Home » Headline, National News

Convention overtures reflect grassroots concerns

March 29, 2011 No Comment

by James Morgan

Delegates discuss resolutions at the 2008 LCC Convention

Christian ethics and morals, seminary education, and the preservation and development of Lutheran identity are the hot topics found in overtures to Lutheran Church–Canada’s triennial convention scheduled for June 3 to 6 in Hamilton, Ontario. Congregations, circuits, boards, and commissions submitted overtures, published in the Convention Workbook, that Resolution Committees will use to develop resolutions for presentation to convention delegates. The overtures give a glimpse of what issues are currently important to people across LCC.

The president of synod, Rev. Dr. Robert Bugbee explained that it’s important to note the parameters of the convention. “Resolutions cannot mandate congregations to do anything. That’s why you see the word ‘encourage’ many times” he explained. “However, the convention does have authority to ask synod’s boards, commissions or president to take specific actions.”

With respect to ethics and morals, one overture requests LCC to follow the LCMS in establishing an annual “Sanctity of Life Sunday” as a way of raising awareness of the unbiblical practice of abortion and encouraging alternatives to it.  Two other overtures call upon LCC to take a position on stem cell research by opposing the use of embryonic stem cells but supporting the use of adult stem cells in medical research and treatment.   Embryonic stem cell research involves taking an unborn human life whereas research using adult stem cells does not. 

Other overtures request LCC to reinforce its commitment to biblical teaching about homosexuality with regard to the Holy Ministry and to seek guidance for legal protection in hiring policies and rules regarding public use of church buildings. 

Response to the report from the Task Force on Cost-sustainable, Efficient Seminary Education means seminary education figures prominently in the overtures. Five overtures address the topic. Four ask for consolidation of seminary education at one location, two of which specifically state Concordia Lutheran Seminary in Edmonton as the preferred site.  However, one overture requests the proposed seminary merger plan suggested by the Task Force on Cost-Efficient, Sustainable Seminary Education be declined in favour of further consultations on possible adverse effects. 

Two overtures ask Synod to reexamine its structure based on the 1996 Report of the Task Force on the Nature and Structure of the Synod. Concern is expressed that the current structure, inherited from LCMS, is no longer serving the needs of the Canadian church.

Since 2011 is the 200th birthday of C.F.W. Walther, there is an overture asking synod to express thanks to God for his contribution to the Christian faith as the first president of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.  Walther also shows up in another overture which asks for clarification on the doctrinal basis of LCC in relation to Walther’s teaching. Another asks for a clarification on doctrine involving the Office of the Keys.

Congregations receive specific mention in two overtures. One encourages a proactive approach the study of the Bible and confessions among members and the other encourages a missional mindset. 

Three overtures highlight the recent publication of Liturgies et cantiques luthériens (the French-language hymnal) and its potential to reach francophone Christians across Canada and around the world. 

Adding new congregations into Lutheran Church–Canada is always a cause for rejoicing at a convention. Two overtures call for the reception of two congregations: St. Paul’s Lutheran in Bergheim, Saskatchewan, and Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran in Airdrie, Alberta.

In total, the Resolutions Committees will review 43 overtures along with issues identified in the Convention Workbook’s reports. For a complete look, go to http://www.lutheranchurch.ca/synod2011.php?s=workbook. To discuss the overtures go to www.lutheranchurch.ca/forums.

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.