Synod Secretary Dr. Raymond L. Hartwig announced March 17 that two amendments to the church body’s Constitution that were adopted by 2010 LCMS convention delegates have been ratified by the required two-thirds majority of Synod congregations that participated in the ratification balloting.
Hartwig told Reporter that the ratification-vote outcome means that those amendments “become effective immediately.”
On the ballot, the measures were referenced as “Amendment A” and “Amendment B.”
A total of 2,081 LCMS congregations’ ballots for ratification of the two amendments were returned to the Secretary’s Office. Amendment A received 1,592 votes in favor of ratification, with 477 congregations against the change and 12 congregations not voting. Amendment B received 1,564 votes in favor of and 495 against the change, with 22 not voting.
Hartwig explained that the ratification of Amendment A removes mention of the chief financial officer (formerly treasurer) of the Synod from the list of elected officers in Article X of the LCMS Constitution, removes from Article XI a paragraph describing the duties of the treasurer (which are contained in greater detail in Bylaws 3.4.1 and following), and removes from Article XI E mention of the treasurer as a nonvoting member of the Board of Directors.
Amendment A relates to the 2010 convention delegates’ adoption of Resolution 8-10. That resolution called for amending the two articles as a result of delegates’ earlier adoption of Res. 8-39 (changing the procedure for selection of the Synod’s vice-president/finance — treasurer, and changing that title to chief financial officer).
The ratification of Amendment B inserts a new Article XIV into the Constitution to make clear that the Constitution “always is the primary document in the Handbook of the Synod” and that it “controls and supersedes” the Bylaws, Hartwig explained.
With insertion of the new article, there are now 15 articles to the Synod Constitution.
Amendment B was called for by adoption of 2010 Res. 8-27, which contained resolveds stating, “There are no articles in the Constitution that clarify that if a Bylaw adopted by simple majority vote serves to confuse or contradict the Constitution of the Synod, the Constitution will ‘trump’ the Bylaw”; and, “There is a need to clarify the relationship between the Bylaws and the Constitution of the Synod.”
The ballot for congregations to vote on the two amendments was mailed to them in mid-September, with a deadline of March 15 for their completed ballots to be received by the Synod secretary’s office.
Hartwig’s announcement of results via this Reporter article carries out the requirements of the following stipulation in Article XV of the Synod Constitution:
“At the end of the six-month period, the secretary of the Synod shall announce the outcome of the voting by districts in the official periodical of the Synod.”
For a chart with the breakdown of the voting outcome for the two amendments by districts, click here.
Posted March 18, 2011