Convention endorses ‘mustache’ funding resolution

LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison reacts to the results of the July 12 balloting, projected on the screen, indicating that delegates to the 2016 Synod convention considered LCMS Montana District President Rev. Terry Forke’s mustache to be “better” than his. (LCMS/Michael Schuermann)

LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison reacts to the results of the July 12 balloting, projected on the screen, indicating that delegates to the 2016 Synod convention considered LCMS Montana District President Rev. Terry Forke’s mustache to be “better” than his. (LCMS/Michael Schuermann)

By Sarah E. Ludwig

MILWAUKEE (July 14, 2016) — The 66th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod ended on Thursday with lightheartedness and fun while also addressing a pressing need.

The Rev. Dr. Roger C. Paavola, chairman of Committee 13, Routes to Ministry, and president of the LCMS Mid-South District, asked to offer a new resolution, 13-06, “Funding Seminary and University Education,” informally called “The Mustache Resolution.”

Earlier in the convention, the assembly took an impromptu “vote” on whether the best mustache was sported by LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison or LCMS Montana District President Rev. Terry Forke.

Paavola, who read the resolution, noted there are 2 million members of LCMS congregations, and it was proposed that members should also be able to vote for whether Harrison or Forke has the best mustache by donating a minimum of one dollar per vote.

The goal is to raise $2 million in scholarships for Concordia colleges, universities and seminaries. The first voting on who sports the best mustache was July 12, when the floor committee chaired by Forke presented its business for delegates to consider. Forke won that vote.

The Mustache Resolution has until Dec. 31 to raise $2 million by votes for “The Best Mustache in the Synod.” At that time, “the recipient of the smallest amount of dollars raised between Harrison and Forke must have his mustache shaved off in full or in part by the other participant.” This portion of the resolution was received with hearty laughter.

If the $2 million goal is not met, Paavola said he “would be required to grow facial hair until it either resembles the beard and mustache of Dr. Roland Ziegler” or his “wife begs him to shave.” Ziegler, who sports abundant facial hair, is on the faculty of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind.

The reading of the resolution was received by the assembly with applause and cheers. After Paavola asked that the resolution be passed, Harrison remarked, “It is crazy, but it is in order.”

The resolution was adopted with a unanimous voice vote.

Paavola began the funding for the scholarships by donating $75 each to Harrison and Forke.

Harrison closed convention business by thanking the assembly for its patience and forgiveness. He also later thanked an array of people who helped behind the scenes for the convention.

Some 1,500 participants, including about 1,125 voting delegates, attended the 66th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod July 9-14 at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee.

Sarah E. Ludwig is a freelance writer and copy editor and a member of Concordia Lutheran Church in Cresbard, S.D.

Posted July 18, 2016 / Updated July 20, July 21, July 22 and July 28  / Updated Oct. 26, 2016  / Updated January 4, 2017 (removed information on how to give at the conclusion of the initiative)

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The Rev. Chadric Dietrich, pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Rockwell City, Iowa, listens during the July 12 convention session in Milwaukee. (LCMS/Michael Schuermann)

The Rev. Chadric Dietrich, pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Rockwell City, Iowa, listens during the July 12 convention session in Milwaukee. (LCMS/Michael Schuermann)

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4 Responses to Convention endorses ‘mustache’ funding resolution

  1. July 19, 2016 at 12:21 pm #

    Where then may we buy our votes, I mean cast our money, I mean donate for ballots. I mean send an offering supporting scholarships benefiting Concordia students?

    • LCMS Church Information Center July 25, 2016 at 8:56 am #

      Thank you for your question. You’ll find that the information you’re looking for has been updated in the original story.

  2. John Diefenbach August 17, 2016 at 4:29 am #

    please post pictures of two men to vote on

  3. Linda Hieber August 18, 2016 at 12:54 pm #

    I’ve challenged my siblings to honor our father. He had a mustache and attended Concordias for his education.

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