Advice on 7-01 and 7-02

Resolutions 7-01 and 7-02 (Today’s Business 1, Pages 138-139). To Recognize and Give Thanks for Work at Concordia College – New York and Concordia University, Portland

What should concern delegates?

Of course, we should give thanks to God for the ministry of Concordia College, Bronxville, and Concordia University, Portland.

However, there is a pattern of three Concordias closing (Selma, Portland, and Bronxville) and one that would have closed unless the leadership of Pat Ferry and David Maier had not put together a rescue plan. 

Where was the report that any of these three institutions were in danger of closing before the crisis came?  Can anyone find the report in earlier Workbooks — each of which has a report from each college and university — that describes any of them being in danger of closing?  Why were these crises hidden from delegates and the Synod as a whole?

It’s easy to say “finances” caused these closures — but are “finances” a cause or a symptom?  What about governance issues, communication, donor relations, or local leadership?

What is the responsibility of Synod leadership for these closures?  Were there offers of financial support from others to keep them open?

In addition, the closure of Concordia, Portland, has brought a $302M lawsuit by HotChalk endangering the assets of the LCMS.  Where is the report to Synod members regarding the financial distress this closure may bring to the LCMS? 

What can be done about it?

Ask for a report regarding the financial obligations and encumbrances these closures have brought to the LCMS. 

Ask for a status update on the HotChalk lawsuit. 

Move to amend the resolution by adding a resolved clause to initiate a study by an independent source approved by the COP into the causes of closure, analyze any commonalities, and make recommendations to prevent future closures. 

Ask for an accurate financial health report of our remaining Concordias.

Ask why members of Synod are being “protected” from the truth of the financial concerns our Concordias face.  Why can’t we know when there’s trouble?  Would congregations allow their leaders to hide the financial struggles from them if their churches were in trouble?

Ask the Floor Committee how, if we as delegates and Synod, were blindsided by the closure of three of our Concordias — and the surprise crisis and threat of closure Ann Arbor faced before the Mequon rescue plan, what trust can we have now in any reports to the financial health of any of our remaining Concordias?  How healthy is Concordia Chicago?  What about Irvine, Seward, St. Paul, and Mequon/Ann Arbor?

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