The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) Board of Directors (BOD) met Nov. 18–19, 2022, in Phoenix. BOD Chairman Rev. Dr. Michael Kumm called the meeting to order. LCMS First Vice-President Rev. Peter Lange led devotions both days — Friday on Isaiah 65:17–25, and Saturday on the Commemoration of Elizabeth of Hungary and Genesis 18:1–8.
During his report, LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison reflected, after his recent trip to Germany, on how worldwide Lutheranism came to be in its present state, beginning with 16th-century philosophical presuppositions, which tended toward Platonism and strongly influenced the “fanatical” side of the Reformation, and running through the political and personal connections of the various parties.
First Vice-President Lange offered a brief update, focusing on pastoral and commissioned colloquy. Major policy revisions are being tackled in these areas. The commissioned colloquy committee has spent two years in study and increased communication with major stakeholders in the colloquy process. Lange plans to join district education executives at their conference to discuss commissioned-side policy revisions hoped for in the next triennium.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Nathan Haak presented a financial update on the first four months of FY23 (July 1, 2022–Oct. 2022). Haak reported revenue below budget in the period, with gift activity reduced in number and size of gifts, reflecting a generally acknowledged softening across the entire philanthropic sector. At the same time, expected underspending of unrestricted dollars currently more than offsets the decline in unrestricted gifts. He described an approach of “balancing prudent fiscal response with trust in the response of God’s people to the needs of the church.”
The BOD heard reports from the Audit, Personnel and Governance committees, the Board Policy Task Force and the Synod’s Department of Human Resources.
The Board also heard from LCMS Chief Mission Officer Rev. Kevin D. Robson on activities in the five areas under his supervision: National Mission, International Mission, Pastoral Education, Mission Advancement and Communications, noting in particular some “wonderful personnel additions” in the Mission Advancement department and the impending arrival of a “very well qualified” candidate from a “large corporate environment” to serve as executive director of LCMS Communications.
- The Board took action, on several additional items:
- Campus master plan revision and property sale, Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, Wis.;
- Campus master plan revision, Concordia University, Nebraska, Seward, Neb.; and
- Authorization to hire up to 10 vacant full-time-equivalent positions in the areas of “greatest need” and four additional part-time positions in Corporate Synod.
Minutes are available at lcms.org/bod.
Posted Jan. 30, 2023