Congregations Matter extends its congratulations to President Harrison on his victory in last week’s Synod presidential election. We join the church in praying for God’s richest blessings upon him as he carries out his important responsibilities over the next three years. He must work to collaborate with the WHOLE Synod to provide more transparent, fiscally responsible, and trustworthy leadership.
Nomination results for Synod President have just been announced. Fewer than half of the nominations submitted by congregations supported Matt Harrison for re-election, despite his unconstitutional postcard advice to pastors. A strong majority of the nominations called for new leadership: either Pastor David Maier or Pastor Timothy Klinkenberg.
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 remedy some of the monumental leadership failures of President Harrison and his United List allies.
During the Florida-Georgia District Convention, the 160+ voting delegates delivered clear and direct messages to third-term LCMS President Harrison. Disappointed by Harrison’s scripted remarks and unpersuaded by deflective non-answers to specific questions, they overwhelmingly rejected his Presidential actions in vote after vote.
Did you send a check to LCMS Disaster Relief in St. Louis and specify you wanted your dollars to go to Hurricane Harvey victims? Do you know what happened to your contributions? The Selfless Work By Our Texas District First, some good news. If you instead sent your contribution to the Texas District of the LCMS and specified your dollars were for Harvey victims, every single dollar you sent to our Texas District is going to Harvey relief. Not a dime will be kept by the district office as it quickly distributes your funds to families with needs. This is selfless of our Texas District since staff time has been heavily used for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. And, this has been a labor of love for them. But, what if you sent your Hurricane Harvey donations to LCMS Disaster Relief at Synod headquarters in St. Louis? St. Louis Disaster Relief Keeps A
Congregations Matter will provide sample overtures for congregations, circuits and districts to consider in the coming months. The first of these overtures is about Synod finances. Click here to download a PDF copy of this proposed resolution. An overture is a proposal from a congregation to support or express concern about an issue, change a Synod bylaw or procedure, etc. Such overtures are presented at tri-annual conventions of your district or our national body. Our recommended overtures will all be about important issues our Synod needs to consider. Current Synod Leaders Ignore Convention Direction Despite Synod Convention resolutions that require clear financial reporting (like 2010 Synodical resolution 4-03), the International Center shares little about Synod finances with congregations. Our Synod leaders say even less about Synod’s dire financial state. Here’s some examples of problems: Did you know…. In February 2017, Synod leaders reported to the Synod Board of Directors (BOD) we
In early 2017, our Fort Wayne (CTSFW) and St. Louis (CSL) Seminaries suddenly learned Synod was backing away from $400,000 in budget commitments to help with the two seminaries’ ongoing expenses for Synod’s Global Seminary Initiative (GSI). With no warning, each seminary has to manage a $200,000 loss of promised financial support from the International Center. Worse Than a Budget Shortfall, It Was a Broken Promise All of us are familiar with budget shortfalls. They happen. But here’s the rub. Both of our seminaries have been participating in Synod’s Global Seminary Initiative knowing that money to assist them with the real costs of these programs is in the LCMS operating budget. The Global Seminary Initiative Has Been Successful Through the GSI, dozens of foreign students came to Fort Wayne and St. Louis to study. These students received various amounts of seminary subsidies. Fort Wayne and St. Louis professors traveled around