Convention Postcard Mailings

These postcards are designed to alert all congregations (and others as necessary) to critical convention-related information and deadlines to enable all congregations to participate fully in the process of the conventions and elections of our Synod.

 

Mailing No. 1: Aug. 14, 2017

It’s Time … to Prepare for Circuit Forums

It is time to begin your congregation’s preparations for the 2019 convention of our Synod. It all starts close-to-home with preparations for a circuit forum, soon to be scheduled by your circuit visitor. The forum will handle 2018 district convention business and matters related to the 2019 Synod convention. An official voters meeting of your congregation prior to the circuit forum will be required.

Four Essential Items

The following four items should appear on the agenda of your voters meeting:

  1. Designation of pastor and lay representatives to attend the circuit forum (Synod Bylaw 5.3.2)
  2. Nomination of candidates for circuit visitor for the 2018–2021 district triennium (Bylaw 5.2.2)
  3. Participation in the triennial process for determining the Synod’s priorities (Bylaw 5.3.4)
  4. Election of your congregation’s (or multi-congregation parish’s) delegates to your district convention (Synod Constitution Article V A and Bylaw 4.2.2)

More Information to Come

Watch for the next four postcard mailings. Each will provide helpful information regarding one of these agenda items. For now, be sure to identify an appropriate date to hold your congregation’s meeting.

John W. Sias, LCMS Secretary

 

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Mailing No. 2: Aug. 21, 2017

It’s Time … to Designate Circuit Forum Representatives

It is time for your congregation to designate its representatives to attend its circuit forum. The forum will handle matters related to the 2018 district and 2019 Synod conventions. Unless your congregation has another official way to do this, a voters meeting should make this decision in advance of the upcoming circuit forum.

Your Congregation’s Two Representatives

The circuit forum consists of a pastor of each congregation and one lay member of each congregation designated by the congregation (Synod Bylaw 5.3.2). If your congregation has more than one called pastor, the congregation must determine which pastor will represent it. If your pastor serves more than one congregation, he is the pastoral representative of all those congregations (but votes only once). Each congregation is entitled to one other voting representative—a lay member of the congregation so designated.

Other Preparations for the Circuit Forum

Designation of circuit forum representatives is one of four matters requiring your congregation’s attention prior to the circuit forum. Watch for future postcard mailings that will address the other three:

  1. Nomination of candidates for circuit visitor for the 2018–2021 district triennium
  2. Participation in the triennial process for determining the Synod’s priorities
  3. Election of your congregation’s delegates to your district convention

John W. Sias, LCMS Secretary

 

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Mailing No. 3: Aug. 28, 2017

It’s Time … to Nominate Candidates for Circuit Visitor

It is time for your congregation to nominate its candidates for the office of circuit visitor for the 2018–2021 triennium. This will require official action by your voters assembly prior to the circuit forum that will conduct several items of business related to the 2018 district and 2019 Synod conventions.

Submitting Circuit Visitor Nominations

Synod Bylaw 5.2.1 speaks of a circuit visitor as the principal officer of the circuit. His considerable duties are described in Bylaws 5.2.3–5.2.3.3. According to Bylaws 4.3.1 and 5.2.2 (d), pastors on the clergy roster of the district who are either actively serving congregations or having emeritus status are eligible for nomination. These bylaws leave open the possibility of nominating active or emeriti pastors from outside the circuit (but not outside the district). Note that pertinent [biographical] information regarding each pastor should be available for presentation at the circuit forum (Bylaw 5.2.2 [d] [1]). Nominations and the related bio info must be submitted to the circuit visitor prior to the day of the circuit forum.

Other Congregation Responsibilities

The nomination of circuit visitor candidates is the second of four topics requiring your congregation’s attention in preparation for the 2018 district and 2019 Synod conventions. Each will be the subject of a postcard mailing, offering information to assist your congregation in carrying out its responsibilities as a member of the Synod. Copies of these cards may be a helpful handout at your voters meetings.

John W. Sias, LCMS Secretary

 

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Mailing No. 4: Sept. 5, 2017

It’s Time ... to Participate in Determining the Synod’s Priorities

It is time for your congregation to participate in our Synod’s process for determining its mission and ministry emphases (areas in which the Synod should concentrate attention and efforts) for the 2019–2022 triennium. That process could begin during the voters meeting that your congregation will already be calling to give attention to other district and Synod convention business.

Congregations Submit Ideas to their Circuit Forums

The circuit forum provides an opportunity for your congregation to voice its opinion regarding mission and ministry areas where the Synod should concentrate efforts. The present emphasis, reaffirmed in 2016, is “Witness, Mercy, Life Together,” with its seven associated priorities (2016 Res. 4-02A, Convention Proceedings 2016, Pages 145–146). Your congregation has this opportunity for input. According to Synod Bylaw 4.2.1 (b): The district convention is the instrument to receive overtures (Bylaw 3.1.6.2), including overtures and recommendations for synodwide mission and ministry emphases submitted by member congregations and adopted by a circuit forum.

Ideas Adopted by Circuit Forums Receive District and Synod Attention

Bylaw 4.2.1 (d) states: The district convention shall, through delegate vote, forward to the national convention a list of two or three triennial mission and ministry emphases for consideration by the national convention. The emphases adopted by the Synod convention provide the primary focus for the Synod’s mission offices and foster specific goals to support ministry at the congregational level.

John W. Sias, LCMS Secretary

 

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Mailing No. 5: Sept. 11, 2017

It’s Time ... to Elect District Convention Delegates

This will be a good time, since your congregation will be meeting to conduct other essential business in preparation for your circuit forum, to take care of other convention-related business, including the election of your congregation’s voting delegates to the district convention (one pastor and one layperson for each congregation or multi-congregation parish).

District Convention Delegates are no longer also Presidential Election Voters

You may recall that your congregation’s 2015 district convention attendees were the voters for the Synod President in 2016. For the 2019 LCMS presidential election, the pastor and lay voters to be designated by your congregation or multi-congregation parish are no longer required to have been the delegates in attendance at the district convention (LCMS Bylaw 3.12.2.3). Your congregation may designate these voters at any time and will be able to register them with the LCMS Office of the Secretary between Oct. 1, 2018, and March 24, 2019.

What Does This Mean for Your Congregation or Multi-Congregation Parish?

1. Elect now to attend your district convention:

a. One pastor

b. One layperson

2. Your congregation or multi-congregation parish will NOT need to register the presidential election voters, until a date closer to the actual election. More information will be coming soon.

John W. Sias, LCMS Secretary

 

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