DRINK THIS – IT’s Good For You, Trust Me!
The Texas District Convention was well attended this year. I note that because there have been times when the participation of congregations has been low, which is a shame since this is where we plan and shape the next few years of ministry in the District.
This year our BOD decided to send Kathryn as our Lay Delegate from Holy Cross. Even though she has been a pastor’s wife for over 20 years, it was an eye opening experience for her concerning some of the politics that go on in the church.
President Ken Hennings was re-elected to his fourth and now final term as District President. This is a term limited position, as are the positions of the Vice Presidents. Our Vice Presidents remained the same as were elected last year as well. The Vice President for our area, Area B, is again Pastor Eloy Gonzales, who serves a congregation in Irving. He has indeed been a faithful servant and perhaps we can look at having him come to Holy Cross and delivering a message for us in the near future.
There were only a few contentious items that were up for consideration. The most important issue that we faced was seeking to send a certain message/resolution to the Synod Convention which will be in 2016. The Synodical CCM (Committee for Constitutional Matters), one of the ruling bodies of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, has issued a statement which would restrict our involvement in supporting certain missions and missionaries. They want to control the directions the monetary support flows from congregations. Simply put, they want to tell us where we can send money and to whom we may send money, that being areas of which they approve. That would severely limit us at Holy Cross.
We do support missions and missionaries that are not a part of the LCMS. For instance, while Pastor Gebauer is a rostered LCMS pastor, he works through an organization that is not supported by the LCMS. This support could possibly be limited or restricted if not approved by Synod. Also Caleb Robbins and his work with Missionary Kids would likely be stopped outright. While he serves faithfully and fills a great need, he is not on the roster of the LCMS. These are just two, but two very critical reasons why I stood in opposition to CCM’s opinion.
The resolution passed to tell the Synod that they need to not only withdraw their opinion but also a resolution passed to make permanent changes in the Bylaws of the LCMS so that this is never an issue again in the future. As a congregation we are more than capable of discerning what we need to be doing and what missions we should support.
Sadly only two days after the close of the convention the Synodical president sent out a lengthy letter seeking to explain how this action of the CCM was a good thing and sway the people of the synod away from making this correction to the CCM opinion. We are facing a bully pulpit. It will be a difficult fight over the next year to get people to see the truth when the Synodical president himself is sugar coating the fire ants. But it is necessary to preserve the rights of the congregations and remind Synod that they are only an advisory body.