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Board OKs sample resolutions

by Betsy Carlson (Editor, WordAlone Network)

July 30, 2002

The WordAlone Network (WA) Board approved two sample resolutions for synod assemblies and called for consequent drafting of four others at its July 25-26 meeting in Roseville, Minn.

While expressing a desire that they be slightly rewritten, the board okayed a sample resolution to change churchwide voting members to delegates who represent their synods and another resolution calling for churchwide council members to be elected by synod assemblies and to represent their synods. These will both require changes to the constitution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

Presently voting members at assemblies usually are reminded they represent no one and they should vote without regard to the opinions of those who elected them.

For churchwide council member seats, synods now submit “suggested nominees” to a nominating committee that is appointed by the churchwide council. The nominating committee then selects candidates who “fulfill the categories assigned by the church council.”Church council members are then elected by the churchwide assembly, which meets every other year.

Of the sample resolutions, one to be drafted will endorse allowing bishops-elect to seek exceptions from a requirement they be installed or ordained into the historic episcopate. Required ordination into the historic episcopate, as defined by The Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA), is the most controversial issue of Called to Common Mission, a full communion agreement between the ELCA and the ECUSA.

Other sample resolutions to be written will call for congregation approval of any ELCA constitutional change; will set a limit of two terms for the presiding bishop, the vice president and the secretary of the ELCA; and will require all meetings of ELCA bodies to be open.

In other business, the board:

Heard a presentation by Larry Johnson of Youth Encounter about “strategic alliances” among various church and parachurch organizations to share programs and resources. The board decided to give further review to the concept of such alliances.

Charged the new WA Theological Advisory board to “provide a confessional Lutheran theological compass for the contemporary global context.”

Discussed the establishment of chapters of WordAlone and voted to support chapter formation.