2023 Synod Assembly: Who Votes?

Who votes at assembly? Check out these helpful guidelines.

March 15, 2023 |

Michelle Walka

Who votes at Assembly? It can be confusing, but this will help you figure it out.

● Lay voting members from congregations of the synod
● Rostered ministers—all deacons and all pastors
● Synod officers
● Synod council
● Retired rostered ministers (pastors and deacons) have the choice to be voting (see bullet 2 above) or
register as non-voting to reduce costs.

Lay Voting Members
How many lay voting members does my congregation send to Assembly?

● Congregations of up to 750 baptized members: Send two lay voting members, one female and one male.
● Congregations with over 750 baptized members: May send two additional lay voting members, one male and one female, for each 750 additional members.
● Persons of color or persons whose primary language is other than English: Congregations with members in either category may send one additional lay voting member from one of those categories.
● Youth/Young Adult Voting Members: Congregations may elect one additional voting member who is a youth (confirmed to 17) or young adult (between 18 and 30).

How are lay voting members chosen from my congregation?

● In most congregations, the constitution specifies how voting members are chosen. Whether they volunteer or are elected, most require approval of the Congregation Council.

Why are they called “voting members” and not “delegates?”

● Voting members are not delegates as that term is understood or used in some political contexts. Voting members engage and come prepared. Using careful and prayerful consideration, their votes are their own even as they serve on behalf of their congregation and the ELCA Lutherans across the NC Synod.

Responsibilities of Voting Members

What are the responsibilities of voting members? Voting members should:

● Study the issues
● Read the information provided
● Listen attentively to discussions, debates, and amendments
● Learn about those nominated for election
● Prayerfully seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit
● Act conscientiously for the sake of the unity and well-being of this whole church
● Attend all assembly sessions
● Report back to the congregation (The assembly summary distributed by the synod office is a helpful tool. The summary will be available online by June 6.)


Synod Staff

"Who Votes?" North Carolina Synod Assembly Voting Information

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