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Update from April 16th Synod Council Meeting

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April 17, 2013

Dear Members of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, ELCA:

Thank you for the tremendous outpouring of prayers that have risen up from every part of this synod.
I am grateful for how you have held in prayer the Mengelt family, Bishop Burnside and his family, synod leadership, pastors, members and congregations of this synod.

Your Synod Council is focused on faithfully fulfilling its responsibility to the mission and ministry of this synod, so that together we can continue to bear witness to God’s love for the world.

On Tuesday, April 16, your Synod Council met and consulted with the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the ELCA. At the meeting, the Synod Council made the following decisions and recommendations:

In accordance with the constitution and bylaws of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin (+S8.56), the
     Synod Council accepted the determination of the Executive Committee, which concurred with
     Bishop Burnside, that he is unable to fulfill the responsibilities of the office of bishop for the duration
     of his term, which concludes June 30.

In accordance with the constitution and bylaws (+S8.54), and in order to provide for the
     responsibilities of the bishop, the Synod Council authorized the Executive Committee, in
     consultation with the presiding bishop, to consider pastors for interim bishop, and to bring a
     recommendation of a pastor to serve the synod as interim bishop to the Synod Council as soon as
     reasonably possible.

After prayerful deliberation and deep conversation, the Synod Council recommends that the bishop’s
     election not be held at the upcoming Synod Assembly May 4-5, but instead be postponed to a
     later date in 2013 at a time and location to be determined by the Synod Council. The Synod
     Council further recommends that the time that was to be used to conduct an election for bishop
     at the May 4-5 Synod Assembly instead be used to have facilitated conversation about what we
     are experiencing now as a synod, and about what God is calling this synod to with regard to its
     mission and ministry in the future. The recommendation to postpone the bishop’s election will
     come before the Synod Assembly on May 4.

In the upcoming days, the Synod Council, synod staff, the Synod Assembly Planning Team and many others will be working diligently to make preparations for the implementation of these recommendations. More information about the changes suggested for the May 4-5 Synod Assembly and about plans for the postponed bishop’s election and process will be shared in the coming days.

Please be attentive to communications from your synod so that you do not miss any of these important updates. I ask that you please be patient as many people are working on the multiple facets of these decisions and recommendations.

Please continue to pray for the ministry of your synod and its leadership, as we fulfill our responsibilities to the gospel and to the mission of Jesus that we share.

In Christ,
Eric Peterson
Synod Vice President
South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, ELCA

Click here to download a PDF of this letter.

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The South-Central Synod of Wisconsin is one of the sixty-five synods of the
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South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, ELCA