In LCC: Constitutional Considerations I discussed counting delegates for a quorum, and what would happen if the entire CCMS was sent to the Committee on Adjudication.
“Carl Vehse” once again weighed in with an interesting analysis in a comment on that article, and I’m quoting the comment in full here.
The 24 congregation-appointed delegates was merely an example. If one wants to estimate a more probable number of delegates who actually have been appointed by their congregations, these facts should be considered:
1. The LCC has approximately 300 congregations, some of which are part of a multi-congregation parish, which only gets one pastor and one lay delegate.
2. The LCC has approximately 220 pastors, some of which are pastors of multi-congregation parishes and some are assistant pastors of a single congregation.
3. The LCC Regular Convention was scheduled for June 11-14, 2021.
4. According to Statutory Bylaw 8.01 (Subject to 8.02 and 8.03), LCC congregations had until March 13, 2021, to appoint delegates to the 2021 Regular Convention.
5. The July 9th (2020) notice sent to LCC congregation made no mention of the LCC Statuatory Bylaw 8.01 (Subject to 8.02 and 8.03) requirement for congregations to elect or appoint congregation delegates for the October 17, 2020, Special Convention.
6. Neither the July 9th notice nor the three July 16-dated documents mentioned that congregations needed to appoint their delegate at least 90 days prior to the October 17th Special Convention (i.e., July 19th).
7. Congregations alerted by the July 9th Special Convention notice and desiring to appoint their delegates in the few days remaining according to Bylaw 8.01, were subsequently informed on July 16th about the CCMS ruling that circuit delegates would be used at the Special Convention, and that any delegate vacancies would be filled by circuit selections, not congregation appointments.
Long story short – LCC’s communication cited CCMS rulings while leaving out the applicable consitutional bylaws and they also left out the part about member churches having a deadline to have delegates in place on or before July 19, 2020 in order to be eligible to attend the Oct 2020 virtual convention.
Per Statutory Bylaw 9.12, the LCC secretary shall publish at least 90 days prior to the Special Convention the agenda of business to be conducted. This has been done with the publication of Overture 1.01, which amends Statutory Bylaw 9.01 to read:
“A Convention shall be held every four years at a time and place determined by the Board. The Convention may, however, be postponed due to extraordinary events (acts of God, war, terrorism, government regulations, disaster, strikes, civil disorder, pandemic, etc.). In such a case, the Convention is to be held as soon as
There are three problems with this proposed amendment in that there is no provision as to
1. what LCC person or group decides an extraordinary event (including the all-encompassing “etc.”) exists;
2. what LCC person or group decides to postponed the Convention due to the existence of an extraordinary event;
3. what LCC person or group decides that the extraordinary event no longer exists, allowing the Board to determine “a time and place” for the postponed Convention.
One might have the notion that the Board would make these three decisions, but Overture 1.01’s WHEREASes and the proposed amended Statutory Bylaw don’t specifically state or even imply this, nor do other Statutory Bylaws. Currently, Bylaw 9.01 sets the four-year requirement for Conventions and then mandates the Board to decide on a time and place for that year’s Quadrennial Convention.
Perhaps these decisions could be made by the Commission on Constitutional Matters and Structure (CCMS) since in its July 9, 2020, ruling on Special Convention delegates, the CCMS seems to have interpreted the phrase “interpret the Statutory Bylaws, the Synodical Constitution, and the Synodical Bylaws” in Synodical Bylaw 2.104 to mean “create out of thin air…”
As you recall, the CCMS ruled on July 9, 2020, “that the Special Convention delegates will consist of delegates who attended the 2017 LCC Convention who are still in force at this time and if such a delegate cannot represent the circuit, the circuit alternate delegate to the 2017 LCC Convention will be the replacement; where both are unavailable the circuit will choose a new replacement.”
Now each circuit is defined (according to Statutory Bylaw 1.01) as “a grouping of Member Congregations”, and the CCMS stated each circuit delegate (either a pastor or a layman) is the one appointed from the previous Convention or appointed by the circuit since the previous Convention to fill an existing vacancy. But according to Statutory Bylaw 8.04, “No pastor may be appointed as a delegate by more than one Member Congregation.”
Thus there is an unresolved conflict between the CCMS July 9th “interpretation” of Statutory Bylaw 9.13 and the requirement of Statutory Bylaw 8.04 and the definition in Statutory Bylaw 1.01.
If there is an overture to fix this unresolved conflict by amending other Statutory Bylaws, it’s past the deadline (per Statutory Bylaw 9.12) to change the business to be conducted at the October 17th Special Convention.
Of course the CCMS could simply interpret the “unresolved conflict” as a “resolved nonconflict.”