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!

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

Rev. Ben Ball – Gifted Churchman in the SID

Pastor Ben Ball serves Jesus Christ and the Church at large as a leader in the Southern Illinois District. Pastor Ball serves as the 2nd Vice President of the District, being seated on the Praesidium and the Board of Directors. He has also served as a circuit visitor and is currently a member of the SID Pastoral Conference Committee. Additionally, he has served in various capacities at various Synodical and District Conventions.

Pastor Ball is a bold confessor and defender of the Gospel according to the Lutheran Confessions. Within the context of district administration, that is reflected by his interest that every decision that is made be first in accordance with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its proclamation, and secondly, that such decisions be made in good order so that nothing interferes with the proclamation of the Gospel. Pastor Ball’s service in formal and informal roles in the district is done with persistence, attention to detail, and with a proactive attitude.

Pastor Ball’s experience as a pastor and leader in the Church is most clearly seen when he works with others to educate, teach, and catechize toward consensus and concord.   When Pastor Ball serves on a floor committee, the district Board of Directors, or facilitates elections at District Convention, he is quick to clearly and helpfully instruct others.  With the goal of encouragement and a clear confession of the Gospel, Pastor Ball partners with others and helps them to understand all sides of complex issues so that everyone is informed and can act in accordance with the Gospel of Jesus.

For these reasons, we at Synod Convention Update recommend a vote for Pastor Ben Ball as Central Region Vice President. The gifts and consensus that he has brought to the Southern Illinois District are just as helpful at the Synodical level as they are at the District level as we seek to be faithfully Lutheran together.