In his July 11th letter, Delegate Chuck Mueller, Jr., identifies a “drift” away from Synod’s constitutional Article III and Article VII work as the as the culprit bringing anger, apathy and a loss of support for our “covenant of love” in the LCMS. He calls for change and engagement of all voices of Synod as an answer. Read the entire letter and download Congregation’s Matter recommended list of Tampa candidates.
Congregations Matter extends its congratulations to President Harrison on his victory in last week’s Synod presidential election. We join the church in praying for God’s richest blessings upon him as he carries out his important responsibilities over the next three years. He must work to collaborate with the WHOLE Synod to provide more transparent, fiscally responsible, and trustworthy leadership.
On the eve of a presidential election, President Harrison reported good financial news regarding the retirement of some LCMS debt. While some see this as a boon. Others have grave concerns about these reports. President Harrison has reported “zero debt” to the LCMS before. And these new reports fail to mention the ongoing red ink that necessitated the “secret sale” of Hong Kong mission properties.
Where have all the pastors gone? There is a real crisis among us, a pastoral shortage crisis we must face as a Synod. Only 79 pastors were sent to the field this year. Leading in crisis is the Synod President’s job. Congregations wonder why there is no plan from Synod leadership to face this urgent need.
From the beginning of our Synod, we struggled with big questions of relationships and governance polity. Should the laity have authority over the clergy? Should the clergy have authority over the laity? Should a “bishop” have authority over the congregations? Questions like those formed the chaotic beginning of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod! This essay will follow the decisions our Synod has made from its beginnings with quotes from C.F.W. Walther and our own LCMS Constitution. Top-down or bottom-up? What is right-side up?
Read Pastor Timothy Klinkenberg’s letter to his congregation about the need for “Truth and Light” in our Synod. Maier and Klinkenberg’s nominations totaling 57.4% of all nominations show of support for a change in leadership far greater than Harrison’s support for re-election. Synod is saying: “It’s time for openness and truthfulness in our Synod leadership.”
On late Friday afternoon, February 8, 2019, Matthew C. Harrison publicly admitted interfering in Synod’s Presidential nomination process. What did Harrison do wrong? He tainted Synod’s nomination process by giving wrong advice to pastors about who could nominate him, and he did so at Synod expense.
President Harrison sent handwritten postcards on January 3rd and 4th from the President’s Office at Synod expense to the pastors of select congregations. Because he advised them to circumvent their Voter’s Assemblies if they could, are his nominations valid?
Many observe that the LCMS experiences polar swings in leadership each decade. We need a leader who will bring unity to our Synod by fully embracing both our confessional and our missional values.
The Constitution and By-laws of the Synod describe a very important working relationship between the Synod President and District Presidents. Sadly, during the past eight years, President Harrison broke that relationship. It’s time for a change in Synodical leadership.