Rev. Dan P. Gilbert of Addison, Ill., was re-elected, by acclamation, to his second term as president of the Northern Illinois District during the district’s 56th Regular Convention, May 8-9 in Lombard, Ill. Gilbert, 57, was unopposed.
Also re-elected to second terms were:
Rev. Allan R. Buss of Belvidere, Ill., first vice president.
Rev. Daniel J. Teller of Round Lake, Ill., second vice president.
Rev. Larry Frazier of Dolton, Ill., fourth vice president.
Elected to his first term was Rev. Mark C. Schulz of Bolingbrook, Ill., third vice president.
Installation of officers is scheduled for 3 p.m. Aug. 30 at Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, Ill.
Much of the convention was devoted to presentations on the district’s “New Starts … New Believers” initiative, which got under way in late 2007. In the “New Starts” initiative, 220 LCMS congregations in 24 counties of Northern Illinois are focusing on starting new missions to reach out to people not currently worshiping as Lutherans. Twelve congregations with new starts were recognized by the convention.
To help fund the new starts and other outreach ministries, the district has awarded 24 Ablaze! grants totaling $1,742,000, which also were recognized at the convention.
Convention action included three overtures to the next LCMS convention in 2010 to:
propose a third category of convention voting delegates for district and national LCMS conventions. The new category would allow for election of one commissioned minister per circuit as voting delegates to district conventions, with a smaller number elected from within that pool to serve as voting delegates to the LCMS convention. This resolution is intended to extend voting privileges to commissioned ministers, while not taking votes away from the current balance of one lay and one pastoral delegate per congregation for district conventions, and one lay and one pastoral delegate per circuit for Synod conventions.
ask for a phase-out of older alternate-route pastoral education programs, since the new Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) process is now in operation. The resolution also asks that those serving in situations without a public call move either into a regular seminary program or the SMP program.
ask for a study on how to institute a so-called “statute of limitations” in the Synod’s dispute resolution process, due to the potential for harm to both church workers and congregations from long-term disputes.
Delegates also voted to:
address the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s “Report and Recommendation on Ministry Policies” that seeks to recognize same-gender relationships and the rostering of church workers in such relationships. The resolution states that “homosexuality is contrary to God’s will and design” and asks the district to encourage and pray for those ELCA members who are “confessing the truth of God’s Word” regarding homosexuality and the Holy Ministry, as well as pray for those ELCA members “who are bound in error and sin regarding homosexuality, that they might be brought to repentance and the truth by the Holy Spirit.”
endorse the “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism” resources developed in the district to help congregations examine and deal with unintentional racism in the church and local communities.
commend those already participating in the Synod’s Fan into Flame appeal to raise money for missions worldwide, and encouraged others to consider taking part in the campaign.
ask district congregations to offer prayers and financial support to support the “Issues, Etc.” online radio program.
Posted May 15, 2009
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