The January 25, 2019 meeting of the LCMS Ohio District Board of Directors was called to order at 10:10 A.M. by Chairman Gary Dowdell, Sr., via conference call. The Board is allowed to have a meeting by conference call according to the Synodical Handbook (Bylaw 1.5.3) and the Ohio District Code of Regulations (Article X, c, 3).

THE OPENING PRAYER was made by President Kevin Wilson.

The Board met today to discuss the location of the 2021 LCMS Ohio District Convention so the District staff can begin to make arrangements. According to the Code of Regulations, the Board determines the location of the District convention (Article IV, B). The last two conventions were held at Concordia University, Ann Arbor Michigan, (hereafter abbreviated as CUAA) in 2015 and in 2018. The 2009 and 2012 District conventions were held at the Embassy Suites in Dublin, Ohio.

Chairman Dowdell discussed the information sheet from Mrs. Lisa Rachul, District Treasurer: 1. In terms of total attendance of delegates, advisory delegates and guests, the attendance at the recent convention showed these figures: 290 people attended the 2018, whereas 269 attended the 2009 convention, 305 attended the 2012 convention, and 301 attended the 2015 convention. 2. The number of congregations represented at the 2018 District convention was a total of 119 congregations. This compares to the 134 congregations in 2009, 144 congregations in 2012, and 140 congregations in 2015. Even though the percentage of congregations in 2018 was 71%, this percentage was still much above the necessary quorum for a convention, which is 33.3% of the District congregations, according to the Code of Regulations (Article VI, f ). 2. The conventions at CUAA also included the use of electronic voting which was not conducted at the two Embassy Suite conventions. Electronic voting allows for a more efficient and accurate voting process. 3. The total costs for the 2015 and 2018 conventions at CUAA were significantly lower than previous two conventions at the Embassy suites. This is primarily due to cost sharing agreements with the Michigan District and also lower facility and food costs from CUAA. The cost per communicant member for 2018 Convention was $1.13, compared to $2.15 for 2009 Convention, $2.02 for the 2012 Convention and $1.75 for the 2015 Convention. It should be noted that 2009, 2012, and 2015 Conventions were held for three days, but the 2018 Convention was held for two days. 4. The combined convention times and locations allows for additional vendors at the Ohio Convention, because they will stay for both conventions and thus give an increase to the District. 5. The combined conventions also allow for positive interaction and support between two neighboring districts. In fact, the Michigan District provided extra help at the last two conventions.

The directors then discussed the ramifications of holding the District convention again at CUAA. President Wilson spoke in favor of holding the convention at CUAA, noting that the setting maximizes the District staff work at the convention and that the District congregations will appreciate the lower costs of their assessments.

First Vice President Michael Phillips, who served as chairman of the Elections Committee at both the 2015 and 2018 conventions, also noted that the electronic voting helps the convention be more efficient and end sooner. If the Elections Committee had to count all the ballots, this would add a good amount of time to the convention, especially, since Synod requires that the delegates vote on each ranking of the vice presidents.

Several directors expressed concern at the percentage of drop-off of congregations at the 2018 convention. Several directors theorized that that perhaps congregations sent only one delegate or some dual parishes sent only one delegate. Others suggested that perhaps some congregations didn't find any pressing issues, so they didn't send a delegate. One director then suggested that the Board should present an exit survey at the end of the next convention to determine the viewpoints of the delegates about holding the 2024 convention again at CUAA or at some other place.

Several directors suggested that the District office publicize the cost of the assessment to congregations much earlier than they had done before, perhaps even a year in advance. President Wilson stated that the District office will work on this, but he is unsure if all the exact costs could be set by a year in advance.

One other director asked how many delegates stayed in the dorms and President Wilson noted that 137 delegates stayed in the dorms in 2018. It was suggested that the District staff look into the possibility of holding a "block of rooms" at a nearby motel to make this more feasible.

One director also asked if someone would check with CUAA about the food situation, noting that some of the delegates were not impressed with the quality of the food.

Thus, several tasks were delegated for the upcoming convention. President Wilson will check into the difference in costs at other lodgings and he will check into the possibility of setting up a "block of rooms" at a nearby motel. He also will inquire about the quality of food served at the convention. Rev. Kevin Gyunn, who set up the survey for the 2018 convention, will look into the possibility of setting up an exit survey for the 2021 Convention. With these tasks in mind, the directors were ready to vote.

It was moved and seconded that the LCMS Ohio District Board of Directors approve the site of Concordia University, Ann Arbor, MI for the 2021 District Convention. The motion carried, 10 ayes, 0 nos.