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The Vote to Postpone Conventions

Special Voters' Assembly Update #2

Here is a news release from The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod about the results of this Synod-wide referendum, as posted in the SELC District's online newsletter The Beacon:

Congregations vote to delay Synod convention by Cheryl Magness

The congregations of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) have approved, by over 90%, a proposal to extend the current 2019–2022 triennium, pushing the Synod’s previously scheduled 2022 national convention to 2023 and extending the timeline for districts that wish to delay their conventions from 2021 into 2022. The measure comes as the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt in both the church and the world.

Noting, among other concerns, that a number of districts would not be able to hold their conventions due to COVID restrictions, LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison informed the LCMS Council of Presidents (COP) of his willingness to put the proposal before the Synod’s congregations, per LCMS Constitution Article XI B 8, provided there was strong support for such action within the COP. The COP voted unanimously (with one abstention) in favor of the move. Harrison also consulted with the Synod Board of Directors (BOD) in accordance with Article XI B 8.

In a Dec. 7 letter to the entire Synod, Harrison posed the question: “Shall the Synod add a year to the current 2019–2022 triennium, allowing districts to hold their conventions in either 2021 or 2022, and moving the upcoming national Synod Convention from 2022 to 2023? [Thereafter, the triennium cycle will continue forward from 2023 in three-year increments, as before (i.e., with district conventions held in 2025, 2028, etc., and Synod Conventions held in 2026, 2029, etc.).] Vote: Yes or No.”

The vote, held electronically, commenced on Jan. 1 and closed at 11:59 p.m. CST on Feb. 15. It was conducted by the LCMS Office of the Secretary and assisted by the LCMS Department of Rosters, Statistics and Research Services and the LCMS Technology Application Group. To be effective, the vote required participation of at least one-quarter of the Synod’s 5,872 congregations. The final percentage of congregations responding was 63.32%, or 3,718 votes. Of those, 90.67% — a number of votes also representing the majority of all member congregations — favored lengthening the triennium.

In total:

  • 3,718 (63.32%) of the Synod’s congregations participated in the vote;
  • 3,371 (90.67%) of these congregations voted “Yes”; and
  • 347 (9.33%) voted “No.”

You can read more about the implications and effects of this vote here:

UPDATE #1 - This Special Voter's Assembly approved a proposal from The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod's Board of Directors and Council of Presidents to postpone the LCMS national convention from 2022 to 2023. If 25% of congregations approve this proposal, the postponement will happen and Districts (like our SELC District) can feel free to reschedule their 2021 District conventions to another time through 2022.

A special Voters' Assembly meeting will be held on Sunday, January 24, immediately following the morning worship service. Below is a video message from Pastor Cahill about this meeting; and HERE>> is an FAQ link with even more.

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