For Immediate Release
Contact: Vicki Biggs, 314-996-1236, 314-556-3829 (cell), @theLCMS, @LCMSConvention
ST. LOUIS, July 24, 2013—On their fourth full day of business at the 65th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, delegates worked swiftly to address numerous matters including support for The Wittenberg Project and Lutheran schools, affirming Synod mission priorities, standards for continuing education for pastors and proper service of licensed lay deacons. Here is a summary:
- The convention adopted three resolutions specific to increasing global Gospel proclamation. Delegates voted unanimously to encourage churchwide support for The Wittenberg Project, a venue for Christian education and a platform for witness in Wittenberg, Germany, the birthplace of the Reformation. Delegates also voted to support efforts to increase the number of full-time missionaries to 120 by 2016 and to develop a theological statement of mission by 2014 that would serve as a ministry roadmap for LCMS congregations and schools. Read more…
- Among the 13 “Life Together” resolutions delegates addressed were ones having to do with encouraging congregations to embrace schools – both traditional and home schools – as a critical ministry, placing renewed emphasis on adhering to the teachings of the Eighth Commandment and putting the best construction on all things, calling a director for LCMS Black Ministry and supporting six synodwide mission priorities:
- Plant, sustain and revitalize Lutheran churches
- Support and expand theological education
- Perform human care in close proximity to Word and Sacrament ministries
- Collaborate to enhance mission effectiveness
- Nurture the spiritual, emotional and physical well-being of church workers
- Enhance education from preschool through high school
- Acting specifically on three resolutions from the Floor Committee on Theology and Church Relations, delegates adopted a resolution calling for study of the appropriate service of licensed lay deacons, unanimously agreed to recognize the Lutheran Church of Togo – which began as an LCMS missionary plant – as an independent, self-governing partner church of the LCMS and agreed to the need for proper supervision of the distribution of the Lord’s Supper. Read more…
- Delegates agreed to setting standards for continuing education for pastors and encouraging recruitment of Hispanic and Spanish-speaking students and faculty into church-work positions, but time expired during discussion about strengthening the Synod’s Specific Ministry Pastor program. This matter may come before the convention tomorrow. Read more…
At the start of the day, convention participants joined together for Matins, where the Rev. James A. Baneck, president of the LCMS North Dakota District, preached on the fellowship Lutherans have together in their Baptism.
The business of the convention was paused in the afternoon so that delegates could join in celebrating a service commemorating the faithful departed, remembering rostered church workers who have gone to their rest in the Lord since the last Synod convention.
A service of baptismal remembrance closed out the business of the day with a reminder of the gifts given to believers in Baptism.
The Synod convention, which runs through July 25, serves as the principal legislative assembly for the church body. Along with the consideration of some 116 resolutions, the convention includes opportunities for worship and fellowship. Convention participants include 1,191 clergy and lay voting delegates.
About The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is a biblical, confessional, witness-oriented Christian denomination with 2.3 million members – 600,000 households – in 6,200 congregations. Through acts of witness and mercy, the church carries out its mission worldwide to make known the love of Jesus Christ. Learn more at www.lcms.org.