(Subject to Assembly Amendment)
ORGANIZATION OF THE ASSEMBLY
1. The Assembly of this synod shall be its highest legislative authority. All congregations, Ministers of Word and Sacrament, Ministers of Word and Service, officers, the Oregon Synod Council, and all committees shall be bound by all actions pertaining to them taken by the Assembly in conformity with the Oregon Synod Constitution. (S7.01)
2. The voting body at the Assembly shall consist of the voting members from each congregation;
the Ministers of Word and Sacrament and Ministers of Word and Service on the active roster of this synod as defined in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s constitution; retired Ministers of Word and Sacrament and Ministers of Word and Service, as defined to be on the roster of this synod according to the Oregon Synod Constitution; Rostered Ministers on leave from call on the roster of this synod, who are serving as Interim Rostered Ministers in a congregation at the time of the Assembly; Rostered Ministers from full communion church bodies who are providing rostered minister service in an Oregon Synod congregation at the time of the Assembly; lay officers of the synod; and duly elected members of the Synod Council who are not otherwise voting members of the Assembly under +S7.21. shall be granted the privilege of both voice and vote as members of the Synod Assembly. (S7.27)
3. A Credentials Committee of three to five persons shall be appointed by the bishop and have
responsibility for voting members’ credentials and attendance quota status.
4. The Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the official representatives of the
ELCA, representatives from the Regional Center for Mission, and Rostered Ministers
on the roster of this synod who are on leave from call shall have voice, but not vote, at this
5. Each person, when recognized by the chair shall state his/her name and congregation or
institution before speaking. No person shall speak longer than three minutes, nor more than
twice on the same subject, unless the voting members, by a majority vote, waive the provisions
of this rule. Each person may either speak to a motion or move to act on a motion, but not both
at once. This rule shall not apply to messages and reports by the agencies and officers of this
synod or to guest speakers to whom special time has been allotted.
6. The chair shall have the authority to call items of business before the Assembly in whatever
order he/she deems expedient for the conduct of the Assembly business.
7. A Reference and Counsel Committee consisting of seven representatives shall be appointed by
the Oregon Synod Council and shall review all proposed changes or additions to the constitution
and bylaws, all resolutions according to the guidelines below, and all other items brought to the
Assembly which are not contained in the Agenda or Bulletin of Reports. (S10.07.04 m)
GUIDELINES FOR REFERENCE AND COUNSEL COMMITTEE
1. Resolutions may be submitted to the Reference and Counsel Committee by congregations of this synod, current Assembly voting members, the Synod Council, and committees of the synod.
2. Resolutions will be accepted by the Reference and Counsel Committee for Assembly consideration if received before 30 days prior to the opening of the Assembly, making the 2018 Assembly resolution deadline midnight on April 18, 2018. Resolutions received after the foregoing date will not be accepted for consideration unless two thirds (2/3) of the Reference and Council Committee or the Synod Council shall determine that the resolution is 1) of overriding importance, or 2) addresses a previously accepted resolution.
3. All resolutions requiring expenditure of funds will contain an estimate of fiscal impact. Any proposal to appropriate funds, whether by amendment to the budget or otherwise, which is presented to a meeting of the Synod Assembly without the approval of the Synod Council shall require a two-thirds vote for adoption. (S10.04)
4. All accepted resolutions will be evaluated by the Reference and Counsel Committee using the following criteria:
a. Does the proposed resolution address a synodical purpose (as listed in Chapter 7 of the Oregon Synod Constitution), ministry, administrative matter, or other issue affecting the Oregon Synod?
b. Is action on the resolution necessary to the business of the synod (rather than merely bringing the Assembly’s attention to an issue, organization, or an event)?
c. Is the action sought by the resolution consistent with the Oregon Synod Constitution, Bylaws and other governing documents?
d. Is the form of the resolution appropriate and clearly drafted?
e. Are the statements in the resolution accurate and necessary to an understanding of the resolution?
5. In evaluating resolutions, the Reference and Counsel Committee may interview the sponsor(s)
and other interested persons or otherwise seek relevant information. The sponsor of a
resolution may request and shall be given the opportunity to discuss it with the Reference and
6. The Reference and Counsel Committee shall adopt a recommendation for each accepted
resolution by majority vote and report that recommendation to the Oregon Synod Assembly.
The recommendation may be one of the following:
a. CONSIDER. The resolution complies with the criteria in d. above.
b. REFER. The Reference and Counsel committee moves that the resolution should be
forwarded for consideration or correction to a specified agency, institution, or group without approval or disapproval by the Assembly. The resolution fails to comply with the criteria in d. above, but may be corrected for further Assembly consideration or acted on by another body. Reasons for this recommendation will be reported to the Assembly with the recommendation.
c. TABLE. The committee moves that the resolution be tabled. The resolution fails to
comply with the criteria in d. above, and in the opinion of the committee will not be corrected by reference to another body. Reasons for this recommendation will be reported to the Assembly with the recommendation.
7. Acceptance and/or recommendation of the Reference and Counsel Committee will be
communicated to the sponsor of each resolution no later than one week prior to the Assembly.
The sponsor may appeal the committee’s decision(s) to the Synod Council in writing, stating the
action or recommendation sought with reasons for such request.
8. The Reference and Counsel Committee shall approve the distribution of all materials to the
Assembly’s voting membership.
9. All reports published in the Bulletin of Reports shall be received by the Assembly by virtue of
that fact without vote.
10. The Minutes of the Assembly shall be submitted, meeting by meeting, by the Secretary of the
Oregon Synod to a Committee on Minutes which shall examine the same with care and make
recommendations thereon to the Assembly. Approval of the Minutes of the Assembly on the
final day of the Assembly shall be the responsibility of the bishop and the secretary of this synod.
11. All motions before the Assembly must be submitted to the secretary in writing on the forms
12. Robert’s Rules of Order, latest edition, shall be the governing parliamentary law of this
RULES FOR SELECTION OF VOTING MEMBERS OF THIS ASSEMBLY
Rostered Minister Voting Membership
1. The Rostered Minister voting members shall not be more than 40% of the Assembly’s total delegation. Rostered Ministers must be on the roster of the Oregon Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as of 05/19/2018.
2. Those Rostered Ministers of the ELCA (chaplains, counselors, teachers, etc.) who are under call to the judicatory listed above, who serve agencies and institutions located in the Oregon Synod, ELCA as of 05/19/2018 may be voting members. Exceptions to the residence requirement shall be made for Rostered Ministers under call to serve as military and federal chaplains, missionaries and church-wide staff, and synodical staff members who are expected to be Rostered Ministers of the synod.
3. The Rostered Minister voting membership shall include retired Rostered Ministers.
4. A Rostered Minister may serve as a voting member only as long as he/she is under a call or retired. The Rostered Minister voting membership shall not include Rostered Ministers on leave from call unless a Rostered Minister on leave from call on the roster of this synod is serving (at least ½ time) as an Interim Rostered Minister in a congregation of the synod at the time of the Assembly. In such case, he/she may serve as a voting member of the Assembly.
5. Rostered Minister voting members shall be members of an ELCA congregation.
6. Rostered Minister members from a church body with which a relationship of full communion has been declared and established by the Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA and in Rostered Minister service within a congregation of the Oregon synod will be given the privilege of voice and vote in the Synod Assembly. (S7.27)
7. No Rostered Minister on leave from call, retired, or serving a social ministry organization shall serve as a lay voting member.
Lay Voting Membership
1. Two voting members shall be allowed per congregation of the Oregon Synod, ELCA. Congregations are reminded of the organizing principle of the ELCA in which it is the goal that lay representatives of the Synod Assembly shall be 50% male and 50% female.
2. A congregation of 500 baptized members and above may have an additional voting member for each 500 members or fraction thereof. (500-999=1 additional voting member; 1,000-1,499=2; 1,500-1,999=3; 2,000-2,499=4.) Additional members from each congregation shall be equally divided between male and female. Baptized membership statistics to be used are those of 12/31/2017 parochial report figures.
3. Representatives from Authorized Worshipping Communities of the synod as provided in ELCA Bylaw 10.02.03 (developing ministries on the territory of the synod) may serve as voting members of the Synod Assembly consistent with S7.21. (S7.26)
4. In addition to those voting members allowed by membership numbers, each congregation will be allowed additional voting members who are adult members of the congregation and who are persons of color or whose primary language is other than English, up to matching the number of lay voting members normally allowed. The registration fee (with the exception of meal costs) will be waived for these additional voting members. Congregations are reminded of the organizing principle of the ELCA in which it is the goal that 10% of the Synod Assembly will consist of people of color or different language.
5. In addition to those voting members allowed by membership numbers, each congregation will be allowed additional voting members who are youth or young adult members of the congregation up to matching the number of lay voting members normally allowed. (The term “youth” means a voting member of a congregation who has not reached the age of 18 at the time they are elected. The term “young adult” means a voting member of a congregation between the ages of 18 and 30 at the time they are elected.) The registration fee (with the exception of meal costs) will be waived for these additional voting members.
6. In addition to those voting members allowed by membership numbers, each congregation will be allowed additional voting members who self-identify as LGBTQIA members of the congregation, up to matching the number of lay voting members normally allowed. The registration fee (with the exception of meal costs) will be waived for these additional voting members.
7. Lay officers of the synod are voting members of the Assembly. Synod Council members who are not otherwise eligible to vote shall be voting members of the Assembly.
8. All retired and active Ministers of Word and Service, as defined in 10.52.0021b of the ELCA Constitution, shall have voice and vote as lay voting members of the Synod Assembly.
9. Costs of all voting members, with the exceptions named above in items 4, 5, and 6, shall be borne by the congregation, institution, or agency that the voting member represents.
10. The lay voting members shall be at least 60% of the Assembly’s total voting membership.