Monday, June 21, 2010

To the Victor Belong the Spoils...

It appears there is some buzz about moving up the election of the Synod President so that it does not follow the votes on the BRTFRGHIJKLMNOP restructuring proposals... it seems that some are thinking that if Harrison is elected, the proposals could be jettisoned and if Kieschnick is re-elected it will help them sail through... plus the political end of it all... If Harrison were elected, the Kieschnick supporters would not want him to wield all the power that the proposals now place under the Synodical President.  This might give the Kieschnick supporters the ability to prevent the restructuring and therefore deny the vast oversight and appointment powers given to the Synodical President in this restructuring document.

All of this combines to suggest that if the election can have such play on the proposals, maybe that is a good indicator that the proposals are not ready for prime time.  I have long said that there is a distinct centralization shift of oversight, appointment, and policy away from elected boards and to the office of the Synodical President.  This may be efficient and effective but may still NOT be in the best interests of our church body.  In addition the major unresolved issues include renaming the Synod, restructuring the Districts, and the role and accountability of the Commission on Constitutional Matters -- all of which are, in some ways, far more significant than the current proposals and yet still up in the air.

I am not a fan of the current structure and believe it is bloated with people in the middle and replete with overlapping responsibilities but I think a little tinkering could resolve most of these.  We are a slightly smaller church body than we were 40 years ago but our bureaucracy has increased substantially since then (and I am not including the LCEF, Concordia Plans, and Foundation which used to all be run out of the same building -- including a claims staff that processed each and every one of the medical claims!).  We can surely do well with a somewhat leaner staff and structure but one more accountable to the whole church.  BTW the one proposal I thoroughly endorse is the election of the Synodical President by congregational ballot and NOT by Convention Delegates.  That would be a great improvement.

1 comment:

Travis said...

Just a note on the resolution about congregations electing the Synodical President.

According to Resolution 8-17, the congregation will not cast a ballot for President, rather their two delegates to the previous District Convention will each cast a ballot for Synod President.

That is a significant difference from many people's understanding of this resolution.