Stand Firm — Time to Submit Overtures

Found on Scott Diekmann’s blog, Stand Firm Be sure to submit overtures you have prepared or submitted to us here!


With the LCMS District Conventions fast approaching this year, and the LCMS national convention in 2013, it’s time to work on overtures if you haven’t already done so. Here’s a list of spots where you can go to see what other people’s overture ideas look like:

Suggestions from the Association of Confessing Evangelical Lutheran Congregations (ACELC) can be found here.

Suggested overtures on The Brothers of John the Steadfast website are here.

A list of older overtures from the Wyoming District can be found here.

A helpful overview of overture procedures can be found in the latest issue of The Lutheran Concerns Associations’ The Lutheran Clarion, available here.

Information about overtures from the 2010 LCMS Handbook can be found here.

A pdf of the District Convention dates can be found here.

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,, 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


Stand Firm — Time to Submit Overtures — 3 Comments

  1. Here’s one that, in my opinion, is a lot better than coffee shops or health clubs:

    To Establish Board-restricted Account for Purpose of Visitation

    WHEREAS, from the inception of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), its primary objective has been to “Conserve and promote the unity of the true faith” (Constitution, Article III.1) and,

    WHEREAS, The “The true faith” and “Lutheran doctrine” are identical, as our unconditional subscription to the Book of Concord says, and the “true faith” is the “faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3, ESV), and our Lutheran doctrine, the true faith, is the Gospel, proclaimed in the Word and distributed in the Sacraments, and

    WHEREAS, In the words of Friedrich Wyneken, “The purpose of this coming together [to form the Synod] was nothing other than to achieve the care, maintenance, and promotion of this unity, both inwardly and outwardly. The purpose of this unity, to the glory of God and for the salvation of the neighbor, was to bring in even more people through the knowledge of the truth, as the Lord commands us to do, and the Spirit of God who dwells within us accomplishes it. All the ordinances and regulations that the Synod had established when it was founded were put in place to that end.”

    WHEREAS, by 1854, the Synod had grown so large that it had been divided into Districts primarily in order that visitation of the congregations would continue, and

    WHEREAS, The LCMS Constitution states that “The district presidents shall…exercise supervision over the doctrine, life, and administration of the office of the ordained and commissioned ministers of their district and acquaint themselves with the religious conditions of the congregations of their district. To this end, they shall visit and, according as they deem necessary, hold investigations in the congregations” (Constitution, Article XII.7) and

    WHEREAS, The same articles states further, that “The [district presidents] assistants in this work are the circuit counselors, who therefore shall regularly make their reports to the district president” (Constitution, Article XII.7), and

    WHEREAS, the expenses connected with such visitation (travel, supply pastors, etc.) are often borne by both the visiting pastor’s congregation and the host congregation, and

    WHEREAS, the congregations of the ____ District support the District with their offerings in expectation that the district will endeavor to meet the Synod’s objectives, and

    WHEREAS, many congregations are having difficulty in meeting the ordinary cost of maintaining their pastor, their programs, and their physical plant, therefore be it

    RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors of the _____ District establish a permanently-restricted account in its yearly budget for the sole purpose of assisting its congregations with the costs of visitation, and be it further

    RESOLVED, that the value of said account be equal to one-half of one percent (1/2 %) of the total annual operating budget of the _______ District, and be it further

    RESOLVED, that funding for said account be apportioned by making necessary adjustments in the 2012 budget, and from such gifts as may be received, and be it further

    RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors and Presidium demonstrate their commitment to this account by personally contributing an aggregate total of at least _____ thousand dollars ($___,000) to initialize this account for the fiscal year 2012, and be it further

    RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors direct the District President and the circuit counselors to establish a three-year plan ensuring that every congregation in the ________ District will be visited at least once during each triennium, and be it finally

    RESOLVED, that the District President annually deliver a report to the Board of Directors summarizing the results of congregational visitations during the previous year.

    Johannes (fire when ready!)

  2. I read throgh the examples found on the links. It seems that quite a few concern moving away from CoWo and toward unity in worship style, though most of the writers didn’t explicitly say that the “unity” would involve moving all LCMS churches back into using only the services prescribed in our hymnal.
    I wonder what you guys think will be the direction taken at the next convention? Do you think that there is a probability that we will, as a synod and individual churches, move away from the current trend toward servicing the “wants” of the worshipers? Do you think that this may become a requirement, or a suggestion, for LCMS churches?
    I read a lot of comments and opinions on this, but I’m wondering if the Confessional movement is being realistic? What do you think? I’m seriously wondering. Thanks for your input.

  3. @sue wilson #2

    Hi Sue–

    The CoWo and “want-driven” ways of “doing church” are not going away. Their proponents and practitioners are too-well entrenched and set in their ways. A whole generation has been lost to this stuff, what Chris Rosebrough calls “Ecclesiastical Fascism,” in the current issue of LOGIA, (Epiphany 2012, p. 63). I highly recommend the piece (part I). The disagreements will continue, and I, for one, see continuing conflict. That is not to say that the confessionals should not continue to advocate their position, patiently teaching, and leading by example.

    The next Synodical convention will be very very interesting. Perhaps we’ll get a foretaste at the district conventions this year.


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