2012 District Convention

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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


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


ORDAINED MINISTER:Rev. Tom Evans, Emmanuel, Inver Grove Heights


LAY PERSON (2):Ms. Colleen Braun, Worthington

Ms. Kathy Meier, Chaska


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


LAYPERSON (4):Mr. Randy Heuer

Mr. Steve Krause

Mr. Howard Luehmann

Mr. Christian Preus


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, “To Support Marriage Between a Man and a Woman” was amended so that it would read “be 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 inclinations”. In the original resolution, the final phrase read “regardless of sexual orientation”. 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, “To Recommit Ourselves to the Scriptural Rationale for Ecclesiastical Discipline” 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 “run out” of the congregation. The resolution passed by a vote of 321-27.

Resolution 1-03, “To Hold a District-Wide Theological Conference on the Doctrine of the Call” 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, “To Request Synod to ask that COP and CTCR Study the COP Document ‘Calls vs. Contracts for Ministers of Religion—Ordained” 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: “Our churches teach that no one should publicly teach in the Church, or administer the Sacraments, without a rightly ordered call.” 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 these—without study—until at least the 2016 Synodical Convention?)

Resolution 1-05, “To Request That the Colloquy Committee for Pastor Ministry Review the Policies Concerning Colloquy” 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, “To Commend the Roman Catholic Church for its Stance on Religious Freedoms and Defense of the Rights of the Unborn” 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, “To Commend Dr. and Mrs. David Roth” and Resolution 2-03, “To Thank God for the Ministry of Dr. Lane Seitz” 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, “To Amend the MNS Articles and Bylaws” was brought forward for adoption by the Convention from the Board of Directors after a review of the District constitution by the Synod’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, “To Require Payment of Registration Fees for Pastoral Conferences” was the second-most troublesome resolution brought before the Convention. The annual Fall Pastor’s Conference at the Best Western in Mankato and the annual Spring State Pastor’s Conference at Madden’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, “To Prepare for Clergy Shortage to Congregations” 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, “To Assist and Encourage Members to Intentionally Speak of Jesus” is one of the last segments of the Synod’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, “To Encourage Church Multiplication as a Means of Making New Disciples” 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, “To Affirm the Goal of Revitalizing 50 Churches in the Minnesota South District by 2017” picks up where Resolution 3-02 left off. Not only did Ablaze! seek 50 new congregations by 2017, the movement sought to revitalize (“bring new life and focus”) 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, “To Affirm and Expand Campus Ministry in MNS District” sought to take the proceeds from the sale of the current buildings where campus ministry to the U of M and Minnesota State University—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, “To Establish an Operation Barnabas District Counselor and Provide Funding” was retitled “To Encourage Congregations to Support Operation Barnabas” 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, “To Forward to Synod Mission and Ministry Emphases for the Next Triennium” memorialized Synod to continue the “Witness, Mercy, Life Together” mission and ministry emphases brought forward in the current triennium. The resolution passed 273-18.

Resolution 4-04, “To Encourage Study of the Lutheran Confessions in Celebration of the Reformation” was brought forward because of resolution in the 2009 District Convention. Every congregation is encouraged “to 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.” The resolution passed 253-40.

Resolution 5-01, “To Support and Expand Campus Ministry in the Minnesota South District” 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 ULC’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 “fairness” 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 ULC’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, “To Support Camp Omega” sought to bring Camp Omega’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 Christ’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.