Quick update on Monday convention

Just wanted to pop in and give an update on the convention. As you’ve already heard, some of the major restructuring passed with, as is sadly usual in Synodical politics, a narrow margin.

I went around to ask delegates about their mood and found, as you might expect, quite a few people who voted one way or the other. More surprising to me, at least, were the number of people who voted FOR restructuring who are strong, strong Harrison supporters.

Their thinking was that the restructuring was needed for efficiency reasons but that cutting a few costs or streamlining doesn’t mean they think current leadership should continue on. I heard a lot of nice words about how thankful people are for President Kieschnick’s service but that they really think it’s time for new leadership. Some said they don’t blame President Kieschnick alone for the woes of the Synod but that they think that he’s had time to implement his vision and it’s time to consider a new approach. I also met some JesusFirst supporters who are 100% for restructuring and 100% for continuing with Kieschnick. This surprises no one. And I talked to some Harrison supporters who think that — while this restructuring would give their guy a ton of power — they think it’s bad for the Synod in general.

I have more to report and just spoke on Issues, Etc. at 4:00. I’ll do that daily this week.


Quick update on Monday convention — 8 Comments

  1. Your report on the various mindsets is interesting, Mollie. However, it seems to me that this vote has caused the pendulum to swing in the direction of President Kieschnick.

  2. This Joel Brondos dude had a really helpful livefeed with chatroom just now. Hope that he gets that up and running tomorrow.

  3. Those who voted in the majority have a right to recall the adopted motion for reconsideration. This has been done in previous conventions (for example, we had voted to discontinue the commission [at that time] for black ministry, but that was overturned).

    Still, I wouldn’t suggest that anyone attempt that kind of a motion until one gets a better feel for the way the convention goes after the election. Such things aren’t always warmly welcomed — but they are possible.

    People may change their minds about what they have done when they see the real repercussions such actions would have — in the same way as the passing of Obama’s health care plan. Repeal.

  4. Just got back from Monday night service where our pastor described the restructuring as empowering congregations. He didn’t describe it any further, but would give those unaware the impression it will be a good thing.

  5. Thank you Mollie for your faithful work in listening and reporting. I’ve always thought it important to create the rules with your worst enemy in mind. That minimizes the damage they can do, even though it will hinder a good man in the office.

  6. I am an outside observer from Lutheran Church-Canada. Do these constitutional changes need to be ratified directly by LCMS congregations with a mail-in vote after they have been passed in convention or are they in effect immediately?

  7. “More surprising to me, at least, were the number of people who voted FOR restructuring who are strong, strong Harrison supporters.”

    If that surprised you, then I daresay you hadn’t been paying much attention. Clearly, the majority supported both restructuring, and the election of Matt Harrison, and the pre-convention indicators all seemed to point to this outcome. I count myself among the number who saw restructuring as absolutely necessary, as well as agreeing that it was time for new leadership.

    @Pastor Gordon Heselton #6 I do not believe the structural changes require congregational ratification, as they are changes to the bylaws, and not the constitution. The main change as I understand it comes from res. 8-08A which dissolves the old collection of governing program boards (which many believe were dysfunctional and redundant, each with their own budgets, agendas, CEO, fundraisers, etc.). In their place now is two mission boards, which are basically advisory in nature, with governance being the purview of the Synod’s board of directors. The transition will take place gradually, however, and I don’t expect we’ll see any mass-firings or other radical steps at the International Center. As has been stated elsewhere, these changes are intended to allow all of the necessary work of the Synod to continue, but with greater efficiency and accountability.

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