13 February 2009

Issues Overture to Southern Illinois District Convention

The following overture will come before next week's convention of the Southern Illinois District of the LCMS. I share it here with the full permission and blessing of the overture's author, the Rev. Michael Kumm.


WHEREAS, Issues Etc. weekday and national Sunday night show was cancelled on Tuesday March 18th, 2008, for programmatic and business reasons; and

WHEREAS, The LCMS Board of Director's stated in the September 2008 Reporter, “the Board authorized its general counsel to prepare a release for use of the LCMS-owned trademark for the radio program "Issues, Etc.," the archived programs, and related materials to Rev. Todd Wilken and Jeff Schwarz. Wilken and Schwarz intend to continue the program, which was dropped by KFUO. According to (Ron) Schultz, the Board expects the agreement will help bring the recent programming issues to a positive conclusion”; and

WHEREAS, The U.S. Trademark office, stated that in October of 1999 the LCMS failed to maintain its trademark on the name "Issues, Etc."; and

WHEREAS, On May 31, 2008, Mr. Harry Madsen made application for the trademark in his own name, as sole proprietor, desiring to make arrangements for Rev. Wilken and Mr. Schwarz to use the "Issues, Etc." name for their new radio broadcast.; and

WHEREAS, On December 2, 2008 the LCMS filed a Letter of Opposition to Mr. Madsen's trademark application; and

WHEREAS, On December 7, 2008 Mr. Madsen filed a Motion to Dismiss the LCMS Objection on grounds with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office; and

WHEREAS, On December 16th, 2008 the attorney for the LCMS Board of Director's sent a letter threatening to recommend legal action against Rev. Wilken and Mr. Schwarz, “to enforce its rights to the trademark”; and

WHEREAS, No vote is recorded in any minutes of the LCMS Board of Directors stating a change in their position “to assign its entire right, title, and interest in and to the Issues, Etc. mark….to Rev. Wilken and Mr. Schwarz”, which was written in the resolution voted on and carried at the August 21-22, 2008, meeting and recorded in the minutes;

WHEREAS, The LCMS has spent thousands of dollars on the opposition to the Issues, Etc. trademark, and the expense and opposition and threatened legal action is totally unnecessary and is a poor use of Synodical financial resources and man hours that could be used for the further proclamation of the Gospel; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Southern Illinois District gathered in convention at Collinsville, Illinois, this 21st day of February, in the year of our Lord 2009, give thanks and praise to God for the ministry of Issues, Etc. and the hard work of Pastor Wilken and Mr. Schwarz, and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Southern Illinois District direct the District President to admonish the Synodical Board of Directors to cease and desist all legal action regarding the Issues, Etc. trademark and legal action against Rev. Wilken and Mr. Schwarz; and be it further

RESOLVED, that Synodical Board of Directors be admonished to be better stewards of donated congregational dollars to be used toward the proclamation and spreading of the Gospel rather than frivolously engaging in legal matters; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Synodical Board of Directors adhere to their published and carried resolution of August 2008, and withdraw its opposition to Mr. Harry Madsen’s application for the trademark “Issues, etc.,” and release the archived programs, and related materials to Rev. Wilken and Mr. Schwarz; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that these actions by the Synodical Board of Directors will bring the recent programming issues to a positive conclusion for all.


  1. Thanks, Randy! I forwarded this, at his request, to my DP, Rev. Ken Lampe of the Mid-South. Keeping faith in the Crucified,

    Pr. Paul Becker

  2. Hi! I'm curious how this made it onto the agenda of the SIL Distict Convention. I'd have assumed that the limit for overture submission was at least 5 weeks ago.

    Is there some way to get an overture added to a convention without going through the floor committees?

    I would appreciate any info that I can add to http://LCMSpolitics.org


    Norm Fisher

  3. Standard Roberts Rules of Order. Go to the mic, request to be recognized, introduce your overture, get a 2nd (be sure you have plenty of pre-arranged support for the 2nd and discussion prior to your action), discuss, vote. It is possible the convention may vote to send it to a floor committee, but it is also possible that it may pass (or fail) without floor committee intervention. It also doesn't hurt to have a DP who is favorable to the cause.