Convention Procedure Updates (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

LCMS Secretary Ray Hartwig (pictured, right) has begun sending out mailings to alert congregations of various procedural changes that were enacted at the 2010 national convention, but which will affect the 2013 NATIONAL convention and also the 2012 DISTRICT conventions, which in turn calls for immediate action at the CONGREGATIONAL and CIRCUIT levels beginning now in 2011. The first mailing from Secretary Hartwig went out on September 1, and the second is going out today. These notices are also posted at the website on the page, Convention Procedure Updates. I’m putting the text of those two updates below. Please look over these points carefully, because a number of steps need to be taken at congregational voters’ assemblies THIS FALL, in order to move ahead at the circuit and district levels in 2012 and at the national level in 2013.

Also, to find out the dates of your district convention–the deadlines for submitting nominations, delegates, overtures, etc., will vary accordingly–see my previous post, Schedule of 2012 District Conventions.

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Mailing #1: 09/01/11

District Convention Delegate/Alternate Delegate Elections

With district conventions beginning as early as January 2012, congregations are already in the process of electing delegates and alternate delegates—always an important responsibility.

IMPORTANT CHANGE: District convention delegates also will cast their congregations’ votes in the national election of the President of the Synod, as required by Synod Bylaw

Four weeks prior to the national convention, the Secretary of the Synod, using lists of delegates in attendance at the prior year’s district conventions as submitted by the secretaries of the districts, shall provide, via a secure and verifiable method, opportunity for two voting delegates from each congregation in attendance at the previous district conventions who remain members of the congregations they represented to vote for one of the candidates for President….

AS CONGREGATIONS CHOOSE THEIR DELEGATES to their district conventions, they should note:
> Congregations can only participate in the 2013 vote for Synod President if they elect delegates.
> Delegates will only be permitted to participate in the vote if they attend their district conventions.
> While the electronic voting system to be used in the election of President will be user-friendly, some familiarity with and access to a computer and the Internet on the part of delegates will be helpful.

Information regarding how voting will be done will be addressed in future mailings.

Raymond L. Hartwig
LCMS Secretary

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Mailing #2: 09/15/11

Election of Delegates to Circuit Forums

Prior to the 2010 LCMS convention, Circuit Forums (official gatherings of representatives of the congregations of a circuit) were required to meet prior to national Synod conventions to conduct essential convention-related business. This has not changed.


Circuit forums now must also meet prior to district conventions to handle two essential items of business:
> Selection of a circuit counselor for the 2012-2015 triennium (for ratification by the convention)
> Adoption of overtures for district convention consideration, including recommendations for synodwide mission and ministry emphases for the 2013-2016 Synod triennium

WITH DISTRICT CONVENTIONS BEGINNING AS EARLY AS JANUARY 2012, congregations must plan now to elect their circuit forum representatives (Synod Bylaw 5.3.2): The circuit forum consists of a pastor of each congregation [of the circuit] and one member of each congregation designated by the congregation.

IT IS TIME FOR CONGREGATIONS TO SCHEDULE VOTERS MEETINGS to elect official circuit forum representatives. Specific information regarding the business to be addressed by these circuit forums will be provided in future mailings.

Raymond L. Hartwig
LCMS Secretary


Convention Procedure Updates (by Pr. Charles Henrickson) — 3 Comments

  1. Thanks for the information Charlie. I missed the fact that we needed to have a circuit forum before the district convention. I wonder how much of a burden this is going to be for circuits that cover a wide geographical area. We have always done the circuit counselor election by ballot. It seems a lot more efficient.

  2. Thanks, Pastor Henrickson. Do you have any idea how this change will impact our synod and its convention? I guess elections won’t take up convention time any more . . . and the outcome of the election will be known prior to the convention.

    Will the elections of the other officers of synod still take place at the convention?

    I know that the realigning of circuits was an issue during the administration of Dr. Kieschnick — and it probably happens to a lesser extent during every triennium. Will anything similar affect who votes under the new rules?

    If I understand correctly, there will actually be more votes cast under the new rules than the way it used to be done. Is that correct? I think that after the vote is cast, we will get an altogether different picture of the makeup of the synod than we did when circuit representatives cast their votes at the synodical convention.

    For example, let’s say that in a circuit, there were 10 congregations. 7 congregations in that circuit might favor a “blue” way of doing things and 3 congregations might favor a red way of doing things. But when the circuit came together to elect synodical delegates, they might have selected two delegates from the “red” congregations — or one delegate from a “red” congregation and another from the “blue.”

    In those cases, the the picture of the circuit (and by extension, the district and synod) might have looked like a “red” circuit — or at least evenly split as the two votes canceled each other out.

    But in the new way of doing things (though I might be completely misunderstanding this), the vote would look 70% “blue” and 30% “red.”

    In any case, I hope you can continue to clarify . . .

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