Christian News in Brief (Summer/Fall 2022)

A June 6th memo from President and CEO Don Christian of Concordia Texas informed constituents of the university of a desire to separate from the LCMS in governance matters.

Concordia University Wisconsin and the Struggle to Return to Faithfulness

CUW Regents were put on notice of official Synodical Visitation to see what cancer had infested the place over the last decade or so. Months later, no report of the visitation is available to synod or her members. The Board received a letter from President Harrison of the LCMS citing their many violations of bylaws. The willful disobedience to synodical policies has been a large factor in the search for the University’s new president. The new president will have to clean up the apparently wayward institution after President Patrick Ferry retired from his many years leading the institution. The question is when will the new president be elected—delay tactics cannot last forever.

Concordia University Texas Dreams of Secession

A June 6th memo from President and CEO Don Christian of Concordia Texas informed constituents of the university of a desire to separate from the LCMS in governance matters. The university, which sits on its new campus purchased during the previous Synodical administration, owes much to the LCMS.

Concordia University Chicago Uproar and Response

Last spring a large, concerted effort was made to run the new administration of Concordia, Chicago out of power and onto the isle of canceled men. The administration stuck to its decisions and policies in the face of non-LCMS professor complaints, coached student outrage, and even media attempts to prop up the shouts and dig up old dirt. The result of the administration holding ground? The outrage died down and the press and activists alike moved on. Other institutions may want to sit at the steadfast feet of President Russell Dawn, the administrators, and the regents of the university.

LCMS National Convention Coming to Milwaukee

The synod will meet in convention in July-August 2023 in Milwaukee under the theme of “We preach Christ crucified.” This means circuits are now selecting delegates and members of synod are putting in nominations for various offices. Don’t forget resolutions also!

LCMS National Youth Gathering Happens

Cognitive dissonance could be felt as the usual happenings of the youth gathering occurred this summer. The utter diversity of practices growing from widening differences in belief were on display for all to watch. In the face of demographics showing more youth moving away from church, the LCMS seems to have doubled down on doing the same old things for our youth. Time will tell what this trained the youth of the synod to expect from the LCMS and her congregations.

District Convention Digest (a lot to digest!)

In order to briefly treat these, each note will mention the election results for District President and also any notable resolutions from the district. More information can be found at the site of the LCMS Reporter and individual District websites.

Atlantic District – Rev. Derek Lecakes re-elected. Asked the LCMS to represent more diversity in its photos and media. Also asked the State of New York to declare churches as essential.

California-Nevada-Hawaii District – Rev. Michael Lange re-elected. Encouraged support for more distance based programs leading to ordination, noting especially a current well-used avenue at Concordia Irvine’s Cross-Cultural program.

Central Illinois District – Rev. Michael Mohr elected.

Eastern District – Rev. John Pingel elected.

English District – Rev. Dr. Jamison Hardy re-elected. Rejected online “communion.” Rejected unfaithful ideologies and movements which use race, diversity, and equity to virtue-signal. Condemned government overreach of its authority by closing churches.

Florida-Georgia District – Rev. James Rockey elected. Asked synod to encourage non-traditional paths to ordination. Asked synod for only regional elections at Synod level (currently regionally nominated and synodically elected because they are officers of the whole synod).

Indiana District – Rev. Dr. Richard Stuckwisch elected. Online “communion” rejected. Also rejected was the false theology of diversity, equity, and inclusion as they are being used by the world.

Iowa District East – Rev. Dr. Brian Saunders re-elected. Online “communion” rejected.

Iowa District West – Rev. Steve Turner re-elected. District President also now allowed to serve a congregation while also serving as DP—a wise and faithful practice.

Kansas District – Rev. Justin Panzer elected. Church worker care emphasis.

Michigan District – Rev. David Davis elected. Asked synod to delay proposed changes to the Concordia University System and to grant the Michigan DP a seat on the Concordia University Wisconsin–Ann Arbor Board of Regents.

Minnesota North District – Rev. Brady Finnern elected. Rejected critical theory.

Minnesota South District – Rev. Dr. Lucas Woodford re-elected. Rejected Critical Race Theory. Rejected online “communion.” Affirmed parents as primary God-given authority over children.

Missouri District – Rev. Dr. Lee Hagan re-elected. Affirmed parental responsibility for teaching children the faith. Asked synod to review the issue of fetal tissue in medical matters.

Montana District – Rev. Terry Forke re-elected. Rejected online “communion.” Rejected practice of distant church memberships. Asked synod to cease admitting, reinstating, or colloquizing divorced and remarried men into the ministry. Asked to change Concordia University regent make-up so that appointed members are not a near majority over elected ones.

North Dakota District – Rev. Arie Bertsch re-elected.

North Wisconsin District – Rev. Dr. Dwayne Lueck re-elected. Efforts to help with student debts for teachers especially.

Northern Illinois District – Rev. Dr. Allan Buss re-elected. Affirmed church as essential and denied government authority over its worship.

Northwest District – Rev. Dr. Paul Linnemann re-elected. Asked synod to form diaconate for Word and Sacrament ministry (remember Licensed Lay Deacons?). Asked synod to delay proposed changes to Concordia University System.

Nebraska District – Rev. Richard Snow re-elected. Asked synod for same term limits across the whole synod.

New England District – Rev. Robert Beinke elected.

Ohio District – Rev. Kevin Wilson re-elected. District transparency efforts. Affirmed the importance of the Head of the Household.

Oklahoma District – Rev. David Nehrenz elected. Asked synod to expand permissions of the 1986 translation of the Small Catechism.

Pacific Southwest District – Rev. Dr. Mike Gibson re-elected. Asked synod to strengthen the voice of commissioned ministers, denying the historic polity of synod and seeking to unseat the vast majority of the synod that has voted conservatively and faithfully over the past 12 years.

Rocky Mountain District – Rev. James Maxwell elected. Affirmed the doctrine of creation with the special note of a young earth.

SELC District – Rev. Waldemar Vinovskis re-elected. Efforts made to strengthen advisory delegate participation.

South Wisconsin District – Rev. Dr. John Wille re-elected. CUW matters, demanding them to follow bylaws. Asked synod to make all appointed regents advisory (non-voting) for Concordias. Asked synod to allow District President to discipline wayward Concordia regents and also to change how Concordia Presidents are chosen. Directed SWD Board of Directors to take legal action if government interferes again with the duty of Christians to gather for worship.

Southeastern District – Rev. Dr. William Harmon elected. Adopted a form of nonbinding suffrage for advisory delegates (what does advisory mean again?). Asked synod for a day of repentance and prayer for racial equality and healing.

Southern Illinois District – Rev. Timothy Scharr re-elected. Rejected online “communion.” Declared church as essential. Rejected Critical Race Theory.


Joshua Scheer

Rev. Joshua Scheer is Senior Pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Cheyenne, WY and Editor-in-Chief of Steadfast Lutherans.

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