Convention adopts four resolutions related to ecclesiastical supervision, dispute resolution

Richard Emory, a lay delegate from Davenport, Iowa, addresses Floor Committee 12 on Ecclesiastical Supervision and Dispute Resolution on Tuesday, July 12, during the LCMS convention in Milwaukee. (LCMS/Michael Schuermann)

Richard Emory, a lay delegate from Davenport, Iowa, addresses Floor Committee 12 on Ecclesiastical Supervision and Dispute Resolution on Tuesday, July 12, during the LCMS convention in Milwaukee. (LCMS/Michael Schuermann)

By Paula Schlueter Ross (paula.ross@lcms.org)

MILWAUKEE (July 12, 2016) — Delegates to the 66th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod adopted four resolutions on Tuesday morning presented by Floor Committee 12 on Ecclesiastical Supervision and Dispute Resolution.

But they did not address Resolution 12-01A — “To Restore Right of Accuser to Appeal When a District President Fails to Act or Declines to Suspend” — which took up most of the committee’s allotted time during Monday’s session.

At the start of Tuesday’s session, convention Chairman and LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison announced that “we’re trying to work something out that would be amenable to all” and would “bring some reasonable path forward that we could all get behind.”

Asked for comment later, Floor Committee 12 Chairman Rev. Dr. John Wille said “there will be another resolution coming out tomorrow” that “hopefully” the divided assembly could more easily accept. (See related story, “Convention debates ecclesiastical supervision resolution, takes no action.”)

The Rev. Dr. John Wille, president of the LCMS South Wisconsin District, chairs the Floor Committee 12's session July 12 at the 66th Regular Convention of the LCMS. (LCMS/Michael Schuermann)

The Rev. Dr. John Wille, president of the LCMS South Wisconsin District, chairs Floor Committee 12’s session July 12 at the 66th Regular Convention of the LCMS. (LCMS/Michael Schuermann)

Resolutions adopted Tuesday were:

  • 12-06 (approved by a whopping 99.62 percent of delegates — only 4 voted no), which asks the LCMS Offices of National and International Mission to share with district presidents the names of all missionaries and military chaplains returning to the U.S. after their overseas terms have ended so that congregations may be encouraged to issue calls to them.
  • 12-08, by voice vote, which makes additions to LCMS bylaws that allow lay members of dispute resolution, hearing and final hearing panels to request resource materials and personal assistance from the executive director of the Synod’s Commission on Theology and Church Relations when they have questions on doctrine or doctrinal applications in dispute or suspension cases.
  • 12-04A (by a vote of 648 to 386), which changes LCMS bylaws by expediting the dispute resolution and suspension/expulsion process.
  • 12-11 (928 to 146), which changes LCMS bylaws by establishing a procedure for removing officers of the Synod or a district (other than an LCMS president or a district president) when they are unable or unwilling to fulfill their duties or are convicted of a felony. The new Bylaw 1.5.8 does not remove the officer from LCMS membership, however.

Some 1,500 convention participants — including about 1,125 voting delegates — are meeting through Thursday, July 14, under the theme “Upon This Rock: Repent, Confess, Rejoice.”

Posted July 12, 2016

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