COP adopts five regions for elections (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

Newly posted at the Reporter at lcms.org is news of the Council of Presidents adopting a plan of five geographic regions for elections at the 2013 synodical convention.

One thing that becomes immediately apparent from the map is that one of the current LCMS vice-presidents would be forced out by this plan. Since 2nd Vice-President John Wohlrabe is from the Central Illinois District and 4th Vice-President Daniel Preus is from the Missouri District, and those two districts are both in the “Central” region, one of those two men would have to go.

Also, the Indiana District and the Missouri District are both in the “Central” region, which means that the convention would be prevented from electing as vice-presidents both a professor from the Fort Wayne seminary and a professor from the St. Louis seminary.

As a delegate to the 2010 convention, I was opposed to the regionalization resolutions, because regionalization unnecessarily limits the choices of the Synod in convention to elect the officers it wishes, individuals who may otherwise be the persons best suited for various positions.

Also, the scheme of five regions used at the 2010 convention to elect the newly created mission boards greatly underrepresented the Upper Midwest and gave unfair advantage to the West Coast, for example. It remains to be determined if this new configuration remedies that inequity. Are all five regions around the 20% mark, in terms of congregations and communicant membership? I’d like to see the numbers.

Here is the text of the report:

Geographic regions

In business relating to the 2010 Synod convention, the COP adopted the plan of a committee convened by Synod Secretary Dr. Raymond Hartwig to determine the five geographic regions of the Synod for the purpose of electing in 2013 five Synod vice-presidents, five lay members of the LCMS Board of Directors and the members of the Synod’s two mission boards as outlined in Resolutions 8-14A (vice-presidents), 8-16A (Board of Directors) and 8-08A (mission boards).

The plan fulfills the requirement that the boundaries of the five regions be determined at least 24 months in advance of each Synod convention and that all Canadian congregations of the Synod be included in a single region.

The five regions and the LCMS districts comprising them are as follows:

East/Southeast Region (in yellow on map) — Ohio, Florida-Georgia, Southeastern, New Jersey, Eastern and Atlantic Districts, as well as the 16 Canadian congregations in the SELC and English Districts.

Central (blue) — Kansas, Central Illinois, Southern Illinois, Missouri, Mid-South, Indiana and Oklahoma Districts.

Great Lakes (purple) — Iowa East, Northern Illinois, North Wisconsin, South Wisconsin and Michigan Districts.

Great Plains (green) — North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota North, Minnesota South, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa West Districts.

West/Southwest (red) — Northwest, California/Nevada/Hawaii, Pacific Southwest, Texas and Rocky Mountain Districts.

For this configuration of the regions, congregations of the non-geographic English and SELC Districts — other than the 16 in Canada — are included in the geographic LCMS districts in which they reside.

The committee’s plan also was approved by the Synod’s Board of Directors at its Feb. 17-18 meeting.

The committee creating the plan was composed of three members each from the BOD and the COP, in addition to the Synod secretary.

With approval from both Synod bodies, the plan now becomes effective.

Per the Synod Bylaws, the configuration of the regions will be revisited after the 2013 convention.

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