Board Minutes - September 6, 2019


The Ohio District Board of Directors met on Friday, September 6 at the District office. Rev. Andrew Norris, 4th Vice President used Luke 14:7-14 as his text and noted that seating arrangements are often important for people. Some often pay for their seats of honor and want recognition for it, such as the people in first class who board a plane. We Christians can be humble because God recognizes us as His children in spite of our sin and He forgives us in Christ. Jesus Himself was often humble, yet He served God in the best way to redeem us. Thus, we Christians are humble in the Lord and serve one another.

The Board then listened humbly to the following reports and acted on motions when necessary.

1. District Personnel
+ The Survey Sub-Committee will be using Survey Monkey® again as the instrument for District pastors to make an evaluation of the District President for the Personnel Committee. This information will serve as a portion of the total evaluation process to determine the President's next salary. President Wilson will then evaluate the executive staff and office staff members to determine their next salary. The Committee will also contact principals, youth workers, DCEs, and other church workers so they can evaluate the executive staff and help President Wilson in this regard. In terms of a timetable for the survey, the District will e-mail an invitation to take part in the survey and church workers should finish up the survey by the Fall Conference. It should close by October 16. There were 88 respondents to the last survey taken in 2018 for the District convention so this indicates that District workers are interested in making evaluations

2. District Finances
+ According to Mrs. Lisa Rachul, District Treasurer, mission support for this year's Period 7, ending August 15, 2019, is 2.6% lower than the same period as last year. However, the budget is still in a strong cash position and remains within policy.
+ Once again, the District has received a $67,000 trust from the LCMS Foundation, so the District staff can consider funding their "second tier" of mission and ministry opportunities
+ The discussion to sell the District office continues. At this point, the representatives at Sunset Memorial Cemetery are slowly considering the purchase of the building. However, the District may decide to retain the District office, since Lisa has not found a building to rent with a square footage cost that is lower than that of the District office.

3. District Congregations
+ The Committee on Constitutional Matters has examined the constitutions of all District congregations and noted that some congregations that their constitutions are deficient in their statements about division or dissolution of the congregation. It will encourage congregations to add such a statement in their constitutions, if applicable.
+ The Cemetery Sub-Committee met with Legal Counsel Aaron Hessler and discussed the possibility of establishing a Limited Liability Company (LLC) to deal with any cemeteries which congregations may direct their cemeteries to the District after any dissolution. If there are a lot of District congregations with cemeteries, the District may consider using an LLC model; however, if there are only a few District congregations own cemeteries, the Board may consider a different direction because an LLC would be "overkill." The Sub-Committee will survey all District congregations to see how many congregations do have cemeteries and then make their recommendation at the next meeting.

4. District Church Workers
+ The Board received a letter of thanks from the Luther Mission Society who thanked them for the gift of $25,000 to help younger pastors with their debt.

5. Synodical Convention
President Wilson discussed several aspects of the recent Synodical convention:
+The Synodical convention demonstrated two basic responses in our situation today: Protecting the faith handed down to us and sharing this same faith with the world.
+ Synodical President Matthew Harrison was reelected to his fourth term and the new First Vice President is Rev. Peter Lange, who formerly was the Kansas District President. He replaced Rev. Herbert Mueller who retired.
+ The convention passed several important resolutions concerning marriage today: including 11-02A, "To Encourage Faithfulness Regarding Marriage." 11-03A, "To Encourage Synod to Develop Resources to Aid Congregations and School Schools regarding Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues." The issues of gender identity could especially affect the Lutheran schools today.
+ Convention delegates showed a growing concern about the smaller number of men becoming pastors. Thus, the convention approved Resolution 6-02 "To Promote Residential Seminary Education as the Preferred Option..., but it also approved Resolution 6-03A, "To enhance the Specific Ministry Pastor program."
+ Delegates expressed concern about the immigration issue with Resolution 11-05A "To Encourage Responsible Citizenship and Compassion toward Neighbors who are Immigrants among Us."
+ In terms of the Concordia University System, (CUS) the delegates very sadly received the news that Concordia, Selma, AL was closed, because only a few students attended. The Synod may have to look at the possibility of closing other synodical universities which have a low number of students.
+ President Wilson served on Floor Committee #12 Retention of Young Adults. The resolutions stressed lifelong catechesis for the family as well as strengthening the importance of the family as the center of discipleship, especially with the Synodical report "Generation to Generation."
+ The Ohio District delegates were concerned about the politics going on, but they especially appreciated the emphases on evangelizing the lost, retaining the faith, and strengthening congregations and schools.

6. Synod
There is a call for nominations, requesting nominations for an appointment on the LCMS Board for National Mission (BNM). The vacant position is to be a layperson member representing the Central region and as such all nominees for this position must reside within the boundaries of the Central region. Board members and interested parties should submit nominations to the District office soon.

The next Board meeting will occur on December 6, 2019 at 10 a.m. in the District office.