Bishop Pryse issued the following pastoral letter in late September 2023.
I am writing today to provide formal notice that the Eastern Synod will be electing new officers – Bishop, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer – at it’s June 2024 Synod Assembly. I will have ample opportunity in the coming months to offer further reflections on my own decision to not seek an additional term, but think it is important for you to know about the processes that have been put in place to ensure a prayerful and informed leadership transition for our synod in 2024.
In March 2022, Vice Chairperson Laurie Knott, Secretary Wendell Caron Grahlman, Treasurer Keith Myra and I informed the Eastern Synod Council of our respective decisions to not seek additional terms of service in 2024. I then asked the Synod Council to 1. consider enabling a nomination process to identify potential candidates for election as Vice Chairperson and Bishop; and 2. to begin a process to identify their nominees for election as Secretary and Treasurer as soon as possible. The Synod Council agreed to both requests.
The procedures for electing the officers of the Eastern Synod are specified in Eastern Synod Bylaw Part V, Sections 12 e. and f. https://easternsynod.org/resource/eastern-synod-bylaws-2018/ The Secretary and Treasurer of the Eastern Synod are elected by the convention upon nomination by the Synod Council. The Bishop and Vice Chairperson are elected by the convention via an ecclesiastical ballot where delegates may vote for any eligible candidate until such time as a specified majority of votes have been cast for a particular candidate.
The Eastern Synod Council has now identified its nominees to serve as Secretary and Treasurer and each is currently being trained and integrated into the administrative processes of the synod. This will help to ensure a smooth transition following their presumed elections in 2024. These individuals will be introduced to you in mid-November of this year.
Likewise, in mid-November you will be introduced to the nomination process that the Synod Council has put in place to assist in the election of our next Bishop and Vice-Chairperson. This process will not change the constitutionally mandated balloting processes whereby these positions are filled. We will still have open ecclesiastical balloting at the convention. The election will, however, be preceded by a nomination process whereby the synod is invited to identify and engage with potential candidates in the months leading up to the convention.
Leadership transitions can be challenging. I understand that. I also know that they hold rich potential for unlocking and liberating new gifts, opportunities, hopes and dreams. I think our Synod Council has taken steps that will help us to maximize that potential and look forward to communicating with you further in the coming months!