Resolution Overview – Floor Committee 6

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 6 – Pastoral Ministry and Seminaries

6–01 – To Support and Participate in the Comprehensive Church Worker Recruitment Initiative
As the resolution indicates in the whereas section, enrollment in church worker programs is significantly down. This encourages participation by all “constituents of the LCMS” participate in a planned recruitment initiative.

6–02 – To Promote Residential Seminary Education as the Preferred Option for the Preparation of Men for Pastoral Ministry
The resolution endorses a report of the 13–03 task force that recognizes the benefit of residential seminary education, and commends their recommendations to the Pastoral Formation Committee for use. The PFC will report back to the 2022 convention.

6–03 – To Enhance the Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) Program
The SMP program has its uses, and this resolution seeks to strengthen the program further for the benefit of the men enrolled in it, as well as the congregations that they will serve. It also seeks to remove some disunity between the SMP and residential programs by moving ordination to the end of the SMP program, as it is in the residential program.

6–04 – To Support, Encourage, and Expect Continuing Education for all Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Pastors
The resolution puts forward the need for ongoing education of LCMS pastors. Note the word “expect.” While there is no enforcement in this resolution, this gives the convention the opportunity to speak strongly as to the expectation of LCMS pastors engaging in regular continuing education.

6–05 – To Thank Those Involved in Rostering Licensed Lay Deacons
The 2016 convention put an end to the use of Licensed Lay Deacons for word and sacrament ministry, and provided a route to ordination for those men who desired to continue serving. The process has been well handled and this resolution thanks all those involved for their work in seeing things through.

6–06 – To Give God Praise and Glory for Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne’s 175th Anniversary
As the resolution title states, so the resolution does.

6–07 – To Support and Utilize Preach the Word
Commends the LCMS program “Preach the Word”, which provides ongoing training for pastors in the preaching task.

6–08 – To Respectfully Decline Overtures
Declines submitted specific overtures for the reasons given.

Resolution Overview – Floor Committee 5

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 5 – Theology and Church Relations

5–01 – To Recognize Altar and Pulpit Fellowship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Belgium
Formally recognizes altar and pulpit fellowship with the ELKB, which we were formerly in fellowship with under a different name. Be sure to read the Whereas section on this one!

5–02 – To Endorse Altar and Pulpit Fellowship with the Portuguese Evangelical Lutheran Church
The bylaws of the Synod allow the President of the Synod to recognize fellowship with small or developing church bodies in the middle of a triennium, with said fellowship to then be officially endorsed by the Synod in Convention later. This resolution endorses fellowship already recognized by the President of the Synod.

5–03 – To Recognize Altar and Pulpit Fellowship with the Confessional Lutheran Church of South Africa
5–04 – To Recognize Altar and Pulpit Fellowship with the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church in Denmark
These resolutions both formally recognize altar and pulpit fellowship with the respective Lutheran church bodies.

5–05 – To Clarify Status of LCMS Relationships in Sri Lanka
This resolution formally recognizes an end to altar and pulpit fellowship with a now-defunct church body, and encourages work with a newly established Lutheran body in Sri Lanka.

5–06 – To Amend Bylaw 3.9.5.2.2 regarding Altar and Pulpit Fellowship with New Church Bodies Formed by Partner Churches
As mentioned above in 5–02, the bylaws provide a process by which the President of the Synod can recognize altar and pulpit fellowship in the middle of a triennium for small or newly established Lutheran church bodies, to then be endorsed by the Synod in Convention at the next regular convention. This resolution adds a subsection to the bylaws regarding altar and pulpit fellowship, providing that same authority to the President when it comes to newly established Lutheran bodies that have been formed from a portion of already existing, in-fellowship body.

5–07 – To Clarify the Relationship between LCMS Partner Churches and the Lutheran World Federation
Some of the LCMS partner churches are also members of the LWF. The LWF is very problematic, theology-wise. The LWF understand itself to be an organization with altar and pulpit fellowship built in between its members. Some of our partner churches do not consider the LWF in this way. This resolution directs the President of the Synod to engage these partner churches to receive clarification on their position, and to prepare a report to the 2022 Convention recommending what to do with our fellowship with these various partner churches based on what he learns.

5–08 – To Commend and Support the International Lutheran Council
The ILC is “growing worldwide association of established confessional Lutheran church bodies, among them The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), which proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the basis of an unconditional commitment to the Holy Scriptures as the inspired and infallible Word of God and to the Lutheran Confessions contained in the Book of Concord as the true and faithful exposition of the Word of God…” This resolution commends the council and encourages LCMS members to further learn about it.

5–09 – To Confess the Biblical Six-Day Creation, to Encourage Pastoral Conferences to Study Our Synod’s Statements on Creation, and to Help Congregations Concertedly Address Issues Related to the Intersections of Faith and Science
Reiterates previous statements of the LCMS about the authority of Scripture in instructing us as to God’s creating the world and everything in it in six days. It also acknowledges the intersection of faith and science being a noteworthy are of questioning and stumbling amongst the people of the Synod’s congrgeations, particularly young people. It also commends several CTCR documents for study and discussion.

5–10 – To Commend the Lutheran Church—Canada CTCR Report Cremation and the Christian
Does what it says. The CTCR and the seminaries have already examined the document and commended it. However, one issue is that the report to be commended is not found in the Convention materials. It can be found here or here (locally hosted copy).

5–11 – To Address Questions about Unity in Doctrine and Uniformity and Variety in Practice
Synod’s Constitution contains a direction to have unity in doctrine and uniformity and variety in practice. This is of course somewhat vague and flexible. Questions arise as to what exactly this means. This directs the CTCR to prepare a study document and bible study on how this unity, and uniformity and variety, relate to one another.

5–12 – To Reaffirm Scriptural Teaching on the Royal Priesthood and the Office of the Public Ministry
This resolution reaffirms previous Synod statements and documents, and commends certain documents for study and discussion, as to the scriptural teaching mentioned in the title.

5–13 – To Reaffirm and Clarify Biblical Teaching on Man and Woman in the Church
Encourages the CTCR to continue and complete its ongoing study on the scriptural teaching and ordering of man and woman, male and female. It also adds some specific areas and questions to be addressed in the complete study.

The Martyr Church: a Devotion for the Church in Convention

Rev. Anthony Dodgers posted a sermon/devotion at Gottesdienst that we at Synod Convention Update commend to you as we prepare for the work in Tampa in just a few more days.

A highlight:

In one sense, the Church is both winning and losing. From the perspective of the sinful flesh and this sinful world, we are always losing, always dying. From the perspective of the risen Lord, always living, always rising. And this means that the martyr Church will never be fully welcome in the corridors of power. And we must not let the lords of this world convince us that they will accept us and we can have a seat at the cool kids’ table so long as we play by their rules. We would be swept away by the dragon’s flood of depravity and lies if it were not for our Lord’s merciful deliverance and our certainty that one day He will judge the scoffers, the power-hungry, and the worldly-wise.

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.

1st VP Slate and Nominee Changes

Secretary Sias has published an official notice, making public the slate of 5 nominees on the ballot for First Vice-President of the Synod. The ballot is:

  • Christopher S. Esget
  • Peter K. Lange
  • Scott R. Murray
  • John C. Wille
  • John C. Wohlrabe Jr.

All five on the slate are faithful, joyful Lutherans who would serve well in the office. We at Synod Convention Update recommend a vote for Peter K. Lange.

Here’s what District President Lange has to say in his personal statement:

It’s a joy to serve the church as President of the Kansas District, just as it would be a joy and an honor to serve our Synod as First Vice-President. Devoted foremost to supporting the faithful ministry of our Lord’s Word and Sacraments, I would work in my capacity as First Vice-President to build strong relationships with colleagues and everyone I serve while assisting the President in fulfilling the constitutional and convention mandates of our Synod. In short, I would try to do my small part to help the Body of Christ build itself up in love (Eph. 4).

Also included in this notice are a few changes (additions and removals) to slates of nominees up for election to other positions in the Synod. These updated slates should be noted in Today’s Business #2 when it is published, but we recommend making note in your convention materials even now.

Check out the whole notice here.

Resolution Overview – Floor Committee 4

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 4 – Life Together

4–01 – To Affirm and Celebrate 60 Years of Director of Christian Education Ministry in the Synod
Does just what the title says.

4–02 – To Commend LCMS Deaconesses and Diaconal Work
Commends just as the title says, and also encourages LCMS congregations, etc. to “embrace” LCMS deaconesses (figuratively speaking, we imagine).

4–03 – To Commend to Synod Priorities for Mission and Ministry Emphasis for the 2019–2022 Triennium
The Synod is required to always have a Mission and Ministry Emphasis – think of it as Synod’s “north star” guiding the work done during a triennium. This resolution established Making Disciples for Life as the Emphasis for this triennium.

4–04 – To Expand and Strengthen the Input with Which the Synod’s Triennial Mission and Ministry Emphases Are Determined
Input for the Emphases are more or less required to be submitted by district conventions and circuit forums, and yet generally a lot of feedback has not been received since the 2010 restructuring. This enables a bit more suggestion and guidance from the Board for National Mission and Board for International Mission in regards to new emphases.

4–05 – To Commend the Celebration of the 175th Anniversary of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in 2022
Just as the title says.

4–06 – To Amend Bylaw Section 6.2 to Revitalize Synod’s Recognized Service Organization Program
This one’s a biggie, and difficult to summarize in brief. Delegates should carefully study and consider this resolution. Briefly, it revamps the Recognized Service Organization program, making it much more helpful in identifying what various RSO’s do (and should be expected to be doing in regard to the Scriptures and Confessions).

4–07 – To Commend Actions to Synod Boards and Offices to Revitalize Synod’s Recognized Service Organization Program
This resolution follows on 4–06 and instructs the Synod to do what it takes to implement the changes to the RSO program.

4–08 – To Thank and Praise God for Concordia Publishing House’s 150th Anniversary
This one does as the title says. Be prepared. There will be singing when this passes.

4–09 – To Declare April 18, 2021, as “Here I Stand” Sunday and to Encourage Multi-Congregation Celebrations
Creates another special Sunday title in place of the classical, historic order of the liturgical year.

4–10 – To Continue the Celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, including Commemoration of Events from 1519 through 1522
Encourages ongoing celebration of the events of the conservative reformation as their respective 500th anniversary dates come up.

4–11 – To Encourage the Study of the Doctrine of Closed Communion and Faithful Practice in All Congregations
Once again the Synod encourages more study of Closed Communion. On a positive note, at least they had the decency not to write it as “close(d)” in the title (yep, we’re looking at you, line 20). Commends Harrison and Pless’ book Closed Communion which is very, very good and is a must read.

4–12 – To Thank and Praise God for the 10th Anniversary of the Publication of The Lutheran Study Bible
Does what it says. Do you own a copy of The Lutheran Study Bible? You should!

Resolution Overview – Floor Committee 3

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 3 – Mercy

3–01 – To Commend and Give Thanks for the Work of Synod regarding Disaster Response
Gives thanks for the work of LCMS Disaster Response in regard to 10 listed disasters, as well as in general, and encourages ongoing readiness to respond to disasters as they come.

3–02 – To Commend Lutherans for Life and LCMS Life Ministries
Gives thanks for the work of LFL and LCMS Life Ministries, condemns the recent legislative actions in various states, and encourages LCMS congregations to continue advocating for life and to attend upcoming LCMS Life conferences.

3–03 – To Give Thanks for the “Cooperation in Externals” with LIRS in Welcoming Refugees and Displaced Persons
We will publish a separate article on this resolution.

3–04 – To Encourage Training of Our Pastors, Church Workers and Congregations to Recognize and Provide Pastoral Care for Those Suffering from Clinical Depression, Mental Illnesses, and Other Mental Disorders
Calls attention to, and encourages more training for, recognizing mental illnesses and disorders and providing Gospel-centered care for those suffering from them.

3–05 – To Encourage Worker Wellness
Encourages church workers to be well in all sorts of areas in their lives, including taking advantage of various service organizations that work specifically in this area such as DOXOLOGY.

3–06 – To Respectfully Decline Overtures
For reasons given, declines to make use of certain submitted overtures.

Resolution Overview – Floor Committee 2

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 2 – International Witness

2–01 – To Thank God for 125 Years of International Mission through The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod
The title says it all.

2–02 – To Give Thanks to God for the Work of the Office of International Mission in the Asia Region
2–03 – To Give Thanks to God for the Work of the Office of International Mission in the Latin American and Caribbean Region
2–04 – To Give Thanks to God for the Work of the Office of International Mission in the Eurasia Region
2–05 – To Give Thanks to God for the Work of the Office of International Mission in the Africa Region
All of these resolutions highlight the work the LCMS is doing in various regions throughout the world, and then commends especially the regional directors of said regions. These resolutions seem intended to provide opportunity for further highlighting of the work at the Convention.

2–06 – To Encourage Support of Short-Term International Mission Activities
A previously issued CCM opinion and a guidance document published by Synod have sown a bit of confusion as to whether short-term mission work may be undertaken by anyone other than the Synod through the Office of International Mission. This clarifies that yes, that is allowed, and asks the Synod to update the guidance document to make this clear.

2–07 – To Strengthen and Encourage the Partnership of our Congregations in International Mission through the Board for International Mission
Along with 2–06, this resolution seeks to clarify how short-term mission work ought to be handled, encouraging that while congregations, RSOs, etc. may do short-term work, that is most helpful when done in consultation with the LCMS Office of International Mission. Various reasons for this are given, especially for safety and church-relations reasons.

2–08 – To Give Thanks for Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod Ministry to the Armed Forces
Gives thanks for, and encourages congregations to participate in, the ministry to the Armed Forces both within the military as well as for those who are now home and in the civilian population.

2–09 – To Encourage and Support International Theological Education by the Synod and Our Seminaries in Aid of World Lutheran Churches
Gives thanks for and endorses the work our seminaries are doing in helping to provide theological education both here and abroad for Lutheran church bodies around the world.

2–10 – To Commend the Lutheran Heritage Foundation on its 25th Anniversary
The Lutheran Heritage Foundation provides translations of Lutheran foundational texts in many languages. This highlights this work and commends and encourages it.

Resolution Overview – Floor Committee 1

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 1 – National Witness

1–01 – To Encourage God’s People to Engage in Active Witness
This encourages all of God’s people to bear witness to the Gospel in their lives. It especially again encourages and commends to the Synod the Every One His Witness materials.

1–02 – To Encourage the Planting of Churches
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is brought into new communities and neighborhoods ultimately through the planting of congregations. This matters! This resolution encourages the planting of said new congregations, and a reporting back to the next Convention of the stories of various mission plants throughout the Synod.

1–03 – To Study Shared Ministry among Small Congregations
As demographic changes occur, especially in urban and small town contexts, smaller congregations find it hard to continue on their own. This resolution directs the Office of National Mission and the Council of Presidents to prepare a report with strategies for small congregations to use in working together to remain sustainable. After all, even the small congregations matter.

1–04 – To Support the Continuing Legacy of Dr. Rosa J. Young and Commend All Those Who Are Working to Preserve It
Appropriately reminds us of the work of Rosa J. Young and gives thanks for all the work done to preserve the memory of what she did for the sake of Gospel, and also encourages congregations to follow her example of zeal for the mission of the Church.

1–05 – To Strengthen Multi-Ethnic Outreach
Encourages work be done to help congregations and church workers be better prepared to reach out to multi-ethnic contexts in their communities.

1–06 – To Support Marriage, Life, and Family
Highlights various Synodical priorities and publications that all uphold the Scriptural teaching and order of marriage, life, and family. Encourages further work to make sure these three topic areas remain connected in our teaching and confession.

1–07 – To Continue Vigilance in Child Protection
Commendable seeks to remind us to watch out for the least of these in the work we do in the Synod. However, as currently written, the resolution fails to uphold the teaching of the eternal confidentiality that pastors promise to uphold in their ordination vows when it comes to hearing the confession of sins.

1–08 – To Give Thanks to God for 100 Years of LCMS Campus Ministry
The resolution highlights the history of LCMS campus ministry and then gives thanks for said history.

Overview: Regional VP Elections

The LCMS elects five regional Vice-Presidents at each regular convention. These men represent the five regions into which the Synod is divided.

This year 4 of the 5 regions see incumbents up for election. We at Synod Convention Update encourage a vote for each of these incumbents. They are:

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

The Central Region will elect a new Regional Vice-President this year. Synod Convention Update recommends a vote for Benjamin T. Ball for the office of Central Region Vice-President.

Rev. Ball is pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Hamel, IL, in the Southern Illinois District. A review of his Bio shows his involvement in:

  • Chairman of the Committee for Convention Nominations for the 2019-22 triennium
  • SID leadership, serving as 2nd Vice-President of the District.
  • previous conventions as delegate;
  • floor committees at previous and the current convention;
  • in other Synodical conferences on worship and leadership;
  • District committees and commissions, both in SID as well as NID and New England;

We especially think Pastor Ball’s personal statement is noteworthy:

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. They will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd” (John 10:10, 16). We listen to Jesus, receive His life, and live for Him that the world might listen and have life. C. F. W. Walther wrote that a Synod’s “primary duty is to be faithful to the Confessions in word and deed.” As members of the one flock, we know it is our duty to faithfully live in word and deed. I would be honored to serve as a vice-president, assisting our Synod to hear the voice of Jesus and be faithful to Him.

For more information on Rev. Ball and all the other nominees for Regional Vice-President, please see the Biographical Synopses & Statements of Nominees document.