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Office of the Bishop FAQ

One of the greatest joys of working in the Office of the Bishop is the continual communication we have with Rostered Leaders, church Council members, lay leaders, youth and young adults, and so many others. We learn from you, listen to you, and do our very best to be a supportive Synod for you and your congregation.


Many of these conversations and questions come via email. With the fewer number of staff members in the office of the bishop, our response time to emails is sometimes a bit slower. Luckily, many of the emails we receive are questions that are simple to answer and are often found on our website.


Thus, we’ve created a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ list below to help answer some of your questions you may have previously emailed or called us about!


Of course, if you do not find the answer to your question below, please do not hesitate to reach out. We encourage you to first connect with your Conference Dean, and are always welcome to reach out to a member of synod staff. All of our email addresses can be found here.


Here are the most frequently asked questions and our answers:


1. What Conference am I in and who is my Conference Dean?

Every congregation in our synod is a part of a Conference, which is a geographically close cluster of congregations. There are nine Conferences in our synod and each Conference elects a Dean, who is a Rostered Leader serving a congregation in that Conference, to serve. Conference Deans support congregations and colleagues nearby, gather the conference for meetings, support congregations during the interim and call process season, and are a local resource on behalf of the Office of the Bishop. The full list of Conferences and the corresponding Dean can be found here.


2. What is the mailing address of the Sierra Pacific Synod office?

The mailing address and physical location of the Sierra Pacific Synod office is 1800 55th Ave. Oakland, CA 94621. Please be sure that all mail is directed to this address.


3. I need to contact the Bishop, how do I do so?

Before contacting the Bishop, we’d encourage you to wonder about first contacting your Conference Dean. Perhaps this is a question they might be able to answer or a situation they might be familiar with?


To get in touch with Interim Bishop Claire Burkat, please email our Executive Assistant Deacon jj Godwin at jj@spselca.org. If this is an urgent matter, please email Deacon jj and send a text to them at (650) 302-6701.


4. My Pastor is out of town or unavailable to Preach and Preside at worship, where can I find the list of potential Pulpit Supply?

Contact your Conference Dean who knows the pastors that are available for pulpit supply in your area.


5. How much should we be paying our Rostered Leader?

We’ve put together a page of resources to help guide your congregation in this process. You’ll find this year’s Compensation Workbook, Pulpit Supply Guidelines, Sample Contracts, and so much more here. If you have questions about compensation you can contact your Conference Dean or Pr. Manda Truchinski for help.


6. My church has moved addresses OR you have our wrong address! Where can we update it?

To update your church’s address, email catherine@spselca.org.


7. Where is your Treasurers Remittance Form?

The Treasurers Remittance Form can be found here.


8. Where do I find job openings in the Sierra Pacific Synod?

If you are a Rostered Leader looking for open calls in congregations in our Synod, click here and select "Sierra Pacific Synod (2A)". Here, you’ll find congregations currently interviewing in our Synod.


As congregations in our synod are hiring non-ordained positions, such as youth leaders, musicians, etc., we will share the job postings here.


If you are discerning a call to ordained ministry and interested in the Candidacy process, we encourage you to get in touch with our Candidacy Team, found here.


9. Our congregation is considering Holy Closure, do you have any resources to share?

Holy Closure is a spirit-filled discernment process that we hope to walk beside you through. For resources on Holy Closure, we invite you to click here.


10. Taxes and finances for churches and our rostered leaders is hard! Do you have any resources for this?

If you are looking for information about taxes, we encourage you to check out our resource page here. For resources around stewardship and finances, check out our resource page here.


Additionally, Synod Treasurer, Rev. Sharon Amundson, is a CPA and might be able to answer some of your specific questions and provide you with additional guidance. You can email Rev. Sharon at synodtreasurer@spselca.org.

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