While I was not a delegate to the Synod convention, I was looking forward to action on the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Synod Structure and Governance’s exhaustive study of the need for reorganizing the LCMS, as brought to the convention by Floor Committee 8. Now that the convention addressed only about 50 percent of the floor committee’s proposed resolutions, I am deeply concerned that the job of reorganization has been left “half done.” I believe The Lutheran Witness should undertake a major effort to inform all LCMS members (1) what organization changes have been made and why, (2) what has been left unaddressed and the potential problems this may cause for the organization changes approved, and (3) the pros and cons for completing the work of Floor Committee 8, which I thought went to extreme efforts to study and communicate the issues for change.
While I support giving each congregation a feeling of greater involvement in the direction of the LCMS, we have not acknowledged the major contributions of large urban congregations, with multiple pastors, and memberships that can support greater Christian-education opportunities.
While it might appear that half the job was left undone (of the 41 resolutions drafted by Floor Committee 8, 21 were considered, 18 were approved, 2 were declined, and 1 was referred to The Commission on Handbook), in reality, according to Dr. Larry Stoterau, president of the Pacific Southwest District and chair of the committee, much of the work of the task force was adopted and will result in major changes—most markedly at the national level. As these changes gel, be assured that The Lutheran Witness and Reporter will keep the Synod abreast of developments and their effect on programs, ministries, and congregations.
For a summary of this year’s convention actions, see “Big Decisions in a Big City” in the August issue of The Lutheran Witness, as well as the convention stories in the August issue of Reporter, which can be found online also at lcms.org/reporter. Stories at lcms.org/convention remain available too. —Ed.
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