By Cheryl Magness
MILWAUKEE (July 11, 2016) — On the second full day of business at the 66th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, delegates on Monday considered and passed three resolutions presented by Floor Committee 7, Concordia University System.
The Rev. Timothy J. Scharr, the committee’s chairman and president of the LCMS Southern Illinois District, began Floor Committee 7’s presentation by introducing a short video on the Concordia University System (CUS).
Scharr observed that what sets the CUS apart is the position of “Christ … [at] the center of all our learning.” He discussed some of the current challenges facing the CUS, stating that “Christian colleges and universities are under attack” and “we need to act.”
Scharr went on to observe that after several “very productive” hearings, Floor Committee 7 had revised all of its proposed resolutions and withdrawn one of them, Resolution 7-07.
He then introduced the president of the CUS, the Rev. Dr. Dean O. Wenthe, who highlighted the distinctive ability of Concordia institutions “to talk about the meaning of life, for we have learned it in Jesus Christ.”
Wenthe asked all the current Concordia presidents to come forward and introduce themselves, and afterward they received a standing ovation from the assembly.
The first resolution brought forward by Floor Committee 7 was 7-01A, “To Adopt Lutheran Identity Statement for CUS Institutions as Prepared by CUS presidents.”
The Lutheran Identity Statement, consisting of 10 standards aimed at upholding “the teachings of sacred Scripture and its articulation in the Lutheran Confessions,” was read in its entirety, and the floor opened to discussion.
After one delegate asked a clarifying question, the convention chair, LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, noted that the queue consisted wholly of speakers in support of the resolution and proposed to cease debate. The delegates agreed by voice vote and went on to pass Resolution 7-01A, also by voice vote.
Also considered were Resolutions 7-05A, “To Endorse Roster Status for Graduates of Classical Liberal Studies and Other Teacher Education Programs,” and 7-08, “To Celebrate 125th Anniversary of Concordia University, St. Paul, Minn.”
It was proposed and approved that 7-05A go straight to a vote without discussion, and the Resolution was approved 95.90 percent to 4.10 percent.
Resolution 7-08 also was easily passed, again by voice vote, and Harrison offered a prayer of thanksgiving for the Concordia University System.
Floor Committee 7 will present additional resolutions to the delegates on Thursday, July 14.
Cheryl Magness is a freelance writer, copy editor and musician and a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Broken Arrow, Okla.
(Posted July 12, 2016)
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