“West Region” Elections: Full Disclosure Please

Synod’s work to place people in it’s various positions is underway, and with the passage of the new structure each nominee for a synodical position has to go through a “vetting” process to determining if they are eligible for the position.  Synod’s shiny new Synodical Bylaws describes the vetting process like so:

2.534 Vetting Processes
1. Vetting of candidates for all individual or group positions shall be the responsibility of persons other than those who submitted the nominations.

2. The vetting process shall include:

a. a comparison of the candidate’s qualifications and competencies with those required for the position,
b. the affirmation of peers who can confirm the candidate’s qualifications and competencies,
c. demonstrated experience with the same or similar responsibilities as the position includes.

For regional pastors the vetting process is like so:

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.

Once nominees are vetted, the Bylaws then state how regional pastors are elected:

3.01 Regional Pastor
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.
b. The qualifications for a candidate for regional pastor including:
(i) Individual Membership in good standing on the roster,
(ii) demonstrated spiritual and pastor leadership,
Each regional pastor shall be under the supervision of the president

Ignoring the pesky “Commencing at the Convention held in 2021″ restriction that prevents Synod from placing regional pastors before the 2021 convention, I take this paragraph to mean the vetting process will result in delegates that are fully informed about all aspects of a candidate’s background – both the good and the bad.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about from the upcoming ABC District Convention workbook page 5:

Candidate Profiles – Regional Pastor
Name: BODE, Rev. David
Home congregation: Foothills Lutheran Church, Calgary, AB
Current Position/Occupation: Senior Pastor

Service in the Church
Synod: Board of Regents, CLTS, St. Catharines (1993-1999)

District: LWML South Alberta Zone Pastoral Advisor (Present)
LLL Calgary Zone Pastoral Advisor (Present)
London Circuit Counsellor (199-2000, 2006 – 2011)
First VP, East District (2000-2006, 2009-2011)
Secretary, East District Board of Directors (1988-1993)
Member, Department for Parish Services
Concordia Seminary Guild Pastor Advisor
Congregation: Pastor – St. John’s, Gasline, ON (1982-1987)
Community & Other:

So far so good – except for one little detail.

From the ABC Task Force Report:

The following information was obtained from the 2015 Convention Workbook regarding the 2012 to 2015 triennium

EnCharis minutes list the following individuals as BOD members during these yearsMr. Grant McMaster (2006-2013), Mr. Jim Werschler (2006-2013), Mr. Hans Heumann (2006-2015), Rev. Don Schiemann (2006-2015), Rev. Mark Ruf (2008-2015), Mr. Dave Schoepp (2011-2015), Mr. Jim Kentel (2012-2015), Rev. David Bode (2012-2015), Mr. John Mueller (2012-2015), Mr. Bill Morgan (2013–2015)

I’d note that Pr Bode neglected to include this little detail when he was up for election during ABC District’s 2015 convention (1), and here it is missing again.

In my book an omission like this could be considered an honest mistake the first time, but having it happen twice – and both time for positions of great responsibility – raises some serious questions. Combine that with a vetting process that fails to catch it resulting in delegates that are not fully informed and you have a serious cause for concern.

Note 1: Bode’s info is on page 210. Since the Districts are disappearing in 2019 I saved a backup copy of the convention workbook and proceedings.

Update 2018-09-25: Added a link to the ABC District convention workbook and page # for the 2015 convention workbook.

One thought on ““West Region” Elections: Full Disclosure Please

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  1. Responding to ANO/Lutheran Watch: It is important to bring up “issues” dealing with the “West Region” Elections, but in Christ’ love and care, it would be better not to cite names of individuals. Pastor Mark Lobitz, Lutheran Church-Canada Calgary Circuit Counselor


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