In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The Council constitutes the governing body of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). As such, its focus is to serve as faithful stewards of the church’s mission, values and resources.
As stated at 10.04 of the constitution of this church body, “the Executive Council shall implement the work and policies of the NALC” between convocations “subject in all matters to review of actions by subsequent convocations.”
Therefore, I, now, present the 2020 report of the Executive Council.
The church elected the Rev. Dr. Daniel Selbo as our new bishop at the 2019 Convocation in Indianapolis. Since then, the Executive Council spent much time consulting with Bishop Selbo as he focused on staffing and the 2020 Vision.
The Council asks for your continued prayers for our Bishop:
Let us pray: Almighty God, you revealed to us a bishop filled with the Holy Spirit and who passionately supports the mission and ministry of the NALC. Strengthen his faith, guide his ways, and bless his family as he serves your Church through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
This virtual venue is a welcome blessing; the alternative was to postpone our gathering indefinitely until the COVID-19 crisis passes. Today, it seems that the epidemic is even more prevalent, especially plaguing the minds and hearts of our church and the world.
The COVID-19 crisis challenges our congregation and this body. The Executive Council’s priority throughout this time of trial is to provide safe working conditions for the bishop and staff, and to support their efforts to access resources available to the church, such as:
- Payroll Protection Program
- Honing the structure and strengthening the NALC’s presence in the world, we have been encouraged to “stay-in-place.”
- Maximizing and utilizing new approaches to traditional gatherings, i.e. online and additional meetings to maintain communication and continuity.
Furthermore, the Executive Council, in its April 2020 meeting, suspended staff and council travel until government restrictions lifted. The staff continued their duties at home via the net and teleconferencing.
The Executive Council asks for your continued prayers for those, directly and indirectly, affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Let us pray: Almighty God and healer of our every ill, show compassion for the whole all burdened with illness and with fear. Strengthen and encourage those in public health services and the medical profession, all who commit themselves to care for the sick and their families. Guide leaders of all nations around the world that they may serve according to your will, in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Savior. Amen.
The NALC began with 100 congregations. Today, the council reports 444 across North America. Serving these congregations through Word and Sacrament is a cadre of clergy 700 strong. Included in this tally are 470 active clergy, 205 retired clergy and 25 in other statuses.
Additionally, under the office of the Bishop are 38 deans who provide pastoral care and presence throughout our mission districts.
The general secretary, Pr. Mark Chavez, provides the Executive Council with recommendations for new clergy and congregation who wish to join the NALC, its mission, and ministry.
The Executive Council asks for your continued prayers for our congregations and pastors.
Let us pray: Almighty God, who alone does great wonders: Send down upon your minsters and upon the congregations of the NALC committed to their charge, the helpful Spirit of your grace; and, that they may please you, pour out upon them your continual blessing; through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
The council regularly meets each quarter. Typically, these meetings take place in various cities within North America. As stated, these meetings are now taking place online. Since August of 2019, the council spent 74 hours in meetings. During our meetings, we conduct the business of the NALC, support the bishop and staff in their ministry, maintain the prominence of the Church’s mission and vision, promote stewardship of the resources of the denomination, study Scripture, and pray with one another.
The Constitution of the NALC spells out additional duties for the council, including standing and sub-committees:
- Finance Committee
- Personnel Committee
- Long-range Planning Committee
- Governance Sub-Committee
- Liaison Sub-Committee (Executive Council and the Board of Regents)
The Executive Council respectfully requests your prayers for us.
Let us pray: Holy Lord, we pray that we become a body of people who consistently provide Godly guidance to your Church. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Rev. Melinda H. Jones
North American Lutheran Church