Convention 2013: Nominees announced for Synod President, VPs, BOD (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

April 10th, 2013 Post by

 St. Louis, July 20-25

Today the nominees were announced for LCMS President, First Vice-President, regional vice-presidents, and regional Board of Director lay members. The nominees are those who received the highest number of nominations from congregations and who then consented to serve if elected. (These nominations are in addition to the previously announced nominees for the various boards, commissions, and other offices.)

PRESIDENT (To be elected in June, four weeks before the convention.)
Matthew C. Harrison: 1,111
Herbert C. Mueller, Jr.: 140
David P. E. Maier: 126

FIRST VICE-PRESIDENT (Of these 22 names, the President-elect will pick five for the ballot at the convention, at least two of whom will be from the top five nominees.)
Herbert C. Mueller, Jr. 828
Matthew C. Harrison 98
John C. Wohlrabe, Jr. 68
Daniel Preus 64
Scott R. Murray 40
Jeffery T. Schrank 30
Robert D. Newton 16
Jon T. Diefenthaler 14
Larry A. Stoterau 14
Kurtis D. Schultz 9
Gerhard C. Michael 8
Clint K. Poppe 8
William R. Diekelman 7
Paul A. Linnemann 7
Dien A. Taylor 6
Carl C. Fickenscher 5
Brian S. Saunders 5
Terry L. Cripe 4
Brent W. Kuhlman 2
Dan P. Gilbert 2
Robert E. Kasper 2
William R. Woolsey 2

CENTRAL REGION VICE-PRESIDENT
Daniel Preus 123
Dean O. Wenthe 11
Daniel L. Gard 10
David J. Bueltmann 7
Martin R. Noland 7

EAST-SOUTHEAST REGION VICE-PRESIDENT
Jon T. Diefenthaler 38
Gerhard C. Michael 31
Robert T. Kuhn 27
Dien A. Taylor 24
David D. Buegler 12

GREAT LAKES REGION VICE-PRESIDENT
John C. Wohlrabe, Jr. 104
Paul A. Weber 13
David A. Davis 7
Peter C. Bender 5
C. William Hoesman 5

GREAT PLAINS REGION VICE-PRESIDENT
Nabil S. Nour 84
Ronald M. Garwood 30
Steven D. Turner 22
Gene D. Bauman 20
Mark J. Buchhop 19

WEST-SOUTHWEST REGION VICE-PRESIDENT
Scott R. Murray 79
Jeffery T. Schrank 26
Robert C. Preece 9
William M. Cwirla 7
William R. Woolsey 5

CENTRAL REGION BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Kathy A. Schulz 48
Ernest E. Garbe 8
Herbert W. Israel 6
Monica Boesdorfer 4
Frederick P. Guengerich 4
Travis L. Hindman 4
Jeff Schwarz 4

WEST-SOUTHWEST REGION BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Carol Ann Hack Broome 38
Daniel C. Lorenz 11
Ed H. Moerbe 4
Gloria S. Edwards 3
Ernest Hamann 2
Fred G. Karle 2
Damon P. Tobias 2
Douglas J. Utberg 2






Rules for comments on this site:


Engage the contents and substance of the post. Rabbit trails and side issues do not help the discussion of the topics.  Our authors work hard to write these articles and it is a disservice to them to distract from the topic at hand.  If you have a topic you think is important to have an article or discussion on, we invite you to submit a request through the "Ask a Pastor" link or submit a guest article.


Provide a valid email address. If you’re unwilling to do this, we are unwilling to let you comment.


Provide at least your first name. Please try to come up with a unique name; if you have a common name add something to it so you aren't confused with another user. We have several "john"'s already for example.  If you have a good reason to use a fake name, please do so but realize that the administrators of the site expect a valid email address and also reserve the right to ask you for your name privately at any time.


If you post as more than one person from the same IP address, we’ll block that address.


Do not engage in ad hominem arguments. We will delete such comments, and will not be obligated to respond to any complaints (public or private ones) about deleting your comments.


Interaction between people leaving comments ought to reflect Christian virtue, interaction that is gracious and respectful, not judging motives.  If error is to be rebuked, evidence of the error ought to be provided.


We reserve the right to identify and deal with trollish behavior as we see fit and without apology.  This may include warnings (public or private ones) or banning.

  1. April 11th, 2013 at 07:19 | #1

    I thought President Emeritus Kieschnick offered to run again. I can’t find his name anywhere on this list…

  2. Rev. Roger D. Sterle
    April 11th, 2013 at 07:42 | #2

    Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh……………

  3. April 11th, 2013 at 07:48 | #3
  4. Jason
    April 11th, 2013 at 07:57 | #4

    So Daystar endorsed David Maier made the list, but wow, what a gap between him and Harrison. What is the left planning on doing?

  5. April 11th, 2013 at 08:00 | #5

    Based just on name recognition I would certainly expect President Kieschnick must have gotten a goodly number of nominations, more than the lowest number listed above. If so, he must have declined to be considered. Perhaps after not bearing the heavy burdens of this office for several years, he concluded that at his stage in life he would prefer to have time with his family. I believe that is why President Kuhn declined to be considered in 2001. With two of our children leaving home this year to go off to school, I can empathize with that sentiment.

  6. Carl Vehse
    April 11th, 2013 at 09:47 | #6

    The Reporter also provided the article, “Nominations announced for LCMS president, VPs,” which included nominee titles.

    Added to the list below of names and votes, where the title of “Dr.” is used, are the degree, year awarded, school, and title of thesis/dissertation, if applicable. Note: (T/LUE) =(Titled as “Dr.” in the LCMS Roster / Degree listed under “Education”)

    Nominations for President:
    Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, 1111, Honorary LL.D., 2011, Concordia U. Ann Arbor; Honorary D.Div. 2011, CTS, (not titled or listed)
    Rev. Dr. Herbert C. Mueller, Jr., 140, Honorary D.Div., 2012, CTS (T/LUE, not indicated as honorary)
    Rev. Dr. David P.E. Maier, 126, Honorary D. Litt. St. Peter Confessional Lutheran Church of South Africa; DD.L, Concordia University Ann Arbor; D.Div., 2012, Concordia U., Wisconsin (T / Not listed)

    Nominations for Vice-President:
    Rev. Dr. Herbert C. Mueller Jr., 828, Honorary D.Div. 2012, CTS (T/LUE, not indicated as honorary)
    Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, 98, Honorary D.Div. Concordia U. Ann Arbor; Honorary D.Div. 2011, CTS, (not titled or listed)
    Rev. Dr. John C. Wohlrabe Jr., 68, Th.D., 1987, CSL, (T/LUE), “An historical analysis of the doctrine of the ministry in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod until 1962”
    Rev. Dr. Daniel Preus, 64, (not titled or listed)
    Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray, 40, Ph.D. 1998, Baptist Theological Seminary, New Orleans (T/ LUE), “The third use of the law in American Lutheranism 1940 to the present”
    Rev. Dr. Jeffery T. Schrank, 30, D. Min., 1996, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia (T/LUE), “Helping a Lutheran congregation increase its benefits from doctrinal sermons ”
    Rev. Dr. Robert D. Newton, 16, Ph.D., 1993, Trinity Evangelical School, Deerfield, IL (T/LUE), “Accommodation to American theological education practices: a case study of international students at two theological graduate schools”
    Rev. Dr. Jon T. Diefenthaler, 14, Ph.D., 1976, University of Iowa, Iowa City (T/LUE), “H. Richard Niebuhr: the shaping of the American religious historian”
    Rev. Dr. Larry A. Stoterau, 14, D. Min. 2002, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA (T/LUE), “Transitioning from a traditional to an apostolic church: Epiphany Lutheran Church, Chandler, Arizona”
    Rev. Dr. Kurtis D. Schultz, 9, (Not Titled, Not listed)
    Rev. Dr. Gerhard C. Michael, 8, (T/ Not listed)
    Rev. Clint K. Poppe, 8
    Rev. Dr. William R. Diekelman, 7, honorary LL.D., 2002, Concordia University-River Forest (T/LUE)
    Rev. Paul A. Linnemann, 7
    Rev. Dr. Dien A. Taylor, 6, Ph.D., 2005, Fordham University, Bronx, NY (T/LUE), “Reimagining the teaching of ecclesiology in youth Confirmation classes of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod : in light of the Mission affirmations of Martin Luther Kretzmann”
    Rev. Dr. Carl C. Fickenscher, 5, Ph.D., 1996, Southwestern Baptist Seminary, Fort Worth, TX (T/LUE), “The relationship of sermon form to the communication of the proper distinction between law and gospel in Lutheran preaching”
    Rev. Brian S. Saunders, 5
    Rev. Terry L. Cripe, 4
    Rev. Brent W. Kuhlman, 2
    Rev. Dan P. Gilbert, 2
    Rev. Dr. Robert E. Kasper, 2, D.Min., 1996, CSL (T/LUE), “Applying strategic planning toward the development of an effective and joyful ministry team in the local church”
    Rev. William R. Woolsey, 2

  7. Helen
    April 11th, 2013 at 11:00 | #7

    @Rev. Kevin Vogts #5
    President Kieschnick must have gotten a goodly number of nominations, more than the lowest number listed above.

    I expect he did, Pr. Vogts. But if it didn’t look like “winning”, he has a comfortable berth at CTX. ;(

    @Carl Vehse #6
    Thanks, Rick, for sorting out the “STARS” and the “tin stars”. :)

  8. April 11th, 2013 at 11:46 | #8

    Nothing surprising here on the nomination numbers. Pretty much what I expected.

    In fact, Harrison did even a little better than I expected. In 2010, he received 1,332 nominations. This time it’s 1,111. That’s not much of a dropoff, considering the incredible intensity and energy of the 2010 run-up, as compared to the distinct lack of intensity or suspense this time around. This time it’s a foregone conclusion that Harrison is going to win, easily, so you would expect a dropoff in congregations bothering to nominate.

    And there is a dropoff in total nominations, but Harrison evidently won over many congregations that did not nominate him last time. His percentage of the total nominations is much, much higher this time: 1,111 nominations for Harrison, 126 for Maier (the candidate promoted by Daystar). In 2010 Harrison received 1,332 nominations vs. Kieschnick’s 755. (Then in the 2010 election: Harrison 54%, Kieschnick 45%, Other 1%.)

  9. April 11th, 2013 at 11:58 | #9

    Rev. Kevin Vogts: Based just on name recognition I would certainly expect President Kieschnick must have gotten a goodly number of nominations, more than the lowest number listed above. If so, he must have declined to be considered.

    My guess is that Kieschnick received fewer nominations than the lowest number listed above (Maier’s 126), and thus did not qualify for the ballot. When the Convention Workbook comes out, we should get the actual numbers of all nominations.

    On the list of 22 names for First Vice-President, we do know that 21 other names declined consideration. But for President, these three (Harrison, Mueller, Maier) may indeed be the top three. We’ll find out.

  10. Joe Strieter
    April 11th, 2013 at 12:28 | #10

    @Charles Henrickson #8

    You said, “This time it’s a foregone conclusion that Harrison is going to win, easily…” Harrison may win, easily or not, but when it comes to elections, I’m not one for “foregone conclusions.” No doubt Las Vegas would give Harrison good odds, but given the new election procedure, it’s up for grabs, and I expect we might be surprised at the results. Just a caution, that’s all.

    You read it here first.

  11. Martin R. Noland
    April 11th, 2013 at 12:30 | #11

    Dear BJS Readers,

    I see that some commenters have said that Daystar endorsed DP David Maier. I did not see that, but then I don’t spend a lot of time browsing the Internet beyond regular reading at the BJS website.

    Did Daystar send out promotional e-mails to pastors or congregations? Did they send out print publications via regular mail? I didn’t receive any of those things, and I am a sole pastor of an LCMS congregation.

    I am curious about 1) how and when Daystar endorsed Michigan DP David Maier, 2) if they have been promoting other candidates, and 3) their methods. I feel like I am “in the dark” in these matters.

    I know that editors and approved writers at the Daystar website have advocated certain positions that are contrary to Scriptures, Confessions, and LCMS doctrinal statements. It would be unfair to DP Maier to associate him with that group, if they have not in fact endorsed him for office. Even if they had endorsed him, his own position on issues they have promoted could be at variance with theirs.

    This comment is not intended as my own personal endorsement for DP Maier, but I do think that all statements about all candidates should be fair and true.

    I have recently read, somewhere in J. Gerhard, that all anonymous accusations against persons must be rejected in principle by the church. Thus any accusation–or even the implication that a candidate is in error or unsuitable–when made by an anonymous commenter should be rejected in principle by any who bear the name of Christ. After all, He suffered and died because of many anonymous accusations.

    Thanks for your assistance.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  12. Joe Strieter
    April 11th, 2013 at 12:32 | #12

    @Joe Strieter #10

    While we’re thinking about “new election procedures,” I’m wondering if there are any overtures that would return us to the “old election procedure” or a substantive revision of the new election procedure.

  13. April 11th, 2013 at 12:47 | #13

    Joe Strieter: No doubt Las Vegas would give Harrison good odds, but given the new procedure, it’s up for grabs, and I expect we might be surprised at the results. Just a caution, that’s all. You read it here first.

    I’m well aware of the new procedure, Joe, but I’ve also studied the history of LCMS presidential elections. No LCMS president has ever lost his first re-elect, and often that is his high-water mark in terms of percentage. So as a longtime student of history and politics (both secular and ecclesiastical) and as a political prognosticator, I will go out on a limb here and predict that Harrison easily surpasses his 54% of 2010 and goes north of 60% (maybe even getting into the 67-70% territory). You read it here first. We’ll know the results around July 6.

    If I’m wrong, Joe, I’ll buy you a beer. But what if I’m right? Should we raise it to a single-malt scotch? ;^)

  14. April 11th, 2013 at 13:06 | #14

    Martin R. Noland:
    I see that some commenters have said that Daystar endorsed DP David Maier. . . . Did Daystar send out promotional e-mails to pastors or congregations? . . . I am curious about 1) how and when Daystar endorsed Michigan DP David Maier, 2) if they have been promoting other candidates, and 3) their methods. . . .

    I know that editors and approved writers at the Daystar website have advocated certain positions that are contrary to Scriptures, Confessions, and LCMS doctrinal statements. It would be unfair to DP Maier to associate him with that group, if they have not in fact endorsed him for office. Even if they had endorsed him, his own position on issues they have promoted could be at variance with theirs.

    Daystar endorsed Maier in an e-mail they sent out, as reported in another forum on November 25:

    Synodical Observer

    Until recently, it was a tradition in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod that the Office of the President searched for the best person to lead the Synod. In that spirit the DayStar JOURNAL puts forward Rev. Dr. David Maier as a nominee for the President of the Synod. Dr. Maier has been suggested by a number of past and present District Presidents. He is not associated with DayStar and knows nothing of this recommendation.

    District President, Rev. Dr. David P. E. Maier (Michigan Dist), 57, is recommended to all synod electors as a nominee for President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. He comes from a long line of servant leaders in the Maier family… going back to Walter A. Maier of Lutheran Hour remembrance!

    He is a Gospel oriented, biblically based, people-oriented, visionary pastor with significant experience in a variety of ministries and mission outreach efforts. He has leadership, administrative, organizational and relational abilities that enable him to multiply the ministry, witness and service of individuals, schools, congregations, districts … and all God’s people! Please prayerfully consider him as the man to vote for to lead the LCMS into the new era and anti-church environment that is knocking on our doors.

    It should be noted that DP Maier is not responsible for Daystar recommending him, nor does their recommendation mean that he agrees with their positions.

    Still, that the Daystar-promoted “candidate” would receive such a comparatively low number of nominations shows just how pitifully weak Daystar is as an organization and in what disarray the Left is in our synod. (Notice, Jesus First is AWOL this time around, virtually conceding the election, which is probably a politically wise thing to do. Look for them to “rebrand” and perhaps gear up again for 2016.)

  15. Carl Vehse
    April 11th, 2013 at 13:07 | #15

    @Martin R. Noland #11: “I am curious about 1) how and when Daystar endorsed Michigan DP David Maier… I feel like I am “in the dark” in these matters.”

    The only Maier endorsement attributed to the Deathstar I’ve seen was the email text posted on the ALPB Forum thread, on November 25, 2012, by Daniel L. Gard.

  16. April 11th, 2013 at 13:24 | #16

    Joe Strieter: While we’re thinking about “new election procedures,” I’m wondering if there are any overtures that would return us to the “old election procedure” or a substantive revision of the new election procedure.

    I voted against the change in the presidential election procedure. I thought it was a dumb and cumbersome idea, and still do. The reason you have conventions is for delegates to go and vote on elections and resolutions. Electing the president ahead of the convention–and not even by the convention delegates themselves–is stupid. (The one aspect of the change I don’t mind is having three SP candidates on the ballot instead of five. The fourth and fifth names were just needless filler anyway.)

    The real reason this change was put forward was so that Jerry Kieschnick could basically handpick the 1VP ballot. To do that, he had to be elected prior to the convention. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to that format: Kieschnick lost.

    That said, I’m not sure switching the procedure back at this convention is the right way to go. We should probably let the new procedure have at least this one chance and then maybe switch it back next time.

    Same thing with the “regionalization” change for the VPs and the BOD. I voted against that, too. Let the convention pick those officers, regardless of where they live. But again, there was a political reason behind that change. It was done to try to increase the likelihood of libs getting elected from the saltwater districts. But we should probably let it go for this convention at least.

    But if this convention decides it wants to get rid of regionalization and the new presidential election procedure, I would not object.

  17. Carl Vehse
    April 11th, 2013 at 13:40 | #17

    It will be worthwhile for delegates to note (and report) on how memorials are handled by the various floor committees for this convention.

    From previous conventions there have been stories of how some floor committees (or the chairman) treated some memorials, and the form of some overtures ultimately presented to the convention.

  18. April 11th, 2013 at 13:56 | #18

    >>I voted against the change in the presidential election procedure. I thought it was a dumb and cumbersome idea

    At our district pastoral conference earlier this week our district president in his report mentioned that many on the council of presidents feel the new system is much more unwieldy and difficult than anyone anticipated, and are suggesting a return to the old procedure. I found this interesting, since because I served on a synodical board at the time I was interviewed by the BRTFSSG and raised these same concerns, which were discounted. It was clear from those conducting the interview that this new system was the preference of the incumbent who appointed the BRTFSSG and would be adopted. On the other hand, though I was opposed to it at the time, if the “kinks” can be worked out–and our district president said the synodical secretary assured the council of presidents that they will be–perhaps giving every congregation and its pastor a say is a salutary way to elect the president of synod.

  19. Martin R. Noland
    April 11th, 2013 at 14:01 | #19

    @Charles Henrickson #14

    Dear Pastor Henrickson,

    Thanks very much for documenting your sources! I appreciate the fact that you are not anonymous!

    According to what you linked, the endorsement for DP Maier came via an e-mail from DAYSTAR Journal, I suppose to those on their e-mail list. And from there it was posted on the “ALPB Your Turn Forum,” with the tacit approval of the editors there.

    I think it is important to see this two sentence statement from what you linked:

    In that spirit the DayStar JOURNAL puts forward Rev. Dr. David Maier as a nominee for the President of the Synod. Dr. Maier has been suggested by a number of past and present District Presidents.

    So there are “a number of past and present District Presidents” who, it would seem, are not satisfied with the leadership of President Harrison, and they are the ones who originally have “put up” a fellow District President to “take down” a synodically elected leader.

    I am not surprised by that. Prior to my first synodical convention, I was given a voting list by my district president. When I asked “What’s this?” he said, “These are candidates that have the approval of a group of District Presidents.” When I asked him where they had that authority in the bylaws, he said something like “Anyone can publish a list of candidates, and they have; why can’t we?” I didn’t want to argue with him, so I left it at that.

    So there you go, folks:

    An anonymous group of District Presidents do not support the leadership of Matthew Harrison, and they are conspiring to unseat him. I use the word “conspire,” because they don’t have that sort of authority in our bylaws, and they are using the Daystar website in order to retain their anonymity. This assumes that the Daystar Journal told the truth about the source of their endorsement.

    Please pray for President Harrison and all the good District Presidents and other synodical officers that support the synod, its legitimate processes, and decisions. And pray for our synod, that our Lord would spare us from the machinations of mischief-makers and “non-saints” (Martin Chemnitz’s term) in our midst, whoever they are!

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  20. helen
    April 11th, 2013 at 16:14 | #20

    @Martin R. Noland #19
    “Dr. Maier has been suggested by a number of past and present District Presidents”. –quoting Daystar

    I’ll just observe that former SP Kieschnick is a “past District President.”
    [...us1st and Daystar are pretty much the same party, IMHO.]

  21. Joyful Noise
    April 11th, 2013 at 16:24 | #21

    @Pastor Ted Crandall #1

    Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow!

  22. Rev. Clint K. Poppe
    April 11th, 2013 at 18:49 | #22
  23. April 11th, 2013 at 18:57 | #23

    Martin R. Noland :Dear BJS Readers,
    I know that editors and approved writers at the Daystar website have advocated certain positions that are contrary to Scriptures, Confessions, and LCMS doctrinal statements. It would be unfair to DP Maier to associate him with that group, if they have not in fact endorsed him for office. Even if they had endorsed him, his own position on issues they have promoted could be at variance with theirs.

    Guilt by association, whether deserved or not… This reminds me of getting “helped” by an endorsement from Pastor Herman Otten and the Christian News.

    Although, now that I think about it, I guess it does work for some…

  24. Rev. Clint K. Poppe
    April 11th, 2013 at 19:39 | #24

    Martin R. Noland :@Charles Henrickson #14
    Please pray for President Harrison and all the good District Presidents and other synodical officers that support the synod, its legitimate processes, and decisions. And pray for our synod, that our Lord would spare us from the machinations of mischief-makers and “non-saints” (Martin Chemnitz’s term) in our midst, whoever they are!
    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

    Where does the very anonymous United List fit into your comments regarding voting lists?

    Thanks, Clint

  25. Martin R. Noland
    April 11th, 2013 at 21:36 | #25

    @Rev. Clint K. Poppe #24

    Dear Pastor Poppe,

    Thanks for the opportunity to clarify my comments. I am not against the use of voting lists in principle, although I understand why some are. I remember that Richard Korthals, whom I highly respected, quit Balance, Inc. over their use of them.

    My opinion on the use of voting lists is that it is akin to political parties in the USA. I am a member of a political party in the US, and if I don’t know anything about a candidate for office, I tend to vote for the candidate of my party, because I know that he/she more-or-less agrees with that party’s platform.

    For many years, I personally used the Balance/Affirm voting list for the same reason. I hardly knew anyone when I was first ordained (now almost thirty years ago). How did I know whom to vote for when a ballot came my way? (Remember the old punch card, #2 pencil ballots? :) ). But if I did know someone, my personal knowledge trumped the voting list. Now I know quite a few people in office, but I have traded that for gray hairs and less hair overall. :)

    I am not a delegate this year, so I won’t be voting–this is a moot point for me.

    My beef here, in my comments #11 and #19, is that some District Presidents are trying to unseat their direct ecclesiastical supervisor. That is just plain wrong–that is not democracy, that is subverting authority. Bylaw 1.5.1.3 (I think that’s the number) says that all officers of the synod (includes district officers) shall avoid the “appearance of impropriety” in all their actions.

    Does this make any sense? Synod tells the President, through many Constitutional articles and bylaws, that he is supposed to supervise the district presidents. And when he reprimands them privately, which any conscientious Synodical President must do, then they “start a movement” to get rid of him. What does that do to ecclesiastical supervision? And these are some of the same guys who love to be called “bishops”!?

    The Synodical President does not report to the district presidents. He reports only to the synod in convention. He is the “strong man” who keeps the DPs in line–that is the design of our constitution. If they can curb his ecclesiastical authority, then they are in fact not subject to the congregations of synod. When DPs promote or endorse a candidate for synodical president, other than the incumbent, it is a subtle form of rebellion and treason, but that is still what it is.

    I wrote an essay many years ago titled “District Presidents and Their Council,” given to the Congress on Lutheran Confessions, I think in 1997. It was published in a monograph and might still be available at the LOGIA website. My main point, based on some initial ideas floated by Montana DP George Wollenburg, was that the bylaws were gradually evolving to make the District Presidents and their Council independent, or at least much less accountable, to the synod itself (i.e., the rank and file congregations and pastors). The evolution of the bylaws have continued in that direction since I wrote that essay.

    I have no problem with rank and file LCMS members promoting their candidates or making or using voting lists. I don’t know how else people can vote in a reasonably intelligent manner–I mean that is democracy and we have a democratic polity.

    To answer your question: I certainly hope that the anonymous United List is not a front for some district presidents, although I have never seen evidence that they are.

    If the Daystar Journal people decide to publish their voting list this year, I will not object to that in principle. But I won’t encourage people to use it either, considering its source and what that group stands for.

    These are my own opinions about the political process in the LCMS. Again, as I said before, I can understand why some folks object to voting lists in principle and I respect that.

    I hope that answers your question.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  26. Carl Vehse
    April 12th, 2013 at 08:36 | #26

    @Martin R. Noland #25: ”My beef here, in my comments #11 and #19, is that some District Presidents are trying to unseat their direct ecclesiastical supervisor.”

    Even if your assumption in #19, “that the Daystar Journal told the truth,” were correct (and I’m not suggesting it was) the Daystar statement,
    “Dr. Maier has been suggested by a number of past and present District Presidents,” does not necessarily mean “[a]n anonymous group of District Presidents do not support the leadership of Matthew Harrison, and they are conspiring to unseat him.” Under the best construction the suggestion by the DPs could simply indicate a preference regarding a second nomination, which, according to Bylaw 3.12.2, each member congregation is allowed to make.

    It is Daystar who then takes the claim of “suggested by a number of past and present” DPs and turns it into Daystar’s “recommended to all electors as a nominee” and “the man to vote for to lead the LCMS,” while admitting that Maier “knows nothing of this recommendation.” One can also wonder whether those past and present DPs all knew their suggestion would be used in a Daystar email campaign.

  27. Carl Vehse
    April 12th, 2013 at 13:21 | #27

    In addition to discussing Daystar’s recommendation of Michigan District President David Maier as “the man to vote for to lead the LCMS,” one only has to browse the ALPB blog pages to find other political tapdancing.

    One LCMS pastor suggests, “I think we should nominate a small number of candidates and then draw straws a la Acts. That way we wouldn’t have to be against anyone in order to be for someone” and then ends with, “one could really hope for Maier without having to disparage Harrison.”

    Another LCMS pastor tosses out this snark, “It appears that any political resistance to the administration has evaporated. Whatever opposition there was in 2010 must have died. That fact brings into question whether Harrison’s expensive campaign funded by undisclosed sources was really justified.”

    And that’s just from today!!

  28. Martin R. Noland
    April 13th, 2013 at 17:59 | #28

    @Carl Vehse #26

    Dear Carl,

    Your comments in #26 are fair enough as possibilities.

    It is entirely possible that a couple of “past and present District Presidents” were sitting at the bar at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Saint Louis Airport–where the Council of Presidents normally meet. And in the course of discussion, one said “Who do you think would have had a chance of becoming synodical president, if President Harrison had announced his retirement?” Each one suggested someone, and the only one that got more than one affirmation was DP Maier. And then someone overheard that conversation, and texted the same to the editors at Daystar.

    Could be. If that is what happened, and if I was one of those District Presidents, I would first let the editor of Daystar know what I thought about his publishing private conversations without permission, and then I would publicly pledge my loyalty to the synod and its elected president.

    If we see some sort of apology to the synod from those “past and present” District Presidents in this matter, then something like this is what happened. If there is no apology and no affirmation of Harrison’s leadership by these anonymous “past and present” DPs, then my scenario is closer to the truth.

    I am concerned about this issue for several reasons:

    1) Harrison is a great LCMS president in every way and he deserves everyone’s respect and support. Check the latest Reporter insert titled “Witness, Mercy, Life Together,” page one, to see a summary of what he and his talented staff have accomplished in a short 2.5 years.

    2) When I was an LCMS administrator, concern was often expressed by many people at the national offices that district offices and officers were often “doing their own thing.” The word “fiefdoms” was often employed. But that term could also at that time be applied to certain departments in the national offices, which was one good cause for the 2010 restructuring. In my opinion, the reason that the 2007 report on Financing the Mission went nowhere is because the district “fiefdoms” refused to support it. That is just the financial end of things.

    A greater concern is, due to the Wichita 1989 convention, districts have certification powers for “district-licensed-lay-deacons,” who are serving as pastors in many places.

    My greatest concern is that a few districts have sub-Lutheran theology-and-ecclesial-practice, and as the years go on, these sub-Lutheran doctrines-and-practices are becoming entrenched. The Koinonia Project is an attempt to curb some of the more extreme doctrines and practices–and I am hoping it will work.

    3) The founders of the LCMS were concerned that division into districts would hinder the unity of the synod, or even destroy it. It is no accident that the first purpose of the LCMS is to “conserve and promote the unity of the true faith.” Internal unity was the top priority for synod’s founders! Check out C.S. Meyer’s section in Moving Frontiers, where he talks about the division into districts on that point.

    Our founders decided to accept district divisions, because they felt that would provide more unity among congregations, so long as the district presidents were in unity with the synodical president. They warned that if the district presidents ever became disloyal to the synod (i.e., the national convention and its elected officers who represented and expressed the unity of the synod), then schism would result.

    This concern of our founders is echoed in some of the essays and reports of the 1958-1962 Synodical Survey Commission, most of which were written by Dr. August Suelflow. I think Dr. George Gude of the Southern Illinois District has also written something on this topic in the CHI Quarterly, i.e., about the relationship of districts to synod.

    This concern of our founders came to realization in 1974-76, when eight district presidents refused to acknowledge the synodical certification process and decided to certify and ordain Seminex graduates. JAO Preus realized he had schism on his hands, took the eight to task, and then finally demoted four DPs because they refused to relent. The history of that can be found in August Suelflow’s Heritage in Motion.

    4) When I was made executive director at CHI, I had some long discussions with the long-term members of that board, including the Secretary of Synod who serves on that board ex officio. I was told right away, in no uncertain terms, that I should not do or say anything that reflected poorly on the synod or its other officers, even when I had a strong disagreement. There are procedures in the bylaws for doctrinal dissent, if that becomes necessary; and that is a private process. Otherwise I was to do everything possible to “avoid the appearance of impropriety” (bylaw 1.5.1.3).

    I was very careful about doing just that during my six years in office, and avoided saying or doing anything that would cast aspersions on the synodical president or any other officer. I was not involved politically in any way in those years, and if someone asked about candidates, my standard reply was, “Oh, they are all good. Isn’t great that we have such a wealth of talent!”

    Because we have a democratic polity in the LCMS, the rank and file church-workers and congregations must assess, evaluate, and consider the merits of their elected officers. Criticism is part of the democratic process. But you give up the right to criticize in public when you yourself become an officer.

    Any corporate officer and any military officer understands that you don’t criticize the top brass in public; and you certainly don’t do anything to plot for his removal from office. That is disloyalty to both the chief executive and to the organization which chose him.

    District Presidents need to be reminded that the unity of the church depends on them being in public unity with the synodical president. They lead by example. If they don’t do that, schism will result. St. Cyprian of Carthage was one of the first Christian theologians to make that clear in his treatises, and his thoughts are still relevant today.

    Yorus in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  29. April 14th, 2013 at 05:31 | #29

    Martin R. Noland :
    A greater concern is, due to the Wichita 1989 convention, districts have certification powers for “district-licensed-lay-deacons,” who are serving as pastors in many places.
    My greatest concern is that a few districts have sub-Lutheran theology-and-ecclesial-practice, and as the years go on, these sub-Lutheran doctrines-and-practices are becoming entrenched. The Koinonia Project is an attempt to curb some of the more extreme doctrines and practices–and I am hoping it will work.

    The “more moderate Confessional Lutherans” [insert eyeroll] posting at ALPB are trying to convince themselves that the Koinonia Project is an attempt to curb those obnoxious ultra-conservatives who add to the Word.

    Of course, one must consider the source, since they are also the ones who think there are no liberals or moderates in the LCMS today, but only conservatives and ultra-conservatives.

    Compared to what?

If you have problems commenting on this site, or need to change a comment after it has been posted on the site, please contact us. For help with getting your comment formatted, click here.
Subscribe to comments feed  ..  Subscribe to comments feed for this post
Anonymous comments are welcome on this board, but we do require a valid email address so the admins can verify who you are. Please try to come up with a unique name; if you have a common name add something to it so you aren't confused with another user. We have several "john"'s already for example. Email addresses are kept private on this site, and only available to the site admins. Comments posted without a valid email address may not be published. Want an icon to identify your comment? See this page to see how.
*

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.