The Rev. Mark A. Miller, senior pastor of St. John Lutheran Church in Pekin, Ill., is the new president of the LCMS Central Illinois District. Miller was elected on the third ballot at the district’s July 8-10 convention in Springfield, Ill., defeating five-term incumbent Rev. David J. Bueltmann of Buffalo, Ill.
The convention gave Bueltmann a standing ovation to thank him for his many years of service to the district. Bueltmann had served as president since 1995, completing two years of the Rev. Dr. Robert Kuhn’s term when he was elected that year as LCMS first vice-president.
Miller, who had served since 2009 as the district’s second vice-president, is a 1983 graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Also elected were:
- the Rev. Kent A. Tibben, senior pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Danville, Ill., first vice-president.
- the Rev. Daniel J. Bishop, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Arenzville, Ill., second vice-president.
All of the elected officers were installed at the convention.
Under the convention theme of “Scripture Alone, Grace Alone and Faith Alone,” delegates adopted resolutions that ask the 2013 national LCMS convention to:
- continue the Synod’s “Witness, Mercy, Life Together” emphasis through the 2013-16 triennium.
- amend the Synod’s bylaws so that the members of the LCMS Board of Directors who are elected at-large would change from two ministers of religion–ordained and two laypersons to four ordained ministers.
- rescind Res. 3-08A, adopted at the 2004 LCMS convention, regarding the service of women in congregational and synodical offices. The resolution also asks district congregations to remain “faithful to the historic, orthodox and biblical Lutheran teaching and practice of the role of women in the Church” and to “reject the teaching/doctrine/practice of women exercising authority over man in violation of the order of creation as expressed in Res. 3-08A.”
- develop a plan so that all men who are currently engaged in Word and sacrament ministry — without being publicly called to or placed in the office of the ministry — be enrolled in the Synod’s Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) program or cease from all forms of Word and sacrament ministry by the end of 2019. The resolution also asks that SMP students be called “deacons,” not “pastors,” until they complete the program.
The district convention also adopted resolutions to:
- commend the Roman Catholic Church for its stance on religious freedom and defense of the rights of the unborn.
- affirm the biblical view of marriage, sexual activity and child-rearing, and commend Catholic Charities of Illinois for refusing to certify unmarried couples as foster parents. The district plans to send copies of the resolution to the governor of Illinois, the state legislature, administrators of social-service agencies, as well as the president of the United States.
- express the district’s opposition to the U.S. Health and Human Services healthcare mandate and its support for legislation prohibiting it. The resolution also encourages members of the district to oppose the mandate and to share their views with their congressional representatives.
- ask the district to identify programs that promote Christian stewardship and encourage district members to share their time, talents and treasures.
- adopt campus ministry as a district mission emphasis during the next triennium.
In a vote of 116 to 113, delegates voted to limit the district’s president and vice-presidents to three three-year terms. Those term limits will become effective for officers elected at the next district convention, in 2015.
Central Illinois was the last of 35 LCMS district conventions held this year.
Posted July 12, 2012