Some 370 voting delegates to the LCMS Pacific Southwest (PSW) District convention, meeting July 27-29 in Irvine, Calif., re-elected the Rev. Dr. Larry A. Stoterau to his fifth three-year term as the district’s president.
The convention’s theme was “Proclaiming the Mysteries of God,” based on Eph. 3:1-6.
Stoterau, who resides in Orange, Calif., was unopposed for the position and was re-elected on the first ballot.
He and the district’s four vice-presidents were installed along with other elected officers during the convention’s closing worship service. The vice-presidents are:
- the Rev. Roger R. Sonnenberg, senior pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church, Arcadia, Calif., re-elected as first vice-president;
- the Rev. Timothy M. Klinkenberg, senior pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Orange, newly elected as second vice-president;
- the Rev. Vincent R. “Vince” Harman, senior pastor of Christ Lutheran Church, Yuma, Ariz., third vice-president (also newly elected); and
- the Rev. Lowell B. Kindschy, pastor of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Santa Ynez, Calif., fourth vice-president. He was previously third vice-president.
Among other actions of convention delegates was a resolution they adopted that continues to authorize the district board of directors to sell district property as necessary, with the exception of the two district-owned campus-ministry properties at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and the University of California, San Diego.
Earlier this year, the district board determined that it might have to sell some district property, including its UCLA campus-ministry parcel, to fund other ministries. Speculation about that possible sale generated lively discussion in the district and elsewhere in the LCMS.
The convention action stipulates that the campus properties can only be offered for sale with the approval of a district convention.
Another resolution that drew considerable discussion — and was defeated — would have imposed term limits for the district president, first vice-president, secretary and treasurer. Term limits continue to apply to all other elected district positions.
The convention also adopted a resolution asking the PSW District board of directors to take the lead in making plans for a districtwide celebration of the Reformation’s 500th anniversary, which occurs in 2017.
Also adopted was a resolution memorializing the Synod’s 2013 convention to ask the LCMS Council of Presidents, the Commission on Theology and Church Relations and the faculties of the two Synod seminaries to develop guidelines for the proper use of deacons in congregational settings.
Among other resolutions adopted by Pacific Southwest District convention delegates are those:
- calling for a change in district bylaws — from stipulating that the slate for election of the district president be open to all clergymen who receive at least 10 nominations for the office, to that slate consisting of the three clergymen who receive the most nominations from congregations and who agree to let their names stand for election.
- approving amendments of district bylaws to bring them into conformity with LCMS bylaws changed by action of the 2010 Synod convention.
- asking that the audited statements of the district each year be posted to the district website and sent to all congregations, in the interest of full financial disclosure.
The Pacific Southwest District — with 310 congregations and 183 schools — includes Arizona, the southern tip of Nevada and roughly the southern third of California. The district office is in Irvine.
Posted July 3, 2012