Preparations for the 2023 Milwaukee Convention are in full swing. There’s one thing that’s missing: nominations. At that Synod Convention, delegates will elect people to 69 positions. As of August 10, nominations numbering fewer than half of those received for the 2019 Tampa Convention have come to the Secretary’s office. Only 72 ordained, 22 commissioned, and 49 laypersons have been nominated so far. That’s alarming. Our Lord’s work deserves better.
As a Synod, we need to pitch in and provide the Committee for Convention Nominations (CCN) with more choices. And we have time to do it. The deadline for nominations is October 29, 2022. The official form for submitting nominations can be found on the LCMS website.
Because Nominations Are Important
Sometimes it seems useless to nominate people. After all, won’t the committee just pick people they know?
While it may seem otherwise, submitting nominations is important. Whether the person makes the convention ballot as the CCN’s choice or not, once they have been vetted by the committee, they are in the “pool” and can be nominated from the floor at the Convention. That means ANY delegate can add them to the list to be considered at the convention.
As a result of nominating more people, delegates will have choices they can make rather than following a voting list. We need to help our convention delegates and our Synod.
The point is this: The LCMS NEEDS quality, competent, and visionary people nominated to serve the Lord’s Church. Our Synod needs people who will help our administration support congregations rather than sustain structure. Our Synod needs nominees who will focus on reaching the lost with the message of Jesus’ love for the world – and His love for them personally.
And Don’t Forget the Layfolks
If you just follow Synod and District reporting, it may seem that Synod “stuff” is left up to the clergy. That’s because clergy are the ones writing articles and featured in pictures. However, that’s not our Synod and not true with nominations. Half of the open positions require a layperson.
At the Milwaukee Convention, we will entrust LCMS layfolks with caring for our Synod’s business and finances, our Universities, our theology, publications, and mission efforts. Synod was designed to be run as a partnership between pastors, commissioned workers, and layfolks. Our Lord’s work through the LCMS deserves our best!
Positions and Process
You can visit the official notice from Secretary Sias for detailed descriptions and the official page for nominations for general information. Here’s a quick list of the positions that are open for nominations to get you started:
- Secretary of Synod
- LCMS Board of Directors
- LCMS Boards for National and International Mission (Regional)
- Commission on Theology and Church Relations
- Concordia Publishing House Board of Directors
- Lutheran Church Extension Fund Board of Directors
- Concordia University System Board of Directors
- Concordia University System Boards of Regents
- Seminary Boards of Regents
All terms are for six years, except the position of Secretary of the Synod, LCEF Board of Directors, and members of boards of regents, which are three-year terms.
The Nominations Committee Needs Us
Members of the Committee for Convention Nominations were all elected at District Conventions. The full list of members was just published by Secretary Sias in August. As you can see, half are layfolk; the others are pastors:
Atlantic – Mr. Richard Schaefer; California-Nevada-Hawaii – Rev. Dr. Robert Newton; Central Illinois – Mr. Matthew Putnam; Florida-Georgia – Rev. Victor Belton; Indiana – Mr. Mark Franke; Iowa West – Rev. Jonathan Riggert; Minnesota South – Mr. Christian Preus; Missouri – Rev. Samuel Powell; Nebraska – Mr. Byron Hansen; North Wisconsin – Rev. Todd Jerabek; Northern Illinois – Mr. Mark Stern; Northwest – Rev. Dr. Paul Linnemann; Oklahoma – Mrs. Beverly England; SELC – Rev. James Douthwaite; South Dakota – Mr. Steve Timmerman; Southern – Rev. Dr. Kevin Wendt; Wyoming – Mr. John Schmall
Because this is first a spiritual issue, they need our prayers. Then, for them to do their work, the committee needs our nominations. To help understand the importance of this work, an official description and requirements for each position can be found in the Officer, Board and Commissioned Position document on the LCMS website.
Follow the Nomination Guidelines Exactly
As you make your nominations, you have to make sure you abide by the following guidelines:
The Nomination Form is available at https://files.lcms.org/f/nomination-form-2023. When you click on this link, an editable PDF form will immediately download. Synod accepts no other form for nominations.
To expedite the processing of your nomination, open this PDF form on a computer using Adobe Acrobat Reader. Complete the form electronically, save it, and e-mail the form to the special email address for nominations: firstname.lastname@example.org. A change this year: nominations will not require a hand-signed document to be submitted.
Your Important Next Steps
Because you believe our Synod can be better and do better, consider doing the following:
- Pray for illumination as to who you may know that could be a blessing to the respective positions in Synod;
- Talk to the person to see if they are willing to have their name nominated for a leadership position;
- Download the PDF, fill it out, and send it back to the email address provided above;
- You may also print your completed form, SIGN IT, and put it in an envelope. Mail it to the following address:
Office of the Secretary – Rev. John Sias
The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod
1333 Kirkwood Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-7295
And please be mindful: The final deadline for nominations for the aforementioned positions is OCTOBER 29, 2022
Would You Like to Know More?
If you would like to join the Our Congregations, Our Synod movement, here are some other things to do:
- Review our movement’s mission on the website to help you understand the importance of our work together and the need to turn our Synod back to its roots.
- Sign up for our email list and receive new posts from this site to become more informed on the issues.
- Make sure your congregation, your circuit, and your District Board of Directors pass resolutions to the national conventions that support this effort. We must turn our LCMS leadership back to its historic role.
- Nominate new lay leaders for the LCMS who will help re-focus our Synod on its constitutional responsibilities of supporting the work of congregations.
Congregations matter. After all, it’s Our Congregations, Our Synod.