The purpose of this email is to communicate that you will soon receive a letter from LCMS President Matthew Harrison regarding the recommended delay of District and Synodical conventions due to the uncertainty of Districts being able to safely gather in 2021 due to COVID-19. If approved, Districts could hold their conventions at any time during 2021 or 2022 and the Synodical Convention would move to 2023. This is a one-time adjustment. It is important to make this decision now so that Districts are not penalized financially for canceling hotel and convention center contracts at a later date. We pray that, by delaying, this will provide Districts with the opportunity to gather in convention to worship, fellowship, and do the work of the church-at-large without significant restrictions. We will definitely need to celebrate together on the other-side of COVID.
The decision to delay conventions belongs to the congregations of the LCMS. The President’s letter will request a vote by the congregations. This is in keeping with bylaws which guide decisions that need to be made between Synodical Conventions. A quorum is achieved when 25% of the 6,000 LCMS congregations participate in the vote. A simple majority vote is needed to approve or decline. I strongly encourage the congregations of the Pacific Southwest District to participate and to vote, Yes. The Council of Presidents voted unanimously in support of this.
If the delay is approved, the PSD Board of Directors, working with Executive Staff, and our host site at Faith Middle/High School, Las Vegas will set the new date for the PSD Convention (we anticipate moving it back to the same week in June of 2022). Elected officers of the District are asked to continue to serve until the convention can be conducted. Appointments will be made by the District Board of Directors, following the bylaws, to complete the term of anyone unable to continue. If a current Circuit Visitor is unable to continue for the additional year, the District President will seek to appoint the pastor, nominated by the Circuit Forum for inclusion on the District Convention Circuit Visitor Ballot, to complete the extended term.
The District Nominations Committee will retain the work they have done to date. In the year prior to the rescheduled PSD Convention, the committee will resume its work and check with each of the recommended individuals regarding their willingness and ability to continue in the process. If recommendation vacancies occur, they will be filled with new recommendations. The distribution of the Nomination Committee’s recommendations will follow the usual schedule and so that District congregations can submit their nominations within the designated six-month window prior to the rescheduled convention date.
This is an important moment for us to act in a united way, ensuring the proper work of the Church at-large, and expressing our care and concern for our members and communities. May our God continue to richly bless you in this Advent Season.
Below you can find: President Harrison’s communication, the FAQ, and an accompanying letter from the Council of Presidents.