By Sarah Reinsel
MILWAUKEE — On Tuesday, Aug. 1, the third day of business at the 68th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), delegates adopted three more resolutions presented by Floor Committee (FC) 3 on Mercy. All resolutions were passed unanimously by voice vote.
LCMS Minnesota North District President Rev. Brady Finnern, FC 3 chairman, introduced the committee’s business by reminding the delegates of the words of the Kyrie: “Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.”
“As The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, we have a very robust understanding of the mercy that flows from Christ,” said Finnern. “Mercy is something … the church has done for generations, and something the Lord gives to us every single day.”
Finnern invited Dr. Yolanda W. Wornner Prevost, committee member and lay delegate from the LCMS Southern District, forward to read Resolution 3-02A.
This resolution, “To Increase Awareness among Synod Congregations of Human Trafficking,” directs the LCMS Office of National Mission (ONM) to research and identify churches, schools and Recognized Service Organizations (RSOs) that are responding to the problem of human trafficking in their communities, recognizing these ministries as “a witness to the Synod” of how to respond to this deplorable problem.
Given the magnitude of the problem of human trafficking, the resolution calls for church workers and laypeople to “be proactive in their response.” Finally, the resolution calls for the Synod in convention to pray that God would “bless and direct all law enforcement agencies in their fight against human trafficking.”
Next up, Res. 3-03A directs the Synod in convention to affirm 2019 Res. 3-04A, which encourages pastors, church workers and congregations to recognize and provide pastoral care for those who suffer from clinical depression, mental illness and other mental disorders. This resolution also directs the ONM to develop distinctly Christian mental health resources and programs for use by church workers and all members of the Synod.
One amendment to this resolution was proposed and adopted by the delegates: a Whereas — “Persons seeking help for mental health issues face stigma and bias against them” — and a Resolved — “That the Synod discourage its members and congregations from attaching stigma or being biased against persons seeking help for mental health issues.”
Finally, Res. 3-04A, “To Commend and Give Thanks for Synod Work regarding Disaster Response,” recognizes “the faithful, diligent, and responsible actions of the church, its auxiliaries and [RSOs]” in their response to the natural disasters that have occurred in the past three years. The resolution also encourages members of the Synod to support the mercy work of LCMS Disaster Response, to participate in Lutheran Early Response Team training and to offer volunteer assistance when the opportunity arises.
One more mercy resolution remains to be considered. FC 3 will come before the convention once more on Thursday, Aug. 3.
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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