HOUSTON – Stating that division diverts energies from mission, delegates to the 63rd Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod called on elected leaders to develop a strategy for harmony.
In a resolution adopted Monday (July 16), the delegates resolved that the Council of Presidents -– 35 district presidents, the Synod president, and five vice presidents –- and the Board of Directors address division and mistrust within the church body. The resolution calls on them to gather “a representative group of respected leaders throughout this church” to shape a strategy.
Nearly 86 percent the delegates voted in favor of the resolution (Res 4-01A).
“…Personal opinions and differences regarding practical application of clearly stated doctrine have made for continued discord,” the resolution said. “Such discord has and is hindering the mission and is disheartening to God’s people to the point of withholding their support for ‘the common good,'” it continued.
The resolution cited the report of the Blue Ribbon Task Force for Funding the Mission, released last year. That report observed that any model for funding the Synod’s mission will not succeed in an organization that is divided and engaged in diversionary issues.
In other action on resolutions brought by the Floor Committee on Program and Finance, the convention:
• adopted Res. 4-03 requesting the Council of Presidents develop a clergy mentoring-training program on biblical whole life stewardship for the 2010 convention;
• resolved that the Synod support fund development efforts at its two seminaries and a Board for Pastoral Education funding model calling direct funding from the “corporate” Synod, tuition-driven institutions, and “the Synod as a whole (individuals, circuits, districts, corporate Synod and agencies)” assuming responsibility to assist students in paying undiscounted tuition (Res. 4-09A);
• amended Bylaws so surplus institutional funds in the Concordia University System may remain with the system for investment instead of reverting to the general synodical treasury (Res. 4-05);
• revised Bylaws to reflect the name change of Concordia Plans to Concordia Plan Services (Res. 4-06) and to add three additional laypersons with investment-financial experience to the Plans’ board of directors and board of trustees, increasing voting membership from 10 to 13 (Res. 4-07); and
• approved a property reversion procedure offered by Concordia College, New York, in lieu of a requirement adopted by the 2004 convention (Res. 4-04).
The Synod’s triennial convention is meeting July 14-19 with the theme of “One Message – Christ! His Love is Here for You!”