Author Topic: Tuesday Morning  (Read 5275 times)

prsauer

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Tuesday Morning
« on: July 23, 2019, 08:25:29 AM »
Back at it for this Tuesday morning.

A note from yesterday - I neglected to mention that Don Engebretson as he stopped by headquarters. First time I was able to put a face (I know, I know his profile has a picture), to that long time poster. Renew the bonds of fellowship...

Update on the plants by the entrance - there doesn't appear to be any new additions to them this morning. That is not definitive - my wife would note that I am not particularly adept at noticing those things. In fact, if it weren't for Deaconess Rojas, I probably wouldn't have even noticed the neon palm trees greeting delegates. They did appear to be passing out little dixie cups (with seeds?) in them on the way in. I didn't notice what was going on until it was too late...

And just as I type that one of the "Joy Fully Lutheran" Volunteers stops by ALPB headquarters with a cup. It has M&Ms in it. Better than seeds, but I have yet to see anyone eat them (which is why I thought they were seeds). Half the room is probably filled with anxiety now trying to figure out if it is ok to eat the M&Ms or not. Our homilist this morning Nabil Nour is apparently the man responsible for them as he references them in is message. Still waiting for the command to eat.... which is given with the words: "grab some M&Ms - it will be good for your soul". That's a message we can all (except for those allergic to chocolate - a tragedy that afflicts at least one of my colleagues) support.

As we move to more serious matters this morning's schedule:

8:00 Matins—Rev. Nabil S. Nour
8:25 Special Recognition—newly elected and outgoing Praesidium
8:30 Greetings —Lutheran Church Extension Fund, Rev. Bart Day
8:35 Church and Culture (#11)
9:30 Recognition of 125 years of International Mission — Eurasia Region
9:50 International Witness (#2)
9:55 Convention Essay— Joy:fully Lutheran – Pray, Rev. Josemon T. Hoem
10:25 Ecclesiastical Supervision and Dispute Resolution (#10)
11:20 Structure and Administration (#9)
12:00 Recess

prsauer

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Re: Tuesday Morning - Preliminaries
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2019, 08:39:33 AM »
President Harrison jokes that those candies are actually sedatives. Probably not needed at this point. The day runs 0800 to 1800. For many it begins even earlier with District Breakfasts, and ends even later with RSO and Auxiliary organizations that have dinners in the evenings. District Presidents especially are probably spent at this point (as must be President Harrison). For most of them this convention falls on the heels of the LWML convention and the National Youth Gathering all within the last month.

337,000 collected so far through the National Offering - exceeding 2016 totals by 16%.

We have gone through 30 percent of our time and accomplished less than 30 percent of our business.
Daily Business - located on the downloads page: https://www.lcms.org/convention/downloads  contains a chart of the status of resolutions by floor committee.

Herb Mueller and Daniel Preus are both thanked for their service as they leave the praesidium of Synod.

Rev Bart Day - newly appointed to the position since the last praesidium brings greetings and a video from the LCEF. He has come a long way from the 2012 where he, as the new director of National Mission and I as the new Atlantic District Vice President for NYC, joined with more seasoned leaders like Dave Benke and Carlos Hernandez down in Hurricane Sandy affected regions of NYC. Bart was the presence of Synod in those difficult days and he could not been more supportive of our churches and missions.


prsauer

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Re: Tuesday Morning - A detour before we begin
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2019, 08:48:31 AM »
And right off the bat we have a motion we have a procedural motion by a delegate regarding Resolution 10-01 (p. 520)
The resolve is to affirm article 7 of the constitution which highlights the local nature of ministry and Synod as "advisory in nature" - "we are not a hierarchical organization"
Charmain of Task Force 10 says it was in the Omnibus because Article 7 is Article 7 and not up for debate, and it should not be divorced from the other articles of the constitution.

CCM Chair explains that this article generally refers to church governance which says something different than the what the resolution proposes.

Parliamentary claims that motions to reaffirm something are out of order because they already stand. The motion is ruled out of order.

prsauer

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Re: Tuesday Morning - Committee 11 Church and Culture
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2019, 09:13:41 AM »
11-03A Encourages Synod to develop resources for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues.
- Shouldn't be controversial for this audience. It is interesting that those struggling with what the resolution clearly labels "sin" are still granted access to sacramental care.

A delegate rises to speak well of the new catechism and its first article explanation. I always wonder when they speak of explanation whether they are referring to the actual catechism and Luther's explanation or the appended questions and answers that are not actually part of the catechism. In any event, catechism=good and part of our Symbolic Books; synod explanation to catechism= good and not part of our Symbolic Books.

With a queue full of pro-folks we decide instead to end debate and approve the resolution with 92% of the vote.

11-02A Encourage the common humanity of all people
-Another one that shouldn't be controversial. The resolution helpfully references a couple of documents that Synod has already produced on race issues going all the way back to 1959.
Amendment proposed to remove the resolved referring to racism has no basis in science. The committee chair strikes the word science leaving just Scripture and the confessions.

A pastoral delegate who began his ministry in 1963 Mississippi describes how when he began he wasn't accepted by many of the white Lutherans there who didn't want their "apple cart upset". The issue is original sin.

A pastoral delegate wants the Synod to release a press release from this condemning racism. President Harrison announces that this will happen.

We have quite a queue lined up for a resolution that is going to pass with 98% of the vote, so it is put to a vote to end debate.

President Harrison smartly asks for a voice vote allowing for a "unanimous" vote.

A delegate rises to ask that all of our Synod resolutions on this be put together in one place.

James_Gale

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Re: Tuesday Morning - A detour before we begin
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2019, 09:39:58 AM »
And right off the bat we have a motion we have a procedural motion by a delegate regarding Resolution 10-01 (p. 520)
The resolve is to affirm article 7 of the constitution which highlights the local nature of ministry and Synod as "advisory in nature" - "we are not a hierarchical organization"
Charmain of Task Force 10 says it was in the Omnibus because Article 7 is Article 7 and not up for debate, and it should not be divorced from the other articles of the constitution.

CCM Chair explains that this article generally refers to church governance which says something different than the what the resolution proposes.

Parliamentary claims that motions to reaffirm something are out of order because they already stand. The motion is ruled out of order.


Do we know the motivation underlying the motion? 


I ask because many secular courts in deciding any dispute between a congregation and its church body base their ruling in whole or in part on whether the church body is "hierarchical."  Courts often are reluctant to decide these matters of the merits for fear of running afoul of the First Amendment.  In these cases, the alternative is to defer to church officials.  But which church officials?  If the court determines that a church body is hierarchical (as the Roman church assuredly is), the court will defer to the church body.  If the court determines that a church is not hierarchical (as the Southern Baptist Convention seems to be), the court will defer to the congregation.  Courts don't always take this approach.  They sometimes apply neutral principles of law and reach a case's merits directly. 


In this context, the LCMS's four-decades-old dispute with Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest, Illinois, might be of interest.  In that case, the LCMS wanted to exercise a right to repurchase provision in the contract governing the 1920s sale by the LCMS/Concordia to Grace of the congregation's property.  The LCMS in that case argued that it is a hierarchical church body.  Grace argued the contrary.  The court in that case decided that it could not constitutionally decide even this point.  Here's a link to the court's opinion.  The upshot is that the court refused to decide anything, leaving the property in Grace's possession.  (As many of you no doubt know, to avoid triggering a new legal battle over the property, Grace remained at least nominally independent.  That independence may end in a few years when the right to repurchase by its terms expires.) 

Jim Butler

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Re: Tuesday Morning - A detour before we begin
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2019, 09:53:01 AM »
And right off the bat we have a motion we have a procedural motion by a delegate regarding Resolution 10-01 (p. 520)
The resolve is to affirm article 7 of the constitution which highlights the local nature of ministry and Synod as "advisory in nature" - "we are not a hierarchical organization"
Charmain of Task Force 10 says it was in the Omnibus because Article 7 is Article 7 and not up for debate, and it should not be divorced from the other articles of the constitution.

CCM Chair explains that this article generally refers to church governance which says something different than the what the resolution proposes.

Parliamentary claims that motions to reaffirm something are out of order because they already stand. The motion is ruled out of order.


Do we know the motivation underlying the motion? 


I ask because many secular courts in deciding any dispute between a congregation and its church body base their ruling in whole or in part on whether the church body is "hierarchical."  Courts often are reluctant to decide these matters of the merits for fear of running afoul of the First Amendment.  In these cases, the alternative is to defer to church officials.  But which church officials?  If the court determines that a church body is hierarchical (as the Roman church assuredly is), the court will defer to the church body.  If the court determines that a church is not hierarchical (as the Southern Baptist Convention seems to be), the court will defer to the congregation.  Courts don't always take this approach.  They sometimes apply neutral principles of law and reach a case's merits directly. 


In this context, the LCMS's four-decades-old dispute with Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest, Illinois, might be of interest.  In that case, the LCMS wanted to exercise a right to repurchase provision in the contract governing the 1920s sale by the LCMS/Concordia to Grace of the congregation's property.  The LCMS in that case argued that it is a hierarchical church body.  Grace argued the contrary.  The court in that case decided that it could not constitutionally decide even this point.  Here's a link to the court's opinion.  The upshot is that the court refused to decide anything, leaving the property in Grace's possession.  (As many of you no doubt know, to avoid triggering a new legal battle over the property, Grace remained at least nominally independent.  That independence may end in a few years when the right to repurchase by its terms expires.)

The problem is that courts see churches as either hierarchical or congregational. The LCMS is really neither (although I would agree more congregational).

Grace, RF, was an anomaly. IIRC, the congregation owned the building, but the Synod owned the land. There was a clause in the contract which said that everything would go to the Synod if Grace ever left the Synod and joined another Lutheran body. Of course, it exploited the loophole, becoming independent.

But Grace, RF, is the only congregation that I know of to have that problem. Now the policy is that the congregation leaves with the building. If they have an LCEF loan, they are given a year to get a new mortgage (provided they keep up their LCEF payments in the meantime).
The significance of the passage of time, right? The significance of the passage of time. So when you think about it, there is great significance to the passage of time. -- VP Kamala Harris

prsauer

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Re: Tuesday Morning - Church and Culture
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2019, 09:56:46 AM »
11-05A Commend Immigrants Among Us
Now we move into what may be a more controversial issue given the secular political divide over immigration.
President Harrison gives a little two kingdom's theology from the chair, reminding us that we can have a diversity of political, secular viewpoints in the left hand kingdom, but in the kingdom of the right "our neighbors need is mercy." We are to both love our neighbor and submit to authority. We will see if that mollifies the crowd. Based on the queue it doesn't look like it.

In the background is some anger toward LCMS participation or non-participation in the LIRS. The resolution might have been less controversial if the LIRS resolution had been dealt with first.

Delegate from YUMA calls for more compassion in the resolution.

75% are pro in the queue so the question is posed whether to close debate. Closure fails with only 63% (2/3 needed).

Pastor says the issue is not immigration but illegal immigration and how we are to speak to that as Christians. Concludes by asking what we are to do "As proud Texans and Americans" Gotta love Texans and their Texans first world view - Equally concerning to Texans I know is what to do with all of the Blue state folks who are immigrating to Texas from California and the Northeast.

Amendment proposed to add a resolved to give bold witness in the face of inhumane treatment of immigrants and minorities (mentions those being charged with felonies for leaving water in the desert for illegal immigrants)
Amendment to add the word refugee to the amendment. Accepted as a friendly.

At the orders of the day. Vote to close debate on the amendment. Amendment comes for a vote - but first the chair asks that the resolved added in the amendment be moved to second to last resolved the word of God can have the last word. The amendment passes with 81%

Not back to the main motion. Vote to close debate passes and now to the actual vote which passes with 89% of the vote.

A point of order is shut down with word that it needs to be brought as a note to the convention chair.

It is almost like folks took President Harrison's opening words this morning about staying on track as a challenge. Lots of debate for 90% votes









James_Gale

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Re: Tuesday Morning - A detour before we begin
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2019, 10:02:46 AM »
And right off the bat we have a motion we have a procedural motion by a delegate regarding Resolution 10-01 (p. 520)
The resolve is to affirm article 7 of the constitution which highlights the local nature of ministry and Synod as "advisory in nature" - "we are not a hierarchical organization"
Charmain of Task Force 10 says it was in the Omnibus because Article 7 is Article 7 and not up for debate, and it should not be divorced from the other articles of the constitution.

CCM Chair explains that this article generally refers to church governance which says something different than the what the resolution proposes.

Parliamentary claims that motions to reaffirm something are out of order because they already stand. The motion is ruled out of order.


Do we know the motivation underlying the motion? 


I ask because many secular courts in deciding any dispute between a congregation and its church body base their ruling in whole or in part on whether the church body is "hierarchical."  Courts often are reluctant to decide these matters of the merits for fear of running afoul of the First Amendment.  In these cases, the alternative is to defer to church officials.  But which church officials?  If the court determines that a church body is hierarchical (as the Roman church assuredly is), the court will defer to the church body.  If the court determines that a church is not hierarchical (as the Southern Baptist Convention seems to be), the court will defer to the congregation.  Courts don't always take this approach.  They sometimes apply neutral principles of law and reach a case's merits directly. 


In this context, the LCMS's four-decades-old dispute with Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest, Illinois, might be of interest.  In that case, the LCMS wanted to exercise a right to repurchase provision in the contract governing the 1920s sale by the LCMS/Concordia to Grace of the congregation's property.  The LCMS in that case argued that it is a hierarchical church body.  Grace argued the contrary.  The court in that case decided that it could not constitutionally decide even this point.  Here's a link to the court's opinion.  The upshot is that the court refused to decide anything, leaving the property in Grace's possession.  (As many of you no doubt know, to avoid triggering a new legal battle over the property, Grace remained at least nominally independent.  That independence may end in a few years when the right to repurchase by its terms expires.)

The problem is that courts see churches as either hierarchical or congregational. The LCMS is really neither (although I would agree more congregational).

Grace, RF, was an anomaly. IIRC, the congregation owned the building, but the Synod owned the land. There was a clause in the contract which said that everything would go to the Synod if Grace ever left the Synod and joined another Lutheran body. Of course, it exploited the loophole, becoming independent.

But Grace, RF, is the only congregation that I know of to have that problem. Now the policy is that the congregation leaves with the building. If they have an LCEF loan, they are given a year to get a new mortgage (provided they keep up their LCEF payments in the meantime).


The Grace case most assuredly is unique.  But it raises an issue that could come into play in other contexts.  That's why I wondered whether any interesting agenda underlay the motion that was ruled out of order.

prsauer

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Re: Tuesday Morning
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2019, 10:03:21 AM »
Got distracted by a power confab as we got a visit from Larry Peters, Rear Admiral Gard, and VP Ben Ball. Happy to report that Dr. Gard will not stay retired long - he is headed back to Ft. Wayne to teach a couple classes and do some parish vacancy work. After a distinguished career in the Military and academia you can tell he is looking forward to being in the parish on a regular basis.

Ben Ball provided an update on the nomination of Jeff Khloa. He will be on the ballot - the problem is no one checked with him (or a few other nominees) before nominating him which means he didn't have the required paperwork submitted. To Ben's credit, rather then just disqualifying him, he reached out to him to: 1. Confirm that he actually wants his name to stand; 2. Get the appropriate paperwork.  I still don't think that Khloa has any chance against the united list super-majority, but Synod leadership is going out of its way to avoid even the appearance of partisanship.

prsauer

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Re: Tuesday Morning - A detour before we begin
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2019, 10:04:43 AM »
And right off the bat we have a motion we have a procedural motion by a delegate regarding Resolution 10-01 (p. 520)
The resolve is to affirm article 7 of the constitution which highlights the local nature of ministry and Synod as "advisory in nature" - "we are not a hierarchical organization"
Charmain of Task Force 10 says it was in the Omnibus because Article 7 is Article 7 and not up for debate, and it should not be divorced from the other articles of the constitution.

CCM Chair explains that this article generally refers to church governance which says something different than the what the resolution proposes.

Parliamentary claims that motions to reaffirm something are out of order because they already stand. The motion is ruled out of order.


Do we know the motivation underlying the motion? 


I ask because many secular courts in deciding any dispute between a congregation and its church body base their ruling in whole or in part on whether the church body is "hierarchical."  Courts often are reluctant to decide these matters of the merits for fear of running afoul of the First Amendment.  In these cases, the alternative is to defer to church officials.  But which church officials?  If the court determines that a church body is hierarchical (as the Roman church assuredly is), the court will defer to the church body.  If the court determines that a church is not hierarchical (as the Southern Baptist Convention seems to be), the court will defer to the congregation.  Courts don't always take this approach.  They sometimes apply neutral principles of law and reach a case's merits directly. 


In this context, the LCMS's four-decades-old dispute with Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest, Illinois, might be of interest.  In that case, the LCMS wanted to exercise a right to repurchase provision in the contract governing the 1920s sale by the LCMS/Concordia to Grace of the congregation's property.  The LCMS in that case argued that it is a hierarchical church body.  Grace argued the contrary.  The court in that case decided that it could not constitutionally decide even this point.  Here's a link to the court's opinion.  The upshot is that the court refused to decide anything, leaving the property in Grace's possession.  (As many of you no doubt know, to avoid triggering a new legal battle over the property, Grace remained at least nominally independent.  That independence may end in a few years when the right to repurchase by its terms expires.)

I don't think it has anything to do with legalities in the secular courts and everything to do with a fear about the "growing centralization" of the LCMS.

prsauer

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Re: Tuesday Morning - International Witness
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2019, 10:24:45 AM »
After a presentation on our Eruasia missions we have Resolution 2-04 which is to affirm our support of Eurasia missions.
It passes with 99.9% (1 vote against it). Harrison quips even the regular grumps had their hearts softened by the little girls singing in the Eurasia video singing "A Mighty Fortress". He would call for a re-vote but the last time he did it

Rev. Josemon Hoem begins his presentation talking about his own adoption story. He has beautiful picture of the nuns at St. Joseph's orphanage in India holding him as a child, and where he spent the first 5 years of his life. He connects it to the prayer of his adoptive parents for him, the prayers of the nuns for him, and their teaching him to pray. He recounts going back to India as a seminarian and re-meeting the nun who prayed for him as an orphan child. This is the most engaged folks have been at one of these convention essays - his stories are powerful.  The tragic necessity of adoption is still an emotionally raw and deeply personal subject for me so perhaps the stories resonate more. Worth catching the video on this one if you miss it.

prsauer

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Re: Tuesday Morning
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2019, 10:27:48 AM »
Dan Gard shared the story of his "one foray" into synodical politics. In the 2010 election that ultimately was between Harrison and Kieschnick Secretary Hartwig went through the list of nominees for president to round out the bylaw mandated slate of 5 candidates. All declined to allow their names to stand except for one other leaving two vacancies on the slate. Dan and Carl Fickenscher were the last two names on the list and if they didn't allow their names to stand Synod would have to go through the expense of soliciting nominations again to complete the slate of candidates. - a pointless waste given that it was clear the vote was going to be between Harrison and Kieschnick.  Dan and Carl both took one for the team and reluctantly allowed their names to stand as sacrificial lambs They roomed together at the convention - perhaps the first time two candidates for presidency did so. "We weren't even given name tags"...

 

Dave Benke

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Re: Tuesday Morning - Church and Culture
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2019, 10:33:32 AM »
11-05A Commend Immigrants Among Us
Now we move into what may be a more controversial issue given the secular political divide over immigration.
President Harrison gives a little two kingdom's theology from the chair, reminding us that we can have a diversity of political, secular viewpoints in the left hand kingdom, but in the kingdom of the right "our neighbors need is mercy." We are to both love our neighbor and submit to authority. We will see if that mollifies the crowd. Based on the queue it doesn't look like it.

In the background is some anger toward LCMS participation or non-participation in the LIRS. The resolution might have been less controversial if the LIRS resolution had been dealt with first.

Delegate from YUMA calls for more compassion in the resolution.

75% are pro in the queue so the question is posed whether to close debate. Closure fails with only 63% (2/3 needed).

Pastor says the issue is not immigration but illegal immigration and how we are to speak to that as Christians. Concludes by asking what we are to do "As proud Texans and Americans" Gotta love Texans and their Texans first world view - Equally concerning to Texans I know is what to do with all of the Blue state folks who are immigrating to Texas from California and the Northeast.

Amendment proposed to add a resolved to give bold witness in the face of inhumane treatment of immigrants and minorities (mentions those being charged with felonies for leaving water in the desert for illegal immigrants)
Amendment to add the word refugee to the amendment. Accepted as a friendly.

At the orders of the day. Vote to close debate on the amendment. Amendment comes for a vote - but first the chair asks that the resolved added in the amendment be moved to second to last resolved the word of God can have the last word. The amendment passes with 81%

Not back to the main motion. Vote to close debate passes and now to the actual vote which passes with 89% of the vote.

A point of order is shut down with word that it needs to be brought as a note to the convention chair.

It is almost like folks took President Harrison's opening words this morning about staying on track as a challenge. Lots of debate for 90% votes

What's the final version of "To Commend Immigrants Among Us"?  That's of interest and us to me and many of us with a high population of immigrants among us in both community and congregation.

Dave Benke

prsauer

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Re: Tuesday Morning
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2019, 10:47:40 AM »
Back from the break and a delegate brings a motion to have 9-02 (which was brought out of omnibus and deals with commissioned ministers) to be brought before the convention prior to close of business on Wednesday.

The resolution has been prepared and should come before the convention tomorrow morning. The Chair says that it will change the orders of the day and therefore the motion requires a 2/3 vote to change the orders of the day. The chair promises that it will come up, the delegate is not mollified and wants his motion voted on. President Harrison tries to talk him down from the ledge to no avail. So we are going to waste time on a vote that will not pass (42%) to affirm something that is already going to happen.

And on to ecclesiastical supervision now 20 minutes behind schedule

prsauer

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Re: Tuesday Morning - Church and Culture
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2019, 10:49:28 AM »
11-05A Commend Immigrants Among Us
Now we move into what may be a more controversial issue given the secular political divide over immigration.
President Harrison gives a little two kingdom's theology from the chair, reminding us that we can have a diversity of political, secular viewpoints in the left hand kingdom, but in the kingdom of the right "our neighbors need is mercy." We are to both love our neighbor and submit to authority. We will see if that mollifies the crowd. Based on the queue it doesn't look like it.

In the background is some anger toward LCMS participation or non-participation in the LIRS. The resolution might have been less controversial if the LIRS resolution had been dealt with first.

Delegate from YUMA calls for more compassion in the resolution.

75% are pro in the queue so the question is posed whether to close debate. Closure fails with only 63% (2/3 needed).

Pastor says the issue is not immigration but illegal immigration and how we are to speak to that as Christians. Concludes by asking what we are to do "As proud Texans and Americans" Gotta love Texans and their Texans first world view - Equally concerning to Texans I know is what to do with all of the Blue state folks who are immigrating to Texas from California and the Northeast.

Amendment proposed to add a resolved to give bold witness in the face of inhumane treatment of immigrants and minorities (mentions those being charged with felonies for leaving water in the desert for illegal immigrants)
Amendment to add the word refugee to the amendment. Accepted as a friendly.

At the orders of the day. Vote to close debate on the amendment. Amendment comes for a vote - but first the chair asks that the resolved added in the amendment be moved to second to last resolved the word of God can have the last word. The amendment passes with 81%

Not back to the main motion. Vote to close debate passes and now to the actual vote which passes with 89% of the vote.

A point of order is shut down with word that it needs to be brought as a note to the convention chair.

It is almost like folks took President Harrison's opening words this morning about staying on track as a challenge. Lots of debate for 90% votes

What's the final version of "To Commend Immigrants Among Us"?  That's of interest and us to me and many of us with a high population of immigrants among us in both community and congregation.

Dave Benke

It is 11-05A as printed with the addition of one resolved that encourages "giving bold witness in the face of the inhumane treatment of immigrants and minorities"