COP applies ‘Koinonia Project’ to church issues

Comments (6)
  1. Carl Vehse says:

    The March 27 Reporter article, “COP applies ‘Koinonia Project’ to church issues,” finally provides information on the Koinonia group meetings conducted by the COP during their “retreat”, February 18-21 (Tue-Fri), in Phoenix, AZ. Eliminating the boilerplate, and descriptions of activities conducted at their Friday morning business meeting, here is the pertinent text of the COP Koinonia group activities and their accomplishments:

    “With all members of the COP participating in one of three randomly selected groups, each group spent significant time identifying and beginning to work through an issue faced by the Synod (varying points of view being present within the membership of the groups).”

    That’s it for two days of 35 district presidents and an assortment of synod officers, assistants, and other support people — “significant time identifying and beginning to work through an issue…”

    And that’s after nearly a dozen draft plans, three conventions, and a synodical Koinonia project webpage.

    Well, the Reporter notes there will only be four more (“until April 2015”) of these COP Koinonia group discussion meetings. So it’s unlikely the COP will solve all (or any of) the heterodox problems in the LCMS (or, evidently from the excerpt, in the COP) before April 2015.

    Perhaps the Koinonia project should have been contracted out to the ACELC, for less money, less time, and more Koinonia in the Missouri Synod.

  2. Ginny Valleau says:

    My questions regard the COP “…applies ‘Koinonia Project’ to church issues…” during the four day COP retreat.

    What issues “faced by the Synod” did the COP identify? Which of these issues did the COP begin to work through?

    The report says that “Discussions by these groups will continue…until April 2015.” If, as indicated above, the “theological discussions [will take place] under the Word of God” why will the discussions continue for a year? Are some of the identified issues not addressed in God’s Word?

    What fruit does the COP expect to bear as a result of discussing the issues for a year? Does the COP expect to resolve any of the issues being discussed? How will the resolutions be implemented?

    Thanks for clarifying this.

    God’s Blessings in Christ Jesus,
    Ginny Valleau
    Independence, MO

  3. Rev. Richard A. Bolland says:

    My question respecting the Koinonia Project’s plan is to ascertain what specific mechanism is or will be in place to actually resolve the issues once they are identified? Discussion is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. How will we know when the Koinonia Project is completed? The Formula of Concord process took less than a year from beginning to end. Why is it taking a year simply to formulate what the issues are that are divisive among us? Frankly any Winkle conference could do that in about an hour and a half. We’ve been dealing with the same issues for decades so its really not a mystery. Suggest you check out the work that has already been done by the ACELC on their website: They’ve already identified 10 issues that may be of help in expediting the process.

  4. Herbert Mueller says:

    2013 Synod Resolution 3-01A directed the President of the Synod to divide the members of the Council of Presidents by random draw into three groups to work as three theological study groups according to the principles outlined in the Koinonia Project Concept Paper available at –

    Fruitful theological study, especially when there is some level of disagreement, is never easy. However, each of these three groups is digging into issues about which there is not full agreement across our Synod. Our purpose is to understand clearly what is the source of any disagreement, and to help one another hear and confess the Word of God clearly in the matter. We are not at the present time able to say anything more specific than what was summarized in the article above. We have to take the time both to hear each other and, even more importantly, to study God’s Word so that the Word may have its way with each of us.

    The Council of Presidents is committed to the discussion at least through April 2015, when the terms of the present executive committee come to an end. At the April 2015 meeting the Council will hold internal elections and will need to evaluate this effort at that time. Our hope and prayer is that this effort will ultimately bear fruit in greater harmony and agreement in our confession of Christ in our midst and before the world.

    Resolution 3-01A states: “Resolved – that to lead by example and to demonstrate to the entire Synod that this project can bear fruitful fruits, the President of the Synod be directed to divide the elected presidents of each district and the vice-presidents of the Synod into three study groups who will, by random draw, study koinonia together, with progress of each study group reported on the newly developed web site.”

    As these groups make progress, such fruit will be reported at the appropriate time, namely when groups are in a position to report something substantive. At the moment, we have, I believe, made a good beginning and so we covet the prayers of all members of the Synod for this effort.

    Yours in Christ’s peace,
    + Herbert Mueller
    First Vice President
    The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod
    1 Corinthians 1:9-10

  5. Randy says:

    I think it bears repeating, since the question was avoided in the response From Rev. Mueller (and I have scanned the concept paper) What specific issues are being discussed? We have so many that face the synod and as a lay leader it becomes frustrating that it appears we simply discuss problems….create a task force….and then elect a new regime (word used purposefully)and then start all over. How can we successfully engage the laity of our congregations when our leadership appears to not even agree on our issues. The word fellowship was highlighted several times in the concept paper….but It appears to me that our fellowship is at a dreadful state. From the prospective of the laity (of which I represent) it appears like we spend a great deal of time and resources on talking about things, but a precious little amount in actively engaging on church members in way they can use their respective places in God’s kingdom to outreach to the lost. We are not raising our laity up to use their gifts for kingdom growth properly within their vocations. Sadly…..if the current mindset in leadership continues, we will have little left in the LCMS to worry about.

  6. Rev. Richard A. Bolland says:

    Dear Vice President Mueller,

    Thank you for your response. Please know that the prayers for a final resolution of the issues that are clearly dividing our Synod do ascend on behalf of the Koinonia Project and any other efforts that strive for greater unity in our Synodical doctrine and practice.

    Can you tell me when the 10 year time frame for completing the Koinonia Project actually begins? Is it after the pilot projects are done and evaluated and a final draft of the Koinonia Project proposal is adopted by the Synod in convention?

    Again, is there going to be some kind of mechanism/statement that indicates when each issue is finally resolved and when will you know the process is complete?