(Editor’s Note: We have several key issues that we are tracking on this site. Lately our attention has been rightly drawn to the threatened legal action. We have not forgotten about the homosexual case in Washington, the petition signers in River Forest and of course the Blue Ribbon panel. Andy S. has written a nice piece on the panel’s work. We have numerous confessional groups that post regularly here on the BJS site including the Texas Confessional Lutherans. You can see all of our regular column here.)
THE REPORT OF THE TASK FORCE ON SYNOD STRUCTURE AND GOVERNANCE TO THE LAITY OF THE LCMS:
It is extremely critical for such a time as this that the laity be well informed about the proposals of this Task Force, which was appointed by President Kieschnick. Final proposals will be presented for discussion and a vote at the 2010 Houston, Texas synodical convention July 10-17, 2010. Why is it absolutely vital that the laity of our church body be educated about the proposals? The future of our synod depends on it!
We know that next to God it was the laity of synod that won the Battle of the Bible in the 1970s! They were educated and catechized about the false teachings being taught to our pastors at the seminary in St. Louis. They knew what was happening and they were upset because false teaching was being proclaimed as the truth of God’s Word! Their knowledge of the problems resulted in their taking action in words, resolutions, and votes. Our synod was saved by the grace of God.
There needs to be a similar awakening among the laity toward some of the proposals of the Task Force. If it doesn’t happen, our synod in both doctrine and practice will continue its decline
While there are some good proposals in their document, “Walking Together: The LCMS Future,” there are also some proposals which should concern all of us who pray for and labor toward making our church body like unto our grandfather’s church in both doctrine and practice.
Allow me to bring to your attention some of these disturbing proposals and possibilities. It must be stated that these are only proposals and possibilities. However, if we do not speak out against some of these proposals, they may be accepted at the Houston convention next year.
First, some history. The Task Force first presented the “Proposals and Possibilities” at a national theological convocation in St .Louis August 18-20, 2008. Next the Task Force met with all 35 synodical district Board of Directors to present the proposals and to engage in discussion. From January through July, 2009 the Task Force will present proposals to and receive feedback from all 35 district conventions The first district convention was held in North Dakota on January 18-21. Task Force representatives will spend at least a day at each convention to talk informally with delegates.
Once all the district delegates are elected for the 2010 synodical convention (October 10 is the final date for election of convention delegates), President Kieschnick will host regional caucuses of the delegates to present the proposals, concepts, and options for consideration and discussion. There will be nine convention delegate regional caucuses across the country from December 2009 through February 2010. On July 9, the day before the Houston convention begins, the Convention Floor Committee on Synod Structure and Governance will conduct an open forum for Q & A and dialogue at the Houston convention site. On July 11-12 (Sunday-Monday), convention time will be dedicated to the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Synod Structure and Governance.
Some of the proposals:
- “Allow congregations with more than 750 confirmed members to be represented by two additional delegates for each additional unit of 750 confirmed members or majority thereof.” We have always operated with each congregation (no matter what its membership) having two delegates: a pastor and a layman. Why the change?
- “Overtures to a district convention from individual member congregations that have been channeled through a circuit forum will receive priority consideration at the district convention.” Why?
- “Increase the number of districts from 35 to 100 with approximately 60 congregations in each district.” More bureaucracy! More parish pastors in administrative district offices!
- Omit the action of electing convention delegates. There will be no need for electoral circuits. The district president will be involved in the selection of circuit counselors. Shouldn’t each circuit alone be responsible for this task? Is this not another step toward centralization of power?
There are many, many more concerns which need to be thoroughly examined and discussed.
LAYMEN AND WOMEN: PLEASE ACQUAINT YOURSELVES WITH THE TASK FORCE PROPOSALS: THE FUTURE OF OUR SYNOD DEPENDS (AFTER GOD, OF COURSE) ON YOU!
Rev. Andrew Simcak, Jr.
Texas Confessional Lutherans