One congregation’s nominations and overtures (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

February 1st, 2010 Post by

Below is an example of one congregation’s nominations and overtures for the Synod convention, from St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Bonne Terre, Missouri, on January 31, 2010. (The deadline for nominations to be received is March 10, and the deadline for overtures is March 6.)

NOMINATIONS

PRESIDENT

1. Matthew Harrison
St. Louis, Missouri

2. Herbert Mueller
Waterloo, Illinois

FIRST VICE-PRESIDENT

1. Herbert Mueller
Waterloo, Illinois

2. Daniel Preus
St. Louis, Missouri

OTHER VICE-PRESIDENT

1. John Wohlrabe
Geneseo, Illinois

2. Daniel Preus
St. Louis, Missouri

3. David Adams
St. Louis, Missouri

4. Scott Murray
Houston, Texas

OVERTURES

To Overrule CCM Opinions on Ecclesiastical Supervision

WHEREAS, The Commission on Constitutional Matters (CCM), in its opinion, “Consequences of Action Taken Upon Approval of Ecclesiastical Supervisor” (02-2296; 02-2320), stated, “The Constitution and Bylaws of the Synod do not allow or contemplate the expulsion of a member of the Synod on the basis of an action taken with the full knowledge and approval of the appropriate ecclesiastical supervisor”; and
WHEREAS, In its opinion, “Ecclesiastical Supervision and Conflict of Interest” (02-2309), the CCM similarly stated that “the Synod is precluded from taking any action to terminate the membership of its member who, when performing his or her official duties, follows the advice and counsel of the ecclesiastical supervisor” and, again, that “the member who acted cannot be charged since he or she acted according to the advice of his or her ecclesiastical supervisor”; and
WHEREAS, The Constitution of the Synod places substantial weight on the need for doctrinal discipline to be carried out and for members of the Synod to be held accountable for their own actions:
when it sets forth “Conditions for acquiring and holding membership” (Article VI);
when it states, “The Synod at all times has the right to call its officers to account and, if circumstances require it, to remove them from office” (Article XI A 2); and
when it states, “Members who act contrary to the confession laid down in Article II and to the conditions of membership laid down in Article VI or persist in an offensive conduct, shall, after previous futile admonition, be expelled from the Synod” (Article XIII 1); and
WHEREAS, These substantive constitutional arguments for doctrinal discipline may be thwarted by an appeal to the CCM opinions on ecclesiastical supervision, which could be used to allow a member of the Synod to violate the Constitution with impunity and immunity; and
WHEREAS, Opinions of the CCM are binding unless and until “overruled by a convention of the Synod” (Bylaw 3.9.2.2); and
WHEREAS, Many districts, congregations, circuit forums, and pastors conferences submitted overtures to the Synod’s 2004 and 2007 conventions to overrule the CCM opinions on ecclesiastical supervision; and
WHEREAS, These overtures were not brought forward by the floor committees for consideration by the 2004 and 2007 conventions; and
WHEREAS, The voice of so many districts, congregations, circuit forums, and pastors conferences, all submitting similar overtures on such a substantive constitutional matter, ought at least to be heard in the form of a proposed resolution at the convention, particularly when a convention vote is the only means available for overruling a CCM opinion; therefore be it
Resolved, That the Synod overrule CCM Opinions 02-2296, 02-2320, and 02-2309.

To Commend “Issues, Etc.”

WHEREAS, The radio and internet program “Issues, Etc.” has been a great blessing to the church and an effective tool for reaching the world with the gospel of Christ; and
WHEREAS, Through its live radio and internet broadcasts and its on-demand downloads and podcasts, “Issues, Etc.” is reaching tens of thousands of people around the world (e.g., over 20,000 unique visitors in a month and around 4,000,000 downloaded segments in a year); and
WHEREAS, “Issues, Etc.” truly lives up to its motto of “Christ-Centered Cross-Focused Christian Talk Radio”; and
WHEREAS, “Issues, Etc.” is a production of Lutheran Public Radio, and its host, Todd Wilken, is an LCMS pastor, and its producer, Jeff Schwarz, is an LCMS layman; and
WHEREAS, Many LCMS pastors, professors, authors, church workers, and church members appear regularly on “Issues, Etc.”; and
WHEREAS, “Issues, Etc.” addresses the significant social and theological issues of our day in a substantive and engaging manner, guided by the word of God; therefore be it
Resolved, That the Synod commend “Issues, Etc.” and encourage its congregations and members to support this valuable program.






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  1. February 1st, 2010 at 16:43 | #1

    The fist overture should also include:

    1. the overruling of CCM opinions Ag. 1915 and 01-2240; and
    2. the censure of the CCM members, by name, for approving such opinions.

  2. Jeff Schneider
    February 1st, 2010 at 22:46 | #2

    Pr. Henrickson, Thanks again for speaking to me today with help and insight on submitting our congregation’s nominations. Other questions to anyone out there: 1) with each circuit sending one ordained and one lay delegate, do they each cast a separate ballot at the convention for SP and VP’s ? 2) Do most circuits ask their delegates to vote for SP and VP’s based on that curcuit’s consensus for these officers, or do the delegates vote on their own personal preference ?

  3. February 1st, 2010 at 22:54 | #3

    It was good talking with you, Jeff! Now to your questions:

    1) with each circuit sending one ordained and one lay delegate, do they each cast a separate ballot at the convention for SP and VP’s ?

    Yes, they each cast a separate ballot.

    2) Do most circuits ask their delegates to vote for SP and VP’s based on that curcuit’s consensus for these officers, or do the delegates vote on their own personal preference ?

    Delegates “shall attempt to discover the sentiment of the members” of their circuits, but “every delegate shall be permitted to vote according to his or her own conviction” (Bylaw 3.1.2.2).

  4. February 2nd, 2010 at 12:05 | #4

    Opinions 02-2296 and 02-2320 are found in paragraph 114 of the January 20-21, 2003, minutes of the CCM.

    Opinion 02-2309 is found in paragraph 115 of the January 20-21, 2003, minutes of the CCM.

    These three opinions collectively are another example of the Nuremberg Defense (“Befehl ist Befehl”).

    The phrase originated after World War II during the Nazi war crime trials at Nuremberg, during which Nazi leaders, charged with various war crimes, used the defense, “I was only following orders,” such that it became known as the “Nuremberg Defense.”

    These CCM opinions extended the Nuremberg Defense to cover heterodox activities, such as unionism and syncretism.

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