CNH delegates re-elect Newton

DelegatesNewton re-elected Dr. Robert Newton of San Jose, Calif., on the first ballot to a second three-year term as president of the LCMS California-Nevada-Hawaii (CNH) District at its 67th convention May 5-7 in Sacramento, Calif.

On the third ballot, they elected Dr. Thomas Zelt, senior pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Fremont, Calif., to the first vice-presidency — his first term.   

The also elected three regional vice presidents:

  • Rev. John-Paul Meyer, pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Rocklin, Calif., Northern Region;

  • Rev. Michael Lange, pastor of Resurrection Lutheran Church, Brentwood, Calif., Southern Region; and

  • Rev. Paul Hoffmann, senior pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Los Gatos, Calif., Pacific Region.

An installation for Newton, the vice presidents, and other elected officers is planned for June 10 at Our Savior Lutheran Church, Livermore, Calif.

Stepped up mission and outreach in the district was the aim of a number of resolutions the delegates adopted.

They resolved to give full support to the Synod’s Ablaze! initiative, while thanking God for steps district leaders already have taken to support efforts to share the Gospel with those in the district who are unreached or uncommitted.

That measure also calls on CNH congregations to seek new and creative ways to initiate such outreach.

Noting that the district encompasses a vast mission field of unchurched people from many people groups, delegates approved establishing a task force to explore ways to identify and prepare missionaries for outreach to them.  The task force would coordinate its work with the two LCMS seminaries and a number of Synod universities.

With a separate adopted resolution, the convention acknowledged that the district is an outreach church “in a society where the church no longer holds significant cultural meaning or value.” To counter that, the action calls on congregations to confess faith not only in churches, but also in other “arenas,” and mandates that pastors equip “faithful lay people to develop, lead, and multiply faith communities [of small groups of committed Christians].”

Other resolutions passed by CNH delegates this year:

  • endorse regional “mission action councils” to give higher priority to outreach in the district;   

  • authorize establishing a task force for mission awareness for congregations, to enhance outreach and strengthen fund raising for mission outreach; and

  • encourage “faithful administration” of the Lord’s Supper.

The action about the Lord’s Supper acknowledges the district’s “desire” to “establish faith communities” and calls on the CNH president and Board for Mission “to develop resources to assist pastors and congregations in developing practical ways of faithfully administering” the Sacrament.

Posted May 26, 2006

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