Below are a summary of items acted on at the NALC Convocation held August 8 and 9.
NALC Convocation approves establishing NALC seminary: The 2013 NALC Convocation overwhelmingly approved establishing a seminary to provide for the theological education of future pastors for the North American Lutheran Church. The Convocation, which met Aug. 8-9 in Pittsburgh, Pa., approved two resolutions: The first authorized the establishment of the North American Lutheran Seminary. The second authorized raising $1 million to fund the seminary. More than 700 people attended the Convocation.
Elected to the NALC Executive Council were Matthew Burkhart, an attorney in Columbus, Ohio, and Pastor Amy Schifrin, pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Monona, Iowa, and Mission in Christ Lutheran Church in Strawberry Point, Iowa. Jon Evans, an attorney in Pittsburgh, Pa., and Pastor Jeffray Greene, pastor of American Lutheran Church in Rantoul, Ill., were relected to the NALC Court of Adjudication.
An agreement with Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania was signed during the Convocation. The Memorandum of Understanding is a step toward an official Full Communion relationship. The NALC is already in Full Communion with the Ethiopian Evangelical Lutheran Church Mekane Yesus. These are two of the largest Lutheran church bodies in the world, each with more than 6 million members.
1517 NALC congregations by 2017 was a goal set by the Convocation as a way to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation by reaching out with the Gospel and growing as a church body.
NALC budgets for 2014 were approved. The Convocation approved an operating budget of $1,525,927. Budgets were also approved for two of the NALC’s designated funds: $155,000 for the Great Commission Fund and $312,500 for the Theological Education Fund. Pastor Herb Hafermann was honored for 50 years of missionary service in Tanzania. He also led a Bible study and shared his experiences in Tanzania.
The NALC’s application for membership in the Lutheran World Federation continues to advance in the LWF process for membership, the Convocation was told in a report on the NALC’s 2012 decision. The membership application process takes time.
A Discipleship Partnership with Navigators was introduced to the Convocation. It will begin in selected NALC congregations and later expand throughout the NALC.
Video of the Convocation and theological conference is available at www.thenalc.org.