By Sarah Reinsel
MILWAUKEE — On Tuesday, Aug. 1, at the 68th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), convention delegates adopted six resolutions presented by Floor Committee (FC) 12 on Schools, Family, Young Adults and Youth.
Since convention business was running slightly behind schedule, LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison asked the assembly if they wished to “move with alacrity on less controversial overtures” by voting on the resolutions without hearing any debate. The assembly voted in favor of this motion.
Thus, delegates proceeded to adopt the following resolutions.
First, advisory commissioned minister Dr. Christopher Cody, education executive for the LCMS South Wisconsin District, introduced the rationale for Res. 12-01A, “To Produce Uniform Set of Lutheran Academic Standards for Our Schools.” This resolution was composed in response to four overtures calling for distinctively Lutheran curricula for all subjects and grade levels.
“Standards and curriculum are often used interchangeably,” Cody noted. “Standards are goals for instruction that remain constant; curriculum is the content of the instruction — the textbooks and other materials that are used to achieve the standards and [that] can change over time.”
However, continued Cody, at an estimated cost of $30 million to $50 million, the creation of Lutheran curricula for all subjects and grade levels “is simply not feasible.”
Instead, with a uniform set of Lutheran academic standards, Lutheran schools could use them for guidance when purchasing textbooks and other curricular materials. Furthermore, these standards could be used by Concordia Publishing House in future curriculum development.
Next, the convention considered Res. 12-02A. In light of “governmental, legal and related institutional overreach,” which often results in children being subjected to anti-Christian indoctrination on a variety of matters, Res. 12-02A moves to affirm and confess the God-given authority of fathers and mothers in the education and raising of their children.
Res. 12-03A, “To Address Commissioned Minister—Teacher Student Debt,” resolves to encourage congregations and schools to regularly conduct salary and benefit reviews, assist teachers with student debt repayment as a regular employee benefit, and contribute to church work scholarship funds in their districts. These actions are especially urgent given that low salary is a primary reason that fewer students are studying to become teachers, and student loan debt is a primary motivation to seek higher paying employment.
Res. 12-04A commends and gives thanks for Lutheran schools: the 1,677 early childhood centers, 816 day schools and 103 high schools operated by the congregations and Recognized Service Organizations of the Synod, and the over 180,000 students who heard the Word of God during the 2022–2023 school year. The resolution also commends all teachers and administrators who served in our Lutheran schools throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Upon passing this resolution, convention delegates rose and sang “Lord, Help Us Ever to Retain” (Lutheran Service Book 865).
Res. 12-05A encourages family devotions among the members of Synod congregations. It especially encourages fathers “in their duty to teach their family the Christian faith through daily devotions.”
Res. 12-06, “To Encourage Use of Current Research and Resources for Ministry to Youth,” urges LCMS congregations to involve high school youth and young adults in the lay leadership of the church; encourages pastors and youth leaders to develop relationships with young people; commends LCMS Youth Ministry and LCMS Rosters, Statistics and Research Services for their research efforts; and encourages all Synod congregations to study Relationships Count: Engaging and Retaining Millennials.
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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