Great article found over on Pastor Ken Kelly’s blog, Priestly Rant:
I’m not going to say it was a political move, but when the Chairman of Floor Committee 3 said this morning that he wanted to move through easier resolutions to spend more time on those that would be more contentious, requiring more debate, I thought that was a smart thing to do. When Floor Committee 3 re-convened this afternoon, I hoped, as did many of my colleagues, that 3-10A would be the first item of business, because 3-10Adirectly impacts the lives of men. Despite a motion by our brother in Christ, the Rev. Hans Fiene, and the best efforts of our other brother in Christ, the Rev. Chris Amen, the will of the body was neither to take up Resolution 3-10A nor to push back the Orders of the Day. Resolution 3-10A was read, the Chairman, the First Vice-President of Synod, the Rev. Herb Mueller, called time.
Despite all the resolutions and overtures, the sermons and the essays dealing with the topic of “walking together” or “baptized for this moment,” mercy is purely a function of the clock and the whims of a voting body, one of whom came to the microphone to ask what the difference was between a “Candidate” and a “Non-candidate.” His query however was not in order. Endless speaking on the authorized version of the Catechism was however in order.
Tomorrow is in the Lord’s hands and only he knows what will take place. Committee 3 is not listed on tomorrow’s agenda, and as I understand the process, the President of Synod could bring the Resolution to the floor. Whether this will happen or not remains a mystery. What is perhaps a greater mystery is how a church body can allow itself to devolve to the point of needing a resolution to act in mercy; or, how the same church body can tout its robust efforts at mercy nation and world-wide, while ignoring its own men; or, how this church body can allow its own Confessions to be ruled “hostile.” Every type of ministry within the LCMS has been heralded over the course of the past three days, from the Malaria Initiative to Lutheran Hour Ministries to Black Ministry. If back-slapping, congratulatory speeches, and motions of commendation were 2×4’s we could have built a stairway to heaven, and perhaps, perhaps, from that vantage point we would finally be able to look down and see those men whom we have forgotten and failed.
If Resolution 3-10A is not brought up, or fails, or is returned to the Floor Committee, Christ has simply abandoned the LCMS. 3-10A is certainly not a panacea, and while the few teeth that it has could have been sharper, its passage or defeat will send a very clear message to our men on CRM and those returning from overseas duty; quite simply it will say “You matter,” or “You don’t.” And let’s be very clear: we’re not talking about throwing a few dollars at these men, the way you might do a homeless person standing at a Wal-Mart entrance; we’re talking about returning these men to parishes and repairing an intensely politicized District placement process. We’re talking about compelling ecclesial supervisors to be more than political appointees and actually become shepherds of the men under their care. We’re talking about restoring dignity to these men that have in many cases been unjustly stripped from them. We’re talking about ‘hesed, a loving kindness.
3-10A, quite frankly, will demonstrate to parish pastors and the world, just exactly the extent and the degree institutional mercy. Will we ask the question of Luke’s lawyer: “Who is my neighbor”? Or will be quietly and lovingly pick up our brothers and their families, and set about the business of restoring them?
From page 244 of Today’s Business:
To Appoint a Task Force to Study the Call Process for Returning Missionary and Military Chaplains and Other Rostered Church Workers without a Call
President’s Report, Part 2 (TB, p. 20); Overtures 3-24; 7-17 (CW, pp. 155; 255–256); Resolution 7-06 (TB, p. 150)
In our life together as The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod there is great concern for professional church workers in candidate and non-candidate status who are without calls, including returning military chaplains and missionaries. Committees 3 (Life Together) and 7 (Structure and Ecclesiastical Matters) have become aware of the urgent need to address this issue with compassion.
However, the situation is not only urgent but intricate. Any solution needs to be one that upholds the doctrine of the call while taking into account any necessary bylaw changes and their ramifications. Precipitous action without more thoughtful consideration may result in an incomplete solution or unforeseen consequences.
For these reasons, Committee 3 is encouraging immediate action by district presidents and calling congregations to address the pressing human need of such workers. At the same time, the committee believes that a task force is necessary in order to recommend a comprehensive solution.
WHEREAS, Ordained missionaries and military chaplains have diverse experience and skills in preaching the Gospel to various peoples; and
WHEREAS, Ordained field missionaries and military chaplains serve in a temporary position which eventually comes to a conclusion and are available for and desire pastoral calls; and
WHEREAS, There are other categories of ordained and commissioned professional church workers who are also available for calls and service to the church; and
WHEREAS, It is poor stewardship that these gifts from God are not being fully utilized because a call has not been received in a timely manner; and
WHEREAS, As of January, 2013, 207 ordained and 611 commissioned church workers on candidate status, along with some on non-candidate status, were seeking calls; and
WHEREAS, Soldiers of the Cross exists to serve both active and inactive professional church workers and their families who are in need; therefore be it
Resolved, That each district president be encouraged earnestly to give specific and individual attention to LCMS professional church workers on both candidate and non-candidate status; and be it further
Resolved, That LCMS congregations be encouraged to give prayerful consideration to calling professional church workers who are on candidate or non-candidate status who desire a call; and be it further
Resolved, That the President of the Synod appoint a task force to address these matters; and be it further
Resolved, That this task force study the need for a placement process for returning military chaplains and missionaries; and be it further
Resolved, That this task force also study the candidate status and non-candidate status of all church workers to aid and encourage congregations and other entities in calling qualified candidates in a timely manner; and be it further
Resolved, That this task force include but not be limited to representatives from the Council of Presidents, the seminaries, and the Concordia University System; and be it further
Resolved, That this task force make a report and recommendations to the Synod no later than one year prior to the 2016 Synod convention; and be it further
Resolved, That the Office of National Mission be encouraged to continue its service through Soldiers of the Cross; and be it finally
Resolved, That synod congregations and their members be encouraged to give to the Soldiers of the Cross annual fund drive.