HOUSTON—In adopting two resolutions at the end of the July 12 session, delegates to The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod convention here changed the procedures for electing the vice-presidents of the Synod. One authorizes the president-elect to choose the slate of nominees for first vice-president of the Synod and the other mandates that five other vice-presidents be nominated by geographic regions.
Both actions were proposed by the convention Floor Committee on Synod Structure and Governance (Committee 8).
The 64th Regular Convention of the Synod is meeting July 10-17 at the George R. Brown Convention Center under the theme “ONE People—Forgiven.” Among the approximately 3,000 participants are some 1,200 clergy and lay voting delegates.
The two resolutions, which follow, drew considerable discussion, with delegates offering numerous amendments to each:
- Resolution 8-13, for the Synod convention to elect the first vice-president from a slate of five nominees selected by the president, is a change from the previous procedure in which delegates elected the first vice-president from the slate of the five men who received the most nominations for the office from congregations, and who allowed their names to stand for election. The resolution was adopted by a 597-567 vote.
With this new procedure, the president-elect will select five names from a list of 20 men nominated by congregations. An adopted amendment specifies that at least two of those on the final slate of five “should be taken from the top five nominees.”
Rev. Charles Schultz, a clergy voting delegate from Ypsilanti, Mich., echoed a thought expressed by several delegates and members of the floor committee when he offered that amendment. “The president should have someone he can work with,” Schultz said, in reference to the first vice-president. “And the will of the congregations should be honored,” he added.
- Resolution 8-14A, to elect five vice-presidents nominated by congregations in each of five geographic regions, was adopted by a vote of 611-571. It stipulates that the LCMS Board of Directors and Council of Presidents will agree on the boundaries of those regions at least two years before each triennial Synod convention, where the regional vice-presidents will be elected.
An adopted amendment states that those two groups will “appropriately consider geographical information and the number of congregations” when determining those regions. Another amendment calls for the LCMS Council of Presidents and Board of Directors to decide the regions where Canadian LCMS congregations will be placed “as a whole.”
A third amendment removed a “resolved” stating that “an employee of the Synod or its agencies and auxiliaries not be eligible to serve as a regional vice-president.”
Speaking to that proposed amendment, a voting delegate noted that the removed resolved would have precluded faculty members of the 12 LCMS seminaries, colleges and universities, as well as those at the Synod’s International Center offices, from serving as regional vice presidents.
Through this 2010 convention, the second-through-fifth vice-presidents will be elected from the slate of those receiving the most nominations from congregations synodwide, and who allowed their names to stand. Regional vice-presidents also will be elected by the Synod convention.
Currently, all four second-through-fifth vice-presidents live east of the Mississippi River.
Both of the adopted resolutions — 8-13 and 8-14A — take effect for the 2013 convention of the Synod.
Posted July 12, 2010