The Rev. Dr. David P. Stechholz of Livonia, Mich., was elected to his third term as bishop and president of the LCMS English District during the district’s 54th convention, June 27-30 in St. Louis. Stechholz, 64, was elected on the first ballot.
Also elected were:
- the Rev. R. Wayne Morton, pastor of Shepherd of the Mountains Lutheran Church in Pinetop, Ariz., as first vice-president, Western Region, second term.
- the Rev. Nathaniel R. Schwartz, senior pastor of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, Lee’s Summit, Mo., second vice-president, Midwest Region, first full term.
- the Rev. Jamison J. Hardy, pastor of Peace Lutheran Church, McMurray, Pa., third vice-president, Eastern Region, second term.
- the Rev. J. Derek Mathers, pastor of St. Luke Lutheran Church, North York, Ontario, Canada, fourth vice-president, Lake Erie Region, first term.
All of the elected officers were installed during the convention.
Under the theme “Faith Driven — Future Focused: Celebrating 100 years of God’s blessings as we continue to serve, connect and grow,” from 1 Cor. 15:58, the convention celebrated the close of the district’s 100th anniversary year. The English District is one of two nongeographic districts in the LCMS.
Delegates adopted resolutions to memorialize the Synod’s 2013 national convention to:
- direct a board or staff person to provide resources to assist U.S. and Canadian LCMS church workers who are called to ministries across the U.S.-Canadian border — and their families — with the immigration process. The resolution also asks that those resources “provide direction to the calling body about the immigration process and encourage them to assume the financial obligations in order to assist” those church workers and their families.
- ask the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations to complete its study on the practice of cremation by Dec. 31, 2015.
- hold the next available national LCMS convention in Detroit, Pittsburgh or Cleveland.
Other resolutions were adopted to:
- encourage English District congregations to use the LCMS Stewardship Primer and to conduct stewardship education among members and church leaders.
- encourage and support campus ministry in the English District in Canada and the United States, provide prayer and financial support for campus ministries with international students, and encourage congregations to send their students’ contact information to campus ministries.
- commend the Roman Catholic Church for its stance on religious freedom and defense of the rights of the unborn in upholding the sanctity of human life as a gift of God.
- encourage the English District bishop to “seek ways to encourage church workers to seek and accept support when they are struggling with stressors” such as pressures within their ministries or families that might cause them to consider leaving the ministry. The resolution also asks the bishop to “encourage congregations to find ways to support their workers” and to “regularly publish or otherwise remind church workers of the many types of ministerial support already available.”
St. Louis was chosen as the site of the convention because the English District — formerly the English Missouri Synod — officially began in St. Louis. The convention’s Opening Jubilee Divine Service was held at Concordia Seminary’s Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus, with LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison preaching.
Attending the convention were 212 pastoral and lay voting delegates, 59 pastoral and commissioned advisory delegates, seven youth representatives, 11 staff and board of directors members, and 66 guests.
Posted July 3, 2012