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The five presidents of the Concordia University System stand before the LCMS convention on Aug. 2. From left are Dr. Michael Thomas, Concordia, Irvine; Dr. Erik Ankerberg, Concordia Wisconsin and Ann Arbor; Dr. Russell P. Dawn, Concordia, Chicago; Dr. Bernard Bull, Concordia, Nebraska; and the Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich, Concordia, St. Paul.
Convention approves revision of university and college bylaws

All five university presidents support Res. 7-04B, “To Revise Bylaws to Revisit and Renew Relationship of Colleges and Universities with the Synod.”

The Rev. Serge Maschewski (center right), bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ukraine, listens to a translator during the International Church Relations Forum on Tuesday, Aug. 1. (LCMS/Roy S. Askins)
International church leaders gather at convention for first Church Relations forum

The International Church Relations Forum offered more than 40 international church leaders the opportunity for study, discussion and fellowship during the 2023 LCMS convention.

On Tuesday, Aug. 1, at the 68th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Floor Committee (FC) 3 Chairman Rev. Brady Finnern introduces a resolution to raise awareness of the magnitude of the problem of human trafficking. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)
Delegates unanimously pass three resolutions on mercy

The resolutions call for raising awareness of human trafficking, encouraging pastoral care for those who suffer from mental illness, and giving thanks for LCMS Disaster Response’s faithful work.

A convention delegate studies an issue of Today’s Business during the LCMS convention on July 31. (LCMS/Frank Kohn)
LCMS convention adopts eight resolutions on structure and administration

The resolutions clarify multi-parish representation at conventions, fix various glitches in the convention Handbook and clarify Synod Bylaws.

LCMS Missouri District President Rev. Dr. R. Lee Hagan, chairman of Floor Committee 2 on International Witness, speaks to the delegates on Aug. 1 at the 68th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. (LCMS/Roy S. Askins)
Convention adopts seven International Witness resolutions

The resolutions from Floor Committee 2 address the Alliance Missionary Program, independent international congregations and the FORO model, among other things.

The Rev. Benjamin Ball, Floor Committee 12 chairman and newly elected LCMS second vice-president, leads the assembly in singing “Lord, Help Us Ever to Retain” in honor of Lutheran schools. (LCMS/Frank Kohn)
Synod convention calls for new Lutheran academic standards

Delegates also adopted resolutions that commend Lutheran schools, address church worker student debt, encourage family devotions and recommend youth ministry resources.

Floor Committee 13 Chairman Rev. Scott C. Sailer, president of the LCMS South Dakota District, presents a slate of candidates to the assembly on Aug. 1 at the 68th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. (LCMS/Frank Kohn)
Delegates elect 21 members to five Synod boards

The ordained, commissioned and lay members will serve on boards of the LCMS and its entities.

The Rev. Dr. Jamison J. Hardy, president of the LCMS English District and vice-chairman of Floor Committee 7 on University Education, leads debate on Resolution 7-03 at the LCMS convention on Aug. 1. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)
Delegates express desire for reconciliation with CTX, pass Res. 7-03

The resolution calls Concordia University Texas to repentance for seeking to separate itself from Synod governance.

The Rev. Dr. Brian S. Saunders, LCMS Iowa District East president, speaks with members of Floor Committee 5 as they prepare to present Resolution 5-08A. (LCMS/Frank Kohn)
Convention affirms in-person Communion

Delegates to 2023 convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) passed Resolution 5-08A, “To Affirm In-Person Communion,” by a vote of 842 to 140 (or 85.74%).

The Rev. Dr. Dwayne M. Lueck, vice-chairman of Floor Committee 10 on Ecclesiastical Supervision and Dispute Resolution, commences the work of FC 10 on July 31 at the 68th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in Milwaukee. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)
LCMS convention adopts five Ecclesiastical Supervision resolutions

The resolutions address ordained and commissioned candidate placement, standards of accountability, spiritual care for victims of sexual misconduct, and some “housekeeping” Bylaw changes.

LCMS Iowa District East President Brian Saunders speaks with the Rev. Dr. Joel Lehenbauer, executive director of Commission on Theology and Church Relations during the discussion of Resolution 5-07 at the 68th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. (LCMS/Frank P. Kohn)
LCMS recognizes broken fellowship with Japan Lutheran Church

For only the second time in its history, the LCMS recognized that it is no longer in fellowship with another church body.

The Rev. Dr. John W. Sias was elected to his third term as LCMS secretary on July 31 in Milwaukee. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)
Sias re-elected, Synod BOD positions filled

The Rev. Dr. John W. Sias was re-elected for a third term as Synod secretary.

Oklahoma District President Rev. David R. Nehrenz, chairman of Floor Committee 1 (left), and Atlantic District President Rev. Dien A. Taylor, an advisory ordained member of Floor Committee 1 (right), present Res. 1-02A to the floor during the committee’s July 31 presentation to the 68th Regular Convention of the LCMS in Milwaukee. (LCMS/Frank Kohn)
LCMS convention adopts eight National Witness resolutions

The resolutions address church planting, mission to U.S. immigrant communities, multi-congregation parish support, church worker wellness and more.

The Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, LCMS president, holds up a helmet presented to him by the Rev. Serge Maschewski, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ukraine. The LCMS purchased the helmet that later saved Maschewski’s life. (LCMS/Frank Kohn)
Synod convention welcomes new partners in proclaiming the Gospel

The LCMS acknowledges or declares full fellowship with five international church bodies in Europe, Africa and Asia.

Deaconess Grace Rao, the Rev. Don Hougard, Sheryl Dewitt and the Rev. Joe Glombicki — all Million Dollar Life Match grant recipients — are recognized onstage on July 30 during the 68th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. (LCMS/Frank Kohn)
LCMS convention encourages building a culture of life

On July 30, the Synod in convention passed a resolution supporting efforts to promote a culture of life and made an announcement about the Million Dollar Life Match.

Delegates to the 68th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod laugh during convention business on July 30 in Milwaukee. (LCMS/Frank Kohn)
Convention adopts three wide-ranging omnibus resolutions

The resolutions addressed approximately 60 overtures.