At its Sept. 10-11 meeting in St. Louis, the Synod’s Board of Directors began its work in the new triennium by electing Board officers and organizing its subcommittees, hearing reports and taking several actions that included revising the national church body’s operating budget to reflect Synod structure changes adopted by this summer’s LCMS convention.
On separate written first ballots, the Board elected the following officers:
- Dr. Robert T. Kuhn of Oviedo, Fla., chairman;
- Rev. Michael L. Kumm, Millstadt, Ill., vice-chairman; and
- Walter G. Brantz, Cody, Wyo., member at-large of the Board’s executive committee.
As Board chairman, Kuhn succeeds Dr. Donald Muchow, who held that office for the 2007-10 triennium and who was on the ballot with Kuhn for election at this meeting. Kuhn, a president emeritus of the Synod, also was Board chairman from 2001 to 2007.
Following his election, Kuhn thanked the Board “for considering me worthy as chairman” and Muchow for his service, and said he would seek God’s guidance.
“You can count on me as we work together for the next three years, God willing,” Muchow replied to Kuhn.
The Board has six new voting members, including Synod President Rev. Matthew C. Harrison.
Ron Schultz, the Synod’s chief administrative officer, highlighted for the Board various processes in the three-month cycles between meetings, and Synod Secretary Raymond Hartwig pointed out Board responsibilities as detailed in the Handbook (Constitution and Bylaws) of the LCMS. Together, Schultz and Hartwig reviewed with members the 16 actions of the 2010 Synod that have impact on the Board of Directors. And Interim Chief Financial Officer Tom Kuchta provided an introduction to financial reports.
Harrison described the time since convention delegates elected him Synod president as “quite an intense month and a half.”
He said the work since then has included developing staff for the President’s Office; organizing the Sept. 11 installation of new Synod officers and board and commission members, developing the “Witness, Mercy, Life Together” emphasis and beginning to consolidate fundraising communications for that emphasis; organizing orientation for the new Synod Boards for National Mission and International Mission and other newly elected officials; developing the new chief mission officer position; and planning for a transition team for reorganization that will carry out “the convention mandate with the least amount of stress as possible.”
“We’re at an interesting moment, with blessings and challenges,” Harrison told the Board. “We’ll do the best we can, with the Lord’s direction.”
Synod First Vice-President Rev. Herbert C. Mueller Jr. laid out plans for the “Koinonia Project” in the Synod, which he described as “a long-term means of having discussions under God’s Word on issues that unite and divide us.”
The revised 2010-11 operating budget for the Synod that the Board adopted totals $86,931,920. At its May 20-21 meeting, the Board adopted a Synod operating budget of $87,601,646 for this fiscal year, based on the Synod structure at that time.
Also at its Sept. 10-11 meeting, the Board adopted a resolution concerning “document transfers” to Concordia Historical Institute (CHI). One of its “resolveds” reminds those involved in carrying out the convention’s restructuring decisions of “their responsibility to see that appropriate records are transferred to the archives at [CHI].”
The Board also adopted an action specifying that until the two new Synod mission offices “are in place, final decisions about granting Recognized Service Organization status to organizations that formerly related to program boards [are] … the responsibility of the chief mission officer of the Synod,” and until that office is filled, the Synod president is responsible for such final decisions.
Appointed by the Board as members at-large of the LCMS Foundation for the next three years were Edward Dollase of Georgetown, Texas; Marilyn Langemeier of Bridger, Mont.; Judy May of Fort Wayne, Ind.; Robert Pieters of Hubertus, Wis.; and Mark Moksnes of Chassen, Minn., with Paul Wills of Bel Air, Md., appointed as alternate.
The Board also appointed three people to the Council of Members of the Concordia University System — Myrna Baneck of Mandan, N.D.; James K. Gruetzner, Albuquerque,N.M.; and Richard D. Peters, Amery, Wis.
On Chairman Kuhn’s recommendation, the following will serve on the Board’s three subcommittees for the 2010-13 triennium:
- Audit Committee — Curtis Pohl (chairman), Walter Brantz, Keith Frndak and Ed Everts.
- Personnel Committee — Dr. Donald Muchow (chairman), James W. Carter Jr., Warren Puck and Rev. Michael L. Kumm.
- Policy Committee — Kermit Brashear (chairman), Dr. Victor Belton, Dr. Gloria Edwards and Dr. Kurt Senske.
The next meeting of the Synod Board of Directors is set for Nov. 18-19 in Nashville, Tenn.
Posted Sept. 22, 2010