To Restore Balance to the Composition of the Board of Directors

A Resolution
to Restore Balance to the Composition of the Board of Directors

WHEREAS The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (the LCMS) is a gathering of congregations walking together in the confession of faith, and

WHEREAS the LCMS had historically recognized the 2-part nature of the church (those gathered around God’s means of grace and those who are called by God to administer those means) by providing fairly balanced representation between pastors and laity on the various boards and commissions at the synodical level, and

WHEREAS the LCMS at its 2010 Convention adopted Resolution 8-16A, amending Bylaw regarding the composition of the Synodical Board of Directors to provide for four ministers of religion-ordained, one minister of religion-commissioned, and up to ten laypersons, and

WHEREAS concern was expressed from the floor of the convention about the severe imbalance in the composition of the Board of Directors between laity and ministers of religion, and

WHEREAS the Rev. Dr. Wilbert Sohns, on behalf of Floor Committee 8, answered those concerns by stating, “In 1917 as the Board of Directors came into being in the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod, and at that time it was an imbalance deliberately. Besides counting the President, Secretary and Treasurer, and so forth, this is what the 1917 Constitution says – ‘one pastor and three laymen,’” and

WHEREAS the Rev. Dr. Sohns’ comments could only be limited to the directors elected at large, since the original composition of the Board consisted of 4 laymen and 3 pastors (both the President and the Secretary are required to be pastors, plus the pastor elected at large, the Treasurer is required to be a layman, plus the three elected at large), and

WHEREAS many delegates were confused, thinking the Rev. Dr. Sohns’ comment regarding a large imbalance referred to the overall composition of the Board, and

WHEREAS the remedy to such misunderstanding provided by Roberts’ Rules of Order, i.e. the incidental “Point of Information” (RONR (10th ed.), pp. 282f., ll. 25ff.), was effectively eliminated when Convention Standing Rule #24 made the Point of Information out of order when another has the floor, and

WHEREAS the original proposal of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Synodical Structure and Governance maintained that near balance (8 ordained/commissioned ministers, 9 laypersons) by increasing the representation both of pastors and laity, and

WHEREAS Floor Committee 8, in an effort to save money, reduced the proposed increase in the size of the Board of Directors by increasing the number of laypersons even more while reducing the number of pastors to below the levels prior to the 2010 convention,

therefore be it

RESOLVED that we, _____________________, memorialize the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod in Convention to amend Bylaw as follows: The Board of Directors shall consist of no more than 15 voting members, as follows:
1. One layperson elected from each of the five designated geographical regions
2. Two Four ministers of religion—ordained elected at-large by the Synod in convention
3. One minister of religion—commissioned elected at-large by the Synod in convention
4. Two laypersons elected at-large by the Synod in convention
Up to three at-large laypersons appointed by the elected members of the Board of Directors to obtain needed additional skill sets (legal, finance, investment, administration, etc.)
6.5. The President and the Secretary of the Synod
With the exception of the President and Secretary of the Synod, no more than one voting member from each category and no more than two voting members total may be elected from any one district. The First Vice-President of the Synod shall be a nonvoting member.
And be it finally
RESOLVED that we memorialize the _________________ District to adopt the above resolution.

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