The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


LCMS elects new leader, approves restructuring

Delegates of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod Convention elected a new president, approved a restructuring plan, voted to continue cooperative work with the ELCA, and requested that a church theology panel respond to the 2009 actions of the ELCA Churchwide Assembly related to human sexuality.

At the July 10-17 meeting in Houston, Matthew C. Harrison, 48, executive director of LCMS World Relief and Human Care, was elected president on the first ballot, 643-527 over the incumbent, Gerald B. Kieschnick.

Delegates voted to restructure the national offices from seven program boards to two "superboards" that will be responsible for all major functions. The move will cut 40 administrative staff, a savings of about $1.4 million per year.

They also chose to reorganize the 35 regional districts into five geographical regions, with a new vice president over each.

After lengthy discussion, delegates approved 961-175 continuing cooperative work with the ELCA "with theological integrity" through such organizations as Lutheran Disaster Response, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Lutheran Services in America and Lutheran World Relief.

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