Hello readers. I just got back from the SWD 2009 convention and I have to say it was the least bad district convention I have been to. Actually it was fairly boring, which is probably a good thing. (Remember the ancient Chinese curse: "may you live in interesting times").
Having said that there were a few newsworthy items:
1) Our DP, Rev. John Wille was re-elected by acclamation. I can't say I have always agreed with DP Wille's handling of things, but he still gets overall good marks from me. He has been doing good work on the District's massive financial problems (which he inherited), and has made some moves to bring us in a more Lutheran direction. He's a good man.
2) A number of good, solid, Lutheran pastors and laypeople were elected to district offices.
3) The SWD heard the same presentation from the BRTFSSG that every other district gets to hear (and which is available online). I had already read the proposals closely. I was pleased that the district not only spoke against but also passed resolutions which discouraged these proposals (usually by margins of 70% or more!)
4) President Kieschnick gave his "Music Man" speech, his President's report, and answered questions as usual. He also spoke at length from a floor mike during debate on one of the resolutions regarding restructuring. I'm not sure how this "played" with the delegates.
Much of what he said, I have heard/read from him before except this: This is the first time I have ever heard President Kieschnick mention blogs. As you can imagine, it was not in a favorable light, but a warning about falsehoods being spread.
5) Rev. Matt Harrison had just two half-hour spots in which he spoke more substantial theology than all the other presenters put together. He put a proper "Theology of the Cross" emphasis on the convention theme passage "With Unveiled Faces" (from 2 Corinthians 3:18 "We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face…")
6) One elderly lady (86) thrilled the convention when she approached the mike and declared, "I hate bureaucracy!"
7) Another highlight was when a Brazilian pastor who serves in our district spoke his conscience, and in a very soft way criticized the convention's opening worship.
8) That opening service was, for me, the lowlight of the congregation. All the music was handled by a "praise team", and was quite contemporary. The preacher was Dr. Norb Oesch of PLI.
9) Josh Schroeder, a lay delegate, has some more commentary on the convention at his blog. One of those posts is here: http://joshschroeder.blogspot.com/2009/06/josh-schroeder-st-peter-arlington.html