COVID-19 continues to impact both the world and the work of the church. Due to ongoing effects of the pandemic, some district presidents have expressed uncertainty that their district conventions will be able to convene at all during 2021.
The LCMS Council of Presidents (COP) voted unanimously at their November 2020 meeting to encourage LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison to put before congregations a proposal, per LCMS Constitution Article XI B 8, to delay the 2022 Synod convention one year (to 2023), thus extending the window for district conventions to include also the calendar year 2022. Harrison also consulted with the Synod Board of Directors in accordance with Article XI B 8.
The participation of each LCMS congregation in this deliberation and decision is vital as the Synod navigates this historic vote. In a Dec. 7 letter to the entire Synod, Harrison noted:
“There are two main problems: The hotel/hospitality/restaurant/convention industry is barely functioning in many places, making preparation difficult or even impossible; and government restrictions on public meetings are placing in doubt the possibility of even holding a district convention. There are currently many states in which our districts cannot legally meet.
“This is not about undue fear of COVID. We face a situation in which a number of districts may only be able to meet barely long enough to get a minimum amount of business done, or they may be unable to meet at all.”
Harrison concluded: “While this is an important matter to consider for our walking together as Synod, it is not a church-dividing issue. Let’s hear each other out, act in good conscience, and together make a decision, one way or another, for the good of our Synod and our shared commitment to proclaim Christ crucified, the hope of the world.”
While congregations can begin considering the issue immediately, instructions on the electronic voting process will be sent to member congregations by mail early in January; the vote, which requires participation of at least one quarter of the Synod’s congregations, will conclude Feb. 15.
• The Synod president’s full letter: lcms.org/delay-vote-letter
• A list of FAQs about the delay-vote process: lcms.org/delay-vote-faqs
• The minutes from the Commission on Constitutional Matters’ discussion of the process: lcms.org/delay-vote-minutes
Posted on Dec. 7, 2020 / Updated Dec. 8, 2020