Convention FAQ

Information will be posted as it becomes available. 

The synod in convention is the legislative body of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). It establishes, reviews, and amends the policies and the direction of WELS as we pursue our mission. You have accepted a high privilege and a solemn responsibility.

The Purpose

The purpose of the synod convention is

  • to meet as a delegate synod to carry out the responsibilities of the legislative body of WELS,
  • to celebrate God’s blessings on our ministry in the past,
  • to nurture our faith, and
  • to set in motion an agreed-upon plan of ministry for the future.

The Delegate’s Role

There are about 400 voting delegates who represent our churches, missions, and schools from around the world. Delegates should be an informed decision maker who learns the views of those he represents and then prayerfully ponders and votes on what WELS should be doing for the Lord.

Delegate’s Pre-Convention Preparation and Information

The primary source of the convention’s business is the Book of Reports and Memorials (BORAM), which contains various departmental reports as well as formal petitions to the synod convention called “memorials.” A memorial outlines a particular item of business for consideration by the delegates. The BORAM will be sent to you before the convention. It is essential that you read the BORAM to get the big picture of the synod’s work and the issues facing the convention. You may also be assigned to a floor committee whose responsibility will be to react and respond to an assigned portion of the BORAM. When you know your committee assignment, carefully study your committee’s section—you may make notes in the BORAM as it is your copy. There will be another copy of the BORAM in your binder at the convention. The BORAM will be posted online along with other convention-related materials at Check the website often for updates. Since you are the representative from your geographical area, you are asked to know the views of those you represent and are responsible to make sure those views get heard. Please attend district, conference, or circuit meetings where the BORAM will be discussed. (Your district president will inform you of the dates. Most districts hold their meetings in late May or in June.)

The Convention

WORSHIP: An opening communion service will be held on Monday, July 31, at 6:30 p.m., at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Watertown, Wis. Transportation will be provided to the service. Each day’s session will begin with a devotion. The closing service will be held on Thursday, Aug 3, at 1 p.m., in the LPS gymnasium.

Floor Committees

Delegates may be appointed to serve on a floor committee that will meet privately in an assigned classroom at scheduled times. Each committee is assigned a section of the BORAM to evaluate its content and/or recommendations; react to it; and, in most cases, present a formal resolution(s) or report to the convention regarding it. A chairman and a secretary for each committee are appointed prior to the convention. Synodical advisory delegates will be available for consultation. You may also be appointed to a subcommittee to lead the way in sorting through materials on a specific issue and arriving at recommendations. Committees will meet to organize and plan their work immediately following the opening service on July 31.

General Sessions

The first session will begin at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug 1, 2017. All general sessions will be held in the Lutheran Preparatory School gymnasium. Delegates are assigned a seat on the convention floor according to committee. All certified delegates are eligible to speak and vote on every issue before the convention.

GUESTS: Guests may watch the proceedings from the mezzanine in the gymnasium. (Only delegates will have access to the convention floor.) Access to the mezzanine is by staircase only.

ELECTIONS: An important duty of delegates is to elect synodical officers and board members. A brief biographical sketch of each nominee will be posted online and provided in the convention binder. Ask questions before you vote so you are as informed as possible.

REPORTS: During the convention, delegates will receive reports about WELS ministry. Make careful notes about the reports given and thoroughly read those not presented orally. All of this information will help you in making important decisions about the Lord’s work in WELS.

AGENDA: The first half of the convention includes Bible study, elections, oral reports, floor committee meetings, and open hearings on key issues. Floor committee reports and recommendations will generally be heard and voted on in the last half of the convention.

STREAMING THE CONVENTION: The entire convention will be streamed live over the Internet at Those making public statements at the microphones during the convention automatically give their permission to stream their comments. Remember that many people may be watching, so carefully phrase your statements.

THE DIFFERENCE YOU MAKE: Delegates are expected to attend all joint and committee meetings and take an active part in discussions. Remember that the business conducted here establishes the program of the synod for the next two years and beyond. You help shape the vision and set the direction of our synodical family under God by how you perform as a delegate. Your input is valuable, and your vote counts. When issues are debated and presented for a vote, vote what you feel is best for the Lord’s mission based on the input you received. May God bless your efforts.


Interested in attending choir concerts, leadership conferences, and retreats? View upcoming synod-level events and attend an event in your area.


Read today’s daily devotion or browse the archive, which has several months’ worth of devotions to uplift and encourage you with the Word.