Frequently Asked Questions

LCMS 2016 National Convention: Frequently Asked Questions

The 66th Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod will be held July 9-14, 2016, in Milwaukee at the Wisconsin Center.

 

 

Why is it the “66th Regular Convention” if the LCMS has existed since 1847?

The Synod met annually during its first eight years (1847-1854). The LCMS has usually convened every three years, and it met every two years from 1965 to 1983.

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May anyone come to the convention?

Yes. The convention is open to the public, and public seating will be available in the back of the hall behind the convention delegates. Large screens will be available to monitor convention proceedings.

Guests may visit exhibitors in the Exhibit Hall, and all are invited to attend the opening worship and many evening events.

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Do I need to register for the convention?

Visitors and guests do not need to register for the convention. Registration is only needed if you have an official convention role (delegate or representative) or responsibility. There is no fee for visitors or guests.

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I can’t come to Milwaukee. May I watch the convention online?

Yes. Convention proceedings will be live-streamed from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily on lcms.org/convention.

Results of convention elections and action on resolutions will also be published on lcms.org/convention as they are available.

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Where can I make a hotel reservation?

Individuals attending the convention in an official role should have received a letter providing housing instructions and information. Individuals directed to make their own housing arrangements, or any other visitor, may contact the hotels listed below to make reservations. It is recommended to make reservations as soon as possible.

A map of downtown Milwaukee hotels is available at visitmilwaukee.org/lcms.

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Is there an airport shuttle to my hotel?

GO Riteway Transportation Group will offer shuttle transportation from Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport for $15 one-way or $27 roundtrip. Reservations may be made online.

The GO Riteway desk is across from Baggage Claim No. 3 at Mitchell Airport.

More transportation information is available on visitmilwaukee.org/lcms.

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What should I bring to the convention?

If you are a delegate or representative, please bring all of the convention publications you received, including the Convention Workbook, Biographical Synopsis and Today's Business. Delegates and representatives will refer to these books while considering the business presented to the assembly for action.

Attendees may also want to bring a Bible, pen, paper, walking shoes, umbrella, sunglasses or hat.

It is recommended to bring a shawl/jacket so you are comfortable in the convention hall or meeting rooms.

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Where do I go when I arrive?

Convention delegates and representatives are asked to please visit the registration desk as soon as possible after checking into their hotel rooms.

The registration desk will be in the Wisconsin Center foyer, which is on the second floor along Fourth Street. The desk will be open at the following times:

Friday, July 8 — 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday, July 9 — 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 10 — 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Monday, July 11 — 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tuesday, July 12 — 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Wednesday, July 13 — 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Thursday, July 14 — 8 a.m. to noon

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When does convention registration open?

The registration desk will be in the Wisconsin Center foyer, which is on the second floor along Fourth Street. The desk will be open at the following times:

Friday, July 8 — 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday, July 9 — 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 10 — 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Monday, July 11 — 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tuesday, July 12 — 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Wednesday, July 13 — 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Thursday, July 14 — 8 a.m. to noon

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What is the convention schedule?

The tentative convention schedule has been released. It is considered tentative because one of the first items of business will be to review and adopt the convention schedule.

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What will be the primary business during the convention?

Attendees may review the Convention Workbook and the pre-convention issue of Today’s Business to learn about the issues scheduled to be addressed.

The convention agenda can be divided into three parts:

  • The first and most important part is the “opportunity for worship, nurture, inspiration, fellowship and the communication of vital information” (Bylaw 3.1.1).
     
  • The second item of business is elections. The Committee for Convention Nominations has prepared its report, Biographical Synopses and Statements of Nominees, which provides the results of the nominations process, including the slates of candidates for the offices and other positions to be filled by elections.
     
  • The third agenda item is for the assembly to consider reports, overtures and resolutions for action. This material can be found in the Convention Workbook and Today’s Business.

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May I get a copy of the Today’s Business and the Convention Workbook?

The Convention Workbook, Biographical Synopsis and the first issue of Today’s Business will be available at lcms.org/convention.

Additional copies of the Convention Workbook and Biographical Synopsis ($25 for both) and the first issue of Today’s Business ($7.50) may be purchased from Concordia Publishing House.

Today’s Business will be posted online daily, and it will be distributed to the delegates and representatives in the convention hall beginning at 7 a.m. A limited number of daily issues will be available for visitors attending the convention.

Each Today’s Business issue will include the daily schedule, substitute or revised solutions, the minutes of the prior day’s session, wording for proposed amendments, and other official announcements and information.

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What happens at the Floor Committee Open Hearings on Saturday morning?

Each floor committee schedules an open session to receive comments, questions and suggestions from attendees regarding any of the resolutions as they appear in the first issue of Today’s Business or overtures in the Convention Workbook.

Open hearings will be at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, July 9. Specific meeting rooms for each committee will be made available at a later date.

Floor Committee 1: National Witness — 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Floor Committee 2: International Witness — 8:30 a.m. to noon

Floor Committee 3: Mercy — 10:30 a.m. to noon

Floor Committee 4: Life Together — 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Floor Committee 5: Theology and Church Relations — 8:30 a.m. to noon

Floor Committee 6: Seminaries — 8:30 a.m. to noon

Floor Committee 7: University Education — 8:30 a.m. to noon

Floor Committee 8: Parochial Schools — 10:30 a.m. to noon

Floor Committee 9: Finance — 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Floor Committee 10: Stewardship: Funding the Mission — 10:30 a.m. to noon

Floor Committee 11: Structure and Administration — 8:30 a.m. to noon

Floor Committee 12: Ecclesiastical Supervision and Dispute Resolution — 8:30 a.m. to noon

Floor Committee 13: Routes to Ministry — 8:30 a.m. to noon

Floor Committee 14: Church and Culture — 10:30 a.m. to noon

Floor Committee 15: Reformation — 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Floor Committee 16: Family, Youth and Young Adults — 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Floor Committee 17: Preaching and Church Worker Continuing Education — 10:30 a.m. to noon

Floor Committee 18: Worker Wellness — 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

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What material will be covered at Delegate Orientation on Saturday?

All convention delegates and representatives are expected to attend Delegate Orientation from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 9, in Halls A and B, which are on the third floor of the Wisconsin Center.

The Delegate Orientation will review parliamentarian procedures, voting and microphone queue devices, microphone protocol, and highlights and instructions for the week.

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What is planned for the Opening Worship Service on Saturday?

Pre-service music is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 9, and a Divine Service with Holy Communion will be held from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

The opening Divine Service will feature a new musical arrangement of Setting 4 from Lutheran Service Book by composer James Biery. Milwaukee-area congregational choirs and musicians will enrich our joy in the Lord’s gifts. Everyone is welcome to attend.

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May I attend the event at Concordia University Wisconsin on Monday evening?

Concordia University Wisconsin will welcome all LCMS Convention attendees, guests and exhibitors for a campus dinner event on Monday evening, July 11. Spouses and children are welcome to attend.

Courtesy shuttles will depart from and return to the Wisconsin Center throughout the evening, and attendees may drive to the CUW campus, which is about 20 minutes from downtown.

Concordia’s beautiful 200-acre campus sits atop a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, and the campus is an ideal place to enjoy Midwest Lutheran hospitality.

The event will offer opportunites for fellowship, food, a stroll along the bluff and a special concert performance with Erin Bode. International Student and Church Careers expos will be on display.

Attendees may obtain event wristbands at the CUW table near the convention registration desk.

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Are meals provided for convention attendees?

Attendees are responsible for their own meals. However, on Monday, July 11, convention attendees are invited to a dinner event at Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon.

Daily lunch recess will be 90 minutes to allow ample time to visit nearby local restaurants.

Delegates should check with their district president whether there are planned meals with your district.

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What kind of exhibitors will be at the convention?

Convention exhibitors are scheduled to include Concordia Publishing House, several LCMS Recognized Service Organizations, mission organizations, LCMS colleges and universities, tour agencies and business services.

Exhibitors will be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday through Tuesday in the Wisconsin Center.

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What is the National Offering, and how does it relate to the convention?

Every three years — in collaboration with the national convention — LCMS households, congregations and organizations are invited and encouraged to participate in a Synod-wide thank-offering through the ingathering of financial gifts called the National Offering.

The 2016 National Offering will be received during the opening service at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 9. Delegates are encouraged to submit their congregation’s national offering collection envelopes at this time.

National Offering gifts will also be accepted at the Synod’s booth in the exhibit hall during the convention. Please be sure all national offering gifts are given prior to the close of the exhibit hall at 3 p.m. Tuesday, July 12.

This triennium’s offering will support:

  • Witness to the Gospel through church planting, Bible studies, equipping missionaries with resources and evangelism efforts.

  • Mercy in the Gospel as together we care for those who are weak, sick, discouraged, suffering and others in need.

  • Life Together as the body of Christ through the formation of pastors and other leaders via the LCMS Joint Seminary Fund.

The National Offering is voluntary and a response to the Gospel of Jesus as motivated purely by the Holy Spirit.

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How can my family or congregation participate in the National Offering?

LCMS congregations and clergy may download special bulletin inserts and informational resources to help promote the 2016-2019 National Offering. Individual households and congregations wishing to make a National Offering gift can do so a number of ways:

  • Online: lcms.org/national-offering

  • Phone: 888-930-4438 (credit or debit card)

  • Mail: Make congregation or personal checks payable to “The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod;” and write “2016 LCMS National Offering” in the memo line

    The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
    2016 LCMS National Offering
    P.O. Box 66861
    St. Louis, MO 63166-6861

Qualifying individuals can also offer support directly from IRAs, donor advised funds and family foundations. Call Mission Advancement at 888-930-4438 to learn more.

To participate using appreciated securities, real property or other assets, begin by contacting The LCMS Foundation at 800-325-7912.

To learn more about the 2016 National Offering, or for answers to other related questions, please call Mission Advancement’s Donor Care Line at 888-930-4438 or email mission.advancement@lcms.org.

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What are the rules regarding the use of electronic devices in the convention hall?

Rules regarding the use of electronic devices are part of the Standing Rules that will be adopted by the delegates at the beginning of the convention. The Standing Rules will appear in the first issue of Today’s Business.

Use of electronic devices depends on your convention position and role. Convention guests, who may sit in the back of the convention hall, are permitted to use electronic devices unobtrusively for Internet use, text-messaging and other communication.

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What is the dress code for convention events?

Business casual dress is appropriate while attending the convention during the day. Comfortable shoes are suggested. The convention hall can be cool so please consider bringing a sweater or light jacket.

Attendees may want to dress differently for various evening activities. Casual clothing is appropriate for some evening events.

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Will there be Internet access in the convention hall?

The Wisconsin Center offers free Wi-Fi throughout the building. The complimentary service is best-suited for light use with a speed of about 256 Kbps (upload and download). This service is upgradable at prevailing rates and can be configured throughout the Wisconsin Center campus.

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Where can I get lunch each day during recess?

Besides the restaurants in nearby hotels, there are several restaurants in the vicinity of the Wisconsin Center.

View a list of restaurants near the Wisconsin Center on visitmilwaukee.org. You may also find information at the VISIT Milwaukee Information Center, which is located on the first floor of the Wisconsin Center near the main entrance at the corner of Fourth Street and Wisconsin Avenue.

Concordia Plan Services will be hosting six complimentary lunch-and-learn sessions during the convention (two per day, Sunday through Tuesday).

The sessions will focus on personal health and financial well-being, and attendees will learn about the resources available to support them in these two important areas.

Boxed lunches will be provided. Pre-registration is required at the Concordia Plan Services booth in the exhibit hall.

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Where can I find a map of downtown Milwaukee?

You may request a Milwaukee Visitors guide and view a map online at visitmilwaukee.org. You may also find more information about the Milwaukee area on visitmilwaukee.org/lcms.

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Is parking available at the Wisconsin Center?

Limited parking is available at the Wisconsin Center, but additional parking is available in hotel garages and surface lots throughout downtown. Visit parkmilwaukee.com for more information.

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Is there an emergency contact number to reach convention attendees during business hours?

Yes. The phone number for the Synod convention office at the Wisconsin Center will be provided in the welcome packet given to attendees at the convention registration desk.

If needed, call the LCMS International Center at 888-843-5267, and a representative can contact on-site convention staff.

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Where will be the Lost and Found?

If you find or lose something, please check with the staff in Room 201C on the second floor of the Wisconsin Center.

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Is there an opportunity to attend a Milwaukee Brewers baseball game?

The St. Louis Cardinals will be playing the Milwaukee Brewers on July 8-10 at Miller Park, which is about four miles west of the Wisconsin Center.

Visit brewers.com to order tickets and for more information about the stadium.

There is a Milwaukee County Bus route from the Wisconsin Center to Miller Park. Visit ridemcts.com for routes, fares and schedule options.

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Will there be a quiet place for prayer during the convention?

Yes. The chapel is located in Room 101A on the first floor near the main entrance of the Wisconsin Center, which is at the corner of Fourth Street and Wisconsin Avenue.

The chapel will be open beginning the afternoon of Saturday, July 9.

The chapel will be closed during daily lunch breaks, when it will be used for private confession and absolution. Anyone desiring to receive private absolution can enter the chapel, and the pastor will guide you through the service. When the door is closed, please wait outside the chapel until the door is open again.

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