The following text is a summary of the Restructuring Webinars held by LCC Synod on Thursday, Sept 28, 2017.
From the Canadian Lutheran: The audio is a composite from both webinars, and has been condensed to focus on the presentation made by LCC First Vice President Nolan Astley. It also includes introductory remarks by Rev. William R. A Ney, Chairman of the Commission for Constitutional Matters and Structure, and an opening prayer from LCC President Robert Bugbee.
Nolan did most of the talking and basically ran through the various portions of the restructuring document with brief description of the section, what changed, and made additional comments pertaining to rationale, etc. as he deemed appropriate.
Material in quotes may be a paraphrase instead of an exact quote what the speaker said. I have also added explanatory detail in certain places for clarity. If you are concerned about anything you’ve read, please listen to the recording to determine precisely what the speaker stated before proceeding further.
All numbers in parenthesis – (11:22:33) – denotes the time from the start of the webinar. If a topic is of interest to you you can fast-forward to that point in the webinar and start listening there.
Numbers with a decimal in it refer to a specific paragraph in the document being discussed. For instance, paragraph 9.04 of the Statutory Bylaws refers to the Statutory Bylaws – Article IX, paragraph 4.
I’ll be commenting on this webinar in a follow-on post.
- President Bugbee opened with prayer
- Explanation why this was an audio-only webinar with no video – primarily due to client internet capabilities so audio only.
- Restructuring material sent to delegates are contained in “G” document,
- This session will start with Page “G-17”
- Focus to be on educating the hearers about the proposal.
- “Tonight is not the convention, it’s an opportunity to walk through the material, not to debate the changes – that is for the Convention.”
- Focus of the change is to orient the organization “More on mission and ministry, less on administration”
- Material from the CCMS is now in Committee 1 for disposition
(0:09:00) – CCMS Chair Nye comments
- CCMS process was brought about by 3 resolutions by the 3 Districts
- CCMS wanted the church to have full input into the process, and that informed the restructuring process
- Input from membership made it clear the church wanted ministry was delivered to pastors, deacons, and congregations in a different way.
- Needed smaller-than-District regions to provide services in a more in-person way than the current District structure.
- Needed to make relationships clearer w/in the Synodical Family.
- CCMS is now strongly behind the current document as opposed to the document they originally produced.
- Well aware of errors in the documents due to the time crunch in its development =- they are being addressed by the Working Group for inclusion in a revised handbook.
(0:14:25) – Statutory Bylaws
- Guiding principle in developing this document – LCC is two different but same entities
- (a) is a Synod of believers voluntarily walking together in faith.
- (b) is a Corporation which is a legal entity which takes care of buildings, employee, land transactions, etc.
- LCC was originally formed in 1988 via an Act of the Senate and that is LCC’s “corporate bedrock”
- Statutory Bylaws almost exclusively focus on corporate matters.
- One proposed change is to make this document more corporately focussed than before in order to centralize the corporate structure in one place.
- (0:20:50) – Article I
- Definitions section – done to save having to write definitions in other parts of the governing documents.
- All references to LCC are to the corporate entity.
- All references to Synod are to the voluntary ecclesiastical bond that LCC members share.
- Synodical Family – includes all member congregations, individual members, and allied associations including organizations with signed Memorandums of Understanding in place.
- (0:23:20) Sections 2-5: Standard corporate boilerplate material.
- Article VI: Discussion of relationship between various entities part of the Synodical Family. Additions include 6.04 – a roster of the membership list – and 6.05 – more explanation of membership in the Synodical Family.
- (0:25:10) Article VII: Delineates Membership – two kinds of members – congregations and individuals,
- Details who they are, what they are expected and entitled to do .
- (0:26:45) Article VIII: Who delegates are and how they are selected (one lay, one pastoral). Delegates attend Synodical Convention which is LCC’s General Meeting.
- Discussion of different congregational structures and their representation.
- 8.04: Vacant congregations can elect to their vacancy pastor be their pastoral delegate and vote.
- No pastor can be a delegate for more than one congregation.
- Nominee must be an actual lay person, cannot be a pastor emeritus or hold any other pastoral office.
- (0:31:00) Article IX: Conventions
- Moved to four year cycle and the location to be established by the BOD
- 9.04 – Rights of the LCC Convention – amend the handbook, remove the SP, and associated rights reserved to the Convention.
- Most of the Article IX material has been moved here from the current Constitution
- 9.15 – change in categories of pastors and representatives: These includes pastors serving non-LCC congregations or who are members of a congregation but not a delegate, deacons, pastoral candidates, etc.
- 9.16 – Advisors can speak but cannot vote. Pastors can speak if recognized by the Chair.
- (0:34:15) Article X: Officers of the LCC Corporation – President (SP) , VP, Secretary. SP must be a pastor, VP must be an individual member pastoring a congregation.
- BOD – has the authority to suspend the SP but cannot remove him from the position. (Currently the SP is under the supervision of the Central District DP.) BOD would need to call a special convention to remove the SP.
- SP is the chief ecclesiastical officer and a voting member of the BOD.
- SP is the “chief pastor of the church” not a manager of Synod, and is expected to serve a role similar to that of a pastor in a congregation.
- If a Regional Pastor (RP) needs to be removed – only the SP can do that, and the SP has the sole prerogative to do that.
- BOD expected to be dealing with a greater amount of ecclesiastical material than it does now.
- Rationale for having the SP and VP on the BOD is that they are to inform, direct, and assist the BOD.
- 10.13 LCC Administrator Position – responsible for oversight of the non-ecclesiastical church responsibilities. The Admin will develop budgets, financial forecasts, and manage the Winnipeg office, along with overseeing LCFM and Worker Benefit Plan Services Corp.
- LCC Administrator reports to the BOD.
- (0:41:35) Article XI: Who is on the BOD.
- 11 people on the BOD down from 12 currently.
- BOD population will be SP, VP, 1 deacon plus 4 pastors and 4 laity.
- Each pairs of pastors and laity must be from a different region (ie each region will have 1 pastoral rep and 1 lay rep).
- (0:43:14) 11.05 – Restriction on who can be BOD members.
- First three are corporate law restrictions, balance are ecclesiastical restrictions.
- Authority of the BOD – manage, oversee, and govern LCC’s affairs.
- May act on behalf of the Convention to do things only the Convention can do. Example from current experience – BOD lost one of its VPs and the BOD appointed a replacement VP to serve the balance of the former VP’s term rather than hold a Convention to elect a new VP.
- (0:45:15) Art XIV: Executive and Other BOD Committees. Reasons (a) the Act specifies an BOD Executive, (b) The Executive. The Executive is intended to deal with circumstances where it’s too hard to get a quorum of the BOD. Decisions are then reported to the full BOD for ratification and/or revision. A recent example was the ABC District CEF implosion which required the BOD to take quick action in response.
- Various other committees listed.
- Governance Committee – to ensure the BOD sticks to governance and setting policy and does not micromanage the business.
- (0:48:25) Following is protection of corporate officers.
- Article XVI: Introduction of Regions and Circuits – fleshed out later in the document.
- Closes with corporate provisions on amendment, how books are kept, etc.
(0:49:05) Synodical Constitution (Page G-35)
- Document is the primary ecclesiastical document which discusses the glue that holds LCC together – what Synod believes, teaches, and confesses.
- Reasons for forming the church,
- Art II: Confession – now includes a reference to Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope.
- Objectives of Synod – remain unchanged.
- Membership prerequisites unchanged,
- Congregation changed to Member Congregation (MC) to distinguish from a non-member Congregations
- How Congregations become a MC
- BOD allowed to ratify a congregation as a MC after which the MC would be formally received at the next Convention.
- Conditions of Membership – unchanged.
- Article VI is the current Article XIII – addresses termination of membership. Nothing changed in any substantive way.
- (54:00) Article VIII: restates that Convention is paramount corporate and ecclesiastical decision making body of LCC.
- (54:22) Article IX, X: Ecclesiastical authority of the SP – chief ecclesiastical officer of Synod, functions and duties, “chief pastor”, charged with ultimate supervision of doctrine and practice in LCC.
- 10.04 – Delineation of the 8 services LCC provides
- 7 of the services fall under the SP, 1 falls under the Administrator.
- (0:56:00) Article XII – elimination of Districts
- Constitution closes on how it can be amended – requires 2/3 vote of delegates at Convention + 2/3 of participating MCs following convention.
(0:57:00) Synodical Bylaws – details ecclesiastical relationship of members among LCC. Material is unique to how LCC does things.
- Chapter 1: Confession detailed (not changed) and nomenclature.
- 1.21 – relation of LCC to its members – LCC is advisory only, not an ecclesiastical gov’t,
- Only remedy available to LCC with respect to misbehavior by a member is to expel the member from membership.
- Clarification of material and how things are done.
- Chapter 2: How Synod is organized. Lots of material removed,
- Discussion of process how documents appear before Convention, some language cleaned up.
- Detail on how Convention is run – house rules as it were.
- Chapter 2.55 (B) – defines in more detail of the rest of LCC Commissions” – Adjudication, CTCR, Nominations and Elections.
- (1:03:00) Various commissions detailed – Adjudication dealt with elsewhere, the rest are clarified,
- CCMS changed from an appointed body to an elected body, otherwise stays the same,
- CCMS reports to Convention
- (1:04:45) CTCR – laid out more clearly, some things restated, no substantive changes
- (1:05:30) 2.201 – material pertaining other entities like LCFS and Member Benefits. LCFS and Worker Benefits will develop Memorandums of Understandings (MOU) with LCC to ensure that what happened with CUE will not happen with these organizations and that funds donated for a specific purpose (ie endowment for the training of LCC pastors) will continue to do so and prevent the organization from leaving LCC and use the funds for other purposes.
- MOU are contracts that bind both parties to certain obligations, expectations, etc.
- 2.3.01: One council in LCC will continue – was Council of Presidents changed to President’s Ministry Council (PMC) , and composed of RPs. There is an error in the current document – the PMC will meet semi-annually (2x / year) not bi-annually (every 2 years)
- 2.5.01: SP, VP elections – no changes of substance.
- Committee on Nominations and Committee on Elections to be replaced by a Commission on Nominations and Elections. This Commission will have the responsibilities of the two prior committees. Left where it is now for visibility.
- (1:10:40) Chapter 3: lots of material removed, particularly material pertaining to Districts.
- 3.01 (near G-87): Describes regions – boundaries set by BOD, Region to be overseen by an RP, RP to have similar responsibilities and duties as the current DP, RP to have Convocation similar to prior District Conv, will have Regional Mission and Ministry Council (RMMC), also Pastor and Deacon conferences.
- (1:13:10) Chapter 4/ page G-91: Describes the Circuit. Circuit Counselor (CC) remains, works with smaller # of congregations, expected to visit them during difficulties and vacancies, similar to the current structure.
- Pastor circuit meetings – new.
- Convocations, how parishes are established – all same
- (1:14:50) Chapter 5 G-97: Pastors and deacons – how they become rostered members, oversight by the RP – no substantive changes besides nomenclature.
- (1:15:40) Chapter 6: Was higher education – will be moved from the Bylaws and to an MOU. CUE decided to sever its relationship with LCC w/out consultation w/Synod and Synod had no legal recourse to object to or prevent the withdrawal. CUE’s Art of Inc trumps LCC’s Handbook.
- Moving to MOU to establish obligations and responsibilities of the partner entities, how Board of Regents of each Seminary is populated (nomination by LCC at Convention), Seminaries obligations to LCC – provide pastors to LCC,
- This is being done to safeguard donated funds to a particular purpose and prevent the organization from walking off with the donor endowments.
- Work is already underway to develop these documents.
- One corporation cannot govern another corporation – MOU are intended to address that.
- 6.49: Seminary Faculty – Individual Membership and ecclesiastical supervision – they are now under the supervision of the Synod SP. Only recourse is to remove a faculty member from Synod membership with the expectation that the Seminary would then terminate the position / rescind their Call.
- (1:22:10) Chapter 7: Financial planning, accounting, etc. – largely removed – will be moved elsewhere such as a BOD Policy Manual.
- (1:23:00) Chapter 8: Reconciliation, Restoration, and Adjudication – how to handle a dispute between members.
- Written before 2008 Convention, being brought forward largely as-is with changes in nomenclature and minor clarifications that don’t change things.
- Chapter 9 – following: Unchanged, only changes in nomenclature to be consistent with the rest of the document.
(1:24:25) At Convention:
- At convention, delegates will not be provided with printed copies of the proposed handbook, only a list of corrections.
- Committee #1 now owns the document. The Committee will be meeting at Convention on Fri, October 13 2017 @ 1PM in closed session for 1 hr to review resolutions, etc. and then expects to open its doors around 2PM for an open hearing for people to bring questions, concerns, etc.
- Discuss, debate, and vote to amend, approve, reject proposals will be done at Convention proper.
- Convention expects to take as much time as needed to deal with restructuring – all of Saturday if necessary.
- Not trying to “ram this through” – want delegates to get questions asked and answered.
(1:27:30) – End of recording.