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Department of Archives and History of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

LCMS, Board for Parish Services Records, 1983-1994.

  • Collection Number: A-0014
  • Collection Size: 3.2 linear feet (9 volumes)

HISTORICAL NOTE

The Board for Parish Services began as the Board of Christian Education in 1929. It was the result of a merger of the General School Board (established 1914) and the General Sunday School Board (established 1920). The Board of Christian Education was comprised of thirteen members: the Synodical President, a member representing each terminal school (4), two pastors, two teachers, and four laymen. The primary responsibilities of the new board included supervising parish and Sunday school education in the Synod. The new board divided itself into the Committee on Schools and the Committee on Sunday Schools, reflective of the pre-merger boards.

The 1932 Delegate Convention changed the membership of the Board to include only nine members who lived close to one another. The Board of Christian Education was to supervise parish and Sunday school matters as one unified committee. The Board was also instructed to elect an Executive Secretary from candidates submitted by the Synod’s congregations. However, a full-time Executive Secretary was not in place until 1943.

In 1944 the Delegate Convention made changes for the Board. It changed the name to the Board for Parish Education and it added the promotion and guidance of secondary schools to the Board’s responsibilities. The Convention also created a Division of Adult Education within the Board and Rev. Oscar Feucht was called as Secretary of Adult Education in 1946.

The Board had several committees which worked under its auspices. For example, in 1930 a Catechism Committee was organized to publish an elementary Catechism. It was in place until 1950. In 1956 the Board organized an advisory Committee on Religious Education for the Mentally Retarded Child. The 1962 Delegate Convention created a separate Commission for Service to Mentally Retarded.

The 1959 Delegate Convention changed the name from the Board for Parish Education to the Board of Parish Education. In 1981 the board became the Board for Parish Services. This name change signaled a structural change. The new Board’s responsibilities expanded to include those of the Board of Parish Education, of the Commission on Church Literature, of the Commission on Worship, of the Commission on Lay Higher Education, and of the Commission on Services to the Mentally Retarded. The Board had standing committees to deal with the areas of Bible Study and Family Life Education; Church Literature; Congregational Administration; Elementary and Secondary Schools; Human Care; Ministry to Developmentally Disabled; and Sunday, Weekday, Summer Schools, and Confirmation Instruction.

In 1992 the Congregational Ministries Coordinating Committee and the Commission on Structure recommended to the Delegate Convention that the Synod establish a Board for Congregational Services, effective at the 1995 Convention. They also recommended that the Synod create a Conference of Congregational Services on a pilot basis for the 1992-1995 triennium. The 1992 Convention instructed the pilot Conference of Congregational Services (CCS) to propose membership guidelines for a smaller Conference and for the Board for Congregational Services.

In creating the new Board for Congregational Services, the Synod merged the Board for Parish Services, the Board for Evangelism Services, the Board for Youth Services, the Commission on Worship, and the Council for Stewardship. It determined that the Board’s membership would consist of 11 members: 3 pastors, 3 commissioned ministers, 3 laypersons, and 2 at-large.

The Conference of Congregational Services (CCS) is comprised of 74 members, including the members of the Board for Congregational Services. It works in conjunction with the Board in gathering information and feedback from the Districts and in sharing Synodical plans with the Districts and their congregations. The CCS also reviews Board activities and makes recommendations concerning the integration of Board operations with District/congregational needs.

For more detailed information concerning the Board of Parish Education, the Board for Parish Services, and the Board for Congregational Services, please see the following sources:

  • The Development of the Formal Structure of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod From 1847-1897 (A Report to the Synodical Survey Commission), Report 2C, November 1960, by August R. Suelflow.
  • Synodical Handbook (editions printed from 1873 to present)
  • Proceedings of the Synodical Convention

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

The collection is comprised of primarily the minutes from the Board for Parish Services. Most of the minutes are bound in 9 volumes in chronological order. However, there are folders which contain loose minutes and meeting materials. These are filed in chronological order. Minutes are missing for the years 1981-1982.

This collection represents only a small portion (series) of the records of the Board for Parish Services available at CHI. Related collections are the LCMS. Board of Parish Education Minutes, 1929-1981, and the LCMS. Board for Congregational Services Records, 1995-present. Please also consult the records of any boards, councils, and commissions which were merged to form the Board for Parish Services.

VOLUME/FOLDER LIST

–Missing minutes from June 1981-1982–
vol. 1 Minutes/Agenda, 1983
vol. 2 Minutes/Agenda, 1984
vol. 3 Minutes/Agenda, 1985
vol. 4 Minutes/Agenda, 1986
vol. 5 Minutes/Agenda, 1987
vol. 6 Minutes/Agenda, 1988
vol. 7 Minutes/Agenda, 1989
vol. 8 Minutes/Agenda, 1990
vol. 9 Minutes/Agenda, 1991
vol. 10 Minutes/Agenda, 1992

Box 1

Meeting Minutes/Dockets/Supplements, 1988-1994

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