By Cheryl Magness
TAMPA, Fla. — During the first two days of business at the 67th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), delegates passed a variety of resolutions in the areas of National Witness, Life Together and Retention.
Commending deaconess and DCE ministry
On Sunday, July 21, Floor Committee 4 on Life Together presented resolutions affirming the work of directors of Christian education (DCE) and deaconesses in the Synod.
As noted in Res. 4-01, “To Affirm and Celebrate 60 Years of Director of Christian Education Ministry in the Synod,” the office of DCE was established by the 1959 Synod convention. Res. 4-01 calls for affirming and giving thanks to God for 60 years of DCE ministry and supporting and celebrating “those individuals who are preparing … currently serving … [or] who have served as DCEs” in the LCMS. The resolution passed with 94 percent of delegates voting in favor.
Res. 4-02, “To Commend LCMS Deaconesses and Diaconal Work,” highlights 2019 as the 100th anniversary of Lutheran deaconess training in the U.S. and the 40th anniversary of the first Synod-mandated deaconess-training program (at Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, Ill.). The resolution calls for thanking God “for a century of deaconesses and diaconal training”; praying “for wisdom, discernment, support, and our Lord’s leadership for all deaconesses”; and praying “on behalf of Lutheran deaconesses and those preparing to serve as Lutheran deaconesses.”
The Rev. Dr. Allan Buss, chairman of Floor Committee 4 and president of the LCMS Northern Illinois District, said, “What a joy to give thanks for these dedicated and important commissioned workers in the first two resolutions of our floor committee. That was by design. Then the assembly recognized the DCEs and deaconesses present with a round of applause. We are in this work together!”
Res. 4-02 passed with 96.8 percent of the vote.
Encouraging active witness
On Monday, July 22, Floor Committee 1 on National Witness continued the work begun the previous day by bringing two more resolutions before the convention. Res. 1-01A, “To Encourage God’s People to Engage in Active Witness,” passed with 91.1 percent of the vote.
During discussion of Res. 1-07A, “To Promote Adoption of Policies that Continue Vigilance in Child Protection,” a few delegates expressed concern about possible implications of the resolution for pastors hearing private confession. Their concerns related to the third resolve, “That the Synod encourage church and school leaders to be aware of the mandatory reporting laws of their states and/or local jurisdictions as they develop and adopt child protection policies.”
Responding to delegates’ concerns, Floor Committee 1 Vice-Chairman Rev. Christopher S. Esget, LCMS sixth vice-president, emphasized that the resolution addresses policy, not practice. The resolution passed by a margin of 98.6 percent to 1.4 percent.
In its first appearance before the convention, Floor Committee 12 on Retention: Schools, Family, Young Adults and Youth presented Res. 12-03A, “To Encourage Lifelong Catechesis in the Home and Church.” The resolution urges congregations, parents, guardians and youth ministries to encourage lifelong catechesis in a variety of ways, including:
- making use “of the teachings of the faith including the Small Catechism and the Lutheran Confessions”;
- highlighting “best practices that effectively utilize the study of the Bible and the Small Catechism”;
- making use of many resources, “including but not limited to” materials from Concordia Publishing House, the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations and Concordia Catechetical Academy; and
- encouraging “LCMS districts to share successful strategies among their congregations, with other districts, and with Synod as a whole.”
Res. 12-03A passed with 85 percent of delegates voting in favor.
Posted July 22, 2019
The 67th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod met July 20–25 in Tampa, Fla., at the Tampa Convention Center under the theme “Joy:fully Lutheran.” For more convention news: