HOUSTON – Delegates encouraged stewardship renewal, especially through enhanced communication, as they considered resolutions on program and finance July 17 at the 63rd Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
The resolution follows the report issued last year by the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Funding the Mission. Requested by the 2004 convention, the task force recommended ways for the Synod to improve funding for the “common good” of members. That funding, largely from Sunday morning offerings, has declined while direct giving has grown in support of special ministries.
Among the task force recommendations was renewed emphasis on stewardship education and stewardship practices. As adopted, Res. 4-02, titled “To Begin a Stewardship Renewal through Enhanced Communication,” requested
• that “every individual, congregation, district, and the Synod itself continue to strive to respond to God’s marvelous goodness and grace through its stewardship life”;
• that the LCMS First Vice President of the Synod coordinate the development of resources, training, and strategic components for stewardship renewal; and
• that recommendations for enhanced communication be considered. (The task force suggested several means, incorporating both media and presentations, to communicate the Synod’s work to congregations.)
However, delegates balked at Res. 4-12A, a resolution that, in broad language, encouraged increased participation in Concordia Plan Services, Lutheran Church Extension Fund, and the LCMS Foundation. Defeated by a 521 to 654 vote, the resolution encouraged governing boards and committees to review their “responsibilities and opportunities” toward the entities and “demonstrate their working together for the ‘common good.’”
The convention, meeting July 14-19, has as its theme “One Message – Christ! His Love is Here for You!