Restructuring Update – December 2016
CANADA – Stage Four of the Restructuring work of the CCMS, in response to the requests of the three Districts in convention and the LCC Board of Directors, is now complete.
The CCMS would like to thank the 676 lay people, pastors and deacons who attended twenty-six Circuit Convocations. We celebrate the insights we received from so many committed members. Much new information was taken into consideration at the CCMS meeting in Winnipeg, November 28-30. At that meeting 36 major decisions were made, based on the massive input from laypeople, pastors and deacons across the country through the Survey, personal emails and letters, and information received at the Circuit Convocations.
There is not enough space here to share with you all of the decisions made, but I hoped to share some highlights with you before the November/December issue of The Canadian Lutheran goes to press. These are still in “soft clay”. In other words, the CCMS is still seeking input from the grassroots on any and all of its decisions to date. The CCMS is recommending:
1. That the eight services described in the ten Objectives in the Constitution of LCC be delivered directly by the Synod rather than through three Districts. This will result in eliminating one level of administrative costs.
2. That the Synod will provide the first three services (ecclesiastical supervision; building community; caring for members) through Regional Pastors, the number of which will be determined by the finances available. These Regional Pastors will be elected by their individual Regions with input from the Synodical President.
3. That Synodical Conventions will move to a four year cycle, saving approximately $450,000 in every twelve year period. This is possible with the elimination of the District Conventions and going from a three year to four year cycle.
4. That at Synodical Conventions every congregation or parish will be represented by its called pastor and one lay person chosen from its midst. Additionally, pastors not serving congregations (e.g. retired, professors, etc.) will be permitted to cast the pastoral vote for a vacant congregation or parish he is serving as a vacancy pastor.
5. That the Synodical Spiritual Leader will continue to be called “President” and that he will be accountable to the Synodical Board of Directors between Conventions. His duties will be entirely ecclesiastical and will not involve the financial work of the Synod. Additionally, a Vice-President will be elected to allow for succession in the event that the President is not able to continue in office. The financial area will be managed by an Administrator accountable to the Board of Directors.
6. That Circuit Counsellors will continue to function as currently is the case, except that the requirement for yearly visits to the members of synod in his Circuit will no longer be required. This is because the Regional Pastors will be required to be in regular contact with all members of the synod (congregations, pastors and deacons) in his Region, at least once a year.
7. That the Regions will have Regional Councils made up of people from the Circuits in that particular Region and the Regional Pastors will form, together with the Synodical President and Vice-President, the President’s Ministry Council.
8. That the total cost of the proposed new structure will be less than the current Districts and Synodical operating costs.
Thank you for keeping the work of the CCMS in your prayers.
Rev. William Ney is Chairman of Lutheran Church–Canada’s Commission on Constitutional Matters and Structure (CCMS). You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.