I just received word from a friend of mine with some updates on the North Dakota District convention. This is the first convention of this cycle, in which all the districts are set to meet. Here's what he reports:
We just heard the presentation on restructuring. They had a nice format and presented 20 proposed changes, each with a basis for the proposed change and the consequences. President Kieschnick and 1st Vice President Diekelman are here, also Matt Harrison and Thomas Zehnder. They then had a Q/A time where we went through each proposal. The proposals were more detailed than what we'd seen before, but not always. The session was video taped and they may be placing it online. I'll check on that.
Of special interest is a proposal that would rename the Synod: The Lutheran Church - USA. They also would like to reduce the number of districts to around 25, with 5 geographic regions. The vice-presidents of Synod would be elected, one from each region. Also, members of the Board of Directors would be elected from each region. They propose that a 2/3 vote would be needed to pass a doctrinal resolution at convention. Also that all the boards of Synod would be replaced with two advisory committees: International Advisory Committee and National Advisory Committee. They would like to end term limits for all synodical and district offices. They would like to have Synod conventions every 4 years, with terms of 4 years for all offices.
One more thing. Concerning representation at district and synod conventions, they would like to allow congregations to send one pastoral delegate and one non-ordained delegate to district conventions. The non-ordained delegate could be a commissioned minister. Also, they would like to give a lay vote for each congregation in a dual or multi-point parish. And for congregations with more than 1000 members, they propose that they would be given 2 additional votes at a district convention.
The entire presentation (powerpoint) is now available on the LCMS.org website. Follow this link to view it: http://www.lcms.org/graphics/assets/media/structure%20and%20governance/0109-brtfssg-ppt-ndakota1.swf