For Immediate Release
Contact: Vicki Biggs, 314-996-1236, 314-556-3829 (cell), @theLCMS, @LCMSConvention
ST. LOUIS, July 23, 2013—On the third full day of business at the 65th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, dozens of resolution came before the delegates, including those having to do with women serving in combat, upholding the church’s extensive network of mercy ministry partners, managing the Specific Ministry Pastor program, election of officers for Synod entities, and housekeeping relative to church structure and ecclesiastical oversight. Here is a summary:
- After confirming that support for those with conscience objections to women serving in direct and ground combat was grounded in the understanding of the order of creation and the ideal of preserving religious freedom, delegates adopted the resolution with a yes vote of 98.3 percent. The resolution calls the LCMS Committee on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) to produce a statement for consideration by the Synod at its next convention. Additional mercy-related resolutions that were adopted call for the extension of calls – rather than a hire or appointment process – for specialized pastoral ministers; encouragement of a strong finish for the Lutheran Malaria Initiative; development of Bible-based educational materials addressing sexuality, marriage and family; and commendation of numerous LCMS partners involved in disaster response and human care ministry. Read more…
- A resolution that would require the Synod president to appoint a committee to evaluate the Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) program – a distance-based theological education program offered by the church’s two seminaries — and submit its recommendations to the president before each Synod convention garnered so much debate that it was referred for additional discussion later in the convention. However, a resolution celebrating Concordia Seminary, St. Louis’ 175th anniversary was soundly adopted. Read more…
- Delegates elected some 60 board members and commissioners to serve the Synod and its entities, including the CTCR, Concordia Historical Institute, Concordia Publishing House, Concordia University System, Lutheran Church Extension Fund and LCMS Foundation. Read more…
- Eight of nine resolutions on church structure and ecclesiastical supervisory matters were adopted by large margins. The adopted resolutions made updates to bylaw language needed as a result of churchwide reorganization put in place by the 2010 Synod convention, encouraged the use of e-technology and other stewardship principles, and addressed additional training for reconcilers. A resolution calling for the move to a four-year convention cycle was referred for further consultation and is expected back before the convention this week. Read more…
Convention participants joined together for Matins and midday prayers. At the close of the morning service, conventioneers joined in singing “Baptized into Christ Jesus’ Death,” a hymn commissioned for the Synod convention and free for download here.
The Rev. Alexey Streltsov, rector of Lutheran Theological Seminary in the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church, preached at the midday prayer service – the day after his church was voted to be in fellowship with the LCMS. He spoke of the mercy that is received by God in Baptism and encouraged the assembly “to stay firm in Baptism, which has forever united us with Jesus.”
The Synod convention, which runs through July 25, serves as the principal legislative assembly for the church body. Along with the consideration of some 116 resolutions, the convention includes opportunities for worship and fellowship. Convention participants include 1,191 clergy and lay voting delegates.
To learn more about the Synod convention, visit www.lcms.org/convention. Live streaming video is available at www.lcms.org/convention/live.
About The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is a biblical, confessional, witness-oriented Christian denomination with 2.3 million members – 600,000 households – in 6,200 congregations. Through acts of witness and mercy, the church carries out its mission worldwide to make known the love of Jesus Christ. Learn more at www.lcms.org.