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 126.96.36.199 (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:
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.