33rd Annual Synod Assembly
Dear Members of the Sierra Pacific Synod,
At its meeting on July 8th, the Synod Council voted that the 2020 Synod Assembly will be postponed to 2021. This is in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health risks in conducting large public meetings, and the increase in positive COVID cases in our Synod.
This decision comes after much discussion and discernment by the Bishop Election Committee, the Synod Assembly Planning Team, the Executive Committee, and the Synod Council. Those discussions were informed by consultations with churchwide officials and our synod counsel, a letter from the African Descent Pastors of the Sierra Pacific Synod, and guidance from federal, state, and local health officials regarding the pandemic we are living through.
Most importantly, this decision was made after considerable prayer.
The Synod Assembly Planning Team and the Bishop Election Committee explored several options for holding the assembly and concluded that a virtual (e.g., Zoom) assembly poses substantial challenges, especially regarding the ecclesiastical balloting process employed for electing the bishop as well as not having a Spirit-led community process.
According to California Corporations Code section 9220(c), not holding the 2020 Synod Assembly means the Bishop, Secretary, and Synod Council members will continue in office until their successors are elected and qualified.
Thank you for your understanding and prayers – now, more than ever, embrace the Holy Spirit and listen!
Gail Kiyomura, Vice President
Sierra Pacific Synod–ELCA