The Governance Framework outlines our structure and how all the pieces of the Lutheran Church of Australia fit together and support each other. We are not pretending this is the most exciting publication you will ever read, but if you are interested in this sort of thing, you can read it here.
God grows us as his people to a mature faith in Christ – a faith that comes to life through effective witness and ministry – so that people everywhere may know Christ and his love. Our Direction, adopted by General Synod in 2018, articulates how we participate with God in this mission.
Nominations – Frequently Asked Questions
You can self-nominate to serve on an LCA governing body.
All Terms of Reference (ToR) for governing bodies will be available on the LCA website in the lead up to Synod (a link to this website will be on the LCA Synod website). Have a look through their membership requirements as many have described the competencies that are required.
As your pastor will be a referee, talk to your pastor about your intention and seek his support. (Note: if you are a pastor, your bishop will be a referee). You will need to include his contact details on the nomination form.
Complete all sections of the nomination form and submit it to the nominations committee (the email address is on the form and also included in the answer to the last question in this FAQ).
Many governance bodies are competency-based. Have a look at the skills and competencies that are required and see where you fit. Governing bodies work as a team, and it is important that members can work together. You also need to have time to commit to the preparation for meetings, to attend meetings, and to undertake any task/s in between meetings.
An ideal candidate does all of these for the common good and with a loving heart.
Any person who is a confirmed and communing member of the Lutheran Church of Australia aged over 18 years is eligible to be on a governing body, except for some committees that allow for members of other Christian denominations. A current working with children and/or police check must be provided.
There are also other requirements, including mandatory Professional Standards Training. For some roles, governance training is necessary. This may be acquired after the appointment. Please refer to the nominations form for specific details.
The first step is to complete and sign the nomination form making sure that you have included the details of your referees (refer also to question one above). You will need to get your pastor, or bishop if you are a pastor, to agree to be your referee. Then scan and submit it to the nominations committee.
Your information is made available to the Standing Committee on Nominations (SCoN), the officeholders of the relevant governing body, and to the appointing/electing body. If your nomination is not successful, with your permission it can be retained in a database so that your name is available for consideration for other governing bodies for two synodical terms. There is a box on the form that you can tick to give this permission.
Third-party nominations cannot be made except by a congregation, LCA board, district bishop or the church-wide bishop. An individual is not able to submit a third-party nomination. Please refer to this section of the nomination form.
It is not possible to nominate a non-Lutheran for membership to an LCA board or council, however, as flagged in question three above, it is possible to do so for some committees of these boards and councils (as well as other advisory groups). Such nominations will be considered in the same way as any other nomination.
Once a nomination has been received, it will be considered by SCoN. This process may include an interview and contact with your referees. SCoN will then submit its recommendations to the appointing/electing body for decision.
The General Church Board (GCB) is elected by the Convention of General Synod. All other appointments are made in accordance with the Terms of Reference ie either by GCB, the College of Bishops or the relevant board or council.
Should it become necessary to fill a casual vacancy, GCB or the appropriate body will make an appointment for the remainder of the synodical term, using the process described above.
Candidates are notified in writing after their appointment, or to advise them if they have not been successful.
You can complete the form online, but you will need to print it out to get the required signatures and then scan it in to send.
You will be notified once the selection process is complete. This may take some time.
The Terms of Reference for each body generally provide for a minimum number of meetings, but the actual number may be more. It is important that you have time available to attend meetings, to prepare for them and to undertake any tasks that may be required between meetings. Meetings are generally held during working hours. Some meetings are face to face and others may be electronic.
All appointments are for the synodical term, which is three years, commencing three months after the conclusion of the Convention of General Synod (except the GCB: its term commences at the conclusion of the Synod). If your appointment is as a result of a casual vacancy, it will finish at the end of the synodical term.
We strongly encourage that when you consider nominating for a position you carefully consider your ability to commit to it for the full synodical term. It is important for the effectiveness of governing groups that there is stability in membership. However, we acknowledge that circumstances can change unexpectedly. If this is the case the appropriate process is to discuss your decision with the chair as soon as is practicable, followed by a formal letter of resignation addressed to the chair.
All roles on LCA governing bodies are voluntary. All reasonable expenses connected to serving on the governing body will be reimbursed.
At your induction and orientation, you will be advised how to lodge a reimbursement claim using the appropriate claim form. Reimbursements will be transferred into your nominated bank account.
Vacancies are advertised through the LCA eNews and on the LCA website.
The Terms of Reference for each body is available on the LCA website, as is a competencies matrix. You may also contact the chair of the body.
Details of the cut-off date for nominations will be announced in the lead up to Convention. It is no longer possible to submit nominations at Synod.
The cut-off date for casual nominations is included in the advertisement.
Individuals can serve on up to two governing bodies simultaneously. Complete a separate form for each nomination and address the requirements for each governing body.
The Terms of Reference list who will make the decision.
The maximum term is ten years (effectively three synodical terms).
There is an expectation that people serving on governing bodies have a good understanding of the Lutheran Church, and regular attendance at church helps to ensure this is the case. However, we acknowledge that there are legitimate reasons why individuals can’t attend regularly but have a heart and capacity to serve. If this is your situation, we ask that you discuss your interest in serving on a governing body with your pastor and seek his advice – and, also because, as outlined earlier, he needs to agree to serve as one of your referees.
The minimum age is 18 years. There is no specific maximum age to be on a governing body.
A current working with children (or equivalent) and/or police check is necessary.
You may need to update your Professional Standards training.
Any conflict of interest must be declared. Please refer to the Conflict of Interest Policy at www.lca.org.au/services-resources-training/policies/
It is not possible for an undischarged bankrupt to serve on an LCA governing body.
Access to a computer and the internet is necessary for full participation in order to access meeting documents or for when electronic meetings are held.
The chair will provide each new member with an induction and orientation to the work of the group.