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2019 Candidate Questions

In partnership with Emmaus Collective and ReconcilingWorks, Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries is pleased to release this resource of questions for candidates running for leadership positions in both ELCA synods as well as the national expression of our church (click: 2019 Candidate Questions or text below).

Over 20 synods will be electing Bishops at their assemblies this spring. And, this summer, the ELCA will hold a Bishop’s election as well as elections for a new ELCA Secretary, Church Council members, and other leadership positions at its Churchwide Assembly (August 5-10, 2019 in Milwaukee).

Our organizations believe that the questions included in this list are crucial for candidates to engage as they look toward leading our church into the next six years. Please consider bringing one of these questions to a candidate when you gather and sharing this list with others in your community!


Questions for Candidates

How have you worked with congregations in your synod/region to encourage them to open their membership and leadership positions – specifically pastor and deacon roles – to minorities, especially LGBTQIA+ individuals and people of color?

What training/educational resources have you engaged to address your own racism and queer-phobia?

What is the role of “Bound Conscience” in the church today?

What action steps will you put in place to provide financial, systematic, and pastoral support for minorities, especially LGBTQIA+ and people of color, who are Rostered Ministers and candidates in your leadership role?

Can you share a time when you experienced and participated in powerful, intersectional leadership?

With the national average age someone comes “OUT” as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community being 16, what do you feel the work of a congregation or ministry setting is to see, name, and care for these youth and their families?

How will you choose to handle expressed homophobia, transphobia, racism, and sexism by a Rostered Minister or member of your synod?

With the rising tide of white supremacy in national discourse leading to violence perpetrated against innocents all over this country what is this church’s, this synod’s, and the bishop’s role in stopping this?

Are you committed to making this synod an Anti-Racist Space?  If so name the first three steps you will take your first year in office (or this term)?

If elected will you assemble a staff that reflects the rich diversity of the realm of God? What does that look like to you? Why is this this important to you?

Can you define systemic racism or institutional racism and give an example where the ELCA is culpable in this system?