Dear Pastors, Members and Friends of LCMS,
Greetings in the Name of our risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. May the knowledge of His resurrection strengthen our hearts and hands for God’s mission in His world.
During our 31st Biennial Convention held last year from 18 – 20 August, the Church in Convention tabled, discussed and voted to approve the 2011 LCMS Constitutional Amendments. This revision contains major amendments to our 50-year old constitution, and these organizational changes are important in our effort to meet the needs and challenges of today. Some of the amendments include:
· The change of name from LCMS to LCM (Lutheran Church in Malaysia)
· The change of usage of the term ‘Convention’ to ‘General Assembly.’
· To give voting rights to all fulltime pastors, either ordained or otherwise.
· To provide clearer definition to the role and status of the Districts and the Deans.
· To change the term of the Treasurer.
· To provide the option of having a Moderator in future General Assemblies.
However, in our Malaysian context, such amendments would only be official upon the final approval granted by the Registrar of Societies (ROS) as stipulated by the ROS Act.
After many months of waiting prayerfully, I am glad to announce to you that we have finally received the approval for the amendments from the Registrar of Societies today. (10 April 2012) We must be thankful to our risen Lord for working in the hearts of the public officials in granting us the approval. I must also convey our gratitude to those who have kept this issue in their prayers all these months.
At the same time, let us be mindful of the fact that this approval also marks the beginning of a long and laborious process for both the national office and the congregations, to make related changes to reflect the new amendments. Some of these changes include: the change of names for the congregations; the changes of names for banking accounts; the change of name in the titles of our properties; and even the change of the office stationaries.
The Bishop’s Office will be seeking information from our legal advisers on how to begin this process, and the congregations will be duly kept informed. Meanwhile, I do solicit your continual prayer support as we embark together on this transition process.
Two days ago, we celebrated Easter. With the resurrection of the Lord, the disciples were given a new hope, a new identity. It is perhaps in God’s timing, that during this Easter season, He has given us a new name and a fresh identity. From this day forth, let us be known as the Easter people of the Lutheran Church in Malaysia!
Bishop Philip Lok
Lutheran Church in Malaysia.
“Convention” 年会改成”General Assembly” 常年大会