Resolutions deal with abuse, placement; delegates hear from LIRS president

HOUSTON — Two resolutions dealing with human care were addressed July 18 by delegates to the 63rd Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

The delegates adopted Res. 6-06, resolving that the Synod, through its Board for Human Care Ministries, provide trained individuals and materials on domestic violence, child abuse, and clergy sexual misconduct to help districts, congregations, and schools address abuse and minister to the spiritual needs of those struggling with the effects of abuse. It also directs the Synod to make these materials and training available to seminary students and professional church workers.

By approving Res. 6-03a, delegates called on LCMS World Relief and Human Care to conduct ongoing conversations with LCMS Recognized Service Organizations that place adopted or foster children so they do not “knowingly place adopted or foster children into any intrinsically sinful situations where individuals and families are not living in accordance with the Lord’s revealed and natural law.”

After the resolutions were adopted, Dr. David H. Behnke, chairman of the Floor Committee on Human Care, introduced Ralston H. Deffenbaugh Jr., president of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) in Baltimore, Md. Deffenbaugh said it was a heavy blow to LIRS when Congress stopped an effort to adopt comprehensive immigration reform.

“Our immigration system in our country remains terribly broken,” Deffenbaugh said. “Families are divided, people can’t find work, employers can’t find workers, and people seeking freedom can’t find a way to enter our country … [and] the current system allows for little mercy. We will continue to call upon the Lutheran community and others of good will to welcome the stranger in our midst and to build welcoming, caring communities,” he said.

The convention, meeting under the theme “One Message—Christ! His Love Is Here for You,” runs through July 19 in Houston.

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