Delegates to the 69th convention of the LCMS California-Nevada-Hawaii (CNH) District re-elected by acclamation on the first ballot the Rev. Dr. Robert D. Newton of San Jose, Calif., to his fourth term as district president.
Meeting April 27-29 in Burlingame, Calif., the convention had as its theme “Following the Heart of our Shepherd.”
The Rev. Paul G. Hoffmann of San Jose was elected first vice-president of the district. He previously was a regional vice-president.
The following were elected to fill the district’s five regional vice-presidencies:
- The Rev. Bruce R. Betker of Kaneohe, Hawaii;
- The Rev. Mark A. Kliewer, pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Winnemucca, Nev., and Christ Lutheran Church, Battle Mountain, Nev.;
- The Rev. Mark W. Haas, pastor of First Lutheran Church, Placerville, Calif.;
- The Rev. Dr. Harold S. “Hal” Draeger, senior pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Redwood City, Calif.; and
- The Rev. Richard R. Rice, pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church, Santa Cruz, Calif.
As regional vice-presidents, Betker, Kliewer and Rice were re-elected, while Haas and Draeger were elected to their first terms.
The Rev. Thomas G. “Tom” Norris, associate pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church, Menlo Plark, Calif., addressed the topic of “Technology and the Church” during his convention keynote presentation. Norris, who is the district’s director of communications, made a number of suggestions for how churches can use Web technology, including social media, to reach out with the Gospel.
Synod President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison led a convention Bible study woven around the Synod’s “Witness, Mercy, Life Together” emphasis and Martha Mitkos, LCMS director of the Lutheran Malaria Initiative (LMI), spoke on behalf of the initiative.
After hearing from Mitkos, convention delegates overwhelmingly adopted a resolution titled “To combat malaria” that urges district congregations, schools and agencies to join in the LMI effort, especially with prayers and financial support. That resolution asks the district president to lead such encouragement of the initiative.
Another adopted resolution’s title places “emphasis on equipping the laity for mission.” It calls on the district president to bring about a heightened effort toward educating, training and equipping members throughout the district — especially laity — for Gospel outreach to their communities and beyond.
A “whereas” of that resolution notes that “the pastors, church workers and lay members of the district’s congregations continue to identify the great need and desire for the training and equipping of the church for the purpose of engaging and empowering the local congregations to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ within the community.”
Also adopted by delegates to the convention were resolutions that, as noted in their titles,
- “affirm the eucharistic practices of the Synod” and
- bring the [district] bylaws into line with current practice.” As a result of work by the district Commission on Constitutional Matters, this action brings the district’s bylaws into compliance with changes in the LCMS bylaws that were adopted by delegates to the 2010 Synod convention.
Throughout the four sessions of the CNH District’s three-day convention, pastors of congregations that have been involved in the “Transforming for Ministry” program spoke about the impact of that program’s process on their congregations. The district program aims to help congregations that seek to refocus their ministries more toward mission and Gospel outreach.
Posted May 1, 2012
Updated May 16, 2012