Some of us remember life together on school playgrounds when different games overlapped with a softball game, when cries of “heads up!” alerted rope-jumpers and four-square players that a fly ball was on its way.

This blog will sound similar alerts in months to come, calling readers’ attention to in-coming changes associated with LCMS conventions. And although the next convention is two years hence, the first major change is already in the air and truly warrants a “heads up!”

2013 Presidential Election Process

2010 Res. 8-17 “To Elect the Synod President,” after noting the President’s service to the entire Synod and the availability of new technology, authorized the election of the President in a manner that will allow direct participation by the Synod’s congregations.

Beginning with the 2013 convention, congregations (or parishes in cases where more than one congregation is served by the same called pastor) will elect the President of the Synod even before the delegates to the convention gather in St. Louis. The manner in which congregations (or parishes) avail themselves of this opportunity to participate is the subject of this “heads up!” 

2012 District Convention Delegate Selection

In months to come, congregations (or parishes) will be electing their voting delegates to their district conventions. While district convention delegate selection has always been important, Res. 8-17 has increased its importance. The congregations and parishes of the Synod will now participate in the election of the President of the Synod through their district convention delegates who, four weeks prior to the following year’s national convention, will vote on their congregations’ behalf.

And this warrants another “heads up!” The presidential voting privilege will be restricted to those delegates who actually attend their district conventions. District secretaries will provide lists of delegates who were in attendance at their conventions to the Secretary of the Synod. These lists will constitute the official list of eligible voters for the presidential election.

Bylaw 3.12.2.3 (2010 Handbook, p. 183), which governs the presidential election process, does allow for “substitute voters” when district convention delegates are no longer members of the congregations they represented or are otherwise unavailable. But the bylaw does not provide opportunity for a congregation to name a substitute when a delegate fails to attend the district convention.

More to Come

Specific information regarding this election process will be provided in due time, with some manner of electronic voting likely to be involved. Suffice for now to take note of the importance of the election of delegates to next year’s district conventions during this fall’s congregational voters’ meetings.  

Raymond L. Hartwig, LCMS Secretary