South Wisconsin delegates elect Wille president

Rev. John Wille, pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Tomah, Wis., is the new presiWilledent-elect of the LCMS South Wisconsin District.
Delegates to the district’s 51st convention, meeting June 11-13 in Mequon, Wis., elected Wille on the fourth ballot to succeed Dr. Ronald Meyer, who announced before the convention that he would not allow his name to stand for nomination for a fifth three-year term as president.

Before this election, Wille, 52, was the district’s second vice president.
He was installed president-elect during the convention, when the vice presidents also were installed to their positions.  An installation service for the new president is being planned for August 2.
District vice presidents elected by convention delegates are:

  • Rev. Randolph Raasch, Cedarburg, Wis., first vice president and also Northeast region vice president;

  • Rev. Frederick Bischoff, Waterford, Wis., second/Southeast region vice president;

  • Rev. Jeffrey Meyer, Madison, Wis., third/West region vice president; and 

  • Rev. Larry Myers, Elm Grove, Wis., fourth/Central East region vice president.

Theme of the convention was “Ablazing Grace from an Amazing God — Developing People and Places of Purpose.”

As has been the case with other district conventions this year, South Wisconsin delegates adopted a resolution affirming the urgency of the Synod’s Ablaze! emphasis.  That resolution sets a goal of sharing the Gospel with 1.5 million unreached and uncommitted people in Wisconsin.

Encouragement for society to uphold the sanctity of one man-one woman marriage is the gist of another resolution South Wisconsin delegates adopted.  That resolution addresses all “violations” of the commandment against committing adultery, including homosexuality, adultery, prostitution, extra-marital relations, pornography, divorce, cohabitation, rape, incest, and sexual child abuse.

The resolution also calls for members in the district to encourage elected officials to enact legislation that will encourage society to uphold the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman.  Also, it asked that the district have an author prepare pastoral-care and outreach materials on homosexuality, “to equip congregations to show God’s love to those struggling in this area.”

Delegates passed a number of resolutions to memorialize the 2007 Synod convention about certain matters, including:

  • to change Bylaw so that opinions of the Commission on Constitutional Matters (CCM) are binding only until the next Synod convention unless the convention votes permanent status for an opinion; so that the CCM may not renew any non-binding opinion; and that these opinions are to be dealt with individually.

  • to review and either reaffirm or decline CCM opinions 02-2296 and 02-2309 regarding ecclesiastical supervision and personal accountability.

  • to determine clearly whether a resolution is doctrinal before its discussion or adoption, to avoid confusion.

  • to review bylaws adopted under 2004 Synod resolution 8-01A, concerning church discipline, and to further study proper methods of church discipline. The resolution also asks that the Synod recognize that public sin can be properly addressed in a public forum, as well as the necessity of lay involvement in hearing and resolving charges.

  • to authorize further study of the roles of men and women in the church.  The resolution calls for review of a 2004 Synod convention action affirming the conclusions of a Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) report titled “The Service of Women in Congregational and Synodical Offices” and states that “there is continuing discussion, reflective of the confusion and disunity evident in the congregations of our Synod regarding the 2004 convention resolution.  It also asks the 2007 convention to direct the CTCR to involve both seminary faculties in studying the issues involved.

Delegates also adopted a resolution commending state officials and South Wisconsin District pastors for recent passage of a state-assembly bill allowing communion wine in prisons.  Several district pastors were instrumental in advocating the action.  In 1994, the district’s convention called for an investigation of the restriction of the use of wine in communing prisoners.

Posted June 26, 2006

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