Nominations begin under 2016 bylaw changes

A delegate uses the electronic voting system during the 66th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod on Sunday, July 9, 2016, at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. (LCMS/Frank Kohn)

By Cheryl Magness

This month begins the process of nominations and district conventions that will culminate in the 67th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, to be held July 20-25, 2019, in Tampa, Fla.

(Official notices regarding Convention Reports and Overtures and Convention Nominations, as well as a copy of the Nomination Form, may be found in LCMS Notices.)

At the 2016 LCMS Convention, the adoption of two resolutions resulted in changes to the presidential election process as well as to the process for nominating individuals for regional board positions.

Res. 11-03A removed attendance at the district convention as a prerequisite for those voting for Synod president. Previously, Bylaw stated that the Synod secretary would use “lists of delegates in attendance at the prior year’s district conventions” to “compile and maintain the voters list for the election of the President of the Synod,” and that the voters list would include “two voting delegates from each congregation in attendance at the previous district conventions who remain members of the congregations they represented.”

With the passage of Res. 11-03A (724 voting yes; 334 voting no), Bylaw now calls for the voters list to include:

  • the pastor of each member congregation or multi-congregation parish, and
  • a lay person from the congregation or parish.

In addition, a provision was added stating that the congregation “shall present to the Secretary of the Synod 90 days prior to the election a proper credentials form provided by the Secretary, signed by two of the congregation’s officers,” and that “if a congregation or parish has more than one pastor eligible to vote, the congregation shall designate on the credentials form which pastor will cast a vote on behalf of the congregation.”

Res. 11-05 effected bylaw changes “To Revise and Enhance Nomination and Election Process for Regional Board Members.” Previously, Bylaw 3.12.1 stated that “for purposes of regional elections, individuals will be considered a part of the geographical region where their congregational membership is held.”

With the passage of Res. 11-05 (731 voting yes; 208 voting no), Bylaw 3.12.1 now reads, “For purposes of regional elections, individuals will be considered a part of the geographical region in which they reside.” The result is one standard for region membership in all regional nominations and elections: place of residence.

Also with the passage of Res. 11-05, a new Bylaw,, was added governing “Nominations and Elections of Regional Positions — Board of Directors and Mission Boards.” Nominees for regional board positions were formerly gathered from member congregations by a process similar to that used for regional vice-presidents.

Under the new bylaw, nominations for regional board positions are sought from the congregational and individual members of the Synod, as well as from lay members of Synod congregations. These are submitted to the Committee for Convention Nominations (CCN) in a manner identical to that used for at-large elections. Nominations for a given region’s position may originate anywhere in the Synod, but must name a nominee who resides in the appropriate region. The period for these nominations is the same as for at-large nominations handled by the CCN, opening 18 months before, and closing nine months prior to, the Synod convention.

Regarding the changes, LCMS Secretary Rev. Dr. John W. Sias noted: “Congregations are used to having the opportunity to nominate for regional board positions at the same time they nominate the president and vice presidents of the Synod. Beginning this triennium, it is important that everyone be thinking of submitting these nominations during the CCN nomination period — at least nine months prior to the convention — and the sooner, the better.”

Sias warned: “If congregations wait until the presidential nomination ballots come out to nominate regional board members, it will be too late.”

To see Resolutions 11-03A and 11-05 in their entirety, as well as read about other convention business, go to and click on “Convention Proceedings 2016.”

Cheryl Magness ( is managing editor of Reporter Online and staff writer for LCMS Communications.

Posted Jan. 3, 2018

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Reporter Online is the Web version of Reporter, the official newspaper of
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