“Boards and Business” is intended to briefly highlight the latest news from Synod leaders — such as the three LCMS boards and the Council of Presidents. The column will usually appear on the heels of the most recent meetings of those groups. — Editor
LCMS Council of Presidents:
At its April 22-25 meeting at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind., the LCMS Council of Presidents placed 116 pastoral candidates and assigned 85 vicars throughout the Synod.
Most of those placements and assignments are for first calls and vicarages announced in tandem with the COP meeting during services in the chapels at the Fort Wayne seminary and at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.
Of the pastoral candidates placed, 43 were from the Fort Wayne seminary, 59 from the St. Louis seminary, 10 through Synod colloquy, three from the Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology and one from the Center for Hispanic Studies. Of the vicarage assignments, 37 were from the Fort Wayne seminary and 48 from St. Louis.
Requests were submitted this spring for 176 candidates to fill pastoral calls and 96 to fill vicarages throughout the Synod.
Synod Secretary Rev. Dr. John W. Sias led an afternoon of discussion with the COP on the proposed revision of Synod Bylaw sections 2.14-2.17, which was mandated by 2016 LCMS convention Resolution 12-14, “Regarding the Right of an Accuser to Appeal When a District President or President of the Synod Fails to Act or Declines to Suspend.”
Lively discussion continued the next morning on the bylaw change, which the COP had discussed over several months and which was expected to be presented to the LCMS Board of Directors for approval during its May 19-20 meeting.
LCMS First Vice-President Rev. Dr. Herbert C. Mueller Jr. led the COP through a review of materials that have been developed for bringing licensed lay deacons functioning as pastors through a special colloquy process, so that they may be placed on the Synod’s roster of specific-ministry pastors. That process is in line with 2016 Synod convention Resolution 13-02A, “To Recognize Status of Licensed Lay Deacons Involved in Word and Sacrament Ministry.”
In its fourth meeting since the 2016 convention’s adoption of Resolution 12-02A, the COP completed its mandated annual review of the situations of ordained ministers having candidate status. At each council meeting, a fourth of the list is reviewed, with names presented of those “prepared and available for a call.” As Res. 12-02A also notes, this prepares district presidents to provide names of candidates to calling congregations — especially to those “that have requested but have not received graduating seminary candidates for ordination.”
Mueller also reported to the COP on behalf of Synod President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, who was unable to attend the meeting due to the death and funeral of his brother.
Among those items reported, Mueller:
- shared about plans for the Synod Praesidium’s upcoming district visitations and the 35 triennial LCMS district conventions in 2018.
- encouraged the council to promote the Synod’s new Every One His Witness evangelism program.
- provided an update on the progress of revisions for the Explanation of Luther’s Small Catechism.
In addition to considering numerous items of business, the COP heard from guest presenters, including new LCMS Executive Director of Pastoral Education Rev. Dr. James A. Baneck, staff of the Lutheran Housing Support Corporation and several faculty members from the Fort Wayne seminary — President Rev. Dr. Lawrence R. Rast Jr.; the Rev. Dr. Charles Gieschen, professor of Exegetical Theology and academic dean; and the Rev. Dr. Cameron MacKenzie, the Forrest E. and Frances H. Ellis Professor of German Reformation Studies and chairman of Historical Theology.
Posted May 18, 2017