On-site research by appointment recommended

LCMS. Work Program Records, 1962-1980.

LCMS. Work Program Records, 1962-1980.

  • Collection Number: A-0005
  • Collection Size: 1.2 linear feet, 1 volume


The 1961 Fiscal Conference recommended to the 1962 synodical convention that changes be made in the process used to determine the Synod’s budget and programs. The most important reasons included the following: the growth of the Synod, the need to bring income and expenditures into closer balance, the revised budgeting practices of the synodical districts and the specific recommendations of the 1960 Stewardship Conference for such an adjustment. Due to the need to inform and involve congregations and to establish work programs, the Board of Stewardship played an integral role throughout the various changes in the LCMS budget-setting procedure.

The Work Program Conference was organized in order that the financial planning affairs of the Synod might be handled more efficiently. Its membership included the president, the vice-presidents, the synodical Board of Directors, the district presidents and two additional representatives from each district. One of these district representatives was to be a fiscal officer and the other was to be a layman. Triennially, the members elected a chairman from among the vice-presidents and a secretary. The conference met annually, and its expenses were paid by the Synod. These were the same membership and meeting guidelines under which the Fiscal Conference had operated.

The duties of this body were also somewhat similar to those of the Fiscal Conference and are listed in the 1963 Handbook as the following:

  • to review and to discuss the financial situation of the Synod
  • to propose a challenging program of current work and capital projects with cost estimates to the Synod’s congregations
  • to propose ways and means to meet the challenges of the projected work program
  • to suggest improvements in the financial situation of the Synod
  • to help districts solve financial problems

One duty missing from the Work Program Conferece was that of establishing the synodical budget. As its predecessor, the conference made recommendations, but all appropriations had to be approved by a two-thirds majority of all votes cast at conventions. However, expenditures authorized by the conventions were subject to the appropriations made by the Fiscal Conference (before 1963) or by the Board of Directors in conjunction with the Budget Review Commission.

An additional duty of the Work Program Conference was to select from its midst a Budget Review Commission of at least 15 members. The commission worked with the synodical Board of Directors to determine the working budget for the Synod’s agencies in the current year.

The budgeting procedures changed again at the 1965 convention. The 1966 Handbook listed the Council of Adminstrators as the body charged with preparing and submitting the work programs and their cost estimates. The council submitted these proposals to the synodical Board of Directors, which then submitted budget proposals to the newly created Fiscal Review Commission. The Work Program Conference (1963-1965) and its Budget Review Commission were short-lived bodies in the LCMS budgeting process.

The president, the vice-presidents, the synodical Board of Directors, the district presidents (or their representatives) and one layman not employed by the district comprised the voting members of the Fiscal Review Commission. The Synod’s executive director, the controller and the stewardship counselor were non-voting members of the commission. In 1975 the one layman from the districts was required to be knowledgeable in fiscal affairs. In addition, one of the following was also eligible to become a member: the district treasurer, the district stewardship chairman or the district stewardship executive.

The 1966 Handbook listed the duties of the Fiscal Review Commission as reviewing the budget proposals from the Board of Directors, setting the budget and examining work programs. The Synod required the commission to meet annually no more than 30 days after the beginning of the fiscal year.

The 1965 convention added a special floor committee of the convention to the procedure, the Work Program Review Committee. The Synod’s president appointed this committee to review and to report on the two-year comprehensive program submitted to synodical conventions by the Board of Directors. Upon presentation of this report, the biennial delegate conventions were given the opportunity to adopt or reject a two-year comprehensive work program.

At the 1977 convention, the Fiscal Review Commission was dissolved by adoption of bylaw revisions that eliminated 9.11, 9.13 and 9.15 in favor a of five-step budget confirmation procedure outlined in 9.03 (see 1977 Handbook). Responsibility of budget and work program communication throughout the Synod fell to the districts and synodical stewardship boards.

In addition, the floor committee’s name was changed to Program Implementation. The president appointed its members and chose a representative from each district plus at least one board and staff advisor from the Board of Directors and from the Board of Stewardship. The committee still held primary responsibility for reviewing the biennial budgets and work programs. However, the Synod also required its members to communicate more actively with the districts. After 1983 floor committees continued to exist with similar duties but with different names.


The Work Program records include materials from the Work Program Conference (1962-1965); from the Work Program Review Committee, the convention floor committee and its successors; and from any other body meeting for the purpose of discussing and setting the work programs for the Synod. The records are arranged into two series: Synod and Regional Conferences. The folders are arranged in chronological order and are in alphabetical order within each year.

The Synod series contains the bulk of the collection. Most of the records are meeting minutes and financial lists for the various divisions of the Synod that Conference participants examined. The amount of material varies, as the folder list discloses. There are no records for the years 1972, 1974-1975 and 1978. There are also some 1963-1964 Work Program Conference records in the LCMS. Fiscal Conference Records, 1926-1964, v.8.

The Regional Conferences series contains miscellaneous documents such as agenda or announcements relating to various regional meetings. In some cases it is difficult to distinguish to which district’s meetings the documents pertain.


Synod Series


f.1 Budget Review Committee (31 Jan.-1 Feb.)
f.2 Divisional Chairman Reports (1-2 May)
f.3 General
*(for 1963 Work Program Conference Prospectus /Minutes see the LCMS. Fiscal Conference Records, 1926-1964, v.8.)

1964 Work Program Conference (7-8 May)

v.1 Prospectus
v.1 Minutes


v.1 Budget Conference Prospectus (11-12 March)
v.1 Budget Conference Minutes (11-12 March)
f.4 Work Program Conference (13-14 May): Minutes, Prospectus, Supplemental Prospectus


f.5 Work Program Conference (18-10 July) – Prospectus and Minutes
f.6 Additional Meeting Materials


f.7 General Information


f.8 Work Program Requests


f.9 Work Program Requests

1973 Budget Requests



f.52 Fall Work Program Planning Conferences, Counselor’s Manual

1979 Program Budget Worksheets

f.53 Division of Theology and Church Related
f.54 Division of Missions and Special Ministries
f.55 Division of Higher Education
f.56 Division of Parish Services
f.57 Grants/Projects/Special Endeavors
f.58 Administration at Synodical Headquarters
f.59 Division of Administration
f.60 Division of Stewardship
f.61 Division of Communication
f.62 Division of Church Government

Regional Conferences Series

f.63 1964
f.64 1967-1972


The Work Program records have been transferred to Concordia Historical Institute by numerous individuals through the years.

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