Ready for the 2013 convention?

The Synod’s Communications team has published a report on the latest board meeting. You can read the whole thing but here are a few highlights of board decisions:

* St. Louis will be the location of the 2013 convention. The dates are July 20 through 25. The past couple of conventions had been held in Houston, Texas.

* The International Center’s Human Resources Committee was authorized to use or recommend (I wasn’t entirely sure from the report) personnel cost-savings such as hiring freezes, voluntary early retirement, reductions in force and voluntary furloughs.

* Close to $200,000 was allocated to stream classical and sacred music over the Internet. Funding is contingent, however, on receiving a business plan by the end of the month. Funds will come from the proceeds of the KFUO-FM sale. The funds will cover dedicated studio space, software upgrades, broadband costs, a program administrator, a part-time programming assistant, other voice talent and renegotiated music licensing.

* Some bylaw changes were approved. New language no longer specifies that “every congregation” is to receive printed Convention Proceedings. However, these Convention Proceedings must now be posted on the Synod’s web site. And all delegates will get printed copies. Another bylaw encourages congregations who are expanding beyond their district to discuss their intent with their own district officials and those in the area they seek to expand to. The expansion requires the concurrence of both district presidents.

* Last February, the board authorized spending $150,000 to look into a “world-class” attraction center for the International Lutheran Society of Wittenberg. So the board looked at results of that study. Tentatively called the “Martin Luther Experience,” it’s format and approach would be similar to that of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. The theme for the “experience” would be “Just by Faith … Just in Christ.” But don’t worry. Sam Nafzger says it’s going to be done right and give proper credit to confessional Lutheranism. Depending on the size of the project, it would cost between $17.2 and $36 million. Costs would be offset by a German government subsidy. A business plan was requested and is hoped for by the Board’s February meeting.

* Finally, Concordia Health Plans reports that they chose to have the “grandfathered plan” status under the new Obamacare, making them exempt from some — but not all — of the reporting and regulatory requirements introduced by the reforms. The law will limit CHP’s ability to change its plan design.

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