Delegates to the 2012 LCMS Rocky Mountain District convention, meeting June 7-9 in Denver, elected the Rev. Allen D. Anderson of Boulder, Colo., as the district’s new president.
This was the 49th convention of the district, which covers Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. The convention theme, “Christ’s Church in This America,” was based on 1 Cor. 1:2.
Anderson, 56, succeeds the Rev. Randall L. Golter, who served three three-year terms, to which the district limits the district presidency.
A 1981 graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind., Anderson has been pastor of Mount Zion Lutheran Church, Boulder, since 2002. He has been the district’s first vice-president since 2003.
Anderson, who will be installed in July, was elected president by a 63 percent margin on the second ballot. On the first ballot, he received 48 percent of the vote. A simple majority was required for election.
Delegates also chose four vice-presidents whom they first elected by area and then ranked. All four, installed along with other officers and circuit counselors during the convention, are serving their first terms in those offices.
- the Rev. Gary A. Piepkorn, pastor of Faith in Christ Lutheran Church, Portales, N.M., first vice-president (and Southern area vice-president).
- the Rev. David A. Fischer, pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Salt Lake City, second vice-president (Western area).
- the Rev. Gary A. Rahe, pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Holyoke, Colo., third vice-president (Central area).
- the Rev. Dr. Jeffrey E. Shearier, pastor of Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Aurora, Colo., fourth vice-president (Central area).
Delegates also adopted resolutions that:
- ask the district to publicize and promote among its congregations resources it has available for Hispanic ministry. The action also encourages congregations to engage in outreach among Hispanics.
- accept for the district a circuit-based mission model known as “Gospel Gap Paradigm” that was initiated by Golter.
- call on district congregations to raise funds through a “special appeal, above and beyond regular congregational giving to District and Synod,” to support “national and international missions.”
- ask the district to discontinue — except for renewals — the licensing of lay deacons to serve as pastors (preaching and administering the Sacraments) without being properly called and ordained into the pastoral office.
- commit the district to “celebrat[ing] God’s abiding gift of the Reformation” with a wide variety of activities and celebrations throughout 2017, the 500th anniversary year of the Reformation.
Other resolutions adopted by delegates commend and call for enhancing the Synod’s Specific Ministry Pastor program, call for supporting campus ministry, and promote unity in worship at district conferences and conventions.
The convention offering — designated for the Lutheran Malaria Initiative — totaled $26,114.
Synod President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison addressed the convention, speaking about the Synod’s three-pronged “Witness, Mercy, Life Together” emphasis and what it looks like in this America. He commended the Rocky Mountain District for its work in and support for ministry and mission in South Africa. Harrison also responded to questions from the convention floor.
Others who made presentations to the convention included:
- the Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Kloha, associate professor of Exegetical Theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, who spoke on the topic “To the Church of God which is in Corinth – and in this United States.”
- Tim Goeglein, an LCMS Lutheran and vice-president for external relations for Focus on the Family, who spoke on “Faith, public, life, grace: not one without the others.”
- the Rev. Bart Day, executive director of the LCMS Office of National Mission, who talked about Lutheran schools in this America.
- the Rev. Gregory Seltz, speaker for “The Lutheran Hour,” who addressed how technology helps the Church and encouraged congregations to use the resources of Lutheran Hour Ministries.
- the Rev. Richard Schlak, executive director of Lutheran Hispanic Missionary Institute, an LCMS Recognized Service Organization, who addressed the topic “Church surrounded by different cultures.”
- Synod Fifth Vice-President Rev. Dr. Scott Murray, who led the convention Bible study on “Witness, Mercy, Life Together.”
Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life and an LCMS Lutheran from Albuquerque, N.M., was “special guest speaker” for the convention banquet. She presented numerous sobering statistics about abortion. Tobias also urged pastors to tell those attending their churches who may have been involved with an abortion in some way that there is forgiveness and that they are not condemned. And she urged prayers from everyone for the pro-life movement, whose volunteers sometimes get tired and discouraged as they work to carry on the battle against abortion that has been waged for almost 40 years.
Tobias also echoed Goeglein’s encouragement to become active in politics – perhaps starting with volunteering for a local Lutherans For Life or Right to Life chapter.
Posted June 12, 2012 / Updated June 13, 2012