The 65th convention of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod has convened, concurred, and concluded. Over 1500 men and women attended as delegates, advisors, district officials and synod leaders to carry out the business of the church. When that many people gather together from all over the country under Robert’s Rules of Order it can be a bit chaotic as well as contentious.
However, that was not what I observed at this convention. This was the gathering of the Church and I was very impressed by the churchmanship displayed by all in attendance. The elections were conducted with a convincing voice as to who this church body desires to lead us for the next three years. Matthew C. Harrison was re-elected as president and Herb Mueller granted another term as 1st vice president. This year there were five regional vice presidents elected. Our region, the Great Lakes, receives Dr. John Wohlrabe as VP. In the East it is Dr. Robert Kuhn, the West VP is Dr. Scott Murray, while the Great Plains welcomes Pastor Nabil Nour, and the Central region VP is Rev. Daniel Preus. All of these men are faithful to the Word of God and honor the Confessions of the Church. Their heartfelt desire is to feed the souls of God’s children and move the LCMS out into our communities that the Word of God may seek and save those who have yet to know who Jesus is. The three-fold theme of this convention was Witness-Mercy-and Life Together.
The resolutions that were presented to the assembly were discussed on the floor with great respect for each other. Particular words were parsed so that there was great clarity as to what was being proposed. The highlight of the convention resolutions was the ratification of Fellowship with three Lutheran church bodies around the world. Brothers and Sisters in Siberia, Liberia, and Togo have joined our fellowship in the Lutheran Confessions. We rejoiced over this marvelous work of the Holy Spirit.
The worship was Christ centered and the sermons were faithful to the Word. Essays were presented that clearly proclaimed what the mission of the church is and where it is to be done. No one in attendance could have left the convention without realizing we are who we are by the Grace of God. We are the Body of Christ united in Him with a view toward one another that reflects love and consideration. Together we take heed as to the needs of our neighbor and meet their needs with quickened feet and capable hands.
What I observed was a church body that is growing in the Word and therefore growing together. Unity and harmony are gifts of God and not beyond the scope of His beloved children. I was impressed with what I observed and hopeful from what I experienced. I am very optimistic about the future and direction that our dear LCMS can and will go. In the hands of Christ or Lord, exhibited in the true and trustworthy Confessions of the Church, blessings are in abundance for us all. God bless His Church.
Brian Saunders, IDE President