The 2017 Book of Reports and Memorials (BORAM) is now available online. This book summarizes the activities of each area of ministry over the last year, contains the proposed ministry financial plan for the next biennium, and shares the memorials submitted for consideration. The information in BORAM will help guide the 400 delegates to WELS’ 64th biennial convention, which is being held at Luther Preparatory School, Watertown, Wis., July 31–Aug. 3, under the theme “Our Great Heritage.”
Some items to note in this year’s BORAM:
- The Commission on Inter-Church Relations recommends that convention delegates declare fellowship with the East Asia Lutheran Synod, the Lutheran Church of Ethiopia, and the South Asian Lutheran Evangelical Mission in Hong Kong.
- The Synodical Council is proposing a new long-range plan entitled “Our Great Heritage” that will extend to 2025 (the 175th anniversary of the synod).
- The ministry financial plan maintains the current level of ministry in all areas and provides funding for a director of discipleship who will oversee the Commission on Youth and Family Ministry and the Commission on Adult Discipleship as well as an additional Christian giving counselor in the second year of the biennium.
- Five memorials are currently being presented to the delegates, including a memorial asking delegates to allow Lutheran Schools to collect an annual school support fee based on enrollment to help Lutheran Schools carry out its ministry.
In addition to the areas of ministry, some special synod committees also submitted reports for this year’s BORAM, including the Compensation Review Committee, which began a comprehensive examination of the synod’s compensation guidelines in 2015.
As Rev. Earle Treptow, chairman of the Compensation Review Committee, explains, “In the early stages of the project, the committee envisioned a radical reworking of the current guidelines. The more the committee wrestled with the issues, however, the more it recognized the excellent work that had been done in putting together the current compensation guidelines. The problem has been that calling bodies haven’t consistently applied the guidelines. Recognizing that the inconsistency in applying the guidelines stemmed in large part from a lack of understanding of the compensation guidelines, the committee worked to repackage the compensation guidelines in such a way that calling bodies would find them easier to apply.”
One major accomplishment of the committee was the creation of an online calculator to help calling bodies determine called worker compensation. A trial version of the calculator, which was developed by WELS Technology, is available at wels.net/cwcompcalc.
“Because the proposed compensation guidelines are primarily a repackaging of what is currently in place, with only slight modifications, the financial impact on the work we do together as a synod should be minimal,” adds Treptow.
Any changes in the compensation guidelines need the approval of the 2017 synod convention.
One printed copy of BORAM is being mailed to each delegate, congregation, and male called worker. These printed copies should arrive by May 26.
To read the 2017 Book of Reports and Memorials, visit wels.net/2017synodconvention.
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