Dr. Larry Stoterau, president of the Pacific Southwest District, was elected to chair the Council of Presidents (COP) during the council’s April 17-23 meeting in Fort Wayne and St. Louis.
Stoterau succeeds Dr. William Hoesman, Michigan District president, who has served two three-year terms as COP chairman. The COP elected Dr. Jon Diefenthaler, Southeastern District, as vice chairman and re-elected Rev. William Klettke, New Jersey District, as secretary. Elected to the program committee were Rev. Randall Golter of the Rocky Mountain District and Rev. Keith Kohlmeier of the Kansas District.
The Council of Presidents consists of the presidents of the 35 LCMS districts, the LCMS President, and five LCMS vice presidents. A major portion of the April meeting involved placement of 183 pastoral candidates and 167 vicars from the two LCMS seminaries.
In addition to participating in placement services, the council also met with the faculties on both seminary campuses.
The faculty meetings included discussion of “Above Reproach,” a draft document on personal characteristics for candidates and pastors as described in the third chapter of 1Timothy and other Scripture passages. A subcommittee of three district presidents continues to work on the document in collaboration with the Board for Pastoral Education and the seminaries.
After the candidate placements, the district presidents reported a total of 825 congregations with pastoral vacancies. The number included 318 vacancies among calling congregations — 228 calling a sole pastor; 41 calling a senior pastor; and 49 calling an associate or assistant. Among non-calling congregations were 346 permanent and 160 temporary non-calling congregations.
For the first time, the council reported the non-calling congregations in permanent and temporary categories. The latter category includes congregations that are expecting to call a sole pastor after a time of service from an interim pastor or long-term vacancy pastor.
Posted May 13, 2009