Insightful Review of the South Wisconsin District Convention, by Pr. Tom Chryst

Pastor Tom Chryst has documented on his blog and Facebook page several reviews of the various district conventions around the synod. If you are on Facebook we recommend you become friends with Pastor Chryst (if he will have you) to read the other notes he has collected from conventions around the country.  Here is his  insightful review of his own district convention from his blog.

South Wisconsin District Convention – Debriefing

Hello readers. I just got back from the SWD 2009 convention and I have to say it was the least bad district convention I have been to. Actually it was fairly boring, which is probably a good thing. (Remember the ancient Chinese curse: “may you live in interesting times”).

Having said that there were a few newsworthy items:

1) Our DP, Rev. John Wille was re-elected by acclamation. I can’t say I have always agreed with DP Wille’s handling of things, but he still gets overall good marks from me. He has been doing good work on the District’s massive financial problems (which he inherited), and has made some moves to bring us in a more Lutheran direction. He’s a good man.

2) A number of good, solid, Lutheran pastors and laypeople were elected to district offices.

3) The SWD heard the same presentation from the BRTFSSG that every other district gets to hear (and which is available online). I had already read the proposals closely. I was pleased that the district not only spoke against but also passed resolutions which discouraged these proposals (usually by margins of 70% or more!)

4) President Kieschnick gave his “Music Man” speech, his President’s report, and answered questions as usual. He also spoke at length from a floor mike during debate on one of the resolutions regarding restructuring. I’m not sure how this “played” with the delegates.

Much of what he said, I have heard/read from him before except this: This is the first time I have ever heard President Kieschnick mention blogs. As you can imagine, it was not in a favorable light, but a warning about falsehoods being spread.

5) Rev. Matt Harrison had just two half-hour spots in which he spoke more substantial theology than all the other presenters put together. He put a proper “Theology of the Cross” emphasis on the convention theme passage “With Unveiled Faces” (from 2 Corinthians 3:18 “We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face…”)

6) One elderly lady (86) thrilled the convention when she approached the mike and declared, “I hate bureaucracy!”

7) Another highlight was when a Brazilian pastor who serves in our district spoke his conscience, and in a very soft way criticized the convention’s opening worship.

8 ) That opening service was, for me, the lowlight of the congregation. All the music was handled by a “praise team”, and was quite contemporary. The preacher was Dr. Norb Oesch of PLI.

9) Josh Schroeder, a lay delegate, has some more commentary on the convention at his blog. One of those posts is here:


About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


Insightful Review of the South Wisconsin District Convention, by Pr. Tom Chryst — 4 Comments

  1. I was present in the “advisory delegate” section (for the second convention in a row — :-/), and I can witness to the truth of what Rev. Chryst said about the SWD convention. He pretty much hit it on the head.

    Tom, thanks for clarifying precisely what our Brazilian pastor was saying. Everyone I talked to didn’t get that out of what he said.

    Nevertheless, the opening worship (with the praise band) was a point of contention with pretty much everyone I talked with. Comparatively speaking, we had less people at the closing worship (because it takes place after the final gavel), and yet the congretational singing was, I would venture, almost twice as loud at the close as it was at the open. Plus, you were not annoyed with the occasional yuppie who would “swing and sway like Sammy Kaye” with the arms uplifted swaying in the breeze. But I digress.

    Man, I wish somebody had a audio or video recording of that 86-year-old! She was a hoot! Loved her!

    Overall, I was satisfied at the outcome as well. Now, maybe next time I can be a “voting” delegate … 🙂

  2. Tom, thank you for your report. I thought the convention went very well. Our President is a good man, the VPs are all in all solid, the majority of the BOD is very solid with some fine pastoral and lay editions. The only place no positive change occured was the CUW board, that being said it’s not like those Board members are flaming lib either. I am very pleased with how things went.

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