The election for Synod President has concluded and we have the results. Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison is re-elected. He will be having his fourth term which breaks the “three terms and out” pattern that has been for a while in the LCMS.
President Harrison has a bunch of work ahead of him in the coming term. He will need much prayer and encouragement to do so. Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (the one that published evolutionary stuff in a positive light, and then rebuked those who dared to question them) will be receiving a new President in the next triennium. Concordia, Portland and other Concordia Universities are hot messes that will certainly need to have some attention given to them. On top of that, the Licensed Lay Deacon victory in 2016 is fragile and certain segments of the Synod still want to go back to abolishing Augsburg XIV. Issues of syncretism and unionism remain unresolved. Men on candidate status still want to be given the chance to serve again. Male and female are only getting more twisted and confused in the world and in the Synod. The progressive national pressures are affecting much within the Synod and will need to be defended against. Revivalist worship practices still have deep poisonous roots and feed Lutheran congregations erring theology. Closed communion is not practiced in all of our congregations. A successor to the Koinonia Project will have to be sought to strive for theological unity once again. The relationship of the synod to social organizations we used to be tied to and also the ELCA are still unclear (publicly declaring that we have nothing to do with LIRS would be a good start). On top of this there are international issues within Lutheranism that will require faithful and courageous leadership. There are no doubt many more things that will demand his attention (no doubt he is aware of them now having served for three terms). May God grant him the will, strength, and steadfastness to faithfully lead the Synod.
I want to compliment one man who is often unseen and just working in the background faithfully – the Rev. Dr. John Sias, the Secretary of the LCMS for managing a good nomination and election process. Everything was well-communicated (even with the changes in the election process mandated by the 2016 Convention). My nominating and voting experience went very smoothly. Dr. Sias deserves credit for a job well done (as is what I have come to expect from him in everything he does).