By Gretchen Roberts
ST. LOUIS (July 25, 2013) — Before presenting Floor Committee 4 final resolutions to delegates, committee chair the Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray opened with a story.
“This morning at breakfast, a lawyer came to me and asked if I was with that Lutheran group. I was wearing my collar, and asked her, ‘What gave me away?’ She said that when she checked in, the hotel clerk told her the Lutherans staying in the hotel were the nicest group she had ever served,” Murray said. “You have had an impact on the city of St. Louis, Mo., and I can say the same to the convention as a whole. You’ve been a delight.”
The final four resolutions of the Theology and Church Relations Floor Committee, adopted on the last day of the convention, are:
Resolution 4-13, “To Encourage Confession and Absolution for Pastors,” passed with no debate 840 to 32.
Resolution 4-11A, “To Commend Faithful Service and to Study Proper Roles of Men and Women in the Church,” passed 774 to 105 after several speeches from the floor. Marie Meyer of the Atlantic District offered an amendment from the floor, asking that the 2010 Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) study, “The Creator’s Tapestry,” be given consideration rather than a new study commissioned. Murray spoke against the amendment for the committee, stating that several studies on the issues of sexuality and the relationship of male and female are ongoing in the CTCR. The amendment failed 295 to 582.
With two small language additions to Resolution 4-15, “To Reaffirm Synod’s Position on Creation,” the resolution passed 826 to 57.
Two “friendly amendments” were added to Committee 4 final Resolution 4-14A, “To Clarify the Doctrine of the Call.” The first was offered by Mark O. Stern, a lay delegate from the Northern Illinois District, to add The Lutheran Hymnal: Agenda as an alternative agenda to the Lutheran Service Book Agenda as preferred rites of ordination, commissioning and installation. The floor committee accepted the amendment.
Second, the Rev. Matthew P. Helfrich, pastoral delegate of the Pacific Southwest District, moved to amend by changing the word “office” in the phrase “whereby a called worker may be removed from office” to “calling congregation.” Murray asked him to change the language to “calling entity” to include synodical offices and other entities, and the amendment was accepted by the floor committee. The assembly passed the resolution 830 to 30.
The 65th Regular Convention of the LCMS met July 20-25 at the America’s Center Convention Complex under the theme “Baptized for This Moment.” Among convention participants were some 1,200 clergy and lay voting delegates.