Restructuring: Electing Regional Pastors

I’d like to thank the correspondent that wrote in to argue that “There is no requirement within the Statutory Bylaws to the effect a regional pastor must – or can only be selected at convention.

In my efforts to be factually accurate and provide a complete picture of what’s going on, I took a closer look at the Statutory and Synodical Bylaws to see what they have to say on the subject. This review confirmed my original position and I think the conclusion is inescapable:

  1. The Statutory Bylaws (16.06) specifically mandate that Synod follow the Synodical Bylaws when electing clergy to the regional pastor positions.
  2. The Synodical Bylaws (1.37d) specifically define a regional pastor as someone elected at a convention and (3.01 a) mandates how these elections will take place commencing with the 2021 convention.
  3. Because regional pastors must be elected commencing with the 2021 convention and no provision is made for filling a vacancy in this position Synod has effectively barred itself from appointing or electing clergy to these positions at any other time.
  4. If the regional pastor positions cannot be filled until the 2021 convention, it then follows that any duties given to a regional pastor to perform cannot take place until the elected candidates take office after an election at the 2021 convention.

As always I’m open to correction or someone explaining some “deeper magic” that would allow these positions to be filled before 2021. Barring the CCMS passing a ruling that effectively amends the as-adopted Bylaws I think Synod’s stuck with having to hold a special convention to fix this.

Here’s the pertinent sections of the Statutory and Synodical Bylaws.

Statutory Bylaws:

  • regional pastor” has the meaning ascribed to it in the Synodical Bylaws;
  • 16.06 The delegates of a Member Congregations in each region must select an individual in the manner set out in the Synodical Bylaws to act as the regional pastor for the region. An individual may be selected as a regional pastor for more than one region. The president must supervise the work of each regional pastor in his region.

Synodical Bylaws:

  • 1.37 d. A regional pastor is a pastor elected at Convention by the Member Congregations of a region to assist the president in delivering services to Members in that region
  • 2.534 Vetting Processes – 10. Regional Pastors: Candidates shall be vetted by the president in consultation with the regional pastors. Regional pastors being considered for re-election shall recuse themselves from the vetting process
  • 3.01 a. Commencing at the Convention held in 2021, the delegates in attendance at each Convention shall meet on a regional basis during a recess in the Convention and shall elect a regional pastor for their region. The regional pastor shall assume responsibilities on September 1 following such election or at such other date as may be determined by the Convention.

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