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Conference of Presidents holds fall meeting
The Conference of Presidents (COP) met last week. In addition to its discussions involving called workers, congregations, and doctrine and practice, the COP took the following actions:
- The staff of Asia Lutheran Seminary has expressed its desire to form an English-language congregation to serve the mission staff, their families, and other English-speaking WELS members in Hong Kong. The Conference of Presidents expressed its support for this plan and recommended that the congregation seek membership in the Arizona-California District once it has been established.
- Rev. Dave Liggett, retiring director of the Ministry of Christian Giving, was called to serve a semi-retired position as a Christian giving counselor in the La Crosse, Wis., area.
- Evangelical Luther Synod pastor Rev. David Russow was called to serve as a Christian giving counselor in the New Ulm, Minn., area. He would replace Rev. Kurt Lueneburg, who has accepted the call to serve as director of the Ministry of Christian Giving.
- The COP asked Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary to take the lead in identifying congregations that will participate in the vicar program. The vicar class to be assigned in the spring of 2013 is significantly larger than the current class, making it necessary to identify additional places where vicars will serve.
- The COP is encouraging all congregations to increase their Congregation Mission Offerings by four percent in 2013. If this increase is achieved, significant initial progress will be made in our efforts to implement some of the expanded ministry outlined in the “In Christ Alone” long-range plan.
- The COP is encouraging all congregations to hold a “Walking Together” emphasis as a way to provide members with information about the synod’s mission and ministry and to encourage faithful support of missions by congregations and individuals. A “Walking Together” video presentation has already been distributed to congregations on the WELS Connection DVD and is viewable online.
- Every year, a number of ministerial candidates graduating from Martin Luther College or Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary request to defer their assignment as pastors, teachers, or staff ministers. These requests primarily are submitted by students who desire to continue their education or to serve temporarily in some type of mission setting. The COP adopted a revised policy outlining how such students become part of the assignment process once their deferment is completed.
- The COP called Rev. Michael Schultz, pastor at Sola Fide, Lawrenceville, Ga., to serve as the project director for a new hymnal that is scheduled to be published in 2024.
Serving in Christ,
President Mark Schroeder