By Cheryl Magness
TAMPA, Fla. — On July 25, the final day of business at the 67th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), Floor Committees 1 (National Witness), 4 (Life Together) and 12 (Retention) completed their work on the convention floor.
Floor Committee 1 on National Witness presented resolutions strengthening multi-ethnic outreach (Res. 1-05A) and supporting marriage, life and family (Res. 1-06A). Both passed by voice vote.
Included in both resolutions were provisions calling for the LCMS Office of National Mission (ONM) to provide resources to districts to assist in carrying out the convention’s will.
Floor Committee 4 on Life Together presented several resolutions that quickly passed by either voice vote or show of hands:
- Resolution 4-04A, “To Expand and Strengthen the Input with Which the Synod’s Triennial Mission and Ministry Emphases Are Determined”;
- Resolution 4-05, “To Commend the Celebration of the 175th Anniversary of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in 2022”;
- Resolution 4-08, “To Thank and Praise God for Concordia Publishing House’s 150th Anniversary”;
- Resolution 4-09, “To Declare April 18, 2021, as ‘Here I Stand’ Sunday and to Encourage Multi-Congregation Celebrations”;
- Resolution 4-10, “To Continue the Celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, including Commemoration of Events from 1519 through 1522”; and
- Resolution 4-12, “To Thank and Praise God for the 10th Anniversary of the Publication of The Lutheran Study Bible.”
The remaining resolutions from Floor Committee 4 were passed via electronic ballot.
After Res. 4-11A, “To Encourage the Study of the Doctrine of Close(d) Communion and Faithful Practice in All Congregations,” was presented by the committee, Synod President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison counseled the body regarding the Synod’s position on close(d) communion.
A proposed amendment failed to pass, and the original resolution was approved with 78.9 percent of the vote.
Floor Committee 4’s final two resolutions pertained to the Synod’s Recognized Service Organization (RSO) program.
Res. 4-06A, “To Amend Bylaw Section 6.2 to Revitalize Synod’s Recognized Service Organization Program,” grew out of 2016 Res. 4-03B calling for a review and report on the program. That report is available in the 2019 Convention Workbook.
LCMS Chief Mission Officer Rev. Kevin Robson, Concordia Plan Services President and CEO Jim Sanft, LCMS RSO Director Deaconess Dorothy Krans, and Dr. Kurt Senske, CEO of the LCMS RSO Upbring, spoke in favor of the resolution, which passed with 92 percent of the vote.
Resolution 4-07, designed to facilitate the carrying out of Res. 4-06A, passed with 95.5 percent of the vote.
The Rev. Dr. Allan Buss, president of the LCMS Northern Illinois District and chair of Floor Committee 4, said of his committee’s work, “We are grateful to see and hear the church give thanks for many things and prepare for the future together, including the 175th anniversary of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
“Also significant is the opportunity to engage RSOs in new ways that are faithful to who we are but recognize the challenges and open doors that lie ahead. Even in debate, I heard a church passionate about Christ, the church and the Lord’s mission. We are in this together. We need the Lord, and we are brought together with each other by His design.”
In its final appearance before the convention, Floor Committee 12 (Retention: Schools, Family, Youth and Young Adults) proposed four additional resolutions. All passed by voice vote.
- Resolution 12-07B, “To Strengthen the Family as the Center of Discipleship,” resolved, among other things, to encourage “ordained and commissioned ministers and lay leaders … to utilize the Making Disciples for Life website to find resources and to attend Making Disciples for Life regional conferences to network, share ideas, and learn best practices in order to create systems which embrace and help young people to be godly daughters and sons, workers, husbands, wives, parents, role models, etc.”
- Resolution 12-04A, “To Shape the Faith Formation Paradigm from Generation to Generation,” calls for the 35 LCMS districts, by the end of 2020, to receive and read the Generation to Generation pilot study produced by the LCMS Mid-South District and the Concordia Center for the Family and to “identify potential participating congregations and education ministries, evaluate, and implement the Generation to Generation recommendations as applicable to their own unique settings.”
- Resolution 12-01A commends and gives thanks for Lutheran early childhood centers, elementary schools and high schools. Among its points, the resolution calls for the ONM, in partnership with LCMS School Ministry, to “develop a process to resource congregations and districts who are developing new school ministries, revitalizing existing ministries, and resurrecting former ministries.”
- Resolution 12-06A, “To Create a Searchable Database for ‘Cradle-to-Grave’ Resources,” calls for Concordia Publishing House to “continue to produce the excellent user-friendly, searchable database of their discipling resources, and to provide easy access links on the website, arranged according to stages of life” and “to identify areas where future resources are needed, seeking counsel from Synod stakeholders.”
Posted July 31, 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: