In 2019, the Synod in convention adopted Resolution 9-17, “To Study Voting Privilege in the LCMS.” The committee formed jointly by the Commission on Constitutional Matters and the LCMS Council of Presidents to carry out the study has concluded its work and issued its final report.
This report, treating historical practices of voting and non-voting advisory representation at the conventions of the Synod and its districts, was directed by Res. 9-17 to be “made available to the Synod at least 18 months prior to the 2022 convention.” Though the convention has been deferred to 2023, the committee desires to present its work in time for consideration by even the earliest district conventions, which are scheduled to occur yet in 2021.
As a report requested by a previous convention of the Synod, the Res. 9-17 report will be included in the 2023 Convention Workbook. Comment on the report may be submitted to the Office of the Secretary via:
- Email at email@example.com; or
- U.S. mail at The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Office of the Secretary, 1333 S. Kirkwood Road, St. Louis, MO 63122-7295.
Comments received will be shared with the committee and with the 2023 convention floor committee to which the report will be assigned.
Rev. Dr. John W. Sias
Secretary, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
Posted March 15, 2021
A better proposal would be that each congregation receives the number of votes corresponding to the number of called pastors for the congregation.
I believe that the current voting practice is based on sound reasoning. However, I also believe that the report is correct in that members of synod who have no vote need to be heard and that this needs to be formalized in some way. I have no had a vote at district conventions since becoming a theology professor at Concordia Chicago over 20 years ago–for over half of my 40 years as an ordained pastor in the LCMS. Before conventions the district and synod have seldom (perhaps never–I cannot recall an instance) sought my opinion or the opinion of colleagues in similar positions in the CUS institutions, even though we are charged with the theological training of future workers in the LCMS. Our colleagues at the seminaries are sometimes consulted, but those of us who teach in what one evangelical friend of mine calls “the Lutheran academic ghetto” are often overlooked. It appears to me that this is not the best use of the human resources that constitute the theology faculties of the CUS.