What should concern delegates?
Centralization of control, ignoring District resolutions, and bypassing Bylaws should always concern delegates. You can read a detailed discussion of this in the Our Congregations — Our Synod article on Omnibus A.
This resolution funnels ministry emphases from Synod, Inc., to congregations instead of receiving them from congregations through District Conventions. The latter is what our Bylaws require. The resolves empower the Boards for National Mission (BNM) and International Mission (BIM) to use their policies — not our Bylaws — to determine what priorities will come to the Convention.
The resolution reports that “Fraternal conversations with the leadership of every District of Synod” occurred. Did that happen at your district convention as required by Bylaws 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124? These bylaws require an evaluation of the national progress on our triennial ministry emphases by BNM and BIM. They also require a report to each district convention — so that the District Convention can propose “Mission and Ministry” emphases to the National Convention.
Even if they had some contact with leadership across the Synod, doing that without the evaluation, the report, and the presentation to district conventions does not fulfill Bylaw 4.2.1.d: “The district convention shall, through delegate vote, forward to the national convention a list of two or three triennial mission and ministry emphases for consideration by the national convention,” let alone Bylaws 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52.
The fifth resolved (Line 30) empowers the BNM and BIM to continue to ignore both current bylaws circumscribing their responsibilities and do their “own thing” with regard to setting directing for Synod. That’s not what our Bylaws direct them to do. These two boards even had an extra year this convention cycle to accomplish what the bylaws presently require. This resolved will potentially release them from the requirements to listen to districts at all.
That’s what happened at this convention as the Floor Committee filled Omnibus A with all of the suggestions submitted from the Districts.
What can be done about it?
Ask to hear from the BNM and the BIM how and when they had “fraternal conversations with the leadership of every District”?
Ask how these resolves fulfill Bylaw 4.2.1.d.
Ask why they chose not to consider three resolutions from Districts in their Overture 4-05.
Ask how they fulfilled Bylaws 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 (“provide a joint report in advance of the Synod’s district conventions, offering ideas and guidance for proposing triennial mission and ministry emphases to the national convention). Where is the assessment and evaluative report of the Synod’s progress on the current emphases?
Amend this resolution by deleting Resolve 6 (Page 102, lines 30-35)
Amend Resolve 5 to have the BNM and BIM assess, clarify, and further refine the process by which the boards receive direction from the Districts regarding the triennial emphases.