2010 LCMS Convention Resolution 4-07

This is another in our series of resolutions to the 2010 Synod Convention, posted here to allow for discussion. If you have a comment on a specific resolution, see our Resolutions page. If the one you want to discuss is not yet posted, please contact us and we will add the resolution to start discussion.

This one seems odd .. the third whereas state “reduced mail service performance” .. do we have any proof of this? Is bulk mail slower today than it was 3 years ago? Can we find out in detail where this $70,000 was spent?

The fifth whereas states that the bylaws were written before “electronic communication tools”, which would imply they are going to distribute things by email to meet the requirements.

Then the bylaw changes do the following:

  1. Raise the length of time BEFORE convention from 18 to 20 weeks for overtures
  2. Raise from 12 to 16 the number of weeks prior to convention that the President schedules floor committees (3.1.7c)
  3. The Convention workbook will be put on the website 12 weeks rather than 10 weeks prior to convention (3.1.8b)
  4. The Convention Workbook will no longer be distributed to all ordained/commissioned ministers, but only to delegates and officers (3.1.8b)
  5. Raise from 7 to 9 weeks prior to convention that delegates/members can comment on the convention workbook (3.1.8c)
  6. First edition of Today’s Business no longer sent to each congregation (3.1.8)
  7. First meeting of nominations committee changed from “within 9 months” to “at least 6 months” prior to convention (
  8. No longer require 2 nominees for each position, instead “When possible” (
  9. The Chair of floor nominations no longer needs to have the list of nominees that are available for floor nominations (
  10. Decrease number of presidential/1VP nominations from 5 to 3, and number of 2-5th VP nominations from 20 to 10. (
  11. Raise the praesidium nominations from 4 months to 5 months prior to convention (3.12.1c)
  12. Change presidential election to only 2 votes ( (I guess it makes sense since there are now only 3 nominees, but what about floor nominations?)

Some of these changes make no sense to me, nor do they fit the whereas’s listed in the resolution. To me, given electronic communication, we should be DECREASING the amount of time required prior to convention for some of these items, not increasing them. Where in the whereas’ below is the requirement to decrease the number of nominees for the praesidium?

And why would they stop sending information to members of synod — both ministers and churches (items 4 and 6 above)?



To Amend Bylaws re Convention Preparations
Overture L4-25 (TB, pp. 34–39)

WHEREAS, Changes in requirements for the preparation of pre-convention materials and changes in the conditions under which such materials are gathered have made existing bylaw deadlines difficult to meet; and

WHEREAS, Reduced mail service performance has resulted in delays in the delivery of convention materials; and

WHEREAS, Accommodating such reduced mail service performance has resulted in an increased cost of at least $70,000 for the 2010 convention; and

WHEREAS, Timely receipt of pre-convention materials is essential for proper preparation for conventions of the Synod; and

WHEREAS, In the interest of transparency, widespread provision of information regarding convention business is desirable; and

WHEREAS, Existing bylaws predate the availability of electronic communication tools that allow for timely and economical distribution of materials; therefore be it

Resolved, That the bylaws governing the submission of convention business and the distribution of pre-convention publications be amended as follows:

(( following change in bylaws goes on for many pages; it is best to read it there ))

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord, LCMSsermons.com, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

Norm has been involved behind the scenes in many of the "go-to" websites for Lutherans going back many years.


2010 LCMS Convention Resolution 4-07 — 8 Comments

  1. One other item — I know in my church the timeline for overtures and nominations hit very abruptly. We just happened to have one of our quarterly regular meetings a week prior to the deadlines, and calls for nominations went out to the church for several weeks prior to that. I know others have been dealing with this for months (years?), and are ready with overtures and have had a chance to talk about nominations and are ready, but a good number of churches out there are just getting ready to think about the upcoming convention, and suddenly, in early March, the overture/nomination deadline hits.

    I wonder if we wouldn’t have greater participation in the convention by churches if we worked on DECREASING the time prior to convention that they had to talk about these things, rather than INCREASING it. The whereas states we not have “electronic communication tools” .. surely we could make use of these tools and make the process more efficient!

  2. This is another ignominious resolution that screams to be overwhelmingly defeated amid mockery and ridicule.

    But the hilarious irony of this resolution, which wants to “[r]aise the length of time BEFORE convention from 18 to 20 weeks for overtures,” is based on an overture received from the Commission on Structure after the deadline for receipt of reports and overtures but was accepted for convention consideration.

    As for putting the Workbook on the LCMS website 12 weeks before the convention instead of 10 weeks, this will WHAT?!? – Allow two more weeks for Brothers of John the Steadfast to speculate on which overtures will be completely ignored by various Floor Committee slavish lickspittle apparatchiks [shamelessly borrowed from Michael Walsh].

    The rest of the proposed changes are either suspect or just as pathetic.

    One does wonder why Committee 4, instead of Committee 8, is doing bylaw changes affecting structure and governance. Whatever.

    BTW, Committee 4 members include: Don Fondow, John Wille, Ken Lampe, Brian Saunders, Mike Ernst, W. R. Rains, John Zeile, George McAllan, Ronald Mischnick, Mark Richeson, Robert Smith, David Frank, and Jonathan Laabs.

    And the Commission on Structure members include: Carl Anton, Alan J. Barber, Bruce Dannemeyer, Raymond L. Hartwig, Albert M. Marcis, Walter L. Rosin, Ronald Schultz, and Marvin Temme.

  3. Interestingly, I’ve spotchecked the bylaws starting on page 169 of TB (170 of the PDF), and the changes made by this resolution are NOT in them.

    This brings me back to the point I made on Resolution 8-12 .. How are we going to reasonably have a set of bylaws after this convention with all these resolutions making changes, when we have different resolutions making different changes to possible the same bylaw items?

    For one specific item: 3.1.8; You can see what is changed above. Another place changes it to send the convention workbook to:

    … convention to each minister of religion–ordained and minister of religion–commissioned on the official rosters of the Synod …

    I.e. clarifying the wording from “ordained and commissioned minister”! What if both resolutions pass?

  4. @Norm Fisher #3
    To be legitimate, the floor committees are going to be working overtime to make sure their bylaw changes are rewritten everytime a resolution passes that affects the same bylaw. 8-xx resolutions have to worry since they are up first.

    It also means we delegates will be busy reading the revised resolutions amd making sure the bylaw changes acurately reflect the intention of the revised resolution.

    If the timeframe for the distribution of the first edition of Today’s Business doesn’t change, I don’t see the benefit especially since electronic transmission speeds allow you reduce lead times.

    I’m not sure I see the benefit of compressing the timeframe either. I just don’t want to see the first edition of Today’s Business released any later than it already is. I think I’m a pretty good reader and thoroughly digesting all these resolutions is going to take a large percentage of my non-working time. If it came out any later, I’d start to worry about the preparedness of the delegates.

  5. Please forgive me – I had not realized my retirement from the U. S. Postal Service would impact mail distribution to the point where the LC-MS would consider alteration of its Bylaws to compensate for the deterioration of service. Maybe we could check with CPH or Amazon.com to find out how they get their material delivered by the postal service so quickly. Maybe CPH just doesn’t mail that much out? This state of affairs has me truely concerned – think I’ll go golfing to consider the ramifications of retirement!

  6. Actually, the US Postal Service did not distribute delegate packages this year. My materials came by FED EX, the same distributer that CPH uses to send out their materials. And the dead lines are coming sooner rather than later in light of our electronic means of communicating today? I think committee 4 is a little goofed up here in rethinking their deadlines. Maybe they need more rationale.

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