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Restructuring Update: Proposed New Bylaws of LCC

April 19, 2017 6 Comments

Restructuring-Update---BylawsCANADA – The Commission on Constitutional Matters and Structure (CCMS) has completed and placed the proposed new Act and Bylaws for Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) online. Download the proposed bylaws here. [Note: An unfinished draft version of the bylaws was inadvertently posted when this news story went live. The link now leads to the correct, finalized version.]

Eleven regional convocations are being planned in order to give the whole church another opportunity to give input to the CCMS before the final bylaws are written. From the beginning the CCMS has sought to build this new structure based on input from the congregations, pastors, and deacons of LCC. Information on attending the two electronic convocations will be shared online at a later date. [Update: Information for attending the electronic convocations is available here.]

Region Convocation City Hosting
Congregation
Date Time
Vancouver Cloverdale Zion Lutheran April 29 1:30 – 4:30
Vancouver Kelowna First Lutheran May 6 1:30 – 4:30
Calgary Calgary Prince of Peace June 10 1:30 – 4:30
Edmonton Sherwood Park Bethel Lutheran June 10 1:30 – 4:30
Regina Saskatoon Faith Lutheran June 11 4:00 – 8:30
Regina Regina Grace Lutheran May 13 1:30 – 4:30
Winnipeg Winnipeg Saint James Lutheran June 17 1:30 – 4:30
London London Faith Lutheran May 27 1:30 – 4:30
Toronto Mississauga Christ Our King June 3 1:30 – 4:30
Electronic Winnipeg LCC Boardroom June 18 1:30 – 3:30
Electronic Winnipeg LCC Boardroom June 19 7:00 – 9:00

 

You will also find online a paper that I have written in response to countless questions as to “why” Lutheran Church-Canada is restructuring itself and why the CCMS has completed such a major restructuring rather than just “tweaking things a bit” as some have suggested. You may wish to read that paper also in connection with your reading of the new proposed Bylaws. Download the paper here.

It is important for all to understand that these new Bylaws are not written in stone yet but rather soft clay, so to speak. From the beginning the CCMS has sought the input of people across the country in LCC in order to determine what would be the primary pillars of restructuring upon which the CCMS would build a new structure. Now, we want to make sure that the structure that will be presented to the Convention in October this year is what the majority of members of LCC would like. Therefore, you are not just invited, but strongly encouraged, to attend one of the above scheduled Convocations so that you may had your voice to further guide the CCMs in finalizing the proposed new Bylaws.

One other note:  the new structure shows that the CCMS is recommending eight Regions but only four Regional Pastors to begin with, even though the Chart shows eight Regions and eight Regional Pastors. Thus, each initial Regional Pastor would cover two Regions and work with two (instead of one) Regional Councils. Download a document on the proposed regions here.

This is being put forth for financial reasons. Having done a study of the financial implications of the restructuring, it became obvious that at least at the beginning of the new structure, we would not be able to afford more than four Regional Pastors. We will be prepared to discuss this further at the Regional Convocations.

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Rev. William R.A. Ney is Chairman of Lutheran Church–Canada’s Commission on Constitutional Matters and Structure.

More information on the restructuring process is available here.

  • Rev. Robert Clifford

    On pg3 of the above linked “Paper”, in the 2nd paragraph from the bottom, in the last sentence, Rev. Ney notes concerning the ABC-CEF collapse: “Those decisions were made by good, dedicated Christian people, fellow members of the body of Christ and of congregations of the ABC District, all of whom were committed to spreading the Word of God, with no intent whatsoever to have the project fail.” The Cover Letter is about restructuring, but given that Rev. Ney is using this forum to also comment on the CEF, it would only be fair to add the following sentence after the above quoted sentence: “but they had a fiduciary trust responsibility; they were not dealing with donated funds or endowment funds, but with people’s retirement life-savings. Those ‘deposits’ were made by good, dedicated Christian people, fellow members of the body of Christ and of congregations of the ABC District [mostly retired senior citizens], all of whom were committed to spreading the Word of God, with no intent whatsoever to ‘enter into high risk, speculative real estate development with their CEF deposits.'” Of a total of $140 Million dollars deposited (CEF + DIL), to date approx. $41 Million dollars has been repaid, leaving a shortfall of approx. $100,000,000.00 [ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS] from the retirement & life savings of good, dedicated Christian people, fellow members of the body of Christ and of congregations of the ABC District [mostly retired senior citizens].

    In the middle of pg 3, after discussing CUE leaving LCC, Rev. Ney writes: “Then it became evident that the ABC-CEF was in trouble.” No; that happened before CUE left & is probably a contributory reason to why CUE left; the public announcement of the CEF insolvency preceded the public announcement of CUE leaving.

  • Rev. Kurt Lantz

    A response from the Niagara Circuit pastors which we hope will lead to some revision of the proposed ByLaws is available here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz7zBzHbXSzwbWdIaVVfLUtuaWM/view?usp=sharing

  • Jonathan Asmus

    For those who would like to attend the online Electronic Convocations June 18 or June 19, is / will there be a link to easily join that online broadcast? Thanks!

  • Dennis Kendel

    Could you please advise what the annual projected cost is to support each Regional Pastor including projected annual travel costs to meet with congregations and Pastors in one region or two regions?

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  • Dennis Kendel

    Since I was elected to serve as the Saskatoon Circuit lay delegate to the LCC Convention I have made a concerted effort to better understand how the LCC has functioned since its inception and how its effectiveness might be improved through restructuring. I worked with my Pastor to host a Convocation at Faith Lutheran Church in Saskatoon at which Rev. Les Stahlke explained the goals of the restructuring process and patiently answered questions from both clergy and lay members in attendance. I came away from that event with as sense of renewed hope that we can use our shared resources in better ways to support one another in ministry to our existing members and to people desperately in need of the Good News of Jesus’ death and resurrection for all people. I’m well aware that the restructuring plan the CCMS has proposed is not perfect as sinful humans are never able to create anything that is perfect. But I do fervently believe that we need to step out in Faith to embrace this plan and pray that our Lord will bless our shared commitment to make the new structure work.