By Stacey Egger
MILWAUKEE — On Monday, July 31, the second day of business at the 68th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), delegates quickly passed five resolutions presented by Floor Committee (FC) 10 on Ecclesiastical Supervision and Dispute Resolution. FC 10 Vice-Chairman Rev. Dr. Dwayne M. Lueck, president of the LCMS North Wisconsin District, introduced the resolutions in place of Chairman Rev. Dr. John C. Wille, president of the South Wisconsin District, who was absent from the convention due to illness. Lueck began the session by asking for prayers for Wille.
The first two resolutions propose minor revisions to the Synod Bylaws to resolve domino-effect unclarities caused by other Bylaw changes and additions made at recent conventions. Resolution 10-01 (“To Amend Dispute Resolution and Expulsion Bylaws to Address Practical Considerations and Clarity”) clarifies the process of selecting hearing facilitators and adds to Bylaw 126.96.36.199 a process for removing hearing facilitators with cause (to reflect the process in place for removing district reconcilers). Res. 10-01 was adopted by voice vote.
Res. 10-02 (“To Amend Bylaws to Clarify Application of Pre-Call Consultation and Call and Be Served By (Bylaws 2.5.2–3) beyond Member Congregations”) moves several sections regarding agencies, auxiliaries and Recognized Service Organizations out of paragraphs that normally deal with congregations and into their own sections, resolving unintended implications. Res. 10-02 was adopted with 95.86% of the vote.
Res. 10-03A, “To Provide Application of Standards of Accountability to Members of Synod,” notes “confusion as to the … standards to which the district presidents hold members of the Synod within their duties as ecclesiastical supervisors.” It seeks to provide transparency within the ecclesiastical supervision process by directing the LCMS Council of Presidents (COP) to:
- Develop consistent standards to which members of the Synod are held and to inform members within their districts of these standards;
- Make non-confidential portions of the COP Manual publicly available; and
- Provide a summary of COP meeting notes to the Synod.
Res. 10-03A was adopted by voice vote.
The committee took up candidate placement in Res. 10-04A, “To Direct Revision of Council of Presidents Policy regarding Placement.” Noting that the COP is responsible for placing ordained and commissioned candidates in their first calls, and that under the current Bylaws the responsibility for interim placement falls to “one man alone, or to the placement committee of the COP,” the resolution directs the COP to revise its policy so that such placements can be made “in a way more fully representative of the whole COP (for example, using electronic means).” Res. 10-04A was adopted by voice vote.
Res. 10-05A, “To Speak to Spiritual Care of Victims of Sexual Misconduct by Individual Members of the Synod,” notes the “ongoing and serious concern” of sexual misconduct, especially when allegations arise against a rostered worker of the Synod. It directs the COP, with legal counsel and the input of men and women knowledgeable on the topic, to develop “advisory procedures and guidelines to address the spiritual needs” both of the victims and of rostered workers against whom allegations have been raised. Res. 10-05A was adopted by voice vote.
Floor Committee 10 will bring two more resolutions to the floor later in the convention.
Posted Aug. 1, 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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