Delegates to the LCMS Northern Illinois District convention, meeting March 9-10 at Concordia University Chicago, in River Forest, Ill., re-elected by acclamation the Rev. Dan P. Gilbert of Addison, Ill., as district president.
Gilbert, 60, was re-elected to his third three-year term.
Delegates also elected four district vice-presidents, heard reports focusing on the growing involvement of congregations in a district mission movement called “New Starts … New Believers” and adopted a number of resolutions.
Elected as vice-presidents were:
- the Rev. Allan R. Buss of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Belvidere, Ill., first vice-president (third term).
- the Rev. Larry Frazier, Resurrection Lutheran Church, Chicago, second vice-president (third term).
- the Rev. Mark Carl Schulz, Trinity Lutheran Church, Lisle, Ill., third vice-president (second term).
- the Rev. Scott E. Christenson, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Palatine, Ill., fourth vice-president (first term).
The vice-presidents were elected on a regional basis, then ranked first through fourth by the convention.
The installation of the district officers is being scheduled for early June in the Chapel of Our Lord at Concordia University Chicago.
“New Starts … New Believers” has been a district emphasis since 2007. It emphasizes the involvement of existing congregations in starting new outreach initiatives that result in more new believers. The district deploys its staff to assist congregations in developing mission attitudes and then taking the steps to reach new believers.
“There is not one congregation in the Northern Illinois District that cannot do at least one new thing to reach out to their community with the love of Jesus,” President Gilbert told the delegates. He underscored the convention theme of “Every Congregation, Right Now” based on 2 Cor. 6:2b, “Now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”
Among actions adopted by the convention was a resolution seeking a goal of unity among congregations and pastors. Passed by a two-thirds majority, the resolution committed to discussion around areas of disagreement and to “respect each other and put the best construction on all things.”
The convention also adopted resolutions:
- affirming “the blessing of the new Specific Ministry Pastor Program” in the district and urging continued development at the seminary level.
- calling for “a strong witness about God’s plan for sexual purity” while at the same time dealing with love, encouragement and counsel for those injured or broken by sexual impurity.
- requesting the next LCMS convention to consider an improved process of obtaining and delivering information within the church-worker call process.
- adding the district voice to those across the LCMS who are speaking out against threats to religious liberty in recent federal actions.
During the convention, a special award was presented to Tim Hetzner, president of Lutheran Church Charities (LCC), Addison, Ill., and his organization for service in disaster response on behalf of the Lutheran church in northern Illinois.
LCC has trained more than 600 Lutheran early responders to serve in their own communities and to travel to disaster sites. The award described the volunteers as “the hands and feet of Jesus” on the ground in multiple states and internationally in the wake of tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and family and school tragedies.
Posted March 13, 2012