Delegates to the 54th LCMS Southern Illinois District convention, Feb. 23-25 in Collinsville, re-elected Rev. Herbert Mueller of Waterloo to his fifth term as president and boosted the financial goal for congregations supporting the district’s partnership with the Lutheran Church of Southern Africa.
Mueller, whose re-election came on the first ballot, was installed during the convention, which had as its theme “Jesus Gives Life at 100+ Mission Outposts.”
Other district officers installed at the convention included Dr. George J. Gude and Rev. Timothy Scharr, newly elected as the district’s first and second vice presidents, respectively. Gude is pastor of Emmaus Lutheran Church, Dorsey, and Scharr is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Nashville.
The resolution continuing the district’s mission partnership with the Lutheran Church of Southern Africa through LCMS World Mission increases the annual goal for support from Southern Illinois congregations from a total of $35,000 to $40,000. That support is over and above their regular commitment to the district and the Synod.
Bishop David Tswaedi of the South African church body thanked God for that partnership as he brought greetings to the convention.
Among actions concerning mission outreach in Southern Illinois, delegates passed a resolution that steps up efforts to reach Hispanics, including provision for covering up to half the cost of a full-time worker called by a district congregation and primarily assigned to Hispanic ministry in Southern Illinois.
Delegates also passed a resolution calling for additional support for already extensive and active prison or jail outreach throughout the district.
Noting that 28 “ministry servants” in the district reach out on a weekly basis to 26 “prison/jail settings” in the region, the resolution authorizes continuing “prayer and mission funding support” from the district and directs its mission board to take measures for increasing prison/jail ministry support, to include organizing a new district prison/jail mission society.
Southern Illinois delegates adopted a resolution that asks the 2007 Synod convention to change who authorizes exceptions for electoral circuits — from the president of the Synod to its praesidium (the Synod’s president and five vice presidents).
Two other adopted resolutions call for the next LCMS convention to make changes to the Synod’s dispute-resolution process and the makeup of hearing panels involved in cases concerning a congregation’s or church worker’s possible removal from membership in the Synod.
The one concerning the dispute-resolution process would allow for an accuser to appeal directly to the praesidium of the Synod, thus removing the requirement for him to meet face-to-face with the accused.
The proposed change for the hearing panels would be from panels of district presidents to panels of hearing facilitators, with district presidents to be non-voting chairmen of those panels.
Also passed were separate resolutions asking the district president or his representative to visit Southern Illinois congregations to work toward uniformity in line with “our Synod’s doctrine of closed communion” and “to promote sound Lutheran worship practices among us,” according to the titles of the resolutions.
Both resolutions also call for the 2007 convention of the Synod to take actions requiring all 35 LCMS district presidents or their representatives to conduct visitations for the same purposes in their districts.
The Southern Illinois District includes 97 LCMS congregations.
Posted March 21, 2006