A new bishop of the Southeastern Iowa Synod will be elected at the Synod Assembly scheduled to be held on August 7, 2020. The current Bishop, Michael Burk, is completing his second term and plans to retire.

The election of a new bishop is a process by which a “pastor of the synod” is called. Similar to the process a congregation undertakes when calling a new pastor.

While there is no process that allows for public opportunities to get to know potential candidates for bishop, pastors interested in being considered for the call to serve as bishop are welcome to submit biographical forms in advance of the assembly (no later than July 15, 2020, to be included in pre-assembly materials). Submitted biographical information will be made available for review to registered voting members a few days prior to the August 7 gathering. The submission of biographical forms is for information purposes only and does not constitute a nomination. Nominations are not limited to pastors who have submitted forms.

The Bishop Election Committee

The following people have been appointed to serve as the Bishop Election Committee for the 2020 Southeastern Iowa Synod Assembly:
Julie Feirer, Chair – St. Paul Lutheran Church, Winterset
Pastor Julie Higgs, Chaplain – Grace Lutheran Church, Adel
Britany Thorpe – Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Des Moines
Tyler Baars – Zion Lutheran Church, Muscatine
Pastor Josh Feala – Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Knoxville
Holly Knouse – St. Peter & St. Paul Lutheran Church, Monticello
Heather Miller, ex officio – Faith Lutheran Church, Clive

The Bishop Election Committee (not to be confused with the Elections Committee, which prepares and counts ballots), is responsible for shaping the time dedicated to the election of the next bishop of the Southeastern Iowa Synod. The committee’s work will include, but may not be limited to, gathering and distributing biographical information of the top 7 candidates, planning for how the assembly will engage and be engaged by the candidates, developing questions for candidates, working with the representative from the ELCA Churchwide Organization who will chair the election on behalf of the presiding bishop, and facilitating hospitality for those most directly involved with the process. This committee’s work will conclude with the election of a bishop.

Synod Ministry Profile

In order to assist the people of the Southeastern Iowa Synod to prepare for the election of a bishop in 2020, the Synod Ministry Profile Committee has created a description of the current status of ministry in and around this synod, noting in particular opportunities, challenges, and pressure points.

Synod Ministry Profile – One Page Front and Back

Synod Ministry Profile – Longer analysis (28 pages)

Frequently Asked Questions about the Bishop Election

The Election Process at Synod Assembly

Bishop Video Series

What it’s like to be a bishop, watch videos from current ELCA bishops about their experiences as bishop. Learn about what qualities bishops see as important and things that happen “behind the scenes”