Pre-convention meeting in St. Louis area, June 29 (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

June 24th, 2013 Post by

There will be a pre-convention meeting in the St. Louis area this Saturday, June 29, starting at 9:30 a.m., at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Arnold, Missouri. The main purpose of this unofficial meeting is to go over the proposed resolutions found in Today’s Business, which will be coming before the LCMS convention in July. Other convention matters will be discussed also. The Rev. Charles Henrickson will lead the discussion. The meeting will probably last around two hours. All are welcome to come, delegates and non-delegates alike, from Missouri, southern Illinois, or elsewhere.

It will be helpful to bring, whether in print or saved to your computer (linked here), any or all of the following four items:
Today’s Business
Convention Workbook
Biographical Synopses & Statements of Nominees
2010 Handbook

The meeting location:
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
2211 Tenbrook Rd
Arnold, MO 63010
(636) 296-1292

– – – – – – – – – –

After this meeting, I will be posting my commentary on the proposed resolutions here on this blog during the first couple weeks of July.

Also, are there any pre-convention meetings going on in your area that you would like to let people know about? You can post the info and/or a report below in the comment section.

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  1. Carl Vehse
    June 24th, 2013 at 20:54 | #1

    One need is to move the Missouri Synod away from effects of the previous LCMS kakistocracy, by reintroducing from the floor and passing Overture 4-06 (2013 Convention Workbook, p. 165). Overture 4-06 seeks to restore to synod conventions the sole authority for declaring fellowship by removing Bylaw paragraph (c), which currently gives such authority to the synodical president.

    Sadly, in the 2013: Today’s Business (pp. 98-99), Floor Committee IV, Theology and Church Relations (Dr. Scott R. Murray, Chairman) dumped Overture 4-06 overboard with the lackadaisical excuse that Bylaw (c) be given more time. Dangerous bylaws don’t deserve more time.

    Also Overture 6-25, To Overrule CCM Opinion 02-2309 (2013 Convention Workbook, p. 244), needs to be re-introduced so that it specifically eliminates CCM Opinion 02-2309.”

    And, of course, there is a need to pass Resolution 4-07, To Address the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Rostered Workers Communing at Heterodox Altars (2013:Today’s Business, p. 92) and Resolution 4-09, To Overrule Commission on Constitutional Matters Opinion “Interpretation of Constitution Article VI 2 b”(11-2598 CW pp. 300-303) (2013:Today’s Business, pp. 93-4) overwhelmingly.

    However, the convention should first amend Resolution 4-09 to remove the first Resolved (“That the LCMS in convention respectfully thank the members of the CCM for their work”).

  2. Bob Pase
    June 24th, 2013 at 21:08 | #2

    Why not Skype this meeting?

  3. June 24th, 2013 at 21:25 | #3

    Bob Pase: Why not Skype this meeting?

    Because I have no idea how to do that, and I don’t want to be made the Skypegoat.

  4. helen
    June 24th, 2013 at 22:01 | #4

    @Charles Henrickson #3
    Because I have no idea how to do that, and I don’t want to be made the Skypegoat.

    Your summary and analysis afterward will be quite sufficient, Pr. Henrickson.
    Anyone who wants to put his oar in will have to be there.

    I hope enough delegates are serious about studying the issues to prevent the often schizo results we’ve seen in the past.

    Carl Vehse has some good suggestions. I hope they are being considered.

    [I would vacate a lot more CCM decrees than he is suggesting, perhaps beginning with the one that says a DP is entitled to meddle in a congregation without informing the officers or the Pastor. And I'd have no more alternate route men in a district until all its CRM's are placed in line with their talents and abilities. (I suppose that's why women shouldn't vote?) ] ;)

  5. Harry Edmon
    June 24th, 2013 at 22:14 | #5

    By the way, does anyone have a reaction to CCM decision 13-2669 on Ecclesiastical Supervision which appears in the May 16-17, 2013 minutes:

    I think it is correct given the current bylaws, but I find the timing and the fact that 6 DPs asked for the ruling to be interesting.

  6. June 24th, 2013 at 23:11 | #6

    Pardon this brief off-topic tangent, but . . .


    OK, now that this native Chicagoan has gotten that off his chest, we can go back to our regularly scheduled programming.

  7. Carl Vehse
    June 25th, 2013 at 08:05 | #7

    @helen #4: “[I would vacate a lot more CCM decrees than he is suggesting, perhaps beginning with the one that says a DP is entitled to meddle in a congregation without informing the officers or the Pastor. And I’d have no more alternate route men in a district until all its CRM’s are placed in line with their talents and abilities.”

    Maybe a special synodical convention (or just using internet voting) could be conducted in order to overturn bad CCM opinions in the past.

  8. Martin R. Noland
    June 25th, 2013 at 11:34 | #8

    Dear BJS Bloggers, !ALERT! (sound of bells and sirens)

    You really need to read the latest minutes of the CCM, that were linked by Mr. Edmon at comment #5 here: @Harry Edmon #5 See ruling #13-2699.

    Thanks very much, Mr. Edmon! I and the bloggers here, and the whole synod, owes you a debt of gratitude for alerting us to this ruling, that might have passed without comment, since it is not in the Convention Workbook. Was the timing on this intentional?

    I last looked at the CCM webpage at about three weeks ago, when I was working on my recent article on the CCM, so this must have just been posted. The important ruling is #13-2699.

    I don’t have time right now to fully digest what it is saying, or to look up all the citations in bylaws and CCM rulings, but this definitely proves that something is wrong with the CCM and six of the district presidents (hereafter DP) are “in on it.”

    It doesn’t say which DPs are involved–which is another problem with the CCM “system.” I would really like to know who those six DPs are–no speculation here, please! I want to know, because they are bringing disgrace to the good DPs out there, including my own.

    These six DPs ask several questions so that they can avoid being subjected to the “supervision over their . . . administration of office” by the authorized church officer, namely, by the synodical president (hereafter SP). On what I mean by this, see my recent article in the Lutheran Clarion, posted here at BJS:

    Since the national convention, representing all the congregations in synod, elect the SP to supervise the DPs, these six DPs are really thumbing their noses at the synod as a whole.

    Questions #1 and 2 in CCM ruling 13-2699 make a false dichotomy between the supervision of the DPs and the SP. The six DPs set up that false dichotomy with the wording of their question, i.e., “Does the DP OR the SP have supervision?” The CCM obliges the DP’s request by “proving” that the SP has no supervision whatsoever in the districts.

    This would mean that the SP has no authority at all, when you think about it, since everyone in synod is part of a district! Don’t forget that the CCM is “selected” by the COP, bylaw (b). So the CCM is merely doing what their COP bosses are asking them to do–that is, stripping the SP of all his authority.

    The truth is that both DPs and the SP have supervision, but in different ways.

    Question #3 in CCM ruling 13-2699 draws a specious distinction between “supervision” and “ecclesiastical supervision,” which doesn’t make sense to me at first reading–or second reading for that matter! Some of those bylaws were drawn up sixty years ago (some even older than that), when the term “supervision” meant obviously “supervision in the church.”

    The bylaws talk about the church, not a secular organization. What other type of supervision is there in the church? Good hermeneutics says that “supervision” means “ecclesiastical supervision,” unless there are more specific terms in the text.

    For this particular issue (ruling 13-2699), any sensible reading of the bylaws begins with the Constitution XI.B.3 “The President has and always shall have the power to advise, admonish, and reprove. He shall conscientiously use all means at his command to promote and maintain unity of doctrine and practice in all the districts of the synod.”

    That is as clear as the northern skies over International Falls, MN on a mid-winter’s night.

    There are no limitations within the synod on whom the SP shall have the power to advise, admonish, and reprove. That is his job of “influence”, as Jerry Kieschnick often reminded us at IC meetings. And XI.B.3 clearly says that this needs to be done “in all the districts.

    The synodical convention better realize that all of its resolutions are absolutely worthless if they do not get rid of the CCM, or at least get rid of the offending members of that group—at this convention!

    That is because anything that the synod adopts will be “amended” by the CCM by the process demonstrated in CCM ruling 13-2699 and CCM ruling 11-2598. Many things don’t even come to the floor of the convention because the CCM can censor them (bylaw and

    We already have a Commission on Handbook, that has done excellent work for this convention. Give them the business of reviewing synodical agency bylaws (bylaw, and then there is no good reason to have the CCM. Let all the other elected officers do their duty and simply follow the bylaws. If someone needs to adjudicate disagreements about bylaws between conventions, let the LCMS Board of Directors do it, or if necessary, use the Dispute Resolution Process.

    Let’s do this now, before things get worse. You have now all been warned of the CCM’s persistent offenses against our good Constitution and the authority of synod itself.

    I plan to write more later on this topic in a couple of posts. Keep tuned to BJS, up until the opening day of convention.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  9. Carl Vehse
    June 25th, 2013 at 12:44 | #9

    On another BJS thread in a June 19th comment, Post #36, it was suggested that after Resolutions 4-07 and 4-09 are passed, a motion be made and seconded from the floor to have the chairman and members of the CCM submit their resignations, effective immediately.

  10. Harry Edmon
    June 25th, 2013 at 13:49 | #10

    @Martin R. Noland #8

    Thanks Pastor Noland. I was suspicious of this ruling, but I could not find where the problem was in my first reading of it.

  11. Carl Vehse
    June 26th, 2013 at 13:34 | #11

    In December 2010, President Harrison, per Bylaw, declared LCMS fellowship with the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELC). The 2013 Convention delegates will be asked to rubberstamp… er, endorse this declaration (see Resolution 4-02, 2013: Today’s Business, pp. 85-7).

    A May 4, 2013, Gottesdienst Online article, “A Lutheran bishop reflects on his ministry,” presents a newsletter article from Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELC) Bishop Vsevolod Lytkin, who will be a guest at the 2013 LCMS convention in July.

    The SELC has an episcopal polity. However some of what Bishop Lytkin states appears to take that episcopal polity to an area outside of the Missouri Synod’s understanding of the Lutheran doctrine of church and ministry:

    “Sometimes they ask me whether it is difficult to be a bishop. Is it easy? You know, perhaps, you would think that I’m boasting if I tell you that it is very hard. It is much harder than being simply a priest.”

    “So this is my work. With it I feel myself like a fish in water. But being bishop is too hard. It seems on the surface that being bishop is not much different from being a priest. Glamorous color shirt, miter on the head and staff in the left hand. But you know, I almost died when exactly six years ago five bishops have laid their hands on me, and I am still dying (cf. 1 Cor. 15:31).

    “Every time I die when I ordain somebody as a priest. It seems that I physically sense how the power leaves me, and after that I want to fall down and lie without standing back on my feet. This is some kind of mysticism, you might say, and you would be right. Yes! It is mystical. If somebody told me this earlier, just six years earlier, I would not have believed it.”

    This belief in a mysticism of ordination directly contradicts the Lutheran position in the Confessions as explained by C.F.W. Walther in Thesis VI, on the Ministry (Kirche und Amt).

    Resolution 4-02 should be voted down or at least tabled until a verified clarification or correction to the SELC position on the doctrine of church and ministry is publicly presented and understood (No secret or confidential agreements among the heads of the respective church bodies).

  12. helen
    June 27th, 2013 at 10:21 | #12

    @Carl Vehse #11
    Resolution 4-02 should be voted down or at least tabled until a verified clarification or correction to the SELC position on the doctrine of church and ministry is publicly presented and understood (No secret or confidential agreements among the heads of the respective church bodies).

    IF our synodical officials are doing anything that the lawyers think the laity shouldn’t know about, they probably shouldn’t be doing it!

    Concealment and omission of facts led a lot of once faithful Lutherans into the unholy stew that is elca.

  13. June 27th, 2013 at 17:31 | #13

    For anybody coming to the meeting in Arnold on Saturday morning, I recommend that you SAVE Today’s Business (linked above) to your laptop, so that if you can’t connect to the WiFi at Good Shepherd (it’s been acting up on them), you can still open your file and read the proposed resolutions. (You may want to save one or more of the other documents also, the Convention Workbook, e.g.)

    Also, anybody reading this planning on coming? That would help with a headcount on how many to expect.

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