Last week, Pastors David Maier and Timothy Klinkenberg together received 1,585 nominations for Synod president (57.4%), a show of support for a change in leadership far greater than the 1,181 (42.6%) to re-nominate our current president, Matt Harrison, and continue his policies.
These nominations reflect the feeling of many in our Synod: “It’s time for openness and truthfulness in our Synod leadership.”
Both pastors, David Maier and Tim Klinkenberg, have exemplified this approach in their successful ministries. Both denounce the use of executive sessions to hide from congregations what’s REALLY going on.
Hidden from congregations are stories like the sale of our Hong Kong mission property, the proposed consolidation of control of our Concordias, the $5.3M of disaster-relief donations kept in St. Louis, and the closure of Concordia Selma).
In a recent letter from Pastor Klinkenberg to his congregation, St. John’s of Orange, CA, to keep them informed of the nominations he received expressed this approach so well that we want to share it with you (see in particular the paragraphs numbered 1 and 2 in his letter):
PASTOR KLINKENBERG’S LETTER
March 18, 2019
Dear Family of Faith,
Thanks for a great day of worship and praise, the vitality of God’s work at St. John’s was on display. Thanks to all who participated in making the morning so impactful including:
- all who participated in providing some goodies for the Farewell to Pastor Bob Rossow and Kathy, thanks to all who set up and offered their blessing to our former pastor.
- to our Scouts who cooked up an excellent breakfast and provided wonderful community connections.
- to all who participated in First Communion Classes and our new member classes.
- to all our musicians and worshippers yesterday, we had our regular services as well as a Bach Cantata Vespers Service.
That’s a day for us and we measure those days by the impact it makes on the hearts and lives of all who serve and participate. Thanks for being an impactful and impacting Christian Parish.
I have been working with a group of people nationally and was approached to let my name stand for nomination for the office of President of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, which of course is our denominational affiliation. Last week it was put out across the nation that I was third in nominations with over 600 nominations. With that my name is on the ballot for this office.
It is my opinion that the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod needs what we have to offer. As the synod is in free fall numerically, there are pockets of impactful ministry that need the encouragement and love that comes from working together, being on the same team and driving a sense of shared ministry. In my work at St. John’s I have operated with two presuppositions and they are as follows:
- Operate in the light of Jesus. Our meetings are open. Our processes are open to review and we work hard to let the light of Jesus shine on all we do. We don’t do secret things and have secret meetings with cabals of like minded people. This has led our congregation to accessible to every member and to our community. Yesterday was a great example of living in the light and without fear. [see John 9]
- We tell the truth. Our leadership learned long ago that the “truth will set you free.” When we struggled in the ending months of the year financially, we simply told the truth about where we were and you responded with unreal generosity. Operating in truth leads to trust. Trust is lacking in the community of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. [see John 8]
With these two principles and a couple others including transparency and continued zeal for mission, God has wrapped his arms around St. John’s Orange. Again yesterday and the coming Sundays are a big examples of that work.
So as my name stands out there, so too does our beloved St. John’s, you may read some things critical of me and our life together. That’s ok, some use fear to motivate, but that’s not our style. You may be asked if, “Pastor Tim is running for national office.” The answer is no, he is not. He is allowing his name to stand and see how the Holy Spirit, working through the church calls.
I simply wanted you to be aware of what’s going on…speaking the truth and living in the light!
God bless as we move toward Easter,
Yours in Jesus’ Love, Pastor Timothy M. Klinkenberg, Senior Pastor
The open humbleness of this approach should be our Synod’s practice also. President Harrison’s administration, by contrast, is well-known for calling the Council of Presidents and the LCMS Board of Directors into secretive executive sessions, so our congregations and their members are kept in the dark about the handling of Synod finances, plans for our Concordia institutions, and other important matters. This needs to stop. New leadership will do that.
Electing an OPEN and TRUTHFUL Synod President matters!