The Minneapolis Area Synod, gathered into 12 geographic conferences, named 17 rostered ministers for consideration as bishop at the 2018 Synod Assembly at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Ramsey, Minnesota, on May 4-5. The conference assemblies were held February 25 at Westwood Lutheran Church in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. More than 250 people participated in the conference gatherings.

This is the first stage in the nomination process for bishop of the Minneapolis Area Synod. Each conference was able to name up to three individual ELCA pastors for consideration. Craig Johnson, the synod’s Vice President, will contact each of the nominated persons within the next week in order to verify that each individual is willing to have her or his name continue in the process.

In addition, Minneapolis Area Synod rules do call for an ecclesiastical ballot during the opening plenary session at the Synod Assembly itself. Names can therefore be added at that time. (Voting members attending the Synod Assembly who intend to nominate a pastor for consideration should bring contact information and should have talked with the nominee before putting her or his name into consideration.)

The following clergypersons were nominated at the conference assemblies:


Sarah Bunge, East Union Lutheran Church, Carver
Kelly Chatman, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Minneapolis
Tim Coltvet, Luther Seminary, Saint Paul
Tania Haber, Westwood Lutheran Church, St. Louis Park
Mary Halvorson, Grace University Lutheran Church, Minneapolis
Jennifer Henry, Bethany Lutheran Church, Spencer, Iowa
Gary Kinkel, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Shakopee
David Lose, Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, Minneapolis
Jen Nagel, University Lutheran Church of Hope, Minneapolis
Jeff Nehrbass, Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Minneapolis
Mary Pechauer, Bethlehem Lutheran Church–Twin Cities, Minneapolis
Ingrid Rasmussen, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Minneapolis
Andy Romstad, Cambridge Lutheran Church, Cambridge
Ann Svennungsen, Minneapolis Area Synod
Connie Forsberg Tiede, Zion, Anoka
Norman Wahl, Bethel Lutheran Church, Rochester
Tom Zarth, Oak Grove Lutheran Church, Richfield


To find the rules regarding the election of a bishop for the Minneapolis Area Synod, please read Chapter 9 (S9.04) beginning on Page 28 of the synod’s Constitution or go to the “Ten Questions” prepared by the Bishop’s Election Committee.

Two candidate forums will be held to meet and greet those rostered leaders participating in the bishop election process. Those events will be held 9:00-11:00 a.m., on Saturdays April 7 and April 14. April 7 will be hosted at St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Bloomington and April 14 will be hosted at Faith Lutheran Church in Coon Rapids.

In addition to nominating candidates for the Office of the Bishop, voting members nominated inidivuals to attend the 2018 Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee and passed resolutions that will be sent to the synod’s Reference and Counsel Committee for consideration at the Synod Assembly in May. All active rostered leaders in the synod are voting members, as are 33 elected retired rostered leaders and lay and youth representatives from each synod congregation or synodically-authorized worshiping community.

Check the synod website on March 15 for a final list of names moving on to Synod Assembly.