My prior post about the post-restructuring version of LCC’s East District has attracted a couple of comments I’d like to address. For reference purposes, LCC East District’s current handbook and policy documents can be found on this page.
One comment on the CEF Investors Forum offered an alternative explanation about the 1/3rd membership quorum as referring to the number of members in the corporation as of the time the meeting took place. My response was that it could be read either way and a minor tweak to the wording would clear the whole issue up so there’s no opening for misunderstanding and/or argument.
This commenter also offered the following questions of concern:
To which positions do we elect the best candidates?
For a lay person: Is it better to elect them to the Regional Mission & Ministry Council or to the ED BOD?
For a clergyman: Is it better to elect them to be Regional Pastor or to be on the ED BOD?
Given what East District will become in 2019, it and Synod will need people with different skill-sets. IMO this makes the question more one of matching skills to needs as opposed to which organization gets the “best” candidates.
Pastor Schutz from scenic BC offered another comment on the blog post itself.
1. how can the purposes of the corporation not be changing (Article IV of the 2015 handbook) if the corporation will no longer deal with ecclesiastical matters (page 25 of the proposal, as you have highlighted above), since the purposes are explicitly ecclesiastical in nature?
My read of the current bylaws is that there’s nothing that prevents LCC East District the corporate entity from changing its purpose as long as proper procedure is followed and its membership approves of those changes.
2. if the corporation will not deal with ecclesiastical matters, why is membership contingent on membership in LCC, why are members of Synod still involved in meeting and voting, and why is there any requirement for clergy representation on the Board at all, never mind an equal number of clergy and laity?
If the current East District is morphing into an asset holding company for the explicit purpose of supporting LCC churches and schools, then one would want it to be under the supervision and governance of people knowledgeable of Synod. This would ensure its continued support of Synod’s objectives and to prevent it from becoming a secular organization like so many other church-started organizations have become in the past.
If we are going to still require our congregations, pastors, and deacons to be involved in the operations of four corporations instead of one, then the shortcomings of our restructuring are going to be even more magnified than they have been already.
To clarify – nothing in this document requires any pastor or church to participate in East District 2019.
Once these changes are adopted any grandfathered members can resign from it if they want. The ones that remain can participate in its activities at whatever level they want and is available. These changes are strictly about altering the corporation’s purpose and requiring it to source its governing body members from LCC’s membership rolls, it doesn’t impose a burden on the membership that requires them to do anything.
I would also note that in this new structure East District 2019’s focus and work will be dramatically narrowed which should reduce the amount of work its governing body needs to do.
Thanks for the conversation, ANO.
“My read of the current bylaws is that there’s nothing that prevents LCC East District the corporate entity from changing its purpose as long as proper procedure is followed and its membership approves of those changes.”
Right. I’m not saying there’s anything preventing them from changing. I’m implying by my question that they in fact should be changed, since the new doc says that ecclesiastical work won’t be part of the purview of the corporation going forward. The current purposes are explicitly ecclesiastical in nature, so I don’t understand how those purposes can remain the same in a new corporation that has no ecclesiastical purview.
“To clarify – nothing in this document requires any pastor or church to participate in East District 2019.”
According to my (again, admittedly quick) read, it does if they want it to be a functioning corporation.True, there’s a mechanism by which members can opt-out, but the general expectation seems to be that it will be the people of LCC in the geographic region that is currently the East District of LCC that will make up the membership and leadership of the new corporation. So, maybe not – strictly and very narrowly speaking – “required”, but certainly *expected* and, I would argue, necessary if it’s to fulfill its (new?) purposes.
The proposal is that the members of the corporation are explicitly listed as LCC congregations and rostered workers. Delegates to the meetings are elected by congregations to represent the congregations. The directors are clergy and lay members of ED congregations. That sure seems to be a requirement that LCC members are involved in the new ED corporation in addition to involvement in LCC; at least *functionally* required, if not *constitutionally* required.
Pr S – thank you for your continued participation.
Re: Purpose – the new document deletes the statement of purpose, so that’s not an issue. I’m not seeing a new statement of purpose to replace it and I think it should have on.
I think we are agreed that “church” should be removed from the name and a new name chosen since it won’t be an ecclesiastical body any more.
Re: membership expectations – I think the difference is that instead of “if you want to be part of LCC you must be join District and submit to its rules and regulations”, LCC ED 2019 will have to operate like any other volunteer organization of people with common interest. This means it’ll have the same recruiting challenges in finding people to serve on its various boards, etc. It can name all the delegates it wants, when churches and pastors learn they don’t have to participate, they may opt out of the delegate selection / AGM process altogether. Or not. We’ll see. 🙂
It’s an important topic as we work through all of this together, what it’s all going to look like! 🙂
“Re: Purpose – the new document deletes the statement of purpose, so that’s not an issue. I’m not seeing a new statement of purpose to replace it and I think it should have on.”
First, I’m not sure it’s better to have no purpose at all. 🙂 But that’s not actually the case. The beginning of the document states that the Articles of Continuance will not change. Those are in the existing (2015) ED handbook. Page 25 of the proposal states: “The purpose of the corporation is covered in Article IV of the Articles of Continuance.” That’s where the purposes are listed. They are explicitly ecclesiastical in nature, and they are not proposed to change.
The change to a non-ecclesiastical corporation also brings up issues such as, is it proper for such a corporation to “piggy-back” on the Synod convention for their meetings? Again – it would depend on what that would exactly entail, I suppose. But it’s a question that would need to be considered.
“I think we are agreed that “church” should be removed from the name and a new name chosen since it won’t be an ecclesiastical body any more.”
We are agreed in that.
“…they may opt out of the delegate selection / AGM process altogether. Or not. We’ll see. 🙂”
Yes we will. 🙂 I have no problem with the ED doing what it wishes as a corporation; as you say, I’m in scenic BC, so it’s not up to me. But why I’m writing is that I am concerned about the larger picture; if all 3 now-District corporations continue and there’s still a general expectation that members of Synod will continue to be involved in both Synod and these new corporations, then I’m not sure we’re farther ahead in our efforts to be more effective. Of course, that observation’s only based on what we see now. It will have to be refined and/or entirely corrected based on what the adopted constitutions of the new corporations will be. I have to say, I’m most curious to see the proposal for ABC as we head into our own (last?) October convention.
Re: purpose – Since I’m not seeing an “Article IV” in this document I’m not sure what it says. If it’s still ecclesiastical, it’ll need to change.
I concur with your other comments.
The Articles can be found on the ED web site, at the bottom of the Board of Directors download page. Here’s Article IV:
The purpose of the Corporation is to continue to unite in a corporate body the
members of Lutheran Church–Canada located in the provinces of Ontario,
Quebec and the Atlantic provinces of Canada, and to take over the assets and to
carry on the work and undertaking of a voluntary religious organization which
has existed heretofore under the name of the Ontario District of The Lutheran
Church–Missouri Synod, a duly registered Canadian charity, and in particular:
(a) To advance moneys to congregations or mission stations which are
or may be admitted to membership in the Corporation; and
(b) To build, found and establish churches and other institutions.
That looks like the document that was put in place when LCC was born. I expect the Board will replace it with something suited to its new mandate when the time comes.
That would be appropriate, certainly. But this proposal explicitly says the Articles won’t be changing. I could be misunderstanding, but it doesn’t sound like they’re looking for a new mandate.
If that was intentional and not an oversight – then the execution of their old mandate under the new regime would be problematic – unless they plan to establish a new synod. But that’s rather x-files-ish…