LCMS Central Illinois District President Rev. Mark A. Miller was elected to his second term at the district’s 58th Regular Convention, July 5-7 in Springfield, Ill. Miller, who was elected by voice-vote when the electronic-voting equipment failed, ran unopposed.
Also re-elected were:
- Rev. Daniel Bishop, senior administrative pastor of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pekin, Ill., first vice-president.
- Rev. Kent Tibben, senior administrative pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Danville, Ill., second vice-president.
All of the elected officers were installed at the convention.
Under the theme “Grace, Free and Boundless,” from Titus 3:4-7, delegates adopted resolutions to:
- encourage congregations to “reach the unchurched and unsaved” by hosting adult-instruction classes and “invite-a-friend-to-church Sundays,” maintaining congregational websites and making use of district and Synod evangelism resources.
- re-affirm the “God-given form of marriage” by following God’s Word about marriage, sexual activity and child rearing, and publicly stating “We must obey God rather than men.” The resolution — which will be shared with the governor and legislators of Illlinois — asks congregation members to “contact their representatives and to work for the restoration of the biblically and biologically correct definition of marriage and to oppose any government actions which deny religious freedoms to the residents of this state.” It also asks for prayer that God would “move all of His people to ‘speak the truth in love,'” forgive all who repent of their sexual sins and empower His people to lead “sexually pure and decent” lives.
- ask the Synod in convention to direct the LCMS Council of Presidents to “immediately discontinue the licensing of lay deacons” in all LCMS districts; require “all men engaged in Word and Sacrament ministry without being publicly called to, and placed in, the office of the ministry” to be enrolled in residential pastoral training or in the Specific Ministry Pastor program at an LCMS seminary by the end of 2019; and ensure that current licensed lay deacons “be provided reasonable assistance in pursuing ordination or finding an alternative vocation.”
- ask the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations to “develop doctrinal statements” on the “male-only pastorate,” “the six days of creation” and “the necessity of a call and ordination for the exercise of the functions of the pastoral office,” and to submit them to the 2019 LCMS convention for “consideration and possible adoption.”
At the convention, former Central Illinois District President Rev. David Bueltmann was presented an honorary Doctor of Letters degree for his service to the church. The honor was presented by Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich, president of Concordia University, Nebraska, Seward.
LCMS First Vice-President Rev. Dr. Herbert C. Mueller Jr. preached at the convention’s opening worship, reminding worshipers that God desires all to be saved and that Christ died for all sins — a message we can share with the world.
Mueller also addressed the convention the following day on Synod and world issues, and encouraged congregations in their efforts to evangelize and share the Gospel.
A three-part convention essay on “Grace, Free and Boundless” was delivered by the Rev. Dr. Ken Schurb, pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Moberly, Mo.
The Central Illinois District convention was the last of the 35 LCMS triennial district conventions held this year.
Posted July 10, 2015