National Lutheran News

Lutheran Brethren seek to equip for ministry

We’re somewhat a face-to-face body,” explained Church of the Lutheran Brethren (CLB) president Joel Egge. Conventions are an opportunity for “recovery of who we are as a fellowship in Jesus Christ.” So worship and fellowship share the spotlight at annual gatherings with business and teaching seminars.

Stan Olson, director for clergy and congregation relations, added that business was more prominent this year. “Each Lutheran body has unique distinctions,” he says. “One of ours is that each congregation has a kind of autonomy.”

One main point of business before the assembly was whether to add “regional pastors” to the official church structure. “For our people to think of it as a bishopric, it wouldn’t sit real well,” Olson adds.

During floor debate, this concern was presented. Other participants pointed to the fact that congregations on the coasts may not be as connected to each other as those in the middle of the country. And young pastors expressed the desire for mentoring.

G.T. Gunhus, retired military chaplain, reminded representatives that the process began at the grassroots level, respected local authority, and highlighted the possibility of “congregations making an impact on our community” in terms of mission. The resolution was adopted 233 to 66.

In related structural change, CLB will move to a biennial national gathering schedule, beginning in 2010.