Delegates adopt proposals on structure, governance

HOUSTON – Delegates to the 63rd Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod adopted four final resolutions July 19 offered by the Floor Committee for Synod Structure and Governance.  Those resolutions addressed matters such as rebuke of public sin and Matthew 18, opinions of the Commission on Constitutional Matters, wording for congregational constitutions, and a study on the composition of hearing panels.

The theme of the convention, which met July 14-19 at the George R. Brown Convention Center, was “One Message – Christ! His Love is Here for You!”

• By a vote of 950-122, delegates adopted Res. 8-05A, which encouraged study of Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) documents on public rebuke of sin and amends Synod Bylaws related to Matthew 18. The resolution affirmed that Matthew 18 does not apply in cases of public sin and affirmed the Bylaw requirement of “face-to-face meetings, even in cases of public sin, toward the goal of reconciliation.”  It directs the Commission on Constitutional Matters to make appropriate changes to the synodical Handbook regarding Matthew 18, and it encourages the Synod to study the CTCR documents “Public Rebuke of Public Sin” and “Ecclesiastical Supervision and Dispute Resolution.”

• Delegates referred a series of convention overtures, by a vote of 603-191, to the CTCR for consideration and asked for a report back to the 2010 convention, as to how theological issues are addressed under recent Bylaw changes and the policies implemented by the Council of Presidents. The resolution addressed overtures that expressed Scriptural concerns regarding three CCM opinions. Two delegates attempted to offer two substitute resolutions, saying they wanted the convention to address the overtures directly.  Delegates defeated both substitutes.

• Resolution 8-04, adopted by the delegates’ vote of 1054-35, encouraged congregations to include the words “inspired,” “inerrant,” “infallible,” or “revealed,” with respect to the written Word of God in their constitutions and bylaws.  The resolution also recognized that the words are “in harmony with the confessional basis of the Synod.”

• Delegates adopted a proposal to recommend further study of the composition of hearing panels by a vote of 654-89.  The proposal called for a special task force to conduct the study.  The resolution specified the composition of the task force and asked that the task force report results of its study and any recommendations no later than the 2010 convention.

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