Several seminary faculty and staff have been in Hamilton, Ontario, the last few days, participating fully in the activities of Lutheran Church Canada's 13th Synod Convention. Every three years, Synod Convention is the place where the members of Synod (pastors, deacons, and congregations, through their chosen delegates) discuss, decide, and direct Synod how to act between conventions.
While it may seem curious that CLS sent four of its own across the country to the convention in Hamilton, all four hold distinct roles in the convention process. Dr. Stephen Chambers is an Advisory Delegate as a member of the Synod's Commission on Constitutional Matters and Structure. Dr. Edward Kettner is an Advisory Delegate as the Chairman of the Synod's Commission on Theology and Church Relations. Dr. Manfred Zeuch is an Advisory Delegate as a function of the office of the President of the Seminary. Jeffrey Nachtigall is an Exhibitor responsible for the seminary's exhibit booth, providing information and related material to delegates and guests.
There are many resolutions discussed over the three days of meetings, and while the seminary community likely has some degree of interest in all the resolutions, there is one resolution that many are most interested in hearing about.
Resolution 11.2.02a (see full details at bottom of post), was introduced on Saturday afternoon. Almost immediately, a substitute resolution - to consolidate all seminary activity at a single location, in Edmonton - was moved and seconded from the floor. Through the parliamentary process, the convention, with some discussion, decided to distribute the Memorandum of Understanding to the delegates, and defer the discussion until Sunday's afternoon session. On Sunday, Rev. Nolan Astley, representing the Task Force on Cost-Efficient, Sustainable Seminary Education, presented his overview of the Memorandum of Understanding, and discussion among the delegates continued for nearly an hour. The substitute motion was defeated by a near unanimous vote, and the original motion was passed by a wide margin.
The seminary faculty and staff are grateful to all who have offered past and continued support, look forward to putting this time of uncertainty behind us, and are eager to move forward in increased cooperation with Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary in St. Catherines, Ontario.
To Support the LCC Board of Directors and Synod's Seminaries as They Respond to Resolution 08.3.04
Ref. Overtures 2.01, 2.02, 2.03, 2.04, 2.05, and 2.06; Report 20 “Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton, AB (CLS), Report 21 “Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary, St. Catharines, ON (CLTS). Pp. E53-E.69; “Task Force on Cost-Efficient, Sustainable Seminary Education, “pp. G. 34-G. 66;
WHEREAS the synod authorized the Board of Directors (BOD) in Resolution 08.3.04 “To Implement a Cost Efficient Seminary Program for Lutheran Church-Canada;” and
WHEREAS the BOD established a Task Force to devise a cost-efficient seminary program; and
WHEREAS this Task Force presented its findings to the BOD in the report, “Task Force on Cost-Efficient, Sustainable Seminary Education” (Convention Workbook, p. G.34-G.66); and
WHEREAS the Task Force presented to the board further projections of income and expenses for both St. Catharines and Edmonton seminaries until the 2013-2014 school year; and
WHEREAS on April 14, 2011 representatives of the Boards of Regents of the two seminaries and the BOD signed a Letter of Intent outlining the progress toward developing a “Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement” (MOU); and
WHEREAS the intention of these three parties was “to continue negotiations in good faith with a view to developing and entering into a written MOU by the time of the Synod Convention in June 2011;” and
WHEREAS these developments show the willingness of Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton, Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary, St. Catharines, and the BOD to work toward sustainable, cost-efficient seminary training in Canada utilizing the existing two seminaries at their current sites; and
WHEREAS in order to effectively implement Resolution 08.3.04, many complex factors requiring extensive negotiations continue to take place so that Lutheran Church-Canada will have cost-efficient seminary training; therefore be it
RESOLVED that the synod in convention commend all parties involve for their efforts thus far, and for their commitment to continue negotiations in good faith, with the Board of Directors retaining the authority to approve and implement the agreements that are reached; and be it further
RESOLVED that we implore our gracious heavenly Father to direct all our decisions on this matter so that the labourers which He provides for His harvest field may faithfully reflect Christ as the only Light to the church and world; and be it finally
RESOLVED that Overture 2.01 “To Provide a Cost-Efficient Seminary Education,” Overture 2.02 “To Establish a Single Site Seminary Education in Lutheran Church-Canada,” Overture 2.03 “To Amalgamate Seminary Education on a Single Campus,” Overture 2.04 “To Declare and Support Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton the Only Site for Seminary Education in Canada for Lutheran Church-Canada,” Overture 2.05 “To Decline the Plan Proposed by the Task Force on Cost-Efficient, Sustainable Seminary Education,” and Overture 2.06 “To Consolidate Seminary Education at One Site” be respectfully declined.