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Convention actions dominate directors’ meeting

November 30, 2010 One Comment

The November meeting of Lutheran Church–Canada’s Board of Directors (BOD) provided a preview of possible agenda items for the 2011 synodical convention as well as the conclusion of convention actions from 2008. The board heard reports from three task forces and a proposal from Concordia University College of Alberta.

Vicarage program

Rev. Mark Dressler, St. Paul's, Saskatoon

Rev. Mark Dressler (St. Paul’s, Saskatoon) presented the findings and recommendations of the group looking at LCC’s vicarage program. As chairman of the task force he reported that after a thorough examination of the current one-year vicarage program, usually in the third year of a seminarian’s education, the members decided a complete overhaul wasn’t necessary. “The system isn’t broken,” Pastor Dressler told the board. “Can it be tweaked? Definitely!”

Some of those tweaks include looking at experienced pastors mentoring new pastors, improving and standardizing evaluation forms and establishing a national fund for vicarages so every congregation has the opportunity to participate regardless of its size. Pastor Dressler also reported that LCC’s vicarage program was envied by other denominations whose pastoral training courses do not include anything similar. The board received the report and expressed its thanks to the members of the task force. Based on the resolution creating the task force, the BOD will pass the recommendations on to LCC’s seminaries’ Boards of Regents “for consideration and possible implementation” (Resolution 08.1.06).

Cultural Properties and Archives

The second task force report dealt with how LCC handles its heritage collections and archives. Chaired by BOD member Lorne Wirth (Good Shepherd, Regina), the task force assessed LCC’s archival holdings and facilities in Edmonton, Regina, and St. Catharines and interviewed the archivists. It also looked at how the Lutheran Church of Australia and The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod handles its collections. Based on its research the task force is recommending bringing together all the archives under a single administrative unit called the Lutheran Heritage and Research Institute (LHRI). The new organization would hire an executive director responsible for establishing the institute and making it self-supporting after receiving initial operating grants from those whose collections are part of LHRI. The director would also spearhead LCC’s 500th anniversary celebrations of the Reformation in 2017.

Resolution Committees are responsible for taking information from reports and preparing resolutions which delegates discuss and vote upon.

The resolution which called for the task force asks it to “report its findings to the Board of Directors… for discussion and [for] possible action at the next synodical convention” (Resolution 08.3.09).

Board chairman, Randy Stefan noted that the BOD received the report with thanks and will undertake further discussion at its next meeting.

PDF copies of the reports are available at http://www.lutheranchurch.ca/synod2008.php

Seminary task force

The most far-reaching report came in the form of a draft report from the Task Force on Cost Efficient, Sustainable Seminary Education, chaired by Rev. Nolan Astley (Holy Cross, Kitchener, Ontario). The board only reviewed a partial draft due to unanticipated delays in writing. A final draft is expected December 1.

University college governance

The president of Concordia University College of Alberta (CUCA), Dr. Gerald Krispin presented the BOD with information regarding a need to change the institution’s governance. Currently it is governed through a Board of Regents, six of whom are elected by delegates to Lutheran Church–Canada’s triennial convention. With the growing complexity of post-secondary education and the need for accountability to Alberta’s provincial education department, the president is seeking to ensure members of the governing body bring with them the depth of skills required.

Rev. Dr. Gerald Krispin, president, Concordia University College of Alberta

A similar situation in the governance of Concordia University System in the LCMS brought about changes in the qualifications required for nomination to Boards of Regents. The BOD wants to ensure that any changes retain LCC’s vital interest in its mission at CUCA. Dr. Krispin reported that since each student must take a religion course, the university college has the opportunity to touch the lives of thousands of young men and women with the Gospel. The BOD has suggested the creation of a “working group” between Synod and CUCA’s Board of Regents to explore this matter further.

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