General Pastors Conference

General Pastors Conference has concluded. This page will be kept open until General Convention of Synod, for reference purposes.


UPDATE 1 – 20 February 2015
UPDATE 2 – 30 March 2015
UPDATE 3 – 8 April 2015 – Registration & Travel
UPDATE 4 – 12 May 2015 – Registrations Closing!
UPDATE 5 – 10 June 2015
UPDATE 6 – 16 June 2015 – Last Call for Airport Transfer Needs
UPDATE 7 – 25 June 2015 – Pre-Conference Update
UPDATE 8 – 1 July 2015 – LCA Bishop’s Report
UPDATE 9 – 15 July 2015 – Advice to General Synod
UPDATE 10 – 13 August 2015 – Assistant Bishop Nominations


This page contains basic information about the July 2015 LCA General Pastors Conference (GPC), to help pastors plan attendance. Updates will be uploaded from time to time.

The GPC Planning Committee, in conjunction with the LCA Bishop and the College of Bishops, has been working to shape a Conference which will be both stimulating and productive. Special attention has been given to our responsibility to act as the theological advisor to the Synod, and on this occasion, in relation to the question of the call, hence ordination, of women into the office of the public ministry. You can see the general synodical context and plan on the LCA Ordination: We’re Listening (OWL) website under Planning.

The wonderful people of Hahndorf are also preparing to receive us, with local planning well underway. There’s a significant team of folk at work, and we thank them for their service already.

As we prepare for the Conference and later Convention we pray:
Lord, in your love you have made all things; in your love you have given yourself up; and in your love you have revealed your heart.
Draw us to you as we prepare to meet in Conference, and speak to us together by your word so we may be refreshed in our calling and serve your church in truth and grace.

Date and Location

9.00 am Tuesday, 7 July, to 4.00 pm Thursday, 9 July at St Michael’s Lutheran church and school in Hahndorf, South Australia.

Worship will be held in the church and sessions in the school gymnasium, with use of other school spaces for small groups as well. The gymnasium is heated against winter cold.


The GPC’s duties are to:
(a) give guidance in matters of doctrine and confession;
(b) foster theological studies by all members of the Ministry;
(c) stimulate and give guidance to the members of the Ministry in the work of their calling;
(d) foster fellowship between the members of the Ministry; and
(e) consider matters relating to the wellbeing of the Church.

In particular the GPC must serve as a theological adviser to the General Synod and in fulfilment of such function:
(a) shall consider those questions, issues and statements of a theological and confessional nature which appear on the agenda of the Convention of the General Synod and are referred to it by the General Church Council;
(b) may voice its opinion with regard to the advisability or non-advisability of dealing with any such question or issue or of adopting a particular statement; and
(c) may recommend amendments, corrections, additions or explanations concerning proposed statements.

GPC also needs to elect nominations to pass on to General Convention for the offices of Bishop (but not this time, because a new bishop serves two terms before another election is held) and Assistant Bishop.

GPC also elects the next GPC Planning/Program Committee.

(LCA By-laws)

Attendance and Voting

All LCA pastors are entitled to attend GPC.

In particular (from the constitution and policies of the Church):

  • All pastors holding a current call should make every effort to attend to enable the GPC to fulfil its duties.
  • Specific Ministry Pastors (SMPs) should make every effort to attend but may not vote.
  • Emeriti may attend and vote.
  • Pastors on Seconded Service, Leave of Absence, or Temporarily Without Call may attend and vote.
  • A pastor who has resigned, been dismissed or suspended from the LCA Ministry may not attend.
  • Guest pastors holding a call in the LCA may attend but may not vote.
  • Those training to be pastors (Seminary students and SMPs-in-training) are not entitled to attend.

Pastors who have been elected as Synod delegates and who will therefore be attending the October 2015 General Convention in Rochedale Qld, should attend GPC without question in order to:
– better fulfil their duties at Convention;
– and to elect nominations for the position of Assistant Bishop to pass through to General Convention (other pastors may not vote in this election).

GPC is being listed as an SMP training event in place of a week at ALC, so SMPs should ensure they attend.

Electoral Functions

A Nominations Committee has been appointed and will attend to electoral functions in due course.

The Nominations Committee is Pr Matthew Wilksch (chair), Pr Tom Hoffmann and Pr John Weier.


The program this time is given almost entirely to the ordination question, so that we may best fulfil our responsibilities to Synod in regard to this matter.

The formal business to be considered will depend on what proposals, if any, are referred to GPC by General Church Council. Note that all proposals for General Convention must be made by 15May, giving GCC time to consider and refer, where necessary, to GPC.

The sessions will follow this broad outline:

– Service with Holy Communion
– Bishop’s report
– Introduction to ordination question (historical overview, proposals, dialogue)
– Dialogue in groups: Personal stories
– End of day Word and Prayer
– Conference dinner (with a surprise) – to be confirmed

– Morning Service of the Word
– Dialogue in groups: the LCA’s story (Theses of Agreement)
– Dialogue in groups: Scripture’s story and any proposals
– Feedback from dialogue, with assessment of proposals
– Shaping advice to Synod
– End of day Taize service

– Deciding advice to Synod
– Other business
– Closing service


Registration and meals
– expected to be about $200
– will be invoiced to each called pastor’s calling body (parish, District etc)
Pastors not under call (eg emeriti) will need to fund this themselves.

Travel and accommodation
Pastors must make own arrangements
The LCA will give some travel and accommodation assistance to called pastors living more than 75km from Hahndorf, but the amount has not yet been determined. The usual reimbursement levels according to car-pooling and cheapest flights will apply.
Pastors not under call (eg emeriti) will need to fund this themselves.
Specific Ministry Pastors will have travel paid by Districts and accommodation paid by the LCA as this is a required SMP training event.


Registration details will be advised at a later date but note the following.

  • Registration will open 15 March and close on 15 May.
  • Pastors seeking to register after this date will not be able to do so.
  • There will be an appeals process for exceptional circumstances.
  • There will be no registration desk at the Conference.
  • Admission to the conference will only be for those who have pre-registered per the above.

This procedure is out of love and courtesy towards those who serve us by planning the conference, preparing our physical needs etc, and who need to know final numbers well in advance.


All pastors must make their own accommodation arrangements. We urge you to book accommodation as soon as possible – to secure a room and also to obtain limited-time pricing per below.

There is no particular place reserved for you or to which we are pointing you. However the good people of Hahndorf and the SA District office make these suggestions and in some cases have arranged discounted tariffs if you mention that you are coming to the Lutheran church’s pastors conference (number of rooms available is at end of November – this will reduce of course).

And check out and as well!

It would help if those who have cars leave accommodation within walking distance of St Michael’s for those who do not have cars.

We can’t say at this stage what, if any, special transport might be arranged for those flying in and out of Adelaide airport.

Of course, if you have family or friends in Adelaide with whom you can stay, all the better!

Google is your friend – go for it!

Further Information

Additional information and news will be made available as we proceed.

If you have a question don’t hesitate to email me on and put ‘GPC Question’ in the subject line.

May the Lord bless his church as we celebrate his birth and look ahead to next year.

In his name,

Pastor Greg Pietsch
Chair – GPC Planning Committee
Ph: 03 9236 1200 (office)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]