Nominations for Synod Office

Nominations Can Be Light in the Darkness…

In the January Reporter, listed under the “Official Notice” section, a very timely and important posting was made by the Secretary of Synod.  It is time to submit nominations for national convention-elected positions.  Click HERE to read the text of the Official Notice from the online version of the Reporter. While the convention isn’t until July 20-25, 2019, preparations are already in full swing.  This “Official Notice” was followed up on January 15, 2018 with Mailing #6, a post card summarizing what positions are open for nominations at this time. The positions that are open for nominations are as follows: Secretary of Synod LCMS Board of Directors (At-Large and Regional) LCMS Boards for National and International Mission (Regional) Commission on Theology and Church Relations Concordia Historical Institute Board of Governors Concordia Publishing House Board of Directors Lutheran Church Extension Fund Board of Directors Concordia University System Board of Directors Concordia

LCMS has a long, successful history in Hong Kong

LCMS Mission History in Hong Kong

Transparency from the United-Lister Synod leadership in St. Louis is lacking.  Without consultation with our largest partner church in Hong Kong, Office of International Mission leaders in St. Louis announced for the first time publicly on Monday, February 5, that LCMS Asia mission operations are moving from Hong Kong, China, to Chiayi, Taiwan, Republic of China. What is causing President Harrison to sell our $35 million Hong Kong property and relocate our LCMS Asia headquarters to distant Taiwan?  Did he forget the mission work of the Lutheran Church Hong Kong Synod (LCHKS) he praised just four years ago during the anniversary of 100 years of ministry to China? Please watch and listen to the two minute video below.  Hear Matt Harrison honor the work of our partner church, the Lutheran Church Hong Kong Synod.  How Will St. Louis Use the $35 Million? Why up to now haven’t congregations in Synod been informed

St. Louis headquarters is selling LCMS Hong Kong property without consulting our partner church, the Lutheran Church Hong Kong Synod.

St. Louis Secretly Selling Hong Kong Properties?

Reliable sources in the U.S. and Hong Kong tell Congregations Matter that President Harrison and his United Lister Board for International Mission (BIM) are selling a reported $35 million of LCMS Hong Kong properties to bail out Synod finances in St. Louis. Quietly, and without contacting our partner church in Hong Kong, the BIM is moving their Asia headquarters to Taiwan to ready the Hong Kong property for sale.  According to sources in Hong Kong who saw a note on the door of the headquarters building, the move out of Hong Kong and into Taiwan will be completed by March 1st. It seems that Synod’s chose Hong Kong properties for sale because of their high value — and because it is one of the few locations where expatriation of money to the states is allowed after the sale of properties. Have such plans been approved by the LCMS Board of

United List Is The Wrong Way

United Listers Lead Synod in Wrong Direction

LCMS Boards populated by members whose names were on the infamous United List were elected at a 90% rate at the 2016 Milwaukee convention.  It’s been eighteen months since their elections.  What do we know now about their decisions? We know United Listers have increased centralized control.  Contrary to our Constitution and Bylaws, they’ve handed ecclesiastical supervision to one man to enforce a dark conformity over congregations, pastors and rostered workers. In May, 2017 United Listers on the LCMS Board gave powers to the Synod President which radically changed Synod.  Membership is plummeting — 68% faster than ever before. How did this hierarchical, centralized takeover of our Lutheran church happen? A United Lister named Sias became Secretary at Milwaukee.  He disagreed with decades of precedent and wrongly advised the United Lister Board it is OK to take ecclesiastical authority away from District Presidents (DPs).  Many brave DPs sent public letters

Disaster recovery from Hurricane Harvey Flooding in Houston, August 2017. Disaster relief funds are staying in St. Louis. They cover cash flow problems at Synod.

Millions of Disaster Relief Dollars Still in St. Louis?

Did you send a check to LCMS Disaster Relief in St. Louis and specify you wanted your dollars to go to Hurricane Harvey victims?  Do you know what happened to your contributions? The Selfless Work By Our Texas District First, some good news. If you instead sent your contribution to the Texas District of the LCMS and specified your dollars were for Harvey victims, every single dollar you sent to our Texas District is going to Harvey relief.  Not a dime will be kept by the district office as it quickly distributes your funds to families with needs.  This is selfless of our Texas District since staff time has been heavily used for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.  And, this has been a labor of love for them. But, what if you sent your Hurricane Harvey donations to LCMS Disaster Relief at Synod headquarters in St. Louis? St. Louis Disaster Relief Keeps A

Big arm pulling pastor back using Ecclesiastical Supervision

Ecclesiastical Supervision: What’s the Big Deal?

In the past months, several District presidents wrote powerful pastoral letters in opposition to the recent Ecclesiastical Supervision contrived and enacted by the Harrison administration.  Use these links to review each of their letters. Council of Presidents Chairman, Rev. Ken Hennings, President of the Texas District. Past Council of Presidents Chair, Rev. Larry Stoterau, Current President of the Pacific Southwest District Rev. John Denninger, President of the Southeastern District  Other District Presidents have done the same.  More and more LCMS leaders are voicing their opposition to the unconstitutional change to Bylaw 2.14.  President Harrison sought this power.  But Harrison couldn’t do it alone.  With the support of the United List majority of the Synod Board of Directors (BOD), President Harrison and Secretary Sias bypassed the Council of Presidents and the expressed will of the Milwaukee Synodical convention.

Denninger Stands with COP Chair

SE District President Denninger Also Opposes Dangerous Bylaw Change

With a letter to the congregations and rostered members of his district,  District President (DP) John Denninger of the Southeastern District joined the growing number of LCMS leaders voicing their opposition to recent and unconstitutional bylaw changes giving final ecclesiastical supervision to President Harrison.  At President Harrison’s request and Secretary Sias’ hand, the United List majority of the Synod Board of Directors (BOD) wrested the constitutional, historic responsibility of ecclesiastical supervision from District Presidents.  Without vote or action of the Milwaukee Convention, the BOD gave this responsibility to one man. The President of Synod now is the de facto ecclesiastical supervisor of the LCMS.  Harrison has taken ecclesiastical supervisory decisions away from our 35 District Presidents.  He relocated those life-changing decisions to his own desk inside the secretive International Center in St. Louis. Wrested Power Over Congregations First, Council of Presidents Chair, Texas DP Hennings stood his ground against this dangerous

Writing A Letter

COP Chair Challenges Ecclesiastical Supervision Decision

Last Friday District President (DP) Ken Hennings sent an unprecedented, public letter to the rostered members of his district. The letter explains the drastic change that the United List majority of the Synod Board of Directors adopted in May regarding ecclesiastical supervision. But Hennings did more. The letter explains why District Presidents in Synod are no longer the final ecclesiastical supervisors of churches, pastors, teachers, DCEs and other church workers.  Our new, changed reality? Synod President Harrison has taken that job for himself. District President Hennings clearly warns of the consequence this bylaw change brings: “It is necessary that I personally make you aware of the significant changes to the process of ecclesiastical supervision in our church body. The board of directors of the Synod has adopted bylaw changes that give the ultimate responsibility for your (and your congregation’s) ecclesiastical supervision to the President of the Synod. In other words, if

Concordia Portland

LCMS Asks Concordia Portland to Leave Synod

In a surprise announcement from Concordia University Portland (CUP) Board of Regents, CUP informed LCMS congregations that Synod requested that Portland leave the Concordia University System (CUS) and become an independent Lutheran university.  You can find the full text of the announcement HERE.  This announcement sent shockwaves throughout the Concordia University system of 9 colleges and universities and congregations across the nation. The Problem Isn’t Portland — It’s Synod’s Request Announced on the CUP website on the Friday afternoon of the Memorial Day weekend, Concordia Portland leadership assured the congregations and families it serves that they will consider any action on this request with great deliberation.  Congregations Matter© couldn’t agree more.  We have full confidence in President Schlimpert’s leadership of the CUP team in response to Synod’s request.  CUP will be blessed by his delayed retirement to handle this issue.  Dr. Schlimpert isn’t the problem.  Nor is Concordia Portland. The problem is the request. Congregations in the

Cathedral Crucifix

Power and Politics Meet Jesus

“Among You It Will Be Different”    It was a simple request.  A mother asking for positions of power and influence for her sons.  Then it all broke loose.  “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said.  The other disciples became indignant with James and John.  And the Master settles the issue with these words: 25 But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 26 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. 28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25-28 (NLT) Jesus does not need political posturing.  He needs