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WordAlone Network—Annual Convention April 25-27, 2004
Roseville Lutheran Church, Roseville, MN

April 2004


Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr. Walter Sundberg: ‘Attending to God’s Word: Take Yourself as the Starting Point'
  • Rev. Randy Freund: ‘Attending to God’s Word: How Did We Get Here?’
  • Dr. David L. Balch: ‘The Sacraments and Romans 1:26-27’
  • Dr. Roy A. Harrisville III: ‘The Bible and Homosexual Behavior’
  • Dr. Paul Jersild: ‘Theological Reflections on the Issues before the ELCA Concerning Homosexuality’
  • Dr. Marc Kolden: ‘A Better Way: Traditional Christian Views on Homosexuality and the ELCA’s Struggle’
  • Dr. Simon Rosser: ‘Towards a Scientific Understanding of Sexual Orientation and a Healthier Church’
  • Dr. Warren Throckmorton: ‘Sexual Orientation: Is Change Possible?’

Plenary Session 1 April 26, 2004

Moved/Seconded/Approved

That Barry Anderson be elected as temporary convention chair.

Credentials, Standing Rules, Agenda

Moved/Seconded/Approved

Moved/Seconded/Approved

Moved/Seconded/Approved

That the Standing Rules be approved as presented.

Moved/Seconded/Approved

That the Agenda be approved as presented.

President’s Report

Jaynan Clark Egland reported to the assembly.

Nominating Committee Report

Mark Granquist listed the following nominees for the Board of Directors to be voted on at the plenary session on Tuesday, April 27, 2004:

  • Dan Baker, clergy, Albert Lea, MN
  • Fred Baltz, clergy, Galena, IL
  • John Beem, clergy, Miltona, MN
  • Denis Foote, lay, Tempe, AZ
  • Gracia Grindal, lay, St. Paul, MN
  • Stephanie Olson, lay, Manitowoc, WI

Mark Granquist also listed the following nominees for the Nominating Committee:

  • Jerald Borgie, clergy, San Diego, CA
  • Brian Daniels, clergy, Deer Park, WA
  • Linda Danielson, lay, Des Moines, IA
  • Chuck DeHaven, clergy, New Braunfels, TX
  • Bill Drew, lay, Washington, DC
  • Mark Granquist, clergy, St. Peter, MN
  • Scott Grorud, clergy, Redwood Falls, MN
  • Gerald Miller, clergy, Annapolis, MD

Additional nominations will be accepted from the floor.

Moved/Seconded/Approved

That nominations be closed at 1:30 pm today

Moved/Seconded/Approved

That the following appointment of committees and officers for this convention be approved:

  • Mark Hillmer, parliamentarian.
  • Rosalie Rosholt, chair, Elections Committee.
  • Resolution Committee consisting of Denis Foote, chair, Dan Baker, Dennis Frisbee, Ruth Hanson, and Sarah Johnson. This committee will meet at 11:15 on Tuesday.

Tony Stoutenburg spoke to the assembly on the Seminary Debt Relief Fund and how it is used. He asked for financial support for the fund and for people to indicate their willingness to serve on the committee.

Treasurer’s Report

John Beem reported to the convention referring to his written report in the convention packet. John also reported that the financials of the WordAlone Network have been audited and the WA Board of Directors received that report yesterday.

Moved/Seconded/Approved

That the treasurer’s report be approved.

That before election for the WordAlone Board of Directors, time be allocated for brief addresses by the nominees.

Plenary Session 2, April 27, 2004

Barry Anderson presided at the business session beginning at 11:00 am.

420 voting members, 489 registered attendees

Presentations were given by candidates for the WA Board of Directors in the following order:

  • Dan Baker, clergy, Albert Lea, MN
  • Fred Baltz, clergy, Galena, IL
  • Gracia Grindal, lay, St. Paul, MN
  • Denis Foote, lay, Tempe, AZ
  • Steve Olson speaking on behalf of Stephanie Olson, lay, Manitowoc, WI
  • John Beem, clergy, Miltona, MN

The presiding chair reminded the assembly that election requires that each person receive a majority vote from those voting.

Following the presentation, balloting for the Board of Directors and the Nominating Committee took place.

Plenary Session 3, April 27, 2004

Barry Anderson presided at the business session beginning at 1:30 pm.

Results of the election for the Board of Directors: (317 ballots)

  • Dan Baker — 136
  • Fred Baltz — 184
  • Gracia Grindal — 265
  • Denis Foote — 168
  • Stephanie Olson — 220
  • John Beem — 280

Elected are Fred Baltz, John Beem, Gracia Grindal, Stephanie Olson.

The following people were elected to the Nominating Committee: (299 ballots)

  • Linda Danielson
  • Chuck DeHaven
  • Bill Drew
  • Mark Granquist
  • Scott Grorud

Announcements were made by Mark Chavez regarding the role of SPOCs and the importance of and timelines for responding to the Sexuality Task Force and on new worship materials.

The convention then moved into small groups to discuss interest in pursuing a non-geographic synod. Feedback was provided to the whole group and will provide input to the board for decisions regarding this idea. The feedback was mixed, with most supporting the exploration of the idea. There seemed to be substantial support for greater congregational interaction, but there was concern about a separate ELCA Synod and the future of individual interaction within the WordAlone Network if a non-geographic synod was established.

Plenary session 4, April 27, 2004

The Resolution Committee chair reported that the committee consolidated suggested resolutions into one and presented the following resolution to the convention:

Concerning the Gift of Sexual Life and Its Divinely Created Structure

  • Whereas, the Scriptures testify that God created the gift of sexuality (Genesis 1 and 2; Mark 10:6-9; Ephesians 5:28-33); and
  • Whereas, the Scriptures clearly teach that marriage is a life-long bond of faithfulness between one man and one woman and the context for which sexual intercourse is reserved (1 Corinthians 6:15-20; Hebrews 13:4; Galatians 5:16-19); and
  • Whereas, that Biblical teaching about sexual life has shaped and continues to shape the moral fabric of civilization in profound and positive ways; and
  • Whereas, that Biblical teaching about sexual life is facing unprecedented challenges in society and the church; and
  • Whereas, a tradition so universal and valuable should not be changed without overwhelming Biblical and confessional warrant;
  • Therefore, be it resolved that the WordAlone Network honor and uphold Biblical teaching about sexual life and its vision for marriage and urge all Christians to do likewise; and
  • Be it further resolved, that any proposed change in standards and definitions for sexual life or marriage which contradicts this Biblical teaching be rejected, and
  • Be it further resolved, that this resolution be conveyed to the ELCA Task Force on Sexuality, to the ELCA Conference of Bishops, to the Church Council of the ELCA, and The Rev. Mark Hanson, presiding Bishop of the ELCA.

Moved/Seconded/Defeated

Amend the wording in first resolved clause to read as follows:

  • “Therefore, be it resolved, that this convention of the WAN commend to the church to honor and uphold Biblical teaching ….”

Moved/Seconded/Approved

That the resolution as presented be adopted by the convention.

Business session adjourned.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jo Knutson, Recording Secretary