SYNOD NOMINATIONS BEGIN FOR THE 2019 CONVENTION
The first call for nominations for the LC-MS national convention in July 2019 has been issued by the Secretary of the Synod, the Rev. Dr. John W. Sias. The call appeared in the January 2018 Reporter (p. 11), in the January 2018 Lutheran Witness, on the synod’s web-site at the Official Notice page: https://blogs.lcms.org/2018/2019-convention-nominations ; and in a mailing from the synod to the pastors, commissioned ministers, and congregations of the LC-MS.
We, the members of the United List committee, encourage everyone who is eligible to nominate to do so, and the sooner the better.
The synod always needs capable, experienced, ethical, and doctrinally-sound people to serve on its various boards, commission, and in its many offices. In his discussion with his fellow Lutherans in the 1840s, C.F.W. Walther observed how the Lord of the church has distributed his gifts so that no single congregation has all the talents which it needs, but that the diversity of gifts should be used for the common good (I Corinthians 12:4-31; cf. the Preamble to the LC-MS Constitution, paragraph 2).
Who is eligible to nominate? Those eligible are: LC-MS congregations, LC-MS pastors, LC-MS commissioned ministers, LC-MS officers, LC-MS agencies, and every layman who is a member of an LC-MS congregation. If you are an LC-MS layman, you do not need the approval of your pastor or congregation. You can go directly to the synod’s website, get the documents, and make your nomination via e-mail to the synod, though you do need to indicate the congregation in which you are a member. No anonymous nominations are allowed.
What positions are open for nominations? The positions are described on the synod’s website on the Official Notice, and the other places where the call for nominations has been made. A more detailed description of those positions, with qualifications, incumbents, etc. can be found in the notice mailed to pastors and congregations, in the document titled “Officer, Board, and Commission Positions to be Filled by Election by the 2019 Convention for which Nominations are Solicited.”
Whom should you nominate? Both specific and general qualifications are described by the synod nomination documents. The general qualifications state:
- That the nominee should be “fully committed to the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions.”—Don’t assume that just because someone is a member of an LC-MS congregation that they fully agree with Scriptures and the Confessions. People join congregations for many different reasons. Don’t assume that just because someone says on one occasion that they agree with the Bible and the Book of Concord that they always do in every way. “Fully committed” means that they agree with everything in the Bible and Book of Concord, and that they are consistent in both word and deed in this respect.
- That the person nominated has been “honoring and upholding the resolutions of the Synod.”—“Honoring and upholding” means, at the very least, that they respect the members of their synod, though this does not rule out fair and necessary criticism. “Upholding the resolutions of the Synod” is necessary in our age, because the Lutheran church has faced many issues unthinkable to the church of the 16th century, such as the theory of evolution, communism, abortion, the ecumenical movement, rampant sexual immorality, culturally-approved homosexuality, etc. These modern issues have been addressed by the LC-MS in its conventions. It is very important that synod’s officers and board members agree with those decisions.
- That the nominee has been “supporting the mission and ministry of the Synod.”—Support of the work of the synod means that the person nominated is willing to join that work through volunteering his or her time and energy toward that cause.
- That the nominee possesses “the ability and willingness to work with others.”—Work in the synod is always a team project, and the success of any team depends on the cooperation of its members; and finally
- That the nominee’s commitment to the work of the synod should “already be demonstrated by participation and leadership in the nominee’s local congregation.”—Your local congregation’s officers, board members, and volunteers are where you will find the people capable of serving at the synod level, because they have already demonstrated their capacity for such work and commitment by serving your congregation locally. There may be other people whom you know in the synod that you might nominate, and that is fine and good. But you need to realize that the nomination form asks you how you know the nominee and in what capacity. So you shouldn’t nominate just anyone, but people whom you know personally and who fit the position.
How do you nominate? It is as “easy as pie.” Go to the synod’s website at: www.lcms.org/convention/2019-nomination-form Fill out the electronic PDF form. Make sure you complete both pages and every section on the form. Save the completed form to your computer or tablet, then email it to the Committee for Convention Nominations at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org The electronic copy does not need to be signed. Then print out and sign an identical copy and send by US mail to the address listed on the form.
When should you nominate? As soon as possible. If you get the forms in early, it helps the office of the Synod Secretary to process all the forms and prepare the nominations for the Committee for Convention Nominations (CCN). The office is requesting all nominations by August 20, 2018. The deadline for nominations is October 20, 2018. The CCN will meet in January 2019 and begin their work of reviewing nominations and producing the slate for the convention.
Why should you nominate? The work of our synod depends on having qualified, committed, and faithful people in every position. The more nominations that come in for a position, the better choices that the CCN will have before them, and that the convention itself will have as it prayerfully considers the leadership for the synod itself and all of its institutions and agencies.
Thanks for helping with the work of finding and supporting faithful Lutheran leadership!