Email volume is up considerably, from laity in WELS who are not being fooled. One person wondered about how well the new SP Schroeder would lead.
Schroeder will have to struggle against the entrenched Church Growth Curia established for 20 years at The Love Shack. President-in-Waiting Wayne Mueller remains in charge of that network. CG incompetents (and worse) find their careers are insinkable if they network with the right people.
Several things should be noted about the change in leadership in WELS:
1. Gurgel had no choice in leaving office, thanks to all the money that was used to prop up synod salaries, instead of going to the intended recipients. The Kuske report claimed that increased tuition was one such fund, where tuition and fees were jacked up but used by the synod for non-school purposes. This rapid 30% tution increase put both preps and the college in danger of closing. Also, the siphoned money remains borrowed - not paid back.
2. Thanks to grassroots support, Schroeder was the leader when he got to the convention. No one else had a chance. People worked hard to make sure Schroeder would get the votes. Ichabod pointed out how important family connections are in WELS elections. His family is respected as "the good Schroders."
3. I am guessing that the recent, enormous drop in mission offerings were due to an underground revolt against the Gurgel-Mueller team. For offerings to drop $8 million in one year, when the general trend is a 2% increase, something is happening synod-wide.