Convention 2016: Electing delegates, by October 9 (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)


Convention 2016: Electing delegates, by October 9

It’s time to prepare for the National LCMS Convention. The convention will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 9-14, 2016, and there are a number of things that need to happen to prepare for it: electing delegates; nominating people for various boards, commissions, etc.; nominating for synod president and vice-presidents; and submitting overtures. (Electing the synod president will take place four weeks prior to the convention.)

The election of delegates to the 2016 convention needs to take place by October 9 of this year. To do that, between now and October 9, several steps need to be followed at the congregational and circuit levels:

1. Your circuit visitor needs to schedule a circuit forum, to be held no later than Friday, October 9. Make sure that he has done so and that all the congregations know the details.

2. Your congregation needs to schedule a meeting to be held no later than the day before the circuit forum. This can be part of a regular voters’ meeting, or it can be a very brief special meeting, even just 5-10 minutes, since the purpose is simply a) to select one congregational layperson to vote at the circuit forum, and b) to nominate one circuit layperson for convention delegate.

3. At this meeting, your congregation should designate a layperson from your congregation to vote at the circuit forum. Your congregation will get one pastoral vote and one lay vote at the forum. (A multiple-point parish will get one pastoral vote for the whole.)

4. At this same meeting, your congregation may nominate any layperson from any circuit congregation to be elected as the circuit’s lay delegate to the 2016 convention. (It’s helpful to find out first if that person is willing and able to attend next year’s July 9-14 convention.) The name of that lay nominee must be reported to the circuit visitor prior to the day of the forum.

5. Your congregation’s pastor and your designated lay representative should attend the circuit forum. Others may attend also, but only your two voters will cast votes for the election of circuit delegates to the 2016 convention. The pool of nominees for pastoral delegate consists of all the active parish pastors of the circuit–i.e., not vacancy, SMP, emeritus, assistant, or advisory status. The pool of nominees for lay delegate consists of only those previously nominated by the congregations and reported to the circuit visitor. At this forum, then, the circuit will elect, in this order: a) the pastoral delegate, b) the lay delegate, c) the alternate pastoral delegate, and d) the alternate lay delegate. These four need to represent four different congregations. The circuit visitor ought to know the prescribed procedure for conducting these elections.

All these steps on electing voting delegates to the national convention are explained in detail in the 2013 Handbook, Bylaw (pages 104-05). They are also outlined in a postcard mailing (#8) that was sent out by the Secretary of the Synod and can be found online:

It’s Time … to Elect Your 2016 LCMS Convention Voting Delegates

The election of delegates is a very important first step in preparing for the 2016 national convention. Make sure to see that these elections take place by October 9.

Nominating individuals for various boards, commissions, etc., also has an October 9 deadline, and we’ll take that up in the next article. Other important steps will follow–e.g., nominating for synod president and vice-presidents, submitting overtures–but those actions have later deadlines, and so we’ll take them up at another time.


Convention 2016: Electing delegates, by October 9 (by Pr. Charles Henrickson) — 3 Comments

  1. Dear Pastor Henrickson,

    Thanks very much for these reminders. Pastors get reminders from the Secretary of Synod in postcard and/or email form, but sometimes forget about them. Communication of these matters to lay officers in congregations is more sporadic, depending on the congregation, though the Secretary does everything humanly possible to get the word out to them.

    There is a new wrinkle in the nomination and election process that Secretary Hartwig just alerted us to. See

    What it means is that there are strict requirements, or qualifications, for anyone getting onto the CUS board or any of the ten university Board of Regents. You don’t even get considered by the Synod Nominating Committee if you don’t meet those requirements. I am still trying to figure out how all this will work in practice, including the new Regional board member nomination system.

    These are some of the final effects of the restructuring done in 2010 by the “Blue Ribbon Task Force on Synodical Structure and Governance” (BRTFSSG). BJS authors commented alot on that Task Force in 2009 and 2010, and opposed many of its recommendations. But the convention adopted most of the proposals, at the Synod President’s urging, and so we have to live with them and work with them.

    I hope that maybe in your upcoming posts on this subject you can clarify what all these new requirements and processes mean. I am still befuddled. . . .

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  2. Pastor Nolan,
    Why, is it, so many, for so long have to live under & suffer for huge mistakes, that everyone, lauds, yet refuses to say, were a mistake?!

    This isn’t Rome, we do not have infallible leaders, why do we not, admit err, in any of this?

    These things, filter down to a pew, on so many levels. Why can we not rescind, if our very Foundations, say it be error?

    Are we LCMS & WELS, still really Lutheran? This is unnerving, to far too many.

  3. Hey, Rev. Henrickson or Rev. Nolan, or anybody out there, do you happen to know when and to whom that “postcard” notification was mailed out?

    just a layman trying to see through the murk,

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