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37 Decisions on the Restructuring of Lutheran Church–Canada

March 6, 2017 4 Comments

The-37-Decisions

CANADA – The Commission for Constitutional Matters and Structure (CCMS) of Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) has released a new document which outlines the proposed new structure of LCC in detail. The document is entitled “The 37 Decisions” and runs to 23 pages in length.

Among the 37 decisions are final suggestions on the move to one administrative unit; the transition from a three-year convention cycle to a four-year convention cycle; the allowance of convention delegates from every congregation/parish; and the allowance of vacancy pastors to serve as pastoral delegates.

Still to be determined is the final number of regions for a restructured Lutheran Church–Canada. Related details, however, have been nailed down, such as decision making processes for changes to boundaries of regions and circuits; and the structure of regional and circuit convocations. Also spelled out is the decision making processes for the vetting and selection of Regional Pastors and Circuit Counsellors, along with their responsibilities and expectations.

The CCMS has decided to recommend retaining a balanced Board of Directors for Synod, with equal lay-clergy representation from each region. Responsibilities and expectations of the Board of Directors are spelled out in the document, along with decisions regarding the determination of costs for services and administration of LCC. Also explained in detail is the division of the President’s responsibilities between a President and an Administrator, with the responsibilities and processes of accountability spelled out for each, among other information. With the adoption of Regional Pastors, the church would now elect only one synodical Vice-President.

The document goes on to explain the creation and processes of Regional Mission and Ministry Councils, which will advise Regional Pastors and provide other services on a local level, including the facilitation of regional/circuit convocations.

Additional decisions have been made regarding the President’s Ministry Council, which will be made up by the President, together with the Regional Pastors and LCC’s Vice-President. The Council will function similarly to LCC’s current Council of Presidents.

Additional decisions, and much greater detail on the ones briefly summarized above, are available in the document itself. Download “The 37 Decisions” here.

Moving forward, the schedule for remaining work on the restructuring of synod is as follows:

  • April 2-3: The CCMS meets to vet proposed new Bylaws of the Synod.
  • April 21-22: LCC’s Board of Directors vets new proposed Bylaws of Synod.
  • April 29-June 10: Regional meetings will be held across Canada for members of LCC to vet proposed new Bylaws of Synod.
  • June 19-21: The CCMS finalizes the proposed new Bylaws of Synod.
  • September 2017: The finalized new Bylaws of Synod are shared in meetings across the country with the elected delegates to the October 2017 Convention of Lutheran Church–Canada, enabling all delegates to be able to ask questions for clarification and to fully understand the new structure and Bylaws of the Synod, which they will be asked to vote on at the Convention.
  • October 13-15: The new structure and Bylaws of the Synod will be voted on by delegates to the synodical convention.

In its meeting April 2-3 in Winnipeg, the CCMS will be discussing and beginning work on a plan for LCC implementation of the new structure and Bylaws during the months following the Convention.  If the new structure is passed by a two-thirds majority of the delegates to the Convention, congregations will then have six months to vote individually on the new structure. The new structure will be implemented if a two-thirds majority of congregations vote in favor of the new structure.

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  • Rev. Robert Clifford

    At a time when LCC is presently named in a lawsuit, is it “expedient” to dissolve all Districts & roll all District assets into one common LCC pot out from behind the corporate firewalls that have here-to-for protected the Central & East Districts from the ABC insolvency & associated legal proceedings?

  • Dennis Kendel

    As the elected lay delegate from the Saskatoon circuit, I am sensitive to my responsibility to accurately hear and reflect the perspective of all laity in my circuit at the LCC Convention. Will there be circuit convocations with CCMS representation to help all lay members understand some of implications of various restructuring options. Just 3 months ago I served as a member of a three member Panel to restructure a very complex healthcare system in Saskatchewan with a $5 Billion annual budget. In many ways, I find the LCC restructuring more complex than restructuring a massive healthcare system.

    • Les Stahlke

      Dennis, thanks for this thought. The CCMS is planning 8 regional gatherings between late April and mid June plus two electronic convocations on June 18 and 19 to discuss the propose Bylaws. The Convocation Draft of the Bylaws will be available around Easter.

      • Dennis Kendel

        Thanks. I will look forward to participating in these opportunities