Rocky Mountain District in Convention 2015 – Recommendations on the Overtures

The Rocky Mountain District LC-MS will meet in Convention for the 50th time from 4-6 June 2015 at the Hyatt Regency in the Denver Tech Center.

The agenda is surprisingly light with only 14 Overtures to be considered and several of them are pro forma affairs. Unfortunately, there is no information on how many Overtures did not make the Convention Workbook, or what the content of the discarded ones is.

In keeping with recent trends, we assume that few made it out of the floor committees which have become the power brokers in the LC-MS alongside the almighty Council of Presidents.

This is a summary of each Overture with a recommendation on voting:

FLOOR COMMITTEE #1 – MERCY

  • 2015-1-01 To support church worker health in the Rocky Mountain District

    NOTE: Your author has received some clarifying information regarding this Overture that motivates a change in the recommendation.


    Summary: Request for a Church Worker Wellness position in the District to provide emotional, physical, spiritual, and financial support / counseling for church workers and their families.
    Response: The Overture is intended to prevent or reduce pastor abuse by congregations, although it is not that clearly worded.
    RecommendationConsider and amend to use existing assets and resources rather than create an office which may not have any better impact than existing ecclesial oversight. Doxology is a RSO of the LC-MS and already provides the care services described in the Overture.
  • 2015-1-02 To establish a task force for ministry to and with people with disabilities

    Summary: To establish a Disability Ministry Task Force to facilitate improved accommodation of disabled individuals.
    RecommendationVote for, but amend  to exclude the reference to sourcing funding from Thriven Financial for Lutherans. Thrivent is now a secular organization that has taken positions in opposition to the Lutheran Confessions.
  • 2015-1-03 To support seminarians in southern Africa
    Summary: To raise $390,000 to support seminarians and their families attending the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane, South Africa.
    RecommendationVote for.
  • 2015-1-04 To address concerns regarding the Rocky Mountain District Scholarships for church work students
    Summary: To improve the allocation of scholarships to students that are studying for future careers as professional church workers.
    Recommendation: Vote for, but amend to request that the Scholarship Committee investigate ways to“clawback” scholarships in the event that a recipient chooses a field other than professional church worker upon graduation.

 

FLOOR COMMITTEE #2 – WITNESS

  • 2015-2-01 To support and give thanks for the work of the Biblical Orthodox Lutheran Mission (BOLM)

    Summary: To support BOLM’s Arabic language outreach.
    RecommendationVote for.
  • 2015-2-02 To establish mission and ministry priorities
    Summary: To commit half the RMD’s unrestricted funding to support church work; to commit half the LCMS’s resources to mission work; that the LCMS communicate its mission activities better; that the LCMS spend more on Seminaries and Synodical Colleges; that the LCMS better uphold Article III of its Constitution; that LCMS officers maintain a confessional posture in the public square.
    Response: This is an example of a terrible Overture that should never have made it out of committee. It is unfocused and abstruse, and is actually a patchwork of multiple overtures that amounts to abuse of the process.
    RecommendationVote against.

 

FLOOR COMMITTEE #3 – LIFE TOGETHER

  • 2015-03-01 To affirm our scriptural and confessional integrity
    Summary: To recommit the RMD to uphold Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions; to establish a task force to examine Synod Bylaws 2.14 regarding Expulsion of Congregations.
    Recommendation: Vote for.
  • 2015-3-02 To support proper ecclesiastical supervision in Synodical districts
    Summary: Dealing with false teachers like Dr. Matthew Becker, and the failure of his ecclesial overseers, by means of an impeachment process.
    Response: The LCMS must stop the abuse of its bylaws to shield false teachers. This is an excellent proposal to do that.
    Recommendation: Vote for.
  • 2015-3-03 To support freedom of district worship
    Summary: To remove the RMD restriction on the use of the Lutheran Service Book and non synodically approved resources.Response: This Overture is galling because it is a blatant attack on the “Walking Together” premise required for a Synod to be a Synod. Requiring the use of synodically approved resources has long been a condition of synod membership, and is salutary for right doctrine and practice in an age of rebellion against the Office of Holy Ministry.
    Recommendation: Vote against.
  • 2015-3-04 To rescind resolution 2012-3a-02
    Summary: A partner Overture to the one above – to rescind RMD resolution 2012-3a-02.
    Response: As evidenced by the many destructive examples of unbiblical worship and enthusiasm throughout the LCMS, it is evident that the training of pastors to lead and direct worship is uneven and requires constant oversight to maintain the Lutheran Confessions.
    Recommendation: Vote against.
  • 2015-3-05 To amend the Rocky Mountain District Bylaws and policy documents that reference Circuit “Counselor” to Circuit “Visitor”
    Recommendation: Vote for.
  • 2015-3-06 To have District President elect resign from call to congregation
    Summary: The President of the RMD should not maintain his call.
    Response: Most of the problems in the LCMS are the result of an all-powerful and unaccountable Council of Presidents. This Overture would be appropriate if it resolved that all District Presidents should have a rightly ordered call to maintain office. It is unthinkable that the RMD should ask a man to resign from an office instituted by Christ in exchange for one instituted by man.
    Recommendation: Vote against.
  • 2015-3-07 To ratify the Circuit Visitors of the Rocky Mountain District
    Recommendation: no opinion.

 

FLOOR COMMITTEE #4 – ELECTIONS

  • 2015-4-01 – Standing Rules
    Recommendation: Vote for.

Comments

Rocky Mountain District in Convention 2015 – Recommendations on the Overtures — 11 Comments

  1. 2015-3-02 To support proper ecclesiastical supervision in Synodical districts
    Recommendation: Vote for.

    What?! Just because the title sounds nice?!?

    2015-3-02 resolves to memorialize the Synod to adopt an “impeachment process” whereby

    “the national convention itself through a simple impeachment process, whereby the district president in question shall have the opportunity to defend his actions (or failure to act) before the convention, and only members of the Council of Presidents shall have the opportunity to engage in a rebuttal or affirmation of that defense, with a simple majority of the convention voting to impeach”

    Furthermore if this simply majority impeachment process is to be proposed for use against one DP for refusing to act on a pastor promoting pastrixes, then it need to apply to all DPs who refuse to act on any pastor promoting pastrixes, including a LCMS pastor currently serving as a General Secretary of a pastrix-ordaining church body in Africa, as well as any pastors unrepentantly promoting other anti-Lutheran doctrines, like paedocommunion or the canonicity of the Apocrypha.

    And delegates better be prepared for months-long synod conventions.

  2. The Kansas District is holding its convention at the same time the RMD is holding theirs. To echo Pastor Bolland’s words of advice, the most important action the Kansas District could take is to elect Peter Lange as our new DP.

  3. I remember Gary and Judy from when he was chaplain and stationed in Texas years ago.

    But can nominations be made from the floor? Rev. Piepkorn is currently listed as being nominated only for RM1stVP and Southern Area VP.

  4. Yes, nominations can be made from the floor at RMD conventions. This happened when I was running for DP in the RMD several years ago. The shoe-in for the position was 1st VP Randy Walquist and I was the token Confessional on the ballot. Then, two weeks prior to the convention Randy withdrew due to his wife contracting cancer for the second time…a very understandable withdrawal. That left me as the only name on the ballot and at that time there was no provision for floor nominations in the RMD Bylaws. Needless to say that in the wake of my involvement in the attempt to remove Benke from the synodical roster, the liberals on the Front Range got their nickers in a real knott, circulated an email throughout the RMD about what a terrible DP I would make, and the RMD BOD quickly decided to offer (as the first item of business before the convention), a resolution to receive floor nominations for DP, effective immediately. It’s so nice to be loved by the brethren! Long story short, what I believe was an unconstitutional Bylaw change was made effective immediately (something no other Bylaw change has ever done), and two additional names including Randy Golter (who had previously promised to support me), were added. The rest is history as they say. Frankly, I was and am still relieved that I was not elected, but at the same time I am reasonably certain I would have done a good job in the position. Anyway, yep…you can nominate from the floor at the RMD convention.

  5. Then I definitely would encourage delegates to nominate and elect Rev. Piepkorn as DP!

  6. The Missouri District convention meets in a few weeks and I don’t see very many overtures from the congregations or circuit forums. They’re all from the Board of Directors!

    Our circuit forum doesn’t meet at all or have circuit convocations except to elect their two Synodical delegates every three years. You can’t have “Koinonia” when the brethren do not meet.

    As I read the District workbook I think that if the District Board of Directors would stop submitting such useless resolutions, such as asking the delegates to give the District President more power over the Pastors’ Conferences, we wouldn’t need to have a convention this year.

  7. @Tim Schenks #7

    You should be extremely happy you’all will have a new DP. Maybe statements will stop being said from this new DP like: “All calls come from my office!” “I decide who gets placed in what congregation!”

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