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 lcms.org 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 22.214.171.124:
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
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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.
WHAT HAS 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