Gathering the Force in Dearborn (1 of 2), by Glen Piper

(Editor’s Note: This is from Glen Piper’s blog Territorial Bloggings. Glen is a delegate to the LCMS convention in 2010, so he attended the Regional Gathering in Dearborn, MI.)

I have been gathered in by the BRTFSSG!

I’m going to break my report into two parts, mainly to keep the posts shorter & more easily readable. Part 1 will briefly describe the nuts & bolts about the gathering itself, while Part 2 will deal more with the actual content & issues discussed at the gathering.

Over the course of 25 hours at the Dearborn Hyatt, voting delegates to the 2010 Synodical Convention (along with select invited guests from District Boards of Directors) from the Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and English (Northern Circuits) Districts enjoyed a tightly scripted & controlled opportunity to interact with a few members of the BRTFSSG, as those members gave a briefing on their final report.

Additionally, the Chair & Vice-Chair of Convention Floor Committee 8 (Structure & Governance) were at the gathering, collecting input to assist in the process of turning the TF’s 21 recommendations into the resolutions that will be debated & voted upon on the Convention floor. It should be noted that the FC8 reps (DP Stoterau, Chair & SVP Buegler, Vice-Chair) were also members of the BRTFSSG.

Organizationally/Practically, the delegates were assigned seats at one of 31 tables that were set up in the hall, such that clergy, lay, and districts were all mixed together. The tables had a capacity of about 9, but I didn’t notice that any table had more than 6; so, I’d estimate that there were about 200 people there.

As anyone who has been to a meeting/session/convention run by SP Kieschnick will readily admit, it was no surprise to find that this event was well-run from an organizational/process standpoint. The agenda had us scheduled for 8 hours on Friday — 6.5 in session & 1.5 in break/dinner. Saturday saw us in session for 4 hours, minus a 20 min break.

While the larger question re: the stewardship aspects of these events still hangs out there, it can be said that they got a great deal on the rooms/facilities at the Hyatt. For $97/night, they got stuff covered; that’s a darned good deal. So, good on them for good negotiating skills. (Still doesn’t fix the problems on the macro level wrt stewardship, though…).

The final two interesting process/procedure-related data points that I have are these:

  1. The next BRTFSSG Gathering, in Madison, WI, will be videotaped so that it can be made available on the web by the end of February (along with some other info, like sample feedback questionnaires, feedback summaries, etc…). You Madison attendees might want to dress appropriately for camera time! ;)
  2. At the Convention next July, the order of business will see us take care of BRTFSSG/Structure & Governance (FC8) issues *BEFORE* we tackle the business of electing officers. (I’m not sure just what that means, yet, but I’ve got a gut feeling that it will probably end up meaning something…)

That’s about it for Part 1. Part 2 is found here.

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