I've been following this blog since its inception, most of the time in general amusement, and often in perplexity. However, I have decided to weigh in on a comment I read recently - actually, a couple. The individual surmised that perhaps the WELS is heading toward a "civil war." Others then made reference to the incorrectly-named conflict among the states of the United States. As the Confederacy was in no way interested in taking over the U.S. Federal government - that conflagration was not a "civil war" per se, i.e. Wars of the Roses. However, what we're looking at in the WELS is a "real" civil war, or more correctly - we have already been at war for at least the last 20 years, with a good many small battles before that. The WELS is hopelessly (and I say that admitting that God can do anything) divided into 3 camps. One camp consists of the C&C folks and their hangers-on. Then there's another camp made up of the "Issues in WELS" men and various allies. But by far the largest camp is right in the middle, most of whom want little or nothing to do with the war at all. The battle is for the hearts and minds of this third group. The camp that convinces them that their way is best will win - pure and simple. I should add that there is a very small group who basically feel - "a pox on all your houses!" This then leads to my last observation concerning the comment about whether or not doctrinal issues will be dealt with at the convention. Most WELS Pastors, and a lot of laymen, know that the "real" actual work of the convention is done in the floor committees. In turn, the Presidium has pretty much carte blanche in deciding who chairs these groups and also their make-up. Thus, if the SP has done his work well - and I believe he has - the issues will be dealt with in those meetings, and the memorials which come out of those committees will tell the tale. Also, the recent Ad Hoc Committee obviously dealt with doctrine and practice and called it like it is. I believe the same will be true in the floor committees. Regarding elections: The C&Cers are on the run and hoping to get a man they can depend on into the 1st VP slot. As to finances, it really won't matter too much what is decided since our nation's leaders will continue horrible policies and the economy will not recover any time soon - with the result that more cuts will be needed anyway, regardless of how the convention goes.So, in short, a nasty little quiet war has been raging in WELS behind the scenes for decades. While LCMS and ELCA often do their fighting out in the open, that is seldom, if ever, the case in WELS. I don't see any reason for this pattern to change. I seriously doubt any group will arise at Saginaw and "walk out" of the synod, and I don't think any group will be "thrown out" either. Thus, it may look to many as though very little was done. But I believe our SP will most likely get 75 to 80% of what he needs done, and we will be on our way to fixing many problems that have accumulated over the past 20 years. From my keyboard to God's ear!