The Rev. Terry R. Forke of Billings, Mont., was re-elected president of the LCMS Montana District on the first ballot during the district’s 33rd convention, June 22-25 in Billings. This is Forke’s fourth three-year term as president.
Delegates also re-elected the Rev. Christopher J. Tabbert, pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Eureka, Mont., as the district’s first vice-president.
And they elected the Rev. Dr. John W. Sias to his first term as district second vice-president. Sias is pastor of a triple parish — Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Colstrip, Mont.; Concordia Lutheran Church, Forsyth, Mont.; and Trinity Lutheran Church, Hysham, Mont.
Forke, Tabbert and Sias were installed during the convention by LCMS Fifth Vice-President Rev. Nabil S. Nour, whose LCMS region includes Montana.
Under the theme of “No Other Name … by Which We Must Be Saved” (based on Acts 4:12), Montana District delegates adopted resolutions proposing memorials (for action) to the 2016 LCMS convention. They include measures that:
- direct the Synod Board of Directors to study and propose changes to the LCMS budget to the 2019 Synod convention that would redirect funds to the LCMS seminaries, the Global Seminary Initiative and to overseas missionaries — beginning in 2020.
- direct the Synod president to appoint a task force to develop Synod bylaws dealing with charges of heresy in the LCMS. All such charges would be brought to the Praesidium of the Synod (consisting of its president and vice-presidents) to determine whether such charges have sufficient grounds to be considered.
- end the practice in the Synod of non-ordained men who are not under a supervisor in a field-education or vicarage program preparing sermons and/or administering the sacraments, “for the sake of the Gospel.”
Other resolutions adopted by delegates to the district convention:
- direct the district’s board of directors to create a line item in its budget to support rostered workers from the district who have accepted calls to serve as LCMS missionaries abroad. Funds will be divided evenly among such missionaries. Four Montana pastors have received and accepted international-mission calls within the past several months.
- encourage Montana District congregations to identify and inform the district’s Missions Committee of opportunities for planting churches.
- direct the district president to appoint a task force to study establishing chaplaincies connected to congregations near detention centers.
Other convention highlights included the delegates hearing and discussing a reading of the Smalcald Articles during four convention sessions and a banquet with square dancing and Synod President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison playing his banjo.
Posted July 8, 2015