While I would be very happy if the convention adopted a resolution like the previous sample memorial, realism/pessimism sets in early. Is the ELS capable of anything resembling sorrow over anything it’s done? Can it possibly show the public humility required to admit that its own doctrinal statements are not holy scripture? We’ll see. Or at least, someone will see. (“We” may not all be around by that time.) Or maybe the Lord will return before then, rendering all of the plans within plans utterly irrelevant. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
I’ll do some gardening in the meantime. The soil is tilled, and the next seed is a badly-needed resolution. As it is now, the synod bylaws (Chapter 2) require an action by the synod convention to receive a congregation as a member of the synod. Similarly, they require an action by the synod, without using the word “convention,” to receive an individual as a member. There is no similar requirement when a membership is terminated, be it the membership of a congregation or an individual.
Compare that to the membership of your congregation. Certainly the procedure varies. But in nearly all cases, I would venture to guess that the church’s duly installed representatives (Voters, Council, etc.) have to approve membership changes. That’s only half true for the synod.
Part of the problem may be an imbalance in the way we view and implement the doctrine of fellowship. That’s a topic for another post. Anyway, if a memorial like this interests your congregation, remember that the deadline is April 1. I would not expect memorials like this to be accepted a minute later. Anyway, here it is. Adjust at will.
WHEREAS the Bylaws (Ch. 2, Par. 1) of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod require the synod in convention to act upon the application of a congregation for membership in the synod, and,
WHEREAS the Bylaws (Ch. 2, Par. 2) of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod require the synod to act upon the application of an individual for membership in the synod, and,
WHEREAS it has proven possible that both congregations and individuals may be permanently and unilaterally removed from membership in the synod by a single act of the synod administration, without explicit ratification by the synod, and,
WHEREAS the entire synod has an interest in all of its membership changes, including both the acceptance and suspension of members, therefore,
A. BE IT RESOLVED that the Synod Review Committee be directed to prepare amendments to the Bylaws for the 2008 Convention, which would require an action by the entire synod to ratify the removal of a member congregation or individual, analogous to the action required for the addition of a member congregation or individual.
B. BE IT RESOLVED that the synod hold all current, pending, and future membership actions as incomplete until they have been ratified by the synod in convention.