2018 District Convention
The Minnesota South District met in convention June 21-23, 2018 at Concordia University, St. Paul. Below are the results of the elections and the resolutions brought before the convention.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
District President: Rev. Dr. Lucas Woodford (Zion, Mayer) was elected to his first term on the second ballot by a 174-150 margin over Rev. Mark Tewes (Living Christ, Chanhassen).
Vice-President, Region I: Rev. Thomas Evans (Inver Grove Heights) was elected to his first term on the second ballot by a 177-145 margin over Rev. Christopher Horton (Rosemount). Rev. Dr. Robert Gehrke had served in this position for the previous three terms and was unable to run for re-election due to term limits.
Vice-President, Region II: Rev. Brent Parrish (Prior Lake) was elected to his first term on the first ballot by a 171-153 margin over Rev. David Kind (University Lutheran Chapel). Rev. Dr. Lucas Woodford had served in this position and was elected District President by this convention.
Vice-President, Region III: Rev. David Mumme (Trinity, Waterville) was re-elected to his second term on the first ballot by a 162-135-25 margin over Rev. Jon Vollrath (Our Savior's, Eyota) and Rev. Jesse Krusemark (Trinity, Waltham/St. Paul's, Hollandale).
Vice-President, Region IV: Rev. Harold Storm (St. John, Gaylord) was re-elected to his second term on the second ballot by a 166-158 margin over Rev. Thomas Braun (River of Life, St. Peter).
Ranking of the Vice-Presidents:1st VP: Rev. David Mumme (Region III)2nd VP: Rev. Thomas Evans (Region I)3rd VP: Rev. Harold Storm (Region IV)4th VP: Rev. Brent Parrish (Region II)
District Secretary: Rev. Keith Grimm (Family of Christ, Ham Lake) was elected to his first term on the second ballot over Rev. Dr. Lowell Sorenson (Immanuel, Red Wing) by a 167-149 margin. Rev. William Otte (retired) had served in this position for the previous three terms and was unable to run for re-election due to term limits.
Ordained Minister, Region I: Rev. Christopher Horton (St. John, Rosemount) was re-elected to his second term on the second ballot over Rev. Thomas Pfotenhauer (Woodbury, Woodbury) by a 175-142 margin.
Ordained Minister, Region II: Rev. Steven Wheeler (Cross View, Edina) was elected to his first term on the second ballot over Rev. Leroy LaPlant (St. Mark, New Germany) by a 157-150 margin. Rev. Mark Tewes (Living Christ, Chanhassen) had served in this position, but he was not on the ballot.
Ordained Minister, Region III: Rev. Loel Wessel (First English, Spring Valley) was elected to his first term on the third ballot over Rev. Jon Vollrath (Our Savior's, Eyota) by a 172-143 margin.
Ordained Minister, Region IV: Rev. Dennis Heiden (Hosanna, Mankato) was elected to his first term on the second ballot over Rev. Rob Jarvis (Buffalo) and Rev. Gary Klatt (St. John, Luverne) by a 160-122-35 margin.
Commissioned Ministers (2): Mr. Leland Huebner (retired) was re-elected on the second ballot over Ms. Faith Rattei (St. Peter's, Edina) and Ms. Brenda Lovhaug (Golen Valley) by a 170-71-64 margin. Mr. Joel Landskroener (Mayer Lutheran HS) was elected on the third ballot over Ms. Faith Rattei by a 161-140 margin to fill the second spot.
Lay Delegates (8): Mr. Daniel Thao, Mr. Gary Elsesser, Ms. Rosa Summers, Mr. John Branstad, Ms. Sara Sorenson, Mr. Dave Kenow, Mr. Benjamin Hagemann and Mr. Neal Breitbarth were elected to serve as the lay representatives for each conference in the District.
BOARD OF REGENTS, CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY, ST. PAUL
Ordained Minister: Rev. Jeremiah Johnson (Glory of Christ, Plymouth) was elected on the second ballot over Rev. William Otte (retired) by a 133-105 margin.
Commissioned Minister: Ms. Susan Hewitt (UpWorks, St. Paul) was elected on the third ballot over Mr. Joel Landskroener (Lutheran HS, Mayer) by a 133-113 margin.
Lay Members (2): Ms. Jocelyn Benson (Chatfield) was elected on the second ballot. Mr. James Anderson (Prior Lake) was elected on the third ballot.
2021 DISTRICT NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE
Ordained Ministers (4): Rev. Anders Davidson (Trinity, Waconia), Rev. Rob Jarvis (Buffalo), Rev. Kurt Klaus (Messiah, Lakeville) and Rev. Jesse Krusemark (Trinity, Waltham/St. Paul's, Hollandale)
Commissioned Minister: Mr. Joel Landskroener (Lutheran HS, Mayer)
Lay Members (4): Mr. Bruce Manzey (Chanhassen), Mr. Christian Preus (Plymouth), Mr. David Rowlands (Rochester), Ms. Holle Spessard
This convention's resolutions had little impact on much of congregational life. There were the typical calls for enhanced outreach to immigants and refugees, especially through new church plants. The call for an extended campus ministry push was well-received. The convention reaffirmed and memorialized next year's Synodical Convention to reaffirm the Synod's position on six-day Creation.
The biggest political issues that arose on the Convention floor concerned the staffing of the District Office and term limits for District and Synod presidents. I stood against both of these resolutions. The District Office's staffing of five Assistants to the President was just added at the 2015 Convention. It had been previously reduced to four at the 2009 Convention. The proposed resolution sought to reduce the number down to four again. There was no point for the yo-yoing at the District Office. The resolution was defeated.
Regarding term limits, the Church should not put term limits on the men who fill the offices of Synod and District President. These men are called Pastors who should be allowed to serve in these offices until God calls them to do something else or the time when God calls someone else to serve in that office. The Synod doesn't shuffle around parish pastors after a certain numbers of years because of the divine nature of the call into ministry. Serving on the Praesidium at the Synod or District level is also a ministerial call. As we put no limits in the parish, we should not put limits on the Synod or District level either. The convention moved to memorialize the Synod that the Synod President (currently Rev. Matt Harrison) and the First Vice-President (currently Rev. Herbert Mueller) only be allowed to serve four consecutive three-year terms.
The convention also moved to allow each congregation in a multi-point parish to have a lay delegate at the District Convention. Before this vote, congregations in a dual-, triple- or quad-parish were required to choose one delegate to represent all the congregations. Regardless of the circumstances that brought about the multi-point parish, the congregations are no longer being punished when it comes to having their voice heard on the District level.