By Megan K. Mertz
MILWAUKEE — All seven resolutions brought by Floor Committee (FC) 2 on International Witness were adopted by voice vote on Tuesday, Aug. 1, during the 68th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS).
“Floor Committee 2 is pleased to bring before the convention resolutions that highlight collaboration in our walking together for the sake of preaching Christ crucified to all nations,” said LCMS Missouri District President Rev. Dr. R. Lee Hagan, chairman of FC 2. “Such collaboration of the Synod’s Office of International Mission includes that with partner churches, seminaries, congregations and Recognized Service Organizations as seen in these resolutions. Our prayer is that these resolutions will support and encourage greater collaboration, all for the sake of God’s mission to preach repentance and forgiveness of sins to all nations.”
Among the resolutions passed were:
- Res. 2-01, “To Commend, Strengthen, and Give Thanks for the Alliance Missionary Program.” Under this program, “church workers on rosters of the Synod’s international Lutheran church partners are called and sent by their own church bodies into foreign mission areas of the Synod, with administrative and financial support and supervisory coordination provided by the OIM [Office of International Mission].” This resolution directs the OIM to continue to expand this program, as appropriate, and commends the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil for its partnership.
- Res. 2-02A, “To Promote and Collaborate with the Office of International Mission.” In addition to directing the Board for International Mission (BIM) and the OIM to continue their work, the resolution encourages LCMS congregations, congregation members, schools and all others to collaborate “with the work of OIM working internationally as a reflection of our walk together.”
- Res. 2-03, “To Strengthen Pastoral Care of Missionaries and Clarify Ecclesiastical Supervision.” This resolution encourages improvement in the pastoral and spiritual care and ecclesiastical supervision of the Synod’s international missionaries, who are far from their home congregations and who “face exceptional circumstances related to the nature of their unique work.”
- Res. 2-04A, “To Commend Synod Seminaries for Work in International Witness.” This resolution commends Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne; their presidents and boards of regents; and their faculties for their work in providing theological education around the world.
- Res. 2-05, “To Provide Resources for Discerning Validity of Requests to Support International Mission Work.” This resolution directs the OIM to “prepare practical resources” to assist congregations and others when they are approached with requests for support for international mission projects, some of which may not have a discernible “connection or coordination with the Synod’s confessional and scriptural standards.”
- Res. 2-06A, “To Study Synod Relationships with Independent Lutheran Congregations in Foreign Mission Areas.” There are a handful of independent Lutheran congregations around the world that are not part of a larger church body and “have expressed interest in becoming members of the Synod with the intention of strengthening their confession, mission, and ministry while enjoying the privileges of membership in the Synod.” This resolution directs the BIM, in collaboration with the LCMS Council of Presidents, to study this issue and provide recommendations to the 2026 LCMS convention.
- Res. 2-07A, “To Commend Use and Attendance of FOROs.” The Synod’s Latin America and Caribbean region has been using the FORO (Spanish for “forum”) model to connect LCMS congregations, pastors, districts and institutions with a particular mission field, which “[builds] partnerships” and “furthers the mission” in that place. This resolution directs the OIM to expand that model to other regions and encourages districts and congregations to participate in the program.
FC 2 will bring one additional resolution before the delegates later in the convention.
Posted Aug. 2, 2023
2023 LCMS Convention
Under the theme “We Preach Christ Crucified,” the 68th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod met July 28–Aug. 3, 2023, at the Baird Center in Milwaukee.
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