Spanish Versions of Racism and Immigration Resolutions Available

Two resolutions from the 2019 LCMS convention — Res. 11­­­–04A (“To Affirm the Common Humanity of All People and Ethnicities”) and Res. 11–05A (“To Encourage Responsible Citizenship and Compassion Toward Neighbors Who Are Immigrants Among Us”) — are available in both English and Spanish.

Check out and download the English and Spanish versions of the two resolutions in PDF format at the LCMS Reporter article.

How CTSFW is impacted by the 2019 Synod Convention

The 67th Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) came to a close in Tampa, Florida, on July 25, 2019, but not before the committees and representatives from congregations across Synod made an impact on both Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne (CTSFW), and our sister seminary, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (CSL).

This year, CSL joined CTSFW to create a joint booth in the convention hall, demonstrating the collegiality between the seminaries and reflecting the reality that, though we are two distinct institutions, sharpening each other as iron sharpens iron, we exist for the same Church and mission: that the Lord of the harvest may send more laborers into His harvest.

Read all about the various resolutions and elections that affect CTSFW in their comprehensive press release.

Joint Seminary Boards Meet. Post-Convention Work Picks Up.

Two sections of the press release are especially worth highlighting:

Among the actions approved, the joint boards agreed to establish a formal process for the leadership of each board to meet regularly, in addition to the bylaw-established annual joint meeting of the full board. This leadership group will help increase dialogue and coordination between the seminaries, and will assist in setting the agenda for the annual joint board meeting.

And:

Together, Presidents Rast and Meyer presented on the state of the seminaries. They completed their presentation with frank truth and in the hope we have in Christ: “The challenges facing our seminaries and our Church are many, but our Lord is faithful and He will see us through these current and future challenges just as He has in the past.”

It is wonderful to see both of our Seminaries being led faithfully and well, and working so well together. They are a wonderful example of koinonia for us to seek to imitate in the LCMS. See the whole press release here.

Today at Convention – Thursday, July 25th

Overview of the Day
What should you expect on Thursday, July 25th?

  • Many of the Floor Committees are not done with business yet. #12 is on the orders of the day already, but otherwise expect 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, or 11 to make appearances at some point during the morning.

Key Items of the Day
The final day is all about finishing up business not yet dealt with. It can get kind of crazy! Be on your toes and ready to act.

Recap of Wednesday, July 24th

  • Rev. John Wohlrabe preached to the Convention during Matins on Thursday morning. Watch/listen to the service here.
  • Several floor committees brought resolutions to the floor. Significant discussion took place on several, especially those of floor committee 7.
  • More elections were held to various Boards of Regents of the Synod’s St. Louis seminary and the Concordia Universities.
  • A special recognition of the former Presidents of the Synod took place.
  • The service of the commemoration of the faithful departed was held on Thursday afternoon.

Today at Convention – Wednesday, July 24th

Overview of the Day
What should you expect on Wednesday, July 24th?

  • Floor Committees 9, 8, 5, 6, 7, 2, 4, and 10 will be bringing resolutions throughout the day. As it is the last full day of convention business, it is possible that other committees not listed will be called to present as well.
  • Elections of various boards of regents remain. (see below for recommendations).
  • Convention Essay by Rev. Dr. Gottfried Martens
  • The President-Elect’s Reception will be held in the evening.

Key Items of the Day
Many important resolutions remain to be brought to the floor. Consult the chart on pp. 383–384 in Wednesday’s Today’s Business for what remains to be dealt with.

Remaining Elections Recommendations
On Wednesday elections to certain boards of regents will be concluded. In particular, voting will pick up with the remaining ordained minister seat on the Concordia St. Louis Board of Regents. We strongly recommend a vote for Bruce E. Keseman to this seat. All of our other remaining election recommendations are below.

Special Instructions: When more than one recommendation is listed, please vote for the FIRST name until that person is elected, then move on to the second name.

SAINT LOUIS REGENTS
Ordained Minister: Bruce E. Keseman (incumbent)
Commissioned Minister: Michael S. Staub
Layperson: Mark O. Stern (incumbent)

CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY SYSTEM COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY BOARDS OF REGENTS

CONCORDIA BRONXVILLE BOARD
Ordained Minister: Jon M. Ellingworth (incumbent)
Commissioned Minister: Ross E. Stueber (incumbent)
Layperson (elect 2): Mark E. Gruenwald
Layperson: David M. Wolf (incumbent)

CONCORDIA CHICAGO BOARD
Ordained Minister: Michael R. Knox
Commissioned Minister: Carol R. (Umbach) Johnson
Layperson (elect 2): Edward C. Kopff, then
Layperson: John Hrehov

CONCORDIA IRVINE BOARD
Ordained Minister: Scott C. Klemsz (incumbent)
Commissioned Minister: Jeffrey S. Beavers (incumbent)
Layperson (elect 2): Susan L. Christian, then
Layperson: Peter K.S. Lee (incumbent)

CONCORDIA NEBRASKA (SEWARD) BOARD
Ordained Minister: James H. DeLoach
Com: no recommendation
Layperson (elect 2): Timothy Hu (incumbent), then
Layperson: Jill M. Johnson (incumbent)

CONCORDIA PORTLAND BOARD
Ordained Minister: Timothy J. Pauls (incumbent)
Commissioned Minister: David O. Berger
Layperson (elect 2): Michael P. Borg (incumbent), then
Layperson: Brian T. Yamabe

CONCORDIA SAINT PAUL BOARD
Ordained Minister: Dennis L. Voss
Commissioned Minister: Mark J. L’Heureux (incumbent)
Layperson (elect 2): Amy S. Wenthe (incumbent), then
Layperson: Robert P. Wurl

CONCORDIA TEXAS (AUSTIN) BOARD
Ordained Minister: Nathaniel W. Hill (incumbent)
Commissioned Minister: no recommendation
Layperson (elect 2): Bob Ssekyanzi, then
Layperson: Thomas J. Zachman

CONCORDIA WISCONSIN (MEQUON) BOARD
Ordained Minister: David C. Fleming (incumbent)
Commissioned Minister: Gary Petersen
Layperson (elect 2): Alison C. Witte, then
Layperson: Deborah J. Davidson (incumbent)

Recap of Tuesday, July 23rd

  • Rev. Nabil Nour preached to the Convention during Matins on Tuesday morning. Watch/listen to the service here.
  • Floor Committees 11, 2, 10, 9, 5, 6, and 3 brought resolutions to the floor
  • Elections were held to various board and commissions of the LCMS, including the CTCR, CPH Board, and some of the Seminary Boards of Regents seats.
  • Several special recognitions occurred: newly elected and outgoing Synod Board of Directors; newly elected and outoing Praesidium; and Church body guests in attendance.

Today at Convention – Tuesday, July 23rd

Overview of the Day
What should you expect on Tuesday, July 23rd?

  • Floor Committees 11, 2, 10, 9, 5, 6, and 3 will be bringing resolutions throughout the day.
  • Elections of other boards, the CTCR, boards of regents, and other synod entities (see below for recommendations).
  • Convention Essay by Rev. Josemon Hoem
  • Alumni Receptions!

Key Items of the Day
All the other elections remain important, but at this point in the convention the key item becomes attention to the business still being brought by the Floor Committees. Much of it is important business and statements that ought to be considered and, if the convention is willing, passed. Please note the above floor committees and be ready to discuss and vote!

Other Elections Recommendations
On Tuesday and Wednesday the rest of the elections to various board, commissions, and other synod entities will take place. We publish here a list of all the recommendations for the next two days, since the convention moves through the list in the time allotted on Tuesday and then finishes up whatever is left on Wednesday. (Note: we concur with the choices of The United List.)

Special Instructions: When more than one recommendation is listed, please vote for the FIRST name until that person is elected, then move on to the second name.

BOARD FOR NATIONAL MISSION
Central Region, ordainedained or Commissioned Minister: Martha J. Milas (incumbent)
Great Lakes Region, Ordained or Commissioned Minister: Peter C. Bender (Incumbent)
West-Southwest Region, Ordained or Commissioned Minister: Alfonso O. Espinosa
East-Southwest Region, Layperson: Paul Techau
Great Plains Region, Payperson: Carla M. Claussen (Incumbent)

BOARD FOR INTERNATIONAL MISSION
East-Southeast Region, Ordained or Commissioned Minister: Roberto E. Rojas, Jr. (Incumbent)
Great Plains Region, Ordained or Commissioned Minister: Bernhard M. Seter (Incumbent)
Central Region, Layperson: Kristine S. Bruss (Incumbent)
Great Lakes Region, Layperson: K. Allan Voss (Incumbent)
West-Southwest Region, Layperson: Terence Lung (Incumbent)

COMMISSION ON THEOLOGY AND CHURCH RELATIONS
Ordained Minister (parish pastor): Robert A. Dargatz (incumbent)
Layperson: Andrea R. Pitkus (incumbent)

CONCORDIA HISTORICAL INSTITUTE, BOARD OF GOVERNORS
Ordained Minister(elect 2): Rodney A. Benkendorf, then
Ordained Minister: Robert V. Roethemeyer
Commissioned Minister or Layperson: David G. Millar (incumbent)

CONCORDIA PUBLISHING HOUSE, BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Layperson (elect 4): Stephanie A. Egger (incumbent), then
Thomas R. Halvorson, then
Angela M. Hill (incumbent), then
Joseph L. Olson (incumbent)

LUTHERAN CHURCH EXTENSION FUND, BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Ordained or Commissioned Minister: Jason M. Braaten
Layperson: Susan J. Elsholz (incumbent)
Layperson: Jonathan H. Kramer

LCMS FOUNDATION, BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Ordained Minister: Robert C. Weinkauf
Layperson: Gregory J. Miller

CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY SYSTEM, BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Ordained Minister: Raymond L. Hartwig

CTSFW BOARD OF REGENTS
Ordained Minister (elect 2): Matthew W. Rueger, then
Ordained Minister: Korey D. Maas
Commissioned Minister: E. Theodore Lams II
Layperson: David L. Daniels (incumbent)

SAINT LOUIS REGENTS
Ordained Minister (elect 2): Todd A. Peperkorn (incumbent), then
Ordained Minister: Bruce E. Keseman (incumbent)
Commissioned Minister: Michael S. Staub
Layperson: Mark O. Stern (incumbent)

CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY SYSTEM COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY BOARDS OF REGENTS

CONCORDIA BRONXVILLE BOARD
Ordained Minister: Jon M. Ellingworth (incumbent)
Commissioned Minister: Ross E. Stueber (incumbent)
Layperson (elect 2): Mark E. Gruenwald
Layperson: David M. Wolf (incumbent)

CONCORDIA CHICAGO BOARD
Ordained Minister: Michael R. Knox
Commissioned Minister: Carol R. (Umbach) Johnson
Layperson (elect 2): Edward C. Kopff, then
Layperson: John Hrehov

CONCORDIA IRVINE BOARD
Ordained Minister: Scott C. Klemsz (incumbent)
Commissioned Minister: Jeffrey S. Beavers (incumbent)
Layperson (elect 2): Susan L. Christian, then
Layperson: Peter K.S. Lee (incumbent)

CONCORDIA NEBRASKA (SEWARD) BOARD
Ordained Minister: James H. DeLoach
Com: no recommendation
Layperson (elect 2): Timothy Hu (incumbent), then
Layperson: Jill M. Johnson (incumbent)

CONCORDIA PORTLAND BOARD
Ordained Minister: Timothy J. Pauls (incumbent)
Commissioned Minister: David O. Berger
Layperson (elect 2): Michael P. Borg (incumbent), then
Layperson: Brian T. Yamabe

CONCORDIA SAINT PAUL BOARD
Ordained Minister: Dennis L. Voss
Commissioned Minister: Mark J. L’Heureux (incumbent)
Layperson (elect 2): Amy S. Wenthe (incumbent), then
Layperson: Robert P. Wurl

CONCORDIA TEXAS (AUSTIN) BOARD
Ordained Minister: Nathaniel W. Hill (incumbent)
Commissioned Minister: no recommendation
Layperson (elect 2): Bob Ssekyanzi, then
Layperson: Thomas J. Zachman

CONCORDIA WISCONSIN (MEQUON) BOARD
Ordained Minister: David C. Fleming (incumbent)
Commissioned Minister: Gary Petersen
Layperson (elect 2): Alison C. Witte, then
Layperson: Deborah J. Davidson (incumbent)

Recap of Monday, July 22nd

Today at Convention – Monday, July 22nd

Overview of the Day
What’s on the orders of the day for Monday, July 22nd?

  • Floor Committees 7, 1, 5, 12, 9, 2, and 10 throughout the day
  • Elections of Secretary of Synod and Synod Board of Directors seats
  • Convention Essay by Rev. Thomas Egger
  • Special presentation on military chaplains

Key Items of the Day
The key item(s) of the day are again the elections: Balloting will be held for Secretary of Synod – we recommend without hesitation a vote for Rev. Dr. John Sias. Elections will also be held for various positions on the LCMS Board of Directors. See below for our voting recommendations regarding the Board seats.

Board of Directors Election Recommendations
Various seats on the Synod Board of Directors are up for election on Monday morning at 10 a.m. We at Synod Convention Update concur with our friends at The United List, and recommend a vote for the following:

  • At-Large, Commissioned Minister: Jan H. Lohmeyer
  • Central Region, Layperson: Andrew N. Grams
  • West-Southwest Region, Layperson: Dr. Jesse L. Yow
  • At-Large, Layperson: Christian A. Preus (Incumbent)

Recap of Sunday, July 21st

Today at Convention – Sunday, July 21st

What’s on tap, generally
After a day of floor committee hearings, delegate orientation, dinner, and the opening Divine Service (Let’s get the party started!), Sunday brings the first full day on the convention floor. Here’s what to expect:

  • Opening matters, including practice voting and the President’s Report, part 3
  • Convention Essay from 1st Vice-President Herb Mueller
  • Various Floor Committees bringing the first resolutions of the week to the convention for consideration
  • Balloting for First Vice-President and Regional Vice-Presidents
  • LCEF Ice Cream Social!

Key Items of the Day
The key item(s) of the day are the elections: A new First Vice-President of Synod and the regional vice presidents will be elected. It is very helpful to have a group of vice presidents who work well with the President of the Synod. See below for our recommendations.

Here’s Today’s Business for July 21 (Note: 2 parts!):
Today’s Business #2A
Today’s Business #2B

VP Elections
As mentioned above, one of the chief items of the day is election of the 1st Vice-President and Regional Vice-Presidents of the Synod:

With 1st VP Herb Mueller retiring later this summer, a new 1st Vice-President will be elected here in Tampa. The slate put forward by President Harrison is a fine slate all around – every man on the list would serve faithfully and well. However, we at Synod Convention Update recommend Rev. Peter K. Lange for election to the office of 1st Vice-President. Here’s an article highlighting our choice. The United List has also endorsed Peter Lange for election as 1st VP.

In the Central region, because there is no incumbent up for election, we recommend a vote for the Rev. Benjamin T. Ball. (Also see here, scrolled down a bit.) Pastor Ball is a wonderful pastor who also has experience serving at the District level. He would fit in very well amongst the rest of the Praesidium and will contribute to a supportive and faithful group, working closely with President Harrison.

In the other regional elections, we recommend a vote for all of the incumbent VP’s:

  • East-Southeast: Christopher S. Esget
  • Great Lakes: John C. Wohlrabe, Jr.
  • Great Plains: Nabil S. Nour
  • West-Southwest: Scott R. Murray

Convention Essay – Herb Mueller
Today 1st Vice-President Mueller will present the opening essay of the convention – Joy:Fully Lutheran: Rejoice, Pray, Give Thanks. We’d be remiss not to rejoice, pray, and give thanks for the faithful work that Pastor Mueller has given to the Church over decades, as a parish pastor, District President, and 1st Vice-President of the Synod. Thanks, Herb!

Rev. Dr. John Sias – Consistent, Impartial, Faithful, and Studious Secretary of the Synod

Another election we want to highlight for you is the election of Secretary of Synod. Three years ago, the Rev. Dr. Raymond Hartwig retired as Secretary after serving in the position for 18 years. Rev. Dr. Hartwig showed what a benefit it can be to the Synod when a careful, fair, faithful man serves as Secretary for an extended period of time. To replace him as Secretary, the Rev. Dr. John Sias was elected.

Rev. Dr. Sias has worked diligently and fruitfully during this past triennium, and we without hesitation recommend a vote to elect Rev. Dr. John Sias to a second term as Secretary of Synod.

Here’s Rev. Dr. Sias’ statement from the Biographical Synopses and Statements of Nominees document:

It’s been a profound honor and humbling charge to serve the Synod’s congregations as their Secretary, in an office devoted to good order and clear communication, and to holding before the Synod, its officers, and agencies the common commitments and aims adopted under our univocal, unequivocal, and joyful confession of God’s Word and the Lutheran Confessions. Modernization and improvement of services are important and underway; greater and more rewarding is the endeavor, with and for the whole Synod, “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,” in which we will reap if we do not give up.

Here’s a wonderful description of Dr. Sias, endorsing a vote for him in 2016, written by Carl T. Egger, PhD of Muscatine, IA:

Rev. Sias is one of the most unique and most capable men I have ever known. As soon as Rev. Hartwig said that he was not going to stand for reelection, I asked Rev. Sias if he would be interested. I was privileged to enter a nomination for Rev. Sias.

He is confessional, brilliant, personable, a “quick study”, professional, energetic yet patient, hard working, and thoughtful, among other favorable attributes. He currently serves three congregations in Montana and was elected Second Vice-President of the Montana District. He seems to have an antenna for everyone and everything that goes on in the Synod. He is a good listener. His advance familiarity with the office of Secretary comes at least in part from the CCN work as well as from his service on the Commission for Constitutional Matters (CCM). He is at ease with electronic media, so important to the office in this age. In fact, immediately upon earning his PhD in Engineering in 2005, he enrolled directly in the seminary.

Rev. Dr. Sias is also a careful and insightful theologian. Why not, as you travel to the Synod Convention, take some time to be instructed by Rev. Dr. Sias in this series of discussion about witnessing Christ in our lives, from the Issues, Etc. archives?

1. Witnessing Christ, Part 1: Where Christ Speaks and Works
2. Witnessing Christ, Part 2: Law and Gospel
3. Witnessing Christ, Part 3: Justification and the Means of Grace
4. Witnessing Christ, Part 4: Words and Life
5. Witnessing Christ, Part 5: On the Front Lines

Rev. Peter K. Lange – Leader, Pastor, Confessor of the Faith

Rev. Peter K. Lange has served as president of the Kansas District since 2015; he was unanimously elected to a second term in 2018. He is, by reputation, a highly effective leader and team builder, well-regarded and trusted by his peers, his staff, and those he serves. Under President Lange’s leadership, the Kansas District has made significant improvements in numerous areas, including visitation, the call process, mission outreach, communication and transparency, worker support, administrative efficiency, and unity building. Throughout his tenure, he has prioritized a strong working relationship with the Synod, emphasizing the role of the district as “Synod in this place.”

Rev. Lange’s experience as Kansas District president would serve him well in the position of LCMS first vice-president, as would his leadership experience at the Synod level. He currently serves as secretary of the Council of Presidents (elected after just one term)and is a member of the Synod’s Program Committee. He has served on floor committees at three Synod conventions, serving this year as chair of Floor Committee 2 (International Witness) and in 2016 as chair of Floor Committee 15 (Reformation). He was appointed to the 13–01A Task Force on the Royal Priesthood and the Office of the Public Ministry after the 2016 Synod Convention, and in 2018, he was appointed to serve as the LCMS representative on the Board of Directors of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane (LTS), South Africa.

From everything we know about President Lange, we’re confident that the office of first vice-president would be in good hands if he were elected. To learn more, visit the Kansas District website, kslcms.org, where you can check out President Lange’s 2019 convention report and Sermons and Articles page.

We at Synod Convention Update strongly recommend a vote for Rev. Peter K. Lange for First Vice-President of the Synod.