One thing I love is reading history and how our forefathers handled the situations that come up in our daily interactions. Pastor Albert Collver III over on abc3miscellany has been reading the memorials to the 1944 Synod Convention, and found something that interested him. Keep an eye on abc3miscellany for more reports as he looks through our common history.
Pastor Collver speaking:
Free Professors’ Garages — Memorial to Synod 1944
Lately to help me go to sleep at night, I have been reading the Reports and Memorials for the Twenty-Fourth Delegate Synod (Thirty-Ninth Regular Convention) Assembled at Saginaw, Michigan June 21-30, 1944. A number of fascinating and potentially relevant reports and memorials can be found there. Look for more to come in the near future. Imagine if overtures about Professors’ Garages appeared in 1944, what other overtures might appear, such as “Supreme Authority of General Conventions,” “Enlarging Electoral Circuits,” “Reduction of Number of Delegates to Convention.” As the Preacher (Qoheleth) said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
One report and memorial that particularly caught my eye was titled, “Free Professors’ Garages.”The PDF of it can be viewed/downloaded Here. I sure am glad I don’t need a Synod in Convention to have a garage.
Click on the images to the right to view them more clearly; the text has been transcribed below.
Free Professors’ Garages
The Synodical Handbook, edition 1937, pp. 69 ff., regarding the salaries of the professors at our seminaries and at our seminaries and colleges, adds the statement: “Salaries herein mentioned are understood to include a place of abode.”
In the proposed Handbook revision now before Synod for approval we find the same regulation expressed in section 436 D as follows: “In addition to the above (salaries), Synod shall provide a suitable residence for each professor.”
Twenty to fifty years ago the “place of abode,” the “suitable residence,” under the then prevailing conditions included also the use of outbuildings, such as coal or woodshed, buggy shed, etc., furnished by Synod. But times and conditions have changed. Residences in our time have not such outbuildings as in former times. Only one attachment is generally connected with the “suitable residence” of the present time, perhaps built under the same roof with residence or erected as a special building as the only outbuilding. It is the shelter for the automobile, the garage. Synod also recognized this change in the regulation recorded in Synod’s Handbook, p. 65, reading: “Boards of Control and Synod’s Board of Directors shall build garages for professors at our institutions whenever it seems necessary or expedient.”
The Boards do that at present, as the Boards in by-gone days built outbuildings as needed under the prevailing conditions of former times. But in one respect there is a difference, namely, in respect to the use of the outbuilding. Synod’s regulation says, p.69, 5: “However, the professors are held to pay a reasonable amount of rent for the use of such garages.” The former outbuildings could be used by the professors without paying rent for them.
When this ruling demanding rent for the use of the garages was made, there may have been a plausible reason for it, because the automobile was something new and not in use as a common which is no longer the case.
Therefore, as the change of time and conditions has outdated the common use of the formerly needed outbuildings, the use of which was given to the professors without rent, this conditions has made the automobile a thing of general use in all the communities of our country and makes the demand of rent from our professors for the use of the garage to appear also as outdated, causing difficult situations for the Board of Control in bringing about just and fair settlements.
It is for this reason that the undersigned petition Synod to eliminate the demand for rent for the use of the garage by our professors and to furnish the use of the garage free with the free use of the suitable residence to all the professors of our seminaries and colleges.
THE BOARD OF CONTROL OF CONCORDIA TEACHERS SEWARD, NEBR. L C. HEINECKE, Chairman F. WORTHMANN, Secretary
 Free Professors’ Garages
In the annual meeting on January 7, 1944, the voters of our congregation adopted the following resolution:
WHEREAS, We should expect the professors at our institutions to be situated so that they may enjoy the ordinary conveniences of the average American family; and
WHEREAS, The average American family enjoys the convenience of an automobile; and
WHEREAS, Most ministers own automobiles; and
WHEREAS, It is the custom that congregations furnish a garage for the pastor’s automobile; therefore
Emanuel Ev. Lutheran Church at Hamburg, Minn., herefore petitions the Delegate Synod of 1944 to adopt a resolution to furnish garages for those of our professors who desire to own and automobiles.
EMANUEL Ev. LUTHERAN CHURCH
L. F. WOHLFEIL, Pastor
ERNST ZUMHOFE, Elder
HENRY A. BOHLMANN, Elder
MARTIN JAUS, Elder