Saturday, June 12, 2010

A First Look

The following is my first look at the "Today's Business" #1 for the July LCMS Convention. Take it for what it is worth. It may help you as you begin to unravel this thing. Note: now and again there is a little sarcasm in the responses. It is difficult to avoid when you spend hours reading self-serving bureaucratic jargon.


To Celebrate failing to meet the goal. Weird. Compare whereas #1 with #6.


Ablaze is not Lutheran to begin with. Let's put it away. It will pass no matter what. (That is called a "Gimmee")


A pointless Gimmee.


We could use better materials. Let's stop congratulating ourselves and develop some better stuff.


A nice thought. a reasonable idea. Hardly seems like it should require a convention resolution.




This hardly needs a resolution. It just requires common sense.


A waste of time, and a gimmee.


Ov 1-11 needs to be removed from this and considered on its own merits.


Bad idea. Just reinforces the bureaucracy. Comes from them too.


That is what we need, Synod guidance on how to fire people. Sadly, another gimmee.

2-03 -- A bunch of gobbledy gook and techno speak. Ridiculous.

“as they cluster in Christian communities sometimes also known as congregations;” (??)

“Such concern is reflective of the mind of Christ and is integral to His mission mandate to reach out to all” *this is not a true statement*

2-04 -- a waste of time and energy, simply an advertisement for CPH

2-05 -- the first resolved asserts something that is not demonstrably true and should be edited or deleted.

2-06 -- good idea

2-07 -- a nice idea, but really.

3-01 -- need to determine what the heck is meant by statements like:

“Loving, compassionate recognition of the deep pain and personal struggles that same-sex inclinations produce in many individuals, families, and congregations may not be neglected in the name of moral purity” (“Theological Implications,” 2010 CW, p. 15);

and ask what the import of phrases like this are: “[T]he LCMS believes and teaches that same-gender genital sexual activity–in every situation– violates the will of our Creator and must be recognized as sin” - where does this striking precision come from - "same-gender genital sexual activity"?

Since all of the resolution becomes the official position of the Synod, should it not be plain and clear?

This resolved does not appear to be true: Resolved, That the LCMS commend groups such as Word Alone, Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC), Lutheran CORE, and others for their courage and faithfulness in maintaining their confessional identity by opposing the ELCA’s recent decision;

WHAT "confessional identity" are they addressing?


The resolution applauds the statement of the task force, fails to address the issue of the appropriateness of the 'cooperation in externals' and punts any thinking about the issue another three years down the road.


How can we discuss this issue when pastors are ejected from the Synod because their congregations have taken a confessional stand against the Synod, or failed to join the Synod - the case of a new congregation - in a timely fashion? If these men are not fit for fellowship as members of the Synod, how could we make that sort of determination about some fledgling church body?


We need a thorough response, and the issues raised by the ELCA document are for deeper and more significant than those mention in the resolution


As long as we commend it for study but do not commend it uncritically or commend the CTCR for the study, this is okay.


A sound idea.


A Gimmee


Needs to be substituted by the original memorial 3-16.

The LWF has declared itself a fellowship and all belonging are in Altar and Pulpit Fellowship - which means that we are in fellowship with everyone in the LWF if anyone we are in fellowship with is in the LWF.

4-01 Stewardship

a generic resolution: a gimmee.


These things are the duties of the Board of Directors, and should require no resolution. typical CYA waste of time.


Reflects the problem of the Synod, that the Synod sees itself as the central and top priority, and looks to manage the Synod full of churches and people for its advantage. Nonetheless, the idea is sound. Keep the people informed.


Stupid. Make stewardship and financial management a required course for all church workers? Resolution fails to understand that the problem is not going to be solved by programs and courses. It is about faith and the Word of God.


Resolution to permit two individuals from the same district to be elected to the Board of Directors for the simple expedience of the convention process. Not necessarily a wise idea.


Changes the priority of the purposes of Synod - making formation of new congregations and preaching stations primary and the support and maintenance of training and educating pastors and teachers moves down to about fourth place.

Removes the voting privileges from the pastors.

diminishes the identification of the Board of Directors.

Grants the authority to re-write the constitution of the Synod to the corporation. without any necessary turning to the Synod in convention.

Constitution and by-laws may be changed at any convention, special or regular, by a simple majority of the delegates, or by two-thirds majority of the delegates present for the vote. Whichever is less.

Not salutary changes.


Changes made to move the nominations and memorializing of the Synod farther away from the convention time. [sarcasm alert] I suppose with all our modern conveniences and tools, it is too much to expect that we could do the same work as those in previous generations without our modern conveniences.

The resolution also shifts a significant portion of the costs associated with the convention to the congregations and people, and changes the responsibility for delivery from Synod to user in most situations. Pay more, get less. Their solution to the problems of the changes in the post office is to put it up on a web site and make others find it and print it out at their cost.


Expands the presidents authority in planning conventions slightly and removes all time expectations from the procedure.


Streamlining the present system, but not altering the parts that have given offense - such as the president's power of appointment.


A reasonable change.


Codifying a CCM ruling. Even if it is defeated, the effect is null because the opinion will not have been vacated by the convention.






Poorly worded attempt to permit meetings to be done using technology rather than requiring travel and hotels.


Cost cutting. May not be wise - would rather implement go-to-meeting type technology and keep a variety of voices in the loop. Resolution is filled with bureaucratic-speak jargon.


Ov. 4-23 should be removed from the resolution by amendment. This issue is one that should be decided by the convention, not by the greedy overlords.


a gimmee.


Pointless, and a gimmee.


[Sarcasm alert] Why not simply ordain everyone at their baptism and stop this charade? - vote no. AC XIV


Waste of paper.


Another attempt to require continued education and hold the pastors hostage to the whims of the DP's - which they already are, pretty much - vote NO


Reverses things: the old way had the board of regents select the candidates and the electors elect them. This resolution has the electors -now called the "prior approval panel" determines who can be on the slate and the Board of Regents does the electing.


Generalizes the duties of the President and reduces his direct authority. The old by-laws gave the President the power to delegate his duties and responsibilities to others. I think that system was better.


A total change, eliminating by-laws about application, certification and placement. 5 pages of by-laws reduced to 14 lines.


The rationale explains that most people would not be qualified to be on the board of Regents. Gotta have advanced degrees and directly applicable experience and stuff.


Removes notification of intent to grant tenure from the process. Cuts out the ignorant layman and bellicose pastor.


. . . is the same resolution as 5-10


Eliminates the expectation that faculty will be rostered members of Synod, because "in many disciplines of study the most qualified faculty members are not rostered members of the Synod". Simply regularizing a practice that is contrary to the present constitution and by-laws.


Recommends rejecting specific memorials because the Board behind the committee doesn't like them.


Thank God that Human Care does what it is supposed to.
a Gimmee.


Another pro-life resolution. Good, but unnecessary.


Extending the definition of a call officially to those who serve as institutional chaplains and instructors.


To join the Lutheran Malaria Initiative - along with the ELCA, LWR and accept support from the UN. Good passion. Bad associations. Say NO.


To more formally support Prison Ministry - kind of a gimmee.


To continue working in the area of Domestic Abuse. a gimmee


To work to end human trafficking and slavery. another kind of gimmee.

After all, isn't the church really all about social ministry - helping the underdog. That is the real meaning of religion, right? Then we become ELCA Light.


To encourage the hokum called the Task force on Synodical Harmony. A Hokum Gimmee


Refusal to admit when the CCM makes a mistake - continuing to hold out the rationale for reversing the judgment against the unionism of David Benke. Once again, a rationalizing and justification.


To finally formalize a method of getting rid of troublesome members of Boards and Commission. Political expedience, and about time! Vote NO


Tweaking a bad system of reconciliation. Add a Layman.


Making sure that SMP's can receive calls, as long as they are approved by the DP.


Making it explicitly clear that we can call pastors from church bodies with which we are in fellowship.


Cannot pass this because the rationale, which is part of the resolution, is faulty and dishonest, and the resolution makes financial support of the Synod and completing statistical reports for the Synod part of the obligations of and condition of continuing membership in the Synod


Study the idea of establishing a statute of limitations in the Dispute Resolution Process


Decline overtures, specifically avoiding the desire to require CCM opinions to expire if not approved specifically in convention.

Committee 8 - Structure and Governance: "Run, Forest, Run!!"


Eliminate any distinction between rostered members of the Synod, now called "Individual Members" - and they all are eligible to be the non-lay delegate from the congregation.


Now moving to a quadrennium.

Congregations can no longer send in memorials to Synod - must send them to the circuit to process, and they must send them to District to process and send on to the Synod.

Enforcing the vocabulary of Minister of religion- Commissioned / ordained.

Eliminating Visitation Circuits and forming "Circuit Networks"

Circuit Forum will select the Circuit Counselor.

The District President shall nominate the candidates for Circuit Counselor.

The quadrennium will be Circuit Convocations, year 1, District Convocation, year 2, District Conventions Year 3, and Synodical conventions year 4.


Electing Circuit Counselors. Nominations begin with the congregations, but the District President has to have the right to nominate candidates. (Huh?)


Change in voting delegates to district conventions:
each congregation gets at least a layman, even in multiple congregation parishes.
In the event of a vacancy, each congregation can elect an "Individual member" to replace the pastor.
Churches with schools can send teachers instead of laymen.
Large parishes get twice as many delegates.


Synodical convention delegates are elected by the district
no longer pastoral delegates, but "individual member delegates"
The number of delegates per district will be computed based on A) 10% of the number of congregations in the Synod and B) the proportion of confirmed members in the district as a proportion of the Synodical whole.


Overtures may be submitted by congregations directly, but priority will be given to those which come through Circuit Forums and Districts.


To study how to deal with districts.


Leave CCM and CTCR alone - and Doctrinal review - and shuffle everything else into a two Board structure.

Treasurer will be CFO and appointed, not elected
Office of National Mission (ONM) and Office of International Mission (OIM) be established
Chief Mission officer oversee the ONM (above) working with CFO and CAO - Chief Administrative Officer
CMO also oversee the OIM (above)


makes explicit that congregations are sub-units of Synod, and responsible to carry out Synod programs - used to be Synod was the servant of the congregation


Adjusting things for the CFO no longer being an officer of Synod.


Formalize a procedure that will result in a new name for the Synod


To allow the BOD to adjust the handbook to reflect the new changes consistently


To give the President more power in the choosing of the First Vice-President.


To divide the Synod into five geographical regions and have one of each of the VP's elected from each region. Guaranteed to eliminate the possibility of electing conservative VP's


To allow the COP and the BOD to restructure the nominations to match the adopted new structure for this convention.


To require the new BOD be representative of the 5 regions.


To elect the president before the convention with all congregations having two votes two weeks before the convention.


To establish a 4 year cycle in place of the three year cycle.

8-19 & 8-20

Housekeeping to accommodate the change to a four year cycle.


changes to accommodate a four year cycle in term of office.


How to adopt doctrinal resolutions.

8-23 to 8-29
Housekeeping to update stuff


To change the requirements of membership in the Synod


to change the relationship of Synod to its members:
“B. Relation of the Members to the Synod

In their relation to the Synod, all members of the Synod, by voluntarily subscribing to the Confession (Article II) and the Constitution of the Synod, make a confession of faith, a joint commitment to God’s mission, and a mutual covenant of love. In so doing, they

1.Bind themselves to the confessional basis of the Synod (Article II);
2.Agree to abide by, honor, and uphold the collective will of the Synod as expressed in its Constitution, Bylaws, and convention resolutions;
3.Pledge their active involvement and support of the Synod’s efforts to carry out its mission and purpose; and
4.Promise that, if they find themselves to be in disagreement with the Synod’s actions or positions, they will so advise the Synod in a loving and evangelical manner, and if necessary follow the Synod’s authorized procedures for expressing dissent.


to reject all efforts to show this train down.

Hope that is a help as you sort through the book. Go ahead and comment your questions and I will try to respond.


David Schwarz said...

Genital Sexual Activity. An attempt at defining a relattionship in terms of sexual and non-sexual behavior. A choice in attempting to modify the Holy Scripture's obviously specific position on same sex sexual activities and a forerunner to blessing homosexual/lesbian relationships by recognizing that those relationships can be without sexual union of any kind. Turning the heat up on the frog slowly. This is what was done in the ELCA over a period of 20 years leading to the recent decision in convention to approve of allowing these people access to the pulpit.

Cuda said...

My thoughts too.

RobbieFish said...

Wow - Imagine! All they have to do is pass 8-09 and the Synod will own all the congregations in the LCMS! Assuming your read on this is correct, that single resolution would end the LCMS as we know it.

Cuda said...

Well, it is not a legal ownership, just that this resolution turns the relationship upside down

WHEREAS, The Synod was divided into districts in 1854 and into circuits in 1866, both actions taken in 31 order to create greater administrative effectiveness and increased participation by both pastors and congregations; 32 and 33
WHEREAS, Congregations are the members of the Synod and thus carry out the mission and ministry 35 emphases of the Synod; and 36
WHEREAS, The more engaged congregations, circuits, and districts are in setting the mission and ministry 38 goals of the national church body, the better the Synod walks together; therefore be it 39
Resolved, That the Synod adopt a process for identifying Synod-wide mission and ministry emphases on a 41 cycle consistent with the national convention schedule; and be it further 42
Resolved, That the congregations, schools, and agencies of the Synod be encouraged to embrace the 44 mission and ministry emphases between conventions by developing individual ministry goals that can be carried out 45 by each entity, thus providing a common focus for the entire LCMS as it engages in ministry together; and be it 46 finally 47

Couple that with the new procedure for changing by-laws envisioned in this restructuring, and it is not long before you will fin congregations owned - and enslaved.

Weslie O said...

Thoughts on 5-04. I am about to enter my vicarage year for Fort Wayne. I am one of two in my class who are going on vicarage to a vacant congregation. While I know that the congregation I am going to desires a pastor, I wonder if this could tempt congregations to say, "Well, it's not ideal, but it is cheaper to have a vicar every year."

The way around Holy Communion? Just get permission from the D.P. and pressure the vicar!


Cuda said...

Congregations could take that approach - but sometimes a vicarage at a vacancy is a better deal than dealing with a 'bishop' who has strange ideas about the ministry. The shortcut to the sacraments has been in use for a long time - I was authorized to baptize and offer the Lord's Supper on the occasional preaching assignment over thirty years ago.