By Joe Isenhower Jr.
ST. LOUIS (July 21, 2013) — Although making adjustments to Synod Bylaws could appear “boring and legalistic” to some, they have impact on “how we work together.”
The Rev. John C. Wille, chairman of the 2013 LCMS convention floor committee on Administration and Finance, made that observation as the committee presented the first two of its proposed resolutions to the convention today — and before the delegates adopted both by hefty margins.
Those actions were for Resolution 6-18, “To Amend Bylaw 188.8.131.52 Regarding the Election of Synod President” and Resolution 6-03, “To Address Board of Directors Budget and Management Responsibilities.”
Resolution 6-18 — adopted by a vote of 932 to 40 — adds Bylaw language that calls for safeguarding the confidentiality of the lists of district convention delegates, who now serve as the electors in the voting for Synod President. Wording changes also stipulate that congregations may select substitutes for their delegates who are “unavailable” for the vote. And another change removes the previous Bylaw stipulation that the Synod secretary must announce the outcome of the vote for president no sooner than two weeks prior to the start of the Synod – instead now allowing him to announce that outcome at his discretion after he is informed of the election results.
The changes brought about by Resolution 6-03 — by a vote of 960 to 27 — call for tweaking two Bylaws to bring “clarity” to Synod Handbook wording about the church body’s Board of Directors that was added as a result of restructuring decisions of the 2010 LCMS convention. One of them, for instance, simply removes the word mission before the word boards in Bylaw 184.108.40.206, which states, “The Board of Directors shall allocate available funds to the boards, commissions, councils, offices and department of corporate Synod and hold them responsible therefor.” And Bylaw 220.127.116.11 now starts with “To carry out the business and legal affairs of the Synod,” followed by several minor changes that result in the wording, “the Board of Directors may appoint other officers subject to the approval of the President. The Board of Directors may also appoint staff as required.”
Before offering those two resolutions, Wille also told the Synod convention delegates that Committee 6 for Administration and Finance took on its work by considering “what is best for the church.” He also read Article III of the LCMS Constitution, which lays out 10 objectives for the Synod, “under Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.”
The 65th Regular Convention of the LCMS is meeting July 20-25 at the America’s Center Convention Complex under the theme “Baptized for This Moment.” Among convention participants are 1,191 clergy and lay voting delegates.