Home » Feature Stories, Headline, National News

Restructuring Update – December 2016

December 13, 2016 2 Comments

restructuring-update-december2016

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 bill@lampministry.org.

  • Must we proceed with only baby steps? This is rather disappointing. These changes will not address the biggest challenges we face. All the time spent on this restructuring exercise so far cannot even be justified if there will be no impact on doctrine in practice. Our biggest problems are actually failures to practice our doctrine and failures to deal with these problems.

    As a layman, I shake my head. Our ecclesiastical supervisors are unable to correct errors in congregations and among pastors because they simply don’t have (or don’t use) authority. Our election process produces mushy results where the average tends to be promoted, the compromise candidate chosen. Our problem is not that our lay people don’t understand what the word bishop; our problem is that our lay people don’t understand the word pastor. And it must be said that this retreat from the pastoral office has been aided by shepherds who prefer to be on a first-name basis with their sheep and those who prefer making friends to calling to repentance, telling stories to proclaiming truth, and adopting programs to practicing doctrine.

    We need men who will speak and act with the Spirit of the prophets and apostles! This is a time for action on the part of the Christian church, not chair shuffling. We need to be more nimble, more local, more direct, and less bureaucratic, less organizational, less worldly. And we must finally overturn the tables on the CEF and all other financial activities that have no place in the church.

    Fixing these issues ought to be the main motivator for these changes. Otherwise there is no point. You can’t get there from here.

  • Subdevise

    I cannot add much to what Artaxerxes has said, with whom I agree. In regards to our church as an organization, I pray that God will raise up men who will stand up against the taint of the world within our church, and rebuke those who would embrace usury and other devices of this world.

    Regarding doctrine, that God, in Christ Jesus, would strengthen our pastors to preach the Law in all its severity and the Gospel in all its sweetness, that they neither fear men nor seek their approval, but rightly fear God, as those who must give an account. Admonishing, teaching, ministering, encouraging and being faithful stewards of the mysteries of God as the Church has done since it began. That this faithful work be helped and not hindered by it’s organization.

    Lastly, I pray that congregations would come to repentance from idleness, vanity, and worldliness. That God’s people would submit to their pastors, and support them – to make their work a joy and not a burden. That we would be a people set apart, and not partakers of the world.

    The wealth of the world is the reward from doing the work of the world – which is perishing. Let us rather fix our eyes on Jesus, and the eternal treasure we have in Him.

    Time is short. By the grace of God in Christ Jesus, let us remain steadfast and persevere until the end.