Committees of the Conference of Bishops
The Executive Committee is comprised of the Chair, Vice-Chair, three at-large members, the Presiding Bishop, and Secretary of the ELCA. Staff liaison is the Executive for Synodical Relations. The Executive Committee makes decisions on behalf of the Conference, makes recommendations of appointments to standing committees, gives oversight for Conference of Bishops' meetings and, as needed, assigns work to committees and task forces, coordinates consideration of concerns, issues, and requests for or between meetings of the Conference; offers advice, counsel and support to the Presiding Bishop as requested; and prepares agendas for Conference Meetings.
Committee on Academy
The Academy Committee is responsible for the annual continuing education event for members of the Conference of Bishops. Typically, the Academy is held during the first days of January each year and seeks to provide stimulating presenters on a variety of topics. One of the most important components of the Academy is the opportunity for fellowship and relationship-building among colleagues in the Conference.
Committee on Bishop Formation
The Bishop Formation Committee is responsible for assisting newly elected bishops in becoming familiar with the Office of Bishop, as well as helping them make connections with partners throughout the entire ELCA. The committee also assigns mentors [veteran bishops] to be available to each newly-elected bishop for support and guidance as needed.
Committee on Roster
The Roster Committee of the Conference of Bishops functions for the purpose of reviewing roster criteria and procedures for requests from synods and providing recommendations for action by the Conference of Bishops relative to ELCA constitutional requirements for roster categories. Specific roster matters addressed by the Committee are:
- Exception for Three Year Parish Service Rule
- Extension of Three Year On Leave From Call status
- Calls to Non-Congregational Service
- Calls to Non-Stipendiary Service
- Calls to Serve in Unusual Circumstances
Committee on Theological & Ethical Concerns
Assisted by this committee, the Conference serves as a forum for reflections upon the theological and ethical implications of issues that affect this church.
Committee on Synodical-Churchwide Relations
The Synodical-Churchwide Relations Committee is established to assist churchwide units and related organizations in securing review, advice, consultation, and recommendations by the Conference of Bishops on policies and programs. Connections with the three churchwide units -- Global Mission, Mission Advancement, and Congregational and Synodical Mission -- is encouraged as needed.
Committee on Ministry Among People in Poverty
The Mission Statement of the Committee on Ministry Among People in Poverty: "Rooted in the biblical witness and shaped by the compassion of Christ, we assist the Conference of Bishops in engaging the church in ministry with and among persons in poverty." The committee's work revolves around five strategies:
- Hold one another [i.e., ELCA bishops] accountable for living out our commitment to ministry with and among persons in poverty in our synodical work,
- Advocate for all our actions and decisions to be considered for their effect on the poor,
- Build awareness of and support for current effective work and potential new work,
- Serve as liaison with churchwide units and other partnerships, stimulating linkages with local ministries,
- Encourage personal experiences and encounters, locally and globally, with people living in poverty as a way to enliven the church.
Committee on Synodical & Rostered Leader Care
Synodical and Rostered Leader Care serves in two capacities for the Conference. First, it oversees the Shared Risk Fund, established by the Conference of Bishops in 1992, which permits participating synods a degree of protection against the costs of disciplinary proceedings against rostered leaders and congregations. After a deductible of $10,000 has been satisfied, eligible expenses may be submitted for partial or full reimbursement according to Fund guidelines. Synods are assessed premiums of $2.00 per rostered person and $2.00 per congregation. Second, it oversees the Good Samaritan Fund, which provides limited financial aid to rostered leaders/spouses. It reviews the history of usage of funds and appropriate application forms.
Committee on Ecumenical Relations
The Ecumenical Relations Committee facilitates communication and coordination between the Conference of Bishops and ecumenical conversations.
The committee will:
- assist in interpreting ecumenical work to the other bishops, be a channel for counsel and questions, assist the COB in dealing with ecumenical matters by providing resources and resource people, framing questions, and consulting on related matters;
- encourage COB members in carrying out their ecumenical responsibilities within their synods, including their use of Lutheran Ecumenical Representatives Network [LERN];
- encourage COB members who have accepted special assignments to dialogue teams or ecumenical governing boards;
- and individual committee members may be given ecumenical assignments by this church.
Committee on Companion Synods
The Companion Synod Committee of the Conference of Bishops seeks to enhance and strengthen relationships between ELCA bishops and their companion synods or dioceses. In addition, the committee seeks to assist when policy questions arise or difficult situations develop in these relationships.
Committee on Leadership
The Leadership Committee serves in an adivisory role to the staff of the CSM unit. Proposed new and revised policies are reviewed and recommendations are made to matters under consideration by the unit in the areas of:
- Book of Faith
- Disability Ministry
- Leadership Support
- Lilly Grants
- Misconduct Prevention
- Mission Schools/Colleges and Universities
- Outreach Leadership
- Specialized Ministries
- Theological Education for Emerging Ministries
This Committee reports to the CoB at its meetings, receives the counsel of the CoB, and raises with the CSM staff any questions generated in meetings and conversations of the bishops.
Committee on New & Renewing Congregations
The New and Renewing Congregations Committee serves in an advisory role to the staff of the CSM unit. Proposed new and revised policies are reviewed and recommendations are made to matters under consideration byt the unit in the areas of:
- New Congregations
- Congregational Renewal
- Campus Ministry
- Youth Ministry
- Youth Gathering
- Young Adult Ministry
- Outdoor Ministry
- Ethnic Specific/Multicultural Ministries
This committee reports to the CoB at its meetings, receives the counsel of the CoB, and raises with the CSM staff any questions generated in meetings and conversations of the bishops.