Responses to common questions about WELS Convention
What is the synod convention?
The synod in convention is the legislative body of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). It establishes, reviews, and amends the policies and the direction of WELS as we pursue our mission.
The purpose of the synod convention is
- to meet as a delegate synod to carry out the responsibilities of the legislative body of WELS,
- to celebrate God’s blessings on our ministry in the past,
- to nurture our faith, and
- to set in motion an agreed-upon plan of ministry for the future.
Where is the convention?
Michigan Lutheran Seminary (MLS)
2777 Hardin Street, Saginaw, MI 48602
When is the convention?
Monday, July 31–Thursday, August 3, 2023
Who attends the convention?
About 400 delegates chosen by the districts attend the convention. Male called workers (pastors, teachers, and staff ministers) and voting lay members of WELS congregations make up the voting body of the synod convention. In addition, representatives from synod governance (Conference of Presidents and Synodical Council) as well as representatives of various WELS and parasynodical ministries and missions attend the convention as advisors or observers.
What kind of business is addressed at the convention?
Topics will range from ministry and administrative operations to the financial ministry plan (budget). The Book of Reports and Memorials (BORAM) includes information about any topics to be discussed and any items of business to be determined at the convention. It is important for delegates to familiarize themselves with the BORAM ahead of the convention.
Is any preparation needed by the delegate?
YES. Each delegate will be sent a copy of the Book of Reports and Memorials (BORAM) that they should read prior to the convention. It will also be available online after May 10. The BORAM is the primary source of the convention’s business, containing various departmental reports as well as formal petitions to the synod convention called “memorials.” A memorial outlines a particular item of business for consideration by the delegates. It is important to know what’s in the BORAM before floor committees meet to better understand what is being presented and discussed.
Since delegates are the representatives from their geographical areas, they are asked to know the views of those they represent and are responsible to make sure those views get heard. District presidents will inform delegates of the dates for district, conference, or circuit meetings where the BORAM will be discussed.
Where can I find the Book of Reports and Memorials (BORAM)?
A copy of the BORAM will be mailed to each delegate prior to the convention. It is also available online. View BORAM online.
How does a delegate register?
All convention delegates must register online. The deadline to register is May 15.
What does it cost to attend?
The delegate fee of $275 helps to offset the cost of the convention. It is intended that your congregation will pay this fee. In order to register, you will be required to submit payment via credit card. If using a personal card, please seek reimbursement from your calling body or congregation. The Minnesota and Dakota-Montana Districts have paid the registration fee for all their delegates, so delegates from those two districts will not be required to submit payment in order to register.*
*Minnesota and Dakota-Montana District delegates: Please refer to the registration instructions included in your first informational packet to find the registration fee code you will need to enter in your registration form in lieu of payment.
Where do delegates stay?
Unless other arrangements are made, in-person delegates will be assigned a room in the Michigan Lutheran Seminary dormitory. (There is no charge to stay on campus.)
Delegates can also stay off campus at a local hotel at their own expense. Delegates are responsible for making their own reservations.
Are meals provided for delegates?
Delegates will be provided all meals at the MLS cafeteria beginning with Monday supper and concluding with lunch on Thursday. No food and beverage expenses will be reimbursed.
Is there a dress code at convention?
There is no specific dress code for the convention. Some delegates dress in sport coats and ties, and others wear shorts and sandals. The gymnasium where the convention is held is air conditioned.
What should delegates bring with them to convention?
- A copy of the BORAM
- The delegate information booklet
- An electronic device (smartphone, tablet, laptop) and charging accessories.
- Comfortable clothing and personal care items
Should delegates bring their own personal electronic devices?
Yes, if possible, delegates should bring their own personal electronic device (a laptop, tablet, or smartphone) with WiFi capabilities. A majority of the convention materials will be made available electronically to delegates prior to or during the convention.
Please clearly label any devices so nothing gets lost.
Is the delegate information book online?
What is the convention schedule?
The convention agenda is posted online but is subject to change.
Daily minutes will be reported and uploaded after the close of each day.
What if I was supposed to attend, but now can’t?
If for any reason you are unable to attend the convention, please contact Carla Martin as soon as possible. Please do not find your own replacement, as all convention delegates must be certified by their district secretary.
Carla Martin, secretary to the president
I am not a delegate. Can I still attend the convention?
Guests may watch the proceedings from the mezzanine in the gymnasium. (Only delegates have access to the convention floor.) Access to the mezzanine is by staircase. A limited numbers of chairs will be available near the rear of the gym for those who cannot maneuver stairs. Guests may also tune in online via the livestream.
I’m not attending the convention, but want to keep up to date. Will there be information available online?
The entire convention will be streamed live on this website.
This website will also include resolutions, election results, pictures, articles, some presentations, and more. Together, the synod’s e-newsletter, will highlight important decisions and cover major events at the convention. Subscribe to Together for synod convention updates.
Social media posts at facebook.com/welslutherans will bring up-to-the-minute updates.
Convention recaps will also be included in the September WELS Connection and the September edition of Forward in Christ magazine.
More information for the delegates regarding travel and housing logistics is available in the delegate booklet and online.