Transition Team for New Synodical Bishop in 2016

bishop-election-logoWith the retirement of Bishop Wollersheim, a new synodical bishop will be elected at the 2016 Synod Assembly. In order to facilitate all the necessary preparations, a Transition Team has been formed.

Follow updates from the Transition Team on this page and in Walking Together.

Important Information for Every Pastor of the NIS

All pastors of the ELCA are eligible to be nominated in a synodical bishop election using an ecclesiastical ballot. Therefore, we ask that all NIS pastors be discerning whether they sense a call to the office of bishop. Voting members of the assembly can write the name of any ELCA pastor on the first ballot. All pastors whose names are written on the first ballot must do one of two things by 11:45am, Friday June 17.

  • Pastors who DO NOT wish their name to go forward must submit a Request for Withdrawal form to the chair or co-chair of the Election Committee no later than 11:45 am Friday. Any names not removed by that time will remain on the ballot and continue in the process. This is the only time a pastor can request his/her name to be removed from the ballot.
  • Pastors who DO wish their names to continue must complete and submit to the chair or co-chair of the Election Committee the Biographical Information Form, part 1 by 11:45 am, Friday, June 17 and the Biographical Information Form, part 2 by 1:45pm, Friday, June 17. The

These forms are available on the synod website. They can be filled out online and submitted electronically ahead of the assembly. The online forms will not be available after Monday, June 13, nor will they be available during the assembly. The forms can also be downloaded and printed out from the website. There will also be paper copies available from the Elections Table in the Lobby of Centennial Hall during the Assembly.

As NIS pastors discern their roles in the upcoming election, it makes sense to go ahead and fill out the appropriate forms now, to avoid issues later. The forms are completely confidential until the time they are due to be turned in. And thank you to those who have completed and submitted their forms!

Election Process and Procedures Forms

  Biographical Information Form

  • Ordained Ministers nominated for the Nominating Ballot and desire their name to be retained on subsequent Ballots must complete both parts of this form.
  • Part 1 of this form will be distributed to all voting members prior to the Second Ballot.
  • This form, both Parts 1 and 2, must be submitted by the announced deadlines: 11:45am, Friday, June 17 (part 1) and 1:45pm, Friday, June 17. (part 2)

   Request for Withdrawal Form

  • Ordained Ministers nominated on the First Ballot may withdraw their names from subsequent ballots prior to the casting of the Second Ballot. This form must be secured, completed, and returned by the announced deadline: 11:45am, Friday, June 17

 Authorization and Release for Background Checks and Screening & Disclosure Form for Nominees 

  • Following the Report of the Second Ballot, the seven nominees (plus ties) shall complete these two forms and return them no later than 5:15pm, Friday, June 17 to to the Vice-President or designee at the Elections Table in the Centennial Hall Lobby. Envelopes will be available at the table to ensure confidentiality.
  • Failure to submit these would be cause for removal from the Third Ballot and no longer be eligible to participate in the nominee speeches.

Two Ways to Thank Bishop and Polly

March 15, 2016

At our Northern Illinois Synod Assembly in June, we will be honoring Bishop Wollersheim and Polly upon Bishop Wollersheim’s retirement. In honor of the Bishop and Polly, two funds have been established in their names. They are The Gary Wollersheim Rostered Leaders Educational Debt Retirement Fund and The Polly Wollersheim Fund for Literacy and Education – Arcot Lutheran Church, India.


Planning to attend the celebration for Bishop Wollersheim?

If you are not registered for the assembly, but would like to attend the Celebration Dinner for Bishop & Polly on the evening of Thursday, June 16, please make a reservation here.  Please RSVP by June 1.


Bishop Election Prayer Resources

Electing a bishop is one of the most important responsibilities in the life of a synod in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and a key responsibility of the Synod Assembly. As an election, it is a process governed by the constitution, bylaws, and continuing resolutions of the synod; however, it is also a call process. As such, it involves discernment, from the perspective both of individual potential nominees and of the synod as a whole. Thus, engaging in prayerful reflection and seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit are indispensable aspects of the process of nomination and election, regardless of the particular provisions in the synod’s governing documents.


Transition Team April Blog

Hello Everyone,

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Andy Tyrrell.  I have served as the pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Richmond, IL for the last four years.  As you know Bishop Wollersheim is retiring after 18 years of faithful service to our synod.  In order to recognize Bishop Wollersheim and provide a smooth transition for our next Bishop the Synod Council decided to put into place a transition team.  As part of that team, I was asked to keep you all updated with a regular blog.


More Transition Team News


Register for the Celebration Dinner for Bishop and Polly on Thursday, June 16

See All Transition Team News & Resources

Important Dates

  • Revised Synod Assembly 2016 dates: Thursday, June 16 – Saturday, June 18. Visit for details.
  • Installation of New Bishop, by Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton – Saturday, September 24, 2016 at First, Rockford. Installation service at 10 am. Parking and shuttle available to and from Our Savior’s, Rockford. Reception to follow at Our Savior’s, Rockford.

Transition Team Members