Despite all the happy talk, it is clear that not all is “joyful” in the LCMS. Several district conventions, representing hundreds of congregations, adopted overtures asking the 2019 Synod convention to act to remedy some of the monumental leadership failures of President Harrison and his United List allies.
Congregations Matter is asking YOUR congregation to follow the lead of these courageous districts and adopt the following resolutions to send to the Synod convention. The deadlines for submission of overtures are:
- February 6 (preferred date for inclusion in the Convention Workbook)
- March 2 (with no guarantee they will be printed in the Convention Workbook)
Overtures passed by congregations, circuits, Boards of Directors and others (see LCMS Bylaws 3.1.6 and 18.104.22.168) must be mailed and received by Synod Secretary Sias in Synod headquarters by these dates. An electronic copy may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The suggested overtures by Congregations Matter cover four important issues:
- Ecclesiastical supervision and centralization of control in the Synod President
- Congregations determining where and how to use their Mission Offerings
- Financial accountability of Synod to its congregations
- Developing local control for our Concordia Universities
ISSUE ONE: Ecclesiastical Supervision
We elect district presidents to carry out the ecclesiastical supervision of ordained and commissioned ministers and congregations in their respective districts. That should be clear enough already to anyone taking the Constitution and Bylaws of the Synod according to the most clear, plain reading. It is also consistent with the definition of ecclesiastical supervision in Synod’s Bylaws (1.2.1 [i]).
Ecclesiastical supervision should be carried out in a relational way. It’s goal is to gain the member of Synod (not kick him out!), letting God’s Word prevail. Jesus told us “gaining the brother” and reconciliation should be our goal as Christians. Our goal as a Synod in ecclesiastical supervision should be the same. It should be handled locally by people on the ground who know an erring member of Synod — just as we do in our local congregations.
Yet somehow, the Harrison-appointed Commission on Constitutional Matters (CCM) “discovered” the unprecedented authority of the Synod President to exercise ecclesiastical supervision over every member of the Synod!
And the United List Board of Directors gave him that centralized power. That’s inconsistent with the local reconciliation efforts that have always been the hallmark of our congregation-led LCMS. Click below for an overture to make it EVEN MORE CLEAR that the responsibility for ecclesiastical supervision should be de-centralized and to return to district president supervision.
Click the tag ECCLESIASTICAL SUPERVISION on the right-hand column or at the bottom of this article to read all the Congregations Matter articles on the topic.
ISSUE TWO: CCM Opinion Limiting Congregations in Foreign Mission Work
In yet another attempt at centralizing control, in 2014 the CCM rendered an opinion restricting congregations’ activity in foreign mission work. MANY resolutions from districts and congregations poured into the 2016 Synod convention, asking that the opinion be overruled. In direct opposition to the Bylaws, President Harrison’s convention ignored the overtures. Click below for an overture asking the 2019 convention to correct the problem.
Click the tag MISSION on the right-hand column or at the bottom of this article to read all the Congregations Matter articles on the topic.
ISSUE THREE: Financial Accountability
The national Synod runs deficits, borrows internally, and sells off valuable foreign property. What gives? This overture requires more regular reporting of the financial position of the Synod. Congregations need to be more aware of the stewardship of our precious dollars. This transparency will allow for greater accountability of Synod’s use of disaster relief funds, the sale of mission properties, and of promised funding for our seminaries.
Click HERE to download “To Ensure Timely and Transparent Financial Reporting in the Synod” in PDF FORMAT.
Click HERE to download “To Ensure Timely and Transparent Financial Reporting in the Synod” in WORD FORMAT.
Click the tag FINANCES on the right-hand column or at the bottom of this article to read all the Congregations Matter articles on the topic.
ISSUE FOUR: University Boards of Regents
The current administration helped to close Concordia-Selma. The credit for saving Concordia-Ann Arbor several years ago mostly goes to Michigan District President David Maier, surrounding districts, and Concordia-Wisconsin.
So where should regents for these “crowns jewels” of the LCMS come from? Locally! Click below to download an overture that maintains the Lutheran identity of our colleges and universities, while providing for the election of dedicated people with greater skill to manage our institutions in a shifting environment.
Click HERE to download “To Modify the Governance of the Colleges and Universities of the Concordia University System” in PDF FORMAT.
Click HERE to download “To Modify the Governance of the Colleges and Universities of the Concordia University System” in WORD FORMAT.
Click the tag BOARD OF REGENTS on the right-hand column or at the bottom of this article to read all the Congregations Matter articles on the topic.
Please Adopt These Resolutions Now
The early deadline for submitting any resolutions from your congregation is February 6. The final deadline is March 2.
The action of your congregation on these important issues is critical! Let the delegates to the Tampa convention know how important these issues are. Join your voice of concern with hundreds of other congregations and pass these overtures.
CONGREGATIONS…and Overtures to Synod…MATTER!