Do you understand all the issues and items that will be before our church body in the upcoming District and National Conventions? We pray you will. It’s important.
To help you, a small group of LCMS pastors and laypeople will be gathering issues from across the Synod that are important to those of us that believe “Congregations Matter.”
Let Us Never Forget Jesus.
This is His Church. Peter was bold in his confession of Jesus, and our Lord said He would build His church upon that confession. Jesus is the real rock (1 Corinthians 10:4) upon which our church is built. Together as a Church we sing “On Christ the solid rock we stand. All other ground is sinking stand.” Our prayer is that the Holy Spirit will give us all the same boldness given to Peter and the same perspective as Walther, who once stated,
“What an influence it will be on our dear congregations and their pastors and in their relationship toward one another if all acknowledge the saving of souls as the end and aim of our joint work!” — C.F.W. Walther, the Synodical Conference (translator, Rev. Terry Cripe, Ohio District President)
Before District and National Conventions
In the months before the conventions, we will put together a “brief” document to do three things:
- Provide for you an understanding of the basic issues our Synod is facing today that require convention action if we are to “turn the ship around” and get our Synod back to it’s proper constitutional work of supporting congregations. We will also provide a history of and an insight from past conventions, and an understanding of the changes the that need to be made to change the Synod for the better.
- Provide sample resolutions that you may want to bring to your congregation or district for action so to proposed resolutions will make it to the coming year’s convention for consideration.
As We Approach Conventions
Once District and Synod Workbooks are available, we will put together information around the most important resolutions that will be before you. You will find a brief summary, changes the proposed resolution would make, and talking points and deeper context around the resolution that could be assimilated into discussion from the floor and in conversations. Our hope is to give clarity, brevity, and wisdom about the resolutions as you ask that wonderful Lutheran question, “What does this mean?” We hope to help you understand the meaning behind many of the resolutions. Each page will have the Reference # and the Resolution Title as it appeared in the June “Today’s Business.” What we offer you is history, context, and insight so that you can discern the Spirit’s leading in your discussions and voting.
What Will Guide Our Thoughts?
We believe that God’s Word is Truth and our Lutheran Confessions faithfully proclaim that truth found in Scripture. We rejoice in the grace of God in Jesus Christ and seek to respond to His love with lives of service and sacrifice. In a world of confusion, doubts and, at times, hostility towards the Word of God and the precious Gospel message it contains, we do not shy away from proclaiming what God’s Word announces to all people. We proclaim truth in love.
We believe the work of the church is still to “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Jesus commissioned His disciples with those words at His ascension. The disciples did not retreat or “circle the wagons.” They went out and made disciples, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” This is now OUR time to GO and MAKE disciples. What an exciting time to share the love of the One who died and rose for all people! In the darkness, the light shines the brightest.
We believe that the LCMS has always been a strongly congregational-based church body. That means we believe our Synod structure is in place to bless congregations and the ministry they undertake, not the other way around. We believe in “grassroots” congregational ministry. That is our history. Our history is not in a centralized top-down ministry model, but in all of God’s people living out the ministry He calls us to.
We believe the church works best when clergy and laity work together. We have always had a balanced representation of laity and clergy in our church body, together serving Jesus’ church.
We believe District and National Conventions are wonderful opportunities for us to faithfully serve the Head of the Church, Jesus Himself. Synodical Conventions can be confusing, busy and, at times, a little ‘political’. Conventions are to take care of the “business” of the church. Yet, may we never settle for politics in the church. As we undertake the business of the church, let us NEVER forget the Savior of the Church, our Lord Jesus Christ. He delights over your willingness to attend the convention, for you are serving Him and His bride, God’s people.