LCMS Convention Levity

Concentrating when you and your assigned seat have become one can be problematic. One more “Press ‘one’ for ‘yes,’ press ‘two’ for ‘no’ ” and I’m gonna storm the dais. And I don’t need another guy going to the microphone to point out a punctuation error. Fortunately, every now and again our gracious God provides a bit of levity for listless delegates. Here’s a few of the lighter moments at the 66th Regular Convention of the LCMS.

 

Rev. Jaime Nava

Rev. Jaime Nava:

“…I believe this resolution is as good as a bag of bacon.”

 

Rev. Scot KernsRev. Scot Kerns, interrupting President Harrison as the orders of the day are being called:

“Point of order, Mr. Chairman. You skipped me, and I was going to call the previous question.”

President Harrison:

“Hey, you either have a very bright or a very dark future in the Synod.”

 

Rev. Nabil Nour

Rev. Nabil Nour’s response to someone hollering “Point of order”:

“What violation have I committed now?”

 

Packers

Packers or Vikings?

 

Rev. David Kuhfal

President Harrison to Pastor David Kuhfal, who hustled up to the microphone to call the question before the orders of the day were called on Floor Committee 16:

“The question’s been called. That is in order although it’s rude.”

 

Rev. Herb Mueller

Rev. Herb Mueller, responding to a motion that all Floor Committee 12 business be completed by the end of the day, which is only funny if you have a dry sense of humor:

“The Chair would point out that the Bylaws require delegates to attend all sessions to the end of the convention.”

 

Rev. Dan Freeman

My friend Rev. Dan Freeman, who said this to me in an email at the beginning of the convention:

“I promised myself, I wasn’t going to go to a microphone, EVER, during this convention….”

He spoke twice, (that I saw). Thanks to confessional Lutheran pastors who stand on the truth.

 

The Great Stache Debate

The great ‘stache debate of 2016: District President Forke’s mustache was voted best in the LCMS, beating out President Harrison’s more widely recognized mustache. Harrison took his defeat graciously, although not without mentioning the Luther quote “Councils can err.” Some delegates were dissatisfied that floor nominations were not permitted. I suspect this festering dispute will not be resolved soon. Stay tuned for further developments.

 

Rev. Mark Preus

The dialogue between Rev. Mark Preus and District President John Wille during the discussion of Resolution 12-07A, “To Clarify Definition of Dissent”:

Rev. Preus:

“…What about like um, you know, so, blogs that take a more, I don’t know, I’m just really conservative. I’m kind of worried about this.”

President Wille: “What’s your last name?”

Rev. Preus: “You are racist against Norwegians. This is very clear.”

About Scott Diekmann

Scott is a lifelong LCMS layman. Some of his vocations include husband, dad, jet driver, runner, and collector of more books than he can read. Oh, and also chocolate lover. He’s been involved in apologetics for over a decade, is on the Board of Regents at Concordia Portland, and is a column writer for the sometimes operational Around the Word Journal. He’s also written for Higher Things Magazine, The Lutheran Clarion, and has been a guest on Issues Etc. as well as the KFUO program Concord Matters.

Comments

LCMS Convention Levity — 12 Comments

  1. S1VP Herb Mueller: “The Chair would point out that the Bylaws require delegates to attend all sessions to the end of the convention.”

    Based on the highest total vote cast there were at least 1,086 delegates at the convention representing the circuits in the Synod. Based on this number, resolutions passed later in the convention had missing delegate votes of 15% to more than 30%.

    Resolution , Date , Yes , No , %Yes/Tot , %No/Tot , %Not Voting
    13-2 , 12-Jul , 809 , 277 , 74.5% , 25.5% , 0.0%
    12-11 , 13-Jul , 928 , 146 , 85.5% , 13.4% , 1.1%
    14-1 , 11-Jul , 976 , 95 , 89.9% , 8.7% , 1.4%
    13-1 , 11-Jul , 911 , 159 , 83.9% , 14.6% , 1.5%
    11-1 , 11-Jul , 470 , 597 , 43.3% , 55.0% , 1.7%
    12-14 , 13-Jul , 996 , 67 , 91.7% , 6.2% , 2.1%
    12-14 , 14-Jul , 996 , 67 , 91.7% , 6.2% , 2.1%
    11-3 , 11-Jul , 724 , 334 , 66.7% , 30.8% , 2.6%
    6-2 , 11-Jul , 875 , 177 , 80.6% , 16.3% , 3.1%
    12-6 , 13-Jul , 1046 , 4 , 96.3% , 0.4% , 3.3%
    12-2 , 13-Jul , 1033 , 14 , 95.1% , 1.3% , 3.6%
    14-2 , 13-Jul , 1030 , 15 , 94.8% , 1.4% , 3.8%
    2-3 , 13-Jul , 1031 , 12 , 94.9% , 1.1% , 4.0%
    12-9 , 13-Jul , 1011 , 27 , 93.1% , 2.5% , 4.4%
    14-5 , 11-Jul , 982 , 54 , 90.4% , 5.0% , 4.6%
    5-11 , 12-Jul , 946 , 89 , 87.1% , 8.2% , 4.7%
    12-4 , 13-Jul , 648 , 386 , 59.7% , 35.5% , 4.8%
    15-4 , 10-Jul , 996 , 33 , 91.7% , 3.0% , 5.2%
    14-3 , 13-Jul , 1004 , 25 , 92.4% , 2.3% , 5.2%
    1-2 , 10-Jul , 767 , 261 , 70.6% , 24.0% , 5.3%
    2-4 , 13-Jul , 1020 , 7 , 93.9% , 0.6% , 5.4%
    1-1 , 10-Jul , 778 , 247 , 71.6% , 22.7% , 5.6%
    12-3 , 13-Jul , 990 , 35 , 91.2% , 3.2% , 5.6%
    2-1 , 10-Jul , 928 , 96 , 85.5% , 8.8% , 5.7%
    15-6 , 10-Jul , 989 , 32 , 91.1% , 2.9% , 6.0%
    13-3 , 13-Jul , 874 , 147 , 80.5% , 13.5% , 6.0%
    15-2 , 10-Jul , 997 , 23 , 91.8% , 2.1% , 6.1%
    12-5 , 14-Jul , 977 , 40 , 90.0% , 3.7% , 6.4%
    2-2 , 10-Jul , 949 , 66 , 87.4% , 6.1% , 6.5%
    5-14 , 13-Jul , 683 , 329 , 62.9% , 30.3% , 6.8%
    15-1 , 10-Jul , 973 , 37 , 89.6% , 3.4% , 7.0%
    15-3 , 10-Jul , 988 , 20 , 91.0% , 1.8% , 7.2%
    14-6 , 12-Jul , 945 , 61 , 87.0% , 5.6% , 7.4%
    5-15 , 13-Jul , 821 , 168 , 75.6% , 15.5% , 8.9%
    11-9 , 14-Jul , 921 , 58 , 84.8% , 5.3% , 9.9%
    3-5 , 10-Jul , 748 , 227 , 68.9% , 20.9% , 10.2%
    9-3 , 13-Jul , 936 , 35 , 86.2% , 3.2% , 10.6%
    7-1 , 12-Jul , 927 , 43 , 85.4% , 4.0% , 10.7%
    11-19 , 14-Jul , 903 , 66 , 83.1% , 6.1% , 10.8%
    11-10 , 14-Jul , 922 , 46 , 84.9% , 4.2% , 10.9%
    3-4 , 14-Jul , 924 , 41 , 85.1% , 3.8% , 11.1%
    5-12 , 12-Jul , 928 , 33 , 85.5% , 3.0% , 11.5%
    5-10 , 12-Jul , 933 , 25 , 85.9% , 2.3% , 11.8%
    16-3 , 13-Jul , 937 , 21 , 86.3% , 1.9% , 11.8%
    11-7 , 14-Jul , 635 , 321 , 58.5% , 29.6% , 12.0%
    11-4 , 14-Jul , 923 , 32 , 85.0% , 2.9% , 12.1%
    11-8 , 14-Jul , 923 , 32 , 85.0% , 2.9% , 12.1%
    11-11 , 14-Jul , 923 , 32 , 85.0% , 2.9% , 12.1%
    11-12 , 14-Jul , 923 , 32 , 85.0% , 2.9% , 12.1%
    11-13 , 14-Jul , 923 , 32 , 85.0% , 2.9% , 12.1%
    11-15 , 14-Jul , 923 , 32 , 85.0% , 2.9% , 12.1%
    11-17 , 14-Jul , 923 , 32 , 85.0% , 2.9% , 12.1%
    11-20 , 14-Jul , 923 , 32 , 85.0% , 2.9% , 12.1%
    5-18 , 12-Jul , 917 , 37 , 84.4% , 3.4% , 12.2%
    5-13 , 12-Jul , 867 , 86 , 79.8% , 7.9% , 12.2%
    7-5 , 12-Jul , 912 , 39 , 84.0% , 3.6% , 12.4%
    9-1 , 13-Jul , 908 , 39 , 83.6% , 3.6% , 12.8%
    4-4 , 14-Jul , 795 , 146 , 73.2% , 13.4% , 13.4%
    16-2 , 13-Jul , 892 , 47 , 82.1% , 4.3% , 13.5%
    11-5 , 14-Jul , 731 , 208 , 67.3% , 19.2% , 13.5%
    11-14 , 14-Jul , 915 , 22 , 84.3% , 2.0% , 13.7%
    9-2 , 13-Jul , 910 , 24 , 83.8% , 2.2% , 14.0%
    17-4 , 14-Jul , 705 , 228 , 64.9% , 21.0% , 14.1%
    12-7 , 14-Jul , 684 , 244 , 63.0% , 22.5% , 14.5%
    5-9 , 12-Jul , 901 , 26 , 83.0% , 2.4% , 14.6%
    16-1 , 13-Jul , 889 , 36 , 81.9% , 3.3% , 14.8%
    17-1 , 14-Jul , 802 , 123 , 73.8% , 11.3% , 14.8%
    17-2 , 14-Jul , 802 , 123 , 73.8% , 11.3% , 14.8%
    4-5 , 14-Jul , 879 , 40 , 80.9% , 3.7% , 15.4%
    18-2 , 15-Jul , 898 , 14 , 82.7% , 1.3% , 16.0%
    18-1 , 15-Jul , 887 , 24 , 81.7% , 2.2% , 16.1%
    18-4 , 14-Jul , 871 , 39 , 80.2% , 3.6% , 16.2%
    17-3 , 14-Jul , 854 , 55 , 78.6% , 5.1% , 16.3%
    18-6 , 14-Jul , 884 , 23 , 81.4% , 2.1% , 16.5%
    18-5 , 14-Jul , 883 , 22 , 81.3% , 2.0% , 16.7%
    14-10 , 15-Jul , 893 , 9 , 82.2% , 0.8% , 16.9%
    18-3 , 15-Jul , 887 , 14 , 81.7% , 1.3% , 17.0%
    4-6 , 14-Jul , 830 , 51 , 76.4% , 4.7% , 18.9%
    4-2 , 14-Jul , 859 , 21 , 79.1% , 1.9% , 19.0%
    14-8 , 15-Jul , 854 , 12 , 78.6% , 1.1% , 20.3%
    5-8 , 12-Jul , 848 , 17 , 78.1% , 1.6% , 20.3%
    14-4 , 15-Jul , 830 , 33 , 76.4% , 3.0% , 20.5%
    14-9 , 15-Jul , 838 , 16 , 77.2% , 1.5% , 21.4%
    7-6 , 14-Jul , 660 , 171 , 60.8% , 15.7% , 23.5%
    14-7 , 15-Jul , 802 , 11 , 73.8% , 1.0% , 25.1%
    7-3 , 15-Jul , 768 , 38 , 70.7% , 3.5% , 25.8%
    4-3 , 14-Jul , 742 , 57 , 68.3% , 5.2% , 26.4%
    3-6 , 15-Jul , 782 , 4 , 72.0% , 0.4% , 27.6%
    3-3 , 15-Jul , 782 , 1 , 72.0% , 0.1% , 27.9%
    16-6 , 13-Jul , 746 , 35 , 68.7% , 3.2% , 28.1%
    1-3 , 15-Jul , 756 , 24 , 69.6% , 2.2% , 28.2%
    7-2 , 15-Jul , 731 , 48 , 67.3% , 4.4% , 28.3%
    1-4 , 15-Jul , 765 , 14 , 70.4% , 1.3% , 28.3%
    1-6 , 15-Jul , 764 , 9 , 70.3% , 0.8% , 28.8%
    14-11 , 15-Jul , 717 , 5 , 66.0% , 0.5% , 33.5%

  2. What made VP Nour’s comeback so funny was the complete exasperation in his voice. I wish we had an MP3 recording of that exchange.

    I need to add President Harrison’s response to a point of order raised by Charles Mueller, pastoral delegate, Northern Illinois District: “What is it NOW, Charlie?”. The aggravation was not well hidden …

  3. Dear Carl,

    Are you sure this data is correct? There are a number of resolutions on your list, I think about 15 or 16, that are dated July 15th. The convention adjourned at noon on July 14th.

    That would help explain why there were so few voters on the 15th. The voters that did turn up on July 15th must have come from the Freistadt Cemetery (old LC-MS cemetery near the Mequon campus, still interring LC-MS Lutherans today). 🙂

    Or maybe our Northern Illinois District delegation had a tag-along from their Chicago wards (that would be the crew with the motto “Vote often, vote late”). 🙂

    Furthermore, one of the July 14th resolutions has 2% absent, so that would indicate that 98% of the voters remained until the last day, if not the very last session.

    Dear BJS Bloggers,

    As to whether “not voting” indicates absence, only someone who has attended the nearly week long national conventions might understand the phenomena. There are certain periods where absences are higher, e.g., immediately and for about an hour after lunch. At that time, some delegates are still hoofing it back to the convention hall, others get distracted by long conversations with old friends at lunch, others with a bit too much to drink of non-alcoholic beverage are standing in the bathroom queue while voting occurs, others with a bit of alcoholic beverage for lunch might be snoozing in their chair, etc. Of course, all this can irritate the chairmen of the floor committees who are managing the various voting process for elections and resolutions, but they usually take it with good humor.

    It is a marathon, so some are not always “there at the voting button” for every single vote, even though they are there at the convention and are trying their hardest to fulfill their duties. It is not out of disregard for their role or the synod that this happens. You know, “The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” If you have been a national convention delegate, you will understand what I am saying.

    Thanks to Captain Diekmann for this light touch and for letting non-convention goers get a sense for an aspect of what goes on at convention!

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  4. I don’t see any Levity in the actions of this LCMS convention. I think that this convention harmed the synod far more than it helped.

  5. My favorite was Harrison’s response to 7 delegates voting against a straight-forward Resolution to protect religious conscience in the military:

    “That’s 1020 yeas, and 7 of you will have to stay here for lunch.”

  6. How not to add levity to a post about levity:

    Post a bunch of numbers.
    Talk about the politics of the convention.

  7. I went to one Synod convention. No one should be asked to attend more than one. What really got to me was the crazy resolutions that were passed. I just walked out the last day shaking my head. (SMP was passed during that convention.)

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