Frequently Asked Questions

LCMS National Convention   •   July 20-25, 2019   •   Tampa, Florida


Browse the information below for answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the 67th Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, which is scheduled for July 20-25, 2019, at the Tampa Convention Center.

 


Why is this the “67th Regular Convention” if the LCMS has existed since 1847?

The Synod met annually during its first eight years (1847-1854). Since then, with the exception of when the church convened every two years from 1965 to 1983, the Synod has met triennially.

Return to top

 

Can anyone come to the convention?

Yes. The convention is open to the public, and public seating will be available in 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.

Return to top

 

Do I need to register for the convention?

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

Return to top

 

I can’t come to Tampa. Can I watch the convention online?

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

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

Return to top

 

Where can I make a hotel reservation?

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

A list of downtown Tampa hotels and a map are available at VisitTampaBay.com.

A full listing of convention hotels will be provided when it is available.

Return to top

 

Is there an airport shuttle to my hotel?

A full listing of convention hotels will be provided when it is available, and airport shuttle information will follow.

Return to top

 

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 as these rooms will often be cooler.

Return to top

 

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 Tampa Convention Center. The desk will be open at the following times:

Friday, July 19 — 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday, July 20 — 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 21 — 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Monday, July 22 — 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tuesday, July 23 — 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Wednesday, July 24 — 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Thursday, July 25 — 8 a.m. to noon

Return to top

 

When does convention registration open?

The registration desk will be in the Tampa Convention Center. The desk will be open at the following times:

Friday, July 19 — 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday, July 20 — 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 21 — 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Monday, July 22 — 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tuesday, July 23 — 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Wednesday, July 24 — 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Thursday, July 25 — 8 a.m. to noon

Return to top

 

What is the convention schedule?

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

Return to top

 

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 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. When the time comes, the Committee for Convention Nominations will prepare its report, Biographical Synopses and Statements of Nominees, to share 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.

Return to top

 

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 and the first issue of Today’s Business 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 resolutions, the minutes of the prior day’s session, wording for proposed amendments, and other official announcements and information.

Return to top

 

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.

Anyone can attend an open hearing to offer comments or suggestions or ask questions of the committee. A schedule of locations and times for floor committee open hearings will be provided at a later date.

Return to top

 

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 20, in the Tampa Convention Center.

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

Return to top

 

What is planned for the Opening Worship Service on Saturday?

Pre-service music is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, and a Divine Service with Holy Communion will be held from 7:30 to approximately 9 p.m.

Details of the opening service will be provided when they are finalized. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Return to top

 

Are meals provided for convention attendees?

Attendees are responsible for their own meals. Daily lunch recess will be 90 minutes to allow ample time to visit nearby local restaurants.

Delegates should check with their district president as to whether there are planned meals with their delegation.

Return to top

 

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 Tampa Convention Center.

Return to top

 

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 2019 National Offering will be received during the opening service at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 20. Delegates are encouraged to submit their congregation’s national offering collection envelopes at this time.

National Offering gifts also will 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 23.

Information about the 2019 National Offering will be announced when it is finalized.

Return to top

 

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 2019-2022 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 “2019 LCMS National Offering” in the memo line

    The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
    2019 LCMS National Offering
    P.O. Box 66861
    St. Louis, MO 63166-6861

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

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 2019 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.

Return to top

 

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.

Return to top

 

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 may 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 most evening events.

Return to top

 

Will there be internet access in the convention hall?

Information regarding internet access will be announced as soon as it is available.

Return to top

 

Where can I get lunch each day during recess?

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

Browse VisitTampaBay.com for a list of restaurants near the convention center in the downtown Tampa area.

Return to top

 

Where can I find a map of downtown Tampa?

You may view Tampa-area maps, request a Tampa visitors guide, find hotels, look for restaurants and see activity suggestions on VisitTampaBay.com.

Return to top

 

Is parking available at the Tampa Convention Center?

Parking information will be announced once it is available.

Return to top

 

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

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

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

Return to top

 

Where will the Lost and Found be located?

The Lost and Found location will be announced when it is available.

Return to top

 

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

Yes. The chapel location is pending while convention planning is ongoing. The chapel will open Saturday afternoon, July 20.

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.

Return to top

 

Join us on the journey

Lutherans Engage the World

Lutheran Engage the WorldEngaging the Church in the work of witness and mercy across the globe in our life together.

Read now

 

The Lutheran Witness

The Lutheran WitnessSubscribe to the digital edition of The Lutheran Witness

Subscribe

Concordia Publishing House

Concordia Publishing House