review prior to the Synod Assembly. The Assembly will have the opportunity to review and vote on these changes May 5-6 at Hope Lutheran Church in Palm Desert.
In addition, the 2022 Churchwide Assembly approved a new model constitution for synods with both required and suggested changes to synod constitutions. My sincere thanks to Jeff Cours for reviewing these changes and updating our constitution to reflect the required changes.
The comparison document being distributed to the synod includes both the recommendations of the task force and the changes approved by the Churchwide Assembly, some of which are required. As you review these changes, please keep in mind whether a section is required or not required, and whether it is a constitutional provision or a bylaw.
- Sections marked with a cross, “†”, are required sections: the language of these sections in the Pacifica Synod’s constitution must match the language in the ELCA’s 2022 Constitution for Synods. Section †S18.12. allows us adopt changes to required sections (regardless of whether they’re constitutional provisions or bylaws) with a majority vote at the Synod Assembly.
- Non-required sections do not have a cross mark; our synod controls the language of non-required sections.
- Sections that have two numbers, like “S7.13.”, are constitutional provisions. Section †S18.13.b would let us adopt the proposed changes to non-required constitutional provisions with a two-thirds vote.
- Finally, sections with three numbers, like “S7.13.01.”, are bylaws. Bylaws may not conflict with constitutional provisions. Section †S18.21. tells us that we also need a two-thirds vote to amend non-required bylaws.
Again, thank you to the task force and to you for your consideration.
To view the constitution as compared to the May 2021, please click here