Commission on Handbook
Who We Are
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s Commission on Handbook (as per Bylaws 3.9.4–188.8.131.52) consists of five voting members. Three are individual members of the Synod (ordained or commissioned ministers) and two are attorneys.
The Secretary of the Synod, the Chief Administrative Officer of the Synod, and a voting member of the Commission on Constitutional Matters serve as non-voting members of the COH.
The voting members are appointed by the President of the Synod from nominees provided by district boards of directors and selected as candidates by the Council of Presidents. The President’s appointees are ratified by a majority vote of the Council of Presidents.
The current voting members of the commission are: Heidi Abegg; David K. Hawk; Richard T. Nuffer; Dale L. Sattgast; and David W. Totsky. The non-voting members are John W. Sias and George J. Gude.
What We Do
The primary responsibility of the Commission on Handbook is to provide for the ongoing maintenance and management of the Handbook of the Synod, that is, its Constitution, Bylaws, and Articles of Incorporation.
In order to maintain the integrity and good order of these documents, the commission assists convention floor committees when developing amendment proposals, revises the Handbook immediately after each convention (in consultation with the Commission on Constitutional Matters), and responds to requests from agencies of the Synod to propose new provisions to address specific Handbook-related issues that surface between conventions.
The commission also carries out assignments by conventions of the Synod relating to the Handbook and its content.
When We Meet
The Commission on Handbook meets at least two times a year, and it meets more often as necessary to carry out its responsibilities.
The Commission on Handbook consults with the Commission on Constitutional Matters in its revision of the Handbook of the Synod following each national convention to bring it into harmony with convention actions. The commission also maintains a complete file of former editions of the Handbook of the Synod so comparison can be made between current provisions and those preceding.
The COH regularly publishes its minutes on the Synod’s Website in a timely manner following each meeting. These minutes contain proposed convention actions advocating amendments to the Constitution, Bylaws, and Articles of Incorporation of the Synod that the commission plans to submit to the next regular convention of the Synod.