Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This is an exciting and hopeful time for confessional Lutherans in North America. I am glad to report that in the past couple weeks we have received an incredible outpouring of support for Lutheran CORE's ministries and plans for the future. People and churches are joining at a rate with which we can barely keep pace. During the churchwide assembly and after we have made connections with important leaders of other Lutheran groups in the ELCA and beyond. We are most encouraged by these responses.
We look forward to being with many of you at the Convocation at Christ the Savor Lutheran Church in Fishers (Indianapolis) Ind. on September 25 and 26. We want you to know in more detail what we hope to accomplish at the Convocation. Our goal and vision for Lutheran CORE is a re-forming and a re-newal of our coalition. With God's help, we intend to be . . .
- A confessional and confessing movement, rooted in Scripture, creeds, and confessions, open to all Lutherans in North America
- A churchly community, grounded in Word and sacrament and congregational mission
- A free-standing synod, carrying out synodical ministries, apart from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
- An umbrella group for other Lutheran reform movements
- A coalition of synods, congregations, individuals, and reform movements both within and outside the ELCA
On Friday, September 25, we will convene at 4:00 p.m. There will be an introductory presentation by Bishop Kenneth Sauer, former chair of the ELCA Conference of Bishops, and a response from Mr. Ryan Schwarz, the runner-up in the election for ELCA Vice President last month. After dinner, I will present the vision for Lutheran CORE to be followed by general discussion. The evening will conclude with Evening Prayer.
On Saturday, we will begin the day with Holy Communion at 8:00 a.m. We will then consider and, hopefully, adopt a constitution for our ministry. Then we will consider the following proposed resolutions from the Lutheran CORE Steering Committee:
- That those currently serving on the Lutheran CORE Steering Committee retain their offices for one year, until an election at the 2010 convocation.
- That the Steering Committee be authorized to prepare and implement a fiscal plan for Lutheran CORE for the calendar year 2010; and that the Steering Committee prepare a proposed fiscal plan for the year 2011, for action at the 2010 convocation.
- That the Steering Committee be directed to begin implementing the provisions of the constitution beginning, October 1, 2009.
- That the Steering Committee be authorized to initiate conversations among the congregations and reform movements in Lutheran CORE and with Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ and other compatible churchly organizations, leading toward a possible re-configuration of North American Lutheranism, whether through existing or newly created structures; and that the Steering Committee present a report and recommendations to the 2010 convocation of Lutheran CORE.
We anticipate a large attendance at our convocation. If the registrations keep pouring in at the present rate, we will have to re-locate the convocation site to another church near Fishers that has a much larger facility. The hotels listed on the registration brochure are conveniently located for either church so no one will need to make any changes in their accommodations. We will keep you informed and let you know as soon as possible if we need to move the convocation to another church.
We will place the draft of the proposed constitution on the Lutheran CORE website next week. Because of limited time at the convocation, we ask that you send us suggestions for revision of the constitution ahead of time. Doing this will assist us greatly in making efficient use of our time. Please send your suggestions no later than September 16th. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. You may send your suggestions to me at email@example.com.
Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement in the past month. I look forward to our time together at Fishers with great hope and in the confidence that Gods Spirit will guide and lead us. If you have questions, please be in touch with me or with another member of the Steering Committee.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Paull E. Spring
Lutheran CORE Chair
Lutheran CORE Steering Committee
Rev. Mark Braaten, Tyler, Texas
Rev. Mark Chavez, Landisville, Pa.
Rev. Scott Grorud, Hutchinson, Minn.
Rev. Rebecca M. M. Heber, Lake Mary, Fla.
Rev. Kenneth Kimball, Waterville, Iowa
Rev. Pastor Victor C. Langford III, Seattle, Wash.
Mr. Ryan Schwarz, Washington, D.C.
Rev. W. Stevens Shipman, Lock Haven, Pa.
Rev. Paul Ulring, Columbus, Ohio
Rev. Erma Wolf, Brandon, S.D.