I had the opportunity to be a delegate to the Wyoming District Convention this past weekend. It was a good convention with relatively no controversy at all. The majority of resolutions were passed by a unanimous vote (including one attempting to correct TAALC [memorializing recognition of broken fellowship if they do not correct their errors], one asking Synod to restore AC XIV, one asking for Synod to return to our former (and biblical) understanding of women’s roles in the church [rescinding the controversial 2004 resolution], and one asking Synod to firm up on closed communion [get our nomenclature and practice right], and one asking Synod to restore the historic usage of Circuit Visitor instead of counselor). Unanimous, without much debate at all, and most amendments were received by friendly amendment by the resolution committee.
The Synod business presentation was done by 5th VP Rev. Dr. Scott Murray. He also taught on the subject “We believe, teach, and confess the Office of the Holy Ministry”.
The Wyoming District is focused upon pure doctrine and parish visitation. Harmony and unity result when such focus is made. That harmony and unity make for an excellent witness to the rest of the state, including an active mission to Native Americans, a very active campus ministry, four excellent classical-based elementary schools, and a new church plant this past year. Another benefit of this District is its size, which allows for a fraternity among pastors [during one of the evenings I think around 1/3 of the District pastors were in one hotel room enjoying Lutheran beverage] and helps foster good study and discussion.
I had previously served in the MN North District and attended their 2009 convention witnessing emotional debates and arguments over things like using Synodically approved worship materials (including Creative Worship) [something already required by our Constitution]. I am not sure any of the resolutions were unanimous there. I also attended the 2010 Synod Convention. That also saw very little agreement and much debate and argument. What showed at Synod Convention was a Synod deeply divided, the result of years of widespread doctrinal indifference.
When I was asked in a handout for what kind of focus the Wyoming District should have over the next three years, I responded with “exporting Wyoming to the rest of the Synod”.