Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Tale of Two Conventions

Legislative conventions have a tendency to be of two minds, very
unpredictable. Such has been the history of LCMS conventions. There is
a long history in the LCMS of voting out incumbent presidents yet
adopting their "pet projects" at the same conventions. This convention
is no exception.

I will be perfectly honest. I was going to write last night, but I was
so depressed I really didn't want to rehash the day. As I posted over
on the Twitter feed about lunchtime today, I started feeling like a
Cubs fan - I hadn't voted on the prevailing side of more than one main
question. All of the restructuring resolutions (all of which I
oppose), except for the first resolution brought to the floor, were
adopted. Many of those by a very narrow margin (40 votes in an
assembly of 1200). Even the big, meaty resolution, 8-08, passed,
though by a slim 45 votes. Some additional enabling resolutions passed
by a fairly sizeable majority (once 8-08 passed, these pretty much
needed to go along with them). Another resolution that we really hoped
would be defeated, giving the President-elect the ability to hand-pick
the slate of candidates for First Vice-President, also passed by the
narrowest of margins (30 votes). One cannot help but wonder if the
resolution had not been amended to make it more favorable (at least
two of the five must come from the 5 candidates with the most
nominations) whether it would have passed at all.

Leading into today, all of the resolutions brought before the assembly
were again passed, many of the more controversial ones by the slimmest
of margins. But, as one of the guests here observed - "You get what
you work for." There was one group in our Synod that has worked VERY
hard to get the restructuring, but there was another group that has
worked VERY hard at getting Matt Harrison elected as President. In the
end, both groups have gotten what they have worked for - Rev. Matthew
Harrison was elected as Synodical President, with nearly all of his
supporters elected into the five VP positions. Today was a good day.

The best thing about today was the humble servant God has brought to
us to lead our LCMS. President Kieschnick, despite all of his best
intentions, has not been a unifying force within our Synod. Rev.
Harrison addressed the convention just following the election with
words of humbleness and repentence - coinciding quite well with our
convention theme: One People - Forgiven. This example for all of us
has been great.

Tomorrow is another day. In the two minded nature of conventions,
great sympathy is usually held for those who lost elections, so many
things will probably not go the way those who are more conservative in
the church would like. But we live together as a family, reconciled in