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2012 National Convention

The American Association of Lutheran Churches, meeting in Convention June 26-29 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, St. Louis (Airport), Missouri:

  • Opened with a Service of Holy Communion.

  • Received the following congregations into The AALC, by acclamation: Abiding Grace Lutheran Church, Gillette, WY; Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Galt, CA; Christus Victor Lutheran Church, Fayetteville, NC; Faith Lutheran Church, Holstein , IA; Mighty Fortress Lutheran Church, Seward, NE; Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Evansdale, IA; Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Bremerton, WA; St. John's Lutheran Church, Pocahontis, MO; The Barn Again Lutheran Church, Tijeras, NM.

  • Ratified Joint Council action:
    • Approving the additions to The AALC's Clergy Roster of the following pastors with the customary one year of probation: Rev. Clyde Awtrey; Rev. Daniel Cloeter; Rev. Dennis Cook; Rev. Joseph Dapelo; Rev. Michael Flannery; Rev. Carl Groh; Rev. Craig Henningfield; Rev. Loyd Ginn; Rev. Eric Ishimaru; Paul-Eric Norgard; Rev. Bruce Ritter; Rev. Dan Schroeder; Rev. Richard Sunderlage; Rev. Devon Woodyard; and, Rev. Scott Yount.
    • Approving the additions to The AALC's Clergy Roster of the following Rostered Licensed Lay Pastor's with the expectation of their completing the Seminary's Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program: Mr. Jordan Cooper; Mr. George Gianakis; Mr. Dirk Jensen; Mr. Dean Stoner; Mr. Michael Stuhr.
    • Approving extended ministry status for: Rev. Curtis Leins; Rev. Jeff Kay; Rev. Richard Sunderlage; Rev. Bill Van Duzer.
    • Confirming successful completion of one year probation for new TAALC Pastors: Rev. Clyde Awtrey, Rev. Rev. Daniel Depelo, Rev. Joseph Dapelo, Rev. Jonathon Kibler-McCabe, Rev. John Maynard, Rev. Bruce Ritter, Rev. Daniel Schroeder, Rev. Scott Yount.
    • Granting "Emeritus" status for: Rev. David Swarthout, Rev. Tom Baumgarten, Rev. Robert Salge.

    Recognized The AALC's present and former Presiding Pastors conferring upon them Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degrees, Gowns, Hoods, and Crosses in recognition of their leadership during The AALC's first 25 years:
    • The Rev. Duane Lindberg (1987-1999)
    • The Rev. Thomas Aadland (1999-2007)(unable to be present)
    • The Rev. Franklin Hays (2007-2012)
    Dr's Lundberg & Hays

  • Received greetings from: Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, Director of Church Relations- Ass.t to the President, LC-MS

    Pr.Pr. Hays

    Heard Presiding Pastor, Rev. Dr. Franklin Hays, report  on the range of his ministry as The AALC's Presiding Pastor, and Pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Napolean, Ohio. Pastor Hays expressed gratitude to the congregation, and it's staff, for supporting him in his efforts to be a Pastor to both the local, and the larger church bodies while also teaching a variety of ALTS classes.

    Pastor Hays has previously stated that he believes it is essential for the Presiding Pastor to remain embedded in congregational ministry in order to retain perspective.

In order to become a Rostered Licensed Lay Pastor (RLLP), or a deacon, or deaconess, to begin serving in a congregation, a student will be required to complete the first 8 courses of the MTS program.

Two AALC Pastors, Rev. Clyde Awtrey and Rev. John Maynard, have completed the program, have been ordained and are now serving congregations in Colorado and North Carolina respectively.

Twelve pastoral students and one master's level deaconess student are pursuing ALTS degrees .

There still is a need for on-campus students, specifically for those who show potential to do additional advanced work in theology. These men would eventually be future professors for the ALTS program. And we have need for men who are over 30 years of age, with some career experience or advanved theological education, who would participate in the MTS program, and after eight courses could apply for the RLLP designation.

  • Passed Resolutions that:
    • The American Association of Lutheran Churches in Convention assembled declare its support for State constitutional amendments defining MARRIAGE as the union of one man and one woman.

    • (The AALC) 2012 National Convention commission the Rev. Dr. Duane Lindberg to compile the history of The American Association of Lutheran Churches into a book chronicling its first 25 years to be presented at our national convention in 2014 with the intention that it be published; and . . . that the National Convention include in its budget $10,000 over the next two years, half of which is to be paid to Dr. Lindberg as a stipend for his work, and the other half to be used for research related expenses.

  • Heard the Treasurer, Mr. Jim Damon, Report that our estimated contributions this year will exceed expenses the first time since 2003.

    Contributions to ALTS have also increased about 25%.  Thrivent Choice dollars designated for ALTS have also increased.

Efforts to cut expenses has started to have an impact.

  • Heard Board of Trustees Chaiman, Mr. Jim Weed, report that all positions in The AALC are filled part-time by parish pastors with the exception of The AALC's Office Manager. Trustees from each Region have been encouraging member congregations to prayerfully consider increasing their contributions to The AALC, and to ALTS, with the goal of tithing to the AALC from their income.

    AALC Budgets for FY 2013 ($292,785) and FY 2014 ($278,485) were presented. After amending these amounts to add a $10,000 honorarium ($5,000 per year) for Dr. Duane Lindberg to write a history of The AALC's first twenty-five years, the Budgets were adopted.

    ALTS Budgets for FY 2013 ($103,905) and FY 2014 ($96,105) were presented and adopted.

  • Heard Keynote addreses from:

    Dr. Lamb Dr. James Lamb, (Lutherans for Life), addressed the question of how we, as God's people remain relevant, and faithful, in a culture whose purpose it is "to shape us into it's image" with every commercial that runs against the Gospel in creating desire.
    Assoc. Professor (emeritus) William Parrish (School of Government and Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA; Dept. of Homeland Security Sr. Representative to the FBI, and Secretary for Information Analysis; Retired Colonel, United States Marine Corp) testified to how God places us in situations where He has created an opportunity for us to witness, for His glory, to the most unlikely people in the most unlikely places. Col. Parrish

  • Heard Presentations from Rev. Michael Flannery and Rev. Craig Henningfield who addressed the question of "how we can do church better" in a society where "church culture" is collapsing. Using the book, Church Without Walls, by Jim Petersen, which offers a definition of the church that pushes beyond the too-small boundaries we’ve inherited, both speakers advanced the books theme that we have to sort out Jesus from our religious traditions. They spoke of the need to shift our focus: from church growth to "kindom (of God) growth"; from being members to be missionaries; from a spiritual pre-occupation to following Jesus.

  • Elected:
    • Rev. Dr. Curtis Leins as Assistant Presiding Pastor of The AALC,
    • Rev. Philip Hofinga as Secretary of The AALC,
    • Dr. Dan Kruger as Treasurer
    • Rev. Richard Shields as ALTS President
    • Rev. Steve Lundblom, Rev. Irv Stapf, and Mr. John Lubben to the Clergy Commission
    • Rev. Fred Balke, Rev. Rich Eddy, Rev. John Anderson, Mr. Ron Green, Ms. Jan Main, Mr. Larry Woolridge, and Dr. Philip Gassman (2yrs) and Mr. Wayne Kittleson (2 yrs) to the Board of Appeals and Adjudication
    • Rev. Philip Hofinga and Mr. Rick Yount to the Commission on Doctrine and Church Relations.
    • Rev. Dan Dapelo, Rev. Len Brokenshire, Ms. Laurie Dapelo, and Mr. Gordon Olson to the Commission for Higher Education
    • Dr. Duane Lindberg, Deaconess Kathy Awtrey, and Ms. Debra Rokenbrodt to the Commission for Commissioned Church Workers
    • Ms. Brenda Eberling to The AALC Foundation Board of Directors.

    WOL Leaders

  • The AALC's Women of L.I.F.E. held their Biennial National Meeting to:
    • elect officers to fill expiring terms: Elected were Audry Stapf (2 yrs) and Kathy Buhr, (4yrs) Co-Chairs; Kathy Hofinga, Treasurer; Bonnie Ohlrich, Materials Resource Coordinator
    • announced the creation of a WOL email newsletter - "The Connecting Link"
    • distribute information regarding their 2013 Bible Study series entitled, "His Marvelous Mercy," being written by AALC Deaconess Susan Scott. Click here for more information.

  • Delegates were afforded the opportunity to attend a workshop entitled "Marriages that Last" presented by Dr. Paul Swyhart, a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, San Diego, CA.