Author Topic: Saturday morning: Final plenary, final worship (A-)  (Read 5100 times)

Charles Austin

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Re: Saturday morning: Final plenary, final worship (A-)
« Reply #75 on: August 17, 2016, 10:54:55 AM »
If CORE intended a presence at the ELCA Assembly, they needed better strategy and advice. At previous Assemblies, they were walking around, wearing buttons, handing out material, inviting people to their room. They always made a special approach to the press table where media folk such as this humble correspondent were sitting.
If they did that in New Orleans, they sure were quiet about it. I was from one end of the Assembly venue to the other every day of the assembly and save for a chance encounter with someone I knew from long ago, I saw no one; and the person I met never mentioned CORE in our 5-minute conversation.
Nonetheless, my best wishes to CORE and for its work in the years ahead. I hope they keep doing what they are doing.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Missing NY/NJ and trips to Europe. But the dining room at our "ranch" is now open and some activities - with virus restrictions - are returning. For which, thanks.

Kforni

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Re: Saturday morning: Final plenary, final worship (A-)
« Reply #76 on: August 19, 2016, 11:43:13 PM »
It was a blessing to attend the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly in New Orleans last week, representing the Lutheran CORE Board.  Lutheran CORE exists to provide A Voice and Network for Confessional Renewal.

To the peripatetic Pastor Austin: Thank you for your good wishes to Lutheran CORE, but please do not marvel excessively about not running into the Lutheran CORE members and affiliates from coast-to-coast (among the 1,500+ present) during the week in NOLA .  Indeed, we were present, "all over the assembly venue every day" after your own manner.  Our approach-- deemed invisible or a failure by you-- was not a saturation strategy or a preoccupation with legislative action, but one which was focused on intentional conversations about our varied ministry initiatives, "the faith once and for all delivered to the saints," traditional / orthodox theology and practice, sharing of printed materials and, as noted above, a hospitality event hosted Thursday evening in the highly visible Lagniappe Reception area directly above the Sheraton's main lobby / restaurant / bar.  (In the Crescent City, Lagniappe means "a little something extra"

To all here on the LF Your Turn:  As noted by our moderator, the Lutheran CORE NOLA Reception was publicized not once but twice by the ELCA's Secretary Boerger during "Announcements, Announcements, Announcements...!"  (The lighthearted camp ditty led by Bp. Eaton!)  A triple toot of our horn would have been welcomed, but, as it was, we were delighted to have the CORE gathering noted on two consecutive days for all assembled and for all on line.  This is called high visibility.  This act was and is a validation of Lutheran CORE's CWA presence.  It clearly accords the organization with more than a modicum of respect.  The sense conveyed to CORE members (uncounted affiliates / fellow travellers) in NOLA was "we, too, belong here."  Perhaps the message to those embracing deeply revisionist narratives for the denomination's identity was, "Hmmm, maybe this church is more diverse than we thought..."

It surely would have been helpful to our efforts to have had the benefit of a display table, but our request for such a space was not approved by the CWA registration officials, citing limited display space, and the guideline to promote only those ministries with direct / official ELCA ties.   (In reality, the VAST amount of empty floor space in the display / dining hall seemed to beg for more vendors / featured ministries!)  It is notable that someone at the ELCA Multicultural Ministries table, which had to cede its space to another ELCA ministry theme midway through the week, cheerfully accepted our request to place the CORE sponsored, Lutheran Latino Ministry "Encuentro" invitations on their table.  (The "Encounter" will be hosted in Chicago by a Lutheran CORE-affiliated inner city ELCA parishes, Sept. 13-15, 2016).  Consistent with Presiding Bishop Eaton's accent on the Small Catechism, complimentary bilingual (Spanish / English) copies of Luther's gem, published by Augsburg Fortress, were distributed to the thirty-plus guests at the Thursday night reception.   Our host team certainly hoped for more persons during that 90 minute "convivio," but we realized that our event was up against strong competition:  Thursday evening was a popular "dinner night out" among the synodical voting member groups.   We were pleased to have ten synods represented at our event that evening.  Some expressed solidarity, others were happy to learn of CORE for the first time, all enjoyed -- in good Lutheran fashion -- the tabletalk, coffee and dessert.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2016, 11:54:50 PM by Kforni »

Richard Johnson

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Re: Saturday morning: Final plenary, final worship (A-)
« Reply #77 on: August 19, 2016, 11:47:51 PM »

It surely would have been helpful to our efforts to have had the benefit of a display table, but our request for such a space was not approved by the CWA the registration officials, citing limited display space, and the guideline to promote only those ministries with direct / official ELCA ties. 

Which makes one wonder what the official ELCA tie is with Almy, Gaspard, etc.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Charles Austin

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Re: Saturday morning: Final plenary, final worship (A-)
« Reply #78 on: August 20, 2016, 07:16:15 AM »
I'm very sorry I missed seeing more of CORE and its people. My work - assisting "Living Lutheran," and we were short-handed - kept me focused on what was necessary for the magazine.
And I am sure the CORE conversations were convivial, because of all the Assemblies I have attended, this was the most united, happy, friendly, upbeat and forward-looking of them all.
Previously, even on matters where we were in agreement, there were those who would insist on tweaking things, grumping about a relatively minor matter, or making a last-ditch (and very minor) effort to set something aside.
The vibe in New Orleans was great. Maybe because we were in the "Big Easy," the locale of "laissez le bon temps rouler," we took it easy and rolled out good times.
Nonetheless, best wishes to CORE and its conversations in the ELCA.
 
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Missing NY/NJ and trips to Europe. But the dining room at our "ranch" is now open and some activities - with virus restrictions - are returning. For which, thanks.

ramathisen

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Re: Saturday morning: Final plenary, final worship (A-)
« Reply #79 on: August 25, 2016, 06:10:02 PM »
Chuck Austin,

I must agree with you that Lutheran CORE's presence at the 2016 CWA was underwhelming. I don't wish to disagree with Keith Forni, who was the official Lutheran CORE board representative at the CWA and with whom I sat throughout the week, but there was certainly much more that Lutheran CORE could and should have done. The one higher profile moment, the Lutheran CORE reception on Thursday evening, was unplanned. Lutheran CORE believes it serves as the Voice of Lutheran confessional orthodoxy within the ELCA and it has good credentials for making that claim. But if no one knows it exists, then it has very little impact. Unfortunately.

The Lutheran CORE reception on Thursday evening came about after an announcement that Reconciling Works was holding a reception Wednesday evening with the provocative topic "What do LGBT supporters STILL want from the ELCA?" (I'm quoting the title from memory). When that announcement was made, I mentioned to Keith Forni that it provided Lutheran CORE with the opportunity to hold its own reception and request a similar announcement. To his credit, Keith jumped on the idea and quickly had the funding and the hotel space for the reception and announcements made by Secretary Boerger. Lutheran CORE deserves credit for sending such a capable representative as Keith Forni, and Keith deserves enormous credit for pulling off a reception without advance planning and getting the PR value of the announcements by Secretary Boerger. Even so, there was more that Lutheran CORE might have done to raise awareness of its existence. (I've made a number of proposals, but won't rehash them again.)
 
Many thanks to Dick Johnson for his excellent reporting.  I enjoyed Bishop Eaton's leadership and her "Report of the Presiding Bishop," with its emphasis on Lutheranism's distinctive theology and the call to promote the Small Catechism. (The 53-minute report is available on the ELCA website or YouTube.)

Dick Mathisen



Kforni

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Re: Saturday morning: Final plenary, final worship (A-)
« Reply #80 on: August 27, 2016, 04:30:32 PM »
The leadership of Lutheran CORE made a priority of having a presence at the ELCA CWA '16.  Some form of a hospitality venue was, in fact, planned all along.  Operating a hospitality suite out of a personal hotel room was impractical and inadvisable.  Downtown hotel fees being what they are, it was not feasible to set up an ongoing hospitality / meeting room throughout the event, as we have done in years past.  (That is certainly to be preferred to a single night gathering.)  CORE may well seek an expanded site in the future.    Certainly we will want to pursue more vigorously the idea of a display table site (cheered by Richard Johnson's probing note above!)  If again denied that option, perhaps a more aggressive plan of sidewalk flyering and / or pre-event mailings should be considered.  (The former approach was employed vigorously by the pro-Palestinian organizers.  We'll see what the future brings).

T'was a shame to not have more displays.  Lacking that, maybe skating lanes could be set up as a diversion / exercise option.  The cavernous exhibit halls yawned for more occupancy!

As to our ranking on the "Over / Under"-whelming barometer, there's really no comparison with previous CWA efforts.  While enjoying the generous support of many laity, clergy, congregations and friends throughout the ELCA and beyond, Lutheran CORE has fewer regional groups or chapters than before. It should be noted that we did not have particular legislative agenda items this time around. Our contingent in NOLA did grow through the support of various fellow travellers on the CWA floor as the week progressed.

Our CORE organizational impulse to gather people socially was supported by Dick Mathiesen & others.  Our request for an announcement was carried to Secretary Chris Boerger in person by an ELCA synodical bishop who was clearly appreciative of our presence.  The Fed Ex Office team across from the assembly hall turned around 800 invitation cards in an hour.  Several of us handed them out as people exited plenary events and in hallway, floor & shuttle bus chats. The splendid staff at the Sheraton carried out superb hospitality.  The prime time / prime location fellowship locale provided a great setting in which to meet and greet and to advance the action endeavors of Lutheran CORE, as we did in countless conversations, meal times, coffee breaks, etc.  As highlighted in our current newsletter, distributed widely at the CWA, these include
an upcoming three day inter-Lutheran Hispanic-Latino "Encuentro" / Conference in inner city Chicago and a Summit on Theological Education to be held next summer.