First Lutheran Church Plainville, Kansas
Peace Lutheran Church Natoma, Kansas
Anything interesting happen at District convention?
Glad you asked!
Any time a District gathers in convention and one of the main items of business is the election of a new District President, you can bet there is going to be something interesting to report. Rev. Peter Lange of St. John’s, Topeka was elected as the new District President. Pastor Lange is a good man, and he will serve the District well in the coming years. To be honest, as with the outgoing District President, sometimes what he does will not always be noticed in congregations; and as with all elected officials in the Church, they only have as much power as the Church has given them, which often is not much. Yet the direction of the District going forward is a positive one in my opinion.
Other elections to make note of are the Regional Vice-Presidents ranked as follows: Rev. Scott Snow, Wichita; Rev. Justin Panzer, Abilene; Rev. Rick Rosteck, Norton; and Rev. Dan Galchutt, Topeka. Pastor Rosteck of Immanuel, Norton is our local Vice-President, covering much of western Kansas.
Another important issue before the convention was the re-alignment of circuits. Synod bylaws require a certain number of communicants and a certain number of congregations in a circuit in order for that circuit to be able to send a delegate to the Synod convention. As you can imagine, reaching the communicant number is becoming increasingly difficult for congregations in Western Kansas. It was therefore approved that Peace, Natoma, First, Plainville, and Messiah Hays join the congregations to the west of us and (generally) north of I-70 in Circuit 15, while the remainder of our previous Circuit joins with congregations from Larned, Hosington, Holyrood and Clafflin. Thus giving each circuit sufficient numbers for hopefully at least the next 2 Synod conventions.
Will this affect you? Not likely, unless LWML redraws their zone lines as well. It will affect me in attending circuit meetings and other times when circuit business must be conducted. But as with many things surrounding us, this is a sign of the times in which we live, and is a result of a larger demographic problem that is only going to get worse in the coming years. Our new Circuit Visitor is Rev. Tim Llewellyn of Immanuel, Oakley.
There were some bylaw changes, one in particular regarding the chair of the Board of Directors that will be interesting going forward. We also affirmed our commitment as a District to missions and to the work of Synod going forward.
LCMS President Matt Harrison was present, and he did give a report on the work of the Synod. To be honest, there are many opportunities to spread the Word in many and various places to many and various people. But at the same time there are many challenges: demographics for one, the craziness of changing societal norms another, recruitment and retention of pastors and church workers a third.
Do conventions solve problems or merely create new ones? Interesting question. Only time will tell; it would be nice if all of our problems would go away; if the pews would be full, the bank account overflowing, and the society around us more Biblically literate. Sadly, no convention can make that happen. Only the Word of the Lord can do that; we pray that the work of the convention would be pleasing and beneficial going forward, and that in some small way the Church might prosper because of it. Yet, we place our trust not in conventions or elections, but in the Lord of heaven and earth alone, to whom we pray: Come Lord Jesus!
God Bless! Pastor Schmidt