Delegates OK ‘terminology,’ doctrinal-review changes to Bylaws

HOUSTON – Delegates to the 63rd Regular LCMS Convention approved some changes and “tweaking” to two Synod Bylaws with action on lengthy resolutions offered by the Floor Committee for Planning and Administration. The action finished the work of that committee before the convention adjourned today (July 19).

Meeting July 14-19 at the George R. Brown Convention Center, the theme of this year’s triennial Synod convention was “One Mission – Christ! His Love is Here to You!”

Re. 7-07A, taking almost eight pages of “Today Business” – the convention’s daily publication – “standardizes terminology [and] clarifies definitions and [other matters] such as conflict of interest, which specifically address the Synod’s human-resources policies as they apply to agencies of the Synod,” said John Schuelke, a member of the floor committee who explained the resolution to the assembly.

That resolution was approved with little discussion by an 89.6 percent margin.

The other approved resolution (7-10A) proposed Synod Bylaw changes that give stipulations for publishing material in the Synod that has not gone through the Synod’s formal doctrinal-review process. Essentially, the changes state that before being published, material with doctrinal content should be submitted to a doctrinal reviewer, or reviewers, for “a careful evaluation of the doctrinal content of all items submitted.”

Also, a new provision of the doctrinal-review Bylaws states that study documents are not required to be submitted for doctrinal review “shall always include a notice to the effect that they were not submitted for doctrinal review” and that the material “is being released for study and discussion purposes, and the author(s) is (are) solely responsible for the contents.

Delegates defeated several proposed amendments to the resolution within the 30 minutes it was on the floor of the convention.  They gave the resolution final approval with 761 “yes” votes, a margin of 86.7 percent.

Although the committee also offered a hotly-debated resolution yesterday (July 18) that would have established a Bylaw process for removing board and commission members for certain behaviors and activities, delegates were not able to reach a decision on the matter before time ran out for its consideration.

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