Here are some brief excerpts from the first part of that report, which is President Schroeder’s Report to the Twelve Districts:
There is a growing sense that WELS has an increasing number of opportunities to articulate and present its identity as a confessional Lutheran church body, in contrast to the trends and decisions of other church bodies that bear the name “Lutheran.” We have maintained our commitment to placing our confidence and trust in the Means of Grace as the only way that God-pleasing and genuine growth—both outward and inward—takes place in the church. Congregations are actively discussing the importance and relevance of worship and are working to plan and conduct their worship in ways that are biblically sound and Word-and-Sacrament focused…
With the world we live in changing so rapidly, there will be the temptation to alter our understanding of the very nature of the church and to adjust its message in order to be more “relevant.” In the face of that temptation, we will need to articulate our conviction that law and gospel are always relevant to the lives of people, whether they are inside or outside of the church. We will need to emphasize that even though we live in a culture that does appear to be changing, the message of the Scriptures does not change in its ability to bring sinners to repentance and assure repentant sinners of their full forgiveness in Christ. In the face of trends in the Christian church today to adopt a theology of glory, we will need to maintain our commitment to a theology and practice that is centered on Christ crucified—the theology of the cross. We will continue to strive for a unified understanding of and approach to matters of Christian freedom and to develop a common understanding of how practices in the realm of freedom can and should be addressed…
All of these challenges can only be met as we gather at the foot of the cross, rejoice in the grace of God, and equip ourselves with the sword of the Spirit, the unchanging and powerful Word of God.
Other organizations within the synod also submitted reports, and depending upon where one’s interests lie, there are interesting bits of information scattered throughout. Here is one additional excerpt:
5. The Commission on Worship leadership will continue to cultivate in WELS a “gospel optimism” that God promises to work though his means of grace. This gospel optimism is not only a hallmark of being Lutheran, it’s also core to Lutheran worship.
—Commission on Worship, page 26.
The means of grace are God’s Word and sacraments.
The WELS Northern Wisconsin District Convention will be held in Appleton, WI at Fox Valley Lutheran High School from June 13-15, 2010 A.D. The District President (equivalent to a Bishop) will be chosen at this convention, as will the District Presidium and numerous Circuit Pastors. It is vitally important to the health of WELS Lutheranism that the Northern Wisconsin District choose its leaders wisely.