ALPB Forum Online

ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: Coach-Rev on November 04, 2010, 01:11:21 PM

Title: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Coach-Rev on November 04, 2010, 01:11:21 PM
Without going into great detail, several former ELCA pastors and synod council members have talked about a proposed restructuring of the call process in the ELCA.  As it is, interims are appointed by the synod office, and I believe (although I could be mistaken on this) that the synod office has authority now to appoint pastors to multi-point parishes, even if they do not always do so.

Word is that having all clergy positions appointed, rather than called, is in the works, through something called "parish arrangement,"  possibly as soon as 3 years and the 2013 CWA.  I would like to know more info on this, if it exists, and where to find it.

Thanks
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: jrubyaz on November 04, 2010, 01:20:40 PM

I can't believe that information would even be remotely considered accurate. If it is , add another nail to the coffin. That would totally negate the congregation in the call process.

 

Without going into great detail, several former ELCA pastors and synod council members have talked about a proposed restructuring of the call process in the ELCA.  As it is, interims are appointed by the synod office, and I believe (although I could be mistaken on this) that the synod office has authority now to appoint pastors to multi-point parishes, even if they do not always do so.

Word is that having all clergy positions appointed, rather than called, is in the works, through something called "parish arrangement,"  possibly as soon as 3 years and the 2013 CWA.  I would like to know more info on this, if it exists, and where to find it.

Thanks
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on November 04, 2010, 01:32:42 PM
I know that, even before the current restructuring, the ELCA had moved the "roster" out of the Synod's hands and into the Office of the Secretary of the ELCA.  This may, or may not be, a huge deal.  Practically speaking, the most immeadate ramification is that an ELCA pastor now submits their mobility paperwork to the ELCA and not their Synod Office.  There are other possible ramifications, but they have yet to be fully fleshed out.

I also know that Synods and Synodical Bishops have the authority to appoint clergy as "interim" to parishes that do not have a Pastor under call.  Such an arrangement is supposed to be temporary, and once a congregation gets moving in the call process, it is supposed to end with the congregation calling a Pastor to serve them.  Sometimes this can be a longer-term arrangement when a congregation is under "redevelopment," or is recovering from conflict or misconduct.  But even in these circumstances, there should be a contract developed between the Synod and the congregation stating the terms and length of the appointment.

As far as "multiple-point" congregations, they follow the same call process as any other parish, each point completing their "Ministry Site Profiles" and waiting for candidates who might be suited to serve the congregation(s).  There can be complications if one point(s) like a candidate and the other(s) don't, but again that process should be clearly worked out in some sort of constitution or "Shared Ministry Agreement."

I'm about as paranoid as they come when it comes to the ELCA and ecclesiastical "marshall law," but I have heard nothing about what you detail nor would I see that move in the pipe in the near future...  But I could always be surprised...

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: George Erdner on November 04, 2010, 01:53:39 PM
Could someone who is well informed on ELCA rules explain how some things work?

Doesn't a bishop have to approve all calls? Does that mean that as long as a congregation submits names of pastors the bishop doesn't want them to have as pastors, the bishop can turn them down even if they are on the roster, enabling the bishop to keep an "interim" appointed pastor in place permanently?

Does a bishop have the authority to "blacklist" pastors even if they are on the ELCA roster by simply refusing to ever approve them for a call?


Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Pilgrim on November 04, 2010, 02:03:08 PM
Tim comments: This may vary, but my experience has been that Bishops "sign" calls. That's different from "approving". The congregation and/or Pastor can generally proceed regardless. Around here, interims are involved in a sort of both/and process. The Synod provides names of interims but the congregations appear to retain the final word (pending availablity, which can be problematic), and works out the details of the contract with the interim.

IMHO, no Bishop in their right (or wrong) mind would "blacklist" a Pastor in any traceable way. The human evaluative element, which is, in part, entrusted to the Bishop's office, does (and must) come into play. We do not live in a perfect world. That some clergy would perceive that others or themselves had been "blacklisted" (to use that term), is certainly possible in this fallen world. But it does seem to be "trading on the low side" of the proper use of the 8th commandment.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: totaliter vivens on November 04, 2010, 02:11:39 PM
I find it VERY difficult to believe that such a plan would be under consideration. The call process is not something I can see ANY American LUTHERAN congregation being willing to surrender to Synodical control.

SPS
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Richard Johnson on November 04, 2010, 02:15:26 PM
I find it VERY difficult to believe that such a plan would be under consideration. The call process is not something I can see ANY American congregation being willing to surrender to Synodical control.

SPS


I don't disagree, and yet I observe that the United Methodist Church, that "most American" of denominations (as they are often called, or were in the 19th century at least), has always functioned under a system where pastors are appointed by the bishop, with little input from congregations. At least when I was in the system, if a new appointment was in the offing, the proposed pastor met with a committee in the congregation (usually the Pastor/Parish Relations committee, similar to Mutual Ministry), and the understanding was, "This is the pastor the bishop will appoint, unless the committee sees some major reason why that's not a good idea--in which case it will at least be discussed, but the bishop may still appoint that pastor.")
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Kforni on November 04, 2010, 02:18:26 PM
Given that we are all pilgrims on the way, having here "no abiding city," all pastorates have an "interim" quality.   Some "interims" seem to morph into a kind
of de facto "call" -- in the perception of pastor, people and community.   I think of a colleague who is entering a second decade of "interim" service.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 04, 2010, 02:22:14 PM
Why would "former ELCA pastors" and "former synod council members" cited at the beginning of this thread even care? Or how would they know? Or how would we know that they are accurate?
Provide names, situations, and real evidence.
Otherwise, this is just gossip. Unhealthy gossip.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: totaliter vivens on November 04, 2010, 02:22:56 PM
Richard:

I have modified my post. I meant to refer to American Lutheran congregations, since I know other denominations have other systems. But I see congregational calls as so rooted in the American Lutheran experience, I don't see any possibility of a change in that within my lifetime at least.

SPS
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Kforni on November 04, 2010, 02:45:58 PM
Has anyone heard of an "interim" pastorate lasting longer than ten years?
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Timotheus Verinus on November 04, 2010, 03:23:20 PM
Has anyone heard of an "interim" pastorate lasting longer than ten years?

Yes, 17 years (an ELCA pastor) .. which makes me extremely nervous when my folks ask, "so let's get this straight ... if we never form a call committee, what happens?"

TV
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on November 04, 2010, 03:32:10 PM
Has anyone heard of an "interim" pastorate lasting longer than ten years?

In some synods, interims are removed from the roster if they haven't had a call in three years. It nearly happened to a friend of mine. After doing interims for 2 years, 10 months, he received a notice from the synod council that he would be removed if he didn't receive a call within the next two months. He did.

Other synods extend specialized calls from the synod council for interim ministers.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Timotheus Verinus on November 04, 2010, 03:39:43 PM
Has anyone heard of an "interim" pastorate lasting longer than ten years?

In some synods, interims are removed from the roster if they haven't had a call in three years. It nearly happened to a friend of mine. After doing interims for 2 years, 10 months, he received a notice from the synod council that he would be removed if he didn't receive a call within the next two months. He did.

Other synods extend specialized calls from the synod council for interim ministers.

The ELCA has enough interims that they could go without a call?!!  ??? I'm not surprised your friend only took 2 months to "get a call."

That's a new one for me. The interims (mostly LCMS) I know, have at least two vacancy congregations watching their schedule to try and coincide with their finishing. Now congregations that can't get a pastor to accept their calls, and try to cling to their interim, "one more year?" that's a different story. That and many Interims are "retired," emeritus, so I'm not sure how they would be derostered?  ???

Charles do you get de-rostered if you don't have a follow on call?

TV
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 04, 2010, 04:29:39 PM
Interims are usually "contracted" for a period of time, six months or a year. It is sometimes renewed, depending on where the congregation is with regard to a call or being ready to call. I can't imagine an "interim" going on longer than two years.
And it is stipulated in the interim agreements I have known that the interim may not be considered for the regular call.
I'm retired, and that is my status on the clergy roster, whatever I do. My seminary classmate who made a career of interim pastorates was just "on leave from call" when he was between interims, usually only for a few months.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Timotheus Verinus on November 04, 2010, 04:47:40 PM
Interims are usually "contracted" for a period of time, six months or a year. It is sometimes renewed, depending on where the congregation is with regard to a call or being ready to call. I can't imagine an "interim" going on longer than two years.
And it is stipulated in the interim agreements I have known that the interim may not be considered for the regular call.
I'm retired, and that is my status on the clergy roster, whatever I do. My seminary classmate who made a career of interim pastorates was just "on leave from call" when he was between interims, usually only for a few months.

That tracks with what I have seen. Two years should be about max. And I have not seen a "interim qualified" pastor go very long without more than one call to consider. If they can't be highly considered for call, there is some question how well they might do in an interim situation, No?

TV
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: George Erdner on November 04, 2010, 05:43:26 PM
Why would "former ELCA pastors" and "former synod council members" cited at the beginning of this thread even care? Or how would they know? Or how would we know that they are accurate?
Provide names, situations, and real evidence.
Otherwise, this is just gossip. Unhealthy gossip.

Lighten up, Chuck. Perhaps this is a situation where someone must maintain confidentiality regarding a source for one valid reason or another. Perhaps he became aware of some "trial balloon" thinking, and exposing it to the light of day is the best way to nip it in the bud. As long as no specific names are named and no hints of names are revealed that could embarrass anyone, this isn't gossip.

Or would you suggest that it's better to wait until such a terrible idea is actually implemented before it is publicly discussed? Is waiting until it's too late to stop a bad idea a good and positive thing to do?

Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Richard Johnson on November 04, 2010, 05:55:14 PM
I can't imagine an "interim" going on longer than two years.

You need to work on your imagination. A congregation in my conference just installed a new pastor and said goodbye to their 3-year interim.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: George Erdner on November 04, 2010, 06:39:20 PM
I can't imagine an "interim" going on longer than two years.

You need to work on your imagination. A congregation in my conference just installed a new pastor and said goodbye to their 3-year interim.

There are congregations in the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod that have had "interims" for as long as four or five years. The synod will assign pastors who already have calls for vocations like campus ministries, chaplaincies, or other non-parish assignments to handle multiple parishes as "interim" pastor, responsible for visiting shut-ins and other pastoral duties, while Lay Worship Leaders and retired pastors fill their pulpits. There were also times when a pastor with a regular call to a congregation might be asked to also be the "interim" for another near-by pastor-less congregation.


Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on November 04, 2010, 07:20:03 PM
I can't imagine an "interim" going on longer than two years.


When I enetered the Ministry, I couldn't, either.  But having seen it happen several times -- even in healthy congregations in metropolitan areas -- I don't need to imagine it. 

As for the proposal (?) Coach-Rev used to introduce this thread, this is the first I've heard of it.  There are economic realities in several of our synods, though, that would encourage this sort of thinking. 

OTOH, imposing it churchwide would be a complete reversal of nearly 275 years of American Lutheran practice.
 
Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: totaliter vivens on November 04, 2010, 07:31:40 PM


OTOH, imposing it churchwide would be a complete reversal of nearly 275 years of American Lutheran practice.
 
Pax, Steven+

Sad thing is, in our current situation, I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this. Ironic, I know, but nevertheless true.

SPS
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Keith Falk on November 04, 2010, 07:32:19 PM
I can't imagine an "interim" going on longer than two years.


When I enetered the Ministry, I couldn't, either.  But having seen it happen several times -- even in healthy congregations in metropolitan areas -- I don't need to imagine it.  

As for the proposal (?) Coach-Rev used to introduce this thread, this is the first I've heard of it.  There are economic realities in several of our synods, though, that would encourage this sort of thinking.  

OTOH, imposing it churchwide would be a complete reversal of nearly 275 years of American Lutheran practice.
  
Pax, Steven+

Hey, it wouldn't be the first time that the churchwide expression instituted a change reversing centuries of American Lutheran practice...

As to the length of interims - there was an interim in our conference which lasted over 15 years... then the congregation had to have an interim pastor (almost 2 years) to work on things the first, long-term interim left behind.

Addition:  When I speak of "interim" - the congregation had ONE interim pastor - the same guy - for over 15 years.  Then another pastor came in and served almost years as interim.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: totaliter vivens on November 04, 2010, 07:35:02 PM
Christ Church had an interim of almost 3 years, served by 4 interim pastors, before calling me.

SPS
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: SmithL on November 04, 2010, 07:45:37 PM
OTOH, imposing it churchwide would be a complete reversal of nearly 275 years of American Lutheran practice.
 
Pax, Steven+

Like the ELCA hasn't already set that precedent.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Paul L. Knudson on November 04, 2010, 09:48:46 PM
As for the United Methodist practise of appointing pastors, I remember Lyle Schaller speaking of the way conflict was handled.  Just move the pastor on without dealing with the issues.  He saw it as a very unhealthy system.  It was more the rule than the exception to have short pastorates.  I do know, however, that there were those who were untouchable as it were.  Bishops knew better than to try to pry them away from their parish. 

Even if this "rumor" were true, it would be a disaster, at least out here on the prairies even among pro-ELCA congregations.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Coach-Rev on November 04, 2010, 09:56:30 PM
I would think so as well.  Adopting a "Methodist" style of pastoral management and appointment would never fly in the ELCA.  That said, I know how these things have unfolded in the past.  The new hymnal:  "Trust us.  Approve it and we'll get it out to you."  And what we got was that shameful cesspool of a mess called ELW.  Or the implementation of the new V&E:  The same thing is said, and in fact, the CWA handed all its authority over to the synod council on that one.   Is the same thing possible with respect to authority in the call process ultimately being handed to the Bishops?
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 04, 2010, 09:58:56 PM
I repeat: We are dealing with unsubstantiated rumors from what may be unreliable sources.

And BTW: Yes, Richard, I can imagine a long long interim. But I was not speaking of how long it takes to fill a vacancy. I was speaking of the "intentional interim" pastorate that often occurs in troubled congregations or in congregations where the departure of a long-time pastor means a "buffer" is needed before the next pastor is called. In New Jersey, the interim agreement has a time limit, usually one year. I did one that was two, because it was agreed the congregation would not begin seeking a pastor to call for the first year.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: George Erdner on November 04, 2010, 11:06:38 PM
I repeat: We are dealing with unsubstantiated rumors from what may be unreliable sources.


I repeat: Regardless of the source of this idea, if there is even the remotest chance that it is being considered, there is no harm in discussing it, and possibly some benefit if those who are contemplating it discover the depth of opposition to the idea. No names have been named. No individual has been falsely accused. At worst, the time spent discussing this issue might have been better spent doing something else.

Perhaps you need to give some prayerful consideration to the concept that an idea can be discussed independent of any specific person or persons who originated the idea.

Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: revklak on November 04, 2010, 11:32:38 PM
Has anyone heard of an "interim" pastorate lasting longer than ten years?

Yes, your colleage yuo've reffeed to!   ;)
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: revklak on November 04, 2010, 11:37:36 PM
Has anyone heard of an "interim" pastorate lasting longer than ten years?

Yes, your colleage yuo've reffeed to!   ;)

Seriously, though, when I started seminary, I was asked by a local pastor to "fill-in" for him for the summer while he did extended pilot ministry throughout the upper great lakes, spelling pastors in remote areas for a summer break.  This, he did, because he was retired, and where I "filled-in" at was his interim position, of which he was in his 7th or 8th year.  He remained until they called a first call pastor some 4 or 5 years later.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 05, 2010, 05:24:13 AM
We can discuss anything, but this topic began and continues along the lines of "Ooooh! Here's another terrible thing those people 'up there' are plotting to do to us! The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"
Everybody just make one phone call or send one email to their bishop and ask: "Hey, any plans to go to the practice of appointing pastors and radically changing the current call process?"
We should talk about reality, not paranoia-packed rumors and gossip.

And there's still plenty of opportunity in that for the "sky-is-falling" folk to chirp in.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Dadoo on November 05, 2010, 06:58:27 AM
Without going into great detail, several former ELCA pastors and synod council members have talked about a proposed restructuring of the call process in the ELCA.  As it is, interims are appointed by the synod office, and I believe (although I could be mistaken on this) that the synod office has authority now to appoint pastors to multi-point parishes, even if they do not always do so.

Word is that having all clergy positions appointed, rather than called, is in the works, through something called "parish arrangement,"  possibly as soon as 3 years and the 2013 CWA.  I would like to know more info on this, if it exists, and where to find it.

Thanks

Coach-Rev,

This proposal would require substantial constitutional changes. I a not so sure we would get those through and even if we did the fallout would make today look like a pleasant spring day. I am not usre where this was picked up but sometimes even the best of pastors pick up erroneous information.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Coach-Rev on November 05, 2010, 08:07:46 AM
We can discuss anything, but this topic began and continues along the lines of "Ooooh! Here's another terrible thing those people 'up there' are plotting to do to us! The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"
Everybody just make one phone call or send one email to their bishop and ask: "Hey, any plans to go to the practice of appointing pastors and radically changing the current call process?"
We should talk about reality, not paranoia-packed rumors and gossip.

And there's still plenty of opportunity in that for the "sky-is-falling" folk to chirp in.


Well, since I'm apparently one of the "sky is falling" folk here, I do not believe I said anything of the sort, Charles.  But thank you for, once again, illustrating perfectly the absolute and utter rift in the ELCA.  Thank you for showing that the very notion of "bound conscience" is nothing more than a complete sham.  Thank you for demonstrating a total lack of tolerance for anyone who might have a differing viewpoint from you.

Considering that I said nothing of the sort, I think it is worth your time to go back and re-read my initial post which began this thread.  Rumor or not, I was looking for confirmation OR refutation of the subject.  It came from some reliable sources that quite frankly, given your hostility, you never need know who they are. 

And many folk wonder just how we got to this point in the ELCA....  sheeesh.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: gcnuss on November 05, 2010, 08:43:24 AM
I can't imagine an "interim" going on longer than two years.

You need to work on your imagination. A congregation in my conference just installed a new pastor and said goodbye to their 3-year interim.

My present call followed a three-year interim.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 05, 2010, 08:56:25 AM
Someone writes:
Well, since I'm apparently one of the "sky is falling" folk here, I do not believe I said anything of the sort, Charles.  But thank you for, once again, illustrating perfectly the absolute and utter rift in the ELCA.  Thank you for showing that the very notion of "bound conscience" is nothing more than a complete sham.

I comment:
Please explain to me how handling a rumor about the call process has anything to do with "bound conscience" and the Social Statement on Human Sexuality.
Please explain to me about how asking for more reliable and detailed information illustrates any "utter rift" in the ELCA.

Someone writes:
Thank you for demonstrating a total lack of tolerance for anyone who might have a differing viewpoint from you.
I comment:
What viewpoint? No "viewpoint" has been expressed here. My only "viewpoint" is that we ought not to chitter-chatter about rumors or gossip. If yours is different than that, then we disagree; but I'll tolerate your desire to rumor monger and gossip.
Good grief!
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: George Erdner on November 05, 2010, 09:56:52 AM
Anyone who calls on anyone else to "please explain" should have established some sort of personal track record for responding positively when he is asked to "please explain". Anyone who categorically refuses to ever explain when asked should never be surprised when his own requests for explanation are ignored.

And please, don't ask me to explain this.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on November 05, 2010, 01:22:34 PM
I will throw this in, with some caution here...

The Episcopal Church (TEC) has a national system where candidates and congregations both throw their paperwork into a national database and matches are kicked out across the board.  Then additional screening goes on for Diocese preference and the list is then sent to the parish vestry for interview...  That model is one possible implication of the roster now being in a single, centralized office (that of the Secretary of the ELCA).  Not saying that's what's happening, but it is one foreseeable possibility as time goes on...

That being said, TEC parishes still get to interview and select their candidate for call...

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Pilgrim on November 05, 2010, 02:18:35 PM
Tim notes: Actually, our call processes have been undergoing revision for some time (either synodically - we've been through 2 or 3 in the past 15 years or so - or nationally or both), and although it may not be the case in all synods as of yet, the "national" database for rostered personel does seem to be present, at least in part, due to the enhanced storage and communicative abilities of the internet. Training of call consultants in our synod duly noted the coming day when rostered personel and the necessary "call documentation" would be "housed" in a centralized national database. I never got the impression that such being the case in any way removed the congregation from the process (which is a long standing Lutheran mind set as noted previously). I got the sense that it would facilitate greater ease of movement on a national basis for rostered folks as well as a greater pool of possible matching candidates for congregations by drawing nationally as opposed to a synodical file cabinent.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on November 05, 2010, 02:32:39 PM
I agree with you, Tim, and that's why I chose to throw this nugget out far, far downstream and with the appropriate caution...  I too think that this helps "open up" mobility and uses the opportunities of modern technology to better effect, but it could be...misconstrued...as a further "cinching" down of the mobility process by the denomination.

Though I do have some concern that running the mobility process through 8675 West Higgins Road could be manipulated...  But then again, for the more Machiavellian minded among us, there are oh so many ways to manipulate the process already.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: George Erdner on November 05, 2010, 02:47:36 PM
Can anyone shed some light on the current call process in the ELCA?

When a congregation is looking for a pastor to call, are there multiple venues they can use for their search, or must all searches go through the chain of command?

Are congregations typically given multiple candidates to consider, or is the process more of a one at a time, accept or reject this one before you get the next one process?

How transparent is the match-up process of needs and gifts? How effective or accurate are the assessments of any pastors' portfolio of gifts in the database being discussed? If a congregation determines they have excellent lay leaders for music and Sunday School, but have a high level of need for a pastor with particular gifts for dealing with senior citizens, what are the chances they'll get matched up with a pastor who is great with seniors even if he isn't so hot with music or Sunday School?

If a congregation says that they want a pastor whose bound conscience will lead him to not teach the confirmation classes that homosexual relations are OK so long as the two homosexuals love each other, will that be respected in terms of what candidates are sent to the congregation?

Back around a decade ago, my congregation's long-term pastor announced he'd be retiring in a year, and so the congregation searched for and called a replacement pastor to serve as a sort of "co-pastor" for a year long transition period. (The retiring pastor ended up convinced to stay a full year after the search for the replacement was completed.) Is that rare or common?

Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: peterm on November 05, 2010, 02:52:27 PM
George the process can vary from synod to synod, but at some point information on both candidates looking for call and congregations seeking pastors comes to the synod office.  Profiles for both parties are as accurate as they are perceived to be by those filling them out.  Every attempt is made to match the skills with the needs.  Some synods send a call  committee only one name at a time, some send multiple names.  There is also an avenue for the congregation to submit names that they would like to consider.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Pilgrim on November 05, 2010, 02:53:40 PM
George,

It's sort of like "getting married". The answer to all your questions is a qualified "Yes"! The better the "dating/interview/search" process, prayerfully, the better the "match". It should be in the best interests of congregation, Pastor and synod/Churchwide to achieve the best "marriage" possible. I've been in my current call going on 11-years and in spite of the challenges presented, it's been a wonderful ministry. But in the real world, well, that's not always the case.

Pr. Tim Christ, STS
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Timotheus Verinus on November 05, 2010, 03:39:22 PM
George,

It's sort of like "getting married". The answer to all your questions is a qualified "Yes"! The better the "dating/interview/search" process, prayerfully, the better the "match". It should be in the best interests of congregation, Pastor and synod/Churchwide to achieve the best "marriage" possible. I've been in my current call going on 11-years and in spite of the challenges presented, it's been a wonderful ministry. But in the real world, well, that's not always the case.

Pr. Tim Christ, STS

I'm glad you made that analogy, but would offer a caution, and one reason why there is no substitute for prayer, and simply a call committee seeking God's Will.

Mission planning based in Walmartinizing will tell you where your demographics are. But they do not tell you that God placed that church to reach the small group on the other side of the Hiway.

Secondly, "CompuMatch" would never have put my wife and I together. Thirty seven years plus of blessings would indicate that God's Will was not on the qualifying questionaire, and that it might need to be weighed in the analysis somewhere.

TV
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: amos on November 05, 2010, 03:54:12 PM
Charles, Your comment --- "Everybody just make one phone call or send one email to their bishop and ask: "Hey, any plans to go to the practice of appointing pastors and radically changing the current call process?" --- among several others was remarkable.  It rings right up there with the attitude of the original cheer leaders for the "mother church" like Johann Eck.

Unfortunately one's own experience in one synod may differ drastically from what is happening in a different synod. Before one releases a load of vitriol on someone who simply ask a question it might be  (should I say fair) to at least find out why the question was asked and in what context.  For example, at our synod assembly we were told by our key note speaker, Martin Marty that the whole concept of Justification by grace is irrelevant. For a traditional orthodox pastor I find that extremely hard to accept. By the way that is not rumor - it was also quoted directly on the floor and also from the printed handout given out at the assembly. That kind of thinking may not be present in your synod but it is present in the ELCA. 

 I respect your right to express your opinion but opinions are like noses, everyone has them. To blindly continue to be a cheer leader for the ELCA in every circumstance with out any real knowledge about the situation only makes the likes of Johann Eck proud.   
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 05, 2010, 04:00:43 PM
One more time: I am not a cheerleader for the ELCA in every instance.
My one, my only, my singular comment regarding this particular thread of discussion about changes in the call process was: don't get panicky about rumors, but call your bishop or an A2B and ask how it works in your synod.
That's all. That's all. That's all. That hardly makes me Dr. Eck. (But wasn't he a villain in one of the Spiderman movies?)
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: George Erdner on November 05, 2010, 05:11:16 PM
One more time: I am not a cheerleader for the ELCA in every instance.


Picking one or two minor and obscure things to publicly object to just to give the illusion of not being the ELCA's head cheerleader is deceptive and deceitful.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Coach-Rev on November 05, 2010, 07:27:57 PM
The funny thing here is that this whole thread was started to find information, from others since I find it hard to trust the synod office right now, based on things that have been publicly stated of late, not the least of which is the approval of Marty's keynote statements by our synod office, mentioned by Amos.  I'm a bit disappointed that I seem to be getting attacked by one individual for doing what he keeps instructing me to do.

One more thing:  Is "Charles Austin" a pseudonym for Mark Hanson?
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: George Erdner on November 05, 2010, 07:45:42 PM
The funny thing here is that this whole thread was started to find information, from others since I find it hard to trust the synod office right now, based on things that have been publicly stated of late, not the least of which is the approval of Marty's keynote statements by our synod office, mentioned by Amos.  I'm a bit disappointed that I seem to be getting attacked by one individual for doing what he keeps instructing me to do.

One more thing:  Is "Charles Austin" a pseudonym for Mark Hanson?

There are some who believe that, and others who believe differently. It all depends on your bound conscience what you choose to believe. Just keep sending your benevolence money to Higgins road to fund Hanson's favorite social agenda projects.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 05, 2010, 08:22:15 PM
The anonymous person has been here only a few days so I suppose we can excuse him for not knowing the lay of the land or the dramatis personae active in this forum. But he should take the time to learn.

Or I could ask a counter question: Is Coach-Rev a pseudonym for Herman Otten or James Nestigen or any of the others who have declared the ELCA apostate and worse?

He says he finds it hard to trust his synod office, which in essence accuses the office of lying or some kind of deception. So we must ask whether he has sought reconciliation and fraternal counsel according to Matthew 18, or are these just wild, emotional allegations?
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: George Erdner on November 05, 2010, 08:49:30 PM
The anonymous person has been here only a few days so I suppose we can excuse him for not knowing the lay of the land or the dramatis personae active in this forum. But he should take the time to learn.

Or I could ask a counter question: Is Coach-Rev a pseudonym for Herman Otten or James Nestigen or any of the others who have declared the ELCA apostate and worse?

He says he finds it hard to trust his synod office, which in essence accuses the office of lying or some kind of deception. So we must ask whether he has sought reconciliation and fraternal counsel according to Matthew 18, or are these just wild, emotional allegations?

What difference does it make? Are you incapable of dealing with an idea without knowing the source? Are you looking for the means to engage in your common ad hominem attacks? The words are there to read. Read them and take them at face value. You don't need to know who posted them.

If anonymity bothers you more than you can bear, ignore it.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Ken Kimball on November 05, 2010, 09:44:32 PM
The anonymous person has been here only a few days so I suppose we can excuse him for not knowing the lay of the land or the dramatis personae active in this forum. But he should take the time to learn.

Or I could ask a counter question: Is Coach-Rev a pseudonym for Herman Otten or James Nestigen or any of the others who have declared the ELCA apostate and worse?

 

Not Nestingen nor Herman Otten.  Not even Carl Braaten.  But a good faithful pastor. 

Coach-Rev, I received similar treatment back in 2006 after reporting on the April 2006 ELCA Church Council for Forum Letter.  Take Pr. Austin's jabs as a mark that you have arrived!   :)  Not sure where you've arrived at, but you have arrived. 
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on November 05, 2010, 09:51:29 PM
To my pseudonomous synodical colleagues who've entered the fray via this thread, welcome!

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Evangel on November 05, 2010, 10:39:28 PM
The anonymous person has been here only a few days so I suppose we can excuse him for not knowing the lay of the land or the dramatis personae active in this forum. But he should take the time to learn.

Or I could ask a counter question: Is Coach-Rev a pseudonym for Herman Otten or James Nestigen or any of the others who have declared the ELCA apostate and worse?

 

Not Nestingen nor Herman Otten.  Not even Carl Braaten.  But a good faithful pastor. 

Coach-Rev, I received similar treatment back in 2006 after reporting on the April 2006 ELCA Church Council for Forum Letter.  Take Pr. Austin's jabs as a mark that you have arrived!   :)  Not sure where you've arrived at, but you have arrived. 

Nestingen jokingly (I think) complains that people often cheat him out of an "n" in his name.   :P
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Dan_Biles on November 05, 2010, 11:57:28 PM

I can't believe that information would even be remotely considered accurate. If it is , add another nail to the coffin. That would totally negate the congregation in the call process.

 

Without going into great detail, several former ELCA pastors and synod council members have talked about a proposed restructuring of the call process in the ELCA.  As it is, interims are appointed by the synod office, and I believe (although I could be mistaken on this) that the synod office has authority now to appoint pastors to multi-point parishes, even if they do not always do so.

Word is that having all clergy positions appointed, rather than called, is in the works, through something called "parish arrangement,"  possibly as soon as 3 years and the 2013 CWA.  I would like to know more info on this, if it exists, and where to find it.

Thanks

Which would be, of course, a way for the GLBT agenda people in the ELCA to get around all those promises made at CWA2009 that no congregation will be forced to take an active homosexual pastor, etc....
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: amos on November 06, 2010, 12:08:51 AM
Charles --- you are correct with your statement --- He says he finds it hard to trust his synod office, which in essence accuses the office of lying or some kind of deception.

Actually that is the case, let us just say -- less that accurate information given to the synod council, a orthodox pastor put on leave from call while still serving a church without his knowledge.  At this years assembly orthodox pastors received ridicule, snide comments, made fun of and were directly insulted from the floor and nothing was done to stop it but in many ways it was openly sanctioned. This too is not rumor but well known to many different pastors and congregations at the assembly who saw it with their own eyes.  A cheerleader should know the teams playbook and not rely on the propaganda.  
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 06, 2010, 03:53:38 AM
But "amos," we have no first-hand knowledge of that and you have not provided it. We do not know who you are, whether you are a real ELCA pastor or an imposter here. We do not know the synod, the bishop, or the participants in the discussions that offend you. We do not know the context of Dr. Marty's alleged statement. You have not provided that information.
If what you say happened, that is, if certain pastors were "ridiculed" or "insulted," I would oppose that; as I have said many times on this forum over many years.
But I will not reply to unsubstantiated charges from anonymous persons.
(Actually, my usual policy is to ignore persons who post here and do not give their names, but that is sometimes set aside.)
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: David M. Frye, OblSB on November 06, 2010, 07:00:12 AM
It was Doctor Otto Octavius, aka Doc Ock, played by Alfred Molina in Spider-Man 2.

Stan Lee created the character for the Spider-man comic books. While Peter Parker (Spider-Man) followed the wisdom of his Uncle Ben, "With great power comes great responsibility," Doc Ock's character offers a commentary on the irresponsible use of power.

Not unrelated to our current predicaments in the Church.

That hardly makes me Dr. Eck. (But wasn't he a villain in one of the Spiderman movies?)
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Coach-Rev on November 06, 2010, 08:31:37 AM
But "amos," we have no first-hand knowledge of that and you have not provided it. We do not know who you are, whether you are a real ELCA pastor or an imposter here. We do not know the synod, the bishop, or the participants in the discussions that offend you. We do not know the context of Dr. Marty's alleged statement. You have not provided that information.
If what you say happened, that is, if certain pastors were "ridiculed" or "insulted," I would oppose that; as I have said many times on this forum over many years.
But I will not reply to unsubstantiated charges from anonymous persons.
(Actually, my usual policy is to ignore persons who post here and do not give their names, but that is sometimes set aside.)

When the tolerance for the more orthodox or "conservative" pastors in the ELCA is actually practiced (aka when they actually live up to their own call to respect bound conscience), then I will use my real name.  Otherwise I will indeed be blacklisted for having any sort of dissenting or opposing beliefs to the synod office.  Oh WAIT!  I already am blacklisted!  Silly me!  I won't go into those details since they've already been identified in a thread elsewhere http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=2616.msg186566#msg186566

As far as what Amos has said, the synod was the Central/Southern Illinois Synod, and he is accurate in his recounting of the events there.  Those who need to know who I am on here do, and suffice to say I'm an ordained Lutheran pastor of 15 years, who considers himself fortunate to have studied under Jim NestiNgen, and could only WISH to BE Jim Nestingen!

What I find so fascinating is how quickly you, Charles, will dismiss something as unsubstantiated rumor, simply because the entire argument is not laid out in front of you.  Why are you so unwilling to accept that Marty is speaking heresy?  Why do you not see at all the concerted effort to silence orthodoxy in the ELCA, granted not in all circles at all times?  You need proof?  Taking an observer's word is apparently not good enough, even when you now have 2 observers of that assembly?

So when PB Hanson said in December of last year, that the Biblical writers don't seem to have our understanding of human sexuality, thereby stating that we here in the 21st century know better (that's Gnostic belief, by the way), you want proof?  Very well.  Go to the ELCA website and listen for yourself.  Its about halfway through the webcast.
http://www.elca.org/Who-We-Are/Our-Three-Expressions/Faithful-Mission/Town-Hall-Forum/Video-091206.aspx
He is responding to the question, "where does the Bible have anything to say on the acceptance of homosexual behavior, other than the grand generalization of "love thy neighbor?"   You'll notice he spends nearly 9 minutes and never answers the question.

This is just one more example of the ELCA's slide into heresy.  Which is EXACTLY what I have been called to protect those whom I serve from.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on November 06, 2010, 08:50:09 AM
Hang in there Coach-Rev.  I believe you and am praying for you.  I've heard lots of Marty's speak before when I spent time in Chicago.  Your reporting of the statement on the irrelevancy of the doctrine of justification sounds familiar to me.

Jeremy
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 06, 2010, 08:57:22 AM
Someone writes:
When the tolerance for the more orthodox or "conservative" pastors in the ELCA is actually practiced (aka when they actually live up to their own call to respect bound conscience), then I will use my real name.  Otherwise I will indeed be blacklisted for having any sort of dissenting or opposing beliefs to the synod office.  Oh WAIT!  I already am blacklisted!  Silly me!
I comment:
So you wish to voice your opinion, stand up for your beliefs, and so on and so on, but you are unwilling to accept the consequences - even the bad ones - of those actions. Sorry, but convictions carry consequences, and we must be willing to bear them. If you are "punished" unjustly, your very punishment, if it happens, will be a testimony to your beliefs.
And (duh!) if you are already "blacklisted," what is the point of anonymity?

Someone writes:
As far as what Amos has said, the synod was the Central/Southern Illinois Synod, and he is accurate in his recounting of the events there.  Those who need to know who I am on here do, and suffice to say I'm an ordained Lutheran pastor of 15 years, who considers himself fortunate to have studied under Jim NestiNgen, and could only WISH to BE Jim Nestingen!
I comment:
So there is some "special list" of people who "need to know" who you are? And the rest of us? Give me a break!

Someone writes:
What I find so fascinating is how quickly you, Charles, will dismiss something as unsubstantiated rumor, simply because the entire argument is not laid out in front of you.  
I respond:
I do not "dismiss" it. But without names, dates, and places, it is rumor or at best hearsay; neither proving the truth of what is alleged.

Someone writes:
Why are you so unwilling to accept that Marty is speaking heresy?
I respond:
Because all I have is one sentence, reported from an unreliable unnamed source who is a partisan in the matter. Dr. Marty might be wrong, but you saying so doesn't make it true, nor does it mean that I have to accept your judgment.

Someone writes:
Why do you not see at all the concerted effort to silence orthodoxy in the ELCA, granted not in all circles at all times?  You need proof?  Taking an observer's word is apparently not good enough, even when you now have 2 observers of that assembly?
I respond:
I will take that "observer's word" when I know who the observer is and when I have all the information necessary.

Someone writes:
So when PB Hanson said in December of last year, that the Biblical writers don't seem to have our understanding of human sexuality, thereby stating that we here in the 21st century know better (that's Gnostic belief, by the way), you want proof?  Very well.  Go to the ELCA website and listen for yourself.  Its about halfway through the webcast.
I respond:
Been down that road too many times.

Someone writes:
This is just one more example of the ELCA's slide into heresy.  Which is EXACTLY what I have been called to protect those whom I serve from.
I ask:
So, your status on the clergy roster of the ELCA, your installation into your present call, and your daily responsibilities within that call have, by prayer and promise, bound you to what you now say is "a slide into heresy"? So what do you do about those prayers, those promises?
This may be a rush to judgment, but you seem to be one of those to whom I reluctantly say: I understand your position. I do not understand how, with that position, you remain in the ELCA, or want to.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: George Erdner on November 06, 2010, 09:12:14 AM
And (duh!) if you are already "blacklisted," what is the point of anonymity?

Synodical bishops come and go. Being on one bishop's blacklist doesn't automatically mean one will be on his replacement's blacklist should the first bishop retire or fail to be re-elected. Being on a blacklist privately and discretely means certain doors are closed, while others remain open. Being openly and publicly identified as being blacklisted closes many more doors.

Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Jim Lehmann on November 06, 2010, 10:30:20 AM
Charles:

I, James T. Lehmann, do hereby certify that I was present at the synod assembly and heard the comments made by Marty which Coach-Rev has described.  The events went a long way to helping the members of the congregation I serve understand that there was no longer a place for them in "this church." 

I, James T. Lehmann, do hereby certify that I was not present in the meeting with the bishop which Coach-Rev described.  However, I have been told by above referenced bishop for several years that "there is no place in this synod for you."  Over the past 10 years of the above referenced bishop, I have also been told directly and by example that "we cannot find an associate pastor for you."

I, James T. Lehmann, do hereby certify that the above referenced synod and bishop will no longer have to deal with me or the congregation I serve.  The North American Lutheran Church has welcomed us.

Signed in blood and joy.  James T. Lehmann
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on November 06, 2010, 10:45:28 AM

What I find so fascinating is how quickly you, Charles, will dismiss something as unsubstantiated rumor, simply because the entire argument is not laid out in front of you.  Why are you so unwilling to accept that Marty is speaking heresy?  Why do you not see at all the concerted effort to silence orthodoxy in the ELCA, granted not in all circles at all times?  You need proof?  Taking an observer's word is apparently not good enough, even when you now have 2 observers of that assembly?

As we have learned, even posting an edited video of someone's speech can portray the person saying exactly the opposite of what she actually said -- if the whole speech were shown.

So, yes, it behooves us to question an entire speech based on a very short snippet -- even from eye and ear witnesses.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Coach-Rev on November 06, 2010, 10:51:33 AM
Thanks, Jim!!!

And Charles, perhaps I misspoke:  There are some in here who are direct colleagues of mine, and therefore know who I am.  And though I'm tempted to tell you that I'm a compilation of many people, or a figment of your imagination, I will state once again that I'm an ordained Lutheran pastor of 15 years who has an unrespected bound conscience toward the ELCA's CWA '09 actions AND the general direction they have been moving for the past several years.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Coach-Rev on November 06, 2010, 10:55:43 AM

What I find so fascinating is how quickly you, Charles, will dismiss something as unsubstantiated rumor, simply because the entire argument is not laid out in front of you.  Why are you so unwilling to accept that Marty is speaking heresy?  Why do you not see at all the concerted effort to silence orthodoxy in the ELCA, granted not in all circles at all times?  You need proof?  Taking an observer's word is apparently not good enough, even when you now have 2 observers of that assembly?

As we have learned, even posting an edited video of someone's speech can portray the person saying exactly the opposite of what she actually said -- if the whole speech were shown.

So, yes, it behooves us to question an entire speech based on a very short snippet -- even from eye and ear witnesses.

Uh, did you actually even attempt to access the link?  It was not a "she" as you suppose, it was PB Hanson, and if any editing was done, it was done by the ELCA news service, not by me nor anyone else with a contrarian view.  The link is to the entire town hall meeting, over an hour in length.  This is from the ELCA's own website, and PB Hanson has not ever stated that he was misquoted or that his comments were taken out of context.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 06, 2010, 11:51:24 AM
So Pastor Lehman, having been told for 10 years (long before we even started preparing the sexuality social statement) that he would not get a call in a particular synod (tried any other synods?) has left the ELCA. Sounds like an act of conscience, for which he ought to be praised.
But it also colors whatever opinions he has about the church body that he left.
I do note that we are still only hearing one side of the story. We cannot know all the reasons for the bishop's (still unnamed) alleged statement, nor can we evaluate whether the bishop's reasons for his statement were valid.
And we do not know the details of the discussions between the anonymous poster and his or her bishop.
I guess the bottom line is that when it comes to online discussions, wailing "I'm blacklisted!" "My bishop doesn't like me!" "I can't get a call because I'm a traditionalist!" just does not make for a very fruitful discussion.
And I have noted before, that last - "I can't get a call because I'm a traditionalist!" - seems strange, since traditionalists claim that they represent the majority, sometimes the vast majority, sometimes the super-duper majority of the ELCA. Ought to be plenty of calls for them.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Evangel on November 06, 2010, 11:56:29 AM
...
Someone writes:
This is just one more example of the ELCA's slide into heresy.  Which is EXACTLY what I have been called to protect those whom I serve from.
I ask:
So, your status on the clergy roster of the ELCA, your installation into your present call, and your daily responsibilities within that call have, by prayer and promise, bound you to what you now say is "a slide into heresy"? So what do you do about those prayers, those promises?
This may be a rush to judgment, but you seem to be one of those to whom I reluctantly say: I understand your position. I do not understand how, with that position, you remain in the ELCA, or want to.

Coach-Rev can correct me if I've got it wrong, but it seems to me that you have exactly transposed what his prayer and promises have bound him to.  He is not bound to the "slide into heresy", but rather he is bound to protect those he serves from that slide into heresy.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Jim Lehmann on November 06, 2010, 12:22:44 PM
So Pastor Lehman, having been told for 10 years (long before we even started preparing the sexuality social statement) that he would not get a call in a particular synod (tried any other synods?) has left the ELCA. Sounds like an act of conscience, for which he ought to be praised.
But it also colors whatever opinions he has about the church body that he left.

I understand that it is pointless to point out that I was not told for 10 years that I personally could not get a call.  That is a more recent development -- during the sexuality discussion.  I also understand that it is pointless to point out that I am not debating you.  I simply fulfilled your demand that until you have verification that Coach-Rev speaks the truth, you will reject all conversation.  I believe that I have also demonstrated that the "four equally valid positions" are not treated equally for the clergy and congregations that do not hold the preferred equally valid position.  I am trying to change the position and actions being taken by the ELCA.  So, whatever color you think my opinion has, it makes absolutely no difference to me.

Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Jim Lehmann on November 06, 2010, 12:24:40 PM
Correction:  I am not trying to change the position of the ELCA.

Jim Lehmann
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on November 06, 2010, 01:50:23 PM

What I find so fascinating is how quickly you, Charles, will dismiss something as unsubstantiated rumor, simply because the entire argument is not laid out in front of you.  Why are you so unwilling to accept that Marty is speaking heresy?  Why do you not see at all the concerted effort to silence orthodoxy in the ELCA, granted not in all circles at all times?  You need proof?  Taking an observer's word is apparently not good enough, even when you now have 2 observers of that assembly?

As we have learned, even posting an edited video of someone's speech can portray the person saying exactly the opposite of what she actually said -- if the whole speech were shown.

So, yes, it behooves us to question an entire speech based on a very short snippet -- even from eye and ear witnesses.

Uh, did you actually even attempt to access the link?  It was not a "she" as you suppose, it was PB Hanson, and if any editing was done, it was done by the ELCA news service, not by me nor anyone else with a contrarian view.  The link is to the entire town hall meeting, over an hour in length.  This is from the ELCA's own website, and PB Hanson has not ever stated that he was misquoted or that his comments were taken out of context.

The discussion had been about a one sentence report about Martin Marty: "For example, at our synod assembly we were told by our key note speaker, Martin Marty that the whole concept of Justification by grace is irrelevant."

My illustration was about the woman who was fired from her job because of an edited YouTube video that showed her saying the opposite of what her whole speech was about.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on November 06, 2010, 03:08:33 PM

(Actually, my usual policy is to ignore persons who post here and do not give their names, but that is sometimes set aside.)

Well, there's policy.  Then there's actual practice.

Pax, Steven+
Colleague of Coach-Rev, amos, and James T. Lehmann
Unindicted co-conspirator
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: amos on November 06, 2010, 04:02:06 PM
Charles -- I find your comment interesting --- "But "amos," we have no first-hand knowledge of that and you have not provided."

Apparently since you insist there is "no first hand" knowledge --  your definition of "first hand knowledge" must be restricted only to that in which your own personal experience and world view are satisfied.  In this discussion four different pastors have verified both the statements and the conditions in this synod. Yet you continue to reject, so it is obvious that this is not a situation of a confused or doubtful mind but one of a closed mind. 

There is a reason some of have chosen not to identify ourselves, we are still ELCA pastors (either by choice or circumstances) and this is one way to keep from having to pull the knives out of our back from the synod, bishop, and others in this synod with a world view like yours. I suspect from your comments on this forum that --- had you been present at our last assembly --- you would have been leading the charge.  Times change, customs change, cultures change but human behavior has not changed in thousands of years. Once someone has made up their mind nothing will change them.  You could just as easily posted the following --- Do not confuse me with any facts, my mind is made up. My reference to Johann Eck still stands.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on November 06, 2010, 04:24:07 PM
So...  Are you actually calling Charles an Old Goat?

(That was Eck's nickname...  The Old Goat of Leipzig)
 :D :D :D :D

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: ptmccain on November 06, 2010, 04:26:15 PM
Well, there's policy.  Then there's actual practice.

Pax, Steven+
Colleague of Coach-Rev, amos, and James T. Lehmann
Unindicted co-conspirator

: )

Amos and James have an excellent coach.

Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 06, 2010, 04:44:19 PM
"amos" writes:
Apparently since you insist there is "no first hand" knowledge --  your definition of "first hand knowledge" must be restricted only to that in which your own personal experience and world view are satisfied. In this discussion four different pastors have verified both the statements and the conditions in this synod. Yet you continue to reject, so it is obvious that this is not a situation of a confused or doubtful mind but one of a closed mind.

I comment:
No. We have not heard names, places and verification of what was said. And I repeat: I do not reject what you say. What you say may be true. I simply say it has not been proven.
But, if the situation is as you say - now read carefully -  I am sorry about that and believe you are being treated unfairly.

"amos" writes:
There is a reason some of have chosen not to identify ourselves, we are still ELCA pastors (either by choice or circumstances) and this is one way to keep from having to pull the knives out of our back from the synod, bishop, and others in this synod with a world view like yours. I suspect from your comments on this forum that --- had you been present at our last assembly --- you would have been leading the charge.
I comment:
You have been on this forum for one day - one day! - and you make this judgment about what I would have done? I will forgive your rashness and intemperance. I have said for a long time, over many months, that I do not approve of blacklisting or belittling those who disagree with the August decisions. No, "amos," had I been at your assembly, I would have been the first to criticize those who did what you say they did.

"amos" writes:
Times change, customs change, cultures change but human behavior has not changed in thousands of years. Once someone has made up their mind nothing will change them.
I comment:
Hogwash. Codswallop!
Once, as I have said here a number of times, I opposed ordination for women, and I changed my mind.
Once I favored continued official dialogue with the LCMS, and I changed my mind.
Once I would have totally opposed the August decisions (rather than only partially oppose them), and I changed my mind.
Once, I thought Roman Catholics were led by the Anti-Christ, and I changed my mind.
Once, I thought I could be a member of the Masonic lodge without compromising my faith, and I changed my mind.
Once, I thought my ministry would be only as a parish pastor, and I changed my mind.
Once, I thought brussels sprouts were inedible, and I changed my mind.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: GalRev83 on November 06, 2010, 08:51:49 PM
God help me, I am plunging in here also.

Honestly, the mood of the ELCA seems to me to vary widely by synod and conference. I am in the same conference as these pastors. They are my treasured colleagues. And this area feels like Stalinist Russia these days. One wrong word and off to the Gulag with you. Don't deny the official word from Pravda -- I mean, The Lutheran!  ;)

 Note, I said that it *feels* this way. No, they have not yet constructed a re-education camp here in Central Illinois. That I know of. :'( So please do not go all literal on me. Maybe the "gulag" around here is when people who have families to support are told "There is no call for you here."

The amount of suspicion and vitriol being aimed here at pastors who are trying to remain faithful to Scripture and their calling is - at best - hurtful. They owe nothing to this forum or those who question them here  -- not even their full names, in my opinion. They are only beholden to God. I know some of you  will only listen to those with their names clearly displayed (preferably with a link to their Vitae), but do we not see the potential consequences if they openly identify themselves here? Can't they find some support here, -- even as they provide verification of their situations to us?

I pray that I might have the courage, when my moment comes, to be as steadfast as these, my brothers in the faith have been.

Donna H. Smith
Pastor
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: David Norland on November 06, 2010, 09:57:55 PM
On September 15, 2009 at the headquarters of Indiana-Kentucky Synod I was told by the Assistant to the Bishop, Rudy Mueller that I would not be preaching or teaching in the Synod for Bishop Stuck. I asked why.  He was very clear that it was because I spoke at the Synod Assembly asking Kelly Fryer's presentations to be struck from the agenda.

I met with the Bishop within the next two weeks.  I posted both my initial reaction, my hopes, and the resolution of the matter somewhere in this ALPB bulletin board.  He had added that part of the reason I was intially blacklisted (not a word he used) was that I directly disobeyed him.  I had given him a heads up about the parliamentary motion I was bringing and he asked me not to do it.  I told him that I still was going to do it, and I did.  In the later conversation he said that this meant he could not trust me to speak on his behalf in congregations.  I raised this as an issue of conscience.  Bishop Stuck told me that mine was a faithful voice and that he wanted to use me as an interim. 

I asked about a particular post to a newly vacant conservative congregation.  No I was told.  He was desiring to place a particular person there (who happened to be a liberal lesbian).  Yet he assured me there was a place for me, and he desired to use me.  In fact no future full time posts were offered.  One part time post was offered some months later after I had secured my own part time work and then withdrawn a week later when I had made the necessary arrangements for it to work (I was told by Rudy Mueller that he had given it to someone else because he hadn't really expected me to say yes).

On September 1, 2010 Bishop Stuck removed me from the ELCA roster, because I had rostered with LCMC.  Funny how the ECP rostered folk can remain dual rostered, isn't it?
 
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Scott6 on November 06, 2010, 10:02:24 PM
On September 15, 2009 at the headquarters of Indiana-Kentucky Synod I was told by the Assistant to the Bishop, Rudy Mueller that I would not be preaching or teaching in the Synod for Bishop Stuck. I asked why.  He was very clear that it was because I spoke at the Synod Assembly asking Kelly Fryer's presentations to be struck from the agenda.

I met with the Bishop within the next two weeks.  I posted both my initial reaction, my hopes, and the resolution of the matter somewhere in this ALPB bulletin board.  He had added that part of the reason I was intially blacklisted (not a word he used) was that I directly disobeyed him.  I had given him a heads up about the parliamentary motion I was bringing and he asked me not to do it.  I told him that I still was going to do it, and I did.  In the later conversation he said that this meant he could not trust me to speak on his behalf in congregations.  I raised this as an issue of conscience.  Bishop Stuck told me that mine was a faithful voice and that he wanted to use me as an interim.  

I asked about a particular post to a newly vacant conservative congregation.  No I was told.  He was desiring to place a particular person there (who happened to be a liberal lesbian).  Yet he assured me there was a place for me, and he desired to use me.  In fact no future full time posts were offered.  One part time post was offered some months later after I had secured my own part time work and then withdrawn a week later when I had made the necessary arrangements for it to work (I was told by Rudy Mueller that he had given it to someone else because he hadn't really expected me to say yes).

On September 1, 2010 Bishop Stuck removed me from the ELCA roster, because I had rostered with LCMC.  Funny how the ECP rostered folk can remain dual rostered, isn't it?

Wow.  The more stories I hear, the more I wonder why this is apparently so easy in the case of pastors who disagree with homosexual behavior.

Perhaps Steve Sabin could weigh in here, because I believe that in his case, it took somewhat more than a bishop's decision to remove him from the roster.

Why is it easy to remove "traditionalist" pastors as compared to others?
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Birkholz on November 06, 2010, 10:14:57 PM
  I posted both my initial reaction, my hopes, and the resolution of the matter somewhere in this ALPB bulletin board. 


David-

Your post is here: http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=2273.msg116562#msg116562 (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=2273.msg116562#msg116562)

If you go to your profile (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=15844 (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=15844)) you can select "show the last posts of this person".

Thank you for sharing your story.

Mark
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: mg2000 on November 06, 2010, 10:45:45 PM
I know that, even before the current restructuring, the ELCA had moved the "roster" out of the Synod's hands and into the Office of the Secretary of the ELCA.  This may, or may not be, a huge deal.  Practically speaking, the most immeadate ramification is that an ELCA pastor now submits their mobility paperwork to the ELCA and not their Synod Office.  There are other possible ramifications, but they have yet to be fully fleshed out.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS


Perhaps I didn't understand the move correctly, but the change of the "roster" administration was a technological one.  All mobility papers are now in cloud in one data warehouse. This takes the IT responsibilities and data integrity management off the synod desk.  Ultimately, I would think this could be a great thing.  It could streamline the process if an Asst. to the Bishop could input key characteristics from the self-study, and then have a number of eligible candidates appear seconds later without needing to ask another synod office to send the data.  I would think this could suggest a move toward more congregational autonomy rather than less.  Can you imagine a call committee sitting with the database on the screen in front of them - no waiting for candidates!

mg2000
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: George Erdner on November 06, 2010, 10:55:26 PM
I know that, even before the current restructuring, the ELCA had moved the "roster" out of the Synod's hands and into the Office of the Secretary of the ELCA.  This may, or may not be, a huge deal.  Practically speaking, the most immeadate ramification is that an ELCA pastor now submits their mobility paperwork to the ELCA and not their Synod Office.  There are other possible ramifications, but they have yet to be fully fleshed out.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS


Perhaps I didn't understand the move correctly, but the change of the "roster" administration was a technological one.  All mobility papers are now in cloud in one data warehouse. This takes the IT responsibilities and data integrity management off the synod desk.  Ultimately, I would think this could be a great thing.  It could streamline the process if an Asst. to the Bishop could input key characteristics from the self-study, and then have a number of eligible candidates appear seconds later without needing to ask another synod office to send the data.  I would think this could suggest a move toward more congregational autonomy rather than less.  Can you imagine a call committee sitting with the database on the screen in front of them - no waiting for candidates!

mg2000

Or imagine one bishop deciding that a pastor was too "traditionalist", and noting on that pastor's central database record that the pastor is not recommended for call.

Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 06, 2010, 11:07:45 PM
Does anyone think we are in a totally "new" situation here with regard to calls?
I was told three years into my ministry that my career would end unless I shut up about war and racism. I did not and it did not, although I understood that my current bishop was probably not going to recommend me for a call.
Later I met many bishops in many situations. A couple virtually begged me to come into their synods. But one, when I said I'd like to explore the possibility of a call, said something along the lines of "Uh,... well...er... , maybe... we could talk about that, but... we don't have... and .... " I got the idea.
I've heard bishops say things like, "He's a good pastor, but...." or "In the right place, he (or she) would be terrific, but..." And I have heard bishops be quite direct. "The man can do a good job, but tends to shoot himself in the foot about three times a year." Or "He didn't work out so well for me, but maybe you can do something with him." Or, "Give him a chance, even though..."
And all this was long before August of last year.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: mg2000 on November 06, 2010, 11:19:19 PM

Perhaps I didn't understand the move correctly, but the change of the "roster" administration was a technological one.  All mobility papers are now in the cloud in one data warehouse. This takes the IT responsibilities and data integrity management off the synod desk.  Ultimately, I would think this could be a great thing.  It could streamline the process if an Asst. to the Bishop could input key characteristics from the self-study, and then have a number of eligible candidates appear seconds later without needing to ask another synod office to send the data.  I would think this could suggest a move toward more congregational autonomy rather than less.  Can you imagine a call committee sitting with the database on the screen in front of them - no waiting for candidates!

mg2000

Or imagine one bishop deciding that a pastor was too "traditionalist", and noting on that pastor's central database record that the pastor is not recommended for call.



True, but notes of that kind wouldn't effect the query search unless that was something specifically defined in the query by the user.  In fact, a congregation that wanted a pastor whose bishop noted "too traditionalist" in the notes could search for records that had that in them.  Databases are much more difficult to fix than people who have to hit send.   :)
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: George Erdner on November 06, 2010, 11:24:39 PM

Perhaps I didn't understand the move correctly, but the change of the "roster" administration was a technological one.  All mobility papers are now in the cloud in one data warehouse. This takes the IT responsibilities and data integrity management off the synod desk.  Ultimately, I would think this could be a great thing.  It could streamline the process if an Asst. to the Bishop could input key characteristics from the self-study, and then have a number of eligible candidates appear seconds later without needing to ask another synod office to send the data.  I would think this could suggest a move toward more congregational autonomy rather than less.  Can you imagine a call committee sitting with the database on the screen in front of them - no waiting for candidates!

mg2000

Or imagine one bishop deciding that a pastor was too "traditionalist", and noting on that pastor's central database record that the pastor is not recommended for call.



True, but notes of that kind wouldn't effect the query search unless that was something specifically defined in the query by the user.  In fact, a congregation that wanted a pastor whose bishop noted "too traditionalist" in the notes could search for records that had that in them.  Databases are much more difficult to fix than people who have to hit send.   :)

The principle of GIGO hasn't changed. This isn't about tampering with the searchable fields in a database, it's about the content of the comments. When a personnel record is found through a database search, the next step is to read the non-searchable comment fields, where things like "He's a good pastor, but....", "The man can do a good job, but tends to shoot himself in the foot about three times a year.", or any of the other zinger comments Austin listed in his post just before yours.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: amos on November 07, 2010, 12:41:02 AM
Charles --- you may not believe it but -- I respected your comment , "But, if the situation is as you say - now read carefully -  I am sorry about that and believe you are being treated unfairly." 

I thank you for that -- unfortunately that is not an attitude that exist in this synod. It has been made very clear orthodox pastors will not be respected and are not wanted in this synod. Granted, that may not be the situation in every area but it is in this one. As you can see from several different post, many orthodox pastors in this synod know each other very well, --- the only support many of us have had for several years has been each other. 

For the record many of our fellow pastors have even worked hard and long to keep their congregations from making rash and angry decisions based only on a single issue. Only to ultimately find they have no other choice.  They are being pushed out.  I am almost 70 years years old having served the church for almost 30 years. I have never seen anything like what is going on in our synod now.  Our bishop has been less than honest to others in respected position of authority in the synod.  Our source is no less than five of the people he deliberately mislead.  Pastors in this synod do know what I am talking about.   I am heart broken that a church I have loved and served for so many years has deteriorated to this level.   After the sarcastic and mean spirited behavior displayed and condoned at our last assembly I believe there are 11 congregations who have now voted to leave the ELCA and many more in the works.   Most of these movements are being lead by lay people who saw it with their own eyes and no longer have any respect for the ELCA. 

So when you say, I am sorry about that and believe you are being treated unfairly. I hear you and I thank you --- for myself and others in the same situations in this synod. At this time of so many leaving the ELCA it is not a time of rejoicing --- It is a sad time that so many are coming to realize they are being given no other choice. 
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Coach-Rev on November 07, 2010, 12:50:28 AM
Does anyone think we are in a totally "new" situation here with regard to calls?
...
And all this was long before August of last year.

So you dismiss my claims of a blacklist (or at the very least chastise me for said claims), and then you go on and identify a long standing "blacklist" of sorts within the church.  How fascinating...
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 07, 2010, 05:21:29 AM
Someone writes:
It has been made very clear orthodox pastors will not be respected and are not wanted in this synod. Granted, that may not be the situation in every area but it is in this one. As you can see from several different post, many orthodox pastors in this synod know each other very well, --- the only support many of us have had for several years has been each other.  

I respond:
I agree that if this is the case, it is unfair and tragic. There was a time when, in some synods, "liberal" pastors felt the same way and were treated the same way, and this, too, was tragic and unfair.
On the other hand, I know or have heard of synods where this is not the case. I"m sorry you have to experience the dark side.

Someone writes:
So you dismiss my claims of a blacklist (or at the very least chastise me for said claims), and then you go on and identify a long standing "blacklist" of sorts within the church.  How fascinating...
I respond:
Well, a far-reaching "blacklist" may be too strong a term. But what do you think should happen? Should a bishop keep utterly silent about a pastor's record when dealing with a bishop in another synod about a call for that pastor? In every secular job I have held, the prospective employer has checked with my former bosses to see how I have operated and what kind of trouble I have caused or been in.  ;D
The church has survived worse and it will survive this. Those of us called to the ministry during specific times must bear the burdens of the times. I take no joy in seeing some predictions that a few of us made at the start of the ELCA come true and evolve into serious trouble. And - while this view is constantly rejected by some on this board - those of us deemed "revisionists" also suffer when we see the church in turmoil.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Coach-Rev on November 08, 2010, 07:21:20 PM
Someone writes:
Well, a far-reaching "blacklist" may be too strong a term. But what do you think should happen? Should a bishop keep utterly silent about a pastor's record when dealing with a bishop in another synod about a call for that pastor? In every secular job I have held, the prospective employer has checked with my former bosses to see how I have operated and what kind of trouble I have caused or been in.  ;D

What I think should happen is that a pastor should be evaluated first and foremost on the merits of whether or not he lives up to the basic ordination vows of preaching and teaching in accordance with the Word of God and administering the Sacraments accordingly.  But that never seems to enter into the discussion much anymore.

Coach-Rev
pseudonymous for Rev. John Doe

Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: George Erdner on November 08, 2010, 07:30:58 PM
Someone writes:
Well, a far-reaching "blacklist" may be too strong a term. But what do you think should happen? Should a bishop keep utterly silent about a pastor's record when dealing with a bishop in another synod about a call for that pastor? In every secular job I have held, the prospective employer has checked with my former bosses to see how I have operated and what kind of trouble I have caused or been in.  ;D

What I think should happen is that a pastor should be evaluated first and foremost on the merits of whether or not he lives up to the basic ordination vows of preaching and teaching in accordance with the Word of God and administering the Sacraments accordingly.  But that never seems to enter into the discussion much anymore.

Coach-Rev
pseudonymous for Rev. John Doe



If the standards were enforced using the criteria highlighted above, how would the ELCA be able to function after losing so many bishops?
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 08, 2010, 07:40:04 PM
Someone writes:
What I think should happen is that a pastor should be evaluated first and foremost on the merits of whether or not he lives up to the basic ordination vows of preaching and teaching in accordance with the Word of God and administering the Sacraments accordingly.  But that never seems to enter into the discussion much anymore.

I comment:
"First and foremost," yes, certainly. But as has been said many times here, our responsibilities are many and varied and our obligations include the duty to support our colleagues, our synod and our church body. One can preach and teach just fine and still fall short in some other areas of ministry and the obligations attendant upon ELCA pastors.
And I knew one man some years ago who could be a fine preacher and a decent teacher, but had absolutely none of the other skills needed to be a pastor.
So your "first and foremost," while valid, is not the whole deal.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: amos on November 08, 2010, 08:56:04 PM
Charles, the two are not one and the same. Preaching and teaching in accordance with the Word of God and administering the Sacraments accordingly is critical.  However,  the duty to support our colleagues, our synod and our church body may be someting else altoghter.  For example, Johann Eck clearly supported his colleagues and the church body but he was dead wrong when it comes to the gospel.   I fully believe Jesus meant what he said. Therefore, I will not worship the risen christ Spohia, I will not use goddess beads.  I do not believe in universal salvation. All paths, do not lead to God. Yet the ELCA accepts and apparently encourages that kind of thinking. Bringing up again ideas and concepts as that were rejected time and again by the church in the first five centuries.    

You claim that in some synods, "liberal" pastors felt the same way and were treated the same way, unfortunately, you have not proven that. When, where, give us names, locations, dates, witnesses and verification.   I agree with you, "The church has survived worse and it will survive this."  I am sure the ELCA will survive. But what will it be?   A Christian body that believes in the authority of scripture and following the mandate of Matthew 28.  Or will it be some kind of highly social political activist group.

I do not hate the ELCA and I know there are many very good pastors and good congregations here. I do find it troubling that many (not all) of those who were arround at the founding the ELCA and are still in positions of leadership are some of the same people kicked out (or walked out) of the LCMC back in the 60"s.  I wonder, is what we are seeing today, in part, the direct result of that same kind of theology that cause such bitter issues back then?  
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Richard Johnson on November 08, 2010, 10:20:27 PM

If the standards were enforced using the criteria highlighted above, how would the ELCA be able to function after losing so many bishops?

Probably better than it functions now. Depending, of course, on which bishops we lost. But the odds are pretty good.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 08, 2010, 10:32:33 PM
"Amos" writes:
Charles, the two are not one and the same. Preaching and teaching in accordance with the Word of God and administering the Sacraments accordingly is critical.  However,  the duty to support our colleagues, our synod and our church body may be someting else altoghter.
I respond:
Yes, that is "something else." But in the real world, how well we fulfill our obligations to our colleagues, our synods and our church body can validly be used to determine our fitness for ministry.

"Amos" writes:
 For example, Johann Eck clearly supported his colleagues and the church body but he was dead wrong when it comes to the gospel.
I comment:
We are not talking about people who are "dead wrong when it comes to the gospel." We are talking about people who are right about the gospel, but wrong about their civil and churchly responsibilities.

"Amos" writes:
I fully believe Jesus meant what he said. Therefore, I will not worship the risen christ Spohia (sic), I will not use goddess beads.  I do not believe in universal salvation.
I comment:
No one is asking you to do those things or to believe that.

"Amos" writes:
All paths, do not lead to God. Yet the ELCA accepts and apparently encourages that kind of thinking. Bringing up again ideas and concepts as that were rejected time and again by the church in the first five centuries.
I comment:
We disagree on that; but then I don't really know which "ideas and concepts" you have in mind. Donatism? Pelagianism? Modalism? A single nature for Christ? The primacy of the papal office?

"Amos" writes:  
You claim that in some synods, "liberal" pastors felt the same way and were treated the same way, unfortunately, you have not proven that. When, where, give us names, locations, dates, witnesses and verification.
I respond:
Me. Iowa. 1969. And many others. But no matter. The LCA and ELCA offered me many opportunities to serve over the last four decades, even though a few back then would have thrown me out.

"Amos":
I agree with you, "The church has survived worse and it will survive this."  I am sure the ELCA will survive. But what will it be?   A Christian body that believes in the authority of scripture and following the mandate of Matthew 28.  Or will it be some kind of highly social political activist group.
Me:
Actually, the ELCA is a Christian body that believes in the authority of scripture. And it engages in social activism, which is quite different from being a "political" activist group. The LCMS also engages in social activism.

"Amos"
I do not hate the ELCA and I know there are many very good pastors and good congregations here. I do find it troubling that many (not all) of those who were arround at the founding the ELCA and are still in positions of leadership are some of the same people kicked out (or walked out) of the LCMC back in the 60"s.
Me:
Actually, the AELC was in general, more theologically and ecclesially conservative than either the ALC or LCA.

"Amos":
I wonder, is what we are seeing today, in part, the direct result of that same kind of theology that cause such bitter issues back then?  
Me:
Many will be eager to say "yes" to that. I'm not.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: totaliter vivens on November 08, 2010, 10:37:05 PM
On September 15, 2009 at the headquarters of Indiana-Kentucky Synod I was told by the Assistant to the Bishop, Rudy Mueller that I would not be preaching or teaching in the Synod for Bishop Stuck. I asked why.  He was very clear that it was because I spoke at the Synod Assembly asking Kelly Fryer's presentations to be struck from the agenda.

I met with the Bishop within the next two weeks.  I posted both my initial reaction, my hopes, and the resolution of the matter somewhere in this ALPB bulletin board.  He had added that part of the reason I was intially blacklisted (not a word he used) was that I directly disobeyed him.  I had given him a heads up about the parliamentary motion I was bringing and he asked me not to do it.  I told him that I still was going to do it, and I did.  In the later conversation he said that this meant he could not trust me to speak on his behalf in congregations.  I raised this as an issue of conscience.  Bishop Stuck told me that mine was a faithful voice and that he wanted to use me as an interim.  

I asked about a particular post to a newly vacant conservative congregation.  No I was told.  He was desiring to place a particular person there (who happened to be a liberal lesbian).  Yet he assured me there was a place for me, and he desired to use me.  In fact no future full time posts were offered.  One part time post was offered some months later after I had secured my own part time work and then withdrawn a week later when I had made the necessary arrangements for it to work (I was told by Rudy Mueller that he had given it to someone else because he hadn't really expected me to say yes).

On September 1, 2010 Bishop Stuck removed me from the ELCA roster, because I had rostered with LCMC.  Funny how the ECP rostered folk can remain dual rostered, isn't it?

Wow.  The more stories I hear, the more I wonder why this is apparently so easy in the case of pastors who disagree with homosexual behavior.

Perhaps Steve Sabin could weigh in here, because I believe that in his case, it took somewhat more than a bishop's decision to remove him from the roster.

Why is it easy to remove "traditionalist" pastors as compared to others?

Fair question, Scott, but I'm not sure I have the complete answer. I long ago gave up thinking that the ELCA would act with consistency or rationality. That being said, I'll offer what experience and guesses I can.

The first thing to remember is that when it comes to discipline by bishops, the constitution and procedural rules contain more "may" clauses than "shall" clauses. The bishop has wide discretion. Second, pastors who are without calls or under call to agencies or as interim pastors have far fewer protections than pastors under call to congregations. When one is on leave from call all the bishop need due is wait 3 years and you fall off the roster automatically.

As to the ELM issue, few ELCA pastors were on the ELM roster. For the few who were, I do not know the specifics of how their dual rostering worked. ELM was always explicit that they were not a "church" but that may also be the case with LCMC.

The short of it is that the advice I always gave to clergy coming out was: NEVER resign, NEVER go on leave from call, and NEVER work under a special call from the synod council or the ELCA, if you do, they will have you off the roster faster than you can blink.

SPS
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Coach-Rev on November 09, 2010, 07:52:04 AM
Quote from: link=topic=3429.msg187673#msg187673 date=1289263204
Coach-Rev, STS writes:
What I think should happen is that a pastor should be evaluated first and foremost on the merits of whether or not he lives up to the basic ordination vows of preaching and teaching in accordance with the Word of God and administering the Sacraments accordingly.  But that never seems to enter into the discussion much anymore.

Someone comments:
"First and foremost," yes, certainly. But as has been said many times here, our responsibilities are many and varied and our obligations include the duty to support our colleagues, our synod and our church body. One can preach and teach just fine and still fall short in some other areas of ministry and the obligations attendant upon ELCA pastors.
And I knew one man some years ago who could be a fine preacher and a decent teacher, but had absolutely none of the other skills needed to be a pastor.
So your "first and foremost," while valid, is not the whole deal.

And yet if we evaluate a pastor on everything they SHOULD be doing, none of us, in the end, will measure up to some sort of absurd, ridiculous extreme ideal.  There is no Arian race of pastors, after all.  I stand by my assertion, that what makes or breaks a pastor is their ability to do the aforementioned preaching, teaching, and administering the sacraments, according to CA 5 and 7.  I've heard many a pastor over the years who, in fact, CANNOT do that.  Oddly enough, its usually at synodical gatherings in the ELCA.

Coach-Rev, STS
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Team Hesse on November 09, 2010, 08:13:14 AM

So your "first and foremost," while valid, is not the whole deal.

And therein resides most of the Christian world's problems, we simply cannot keep the main thing the main thing. Fortunately we have a forgiving God. Come Lord Jesus!

Lou
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: iowakatie1981 on November 09, 2010, 08:45:31 AM
Quote
There is no Arian race of pastors, after all.

I should hope not.   :o 

We do still require our pastors to affirm the Creeds, no?

 ;)


(Sorry, needed to jump on a moment of levity - it's that kind of week.)
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Richard Johnson on November 09, 2010, 09:46:01 AM


And yet if we evaluate a pastor on everything they SHOULD be doing, none of us, in the end, will measure up to some sort of absurd, ridiculous extreme ideal.  There is no Arian race of pastors, after all. 

Ah, but there are plenty of pastors who, alas, are Arians, or close to it.

But you probably meant "Aryan."  ;D
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on November 09, 2010, 09:48:37 AM


And yet if we evaluate a pastor on everything they SHOULD be doing, none of us, in the end, will measure up to some sort of absurd, ridiculous extreme ideal.  There is no Arian race of pastors, after all. 

Ah, but there are plenty of pastors who, alas, are Arians, or close to it.

But you probably meant "Aryan."  ;D

Hmmm, I just noticed that there is only one letter difference between Arian and Brian -- or even with the alternate spelling: Aryan and Bryan. Probably just a coincidence.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Dan Fienen on November 09, 2010, 09:50:49 AM


And yet if we evaluate a pastor on everything they SHOULD be doing, none of us, in the end, will measure up to some sort of absurd, ridiculous extreme ideal.  There is no Arian race of pastors, after all. 

Ah, but there are plenty of pastors who, alas, are Arians, or close to it.

But you probably meant "Aryan."  ;D

Hmmm, I just noticed that there is only one letter difference between Arian and Brian -- or even with the alternate spelling: Aryan and Bryan. Probably just a coincidence.
So close but not quite on the mark.

Dan
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Cathy Ammlung on November 09, 2010, 10:35:43 AM
Quote
The short of it is that the advice I always gave to clergy coming out was: NEVER resign, NEVER go on leave from call, and NEVER work under a special call from the synod council or the ELCA, if you do, they will have you off the roster faster than you can blink.

Rev. Sabin, I wholeheartedly agree with your counsel. It was given, I know, to gay and lesbian pastors at a time and in situations where your advice would have been especially apropos; but it is good advice in general.

I have repeatedly listened to clergy who are in interim calls, on leave from call, or are in some other "special circumstance." I think they are nervous about their continued status as clergy - not necessarily (though sometimes) because of their supposed stance on "The Issue Du Jour," but as a general state of affairs. It can feel like one is always checking the clock.

I personally HATE the "3-year clock" application. Yes I understand some of the logic, but, having been an interim pastor and (currently) an associate pastor whose call is coterminous with the senior pastor's (which will cause me to go on leave from call at some point after his retirement), AND having been on a synodical rostering committee (NES, in the early '90's) I have seen how  unevenly rostering criteria are applied. It gets especially dicey when personal animus or political and theological sparring and disagreements occur.

And sadly, it can become tempting for a bishop or synod council to argue that it would be so much easier to get rid of "problem clergy", once they're on leave from call, by simply dragging feet, not recommending them for assignments, saying that there simply are no suitable calls available, or not signing letters of call should a congregation flout the synod's recommendation and call the person (even to an interim assignment). Once the clock has suitably run down, they can simply inform the pastor that he or she is de-rostered. No fuss, no muss, no nasty disciplinary hearing; just letting time do its inevitable work.

Maybe that's a passive-aggressive way of dealing with the problem. In any case, it IS happening. It HAS happened, as Rev. Sabin has already pointed out. It will CONTINUE to happen because we're all a bunch of sinful humanoid life forms, and we're too often tempted to avoid unpleasantness instead of speaking truth in love to one another.

In any case, I am cautiously not opposed to the idea of a nationalized data base for mobility papers, etc. It seems logical in this information age; and it might actually give some clergy who might otherwise not be given a call or a pass-through from their current bishop, to seek a call in another synod. Plus it may give congregations more information in the call process. IF, however, there is any move to "appoint" clergy across the board, I suspect there would be a major revolt from all parts of the theological and ecclesial spectrum of the ELCA!
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Coach-Rev on November 09, 2010, 01:00:50 PM


And yet if we evaluate a pastor on everything they SHOULD be doing, none of us, in the end, will measure up to some sort of absurd, ridiculous extreme ideal.  There is no Arian race of pastors, after all.

Ah, but there are plenty of pastors who, alas, are Arians, or close to it.

But you probably meant "Aryan."  ;D

oops, sorry.  Yeah, I sometimes get my heresies and my ethnic purities confused  :-\
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Coach-Rev on November 09, 2010, 01:07:30 PM


And yet if we evaluate a pastor on everything they SHOULD be doing, none of us, in the end, will measure up to some sort of absurd, ridiculous extreme ideal.  There is no Arian race of pastors, after all.

Ah, but there are plenty of pastors who, alas, are Arians, or close to it.

But you probably meant "Aryan."  ;D

And yes, just go to the ELCA website, search for "virgin birth" and read what it says.  Arius would be proud.

Hmm, interesting.  I went to pull up the link in order to post it here, only to find that it has been removed, under their "dig deeper" section.  anyone interested, email me and I'll give you a copy of what USED to be up there as late as last week.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Coach-Rev on November 09, 2010, 05:16:05 PM
Fascinating:  What had been on their website for well over two years, even after I made a comment to them about some rather heretical postings, has finally been removed with this note on the "dig deeper" section of the ELCA site:

"The Dig Deeper section of ELCA.org was created to invite fresh explorations of Christian faith for people new or returning to church life. The pages in this section have been removed while they undergo a comprehensive review to improve their usefulness as a resource for study and discussion with others."

Now that many, including Dr. Braaten, are accusing them of universalist Gnostic antinomianism, what is the real purpose behind their sudden disappearance and demise? 

Coach-Rev, STS
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Dan Fienen on November 09, 2010, 05:18:47 PM
Perhaps they have served their purpose in the present (or recently past) form and it is time to look at them afresh and do some editing to make them better and more useful?

Dan
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: George Erdner on November 09, 2010, 05:53:47 PM
Perhaps they have served their purpose in the present (or recently past) form and it is time to look at them afresh and do some editing to make them better and more useful?

Dan

The truth is the truth. It shouldn't need editing to make it more useful. If, however, there is a belief that it might be phrased better, there's no need to take down the old page. The editing should be done off-line, and when the new file is ready, it's simply uploaded to replace and supersede the old. There's no reason to take a web page down to edit it. It's not like a painted sign that needs to be schlepped to the sign-painters' workshop for modification.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: ptmccain on November 09, 2010, 06:00:44 PM
The news on the ELCA web site tells me that somebody at ELCA.ORG is reading this site, or is aware of it. Perhaps there is a mole here? Ah, the possibilities of intrigue are boundless.

 8)
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 09, 2010, 06:41:38 PM
Get over yourself. There is nothing "secret" here (or on any internet site), and if I were a mover and shaker in ELCA official-dom, I'd not give this site more than a quick once-over.
Do you suppose the LCMS poohbahs monitor that John the Studfest site or whatever it's called? Or the other anti-Missouri brotherhoods?
On the other hand, I suppose they might because they could catch an LCMSer writing something treif and then...  ;)
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on November 09, 2010, 06:49:13 PM

Hmm, interesting.  I went to pull up the link in order to post it here, only to find that it has been removed, under their "dig deeper" section.  anyone interested, email me and I'll give you a copy of what USED to be up there as late as last week.

See this new topic (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=3442.msg187830;topicseen#msg187830).

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: G.Edward on November 09, 2010, 10:25:42 PM
On September 1, 2010 Bishop Stuck removed me from the ELCA roster, because I had rostered with LCMC.  Funny how the ECP rostered folk can remain dual rostered, isn't it?

Well, the ECP was never a real roster in the sense that it was created and maintained by a real church body.  That it was allowed and in some synods condoned is shame on the bishops.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on November 09, 2010, 11:05:52 PM

Well, the ECP was never a real roster in the sense that it was created and maintained by a real church body.


What makes "a real church body?" 

The formation, ordination, and continued support of pastors is certainly an indicator of "a real church body."  What does ELM not have that is necessary for "a real church body?"

I know.  With the reception of most of the ELM rostered folk as ELCA pastors, that ship (whatever you call it) has probably already sailed as far as the ELCA is concerned. 

Christe eleison, Steven+
(Who was saying, "It's the ecclesiology, stupid!" in 1993.)
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: George Erdner on November 09, 2010, 11:10:08 PM

Well, the ECP was never a real roster in the sense that it was created and maintained by a real church body.


What makes "a real church body?" 

The formation, ordination, and continued support of pastors is certainly an indicator of "a real church body."  What does ELM not have that is necessary for "a real church body?"

I know.  With the reception of most of the ELM rostered folk as ELCA pastors, that ship (whatever you call it) has probably already sailed as far as the ELCA is concerned. 

Christe eleison, Steven+
(Who was saying, "It's the ecclesiology, stupid!" in 1993.)

Is a "church body" equivalent to a "denomination"? If not, what's the difference?
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Coach-Rev on November 09, 2010, 11:34:54 PM

Hmm, interesting.  I went to pull up the link in order to post it here, only to find that it has been removed, under their "dig deeper" section.  anyone interested, email me and I'll give you a copy of what USED to be up there as late as last week.

See this new topic (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=3442.msg187830;topicseen#msg187830).

Pax, Steven+

At first glance, that appears to be the entire thing.  3 people have asked, and I just forwarded it to them via email, for copies direct from the website.  I also included some info on "The Bible" and "The Universal Scope of Salvation in Christ" as well.
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: totaliter vivens on November 10, 2010, 12:17:00 AM

Well, the ECP was never a real roster in the sense that it was created and maintained by a real church body.


What makes "a real church body?" 

The formation, ordination, and continued support of pastors is certainly an indicator of "a real church body."  What does ELM not have that is necessary for "a real church body?"

I know.  With the reception of most of the ELM rostered folk as ELCA pastors, that ship (whatever you call it) has probably already sailed as far as the ELCA is concerned. 

Christe eleison, Steven+
(Who was saying, "It's the ecclesiology, stupid!" in 1993.)

Steven:

ELM never had congregations. So in that, they failed the most basic test of being a church: communities gathered around Word and Sacraments.

SPS
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on November 17, 2010, 11:56:59 AM
Hey wait a minute...

Isn't Richard "dual Rostered" with the Universal Life Church or some such outfit... :o

Iquiring minds want to know! ;D ;D ;D

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Richard Johnson on November 17, 2010, 01:00:16 PM
Shhhh . . .
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: G.Edward on November 17, 2010, 08:03:27 PM
I hear the Universal Life Church has a group policy...
Title: Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
Post by: Revbert on November 18, 2010, 11:53:22 AM
I hear the Universal Life Church has a group policy...

[thwack!]
 8)