On Thursdays at noon, the Southeastern District of the LCMS features a half-hour video chat interview with people across the district on a variety of topics. On May 16, 2019, the topic was “A Visit with LCMS Presidential Candidate David Maier.” A week later the interview was with Pastor Tim Klinkenberg.
These informative videos will allow the 12,000 pastors and lay electors of LCMS congregations tasked with voting for a candidate for Synod President in the June 22-25 online election to make a more informed choice.
In addition, on June 5 (just over two weeks before the election), the LCMS finally released some written responses from all three candidates to questions posed by Lutheran Witness readers. Click here to read the candidate responses from the LCMS Reporter blog site.
Although a request has been made, President Harrison has not made himself available for the Southeastern District interview until Thursday, June 13th, a week before the election.
These Southeastern District Interviews Will Help
All of us in local congregations are thankful that the Southeastern District has videoed President Maier and Pastor Klinkenberg. It is challenging for voters to understand the choice we can make when there is no “mandated” forum for candidate interviews and the incumbent is the only person voters really hear from. The same has been true in prior elections, but the challenge of getting to know candidates has only grown since the electorate moved from about 1,200 voters in a national convention to 12,000 voters since the changes came about in 2010.
The incumbent, President Harrison, is featured monthly in the Lutheran Witness, the Reporter, on video blogs, and most recently by personalized postcards from his office. It is difficult for voters to really get to know the other two candidates.
Congregations Matter hopes this will change in the future. We believe all three candidates should have equal access to Synod communications. Pastor and lay electors need to appreciate each of the candidates congregations have nominated and the what each brings to our Synod’s Kingdom work.
Maier and Klinkenberg Are Excellent Choices
Watch these videos and read the responses of David Maier and Tim Klinkenberg. It is clear members of LCMS congregations have two excellent candidates to choose from. Either Rev. Dr. David Maier or Pastor Tim Klinkenberg have the heart, vision and the confessional theology to lead our Synod in the future.
As sixteen veteran District Presidents just wrote in their open letter, President Harrison has had 9 years to affect a positive change in the LCMS. He has failed to live up to the campaign promises he wrote about in “It’s Time: LCMS Unity and Mission” a decade ago. It’s time for a change.
President Harrison Has Given No Good Answer
Harrison’s answer for the future that he offered to last year’s Southern District convention played to fear rather than faith. Our Synod President actually promised to share a list of zip codes with populations “amenable to the Missouri Synod” (whatever THAT means) with local congregations so THEY could start new mission work in suburban locations. Unbelievably, President Harrison said,
“We must continue to have and plant strong suburban churches so that we can be strong in assisting rural and particularly urban churches….and non-anglo churches, which very few of reach the critical point of [being] self-sustaining.”
Really? Is that scheme a biblical, confessional plan for reaching the world for Jesus? Does President Harrison have no faith in the power of Word and Sacrament ministry to sustain itself in challenging communities? From his plan it sounds like President Harrison thinks the Holy Spirit only works in certain communities where people fit a certain set of characteristics.
Pray and Ask God for Guidance!
Either candidate David Maier or Tim Klinkenberg has a better plan than President Harrison. Watch their videos. Read their words. Pray. Talk to your pastor and lay elector about the importance of this election. Read what others are saying about the candidates.
Then ask God’s Holy Spirit to lead your congregation’s electors. They will vote on June 22nd and cast their electronic ballots for our next Synod President.
Congregations — and our Synod’s future leader — matter.