There are many offices up for election at the 2019 Synod Convention. Sorting through all those nominated for election is one of the tasks entrusted to Delegates. Please make sure you read through all the bios and consider the strengths and weaknesses of various candidates!
We recommend The United List to be used in helping to guide your votes in the various elections at the Convention. For years now, United List recommendations have ably and faithfully led the Synod in her various offices and on her various Boards and Commissions. We believe that this year’s group of recommendations will likewise continue to work hard to keep the Synod’s Lutheran confession and practice as the foundation of all that we do together.
So check out The United List. They also provide a helpful PDF version of their recommendations for you to print out and bring along to the Convention floor.
For more information on who and what The United List is, go here.
Starting first thing Saturday morning, June 22, voting for LCMS President is open. Pastoral and Lay Voters throughout the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod should have received credentials via US Mail from Election-America. Voting runs through the end of the day on Tuesday, June 25.
Email credentials should arrive to those same Voters’ registered email addresses by the time comes to start voting. (Just in case something is lost in the mail, or in your house or office!)
It is very important that votes are made – this is part of our life together as Synod. If you are a Voter for your congregation or parish, we strongly encourage a vote for Rev. Matthew Harrison (as do Issues, Etc., Gottesdienst, and The United List amongst others). If you are not a Voter, call up your Pastoral and Lay Voters, both to remind them to vote and to encourage them to vote for Matthew Harrison.
In May, the Synod was blessed by the Lord to finally retire all of its historic external debt. Millions and millions of dollars owed, accumulating over many years, is no more. This shows tremendous leadership by President Harrison, by the Synod Board of Directors and Chairman Rev. Dr. Michael Kumm, and by many others heavily involved in working towards this goal throughout the past several years.
“For the first time in many decades, perhaps in a century, the LCMS has no external debt,” said LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison. “During our tenure, God has blessed us richly. We began nine years ago owing $21 million, and now we owe nothing.”
“This is a milestone achievement,” said BOD Chairman Rev. Dr. Michael L. Kumm, “because paying off the historic debt will free up millions of dollars in mission and ministry funds for years to come.
The United List has faithfully and consistently supported LCMS candidates who stand firmly on the Word of God and the Lutheran Confessions. Be sure to check out their list. And be sure to vote for LCMS President on June 22-25, 2019.
Q: What do you perceive as your greatest weakness, and how are you working to mitigate it?
“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh” (Rom. 7:18). “There is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches” (2 Cor. 11:28). I worry about the Church. I’m but a worm, a speck in the life of the Church. It’s Christ’s Church (Matt. 16:18). I plunge my sins into my Savior’s wounds. “I believe, Lord; help thou my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). Pray for me that the Spirit continually drives me to the Word and the foot of the cross.
My greatest weakness is wanting to do all the work myself. I have mitigated this weakness by tirelessly building and equipping teams of competent leaders who reflect a diversity of ideas, opinions, outlooks and backgrounds. By helping people work together we become stronger and more unified. Teaming helps us maximize on our strengths and diminishes individual weaknesses.
I struggle to find “particular” down time and when to take it in order to “recharge.” Ministry motivates so much I do not always remember to “surface” for air. Pat, my awesome wife, has helped — and continues to help — me acknowledge that, and with God’s help, do something about it. Ministry is consuming and to do your best the Lord needs to regularly refresh you in body, mind and especially spirit. I am thankful He is a loving and generous God.
On a lighter note, spicy food has always been a weakness (and a love).
President Harrison has not only proven himself a faithful and worthy leader of the Synod, but has demonstrated in numerous ways that he is a remarkable theologian, and we believe that this asset in particular is of great value in the carrying out of the duties of this office…
Given these perilous times in which godlessness increasingly infects our culture, and as Satan intensifies his attacks on the Holy Church, we are all the more eager to see the kind of clarity, conviction, and compassion that Matthew C. Harrison brings to the office of the presidency. He needs your vote, and so does the Lutheran Liturgy.
Voting is coming up: June 22-25, 2019. We encourage a vote for reelecting Rev. Matthew Harrison. If you’re not your congregation’s voter, please encourage whomever that is to vote for President Harrison!
Q: Other than the Bible and the Book of Concord, what book has had the greatest influence on your pastoral ministry? Why?
Walther’s Law and Gospel. One only becomes the pastor God intends, learning to properly apply Law and Gospel (2 Tim. 2:15), through prayer, meditation on God’s Word and trials (Heb. 13:12–13; 2 Cor. 12:6–7). And it’s the cross and trials that bring it all home. “We have this treasure in jars of clay” (2 Cor. 4:7). “We are beggars. This is true” (Luther).
I love to read and have read so many good books. The Barna Institute’s “The State of Pastors” is a fascinating study on current clergy life and attitudes. The Call by Os Guiness speaks of how God calls us to Himself and to vocation. Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado has made a huge impact on my heart in making me calm and hopeful — the most influential book I received at a conference in St. Louis. I was tired, frustrated and afraid. Jill Briscoe’s book Faith Enough to Finish led me through the ministry of the prophet Jeremiah. He had frustration and disappointment, but the Lord never failed him. He put His Word in Jeremiah’s mouth, put the right people on Jeremiah’s team and put His hope in Jeremiah’s heart. This book had great pieces of Scripture organized in a way that fed my soul at a critical time.
Maybe Evangelism in the Early Church by Michael Green. It takes the reader through the Book of Acts and beyond, focusing on how the Church in the first 200 years after Pentecost did evangelism in a hostile world. “Christians” recognized themselves as “nobodies” and yet “missionaries.” “Neither the strategy nor the tactics of the first Christians were particularly remarkable. What was remarkable was their conviction, their passion and their determination to act as Christ’s embassy to a rebel world, whatever the consequences.” Their Christology and new ecclesiology (no longer synagogue-centered) changed the world.
The first step in being better than you are is to be who you are. Every day that I wake up as Synod president, I resolve to do what’s right. When I was called to be head of LCMS World Relief and Human Care, I met with Dr. Barry to get his advice. (Little did I know that he would die just a few weeks later.) His advice to me was very simple: “Every day, walk across the road and pick up a stone and carry it to the other side. Pretty soon, you’ll notice that you’ve moved quite a pile.” He gave me that advice not 10 feet from where I’m writing right now. Folksy, but true.
The LCMS has plenty of warts and imperfections. That’s always true of the Church on this earth (see Paul’s letters to Galatia and Corinth). But she’s the best thing going. When I say we ought to be who we are, I’m not saying don’t innovate, think outside the box, try something new, take a risk for the sake of the Gospel mission. I’m saying, in all these things we cannot and must not lose our fundamental, biblical, confessional and (above all) Gospel bearings.