2012 District Convention
DISTRICT BOARD OF DIRECTORS
DISTRICT PRESIDENT:Rev. Dr. Dean Nadasdy, Woodbury, Woodbury
1ST VICE PRESIDENT:Rev. Gerhard Bode, Peace, Hutchinson
2ND VICE PRESIDENT:Rev. Robert Gerhke, South Shore Trinity, White Bear Lake
3RD VICE PRESIDENT:Rev. Mark Rosenau, Good Shepherd, Owatonna
4TH VICE PRESIDENT:Rev. Mark Tewes, Living Savior, Chanhassen
SECRETARY:Rev. William Otte, Trinity, Rochester
ORDAINED MINISTERS (one per region):
Rev. David Seabaugh, Bethel, St. Paul
Rev. Lucas Woodford, Zion, Mayer
Rev. Jeffrey Kuddes, Trinity, Waltham
Rev. Kurt Lemkuhl, Peace, Arlington
COMMISSIONED MINISTERS (two):
Mr. Randy Ash, Waconia
Ms. Christine Eid, EdinaLAY PERSONS (one per conference):
Mr. Virgil Rose, Spring Park Lake
Mr. Matthew Frahm, Rosemount
Ms. Rosa Summers, Minneapolis
Mr. Calvin Kuhlman, Edina
Mr. Ted Tews, Lewiston
Mr. Matthew Drevlow, Faribault
Mr. Lane Nordquist, Mankato
Ms. Gayle Baumgard, Round Lake
CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY, ST. PAUL BOARD OF REGENTS
ORDAINED MINISTER:Rev. Tom Evans, Emmanuel, Inver Grove Heights
COMMISSIONED MINISTER:Mr. Luke Dahl, Howard Lake
LAY PERSON (2):Ms. Colleen Braun, Worthington
Ms. Kathy Meier, Chaska
2015 DISTRICT CONVENTION NOMINATING COMMITTEE
ORDAINED MINISTER (4):Rev. Thomas Braun, St. Matthew, Worthington
Rev. Joel Haak, Trinity, Rochester
Rev. Patrick Simmons, New Creation, Shakopee
Rev. Steven Wheeler, Cross View, Edina
COMMISSIONED MINISTER:Ms. Kathy Wessel
LAYPERSON (4):Mr. Randy Heuer
Mr. Steve Krause
Mr. Howard Luehmann
Mr. Christian Preus
PASTORâ€™S NOTES ON THE ELECTIONS:
The elections went for the most part as I had expected. The District Presidency was very close between Rev. Nadasdy and Rev. Preus (Glory of Christ, Plymouth) as these were the two promoted by the two major groups in the District (Mission Vision MNS and Life Together MNS respectively). Many of the elections were very close as all the candidates were so similar in their qualifications.
Resolution 1-01, â€œTo Support Marriage Between a Man and a Womanâ€ was amended so that it would read â€œbe it finally resolved, that the grace of God and the Gospel of Jesus continue to be compassionately extended to all people including those who struggle with homosexual inclinationsâ€. In the original resolution, the final phrase read â€œregardless of sexual orientationâ€. The amended resolution passed by a vote of 323-22. Not sure what the hangup was with the 22 negative votes, but it probably dealt with the change in wording in the amendment.
Resolution 1-02, â€œTo Recommit Ourselves to the Scriptural Rationale for Ecclesiastical Disciplineâ€ brought about by issues throughout the district where the scriptural process for ecclesiastical discipline was disregarded so the pastor or other church worker might be â€œrun outâ€ of the congregation. The resolution passed by a vote of 321-27.
Resolution 1-03, â€œTo Hold a District-Wide Theological Conference on the Doctrine of the Callâ€ dealt with the recent adoption by the LCMS Council of Presidents (COP) of a document regarding calls vs contracts for pastors. The resolution sought for this conference to be held before the end of 2014. The resolution passed 302-52.
Resolution 1-04, â€œTo Request Synod to ask that COP and CTCR Study the COP Document â€˜Calls vs. Contracts for Ministers of Religionâ€”Ordainedâ€ dealt with the same issue as Resolution 1-03. Overture A-1, submitted to the convention by the Faribault Circuit Forum, was substituted for the proposed resolution. The overture requested that the processes instituted in the COP document be suspended by the Synodical Convention next year until the Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) can study the document for adoption by the Synod Convention in 2016. The substituted resolution passed by a vote of 220-131. (I voted against this resolution primarily because of my understanding of Augsburg Confession XIV: â€œOur churches teach that no one should publicly teach in the Church, or administer the Sacraments, without a rightly ordered call.â€ An employment contract is not a divine call. Secondly, the original resolution worked against Resolution 1-03. If the previous resolution had asked for a conference before the end of 2014, why would we vote to suspend theseâ€”without studyâ€”until at least the 2016 Synodical Convention?)
Resolution 1-05, â€œTo Request That the Colloquy Committee for Pastor Ministry Review the Policies Concerning Colloquyâ€ had been pulled out of Omnibus Resolution A (by a vote of 194-160) and placed before the floor committee to reconsider putting before the Convention. The resolution seeks to create separate colloquy interview committees in each District that will separate out the interviews for those ordained and commissioned ministers of other denominations (especially the ELCA) to be able to convert to the LCMS and become pastors and teachers in our congregations and schools. The resolution passed by a vote of 253-47.
Resolution 1-06, â€œTo Commend the Roman Catholic Church for its Stance on Religious Freedoms and Defense of the Rights of the Unbornâ€ was presented because of similar resolutions in many other LCMS district conventions to thank and commend the Roman Catholic Church for its stance alongside the LCMS in the fight against the HHS mandate requiring religious organizations to be forced to provide and support contraception and abortion in their health care plans. The resolution passed by a vote of 255-16.
Resolution 2-01, â€œTo Commend Dr. and Mrs. David Rothâ€ and Resolution 2-03, â€œTo Thank God for the Ministry of Dr. Lane Seitzâ€ were brought to the convention by the District Board of Directors as these two men of God announced their retirement from their positions in the District office in the past year. Both resolutions were unanimously passed by those in attendance at the Convention rose and sang the Common Doxology.
Resolution 2-02, â€œTo Amend the MNS Articles and Bylawsâ€ was brought forward for adoption by the Convention from the Board of Directors after a review of the District constitution by the Synodâ€™s Commission on Constitutional Matters. No significant changes were made. Most came out of the restructuring from the 2010 Synodical Convention. The resolution passed by a vote of 311-21.
Resolution 2-04, â€œTo Require Payment of Registration Fees for Pastoral Conferencesâ€ was the second-most troublesome resolution brought before the Convention. The annual Fall Pastorâ€™s Conference at the Best Western in Mankato and the annual Spring State Pastorâ€™s Conference at Maddenâ€™s Resort outside Brainerd are required conferences and each congregation/pastor is required to pay the registration fee. Much debate was given about the necessity of the conferences and the location of the conferences was given. The resolution was tabled.
Resolution 2-05, â€œTo Prepare for Clergy Shortage to Congregationsâ€ was brought forward to promote different avenues for congregations without a full-time pastor to be served. Licensed deacons (lay people who preach and teach in the stead of a called pastor) and the Specific Ministry Program were brought forward as great avenues for helping to prepare for the impending shortage of pastors. The resolution passed by a vote of 185-118.
Resolution 3-01, â€œTo Assist and Encourage Members to Intentionally Speak of Jesusâ€ is one of the last segments of the Synodâ€™s Ablaze! movement still in effect. Ablaze! sought to reach 100 million people around the world with no connection to church by 2017, 50 million of those in North America and 300,000 in Minnesota South. The resolution passed by a vote of 272-21.
Resolution 3-02, â€œTo Encourage Church Multiplication as a Means of Making New Disciplesâ€ continues the push of Ablaze! to plant 2000 new churches in North America by 2017, 50 of those in Minnesota South. The resolution passed by a vote of 266-38.
Resolution 3-03, â€œTo Affirm the Goal of Revitalizing 50 Churches in the Minnesota South District by 2017â€ picks up where Resolution 3-02 left off. Not only did Ablaze! seek 50 new congregations by 2017, the movement sought to revitalize (â€œbring new life and focusâ€) to 50 congregations struggling to keep their doors open. Thus far, 30 congregations have been revitalized by the Synod and the District. The resolution passed by a vote of 250-52.
Resolution 3-04, â€œTo Affirm and Expand Campus Ministry in MNS Districtâ€ sought to take the proceeds from the sale of the current buildings where campus ministry to the U of M and Minnesota State Universityâ€”Mankato were being done into an endowment to establish and expand campus ministries at all colleges and universities in the southern portion of Minnesota. With the problems brought about by the resolution involving University Lutheran Chapel (ULC), this was sent back to the floor committee who withdrew it from the Convention floor.
Resolution 4-01, â€œTo Establish an Operation Barnabas District Counselor and Provide Fundingâ€ was retitled â€œTo Encourage Congregations to Support Operation Barnabasâ€ since there was already an Operation Barnabas District Counselor appointed by the District President. Operation Barnabas is a ministry outreach to the members of our Armed Forces after they are deployed and to their families during deployment. The amended resolution passed.
Resolution 4-02, â€œTo Forward to Synod Mission and Ministry Emphases for the Next Trienniumâ€ memorialized Synod to continue the â€œWitness, Mercy, Life Togetherâ€ mission and ministry emphases brought forward in the current triennium. The resolution passed 273-18.
Resolution 4-04, â€œTo Encourage Study of the Lutheran Confessions in Celebration of the Reformationâ€ was brought forward because of resolution in the 2009 District Convention. Every congregation is encouraged â€œto hold regular, on-going studies of all writings contained in the Book of Concord of 1580, i.e. the Lutheran Confessions, and to encourage all of their members to regularly attend those studies.â€ The resolution passed 253-40.
Resolution 5-01, â€œTo Support and Expand Campus Ministry in the Minnesota South Districtâ€ has an erroneous title. The entire resolution has not much to do with campus ministry as it does the history and struggle over the sale of ULCâ€™s property. Synodical President Matthew Harrison spoke briefly that this issue was the most divisive issue he has had to face during his tenure as Synodical President. The Synod is truly in an uproar over this issue. I have many friends on both sides of the issue. I personally have bounced back and forth between the two sides throughout the onslaught of mailings, emails, blog posts, etc. regarding the issue. Much debate was given to the subject with everything being covered from the District withdrawing from the sale of the property to giving ULC $2 million to relocate.
The original resolution sought to gift ULC with $250,000 in order to relocate to another spot. The resolution was substituted with one of the several overtures seeking $2 million of the $3.25 million sale price to be given to ULC. Debate went back and forth and another offer of $500,000 was given and voted upon. That offer was declined. Eventually the $2 million gift was passed by 52.3% of the Convention. Later, a resolution was brought forward that ULC and the MNS District would stop all legal proceedings against the other and seek a graceful and peaceful end to the issue. This resolution passed by a vote of 286-64.
On Saturday morning of the Convention, another campus ministry resolution came before the Convention. This one sought to give Hosanna Lutheran Church (who bought Campus Lutheran Chapel (CLC)) $400,000 back from the original $900,000 purchase price. This was passed 156-133. This entire resolution was brought forward completely out of â€œfairnessâ€ to CLC.
I was among the 47.7% against the $2 million gift to ULC and the 6% against the $400,000 gift to CLC. The $3.25 million from ULCâ€™s sale and the $900,000 from the sale of CLC in Mankato (NOTE: No one complained about the sale of that property.) was to be set aside in a $5 million endowment to expand campus ministry to all the colleges and universities in the MNS District. Currently, there are three campus ministries in the MNS District (Concordia St. Paul, ULC and CLC). No official campus ministry has been started at SMSU. A small campus ministry, primarily through Facebook and Twitter, has begun at Winona State University. While the U of M and Mankato are the two largest universities in our District, there is no reason why they have to be the only ones. Very few of our congregation have gone to either of the two schools. Most of our students who go to college in Minnesota primarily go to SMSU, Minnesota West or another trade-oriented school. Why should they be denied campus ministry during their college years? Here ends the rant.
Resolution 5-02, â€œTo Support Camp Omegaâ€ sought to bring Camp Omegaâ€™s capital appeal to the congregations that will begin in Fall 2013. Each congregation is encouraged to hold a four-week appeal for Camp Omega as is convenient during that time frame. The resolution passed by a vote of 309-37.
Overall, the Convention went as I had suspected it would. Although the Convention tends to be very political, we must remember that Christâ€™s Church is the communion of baptized sinners. Many feelings were hurt, egos were bruised, reputations tarnished. Many times I felt that I was watching an Obama-Romney debate. But this is the democratic polity that our Synod decided to have in its inception. Flawed as it might be, it is what we have and we ask God to bless it in spite of ourselves. Amen.