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 resolution harmfully limits the input of the local congregation in two ways. First, it drastically reduces representation at the synod convention. If this resolution were in force this year the number of delegates to the national convention would be reduced from around 1300 to 10% of the congregations, or around 600. Does your church currently know who your delegates are? With that many more congregations to “report” to, will your church receive a report from your delegates in future conventions?It puts more power in the hands of fewer people. This is the same thing the ELCA did years ago which has resulted in a small group in that church rail-roading through unscriptural resolutions.
Secondly, it depends on other resolutions which eliminate the congregations from the selection of delegates. In the new structure delegates are selected by district conventions and not by congregations. This politicizes the process and puts it in the hands of beuracrats and takes it out of the hands of the people. If you like centralized power you will like this resolution. If you like to see decisions left in the hands of the people and the congregations you will have a problem with this resolution.
This resolution also demonstrates what a house of cards the BRTFSG proposals are. This resolution is related to the passage of at least two other resolutions. The Task Force has done us the disservice of creating such a tangled web of legislation that it will be hard for anyone person to understand it all. It is never a good thing to ask people to vote on something they do not fully understand.
To Determine the Number of Delegates at National Conventions
RESOLUTION 8-26 (starting on line 31)
Overtures 8-28–29, 8-31–32, 8-35–45, 8-60 (CW, pp. 231–236, 242)
WHEREAS, The Synod convention is the “principal legislative assembly, which amends the Constitution and Bylaws, considers and takes action on reports and overtures, and handles appropriate appeals and establishes general positions and policies of the Synod, provides overall program direction and priorities, and evaluates all such positions, programs, policies, directions, and priorities in order to provide responsible service for and on behalf of its members” (Bylaw 3.1.1); and
WHEREAS, Circuits no longer exist for the election of delegates; therefore the size of the national convention is undetermined, and
WHEREAS, Removal of the electoral circuits eliminates the need for exceptional circuit delegates; and
WHEREAS, Reducing the number of delegates
- enables greater engagement of the delegates in the discussion and the proceedings of mission and business;
- ensures equality in the number of delegates each district is apportioned; and
- allows for a greater stewardship of the gifts of God’s people for the work of mission and ministry by opening up less expensive venues;
therefore be it
Resolved, That the number of delegates to the Synod convention be fixed based on ten percent of the number of congregations in the Synod six months prior to the first district convention; and be it further
Resolved, That Bylaw 3.1.2 be amended accordingly, as shown (“2007 Handbook Convention Version,” TB, p. 228).
((Changes to the bylaws are too extensive to duplicate here; click the link immediately above to read it in Today’s Business))