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2008 National Convention

The American Association of Lutheran Churches, meeting in Convention June 24-27 at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana:

  • Opened with a Service of Holy Communion.
  • Was led in Bible studies of the book of Ephesians, by Rev. Rich Shields, President of American Lutheran Theological Seminary. The studies explored the church and our roles as Christ's ambassadors.Wagner Photo
  • Heard a Keynote address by the Rev. Steve Wagner, Executive Leader of Pastoral Leadership Institute, Dallas, Texas. Key points provided insights into the anatomy of spiritual leadership and distinguished it from church management.
  • Ratified Joint Council action approving the addition of Pastor Michael Duchene of Chesterfield, MI, Pastor Scott Bieker of Sacramento, CA and Pastor Paul Herbert of Franklin, NC to The AALC's Roster of Pastors.
  • Confirmed the successful completion of one year probation for new TAALC pastors Rev's Bill Richie, Ed Dopel and Alex Lissow.
  • Received a greeting from Dr. Dean Wenthe, President, Concordia Theological Seminary, representing the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
  • Received into The AALC, by acclamation, Christ the King Lutheran Church of Chesterfield, Michigan and it's Pastors Rev's. Mel Hiler and Mike Duchene.
  • Heard the report of American Lutheran Seminary President, Rev. Richard Shields, who is responsible for Seminary Education of future pastors, Continuing Education for current Pastors, Leadership Development, and Mission Development.
    • During his first months in office, Rev. Shields led retreats in four of The AALC's five Regions.
    • Rev. Joe Dapelo graduated from ALTS in May 2008. Two students are enrolled at ALTS, one at Concordia, St. Louis, and two additional students plan to begin studies at ALTS in the Fall of 2009.
    • Iniatives are underway to encourage pastors, congregations and Regions to recruit young men for pastoral service, and to,
    • Encourage pastors, congregations, and Regions to help seminary students reduce the estimated indebtedness of $30,000 per student, per year required for a seminary education. (Thrivent Financial for Lutherans offers to match up to 50% of scholarship gifts given by individual members for seminary students.)
Rev. Richard Shields, President, ALTS

Mc Allister photo

  • Received a $45,000 grant from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, presented by Financial Associate Lee F Mc Allister, for the furtherance of The AALC's ministry.
  • Received a greeting from "Rosey" who introduced Concordia Seminary's Lutheran Deaconess program as an opportunity for women to develop their unique gifts for Lutheran ministry both in the classroom and through practical experience.
  • Heard the Board of Trustees report that relocation of The AALC's National Offices to Fort Wayne should result in an estimated five-year savings of $400,000.

Hays PhotoRev. Franklin Hays,
Presiding Pastor

  • Heard the Presiding Pastor, Rev. Franklin Hays, report:
    • Inquiries concerning Association Membership have been received from congregations in Michigan, California and Ohio.
    • Concerns about the increasing expense of sustaining pastoral Calls are being addressed.
    • The annual Pastors' Retreat is proving to be an effective means for reconnecting Pastors, and an important part of strengthening The AALC.
    • Increased attention is being given to the assimilation of new pastors and congregations into The AALC.
  • Elected:
    • Pastor Richard Shields as President of The American Lutheran Theological Seminary.
    • Pastor Richard Eddy of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Elk Grove, CA as Assistant Presiding Pastor
    • Pastor John Anderson of Ames, Iowa, and re-elected Dr. Duane Lindberg of Waterloo, Iowa, as clergy members of the Commission for Higher Education.
    • Pastor Rich Eddy of Elk Grove, CA, Pastor Phil Hofinga of Otis, CO, Pastor Dan Sollie of Wayzata, MN, Mr. Jerry Drewes of Napoleon, OH and Dr. Paul Swyhart of San Diego, CA to the Commission on Doctrine and Church Relations.
    • Pastor Irv Stapf of Germantown, MD, re-elected Pastor Dick Hueter of Wausaukee, WI, and elected Mr. James Lahmann from Tripoli, IA and Mr. John Malchow of Wausaukee, WI to the Clergy Commission.
    • Pastor Paul Hueter of Wausaukee, WI and Mr. John Lubben of Watseka, IL to The Board of Appeals and Ajudication.
  • Authorized the Joint Council to adjust terms-of-office so that they would correspond to The AALC's bi-annual convention schedule.
  • Encouraged congregations to set aside Sunday, August 31, 2008, and the fifth Sunday of months that have five Sundays, thereafter, as "AALC Sunday" to emphasize different ministries in our church body.
  • Delegates were afforded the opportunity to attend workshops entitled:
    • "Confessions of an Introverted Lutheran," led by Dr. Paul Swyhart, a pyschologist from San Diego, CA,
    • "Lutheran's Liability in a Litigious Society," led by Mr. Donivan Inglis of The Church Mutual Insurance Company,
    • "The Thrivent Giving Plus Program," led by Mr. Roger Hartman, Regional Management Associate of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans,
    • "Providing for the Future of our Pastors," led by Mr. Bryan Marker, President of The Pinnacle Planning Group.