Ichabod explores the Age of Apostasy, predicted in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, with an emphasis on UOJ, Church Growth, and Emergent Church heresies. The antidote to these poisons is trusting the efficacious Word in the Means of Grace. John 16:8. Most readers are WELS, LCMS, ELS, or ELCA. This blog also covers the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodoxy, and the mainline denominations.
The Conference of Presidents (COP) met in January for its regular winter meeting. Some of the highlights of the meeting include:
The COP received the report that the synod’s capital debt was completely retired 18 months ahead of schedule. The COP asked that a special thanksgiving prayer be written and sent to pastors for use in worship services in February. Or else.
WELS Communications Services shared plans for congregations to sponsor showings of the new Luther movie in local theaters. Several congregations will participate in a pilot program, with information about how to participate in this effort in this newsletter. Not that we teach or even study Luther, but it is a marketing opportunity.
The COP discussed the process for appeals of disciplinary action for called workers and lay members. The COP wants to be sure that the process is working as intended and will hold further discussions on the matter in April. Church and Changers get free passes, of course.
The COP was informed of the progress made in discussions regarding the Grenada mission’s application for membership in the South Atlantic District. The mission had been an independent mission in fellowship with WELS.
The COP affirmed its support for the calling of one director to serve the Commission on Youth and Family and the Commission on Adult Discipleship. The position is currently included in the draft ministry financial plan being considered by the Synodical Council.
The COP appointed Professor Craig Hirschman to the Commission on Whoopee Worship.
The COP expressed its support for the joint statement on fellowship prepared by a committee of representatives from WELS, the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (Little Sect on the Prairie), and the Church of the Lutheran Confession (SIC). The statement will be presented for adoption to the synod convention by the Commission on Inter-Church Relations. The ELS has already approved the statement, and the CLC is discussing it.
The COP plans to create video presentations encouraging Congregation Mission Offerings. Congregations in each district will be shown a video introduced by their own district president.
The COP expressed appreciation for the work done by WELS parasynodical Jeske organizations. The COP will be exploring ways to foster even closer communication, cooperation, and obedience to them.
The COP approved the concept of adding a year of internship to the Martin Luther College Urban Ministry program, plus a PhD program in diaper changing at the Early Education Center.
The Compensation Review Committee shared the results of its effort to review the synod’s compensation plan. The COP encouraged the Compensation Review Committee to submit its recommendations to the Synodical Council and to the convention this summer.
The COP is working with Communication Services to improve the way that delegates to the synod convention are prepared for the work they will do at the convention. GA is being considered as the best approach.
The COP reviewed the pastoral vacancies in the synod, noting that there are currently 86 vacancies in congregations, 4 vacancies in foreign missions, and 3 vacancies in professorships, and 12 vacancies in the Office of District President.
The COP continues to discuss doctrinal matters relating to fellowship, congregational governance, doctrinal supervision, and communion practices. We are praying for more Fuller graduates, more open communion, and more women ministers.
As is the case at every meeting, the COP held wide-ranging discussions on the call process, questions regarding special legal situations, and ways to foster inconsistency, duplicity, and sanctimony in matters of doctrine and malpractice.
Serving in Christ, President Mark Schroeder
And - the real president of WELS - Mark Jeske, earning $140,000 a year on the Thrivent Board.