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Official Notice to all Members of Lutheran Church–Canada from the CCMS

September 12, 2017 2 Comments

Editor’s Note (September 13, 2017): A few small corrections have been made to this downloadable pdf since this story was first posted (switching the colours noting additions/deletions; replacing the word “Bylaws” with “Constitution” in one instance; and correcting the title of the Commission on Constitutional Matters and Structure (not the “Commission on Structure and Governance,” as was inadvertently included in two overtures).

Notice re Statutory Bylaws

In keeping with Article XXI, 21.01 of the LCC Statutory Bylaws (2014 LCC Handbook, Page 7) the Commission on Constitutional Matters and Structure (CCMS) hereby serves notice to congregations, pastors and deacons on the LCC roster of its unanimous decision to submit an overture to amend the Statutory Bylaws at the 11th LCC Convention, set for October 13-16, 2017 in Kitchener, Ontario.

Amendments of Other Handbook Documents

Other portions of the LCC Handbook are amended differently. Changes to the Constitution do not require the 30-day notice. They do, however, require a two-thirds majority vote at the Convention and then a two-thirds affirmative vote of LCC congregations who participate in that ratification phase during the six months following the Convention. (Constitution Article XIV,2 and 4., LCC Handbook, Page 12-13). Overtures to amend these portions of the Handbook were also unanimously passed and submitted
by the CCMS.

The Synodical Bylaws portion of the LCC Handbook may be amended by a simple majority vote of the Convention (Synodical Bylaws Article XIV, LCC Handbook, Page 81). Overtures to amend these portions of the Handbook, were, like the others unanimously passed and then submitted by the CCMS.

A Guide to the Overtures

The link below takes you to the full text of all the overtures and supporting documents. They are:

  • Overture 1.18, TO ADOPT THE PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE STATUTORY BYLAWS OF LUTHERAN CHURCH–CANADA (submitted by the CCMS);
  • Overture 1.19, TO ADOPT THE PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION OF LUTHERAN CHURCH–CANADA (submitted by the CCMS);
  • Overture 1.20, TO ADOPT THE PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE SYNODICAL BYLAWS OF LUTHERAN CHURCH–CANADA (submitted by the CCMS);
  • Overture 1.21, TO REQUEST THAT THE 2018 CONVENTIONS OF THE 3 DISTRICT CORPORATIONS (THE ALBERTA-BRITISH COLUMBIA DISTRICT, THE CENTRAL DISTRICT AND THE EAST DISTRICT) FACILITATE THE NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF REGIONAL PASTORS AND CIRCUIT COUNSELORS FOR THE BALANCE OF THE 2017-2021 TERM (submitted by the LCC Board of Directors);
  • Overture 1.22, TO DISCONTINUE WORKING WITH THE 3 DISTRICT CORPORATIONS (THE ALBERTA-BRITISH COLUMBIA DISTRICT, THE CENTRAL DISTRICT AND THE EAST DISTRICT) TO SEPARATELY DELIVER SERVICES TO THE MEMBERS OF LCC AS OF JANUARY 1, 2019 (submitted by the LCC Board of
    Directors);
  • Overture 1.23, TO REPLACE THE CURRENT STATUTORY BYLAWS AND ALL AMENDMENTS SINCE ADOPTED IN 2002 WITH A CONSOLIDATED FORM OF STATUTORY BYLAWS (submitted by the CCMS);
  • Overture 1.24, TO REPLACE THE CURRENT SYNODICAL CONSTITUTION AND ALL AMENDMENTS SINCE ADOPTED IN 2002 WITH A CONSOLIDATED FORM OF SYNODICAL CONSTITUTION (submitted by the CCMS);
  • Overture 1.25, TO REPLACE THE PREVIOUS SYNODICAL BYLAWS AND ALL AMENDMENTS SINCE ADOPTED IN 2002 WITH A CONSOLIDATED FORM OF SYNODICAL BYLAWS (submitted by the CCMS).

The first three overtures (1.18, 1.19, 1.20) are the “heart” of the CCMS restructuring proposals. The two “middle” ones (1.21, 1.22) deal with transitional matters that become necessary if the restructuring proposals are adopted. The final three (1.23, 1.24, 1.25) formally replace current documents with the new ones being proposed at this Convention.

The first three restructuring overtures take the reader through a column-beside-column comparison of the current documents and the proposed changes. The last three overtures include the “clean” text of what the new documents would look like if the proposed changes are adopted.

Download all the documents here.

The Way Forward

The CCMS action to submit these overtures follows the Commission’s unanimous adoption of proposals made by the “Working Group,” made up of representatives of CCMS and the LCC Board of Directors (BOD). Those representatives include Rev. William Ney and Rev. Paul Schallhorn (for the CCMS), as well as Rev. Nolan Astley and Mrs. Cindy Sholdice (for the BOD).

Resolutions Committee #1, under the chairmanship of Central District President Thomas Prachar, met in Winnipeg September 8-9 to consider all overtures which had been submitted relating to the area of restructuring. The Committee’s proposed Resolutions on these matters will be released after editing, etc., as soon as possible.

These CCMS overtures are being sent today to all pastors, deacons and congregations on the LCC roster, as well as to all Convention delegates. This constitutes the Commission’s formal notice to the church of the restructuring proposals it has recommended.

Rev. William R. A. Ney, Chairman
LCC Commission on Constitutional Matters and Structure
September 12, 2017

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  • Dennis Kendel

    I have read the entire document with a particular focus on the three restructuring overtures. I recognize the plan to dissolve the three Districts, create eight regions with regional pastors, extend Convention intervals to four years, hire a Synodical manger and a few other changes that were forged through broad CCMS consultations with the church at large.

    However I also see some significant change proposed in the governance structure of the LCC with full governance authority vested in a four member Executive Committee between Board meetings. This is very signicant concentration of governance powers with miminial accoutabity to the church at large through the Convention.

    What I think is needed here is an Executive Summary of the key changes in governance structure / powers and the rationale for those changes.

    When both sets of Bylaws and the Consitution were revised in this manner, the final choice of language likely rested with legal counsel. However lawyers never undertake such work without very clear drafting instructions from their client. It would be helpful to have clarity on who the client was for this 11th hour rewrite of the Bylaws and Consitution.

    It is unclear if the drafting instructions came from the four-member working group, the Board or the CMMS. Whatever the source(s) of such drafting instructions, it would be helpful if those drafting instructions could be shared with all of the Convention voting delegates. That would give us clarity in terms of what the end-point goals were for the revision of all three documents.

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