Here are some quick updates on what happened at this year’s synod convention:
- Approval of the synod’s ministry financial plan for the upcoming biennium of 2021–23. “WELS is financially strong,” says Kyle Egan, WELS’ chief financial officer. “God continues to bless WELS with the financial gifts needed to maintain current ministry levels and to develop a well-balanced ministry financial plan for the next biennium.”
- Endorsement of changing WELS’ current Pension Plan to a defined contribution plan for future worker retirement benefits. “There are three main advantages to the change,” notes Joshua Peterman, director of WELS Benefit Plans. “First, workers will receive meaningful contributions for retirement benefits. Then, workers will have more flexibility to provide for their retirement income needs and to share savings with their survivors. Finally, sponsoring organization costs will remain more stable over time.”
- Presentation of the new Christian Worship: Hymnal to the synod. “These are books that will put our worshiping church body in a good place for the next 20 to 30 years,” said Michael Schultz, director of the WELS Hymnal Project, about the 17 books, 3 digital products, and multiple accompaniment volumes that are part of the Christian Worship suite of resources.
- Reminder of the “Equipping Christian Witnesses” campaign at Martin Luther College (MLC), New Ulm, Minn., which will continue through June 30, 2022. “ ‘Equipping Christian Witnesses’ is about building a foundation for years to come,” says Richard Gurgel, MLC president. “We want to renew and reinvigorate our investment as a synod to raise up future generations of faithful and qualified staff ministers, teachers, and pastors.”
- Agreement to establish 100 new missions and 75 new or enhanced ministries throughout North America over the next 10 years, starting July 1, 2023. “Home Missions needs and appreciates the support of many in WELS to reach many outside of WELS with God’s Word,” says Keith Free, administrator of WELS Home Missions.
To see all the presentations, reports, and resolutions from the convention as well as more in-depth news coverage, visit wels.net/2021synodconvention.
Volume 108, Number 9
Issue: September 2021