WMLT Blog — Presidential Election “Heads-Up!”

Found on the Witness, Mercy, Life Together blog —

Some of us remember life together on school playgrounds when different games overlapped with a softball game, when cries of “heads up!” alerted rope-jumpers and four-square players that a fly ball was on its way.

This blog will sound similar alerts in months to come, calling readers’ attention to in-coming changes associated with LCMS conventions. And although the next convention is two years hence, the first major change is already in the air and truly warrants a “heads up!”

2013 Presidential Election Process

2010 Res. 8-17 “To Elect the Synod President,” after noting the President’s service to the entire Synod and the availability of new technology, authorized the election of the President in a manner that will allow direct participation by the Synod’s congregations.

Beginning with the 2013 convention, congregations (or parishes in cases where more than one congregation is served by the same called pastor) will elect the President of the Synod even before the delegates to the convention gather in St. Louis. The manner in which congregations (or parishes) avail themselves of this opportunity to participate is the subject of this “heads up!”

2012 District Convention Delegate Selection

In months to come, congregations (or parishes) will be electing their voting delegates to their district conventions. While district convention delegate selection has always been important, Res. 8-17 has increased its importance. The congregations and parishes of the Synod will now participate in the election of the President of the Synod through their district convention delegates who, four weeks prior to the following year’s national convention, will vote on their congregations’ behalf.

And this warrants another “heads up!” The presidential voting privilege will be restricted to those delegates who actually attend their district conventions. District secretaries will provide lists of delegates who were in attendance at their conventions to the Secretary of the Synod. These lists will constitute the official list of eligible voters for the presidential election.

Bylaw (2010 Handbook, p. 183), which governs the presidential election process, does allow for “substitute voters” when district convention delegates are no longer members of the congregations they represented or are otherwise unavailable. But the bylaw does not provide opportunity for a congregation to name a substitute when a delegate fails to attend the district convention.

More to Come

Specific information regarding this election process will be provided in due time, with some manner of electronic voting likely to be involved. Suffice for now to take note of the importance of the election of delegates to next year’s district conventions during this fall’s congregational voters’ meetings.

Raymond L. Hartwig, LCMS Secretary

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.

More of his work can be found at KNFA.net.


WMLT Blog — Presidential Election “Heads-Up!” — 5 Comments

  1. So, does this mean each congregation gets one vote? By the lay delegate? Or does the pastor also get a vote. I know of congregations that might have two different votes, but I’d hope pastors would still get a vote, too.

  2. Both the lay and pastor will be voting–so each congregation will receive two votes!

  3. What about dual parish (or three parish) situations where one pastor splits his time between more than one congregation? In the past, a dual parish would only have three votes between the two congregations, right? Also, a congregation where the pastor has taken another call, leaving that congregation vacant, would only get the one lay vote, right?

    My comment is not directed at Rev. Sterle, just to be clear. My point is: unless these things I mentioned above were addressed in restructuring (which I doubt), not every congregation will receive two votes.

  4. Clearly, this looks far more organized, efficient and friendly to the congregations. >.>

  5. @Josh Schroeder #3

    What I understand is that a dual parish would still have only one pastoral vote and one lay vote–this is also for those parishes that are three point. I am not remembering for sure, but I do believe it was discussed at the 2010 convention about the lay vote being based on the congregations. There was also some discussion about allowing the vacancy pastor to vote in the place of the pastor who has left. But again–I am not sure of what was decided.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.