By Roy S. Askins
TAMPA, Fla. — A number of overtures to the 67th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) raised concerns over privacy and data protection for convention delegates. Previous Synod bylaws required the secretary of the Synod to publish the names and addresses of delegates in the Convention Workbook and, subsequently, online.
On Monday, July 22, delegates adopted Res. 9-04A to safeguard the personal information of future convention delegates. Instead of publishing delegate addresses, the resolution directs the secretary of the Synod to publish only the name and congregation of each delegate.
Furthermore, mailing addresses will only be available for Synod entities conducting official convention business.
“This ends the long-standing practice of providing mailing addresses for unofficial but convention-related publications,” said the Rev. Dr. Donald Fondow, chairman of Committee 9 on Structure and Governance and president of the LCMS Minnesota North District.
In response to a delegate’s questions, the Rev. Dr. John W. Sias, secretary of the Synod, said that LCMS Recognized Service Organizations will not receive the list either, as they are governed independently of the Synod.
Some delegates expressed concern over the inability to receive information from sources other than official channels. Fondow explained that while special-interest groups will not be able to mail delegates directly, the resolution does allow them to distribute information through delegates’ congregations.
In addition, Fondow introduced several “housecleaning” resolutions, saying, “We are still here, 172 years later … still built on our Lord, His Word, our Confessions and the mission He has given us to do, including the determination of how we can best carry out the work with joy, fully Lutheran, rejoicing, praying and giving thanks.”
Housecleaning lacks the excitement that often comes with other aspects of life. Without it, however, life becomes messy and disordered. The same holds true for the operations of the LCMS.
The delegates performed some constitutional housecleaning by adopting Res. 9-01, which clarified the terms “staff” and “faculty” in the Synod Handbook.
Delegates also passed Res. 9-02, 9-03, 9-05, 9-09 and 9-14 — all with majorities of over 90 percent. These resolutions may be found in the first issue of Today’s Business.
Posted July 23, 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: