The National Convention of the LCMS will soon be here, July 20-25 in St. Louis. Conventions do two main types of business, elections and resolutions. (For elections, see Biographical Synopses & Statements of Nominees, as well as the recommendations of The United List.)
Today we begin a series of seven articles on the resolutions being proposed by the seven floor committees, offering brief comments on the 116 proposed resolutions.
Throughout, it will be helpful to have at hand these documents for reference:
Delegates and non-delegates alike have several ways to give their input on the proposed resolutions before the convention begins. First, you can talk to your circuit’s two elected delegates (one ordained, one lay). Second, you can write to the chairmen of the seven floor committees; their names are listed on page 11 of Today’s Business and page xvii of the Convention Workbook. (You may try e-mail as well as snail mail, since feedback is requested by this Friday, July 12.) Third, you can speak at the open hearings of the floor committees, Saturday morning, July 20, 8:30-noon, at the locations listed on page 10 in Today’s Business.
Many of the 116 proposed resolutions in Today’s Business are “mom and apple pie” resolutions that require little comment. Other resolutions, though, will need to be debated, amended, substituted for, or, in a very few cases, defeated.
OMNIBUS RESOLUTIONS (TB, pp. 42-47)
Omnibus resolutions are catch-all categories that collect and list a number of overtures that the floor committees decided not to deal with in separate resolutions. Today’s Business includes three such omnibus resolutions, A, B. and C.
A: That the following overtures be referred to the designated board, commission, or individual
Noteworthy overtures referred away: Ovs. 4-18, 4-19, 4-21 (all passed by districts), all of which would rescind 2004 Res. 3-08A, “The Service of Women.” Ovs. 4-47, 4-48, and 4-49, all of which would not allow participation in interfaith prayer services.
B: That petitioners offering the following overtures be referred to previous convention action as indicated
Referred away: Ov. 6-25. Yes, there was previous action, but this was an overture for this convention to act on, which it could, namely, to overrule CCM Opinion 02-2309 on ecclesiastical supervision.
C: That the following overtures be received as expressions of encouragement or gratitude
Encouragement/Thanks resolutions usually sail through, even though one could nitpick here or there.
1. WITNESS (TB, pp. 48-59)
1-01: To Highlight and Strengthen the Global Seminary Initiative
Excellent! What opportunities! This is Missouri’s moment, especially in providing theological education worldwide.
1-02: To Recognize and Give Thanks for Missionaries and Their Families
Should pass by acclamation, none opposed.
1-03: To Develop and Engage in a Synodwide Study of a Lutheran Theological Statement of Mission for the 21st Century
A campaign for the whole synod to study and be involved in the mission of the church. Will pass.
1-04: To Encourage Church Multiplication as Means of Making New Disciples
Plant new churches. Will pass.
1-05: To Free the Congregations and People of the LCMS for the Joy of Evangelization and the Making New Disciples
Let’s all do something to evangelize. Will pass.
1-06: To Amend Bylaw 6.2.1 (d) re Sending Workers to Foreign Mission Fields
All RSOs and auxiliaries of LCMS doing mission work shall abide by policies of BIM. Could be controversial for some who do not want to be bound by our synod’s policies.
1-07: To Support The Wittenberg Project for the Quincentennial Celebration of the Lutheran Reformation
Encourage support. Will pass.
1-08: To Work Together in Mission
Coordinate mission efforts, share best practices.
1-09: To Prepare LCMS Congregations and Pastors for Defense of Our Christian Faith
Publish and study materials on confessing the faith.
1-10: To Develop Spanish and Multi-Lingual Capabilities in the Synod
Require CUS, seminary, and continuing ed. church-work students to learn Spanish or another immigrant language. “Require”??
1-11: To Recruit and Place More Career Missionaries
We need more missionaries. Will pass.
1-12: To Recognize and Give Thanks for Military and Institutional Chaplains
1-13: To Designate District Coordinators for Prison Ministry
Although New Testament verses about “visiting those in prison” likely referred to persecuted Christians who were arrested, this will pass.
1-14: To Advance Native American Ministry
1-15: To Encourage Further Support for Campus Ministry
1-16: To Encourage Captioning of All Video Materials
1-17: To Respectfully Decline Overtures
Ov. 1-15: University of Minnesota issue already resolved by district.
Next time: Committee 2, Mercy.