Author Topic: Reflection on the Assembly  (Read 6664 times)

Paul L. Knudson

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Re: Reflection on the Assembly
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2013, 02:56:57 PM »
Thank you.  This is helpful.

Wayne Kofink

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Re: Reflection on the Assembly
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2013, 03:01:21 PM »
Does anyone know exactly what action was taken regarding the Means of Grace.  Some have thought there was some action that might lead to seeing the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper more as a way of focusing on hospitality?  This relates to whether or not baptism is expected to be or not be a prerequisite for receiving the Lord's Supper.  It's important for clear understanding of the action taken to keep from making false statements.

The Memorials Committee recommendation regarding the Northern Illinois Synod's memorial was:

To receive with gratitude the memorial of the Northern Illinois Synod requesting a process to review the ELCA’s guiding documents on communion practices;
To invite members, congregations, synods and the churchwide organization into conversation and study regarding the Use of the Means of Grace;
To request the Congregational and Synodical Mission unit, in consultation with the Office of the Presiding Bishop and the Conference of Bishops, to establish a process to review current documents concerning administration of the Sacrament of Holy Communion; and
To request the Congregational and Synodical Mission unit to bring a report and possible recommendations to the April 2014 meeting of the ELCA Church Council.


I believe that recommendation was approved.

Pax, Steven+

This review needs careful watching. I know one mission developer who has been told by an ELCA staff member (I don't remember who) that unbaptized persons who present themselves for communion should be communed.  There was an article in the Christian Century some months ago advocating communing unbaptized persons,and I have heard a few ELCA clergy arguing for the practice.

Richard Johnson

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Re: Reflection on the Assembly
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2013, 03:24:22 PM »
Only a few? I've heard a lot, and I've seen it stated explicitly in service bulletins and heard it stated explicitly by pastors in giving an open invitation.

I do think, however, that we probably should draw a distinction between "communing unbaptized persons who present themselves to be communed" (which a pastor may or may not even know) and "explicitly or implicitly inviting the unbaptized to receive the sacrament."

In any event, you are right that this needs to be watched carefully. I believe there will be a strong push to move this question into the murky area of "bound conscience," letting congregations and pastors do whatever the heck they please.
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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Reflection on the Assembly
« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2013, 05:02:33 PM »

In any event, you are right that this needs to be watched carefully. I believe there will be a strong push to move this question into the murky area of "bound conscience," letting congregations and pastors do whatever the heck they please.

This isn't "will be."  Between the No. Ill. Synod memorial and the Memorials Committee recommendation (it all begins on page 68 of the Committee's report, after quoting part of the relevant principle and applications in UMG and 2 (uncited) church bulletins demonstrating congregations that invite all baptized or all visitors, is this portion of the "background":

Staff in the churchwide worship team receive a number of inquiries on whether Holy Communion should be presented to only the baptized. Some are in favor of this, some are not in favor, and a good number simply ask, “What should we do?”

In the fall of 2012, the worship team gathered the professors of worship from the ELCA seminaries for a conversation about this issue. A similar conversation took place at a meeting of the Lutheran Caucus at the North American Academy of Liturgy in January 2013. In both of these conversations it was clear that more needs to be said than what exists in current ELCA documents. Regardless of the decision, it remains evident that this church would do well to have more resources on the relationship between Holy Baptism and Holy Communion.

Ultimately, decisions about communion practices are local decisions, and there is a need for a resource or resources to help congregations faithfully discern their communion practices.


IOW, the ELCA Worship department and those teaching our current seminarians are cannot agree to direct us to the same degree as UMG.

 :(
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DCharlton

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Re: Reflection on the Assembly
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2013, 06:02:53 PM »
At our 2012 Synod Assembly, an ELCA teaching theologian told us that what is commonly known as the Parable of the Prodigal Son is not about forgiveness of sins.  It is about radical hospitality.  I imagine that Radical Hospitality is behind the move to communion for the non-Baptized.  Holy Communion is not seen as sharing in the death and resurrection of the Lord, but a demonstration of God's acceptance of us "as we are."  It severs the connection between our acceptance by God and the atonement.  This way of thinking, as far as I'm concerned, there is no Easter Triduum.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 06:04:53 PM by DCharlton »
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J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Reflection on the Assembly
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2013, 07:56:21 PM »
Niebuhr's anti-creed is now Creed;  "A god without wrath who brings a people without sin into a church without repentence through the ministration of a Christ without a cross".

Half a centruy later it has found a name "radical hospitality."

Kyrie Eleison.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 07:58:11 PM by Rev. J. Thomas Shelley, STS »
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readselerttoo

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Re: Reflection on the Assembly
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2013, 08:08:25 PM »
That is my main critique of the ELCA:  Notice the frequent use of the word "we."  That, coupled with the assumption that what "we" do is automatically the work of the Holy Spirit, or what God intended, or ?  ?  Is an egocentric power trip that stifles any real ongoing dialog with the "malcontents."

Pr. Cottingham - on behalf of the author, I apologize for his having written this piece in a way that tempted you to put something other than the best construction on it.

I believe, as does the author, that when two or three are gathered in Christ's name that Jesus is faithful to His promise to be present with us.  We experienced that in Pittsburgh and, having experienced it, it is hard not to be a little bit enthusiastic.

The difficulty in all of this is coming to terms with the reality that Christ fulfills His promise among all who call on His name, not just those who do so while also being in agreement with me. The same Spirit can lead ELCA in one direction and NALC in another, yet both remain at the foot of the Cross.

I think it is instructive that Christ's promise to be with those who call on His name occurs in the middle of His instruction to brothers who are in disagreement.  I am critical of the manner in which the 2009 decision was made.  To express that criticism in the context of this conversation, I think Matthew 18 and a corresponding commitment to listen for the still small voice of the Spirit got lost in the cacophony of too many people who were too impatient to wait for God to lead the ELCA through a very difficult conversation.

As a footnote, please recall that Bishop-elect Eaton spoke to the matter of reconciliation.  Those words were not aimed at the "malcontents".  She spoke about the ELCA's duty to reach out to them.


Christ's promise is addressed to individuals not to a collective of people irregardless of the individuals which make up that collective.  Each individual in the collective is addressed by Christ's promise.  But it is an error to believe that all individuals as a collective receive that promise.

Some in the ELCA seem to believe that a collective as a whole can operate according to the Holy Spirit's direction.  The Anabaptists (think Muentzer) were in error and the New Testament does not verify this either.  ELCA has wrapped itself in the cloak of institutionalism and thus sees itself as a blessed collective in the way of the Spiritualists of Luther's time.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 08:47:00 PM by readselerttoo »

John Mundinger

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Re: Reflection on the Assembly
« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2013, 08:43:53 PM »
That is my main critique of the ELCA:  Notice the frequent use of the word "we."  That, coupled with the assumption that what "we" do is automatically the work of the Holy Spirit, or what God intended, or ?  ?  Is an egocentric power trip that stifles any real ongoing dialog with the "malcontents."

Pr. Cottingham - on behalf of the author, I apologize for his having written this piece in a way that tempted you to put something other than the best construction on it.

I believe, as does the author, that when two or three are gathered in Christ's name that Jesus is faithful to His promise to be present with us.  We experienced that in Pittsburgh and, having experienced it, it is hard not to be a little bit enthusiastic.

The difficulty in all of this is coming to terms with the reality that Christ fulfills His promise among all who call on His name, not just those who do so while also being in agreement with me. The same Spirit can lead ELCA in one direction and NALC in another, yet both remain at the foot of the Cross.

I think it is instructive that Christ's promise to be with those who call on His name occurs in the middle of His instruction to brothers who are in disagreement.  I am critical of the manner in which the 2009 decision was made.  To express that criticism in the context of this conversation, I think Matthew 18 and a corresponding commitment to listen for the still small voice of the Spirit got lost in the cacophony of too many people who were too impatient to wait for God to lead the ELCA through a very difficult conversation.

As a footnote, please recall that Bishop-elect Eaton spoke to the matter of reconciliation.  Those words were not aimed at the "malcontents".  She spoke about the ELCA's duty to reach out to them.


Christ's promise is addressed to individuals not to a collective of people irregardless of the individuals which make up that collective.  Each individual in the collective is addressed by Christ's promise.  But it is an error to believe that all individuals as a collective receive that promise.

I think you are arguing with something that I did not say.  That said, I agree.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

readselerttoo

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Re: Reflection on the Assembly
« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2013, 08:50:06 PM »
That is my main critique of the ELCA:  Notice the frequent use of the word "we."  That, coupled with the assumption that what "we" do is automatically the work of the Holy Spirit, or what God intended, or ?  ?  Is an egocentric power trip that stifles any real ongoing dialog with the "malcontents."

Pr. Cottingham - on behalf of the author, I apologize for his having written this piece in a way that tempted you to put something other than the best construction on it.

I believe, as does the author, that when two or three are gathered in Christ's name that Jesus is faithful to His promise to be present with us.  We experienced that in Pittsburgh and, having experienced it, it is hard not to be a little bit enthusiastic.

The difficulty in all of this is coming to terms with the reality that Christ fulfills His promise among all who call on His name, not just those who do so while also being in agreement with me. The same Spirit can lead ELCA in one direction and NALC in another, yet both remain at the foot of the Cross.

I think it is instructive that Christ's promise to be with those who call on His name occurs in the middle of His instruction to brothers who are in disagreement.  I am critical of the manner in which the 2009 decision was made.  To express that criticism in the context of this conversation, I think Matthew 18 and a corresponding commitment to listen for the still small voice of the Spirit got lost in the cacophony of too many people who were too impatient to wait for God to lead the ELCA through a very difficult conversation.

As a footnote, please recall that Bishop-elect Eaton spoke to the matter of reconciliation.  Those words were not aimed at the "malcontents".  She spoke about the ELCA's duty to reach out to them.


Christ's promise is addressed to individuals not to a collective of people irregardless of the individuals which make up that collective.  Each individual in the collective is addressed by Christ's promise.  But it is an error to believe that all individuals as a collective receive that promise.

I think you are arguing with something that I did not say.  That said, I agree.

The "among all" in the quote was not meant as a collective en masse but perhaps could be rephrased as "among each who call..."  Is that what was meant?

John Mundinger

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Re: Reflection on the Assembly
« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2013, 09:23:18 PM »
I said "among all who call on His name".  A plain read of those words would seem to exclude those in the collective who do not call on His name.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine