The 58th Regular Convention of the LCMS Central Illinois District (CID) of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) opened Sunday evening with a worship service hosted by Trinity Lutheran Church of Springfield. The theme of the worship service focused on God’s amazing grace and His love for all people through the saving gift of His son Jesus Christ. Organ, band, and choirs helped support the 326 attendees in worshiping our Almighty God. The Rev. Herbert C. Mueller, Jr.; LCMS First Vice-President preached on selections of John 3 through the theme of Look and Live. In his sermon, Rev. Mueller reminded all present that our Heavenly Father desires all to be saved. He stated that if God intended for some to be excluded from God’s salvation how we can be sure we are included in salvation. Christ did not come to carry only some of our sins, but to carry all of them. Therefore if Christ died for all sins we have confidence this includes our very own sin. This truly is the greatest message we can share with the world.
The service continued with Holy Communion and ended with prayer and with praise for our God. The business portion of the convention begins at 8 am on Monday, July 6 at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield.
From the Hymn of the Day:
By Grace I’m Saved
Lutheran Service Book 566
Text: Christian Ludwig Scheidt
By Grace! On this I’ll rest when dying
In Jesus’ promise I rejoice;
For though I know my heart’s condition,
I also know my Savior’s voice.
My heart is glad, all grief has flown
Since I am saved by grace alone.
The morning devotion was led by the Rev. Dr. Thomas Radtke. Rev. Radtke shared God's Word from Isaiah 55:6-11. The focus of the devotion revolved around the theme of God's Grace, Free and Boundless, which is also the theme of the Convention.
After the opening devotion instruction was given about the electronic voting process. The process and hardware was then tested.
Rev. Thomas Heren, chair of the Credentials Committee, reported to the floor that the following were in attendance:
Lay Delegates – 120
Pastoral Delegates – 112
Advisory members – 23
Guests – 22
Staff – 6
Upon hearing the report of the Credentials Committee and seeing that a quorum of delegates were present, President Miller declared the 58th Regular Convention of the Central Illinois District officially open under the theme Grace, Free and Boundless (Titus 3:4-7) at 8:30 am.
The first order of business was to ratify the agenda. This passed by a voice vote.
President Mark Miller then read the Standing Rules of the Convention. These rules were then adopted by a voice vote.
President Miller then introduced Mr. Harold Olson as the Convention Parliamentarian and official timekeeper.
Floor Committee #3 Life (Congregational Life, Finance, Administration)
Resolution 15-01-11: Approval of the 22 New Congregational Constitutions. This resolution passed by voice vote.
The floor then recognized and welcomed those who are new to church work in the CID-LCMS within the last 3 years.
Floor Committee #4 Nominations- President of Central Illinois District
Incumbent President Rev. Mark A. Miller was the only official nomination for this office. While other individuals had been nominated, they did not receive more than 5% of the district voting support to be considered an official nominee. An electronic vote was then conducted. The electronic voting system failed twice and a motion from the floor was made to conduct a voice vote. The motion was seconded and passed. A voice vote was conducted. President Miller received a great majority of the voice vote. President Miller was reelected as president of the Central Illinois District.
President Miller then addressed the floor thanking them for their continued confidence. He also spoke of hope for the future with God's grace as our foundation. Regardless of those things going on in the world, God is our hope for the future.
Pastor Ken Schurb of Zion Lutheran Church, Moberly, Missouri delivered the first part of the Convention essay. The essay was on the Convention theme Grace, Free and Boundless (Titus 3:4-7) and focused on saving grace as a free gift. Rev. Schurb spoke on saving grace in two parts: Not what we have deserved and Given on account of Christ. He included study of the Prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), parable of the tax collector's prayer (Luke 18:9-14), Romans 3:24-25, and 1 John 2:2. "By grace I'm saved, grace free and boundless". Praise God!
Second Vice President Rev. Kent Tibben, President Rev. Mark A. Miller, and First Vice President Rev. Daniel Bishop
Ballots with a roster of all clergy from the East and West Regions of the CID were handed out. Delegates voted for one clergy member from each division. These ballots will be tallied for nominees for the election of CID Vice Presidents.
Vice presidential Elections: Rev. Kent Tibben and Rev. Daniel Bishop Reelected as CID Vice Presidents.
A second vote was conducted to determine the rankings of the Vice Presidents of CID. Rev. Daniel Bishop was elected as First Vice President of CID and Rev. Kent Tibben was elected as Second Vice President of CID.
Resolution 15-01-01: Deaconess Linda Schaefer Recognized
Resolution 15-01-01: To Commend Deaconess Linda Schaefer upon Her Retirement after 44 years of service. No discussion.
Resolution Adopted: 201– Yes 2 – No
Rev. Joel Cluver delivered a report to the floor regarding CID’s actions in missions, evangelism, stewardship, and human care. Some of the high lights include:
Yet we need to share the Gospel now more than ever…
We need to tell the world of Jesus!
Resolution 15-01-02: Encouragement to Reach the Unchurched and Unsaved
Resolution 15-01-01: To Encourage Congregations to Reach the Unchurched and Unsaved. No discussion.
Resolution Adopted: 209 – Yes 5 – No
Resolution 15-01-03: To Amend Synod Bylaw Concerning the Commission on Constitutional Matters
Resolution 15-01-03: To Amend Synod Bylaw 22.214.171.124.3 Concerning the Commission on Constitutional Matters. No Discussion.
Resolution Adopted: 208 – Yes 9 – No
Resolution 15-01-08: To Request CTR to Draft Doctrinal Statements
Floor Committee #__
Resolution 15-01-08: To Request the Commission on Theology and Church Relations to Draft Doctrinal Statements. Discussion followed.
Resolution Adopted: 157 – Yes 62 – No
Rev. Kent Tibben and Rev. Daniel Bishop Reelected as CID Vice Presidents
Nomination ballots for East Region and West Region CID Vice Presidents were counted and the top nominations were brought to the floor for elections. There were three nominees for Vice President of the East Region: Rev. Rick Milas, Rev. Michael Mohr, and Rev. Kent Tibben. After two ballots Rev. Kent Tibben was reelected as Vice President of the East Region of the CID.
There were five nominees for Vice President for the West Region: Rev. Daniel Bishop, Rev. Joel Cluver, Rev. Mark Eddy, Rev. Mark Peters, and Rev. Terry Strom. After two ballots Rev. Daniel Bishop was reelected as Vice President of the Western Region of the CID.
Rev. Dr. Herbert C. Mueller, Jr., LCMS First Vice President
Rev. Mueller, as the Synodical Representative, addressed the convention regarding a number of topics. He spoke on current issues in synod, in our world, and the role of CID district. He discussed financial standings of synod and our two seminaries (operating in the black). Rev. Mueller spoke about the standards of our Concordia University Systems and the demographics of our synod. He encouraged congregations in their efforts to evangelize and share the Gospel.
Elections for other CID officers took place toward the end of the morning session.
Michael Mohr – 155 votes
Kent Umbarger – 64 votes
Rev. Michael Mohr was elected as Secretary: Clergy
Assistant Secretary: Clergy
Wilfred Karsten – 93 votes
James Stuenkel – 124 votes
Rev. James Stuenkel was elected as Assistant Secretary: Clergy
Dale Dirks – 204 votes
Mr. Dale Dirks was elected as CID Treasurer: Layman
Financial Secretary: Layman
Robert Dalton – 113 votes
Jim Frazee – 105 votes
Mr. Robert Dalton was elected Financial Secretary: Layman
The afternoon session of the CID Convention started with the CID Church Extension Fund (CEF) convention and elections. At this time an overall report of the financial stability of the CEF was delivered as well as descriptions of various ministry options that the CEF helps fund. There were also descriptions shared about the CEF Green Initiative, grants to churches and schools, and scholarships given to students.
Those elected were: Kevin Schultz, Kim Kleinscmidt, Cheryl Martin, Rev. Stephen Gillet, Rev. Terry Strom, Rev. Terry O'Brien and Mr. Dale Wolff
The Church Extension Fund of the CID has announced the most recent recipient of the David H. Goldhammer Award for outstanding service to the CEF. Congratulations to Carol Radtke for being this year's recipient. Mrs. Radtke graciously accepted this award stating, “Where else can you take a love of numbers and banking system and use it to serve Jesus by serving others.” Thank you Mrs. Radtke for your God given talents and their use in serving others in love. To God be the glory!
Board of Directors: Clergy
Rick Milas (Nomination from the floor)
Four seats were to be filled. After multiple ballots Rev. Dominguez, Rev. Milas, Rev. Pritchard, and Rev. Scarbeary were elected to the CID Board of Directors as clergy representatives.
Board of Directors: Teachers
Two seats were to be filled. After one ballot Mr. Landskroener and Mr. Thompson were elected to the CID Board of Directors as teacher representatives.
Board of Directors: Layman
Richard McMullen (Nomination from the floor)
Four seats were to be filled. After multiple ballots Mr. Stuckemeyer, Mr. Schroeder, Mr. Putnam, and Mr. Denham were elected to the CID Board of Directors as layman representatives.
Resolution 15-01-04 A: (Amended) To Re-affirm the God-given Form of Marriage
Resolution 15-01-04: To Re-affirm the God-given Form of Marriage.
A motion was passed for the resolution to be returned to the floor committee for further development.
Q. Can you clarify the position of woman sitting on the board of elder?
A. Women should not sit on a board of elders where a pastor is accountable to elders.
Q. Could the Lutheran Federal Credit Union issue student loans?
A. Rev. Mueller is not aware of the Lutheran Federal Credit Unions capitalization and ability to do this.
Q. What long term issues will develop if our church rejects the Supreme Court’s decision regarding same sex marriage and we hold to Biblical view of marriage?
A. At this time it is mostly speculation on the various issues that will develop.
Q. How can small congregations to more to attract full-time church workers.
A. Pray to the Lord of the Harvest to bring workers at the appropriate time, pray for pastors and teachers, Synod continues to support the SLeD program. Encourage congregations to engage non-synodically trained teachers to utilize the Colloquy program.
Q. Are we seeing movement away from the Lutheran World Federation?
A. In general, yes we are seeing movement away, especially the global south. Some examples are Ethopia and Madagascar who are moving away from many aspects of the Lutheran World Federation.
Resolution 15-01-05: (Amended) To Memorialize the Synod as Regards the Licensed Lay Deacon
Resolution 15-01-04: To Memorialize the Synod as Regards the Licensed Lay Deacon
Much discussion followed.
Resolution Adopted: Yes – 162 No – 41
Resolution 15-01-06A: (Amended) Dr. Matthew Becker
Resolution 15-01-04:To Publicly Call Rev. Dr. Matthew Becker to Repentance
Resolution Adopted: Yes – 198 No – 16
The late afternoon session began with Dr. Ken Schurb delivering the second part of a three part essay on the boundless grace of our loving God.
Mrs. Pam Spilker, president of the Central Illinois District Lutheran Women Missionary League (LWML) reported about the district LWML activities. She reported on the National Convention, spoke about ongoing mite goals, and encouraged that we continue to serve the Lord together in gladness.
Mr. Roger Garlisch represented the Central Illinois Lutheran Layman League (LLL) and reported about the upcoming booth at the state fair, ongoing witnessing activities, and thanked the floor for their ongoing prayer support.
Brian Friedrich, President of Concordia University Nebraska presented Rev. David Bueltmann the honorary recognition of Doctor of Letters. The Doctor of Letters degree is conferred for the accomplishment of distinguished and creative contributions to the world of learning and service. Concordia is pleased to confer upon Rev. David Bueltmann the Doctor of Letters degree, honoris causa.
Nominees: Rev. Kevin Bueltmann, Kurt Busse, Rev. Martin Eden, Bob Ervin, Richard McMullen, Cheryl Stickel Neal, John Rodenburg. Five seats are to be filled.
After one ballot, Rev. Eden, Bob Ervin, Richard McMullen, Cheryl Stickel Neal, and John Rodenburg were elected to the Board of Directors for the Endowment Fund.
There were no resolutions for the Endowment Fund.
The Convention for the Endowment Fund was adjourned.
Rev. Dr. Thomas Radtke opened day three of the Convention with devotion on Jude 24-25. This was supported by all present singing the first four verses of My Hope is Built on Nothing Less, Hymn LSB 575.
Mr. Goeress, CID Education Executive, reported to the Convention on general state of our schools. Over the last three years enrollment in the CID Lutheran schools is down about 6.7%. No schools closed over the last three years and one additional preschool opened. Mr. Goeres noted several possible reasons why enrollment is down. Some of these items included increased cost and tuition, decreased number of LCMS children in LCMS congregations, increased child care expectations, increased culture of consumerism, and a decreased expectation for Christian setting to be a priority.
Mr. Goeres also reported that a number of congregations completed their Family Friendly Partnership Network training. Twelve congregations have been involved in training. Glenn also reported on upcoming youth events, congregational training opportunity, demographic information access for each congregation, and that the paper version of the Gatepost will end in December. The Gatepost will continue to be delivered via email.
Pastor Ken Schurb of Zion Lutheran Church, Moberly, Missouri delivered the final part of the Convention essay. The essay, entitled Grace, Free and Boundless, focused on saving grace as a free gift. Rev. Schurb spoke on saving grace of Christ in multiple points including Grace that invigorates us, frees us from guild of sin, frees us to serve God, and that God our Father saves not because He has to, but wants to save us.
Congregational Constitutions & District Handbook Committee (2 seats)
Rev. Mark Eddy and Rev. Barry Long were elected.
Attorney - Layman
Tim Kirk elected.
Nominations Committee for 2018 District Convention - Clergy - vote for 2
John Laux – 90 votes
Barry Long – 70 votes
Clarence Rogers – 103 votes
James Wright – 112 votes
Rev. Clarence Rogers and Rev. James Wright elected to Nominations Committee.
Nominations Committee for 2018 District Convention - Teachers - vote for 2
John Jacob and Martha Milas elected to Nominations Committee.
Nominations Committee for 2018 District Convention - Layman - vote for 2
Henry Gartner – 48 votes
Danny Magelitz – 86 votes
Raymond Stuckemeyer – 113 votes
Thomas Stuenkel – 107 votes
Raymond Stuckemeyer and Thomas Stuenkel elected to Nomination Committee.
Synod Nominations Committee for 2016 - vote for 1
Mark Miller (Nomination from floor)
After two ballots Rev. Mark Miller was elected to the Synod Nominations Committee.
Altamont – No Candidate
Bloomington North – Joseph Burns
Bloomington South – David Bergelin
Champaign – Mark Elliott
Iroquois – Benjamin Meyer
Decatur – Melvin Weseloh
Effingham – Allen Kramp
Jacksonville – David Knuth
Lincoln – Wesley Reimnitz
Mattoon – John Sharp
Peoria – Mark Nelson
Quincy – Michael Burdick
Rock Island – Robert Hagen
Shelby – Jason Rensner
Springfield E. – Samuel Janssen
Springfield W. – Jeffrey Gross
Tazewell – Thomas Heren
The above Clergy were ratified by the Convention to be Circuit Visitors for the next 3 years.
Rev. Mueller, as the Synodical Representative, shared with the Convention a brand new video covering many of the ministries the LCMS is involved in. Some of the items covered in the video included disaster relief, mission emphasis, Lutheran School ministries, Wittenberg Project, Global Seminary Initiative, Free To Be Faithful Initiative, and the LCMS Housing Organization. The video will be available on the LCMS website shortly.
Resolution 15-01-09 To Adopt Revised CID Handbook for 2015. No Discussion.
Resolution Adopted: 171 – Yes 8 – No
Resolution 15-01-04A: To Re-Affirm the God-given Form of the Marriage. The floor committee brought the resolution back from development with changes. Much discussion on the resolution as well as discussion on order of procedure followed.
Resolution adopted: 154 – Yes 34 – No
Resolution 15-01-07: To Study the Process for Expulsion of a Member of Synod for the Public Teaching of False Doctrine. No discussion.
Resolution adopted: 178 – Yes 11 – No
Resolution 15-01-10: To Respectfully Decline Overture 15-01-02. No Discussion.
Resolution adopted: 164 – Yes 11 – No
Representative from the St. Louis and Fort Wayne Seminary addressed the convention with updates regarding the seminary activity, increased tuition support, and thanked CID for its support of the seminaries.
Mr. Louis Johnson, representative from Concordia Planned Services, reported to the Convention on various health plans, disability plans, and retirement plans. Next year’s health plan costs will increase about 4.9%.
Lay Delegates – 123
Pastor Delegates – 116
Advisory Guests – 29
Guests – 16
Staff – 6
The Convention unanimously voted to designate the offering from the Opening Worship to go toward seminary scholarship.
Rev. Dr. Thomas Radtke closed the Convention with devotion on Titus 3:4-7 and the singing of Hymn LSB 850, God of Grace and God of Glory. To God be all glory!
Rev. Dr. Herbert C. Mueller installed Rev. Mark Miller at CID President. President Miller then installed Rev. Daniel Bishop and Rev. Kent Tibben as the Vice Presidents of CID. President Miller then continued with the installation of the newly ratified Circuit Visitors (formerly Circuit Counselors). Lastly, President Miller installed all other newly elected officers and positions of Board of Directors and other boards of service.
President Miller adjourned the 58th Regular CID Convention at 11:13. Go in peace and serve the Lord gladly.
The Communications Committee wishes to also thank Delegate Brett Bloebaum for his ongoing support with transportation, Convention consultation, and caffeine management.