Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Blecht

Some of you may remember last year that I dedicated one of our Bible studies to watching a video from Concordia St. Louis talking at length about possible changes in our Synodical structure which were in the process of being considered. The video may not have been the best introduction I could have given, but my goal was really to let you all know that the Missouri Synod is officially considering making some very significant changes to the way it is organized. In order to do this, the current administration has appointed a “Blue Ribbon Task Force on Synodical Governance,” which has been working for four years to propose changes to be adopted at the Summer 2010 convention. Those proposals were at long last released to the public this week.

The Final Report is a significant document, over 50 pages in length, including “21” recommendations. This is, in effect, the proposal of a new constitution for our Church body. You can view the report at our Synodical Website.

I have not yet had time to read the report in its entirety, in order to see how its final proposals have changed from the initial proposals and the various stages of proposals which have been released over the last year. What is important to know at the start is that this is a massive change. There are almost no corners of the church body politics and theological assumptions that will not be affected, from the name which we use (possibly “Lutheran Church in Mission and Service,”) to the realigning of all synodical ministries under the two new “mission” commissions, to the placing of future Seminary and Pastoral education directly under the Synodical President's office.

This winter there will be several special caucuses held throughout the united states for delegates to the national convention, at which time they will be able to learn more, ask questions, etc. Currently, the delegates from our area include Pastor Engler and Pastor Luke Zimmerman (Mechanicsburg) as well as two lay delegates. I will be encouraging Pastors Engler and Zimmerman to host an informational meeting following their return, open to our circuits, in order for all of us who hold a stake in the future of the LCMS to hear and learn from their study and observations.

Until then, I simply want to make you aware of these changes which are brewing and enable you to read the document for yourself.. Personally, I am disconcerted on a number of levels. Scott Diekman, an LCMS Laymen and pilot for Alaska Airlines has a slightly unrelated piece at his blog, Stand Firm, which does a nice job setting some of the tone and backdrop for the discussion.

Needless to say, I will try to keep you informed and provide you with other sources of feedback as they become available.

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