The LCMS Board of Directors met for its eighth regular meeting of the 2013–2016 triennium August 21-22, 2015. The use of a “consent agenda” again expedited the board’s conduct of its business by including routine matters that require board review or action under a single resolution adopted at the beginning of the meeting.
President Matthew Harrison began his report to the board with personal comments regarding the recent fire in his home and its consequences for his family, all of whom escaped personal harm, noting that working through this experience, while very difficult, has also turned into a blessing for his family. He also provided a general report of the tone of the 21 district conventions he was able to attend, calling his presence “well received” and the conventions’ positive tone indicative of a “very positive mood across the church.”
While responding to questions from members of the board, a question regarding a dispute case that involved ecclesiastical discipline prompted a motion to move into executive session, the first of several executive sessions during the meeting.
The business of the board conducted in open session included the following:
- A report from the Chief Financial Officer Jerald Wulf that the total income of the Synod for fiscal year 2014-2015 was $64.1 million, while expenses totaled $63.6 million, resulting in a year-end surplus of $.5 million.
- An action to approve the establishment of a new corporation, CPS Ancillary Program Agency, for the purpose of carrying on prescribed activities and responsibilities of Concordia Plan Services, this after introduction and explanation by Concordia Plan Services Chief Executive James Sanft and its board chairman Fred Kraegel. They also provided a report of the positive status and prospects of the Concordia retirement plans.
- “Visits” by Concordia Historical Institute Executive Director Daniel Harmelink and Office of National Mission Executive Director Bart Day provided an overview of the responsibilities and activities of the institute and national mission department, as well as plans and challenges going forward.
- A report by Secretary Raymond Hartwig and Chief Administrator Ron Schultz detailed consequences and ramifications of bylaw changes by the 2013 convention, changes intended to identify more well-qualified candidates for Concordia University System board positions. They also reported on a recent Commission on Constitution Matters opinion (15-2768) limiting mention of incumbency during the regional nominations balloting process.
- Board Chairman Michael Kumm and Chief Administrative Officer Ron Schultz reported on visits with the board chairmen and executives of Concordia Publishing House, LCMS Foundation, Lutheran Church Extension Fund—Missouri Synod, and Concordia Plan Services to continue to foster mutually beneficial relationships. The report prompted an action by the Board of Directors to establish regular such meetings.
—Raymond L. Hartwig, Secretary