2010 National Convention
The American Association of Lutheran Churches, meeting in Convention June 22-25 at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana:
- Opened with a Service of Holy Communion.
- Heard a Keynote address by the Dr. Mark Mattes, Chairman of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Grand View University, Des Moines, Iowa. Dr. Mattes provided Biblical insights into the cultural and societal conflicts plaguing Christ's church today; the perils of embracing a "social gospel" that shrinks and sanitizes sin while encouraging an emotive interpretation of Scripture; and the foundation our Lord provides for addressing such heresies by standing on His Word. "The Church cannot deviate from the moral stand of Scripture."
- Heard Presentations on:
- "Planting Churches" by Rev. Curtis Leins, Founding Pastor of Glorious Presence Church, Elkton, MD. Pastor Leins highlighted three keys for planting and nurturing a church: recognize the basic need in men to do something of value as disciples; be a people of continual prayer; be flexible in worship.
- "Growing Churches," by Rev. Mark Homp, Pastor of Christ Lutheran Church and School, Chippewa Falls, WI.
- "Maturing Churches," by Rev. Luther Brunette, Senior Pastor at Carmel Lutheran Church, Carmel, IN. Key emphases included: 1) "It's not about me, but about our Lord, Jesus Christ"; 2) The importance of connecting people with Jesus Christ, and each other; 3) Jesus' mandate to "make disciples" who are on a life-long journey of loving with heart, soul, mind and strength, and not simply gathering new members.
- Ratified Joint Council action:
- Approving the additions of Pastors George Mather, Joe Marsh, Gary Rokenbrodt, Curtis Leins, Phil Meadows, Jeff Shearier, Dan Dapelo (upon ordination), Jonathon Kibler-McCabe, and Thomas Woodley to The AALC's Roster of Pastors with the customary one year of probation.
- Confirming successful completion of one year probation for new TAALC Pastors Mel Hiler, Steve Unger, Scott Bieker, Michael Duchene and Paul Herbert.
- Granting "Emeritus" status for Rev's. Paul Hanson, John Anderson, Wayne Wilken, Robert Dennis, and Don Ginkel.
- Approving renewal of Rostered Licensed Lay Pastor (RLLP) status for Mr. Rusty Philips while he continues preparing for ordination.
- Granting RLLP status to Clyde Awtry, John Maynard, Richard Stoecker,and their placement on The AALC Clergy Roster upon completing requirements of the Master of Theological Studies program.
- Received into The AALC, by acclamation, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Mesquite, NV; St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Augusta, KY; Shepherd of the Mountains Lutheran Church, Frazer Park, CA; and Abiding Grace Lutheran Church, Gillette, WY.
- Received greetings from:
- Rev. Brian Mosemann, Dean of Students, Concordia Theological Seminary (CTS),
- Rev. Daniel P. May, President of the LC-MS Indiana District, representing the LCMS,
- Dr. Cynthia E Lumley,
Associate Director, Deaconess Studies, CTS, who re-introduced Concordia Seminary's Lutheran Deaconess program as an opportunity for women to develop their gifts for ministry both in the classroom and through practical experience.
- AALC Deaconess Kathy Awtry, (Prison Ministry), Mountain View Lutheran, Thornton, CO.
- AALC Deaconess Susan Scott, (Pastoral Care), Trinity Lutheran, San Pedro, CA.
- Heard Presiding Pastor, Rev. Franklin Hays, report:
- Inquiries concerning Association membership continue to arrive at the National Office.
- Increased attention is being given to the assimilation of new pastors and congregations into The AALC with the assistance of the Regional Pastors.
- Despite expanding duties of his Office, Pastor Hays believes that it is essential for the Presiding Pastor to remain embedded in congregational ministry in order to retain perspective.
- On the completion of "Operating Agreement II" with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod which provides processes for the movement of congregations and ordained ministers between rosters of the two church bodies. Click here to read the document.
- Received a $25,000 grant from Representatives of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans for the furtherance of The AALC's ministry.
- Heard American Lutheran Seminary President, Rev. Richard Shields, who is responsible for Seminary Education of future pastors, Continuing Education for current Pastors, and Congregational Development, report:
• Dan Dapelo graduated from ALTS in May and is awaiting Call.
• Scott Yount completed his internship at Ascension, Waterloo, IA.
• Mike Badenhop completed his 1st year at CTS Fort Wayne and is in field education at Peace, Defiance, OH.
• Dean Stoner, studying at Winebrenner Seminary, participates in the ALTS Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program and is receiving practical training at St. Paul's, Napolean, OH.
• Rev. Michael Giese has finished part of his Master of Sacred Theology (STM) program at CTS and is serving as a chaplain in Dayton, OH.
• The Master of Theological Studies Program (MTS) has been implemented to provide high quality theological education, by means of distance learning, using video conferencing. The program is designed for students that do not have access to an approved seminary campus. Pastors Shields and Hays have taught two classes to date; twenty-eight subjects are available. Eight students have participated.
- Rev. Franklin Hays to a second term as Presiding Pastor of The AALC,
- Rev. Mark Homp as Secretary of The AALC,
- Rev. David Huskamp of Sydney, MT; Rev. Michael Main of Duluth, MN; Rev. Roger Twito of Ames, IA; and Mr. John Malchow of Wausaukee, WI to the Clergy Commission.
- Rev. Tom Baumgarten of Yuba City, CA; Rev. Gary Rockenbrodt of Frederic, WI; Rev. Gary Benson of Williston, ND; and Ms. Judie Brown of Manteca, CA to the Board of Appeals and Ajudication.
- Rev. Chris Schroeder of Duluth, MN; and Ms. Emily Ohlrich of Napolean, OH to the Commission for Higher Education.
- Rev. Scott Bieker of Brighton, IA; Rev. Dan Sollie of Wayzata, MN; and Dr. Paul Swyhart of San Diego, CA to the Commission on Doctrine and Church Relations.
- Rev. Morris Kirchoff of Williston, ND; Mrs. Marie Easter of Waterloo, IA; Mr. Gerald Heinzen of Wayzata, MN; and Rev. Tom Baumgarten of Yuba City, CA to The AALC Foundation Board of Directors.
- Voted to approve amendments to The AALC Constitution & By-Laws, the Seminary and The AALC Foundation By-Laws, as recommended by the Joint Council, so that terms-of-office will correspond to The AALC's bi-annual convention schedule. Further, terms of office for Association Officers were approved as follows:
- The Presiding Pastor shall be elected for a term of four years and may be reelected once,
- The Assistant Presiding Pastor shall be elected for a term of four years and may not be reelected,
- The Treasurer shall be elected for a term of four years and may be reelected without limitation,
- The Secretary shall be elected for a term of four years and may be reelected once,
- The Seminary President shall be elected for a term of four years and may be reelected without limitation,
- "Elections for the above five offices shall be staggered with the Presiding Pastor and Secretary elected the same year; and the Assistant Presiding Pastor, Treasurer, and Seminary President elected at the following General Convention."
- And, voted to retain ten members on the Board of Trustees (six laity and four clergy) rather than the proposed reduction to five members (three laity and two clergy).
In order to be adopted, the amendments need to be ratified by congregations of The AALC.
- Voted to establish a rostered category of Commissioned Church Workers (Deaconesses), and a Commission whose responsibility it will be to recommend to the Association Council those Commissioned Church Workers whom they determine are qualified to be on the Commissioned Church Worker Roster of The AALC.
This approved resolution, in order to be adopted, also needs to be ratified by congregations of The AALC.
- The AALC's Women of L.I.F.E. held their Biennial National Meeting to elect officers to fill expiring terms, and to distribute information regarding their 2011 Bible Study series being written by Laurie Dapelo. Click here for more information.
- Delegates were afforded the opportunity to attend workshops on:
"Open Arms" Child Development Centers, introducing the model developed by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod for planting new, or expanding existing ministries. The workshop was led by Rev. Paul and Suzi Herbert. Mrs. Herbert spear-headed development of the first "Open Arms" center in Alpharetta, GA. Pastor and Mrs. Herbert are members of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Franklin, NC.
Gift Planning Services, for people who want to develop a plan for giving deferred gifts to worthy organizations, such as a Church organization, or school through a personal Charitable Gift Plan. The workshop was led by Jennifer Nohelty, a Certified Gift Planning Professional (CGPP) who is available to assist congregations and individuals upon request.