Every two years, our synod holds its synod convention. This year the convention will meet at Michigan Lutheran Seminary in Saginaw, Mich., July 31–Aug. 3. The theme of the convention is “Embrace the Cross—Anticipate the Crown.” Planning for the convention has already begun.
Rev. Phil Hirsch, president of the Nebraska District, will deliver the essay that expands on and articulates the convention theme. Rev. James Huebner, first vice president of the synod, will preach for opening worship.
One high point of the convention will be the declaration of fellowship with the Obadiah Lutheran Synod in Uganda. This declaration of fellowship is possible because in-depth doctrinal discussions over the past several years have shown that our two synods are united in biblical doctrine and in our adherence to the Lutheran Confessions. Rev. Musa Makisimu, president of the Obadiah Lutheran Synod, will give a presentation to familiarize delegates with his synod’s history and ministry.
Another high point will be the public affirmation of fellowship between WELS and Iglesia Cristo WELS Internacional. This is a newly formed synod in Latin America, comprised of a merger of national churches that have already been in fellowship in WELS. (That’s why fellowship is being “affirmed” rather than “declared.”) In the future, new house churches forming out of Academia Cristo efforts also will be joining this synod. Rev. Tonny Quintero, secretary of the governing board of his synod, will address the delegates and give a presentation describing Iglesia Cristo WELS Internacional.
This convention will feature elections for the offices of synod president and second vice president. Other elections will be held to determine membership on various synod boards and commissions.
About 400 voting delegates from around the country will attend the convention. Roughly half of the delegates are lay members while the other half are pastors, teachers, and staff ministers. The convention will also be attended by advisory delegates from the Synodical Council, the Conference of Presidents, and various areas of ministry. All voting delegates will be assigned to a floor committee. Each floor committee deals with a specific part of the synod’s mission and ministry and brings reports and resolutions to the convention for action. Memorials, which are calls for action on specific topics, will be assigned to the appropriate floor committee for discussion and recommendations.
All business to be considered by the convention will be published in the Book of Reports and Memorials (BORAM). The BORAM will be available on the convention website, welsconvention.net, by May 5, and all delegates and WELS congregations will receive hard copies by the end of May.
Serving with you in Christ,
WELS President Mark Schroeder