At its Feb. 10-13 meeting in St. Louis, the Synod’s Council of Presidents supported to a proposal that would add up to four board-appointed lay people to the boards of regents for the 10 Concordia University System colleges and universities.
The council joins five other groups, along with the president and treasurer of the Synod, who have taken action supporting a memorial to the 2007 Synod convention that would authorize the change.
Those other groups are the presidents of the 10 CUS schools, their Boards of Regents, the Synod’s Board of Directors, the Blue Ribbon Task Force for Funding the Mission, and the Board for University Education (BUE).
“We need more people on our boards of regents who understand the complexities of higher education,” Dr. Kurt Krueger, BUE executive director, told council members toward the end of their Feb. 10-13 meeting in St. Louis.
“Higher education also has become increasingly competitive, and our schools need more regents to help them make wise decisions,” he added.
Krueger referred to a Power Point presentation for the COP meeting with a slide that asks, “Why strengthen boards of regents?”
“As the LCMS has decentralized the academic, student life, fund raising, investment, and campus development oversight of its institutions,” Krueger said, “local boards of regents have taken on more responsibility for the wellbeing of their institutions.
“Regents engaged and energized by service on CUS boards often demonstrate greater commitment to ministry at the congregational, district, and synodical levels,” said Krueger, reading from the presentation. “Stronger boards equal stronger colleges and universities, equal a stronger LCMS.”
Krueger explained that, if authorized by the convention, the proposal would allow each board to appoint up to four additional lay members (who are members of LCMS congregations). That would be in addition to the four board-appointed lay regents currently on each board of regents.
The COP also unanimously adopted a joint statement (with the LCMS Board of Directors) supporting the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Task Force for Funding the Mission.
In other business, the council adopted a memorial to submit to the 2007 Synod convention (through the LCMS Commission on Structure) an overture to add wording to Synod Bylaw 126.96.36.199, to specify that emeritus (retired) pastors and commissioned ministers report to their district presidents yearly with “contact information and address the criteria for remaining an inactive member of the Synod.”
District presidents reported a total of 908 pastoral vacancies in Synod congregations. They include 418 in congregations that are not calling men to fill vacancies, and 490 in congregations that are calling. For congregations calling, 349 calls are for sole pastors, 58 for senior pastors, and 83 for associate or assistant pastors.
The council heard a number of reports from guest presenters, including one titled “The Ministry of Influence in the Church” from Dr. Wilbert Sohns of Gatesville, Texas, and another from Dr. Paul Meyer of Walnut Creek, Calif., on Intentional Interim Ministry.
Among other topics the council discussed were multi-site ministries across district lines and mission-leader formation.
Synod President Gerald Kieschnick presented the first of his three-part Bible study for the COP on “Keeping the main thing the main thing.”
With a focus on Jesus, Kiieschnick noted, “Jesus’ life and ministry were focused on the mission His Father had sent Him to accomplish, as testified through his life and witness. He was a living testimony of keeping the main thing the main thing.”
Posted March 1, 2007