We are freshening the date on this post to bring it to your attention again. It was originally published on Sept 1st.
It’s that time again, time to prepare for the LCMS national convention. The convention will be held in St. Louis July 20-25, 2013, but there are a number of things that need to take place before then, especially these: electing delegates; nominating for various boards, commissions, etc.; nominating for synod president and vice-presidents; and submitting overtures. (Electing the synod president also will take place, oddly enough, before the convention. That’s a new procedure we’ll explain at another time.)
The election of delegates to the 2013 convention is the first thing that needs to take place, and it needs to happen by October 20 of this year. And to do that, between now and October 20 several steps need to be followed at the congregational and circuit levels:
1. Your circuit counselor needs to schedule a circuit forum, to be held no later than Saturday, October 20. Make sure that he has done so and that all the congregations know the details.
2. Your congregation needs to schedule a voters’ 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 will be simply a) to nominate one circuit layperson for convention delegate and b) to select one congregational layperson to vote at the circuit forum.
3. At this congregational voters’ meeting, your congregation may nominate any layperson from any circuit congregation (whether your own or another in the circuit) to be elected as the circuit’s lay delegate to the 2013 convention. (Before you nominate, try to find out if that person is willing and able to attend next year’s July 20-25 convention.) The name of the lay nominee needs to be reported to the circuit counselor prior to the day of the forum.
4. At this same congregational meeting, your congregation should designate a layperson from your own congregation to be an elector at the circuit forum. Your congregation will get one pastoral and one lay vote at the forum. (For a multiple-point parish, the pastor gets only one vote.) Let the circuit counselor know who those electors are.
5. Your congregation’s pastor and your designated lay representative should attend the circuit forum. Others may attend also, but only your two electors will cast votes for the election of circuit delegates to the 2013 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 counselor. 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 counselor will know the prescribed procedure for conducting these elections.
All these steps on electing voting delegates are explained in greater detail in the 2010 Handbook, Bylaw 188.8.131.52 (pages 100-01).
The election of delegates is a very important first step in preparing for the 2013 national convention. We need to take the initiative now to see that those elections take place by October 20. Nominating individuals for various synodical boards, commissions, etc., also has an October 20 deadline, and we’ll take that up next. 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.