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.

Resolution Summaries – Floor Committee 9

We want to make your life a little bit easier as you prepare for the Synod Convention. We’re compiling short summaries of all the Resolutions found in Today’s Business #1. This is not so that Delegates don’t take the time to carefully study all of the Resolutions, but for reference after that, to quickly have an idea about what resolution is what. Or perhaps these summaries will help you understand what you just read! Either way, please make use of these as you find helpful.

Please be sure to sign up to receive email updates from us throughout the 2019 Synod Convention. Use the box to the right to sign up.

Floor Committee 9 – Structure and Administration

9–01 – To Amend Various Bylaws for Purposes of Clarification
Amends various bylaws for clarity. You gotta read it. There’s actually some noteworthy stuff in there. Seriously.

9–02 – To Amend Various Bylaws to Address Practical Considerations
Amends various bylaws for “practical considerations”. In other words, to make them work properly or to reflect how things are being done. You gotta read it. There’s actually some noteworthy stuff in there. Seriously again.

9–03 – To Amend Bylaw 3.7.1 to Clarify the Commencement Date for Members of the Board of Trustees—Concordia Plans/Board of Directors—Concordia Plan Services and Eliminate Obsolete Provisions
Makes crystal clear the days that members of various Boards for Concordia Plans begin their service, and also removes some stuff that is obsolete. You gotta read it.

9–04 – To Amend Bylaw 3.1.8 to No Longer Require Publication of Delegate Mailing Addresses
Currently, all Delegates to the Synod Convention have their mailing addresses published in the Workbook, both print and PDF on the Internet. In public. This changes what is printed to just the name of the congregation the Delegate is from, in keeping with good privacy practices. It also eliminates the selling or distributing of Delegate contact information apart from official Convention use.

9–05 – To Amend the Constitution to Address Individual Membership and Advisory Representation
Makes changes to the LCMS Constitution to clarify various confusions around membership in Synod and representation at various conventions. In part this cleans up language so that the Constitution doesn’t have to be amended every time we add a different commissioned ministry title, etc. This is a Constitution change so will require a 2/3 majority to pass, as well as ratification by a 2/3 majority of congregations that choose to vote on its ratification, following the Convention.

9–06 – To Add Bylaw 3.3.4.10 to Clarify Access by the Board of Directors to Information of Synod Agencies
The resolution provides the Board of Directors authority to obtain records from any agency of the Synod having to do with property or other oversight areas that the Synod Board of Directors is given by the Constitution and/or Bylaws.

9–07 – To Amend Synod Bylaws 3.12.2.1 and 3.12.2.2
This resolution does much more than the title makes it seem. It changes the number of candidates on the ballot for Synod President from 3 to 5, and instructs the Secretary of Synod to adjust the election process as needed to accomodate the additional candidates.

9–08 – To Amend Bylaws to Clarify Multi-congregation Parish Representation at the Circuit Forum
Clarifies that a multi-congregation parish (e.g. a dual parish, tri-point parish, etc.) is regarded as one parish according to voting representation, yet each other congregation in the parish from which no voting delegate comes is entitled to an advisory lay delegate at Circuit Forums.

9–09 – To Amend Bylaws to Change the Board of Directors’ Means of Representation on Synodwide Corporate Entities Boards of Directors
Changes the bylaws to allow the Board of Directors to appoint another non-voting representative (other than the CFO, who is the default) on various Boards of Directors for Synod entities. This is proposed for the sake of the CFO’s time. Currently the CFO is the named only representative of the Board of Directors to sit on the other Boards.

9–10 – To Create a Task Force to Study a Four-Year Convention Cycle
Instead of just creating a four-year cycle like has been proposed at the 2010, 2013, and 2016 conventions (all voted down), this time it is proposed to create a task force estimated to cost $110,800 to study the feasibility of a four-year convention cycle, and to report back to the 2022 convention the findings so they can consider whether or not to move to a four-year convention cycle.

9–11 – To Address Residency Requirements for District Regional Positions
Clarifies that, for district regional positions, residency requirements regard the location of the congregation in which they are members, rather than specifically their residence address. (The example given is one who might live in another state just across a border, yet have membership in a congregation in another district.)

9–12 – To Clarify the Meaning of Parish as it Relates to Congregational Representation at District Conventions and Election of the Synod President, and to Distinguish Assisting Capacity Pastoral Calls
Has a lengthy rationale for the bylaw changes being made. You gotta read it.

9–13 – To Amend Bylaw 3.12.2.7 (d) to Permit Floor Nominations by the Region in Election of Regional Vice-Presidents
Changes the bylaws so that, from the floor of the Convention, additions can be made to the slate of regional vice-presidents from any name on the list of nominees who received at least 5 nominations, but who was not in the top 5.

9–14 – To Amend Bylaw 3.1.3.1 Regarding the Election of Nonvoting and Advisory Delegates
Allows for electronic means of meeting to elect district nonvoting and advisory delegates to Synod convention.

9–15 – To Respectfully Decline Overtures
Declines submitted specific overtures for the reasons given.

Resolution Overview – Floor Committee 10

We want to make your life a little bit easier as you prepare for the Synod Convention. We’re compiling short summaries of all the Resolutions found in Today’s Business #1. This is not so that Delegates don’t take the time to carefully study all of the Resolutions, but for reference after that, to quickly have an idea about what resolution is what. Or perhaps these summaries will help you understand what you just read! Either way, please make use of these as you find helpful.

Please be sure to sign up to receive email updates from us throughout the 2019 Synod Convention. Use the box to the right to sign up.

Floor Committee 10 – Ecclesiastical Supervision and Dispute Resolution

10–01 – To Amend Bylaws to Clarify Dispute Resolution Processes
This resolution makes a bunch of changes to the bylaws in order to try to clarify the process for dispute resolution. It’s tough to summarize further; delegates should carefully read and consider, and bring questions to the open committee hearings on Saturday.

10–02 – To Amend Bylaws to Clarify Call and Roster Matters
Again, this resolution makes a bunch of changes to the bylaws in order to try to clarify call and roster matters. It’s tough to summarize further; delegates should carefully read and consider, and bring questions to the open committee hearings on Saturday.

10–03 – To Give Thanks to All who Worked to Complete the Process Outlined by 2016 Resolution 12–14, “Regarding the Right of an Accuser to Appeal When a District President or President Fails to Act or Declines to Suspend”
The resolution gives thanks for all the work that has been done in the previous triennium, regarding the dispute resolution process, that was discussed at length in the 2016 convention proceedings. Note the lengthy appendix.

10–04 – To Encourage Proper Pastoral Oversight in Administration of Lord’s Supper through Visitation of Ecclesiastical Supervisors
This resolution directs the district presidents to address communion practice during his congregation visitations, evangelically and fraternally addressing practices which are not in harmony with the scriptural teaching of closed communion, with the goal of those practices being corrected. It also requires the district presidents to issue reports to their respective district conventions regarding the ongoing visitation, and also exhorts the Synod President to oversee this process and to receive a report from each district president at the latest 90 days prior to the 2022 Synod convention.

10–05 – To Affirm the Advisory Role of District Presidents in Their Service of Calling Congregations of the LCMS
This resolution gently reminds district presidents and member congregations of the authority given to the congregation to issue a call to a pastor, and that the district president and representatives are merely in an advisory and helper role.

10–06 – To Respectfully Decline Overtures
Declines submitted specific overtures for the reasons given.

Pastor Ben Ball – A Faithful, Joyful Pastor

For almost seven years, I’ve had the privilege of having Ben Ball serve as my pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Hamel, Illinois. Pastor Ball understands that the Church is made up of both pastors and laypeople, each playing a vital role in the life and mission of the congregation. He daily models the humble service of a true pastor and loves the people under his care.

Above all things, Pastor Ball is dedicated to teaching and practicing both Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions. He does this with great patience and gentleness as God’s Word teaches. Pastor Ball knows that this kind of faithfulness best serves the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

When there is conflict and disagreement, Pastor Ball doesn’t merely talk about Matthew 18, he personally practices it. I have seen this Biblical practice result in reconciliation and concord.

Pastor Ball has a deep commitment to Lutheran education. I have never seen a pastor more physically present in the daily life of a school. He leads chapel daily and teaches daily catechism/religion classes to grades PreK-8th. Pastor Ball also teaches the Lutheran Confessions weekly to the teachers.

As a joyful Lutheran, I highly recommend Pastor Ben Ball as Central Region Vice President of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

Jeff Schwarz, General Manager
Issues, Etc./Lutheran Public Radio

Resolution Overview – Floor Committee 11

We want to make your life a little bit easier as you prepare for the Synod Convention. We’re compiling short summaries of all the Resolutions found in Today’s Business #1. This is not so that Delegates don’t take the time to carefully study all of the Resolutions, but for reference after that, to quickly have an idea about what resolution is what. Or perhaps these summaries will help you understand what you just read! Either way, please make use of these as you find helpful.

Please be sure to sign up to receive email updates from us throughout the 2019 Synod Convention. Use the box to the right to sign up.

Floor Committee 11 – Church and Culture

11–01 – To Give Guidance and Encourage Action on Beginning-of-Life Issues
The 2016 Convention established a Task Force (2016 Resolution 3–04) to study issues relating to procreation and beginning of life issues. This resolution brings a list of their recommendations to the Convention to be adopted. It commends a newly written paper by Rev. Dr. Gilbert Meilaender (_Workbook, 326–329), commends the study of a large list of CTCR documents, urges the CTCR to finish an updated version of its 1981 report on Human Sexuality, and especially encourages the Synod to fill a for-too-long vacant position, Director of Life and Health Ministry.

11–02 – To Encourage Faithfulness Regarding Marriage
Reaffirms the good order, Scriptural teaching of marriage, and encourages members of Synod and of congregations to remain faithful, by God’s grace, to the biblical teaching regarding marriage even when great threats and persecutions come. Also commends encouraging those who struggle against the flesh and sin when it comes to living a chaste and godly life in every way.

11–03 – To Encourage Synod to Develop Resources to Aid Congregations and Schools regarding Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues
So-called sexual orientation and gender identity issues are in the forefront culturally right now. The resolution encourages compassionate ministry to all affected in the midst of this great confusion, that certain CTCR reports be utilized, and affirms and confesses the simple truth that humanity is created male and female by God.

11–04 – To Affirm the Common Humanity of All People and Ethnicities
Calls for the LCMS to work to be in unity with one another and with our brothers and sisters of Christ, no matter the tribe or people or nation from which they come. Condemns racism in our midst and in the world.

11–05 – To Encourage Responsible Citizenship and Compassion Toward Neighbors Who Are Immigrants Among Us
The resolution calls for Christians to live out their lives in the tension between compassionately serving our neighbors in mercy and at the same time respecting the ruling authorities and the laws they establish, in this case specifically regarding the issue of immigration and immigrants among us. Commends for study and discussion the CTCR report Immigrants Among Us, and cautions against letting political divisions become church divisions.

11–06 – To Emphasize the Sanctity of Life and the Dangers of Physician-Assisted Suicide
Confesses the harm of physician-assisted suicide and LCMS opposition to it, and encourages the ongoing ministry in our lives to those affected by this issue and practice.

11–07 – To Remember the Persecuted Church
Draws attention to the ongoing plight of many brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world who are persecuted for confessing that Jesus is Lord. Encourages the ongoing work of LCMS missionaries and the Office of International Mission in bringing the Gospel even to dangerous places, and in so doing seeking to protect the missionaries and their families. Finally calls on the convention to pray for Christians everywhere who are suffering persecution for the faith.

Resolution Overview – Floor Committee 12

We want to make your life a little bit easier as you prepare for the Synod Convention. We’re compiling short summaries of all the Resolutions found in Today’s Business #1. This is not so that Delegates don’t take the time to carefully study all of the Resolutions, but for reference after that, to quickly have an idea about what resolution is what. Or perhaps these summaries will help you understand what you just read! Either way, please make use of these as you find helpful.

Please be sure to sign up to receive email updates from us throughout the 2019 Synod Convention. Use the box to the right to sign up.

Floor Committee 12 – Retention: Schools, Family, Youth and Young Adults

12–01 – To Commend and Give Thanks for our Lutheran Early Childhood Centers, Elementary Schools, and High Schools
The resolution does as the title says, and then encourages the investigation of the planting of school and early childhood centers throughout the Synod. It also exhorts prayer for our Lutheran schools.

12–02 – To Exhort the Congregations of the LCMS to Actively Encourage Future Lutheran School Teachers
The resolution points out the need for well-trained, Lutheran teachers in our schools, and then encourages the recruitment and training of such along with appropriate support both morale-wise and financially along the way.

12–03 – To Encourage Lifelong Catechesis in the Home and Church
The resolution points out the Scriptural teaching that parents are called by God to pass on the faith to their children, instructing them in the Word of God. It therefore encourages the Synod to work on communicating best practices in lifelong catechesis, and that congregations work together to encourage one another in maintaining the practice of lifelong catechesis.

12–04 – To Shape the Faith Formation Paradigm from Generation to Generation
The resolution encourages the dissemination and study of a report to be produced from a pilot program being run in the Mid-South District, intended to “empower and deliver family ministry training and support to district congregations, and to help Christian families in faith formation for the sake of the Gospel.”

12–05 – To Take Further Steps in the Retention of College-Age Students in Synod Congregations
Commends a bunch of organizations and people who have been working hard at caring for the youth of the Synod, points out the great need for continued focus on retaining Christians as they work their way through college, directs LCMS Youth Ministry to develop resources to help congregations in the retention of recently post-high-school members, and directs LCMS U to work on developing a database to be used to direct recently post-high-school-members to congregations nearby.

12–06 – To Create a Searchable Database for “Cradle-to-Grave” Resources
Directs Concordia Publishing House to create a searchable database that provides demographically categorized resources to be utilized in life-long catechesis in and devotion to the Scriptures.

12–07 – To Strengthen the Family as the Center of Discipleship
The resolution encourages various steps to take in strengthening families in their households and in the congregation. Also encourages the use of Making Disciples for Life materials.

Resolution Overview – Floor Committee 8

We want to make your life a little bit easier as you prepare for the Synod Convention. We’re compiling short summaries of all the Resolutions found in Today’s Business #1. This is not so that Delegates don’t take the time to carefully study all of the Resolutions, but for reference after that, to quickly have an idea about what resolution is what. Or perhaps these summaries will help you understand what you just read! Either way, please make use of these as you find helpful.

Please be sure to sign up to receive email updates from us throughout the 2019 Synod Convention. Use the box to the right to sign up.

Floor Committee 8 – Finance

8–01 – To Encourage Congregations to Support Pastoral Formation
This resolution encourages congregations to take a special thank offering whenever a pastor is installed or odained, or on the anniversary of a pastor’s ordination, to support either the LCMS joint seminary fund or one of our two seminaries directly.

8–02 – To Encourage a Synodwide 1.1.1 Funding Model for Defined Mission Outcomes
This resolution encourages congregations to use a 1.1.1 mission funding model ($1 per member per week special giving), in order to help fund the mission work of the districts and Synod. The resolution also encourages the LCMS Board of Directors and districts to have clearly defined mission outcomes that they inform the member congregations about, for the sake of encouragement in giving and transparency in the use of funds.

8–03 – To Ensure Timely and Transparent Financial Reporting in the Synod
This resolution highlights the reporting that has been done first in The Lutheran Witness, and in 2018 in an annual report to the Synod, regarding the work of the Synod and the use of proper stewardship of finances in that work. It encourages further timely and transparent reporting from all of the agencies of the Synod. Notably missing from the resolution is explicit instruction that districts offer up transparent and clear reports on their stewardship of congregations’ gifts.

8–04 – To Respectfully Decline Overtures
Declines submitted specific overtures for the reasons given.

Resolution Overview – Floor Committee 7

We want to make your life a little bit easier as you prepare for the Synod Convention. We’re compiling short summaries of all the Resolutions found in Today’s Business #1. This is not so that Delegates don’t take the time to carefully study all of the Resolutions, but for reference after that, to quickly have an idea about what resolution is what. Or perhaps these summaries will help you understand what you just read! Either way, please make use of these as you find helpful.

Please be sure to sign up to receive email updates from us throughout the 2019 Synod Convention. Use the box to the right to sign up.

Floor Committee 7 – University Education

7–01 – To Amend Bylaws Related to Structure and Governance of the Concordia University System
Every convention seems to have a “bylaw” resolution dealing with bylaws relating to the Concordia (CUS) colleges and universities, and this is that resolution. The 2016 Convention created a “7–02B Task Force” to make recommendations about changes to the governance structure for CUS schools. The Task Force submitted a report (R62, page 343 in the Convention Workbook) and a proposed overture (Ov. 7–01, page 460 of the Convention Workbook). This resolution is largely based on the proposed overture.

The resolution makes several changes. (1) Under the current bylaw the presidents of the CUS schools constituted an informal “advisory council”; the resolution makes that group a formal body called the “Concordia University System’s Advisory Council” that will assist the CUS Board of Directors with a variety of strategic planning and other issues. (2) It changes the process by which CUS schools can be consolidated or divested (but NOT closed), by including the CUS Board of Directors as one of the groups that can, by 2/3 vote, take this action if at least two of the groups agree (the other groups are the Synod Board of Directors, the Board of Regents of the school, and the Council of Presidents). (3) It adds representation from the Synod Board of Directors to the CUS Board. (4) It requires Boards of Regents to ensure that their faculty are formally trained in Lutheran doctrine (given the large number of non-Lutheran faculty). (5) It makes a number of “cleanup” changes to the bylaws.

7–02 – To Nurture Our Lutheran System of Higher Education
The resolution is structured in four parts: (1) affirming Lutheran Identity based on the Lutheran Identity Statement that was prepared the CUS institution presidents and adopted at the 2016 convention; (2) affirming that the CUS schools exist to educate both church workers and lay people; (3) affirming the CUS schools as institutions of choice for LCMS students; and (4) affirming teaching opportunities at CUS schools for LCMS members with appropriate backgrounds.

The resolution groups these issues into four sets of “whereas” clauses at the beginning to explain the purpose, and then (in the same order) includes four sets of “resolved” items that include philosophical statements, and actions, supporting each of the four tenets of the resolution. The resolution does not make any structural changes, but is intended to publicize, encourage, support, and expand efforts that are ongoing to help our CUS schools flourish.

7–03 – To Direct a Collaborative Process to Propose a New Governance Plan
The 2016 Convention created a “7–02B Task Force” to make recommendations about changes to the governance structure for CUS schools. The Task Force submitted a report (R62, page 343 in the Convention Workbook) and a proposed overture (Ov. 7–01, page 460 of the Convention Workbook). This resolution is largely based on the proposed overture and report.

The resolution acknowledges the challenges that currently face private institutions of higher education. It then directs the Synod Board of Directors, working collaboratively with the CUS institution presidents (who will be known as the “Concordia University System Advisory Council” if Resolution 7–01 passes), the CUS Board of Directors, and other groups as needed to prepare a new governance plan in advance of the 2022 Convention. Essentially, it is continuing the “task force” work that has been ongoing for the last two convention cycles (2013 Resolution 5–01A and 2016 Resolution 7–02B).

7–04 – To Advance the Prior Review Process for CUS Institution Presidential Candidates
This resolution makes a process change to the way in which prior approval is given for the presidents of Concordia University System (CUS) colleges and universities.

Currently, when there is a presidential vacancy, each board of regents issues a call for nominations. It then is responsible for reviewing the candidates submitted, interviewing them, and then making a list of at least five candidates it thinks are acceptable and qualified to serve as president. At that point, the board of regents submits its list to a three-person prior review panel consisting of the District President of the District where the school is located, the Synod President, and the Chairman of the CUS Board of Directors. Any two of those three can “veto” a name (it is NOT solely the decision of the Synod President). The remaining names go back to the board of regents, and if there are at least two, the board of regents is required to pick one of them to be the next president.

Under the resolution, all nominees who let their names stand would immediately go to the prior approval group for review. The prior approval group would then return the approved names to the board of regents. The board of regents would then have the option of electing any person from the approved list, or restarting the search, as it deems appropriate. The resolution is intended to allow the board of regents to know in advance who the approved pool will be, before significant time is invested in interviewing candidates.

7–05 – To Recognize and Give Thanks for Work at Selma
The closure of Concordia College Alabama, at Selma, was a traumatic event for many people. This resolution is intended to allow a sense of closure from the convention. The Whereas clauses contain relevant information that helps explain the circumstances under which Selma closed and to dispel some of the misinformation that has been circulating.

7–06 – To Celebrate and Give Thanks to God for the 125th Anniversary of Concordia University, Nebraska
This is a “giving thanks” resolution. The convention has typically adopted these on the 25-year increment anniversaries of the various Concordia University System colleges and universities.

7–07 – To Respectfully Decline Overtures
Declines submitted specific overtures for the reasons given.