August 9, 2007
2007 Churchwide Assembly:
Candidates for secretary address assembly
Eight candidates for the post of secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America addressed the churchwide assembly Aug. 9, prior to the third ballot that is likely to narrow the field to three candidates.
The eight candidates were the top vote-getters on the second ballot taken at the 2007 Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA.
The churchwide assembly, the chief legislative authority of the ELCA, is meeting in Chicago Aug. 6 to 11 at Navy Pier's Festival Hall. About 2,000 people are participating, including 1,068 ELCA voting members.
A total of 1,046 votes were cast on that second ballot. Michael L. Cooper-White, president of Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (Pa.), received 277 votes, followed by Andrea DeGroot-Nesdahl, bishop of the South Dakota Synod, who received 227 votes.
David Swartling, an attorney from Seattle who has served as parliamentarian of the past two assemblies, received 114 votes; and Kenneth M. Ruppar, pastor of Lutheran Church of the Savior, Richmond, Va., received 108 votes. Paul Schreck, executive assistant to the current ELCA secretary, received 70 votes on the second ballot. Glenndy Ose, an assistant to the bishop in the Minneapolis Area Synod, received 57 votes; William C. "Wm. Chris" Boerger, bishop of the Northwest Washington Synod, and Mark Grorud, ELCA director of relationships with larger congregations, each received 32 votes.
After the third ballot, the field is limited to the top three candidates, who will be given the opportunity to address the assembly. A 60 percent majority is required for election on the fourth ballot.
If there is no election on the fourth ballot, the names of the top two candidates will appear on the fifth ballot, where a simple majority is required for election.