Author Topic: Monday Morning  (Read 5934 times)

prsauer

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Monday Morning
« on: July 22, 2019, 08:27:59 AM »
Good morning and welcome back to a chilly Tampa Convention Center.

If you are looking for the latest information on updates to resolutions, convention schedule and even minutes from previous days you can find all the latest information here:

https://www.lcms.org/convention/downloads

You can even find minutes from previous days to fill in those gaps that invariably occur when I get caught up in conversations with visitors to ALPB headquarters. In my defense, there really are a lot of great people in the Missouri-Synod across the political divides. I am grateful for the ALPB and the LCMS allowing me this triennial opportunity to renew those bonds of fellowship. I wish that more folks had the opportunity to experience this church beyond the poisonous politics which so often dominate our online discourse and even occasionally personal correspondence.

Say what you will about Matt Harrison and his tenure - but he has not used his majority at the last two conventions to cudgel the opposition into submission. Perhaps that is why I just haven't senses the same political angst at this convention. A cynic might say it is because the vastly outnumbered "Missouri moderates" are resigned to defeat, but that doesn't explain the relative graciousness in victory of the "conservatives". Of course we are only on Day 2 so there is still time for us to make a mess of things.

Our Schedule for the day:
Morning Session
8:00Matins—Rev. Dr. Daniel Preus
8:25 Greetings—Concordia Publishing House,
Dr. Bruce Kintz
8:30University Education (#7)
9:30National Witness (#1) 
10:00Registration, Credentials, and Elections (#13)
(Balloting for Secretary of Synod and Synod Board of Directors)
10:35Convention Essay—Joy:fully Lutheran –Rejoice,Rev. Dr. Thomas J. Egger
11:05Theology and Church Relations (#5)
11:35 Retention: Schools, Family, Youth
and Young Adults (#12)
12:00 Recess

Afternoon Session
1:30 Midday Prayer—Rev. Dr. Gregory P. Seltz
1:55 Minutes
2:00 Structure and Administration (#9)
3:00 Recognition of 125 years of International Mission Efforts —Asia Region
3:20 International Witness (#2)
3:25 Committee for Convention Nominations
(for other boards, CTCR, boards of regents,and synod-wide entities)
4:10 Special Presentation—military chaplains, Rev. Craig Muehler
4:20 Omnibus Resolution B
4:30 Ecclesiastical Supervision and Dispute Resolution (#10)
5:05 University Education (#7)
5:45 Responsive Prayer I
6:00 Recess

prsauer

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Re: Monday Morning - University Education (#7)
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2019, 08:37:48 AM »
And before we get going a delegate complains about an ongoing noise issue in the convention hall. Its not the orchestral tuning chairs, but rather sounds a lot like Vuvezela from Soccer World Cups past. I am pretty certain that it is not coming from any of the delegates.

Now on to serious matters.

Resolution 7-08

prsauer

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Re: Monday Morning - Resolution 7-08
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2019, 09:08:01 AM »
The background of this resolution is Concordia-Portland's ongoing saga with the way they have disciplined/not disciplined their gay and lesbian advocacy group. The language is fairly strong "prohibit the celebration or affirmation of sinful behavior through groups, clubs or official campus activities".
Both Portland and St. Paul are mentioned by name - calling for the disbanding of gay and lesbian clubs. - Chair responds that the resolution takes a broader view than one particular issue.
Delegate arises to refer the document for further study because giving CUS oversight authority removes ecclesiastical supervision from the Synodical President and District Presidents.
Delegate is concerned that the "sinful behavior clause" is so vague that all clubs would be in danger.

President Harrison continues to seek the will of the body so that the original queue is not removed. A point of order is called about the way that President Harrison is handling this. He really is in a no win situation due to limitations of technology. He relents and now they are going to open debate on the amendment to strike one of the resolveds. The debate appears to be on a modified resolve that no one has in front of them. What a mess - if you are following at home and confused, you are not alone. This appears to be one of those cases where President Harrison in being nice has opened the door to some confusion. No good deed goes unpunished as they say...

It will all be for naught anyway as the amendment to strike will not pass. What is odd is that the motion to refer was never brought to discussion or an actual vote.

We queue (thanks Charles) up again to discuss the actual resolution.

A delegate is concerned that they haven't been given the actual wording of the revised resolution and asks for referral again. President Harrison is going to have the chair read the changes again - he seems intent on moving forward with this despite the confusion.

Another delegate asks for a printed version of the document. And is denied "We are deep enough into the process".

Another delegate points out that the resolved giving CUS ecclesiastical supervision is in violation of our bylaws. One wonders if this passes whether it is going to end up with Larry Peters and the Committee on Constitutional Matters.

A delegate states that part of the problem is that Concordia Portland has been without a president for 1.5 years.

Another delegate rises again to question the constitutionality of this. Harrison refers to the Secretary to who in turn punts to the CCM, who in turn punts to legal counsel who recommends amending to "ecclesiastical supervision" to "proper supervision". Legal counsel steps in and says that this should go forward as is, and makes recommendations. She says ecclesiastical needs to be in there for legal protection but "other" should be added.

Really not sure why there is such a strong push to get this resolution through in this way. It probably would have taken less time to refer, fix it, and bring it back. It was going to pass anyway (and does with 75%), but my goodness what a mess.

prsauer

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Re: Monday Morning - Resolution 7-03
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2019, 09:20:34 AM »
This directs the LCMS BOD, Concordia Presidents, Regents, and CUS board to develop a new plan to reorganize the CUS (read centralize). This is the next step after 7-02b from the last convention.

The last resolved to give thanks for the various CUS stakeholders given the other resolveds seems a lot like giving a plaque to someone you have forced to retire.

Delegate asks for an amendment to review the financial models of the member institutions. Chair accepts it as a friendly amendment but President Harrison gets the assembly to agree anyway.

Delegate asks for an exploration of removal of the CUS institutions from federal financial aid (ala Hillsdale). Chair admits that this is already being explored - but hedges on the reality of it by discussing "how complicated it all is". I'm no expert but given the financial reality of most of our Concordia's the answer would seem to be - we are barely afloat with federal money.

President Harrison tries unsuccessfully to move things along by counting the vote to end debate (95%) as the vote to approve the resolution (88%).

prsauer

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Re: Monday Morning - 7-04a
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2019, 09:39:02 AM »
This is in "yesterdays todays business"... because this morning hasn't been confusing enough already. It is not even 9:30 and I am just about out of coffee already.

This is going to try and move the prior approval process for CUS presidents to the beginning of the process. This addresses a serious problem as Boards of Regents for our Concoridias have been doing the hard work of interviewing lots of candidates only to have them dismissed by the prior approval panels (DP of Concordia, CUS president, LCMS President). Due to the way these panels have worked we currently have a significant number of CUS institutions that are without presidents (Concordia Portland going on 1.5 years as the previous debate noted).

The elephant in the room (which is only ancillary addressed here) is that the local Boards of Regents are having their preferred candidates not approved by the prior approval panels which then ends up stalling the process. I guess if you remove their preferred candidates from the outset then it would encourage them to move in a different direction.

Concern that moving up the Prior Approval Panel removes local faculty input and will put additional burden on the Prior Approval Panel to vet significantly more numbers of individuals.

Delegate says that it makes sense that if the people at the top know they are going to reject candidates then why not just do so from the outset.

Delegate opposes due to the accreditation process. The reality is that prior approval panels have not historically impacted the accreditation process, and moving it to the beginning doesn't really change that.

Question is called as University Education committee has run out of time. Debate closes by the slimmest of margins. 67%
Main motion goes to a vote with an amendment (to add a 15 day reporting requirement to the CUS president) - approved 60.4%, which likely will be one of our closest votes of the convention.

Concordia Resolutions are always dicey because they involve local institutions and those issues of local control often trump national church-political interests. We should see this with local Concordia Regents elections as well - that may be the only place where united list candidates may experience an upset.

prsauer

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Re: Monday Morning - 1-01A
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2019, 10:04:42 AM »
Lost my post on Resolution 1-01A due to a conversation with someone from Floor Committee 7 (University Ed).

He confirmed that there was a strong desire on the part of the committee chair to push these controversial resolutions forward to get them out of the way. You could tell by the frustration of President Harrison and the confusion of the delegates that this was outside of his comfort zone.

Resolution 1-01a to encourage Witness and the synod's new program "Every One His Witness" passes  with 90+% of the vote after an amendment to only exclusively use synod doctrinally approved materials fails with 32% of the vote.

prsauer

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Re: Monday Morning - Resolution 1-07A
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2019, 10:13:00 AM »
Attempts to develop a synod wide policy regarding child abuse. It is a thorny legal issue particularly when it hinges on the Pastoral Confidentiality and divergent state laws. Legal Counsel Sheri Strand has already been called on once to rule one of the amendments as opening synod up to legal liability.

No one is in favor of child abuse but we live in a society that is now filled with legal minefields where doing the right thing has to be done in certain prescribed ways to protect our institutions and workers while concurrently protecting children.

Not really sure what this resolution does to that effect other than having a resolution synod  which, in the case of local parish or worker failure, can point to and say "its not our fault - we told them what to do".

Passes 98%

Richard Johnson

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Re: Monday Morning - Resolution 7-08
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2019, 10:16:26 AM »

A delegate is concerned that they haven't been given the actual wording of the revised resolution
Another delegate asks for a printed version of the document. And is denied "We are deep enough into the process".



Is there not the ability to project language on a screen so that all can see it?
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

prsauer

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Re: Monday Morning - Elections - Secretary of Synod
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2019, 10:17:38 AM »
Credentialing leads us to elections -

But first a reminder from President Harrison that there is no electronic device usage allowed in the delegate seating area. In other words - get your "Grandfather's Church" lists out now...

First up Secretary of Synod
Jon Braunersreuther
John Silas

Incumbent John Silas is re-elected with 72%

prsauer

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Re: Monday Morning - Resolution 7-08
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2019, 10:19:02 AM »

A delegate is concerned that they haven't been given the actual wording of the revised resolution
Another delegate asks for a printed version of the document. And is denied "We are deep enough into the process".



Is there not the ability to project language on a screen so that all can see it?

Someone raised that very question - but there was a focused effort to push these through and the suggestion was "taken under advisement" which is "chair talk" for "no"

Jeremy Loesch

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Re: Monday Morning
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2019, 10:22:04 AM »
Say what you will about Matt Harrison and his tenure - but he has not used his majority at the last two conventions to cudgel the opposition into submission. Perhaps that is why I just haven't senses the same political angst at this convention. A cynic might say it is because the vastly outnumbered "Missouri moderates" are resigned to defeat, but that doesn't explain the relative graciousness in victory of the "conservatives". Of course we are only on Day 2 so there is still time for us to make a mess of things.- P Sauer

Paul, thank you for that comment because that has been my impression as well.  When there are words of power-grabs and domineering, I just don't see it.  I didn't see it at Milwaukee and just don't see it at all anywhere else.  Perhaps there is something for having power but refraining from using it to the fullest extent?

Enjoy yourself.  And thanks for your time in covering and analyzing the convention. 

Jeremy
A Lutheran pastor growing into all sorts of things.

prsauer

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Re: Monday Morning - LCMS BOD
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2019, 10:32:14 AM »
At Large Commissioned Member
(Today's business includes the bio for yesterday's floor nominee)
Steven Buuck
Susan Hewitt
Jan Lohmeyer

Lohmeyer is the floor nominee and the United List candidate. Missed the first round of votes as my Regional VP Chris Esget stopped by ALPB Headquarters to bring greetings and tell me the ALPB should spring the $80 for wifi. I am told that "they will take that under advisement"

Buuck 46 %
Lohmeyer 54%


Central Lay Delegate BOD
Charles Anderson 35
Andrew Grams 65

Grams the united candidate is elected


West-Southwest Lay Member BOD
James Rundzheimer 31
Jessie Yow 69

Jessie Yow the united candidate is elected


At Large Lay Member BOD
Christian Preus 61
Linda Stoterau 39

Christian Preus the united candidate is elected

That closes out the morning elections with the United List continuing to hold a 60% voting block.

And Thomas Egger arrives 5 minutes early to deliver his convention essay and provide delegates with a chance to head for the bathrooms.

Kevin Vogts

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Re: Monday Morning
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2019, 10:41:19 AM »
haven't sensed the same political angst at this convention

I recall hearing President Kieschnick explain that the main idea behind having the President elected in the new manner was to remove a lot of the raw politics from the Convention itself, by having that key election already decided.  It seems to me that was a laudable goal and the new process has indeed had the calming effect on the Convention that President Kieschnick envisioned.  Overall I'm not a great fan of the restructuring but this change seems to be an improvement.  Having the President elected by voters from every congregation fits well with our congregational polity, and modern technology makes that possible.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2019, 11:34:35 AM by Kevin Vogts »
Rev. Kevin Vogts, Pastor
Trinity Lutheran Church
Paola, Kansas
www.trinitylcms.org

Pr. Luke Zimmerman

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Re: Monday Morning - LCMS BOD
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2019, 11:03:34 AM »
At Large Commissioned Member
(Today's business includes the bio for yesterday's floor nominee)
Steven Buuck
Susan Hewitt
Jan Lohmeyer

Lohmeyer is the floor nominee and the United List candidate. Missed the first round of votes as my Regional VP Chris Esget stopped by ALPB Headquarters to bring greetings and tell me the ALPB should spring the $80 for wifi. I am told that "they will take that under advisement"

Buuck 46 %
Lohmeyer 54%


Central Lay Delegate BOD
Charles Anderson 35
Andrew Grams 65

Grams the united candidate is elected


West-Southwest Lay Member BOD
James Rundzheimer 31
Jessie Yow 69

Jessie Yow the united candidate is elected


At Large Lay Member BOD
Christian Preus 61
Linda Stoterau 39

Christian Preus the united candidate is elected

That closes out the morning elections with the United List continuing to hold a 60% voting block.

And Thomas Egger arrives 5 minutes early to deliver his convention essay and provide delegates with a chance to head for the bathrooms.


It's interesting to compare the vote results for the three layperson elections. Jesse Yow happened to be endorsed by both the United List and Congregations Matter, yet didn't receive many more votes than the winners in the other two elections where endorsements were split. Both the Yow election and the Grams election were open seats with no incumbent, yet their vote totals are very similar. 

Based on that, I'm not sure if there is a 60% voting bloc for the United List candidates. Looking at the Vice-Presidential elections, particularly the East-Southeast and West-Southwest regions, it looks like the bloc might be closer to a slim majority, somewhere between 50-53%. (Both Esget and Murray were incumbents, yet barely received a majority on the first ballot.) I think that the election of Jan Lohmeyer, a floor nominee, to the BOD is also highly indicative of that.
Pr. Luke Zimmerman
Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church -- Mechanicsburg, PA

Buckeye Deaconess

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Re: Monday Morning - Resolution 1-07A
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2019, 11:10:50 AM »
Attempts to develop a synod wide policy regarding child abuse. It is a thorny legal issue particularly when it hinges on the Pastoral Confidentiality and divergent state laws. Legal Counsel Sheri Strand has already been called on once to rule one of the amendments as opening synod up to legal liability.

No one is in favor of child abuse but we live in a society that is now filled with legal minefields where doing the right thing has to be done in certain prescribed ways to protect our institutions and workers while concurrently protecting children.

Not really sure what this resolution does to that effect other than having a resolution synod  which, in the case of local parish or worker failure, can point to and say "its not our fault - we told them what to do".

Passes 98%

First off, thank you, Pastor Sauer.  Your coverage is very helpful for keeping up with the latest convention happenings.  I had originally intended to be present, but decided for family reasons to remain at home.  I believe your colorful commentary is making things a lot more interesting than being there in person.  :)

As for this Resolution, I'm rather confused because Synod was tasked at two prior conventions with doing this very thing. And it was done.  By the task force that I chaired.  Here are the links to the resources that were developed.  What some fail to understand is that Synod is advisory in nature and CANNOT mandate the actions or programs that a school undertakes.  Synod can merely provide resources and guidance.

Social Issues-Child Abuse
Legal Resources (Sexual Misconduct Tab)