Groups addressing important issues

A number of groups have been carrying out their assignments to address various issues that are important to our called workers, congregations, and members. Here is an update on those groups and their assignments.

The Ministry Recruitment task force (already described more fully in a previous issue of Together)
Chaired by Rev. Paul Prange, this task force was formed as a result of a resolution passed by the 2023 synod convention due to the significant shortage of pastors, teachers, and staff ministers. Its assignment is to look at all factors that impact the recruitment of called workers and bring recommendations for a synodwide effort to recruit and train more called workers. It will bring its recommendations to the 2025 synod convention.

Task force on critical theories
Chaired by Rev. Snowden Sims, this task force was assigned to evaluate the topic of critical theories and provide guidance to WELS called workers and members on how to understand and address these philosophies in light of Scripture. The task force will submit its recommendations to the Conference of Presidents, which will then produce and distribute a pastoral brief on the subject.

Theology curriculum task force
The theology curriculum task force is currently in an 18-month development of the components necessary for future content writers to create new instructional materials for WELS schools to use for the instruction of God’s Word. The task force wants the new curriculum to hold fast to our purposes of sharing God’s Word in its truth and purity with the next generation and meet the needs of increasingly diverse classrooms. One of its goals is to provide a curriculum that is primarily digital in format, which will make it possible to update the curriculum on an ongoing basis. The task force chairman is Mr. Jim Rademan. Mrs. Melanie Giddings is the curriculum coordinator.

Long-range strategic planning task force
Chaired by Rev. Jonathan Hein, this task force is developing a new synod long-range strategic plan that will guide all areas of synodical mission and ministry. The six-year plan, entitled “Christ through us” (the theme of the 2025 synod convention), will be presented to the synod convention in 2025.

175th anniversary planning committee
Chaired by Prof. Joel Otto, the committee has already begun to make plans for the celebration of the synod’s 175th anniversary in 2025. The theme for that celebration will be the same as the theme for the 2025 convention (“Christ through us”). Plans include a book that provides a pictorial history of the synod, video vignettes, an interactive online history of WELS, and a synodwide celebration Sunday in the fall of 2025.

Gender, sexuality, identity
A standing committee (not a temporary task force), chaired by Rev. Greg Lyon, is developing resources for pastors, congregations, parents, and young people to help them deal with transgender and same-sex attraction issues that are becoming more common in our society and culture.

Man/woman roles
The Conference of Presidents is continuing its work to develop a pastoral brief on man/woman roles. The brief will be distributed as soon as it is completed.

Please remember these groups as they work to address important issues biblically and evangelically.

Serving with you in Christ,
WELS President Mark Schroeder




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