WINNIPEG – Lutheran Church–Canada’s (LCC) Commission on Constitutional Matters and Structure (CCMS) met November 16 and appointed Rev. Dr. Les Stahlke of Edmonton as its consultant for the restructuring process now unfolding in LCC.
Dr. Stahlke, CEO of GovernanceMatters, has participated in similar ventures for both secular and church-related organizations in numerous countries. An LCC pastor, Stahlke served many years as Executive Director of LAMP (Lutheran Association of Missionaries and Pilots).
Commenting on Dr. Stahlke’s appointment, CCMS chairman Rev. Bill Ney noted that the restructuring process is moving into high gear. “Very early in the new year, a survey will be made available to all confirmed members of LCC congregations, so that they can express their views on the changes they believe are needed in the Synod’s structure, as well as on the valuable things they want to retain,” Rev. Ney said. “In order to get input so that the survey will be well crafted and helpful, Les Stahlke will be in touch with Synod and District leaders across the church to learn from them the issues that require attention.”
The timeline for this thorough re-structuring process is short. All three District conventions voted earlier this year overwhelmingly to ask the Synod to present concrete restructuring proposals at its 2017 convention. LCC President Robert Bugbee observed that “this is one reason the LCC Board of Directors has decided to move the 2017 convention from the usual time-slot in June to mid-October. This will give the CCMS valuable extra time to do all the necessary homework on a re-structuring model. At the same time, we may well celebrate Luther’s ‘new beginnings’ of 500 years ago with some ‘new beginnings’ of our own.”
To assist the CCMS with the increased workload in the coming two years, the LCC Board of Directors in early October approved the addition of three new advisory members of the Commission. They include Dr. Harold Ristau (East), Marilyn Schultz (Central), and Deacon Jennifer Frim (ABC). Continuing as regular voting CCMS members are LCC Secretary Pastor Paul Schallhorn (Sarnia, ON), attorney Gary Gilmore (Winkler, MB), Herb Doering (Winnipeg, MB), Pastor Dennis Putzman (St. Catharines, ON), and Pastor Bill Ney (Stony Plain, AB).