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Busy days for convention delegates

June 6, 2011 4 Comments

Delegates to Lutheran Church–Canada’s Ninth Convention in Hamilton, Ontario wrapped up business today one-half hour ahead of schedule. Meeting from June 3-6 the representatives from across Canada elected those who will serve the church over the next three years and also resolved some important issues.

President Robert Bugbee, who stood unopposed, will serve his second term working with three vice-presidents: Rev. Nolan Astley (first VP); Rev. Thomas Kruesel (second VP) and Rev. Brian Falkenholt (third VP).

Elected to the Board of Directors were Frank Belden, Ronald Roller, Cameron Pelzer and Rev. Paul Schallhorn.

During the three-day event a definitive vote settled the question of making seminary education in LCC cost-efficient and sustainable. Resolution Committee 2 introduced a resolution affirming the process undertaken by the Board of Directors (BOD) and the seminaries for building a closer working relationship between the two institutions. In a Memorandum of Understanding both seminaries agree to a budget cap and other cost-saving measures. The Boards of Regents of both seminaries agreed to a final draft a week before the convention began and the BOD ratified the memorandum at its meeting before the convention.

A substitute resolution brought to the floor called for the closure of the seminary in St. Catharines and consolidation at Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton. Spirited and passionate debate ensured, however delegates defeated the substitute and adopted the original resolution. The seminaries will now operate under the negotiated terms.

Convention essayist, Rev. Dr. Michael Semmler, president of the Lutheran Church of Australia spoke to the theme of the convention “In Your Light, we see Light” from Psalm 36. Using the whole psalm as the basis for his three presentations, he talked about prayer, living the Christian life in the light of God’s Word, and reflecting the same light into the world around us.

Other international guests included Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, president of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and Rev. Dr. Wilhelm Torgerson who brought greetings from Selbständige Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche, LCC’s partner church in Germany.

Two former presidents also addressed the gathering. Rev. Dr. Edwin Lehman, LCC’s first president encourage delegates to think “synodically” rather than regionally when considering decisions. Rev. Dr. Ralph Mayan expressed his joy at serving the church as a volunteer missionary in Nicaragua and then presented information about the International Lutheran Council, of which he now serves as interim executive secretary.

For more than half the delegates, this convention was their first. One commented that it was more like a family gathering than a convention.

The next convention is scheduled for 2014 in Alberta or British Columbia.

For more details download copies of the convention newsletter “The Daily Light


  • Noels74 said:

    I’m glad the delegates discussed and voted on the possibility of closing one of the seminaries … otherwise, it would have been a huge (sin of?) omission, and an unresolved question in the minds of many members of LCC. I can rest assurred that the convention delegates gave due dilligence and careful/prayerful consideration to the decision that has been made. Thank you.    

  • MirrorMan said:

    A sin of omission is the human failure to do what God has commanded. A sin of commission is doing what God has condemned. So the topic of closing one seminary is one that God has simply commended to our caring hands.
    I, too, think the voting delegates cast their lots in a God pleasing way.

  • JamesGerber said:

    I think Pastor Krey said it best with his words during the discussion.
    We should not worry too much and place stock in only what we can do ourselves, rather we should have faith that God will provide and continue to pray.  I believe this could be applied to whatever the outcome of the vote would have been.

    I can see many positives of two seminary locations, and at the same time I can see many positives of having have single location.

    It’s looking like we’ll see how the ‘memorandum of agreement and understanding’ will work out over the next couple of years.


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