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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: A Sasse Waltherian on September 14, 2011, 06:33:43 PM

Title: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: A Sasse Waltherian on September 14, 2011, 06:33:43 PM
Shortly after 5 a.m. on the morning of Wednesday, September 14th, Pastor Kind was informed via email from President Seitz that the Minnesota South District Board of Directors has voted unanimously to sell our Chapel.

Pastor Kind sent the following to the members of ULC:

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

It is with heavy heart that I forward the following email and attachment from President Seitz regarding the sale of University Lutheran Chapel.

Yesterday the Board of Directors voted unanimously to sell our chapel by the end of the year at a price of no less than 3.2 million dollars.

I will be available at the chapel all day on Wednesday should any of you wish to phone or meet with me. We have our first Evening Prayer service of the school year tonight as well. I invite you to join us as we pray the Church's liturgy and in particular for our congregation and students.

May our Lord see us through the days ahead, grant us grace to move forward and to forgive, and may He have mercy on the souls of the leaders of the Minnesota South District.

Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Kind


Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LutherMan on September 14, 2011, 06:46:46 PM
http://ulcmn.org/

MNS must really be hurting for money in that they would sell the home of a thriving and vibrant congregation. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 14, 2011, 06:53:17 PM
Once more we see that our Lord's words were true:  you cannot serve God and mammon. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LutherMan on September 14, 2011, 06:57:58 PM
Does MNS own its HQ building?  Couldn't that be sold instead and perhaps office space made available for them at Concordia St. Paul? 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on September 14, 2011, 07:05:44 PM
If the facts of how little the ULC cost the MNS District are as Pastor Kind describes in the excellent video presentation
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eg-Zk80HKH0&feature=player_embedded (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eg-Zk80HKH0&feature=player_embedded),

then this is a very unfortunate reduction of the Christian presence to the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota.

The "up to" $250,000 to be provided from the sale "to help University Lutheran Chapel to buy or lease more cost efficient
facilities that they might continue their campus ministry" seems like an impractical, if not derisory, alternative to the present chapel and its presence. For some churches, sharing facilities and costs with other church bodies' campus ministries might make renting work, but that seems to me to be contrary to the LCMS way of doing things.
http://ulcmn.org/Files/Save%20ULC%20Files/Campus%20Property%20Resolutions%20%289-13-11%29.pdf (http://ulcmn.org/Files/Save%20ULC%20Files/Campus%20Property%20Resolutions%20%289-13-11%29.pdf)

I am very sorry to hear of this decision.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on September 14, 2011, 08:03:13 PM
Many people are in shock and utter dismay at this action. I am one of them.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LutherMan on September 14, 2011, 08:14:24 PM
There is a pretty lively discussion going on over there.
http://steadfastlutherans.org/
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LutherMan on September 14, 2011, 08:26:09 PM
Quote
ScottG asked before his post vanished:

 
So what will happen to Pastor Kind?  If they are selling the property will there still be a ULC in another building?  Or is he going to be pushed to take another call?  How is this all factored in?
No one knows.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on September 14, 2011, 09:14:44 PM
I can't stop shaking my head sadly at this news.  The question about Pastor Kind and his position was one thing I hadn't thought of...and that is awful.  This just seems so shortsighted.  And I pray that MNS tried hard to contact Pastor Kind by phone the night before to at least tell him in person what was going to take place. 

Shameful!

Jeremy 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LutherMan on September 14, 2011, 09:22:10 PM
I think Fr. Kind saw the writing on the wall before all this came down. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: racin_jason on September 14, 2011, 09:26:57 PM
This is a bonehead move in about 11 different ways.

I am an alumnus of the U of M. Though I was involved with ELCA campus ministry, we were aware that good things were happening at ULC...they were always bigger and more active than we were. I worshipped with them once and was impressed. The ELCA sold its U of M east bank campus ministry property (jointly held with the Episcopalians) around ten years ago. 

The ULC is in a prime location.

The only question not answered is how much the district has spent in maintenance over the years. There's no way chapel offerings can cover a new roof or furnace.

But still, how can anyone defend this move?
   
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Harry Edmon on September 14, 2011, 10:00:52 PM
Why couldn't the BOD wait until next year's District Convention to get their approval before selling?

This must be the answer - they want the money, and they don't want the sale stopped.   This behavior by the Board is so unChristian.

However, ULC is still trying to raise enough money to buy the property.   Seems impossible, but with God all things are possible.   So we shall see.   I made my contribution this evening.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 14, 2011, 10:29:25 PM
I think you can donate here too:

https://www.eservicepayments.com/cgi-bin/Vanco_ver3.vps?appver3=tYgT1GfNxRUldiimjHMvOfPLlNTQgay0VbJn3lcP4qXo-7YkZiNiYhc46uwjFenmums9tj3wI7okSf0MyMa8ulvOqmuPflpnzg4t1X__C-w=&ver=3

Would it not be wonderful for every evangelical catholic to support the ministry of the premiere evangelical catholic campus ministry of the Synod?  Give as you can, my friends!  They will be blessed; YOU will be blessed.  Imagine that - a campus ministry CENTERED in the preaching of the saving Gospel and the reverent celebration and reception of the Holy Eucharist!
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 15, 2011, 12:06:33 PM
Why couldn't the BOD wait until next year's District Convention to get their approval before selling?

This must be the answer - they want the money, and they don't want the sale stopped.   

As asked on the other board, "Does MNS so desperately need the money?" If not, your question is very important.

Furthermore, even though MNS holds title to the property, it was to be held to serve the two districts, MNN as well as MNS. Christian courtesy would dictate getting input and at least tacit agreement by MNN before selling.

Moreover, if MNS does not desperately need the money then, given the depressed market climate, is it fiduciarily responsible to sell at this time?

So yes, what's the big hurry?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Revbert on September 15, 2011, 12:27:33 PM
Moreover, if MNS does not desperately need the money then, given the depressed market climate, is it fiduciarily responsible to sell at this time?

Precisely my thought as the unaffected-directly outsider.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Sandra on September 15, 2011, 01:47:42 PM
According to one pastor in MN-S who served on the MN-S BOD a couple of years ago (Rev. Brian Thorson), the Treasurer reported last winter that the district was not in any sort of financial crisis.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LutherMan on September 15, 2011, 01:54:01 PM
Then why sell the chapel?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 15, 2011, 01:56:49 PM
Then why sell the chapel?

Because MNS wants to go in a different direction regarding campus ministry.

But that's not the issue. The issue is "Why the big hurry to sell?"
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 15, 2011, 03:19:28 PM
Then why sell the chapel?

Because MNS wants to go in a different direction regarding campus ministry.

But that's not the issue. The issue is "Why the big hurry to sell?"

Rev. Kirchner,

Assuming your answer above is correct, then haven't you also answered your own question too?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 15, 2011, 03:22:49 PM
Rev. Bohler,

No.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LutherMan on September 15, 2011, 03:26:48 PM


Because MNS wants to go in a different direction regarding campus ministry.

But that's not the issue. The issue is "Why the big hurry to sell?"

Rev. Kirchner,

Assuming your answer above is correct, then haven't you also answered your own question too?
Have either of you addressed this issue with Pres. Fondow?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 15, 2011, 04:06:55 PM
Have either of you addressed this issue with Pres. Fondow?

No.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on September 15, 2011, 04:11:51 PM
Quote
Moreover, if MNS does not desperately need the money then, given the depressed market climate, is it fiduciarily responsible to sell at this time?

Well, according to the video that was posted, it will cost $50,000 to rent on campus. But what about maintenance costs that will have to be factored in if they keep the property? There might be information that the District is not disclosing - e.g. what about the cost of projected repairs, gas, electricity, etc.? The District might even have additional information that this is a good time to sell, especially for that local area. The recent data released by the U.S. Census does not bode well for the housing market in general. I understand that Bank of America is pushing homes to foreclosure now. If other banks see Bank of America pushing more loans to foreclosure than others might want to get into the act and put up their properties for sale. It could be that a stampede is starting and the whole property market is going to take a big dive into the deep. Regardless of inflation, it looks like credit-based markets will struggle to maintain prices. That will surely impact the property market. Unemployment is also currently continuing to grow as the population is aging. Also, the number of defaults on student loans continue to rise. See http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44488514/ns/business-stocks_and_economy/

In the recent AARP magazine there is an article about the high number of retirees that have not paid a mortgage for well over 2 years, yet have not received any foreclosure statements from their lender. Folks, it looks like it’s a hard rain that's gonna fall. It looks like the property market is going down, down, down. So, it might indeed be responsible to sell at this point.

There is a current glut of clergy in the LCMS. What is needed is creative ways to fund ministry. The LCMS needs to stop pouring mission dollars into money pits – like propping up buildings that are way past their prime and constantly falling apart. The LCMS needs to start consolidating what they do. Moderates need to listen to conservatives – e.g. why not put the MN-South District office building up for sale and move to Concordia St. Paul?

A more realistic ministry plan would be to invest in vans that can take students to area LCMS churches. Also, long term wise, the LCMS should consider investing in student housing for doing campus ministry in general. The members of the LCMS pour a lot of money into Concordia Universities, but what about other places of learning? If owing and operating campus student housing was done well, it could even be a revenue source to help subsidize on site clergy who could live in the housing - that way faith communities and theological study centers could be developed.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 15, 2011, 04:37:07 PM
Some nice thoughts in there, Quenstedt, aime dmostly at level two (middle judicatory, ie District in Missouri).  In the world of sauce/goose/sauce/gander, however, when you aim at level one (parishes), you'll find one of the toughest nuts to crack in non-hierarchical denominations is the property attachment that St. John Gaspump has even when its 18 members are three blocks from St. Steven's and its 27 members, with their two big steeples falling down toward one another.  Give me a hand with a few of those situations.  And any new arrivals, as in the 42,000 from other countries of origin, are not welcome in either place.  Or, go to level three (national) and ask how decisions get made on closing a college that's draining the coffers, or consolidating (oh, no, not that!) seminaries that together have $40 million operating budgets.  Because the worker "glut" isn't a real worker glut.  It's a parishioner/parish debit, a shortfall that is becoming more and more severe. 

I was struck on the Prime ThreadLeader on this topic, Steadfast Lutherans, by Pr. Martin Noland's observation about himself - "but I am an obscure and ostracized pastor serving a small and declining parish."  That's not a good thing, is it?   That's sad.  The one thing I would note is that if he's thinking himself obscure because he's in a small and declining parish, he really is not all alone.  In fact, he's in the company of thousands of other pastors.

To the side of the thread, I guess, but it's always on my mind from the perspective of an ardent local practitioner signing folks up for catechesis.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Martin R. Noland on September 15, 2011, 05:33:17 PM
Dear Pastor Benke,

First, you took my comments about my being obscure, etc. out of context, which the hermeneutically savvy folks on this blog know is a "no, no."

Second, I should have made myself more clear, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!  Maybe quoting a Bible passage will explain what I meant in the blog comment:  "If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weaknesses."  II Corinthians 11:30.  People who know me personally know that this has been my modus operandi for years.

On another note, in our prayers on Sunday, we prayed for all the people who lost friends and loved ones on 9-11, for the parents who lost children, the children who lost parents, and the persons still disabled or traumatized by the event.  And I want to personally thank you for your service as a Lutheran pastor, on the ground, to all the people there ten years ago.

Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on September 15, 2011, 06:11:08 PM
It is an all-too-common attitude expressed among some of us: "We're small. No one is listening to me. I don't think we'll make it. So since God said the world would be against me, I must be doing the right thing."

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 15, 2011, 06:22:31 PM
The one thing I would note is that if he's thinking himself obscure because he's in a small and declining parish, he really is not all alone.  In fact, he's in the company of thousands of other pastors.

Isn't it a pastor's job to turn a "small and declining parish" into a "larger and growing" parish? I mean, of course it's the Holy Spirit that does the heavy lifting, but as a steward of the resources, doesn't the pastor participate in the process?
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on September 15, 2011, 06:40:13 PM
Mr. Erdner writes:
Isn't it a pastor's job to turn a "small and declining parish" into a "larger and growing" parish?
I comment:
Maybe. Maybe not. Perhaps it's the pastor's job to get the people of the parish to turn it in to a "larger and growing" parish? Some pastors have the charisma for bringin' 'em in, others don't.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 15, 2011, 08:25:20 PM
No, Mr. Erdner, that is NOT his "job".  His job is to preach the Word, to baptize, absolve, to commune, to teach.  To be a steward of the mysteries of God.  If he does that then he is a good and faithful servant, regardless of numbers and dollars. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 15, 2011, 08:35:34 PM
Dr. Benke,

You left out one more way: to consolidate districts and/or staff.  How much money do the districts spend?  Do we really need an Atlantic District and a New Jersey District (just to give one close to home example)?  Why do we have non-geographic districts anymore?  Do we still need an English District now that we all (more or less) speak English? 

Years ago our Minnesota North District had a series of "listening posts" to talk about the big decline in population in western Minnesota and what we could do to better fund the mission.  The district fellas had a number of suggestions -- all things WE in the parish could/should do.  Then he asked for other ideas.  The first man stood up and suggested cutting district expenses, staff, consolidating districts, etc.  He was ignored.  Another person suggested the same thing a little later; he too was ignored.  The message became painfully clear to the audience.  Same thing during the recent Blue Ribbon Task Force meetings. 

I think the seminaries and campus ministries are worth more than district offices.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 15, 2011, 08:37:43 PM
No, Mr. Erdner, that is NOT his "job".  His job is to preach the Word, to baptize, absolve, to commune, to teach.  To be a steward of the mysteries of God.  If he does that then he is a good and faithful servant, regardless of numbers and dollars.

I respectfully disagree. A called and ordained pastor has many line items on his total job description. What you list are at the top of the list, but they are not the only items on the list. Many called and ordained pastors are also responsible for seeing to it that someone from the parish is persuaded to shovel the sidewalk in front of the church, or to do it himself. Many are called to set the thermostat before the worship service, or to make sure that the Altar Guild has done their ministry and has everything in the proper place for worship. Some pastors are also responsible for picking the hymns for Sunday worship, coaching the church softball team, visiting shut-in members, calling on visitors, consoling those in grief.
 
I'm sorry, but to reduce a pastor's job requirements to only those few, regardless of how important they are, is to belittle all the other work that goes along with being called to serve God's people at a parish.
 
The list you describe could be applied to someone who only does supply on Sundays. Being a parish pastor with responsibilities for the spiritual health and well-being of the congregation entails far more than just those core responsibilities that you mention. At least, being a good parish pastor does.
 
I'll wager that any pastor who interviewed with a congregation call committee who said he would "preach the Word, to baptize, absolve, to commune, to teach.  To be a steward of the mysteries of God", and not a thing more than that would be most likely described as "still looking for a call".
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 15, 2011, 08:56:04 PM
Mr. Erdner,

With all due respect, if you truly think that preaching the Word, absolving, baptizing, communing, teaching only happens on Sunday then you have no idea what those things actually entail.

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on September 15, 2011, 09:14:33 PM
Mr. Erdner,

With all due respect, if you truly think that preaching the Word, absolving, baptizing, communing, teaching only happens on Sunday then you have no idea what those things actually entail.

I have to agree with you--gladly. And has the MN North District, which put up half of the dough for the U of Minn ministry, been told by MN South why South by itself can sell off your common enterprise?

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LutherMan on September 15, 2011, 09:18:34 PM


I have to agree with you--gladly. And has the MN North District, which put up half of the dough for the U of Minn ministry, been told by MN South why South by itself can sell off your common enterprise?

Peace,
Michael
That would be a question for Prs. Bohler & Kirchner since they both have  MNN DP Fondow's ear as pastors in his district.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Revbert on September 15, 2011, 10:01:35 PM
No, Mr. Erdner, that is NOT his "job".  His job is to preach the Word, to baptize, absolve, to commune, to teach.  To be a steward of the mysteries of God.  If he does that then he is a good and faithful servant, regardless of numbers and dollars. 

No, Pastor Bohler, that is not his "job," either.

It is his "call," a vocatio of the Holy Spirit to the office of Holy Ministry.  No wonder so many laity see the pastor as "hired hands" when pastors themselves have no understanding of call.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 15, 2011, 10:13:27 PM
Although I'm going to opine that the real consolidation issues are at level one and I won't let go of it, my response to your query, SW, is that the people who seemed most opposed to the consolidation of districts prior to the last convention were folks from the Waltherian side of the aisle who wanted 100 districts of 60 parishes with part-time ecclesiastical supervisors.  A nightmarish scenario in many ways, but nonetheless the one desired by the ultra-Waltherians. 

I have attempted at least three times to hook Atlantic and New Jersey (and New England, and maybe Eastern) together in consolidation, to (at this point) no avail.  I'm not getting any younger, and it occurs to me that it may not happen during my tenure.  But - if it were to occur and the North/South districts were made one and the Dakotas were one, etc., the gain in properties would hopefully be put to mission use and not to expand what you from your Waltherian heights call the bureaucracy.  I've upsized, downsized and rightsized my staff a bunch of times at the district level, and been responsible as CEO for letting 32 people go in one weekend at a social service agency (and it was the same week as my suspension hearing - which was far, far easier than watching 32 people walk out the door for the last time under my watch).  The small parishes with staffs of one or 1/2 on the mom/pop scale don't have to worry about corporate swats and human resource department memos.  When a bigger entity bumps people off, the way of doing business is effected pretty dramatically.  That being said, why not consolidate districts?  No more Southern Illinois District - it's about time that one went the way of all flesh.   Let's just have one gargantuan Illinois District.  No problema.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on September 15, 2011, 10:25:39 PM
Mr. Erdner writes:
Many called and ordained pastors are also responsible for seeing to it that someone from the parish is persuaded to shovel the sidewalk in front of the church, or to do it himself. Many are called to set the thermostat before the worship service, or to make sure that the Altar Guild has done their ministry and has everything in the proper place for worship.
I comment:
And if pastors let themselves continue to be "responsible" for those things, they should be reprimanded for incompetence. Those things are the responsibility of lay leaders of the congregation.

Mr. Erdner writes:
Some pastors are also responsible for picking the hymns for Sunday worship, coaching the church softball team, visiting shut-in members, calling on visitors, consoling those in grief.
I comment:
Take the coaching job out of that list and I'll agree, because all those other things are related to a pastor's primary call, to preach, preside, teach and provide pastoral care. We are not to be snow-shovelers, thermostat-setters, or organizational noodges keeping the hoops of committees rolling along upright. If we let ourselves be dragooned into those roles, we are wasting our energies and failing in what is supposed to be our "vocation."
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Karl Hess on September 15, 2011, 11:07:05 PM
Some nice thoughts in there, Quenstedt, aime dmostly at level two (middle judicatory, ie District in Missouri).  In the world of sauce/goose/sauce/gander, however, when you aim at level one (parishes), you'll find one of the toughest nuts to crack in non-hierarchical denominations is the property attachment that St. John Gaspump has even when its 18 members are three blocks from St. Steven's and its 27 members, with their two big steeples falling down toward one another.  Give me a hand with a few of those situations.  And any new arrivals, as in the 42,000 from other countries of origin, are not welcome in either place.  Or, go to level three (national) and ask how decisions get made on closing a college that's draining the coffers, or consolidating (oh, no, not that!) seminaries that together have $40 million operating budgets.  Because the worker "glut" isn't a real worker glut.  It's a parishioner/parish debit, a shortfall that is becoming more and more severe. 

I was struck on the Prime ThreadLeader on this topic, Steadfast Lutherans, by Pr. Martin Noland's observation about himself - "but I am an obscure and ostracized pastor serving a small and declining parish."  That's not a good thing, is it?   That's sad.  The one thing I would note is that if he's thinking himself obscure because he's in a small and declining parish, he really is not all alone.  In fact, he's in the company of thousands of other pastors.

To the side of the thread, I guess, but it's always on my mind from the perspective of an ardent local practitioner signing folks up for catechesis.

Dave Benke

The more I think about the numerical decline of the LCMS that is upon us, the more I'm amazed that the real answers to that decline are studiously avoided. 

We should of course go to work to preach the pure Gospel of Christ to the variety of foreign born neighbors that are keeping the birthrate of the United States from going the way of Germany's and Russia's (i.e. irreversible decline leading to extinction).  But is it realistic to think that converts are the future of the LCMS--or a struggling parish--particulary converts of a different language, culture, race? 

Lutheran churches are going to diversify ethnically because the nation is, and for the same reason--intermarriage.  But there's a reason why most Mexicans are still Catholic and most African Americans are Baptist or in a Pentecostal/Holiness church.  It's because people are instinctively tribal, not just the 14 70 year old German Americans at St. John Gaspump.  I still want to introduce the theology of the augsburg confession to the large hispanic and african american communities in my town.  Heck, to the large Polish and WASP communities in my town.  But it's somewhat unrealistic to expect converts to fill the church and have the piety and spiritual maturity that the congregation needs to sustain it.

What used to work pretty well for Lutherans was faithful catechesis and stable families.  Even now, when extended families don't live near each other, and people are not as rooted, if LCMS Lutherans were well catechized to reject false teaching, even when it comes in a church with a really big youth group and lots of programs, the loyalty to churches that preach pure doctrine would prevent at least some of the tiny minority of lcms youth that doesn't leave Christianity entirely from being snatched up by nondenominational churches.  The LCMS had a fairly intelligent system with its schools at one time;you went to the Lutheran school, you were taught the catechism, hymns, and bible verses.  Your parents had a strong interest in the church and school, because they put their kids, together, in the congregation's hands.  Young families in the church were connected because their kids spent a lot of time together.

Now on the other hand, if you get kids in Sunday school regularly before confirmation, you're doing pretty well, and parents have a lot of other priorities for their kids that make the church a less central feature of their lives.  Parents feel little commitment to send their kids to the school, or youth group, or Sunday School; they don't think, "We're part of the congregation, and even if everything isn't exactly as we would have it, it's our duty to support the congregation rather than head to another church that meets our needs better."

So, catechesis is missing.  Then, family life is broken in a million ways.  People don't understand their vocation as parents.  The very tiny number of youth that is baptized, confirmed, and sticks around into their twenties, for the most part does not know how to be a Christian mother or father.  Kids are born out of wedlock, or marriage is contracted without much thought about the calling as a christian spouse to bring children into the world (as God grants them) and ensure that they are raised in the true faith.  Instead, people marry whoever they think they are in love with, and whoever that is generally is not a Lutheran, or even, often, a Christian.  Then, the 2.1 kids they have (just barely enough to replace father and mother), are unable to raise their children in a home where prayer, Scripture, hymns, mutual absolution are at the center of the family's life. 

And we're surprised the church is declining numerically? 

The solution is to preach repentance to our toleration of the failure to fulfill one's vocation as Christian parent.  Then to preach the forgiveness of sins to the repentant.  Then to show and teach  young people about the blessed vocation of Christian marriage.  If we could do that, then maybe the homes would be a place where the faith is taught to our kids to the great blessing of the Church.  Instead, the members of the church largely have no idea how to have a Christian home, and the pastors don't teach it and insist on it.  So the kids get older, and they haven't learned that the one needful thing in a church is that the pure word of God is taught.  So they move to a new town, don't think the youth group is big enough at the LCMS congregation, and join Harvest Saddleback Mountain Chapel.  Or they fall in love and marry someone and join their church to make peace, figuring all churches are the same anyway, otherwise why would their LCMS pastor have communed everyone who came to the altar?  Besides, there are no Lutherans their age to marry, and they've never been taught that it's really important to marry someone who shares your confession of faith, so that your children will be taught God's pure word. 

I never hear anyone talk about any of these things, which are what we once had when the synod was strong.  It's never been the case that the Missouri Synod was growing by evangelizing lots and lots and lots  of hispanics, african americans, or Jews.  They worked at that, but the important thing for the health and strength of the church is to faithfully live as baptized Christians in the holy calling of marriage, bringing life into the world, nurturing it, and teaching these lives the pure word of God so that they may teach it to their children.  That's what's fallen apart, and that's what accounts for the LCMS' decline, from what I can see.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 15, 2011, 11:45:49 PM
You are, of course, right, Rev. Hebbeler.  It is a calling and not a job.  That is why I put quotation marks around the word "job" the first time; I neglected to do so the second time, which was my error.  The point being the work given a pastor to do is to administer the Means of Grace.  That takes place in many and varied ways, the vast majority of them NOT on Sunday morning.  Visiting the shut-in, for example, is quite often teaching and preaching and absolving and communing.  Chapel services for the parochial school.  Leading the ladies aid Bible study.  Study and prep and writing of sermons.  Listening to members in formal settings and informal ones -- and applying the Word of Law and of Gospel as necessary, or maybe just simply listening to let them know that God cares in the person of His called servant.  The list is as long and varied as the days and hours in each day.  If pastors do these things, they won't have time to shovel sidewalks and such.  But that is where God calls others to serve.  Let the pastors preach and administer the Sacraments; let the laity "wait the tables" so to speak.  "This is what God has called me to do for His people; that is what He calls you to do for them."  Why do we have laity preaching and preachers shoveling sidewalks?  Seems kind of messed up.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Karl Hess on September 16, 2011, 12:12:31 AM
Although I'm going to opine that the real consolidation issues are at level one and I won't let go of it, my response to your query, SW, is that the people who seemed most opposed to the consolidation of districts prior to the last convention were folks from the Waltherian side of the aisle who wanted 100 districts of 60 parishes with part-time ecclesiastical supervisors.  A nightmarish scenario in many ways, but nonetheless the one desired by the ultra-Waltherians. 

Dave Benke

It might be nightmarish and ultra Waltherian.  I'll take your word on it as someone who might know, right?  But I kind of thought it would be good if we had smaller dioceses and more bishops or whatever the Waltherian terminology is ;); not really because of Walther but because it seems like if the dioceses were smaller the bishop could visit you, help you grow as a pastor, and also know better what congregations are doing which goofy/heretical things in his diocese. 

Those all seem like good things to me, and I'm sure to you also, so what are the reasons that would make smaller districts a bad idea?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 16, 2011, 08:03:49 AM
A mental health break from the board here has led me to the insight that the dynamics of the dialog
a) take too much of my time
b) too much space in my head
for the rest of my vocational life as it's currently being conducted.  So I'm peering in less.  Regarding the 100 districts of 60, the nightmarish aspects off the top of the noggin would be
1) re-districting.  As whacky as that is in the political sphere, just so whacky would it be in the ecclesiastical.  Urban/suburban/exurban/large/small/subsidized/big givers.  Who goes where?  Nightmarish.
2) doing the work of ecclesiastical supervision - I'm one of two who is a parish pastor and a supervisor.  It's not only not easy, it's enormously difficult.  Multiply by 100. Nightmarish.  And/or clubby, which would be worse - we elect the guy who's the best buddy of the majority of pastors of the 60 parishes. 
3) Meetings.  100 ecclesiastical supervisors in some national room for a week.  Let me out!
4) The tendency toward bureaucratic creep.  Because this way to do 6000 parish-supervision would be so intensely unwieldy, the instinct would be to put say 8 regions of coordinators and their small (to start) staffs in place.  Yippee.  Not.  Comptency of scale - accounting/bookkeeping/fundraising/mission development would also mandate some regional overlay. 

As to your other point about birth rate and the inadequacy of "importing" new members who weren't lifelong Lutherans, while no one should have a problem with more training/catechesis/time spent helping families to be good families, that does not obviate against catechizing from those who are reached from the "outside."
The point attempting to be made is the curmudgeonly opposite of the curmudgeonly "faithfulness" ploy.  I'm here, I'm faithful, let them find me, that one reads.  The new one is I'm here, I'm faithful, they can't find me because there aren't enough of them any more.  Neither one is evangelical or catholic.  The Church has pushed out from its parishes since the birth of the Church, propelled from the altar, compelled by the Gospel. 

Dave Benke
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 16, 2011, 09:18:39 AM
Bishop,

You write:  "Neither one is evangelical or catholic.  The Church has pushed out from its parishes since the birth of the Church, propelled from the altar, compelled by the Gospel."  I think that is right.  And I think that is also of a piece with Pastor Hess's observation - for surely of a piece with catechesis and stable family lives of prayer and devotion is being catechized to seek opportunities to confess the name of the Savior to others.  I mean WHY do we rehearse the Creed in our morning and evening prayers each day?  Is it not so that we keep the faith ever close to our hearts that it may be on our lips when speaking to others?  Doesn't Luther's Larger Catechism point in that direction when he talks about the fellow asking the child:  "What kind of a God do you have?"  "My God is the Father Almighty!  He made heaven and earth!" etc.  So I think that a vital piece of catechization in the Church is training our children and all our people to be on the watch for the confession of Christ's name and to pray for the strength to confess it with boldness and confidence. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on September 16, 2011, 11:12:57 AM
We should of course go to work to preach the pure Gospel of Christ to the variety of foreign born neighbors that are keeping the birthrate of the United States from going the way of Germany's and Russia's (i.e. irreversible decline leading to extinction).  But is it realistic to think that converts are the future of the LCMS--or a struggling parish--particulary converts of a different language, culture, race? 

Right...it is not as though that is how we did it back in the days of Paul...oh, wait, that IS how we did it...

I myself agree with much of what you say. One of the reasons I accepted the call to this congregation was because how they spoke about wanting to strengthen homes and families — so, I am with you on all that you say.

But it does seem in vogue to dismiss conversion as a way of growth. Because Lutherans have never done that. Well, I mean, we did it in the days of Paul, but that hardly seems to count...
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 16, 2011, 12:47:42 PM
Pr. W, agreed, and I thought I had agreed on the dynamics of the mission enterprise and catechization.  The mission statement of the Atlantic District (revised standard version) captures it nicely, I think:

Mission Statement

The Atlantic District engages its congregations, workers and agencies so that they share God’s grace in Christ Jesus to nurture Christians and reach out to others. 

Our thematic is "Engaging the World with the Gospel of Hope."  Our mission luncheon is "Witness in the Public Square." 

All of these have been and/or will be stolen and used by the wider church.  Our Vision Statement (not yet for public consumption) takes off in like direction. 

Nurture and Outreach (or as you would state them "Life Together and Witness/Mercy") are both included.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Harry Edmon on September 16, 2011, 07:03:13 PM
Rev. Fisk has just released his Friday youtube video and addresses the original issue about ULC.   Warning - he does not pull any punches.

http://youtu.be/KfQ6r2iBF8E
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on September 16, 2011, 07:34:40 PM
Fisk's video is quite good.  The stuff about ULC is the first seven minutes.  Then he goes on to talk about chaplaincy and communion and judgment.  Worldview Everlasting is good thing to watch weekly. 

Jeremy
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 16, 2011, 09:54:24 PM
Checking young Pr. Fisk's parish assignment in Pa. at lcms.org, his video skills apparently haven't yet translated into any gains in the worshiping assembly, or maybe better have grabbed time away from turning in any of that pesky data.  One never knows when that time spent commenting on goings-on in Minnesota will pay off in Pennsylvania, though. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on September 16, 2011, 10:20:41 PM
I have no mouse in this maze, but was a little uncomfortable when the fast-talking pastor (a former sideshow barker? a side job making infomercials for 3 a.m. TV? "But wait! There's more!") used Luther's hymn to call the district officials "the old evil foe," (and we know who that is). But maybe that's more common among you guys than among the rest of us.  ;D ;D
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LCMS87 on September 16, 2011, 11:08:00 PM
I have no mouse in this maze, but was a little uncomfortable when the fast-talking pastor (a former sideshow barker? a side job making infomercials for 3 a.m. TV? "But wait! There's more!") used Luther's hymn to call the district officials "the old evil foe," (and we know who that is). But maybe that's more common among you guys than among the rest of us.  ;D ;D

I believe best construction on the application of that verse of A Mighty Fortress would be that ultimately, behind any and every effort that would keep God's kingdom from coming or his gracious will from being done is the old evil foe. 

Sometimes, sadly, although I have no desire to serve his ends, I can't help but conclude he has used even me.  Thus my fervent prayer that he would break and hinder every evil plan and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature which would prevent his name from being hallowed or his kingdom from coming.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Harry Edmon on September 16, 2011, 11:32:39 PM
Checking young Pr. Fisk's parish assignment in Pa. at lcms.org, his video skills apparently haven't yet translated into any gains in the worshiping assembly, or maybe better have grabbed time away from turning in any of that pesky data.  One never knows when that time spent commenting on goings-on in Minnesota will pay off in Pennsylvania, though. 

Dave Benke
Gee, I thought we were called to be faithful and spread the Word.   Rev. Fisk does an excellent job of using new media (YouTube) to do just that.  The numbers are up to God, not us.

I am appreciate what Rev. Fisk says in this video.  The actions of the DP and BOD at Minnesota South threaten to destroy an active town and gown ministry that is spreading the Gospel through Word and Sacrament.  Districts are supposed to serve congregations, not destroy them.  That may not be their motives, but that is the result of their actions.   Districts (and Synod) owe their existence to Congregations, not the other way around.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 17, 2011, 09:09:39 AM
For the unknowing observer, Rev. Fisk takes an approach that is seen by many as hip and edgy.  He does a great job of reaching today's youth especially.  Isn't that what we've tried to do through the years with contemporary worship, coffee shop ministries, etc.?  He's reaching the youth, a demographic we all recognize as one we're losing fast in the Lutheran church.

If we're talking numbers in the world of modern evangelism, the dude has 5 times more Facebook friends than I do, the number of hits on Youtube alone for his videos is quite impressive, and from what I could tell of his blogosphere activities, he is widely read and commented on.  Perhaps the bottoms aren't in the pews at this point in his church (I am not one who puts much emphasis on this statistic as someone who was part of a church that started with only 6--my family), but that doesn't stop us from evangelizing today's world with techniques that actually reach them.  The WWW is pretty much where that's happening for some demographics.  That's why I remain on here, in fact.  Oh, that, and I enjoy the company.  :D
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 17, 2011, 09:18:08 AM
That's interesting, Deaconess - I absolutely get that in terms of the reach of the web/youtube, and the etherworld in general.  I'm on this site for the same reason you are, to engage that "world" with the Gospel of hope.  And the edgy Pr. Fisk communicates with beats and vibes that are useful and which I myself use.  This is all good.

 What I wonder about is the connection to life on the streets in Pa., that's all.  Because whatever I do here pales dramatically in comparison to hanging out with 100 sets of parents from Brooklyn who come to "Meet/Greet" nite as they did yesterday evening.  The immediacy of the personal touch and the real--life relationship is still at the heart of it as far as I'm concerned. 

There is grounds for dialog there, of course, because it's easier for me to have an online conversation with the Bklyn young people on my Facebook friends list or by text than it is to get them to communicate in person.  Weird (I think) but true.  But as I tell them, to recieve the Body and Blood of Christ at the altar, you have to show up in person.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 17, 2011, 09:27:54 AM
There is the appearance of "circle the wagons" when one of our own is under fire.  And I'm not talking about folks defending Fisk - as if he honestly needed ANY defense. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LutherMan on September 17, 2011, 09:42:15 AM
I get and retain a lot more out of Pr. Fisk's YT messages than I do from sermons given by many seasoned and experienced pastors who graduated sem in the sixties and seventies. 
FWIW...
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Harry Edmon on September 17, 2011, 09:43:38 AM
There is the appearance of "circle the wagons" when one of our own is under fire.  And I'm not talking about folks defending Fisk - as if he honestly needed ANY defense. 
I agree with your comment.   So, what would be a better approach?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 17, 2011, 09:49:23 AM
I'm on this site for the same reason you are, to engage that "world" with the Gospel of hope. 

Looking to that post from which this quote is taken as an example, it does seem that your comments nearly always end up talking about you and the impressive things you do, President Benke, and most recently taking shots at young pastors.

Perhaps gospel proclamation is different in Brooklyn. But I do hope that you spend some time with Pr. Fisk, in order to see what his parish ministry is like, before you turn him in to the COP.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Harry Edmon on September 17, 2011, 09:52:20 AM
That's interesting, Deaconess - I absolutely get that in terms of the reach of the web/youtube, and the etherworld in general.  I'm on this site for the same reason you are, to engage that "world" with the Gospel of hope.  And the edgy Pr. Fisk communicates with beats and vibes that are useful and which I myself use.  This is all good.

 What I wonder about is the connection to life on the streets in Pa., that's all.  Because whatever I do here pales dramatically in comparison to hanging out with 100 sets of parents from Brooklyn who come to "Meet/Greet" nite as they did yesterday evening.  The immediacy of the personal touch and the real--life relationship is still at the heart of it as far as I'm concerned. 

There is grounds for dialog there, of course, because it's easier for me to have an online conversation with the Bklyn young people on my Facebook friends list or by text than it is to get them to communicate in person.  Weird (I think) but true.  But as I tell them, to recieve the Body and Blood of Christ at the altar, you have to show up in person.

Dave Benke
I recommend you read the following:

http://www.phillyministries.org/

Pastor Fisk is the Directory of Mission Development for Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries as well as pastor of St.John Springfield.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 17, 2011, 10:12:55 AM
Pastor Fisk is the Directory of Mission Development for Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries as well as pastor of St.John Springfield.

That is really cool.  I just spent the early part of this past week in Philadelphia.  It was my first visit.  I've got 8 more such trips, and one will include meeting Pastor Loesch and now maybe visiting this ministry.

I think we all, myself included, should probably not assume someone isn't hitting the street because of what a church's attendance or membership numbers show.  I have been a part of two churches since becoming a church worker that may have been small in numbers, but we were mighty on mercy and outreach.  We focused on loving and serving, and if the numbers grew, great; if not, oh well.  God's measure of success is altogether different than man's.  Any way, may God be with each of us as we serve each other on this forum and others on the wider web and within our churches and communities.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 17, 2011, 12:25:40 PM
Cool - more streets to hit in Philly metro!  On the other hand the Phillies are in Philly - a definite downer.  Will have to give Rev. Fisk a shout-out.  Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 17, 2011, 12:59:14 PM
Perhaps even more than a shout out, but an apology for implying on a public board that Pr. Fisk was neglecting his mission???
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on September 17, 2011, 03:40:08 PM
The desire to take on the role of the accuser of the brethren comes straight from the pit of hell. See Revelation 12:10. Both conservatives and moderates can be tempted to take on this role. I have no dog in this fight, but do note that a number of posts (from both points of view) appear to be influenced by the accuser of the brethren.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Scott6 on September 17, 2011, 03:44:16 PM
The desire to take on the role of the accuser of the brethren comes straight from the pit of hell. See Revelation 12:10. Both conservatives and moderates can be tempted to take on this role. I have no dog in this fight, but do note that a number of posts (from both points of view) appear to be influenced by the accuser of the brethren.

FWIW, a post that attributes activities of others to Satan, the "accuser of the brethren," should not be made anonymously.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on September 17, 2011, 05:03:24 PM
Quote
FWIW, a post that attributes activities of others to Satan, the "accuser of the brethren," should not be made anonymously.

I'm sure that it is even possible that my own post was influenced by the evil one. So, you might be right. Mea Culpa! The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? (Jeremiah 17:9) I stand at the cross of Jesus pleading for forgiveness and mercy.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 17, 2011, 05:09:49 PM
Quote
FWIW, a post that attributes activities of others to Satan, the "accuser of the brethren," should not be made anonymously.

I'm sure that it is even possible that my own post was influenced by the evil one. So, you might be right. Mea Culpa! The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? (Jeremiah 17:9) I stand at the cross of Jesus pleading for forgiveness and mercy.

I suspect that the reference was to not believing that Johannes Andreas Quenstedt is your real name. If it is, then you are not anonymous. If it is a pseudonym, then you are anonymous, at least by the commonly accepted standards of the ALPB. FWIW, there is no rule against being anonymous, but some members kvetch about it. Some don't.
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on September 17, 2011, 05:29:36 PM
Actually George,

I believe my sin was to usurp the position of the moderator of this Forum. I think a more appropriate way of dealing with the issue would have been to privately contact members who appear to violate the spirit of the 4th & 8th Commandments and not chastise them publicly. I note that in the 7th Commandment we are also called to improve and protect our neighbor's property and business. Surely, intellectual property should be factored into that application of the Commandment in our modern world. So, there is a lot of sin to go around - and I am the chief of sinners myself when I try to tell other people how wrong they are and don't go through the proper channels in doing so.

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 17, 2011, 06:13:53 PM
Actually George,

I believe my sin was to usurp the position of the moderator of this Forum.

I don't think so. I suspect you are mistaken about that. As someone who has been participating in here for years, and who is therefore reasonably familiar with common attitudes and perceptions of other long term members, I am more inclined to believe that the participant who called you to task for posting what you posted anonymously meant what he said, with no hidden meanings laid between the lines.
 
That's merely my impression. I do not claim infallibility.
 
Of course, if Johannes Andreas Quenstedt is not your real name, and you have been a participant in the forum under another name and created an alias account using that name, then you have a hell of a lot of nerve to even mention correcting anyone about 8th commandment violations. On the other hand, if you are not a former participant joining under a new alias, then that observation would not apply to you.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Scott6 on September 17, 2011, 07:58:40 PM
Actually George,

I believe my sin was to usurp the position of the moderator of this Forum.

I don't think so. I suspect you are mistaken about that. As someone who has been participating in here for years, and who is therefore reasonably familiar with common attitudes and perceptions of other long term members, I am more inclined to believe that the participant who called you to task for posting what you posted anonymously meant what he said, with no hidden meanings laid between the lines.
 
That's merely my impression. I do not claim infallibility.
 
Of course, if Johannes Andreas Quenstedt is not your real name, and you have been a participant in the forum under another name and created an alias account using that name, then you have a hell of a lot of nerve to even mention correcting anyone about 8th commandment violations. On the other hand, if you are not a former participant joining under a new alias, then that observation would not apply to you.

George, I have for years stated that I don't have a problem w/ anonymity in general, so I'm not sure that your experience in this case helps you out much.  I only "kvetched" about it in this case b/c of the content of what was said.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave_Poedel on September 17, 2011, 08:06:33 PM
OK, out here in the Diaspora, I can't find any reason listed or explained for the District to be selling this church and parsonage.

From the folks who are outraged, I presume that the Pastor is a young graduate of CTSFW who is providing a ministry of DS Setting 3 with weekly Eucharist and classical pastoral care, not there's anything wrong with that.....

So, has student participation declined since Fr. Pless' days?  Is the District taking a different direction in campus ministry?  I've been on the receiving end of a District not funding a mission start because I planned to conduct liturgical worship...they used the funds to start the "bed in place of altar" during Lent....so, I am sympathetic to the pain caused by these changes in direction.

So....what's the real reason for the decision to sell?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 17, 2011, 08:17:57 PM
Padre,

Pr. Kind is no youngster, nor is he (I don't believe) only a DS 3 user.  His ministry there has, to all accounts, thrived.  He is a solid teacher of the faith, reverent in his celebration of the holy mysteries, and yet quite joy-filled (reverence and joy really do run hand in hand!).  We could speculate about why the District would wish to bring this thriving and significant ministry to an end - a ministry that has blessed us with many a pastor (and I think deaconess) by the way.  In my most cynical moment I think it is being sold because contrary to the thinking of that district, it shows itself traditional AND successful - and THAT is a no-no.  But then I think, surely they can't be THAT ornery.  I have to attribute it to simple short-sightedness - too much focus on what they might be able to fund with $3 million and not enough focus on the gifts beyond price that that ministry regularly serves up. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave_Poedel on September 17, 2011, 08:23:34 PM
Will:

Sorry, but this still makes no sense.  Someone has to know the REAL reason(s) for the planned sale.  I won't speculate out of ignorance, but it seems there must be something that no one is saying.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 17, 2011, 08:26:32 PM
Padre Dave,

The synod has this neat thing on its website where you can type in the name of a church or worker and find out all sorts of stuff.  Like how long a pastor has been in the ministry.  And what a church's average attendance per week is.  And whether it has gone up or down.  Ask Dr. Benke if you don't believe me -- it appears he has some experience in checking out how other congregations and pastors are doing statistically speaking.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Sandra on September 17, 2011, 09:13:42 PM
The reason provided is that the mission budget is tight and the district wants to take campus ministry in a new direction, away from dedicated campus ministry congregations with facilities on the campuses they serve. Instead, they propose providing $5,000 grants to congregations near campuses to come up with means to minister to college students. This new system would be administered at the district level by a Campus Ministry Facilitator. Since dedicated congregations would not be needed in the new system, the proceeds from the sale of the current properties would be used to fund this system and its staff.

In the district's materials on the financial reasons for this move, it appears as though the two MN-S campus ministries are a huge drain on the district mission finances. However, the spreadsheets fail to account for the rental income received on the ULC property which almost completely offset the expenses for that campus ministry. CLC's pastor is called by MN-S and his salary package is paid for out of district mission funds. ULC's pastor is called by ULC and his salary package is paid by the congregation. When it comes down to brass tacks, ULC costs the MN-S a net expense of less than $15,000. It can hardly be said that ULC is any sort of financial drain on the district mission funds.

One pastor, the one serving the other dedicated campus ministry in Mankato, has said that this situation has come about because "confessionals" stopped giving to district mission funds and now the birds have come home to roost. Helpful?

Downtown Minneapolis property is easy to sell and get a decent amount of money for - even in this economy. $3.2 million is nothing to sneeze at, though it would be worth much more in better times. In 2009, the district did a study which concluded saying that it was not a good idea to try to sell that property in that economy. The real estate market for sellers has not gotten better, so the district has been inconsistent there.

The way this whole thing has gone down has been less than...open. That DP Seitz informed Pr. Kind of the Board's decision via email at 5am on the day AFTER the meeting is just cowardly. That the Board empowered the Treasurer to accept any offer that met a $3.2 million threshold without any further vote from the Board WHILE tabling a motion until December that would give a $250,000 grant to ULC for moving/relocation expenses is a further example of how this whole thing has been handled less-than-charitably. As things stand, the sale of the property could be signed on Monday with a 60-day vacate, and ULC would still not even know if they would be receiving any funds from the district for relocation - assuming the motion passes at all.

This is just not how we are to do business with one another in the church. This is now the world operates. I thought we were supposed to be more merciful than this.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 17, 2011, 09:23:34 PM
Thank you, Sandra.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Jeff-MN on September 17, 2011, 10:22:44 PM
               Former Pastor of ULC, Pastor John Pless, e-mailed the following
               message to the members of ULC the day after the Board of Directors
               approved the sale of the ULC building:

This is shameful and sad news but not the least bit surprising given the MN South District's history of attempting to curb and control the confessional witness of ULC going back to the late 1980's. We would not be nor could we be the kind of campus ministry that they wanted us to be but we grew numerically and spiritually. The full story of MNS District's dealings with ULC still needs to be told. The action of the BOD yesterday was the culmination of an attempt that had been made in one way or another for many years.

I pray that congregations and alumni will rally to provide support to a congregation that has been forced out of a building that they knew as home and cared for over the decades. I also hope that the delegates at the upcoming district convention have the good sense demonstrate their disapproval of the current district leadership.

God's blessings administered through ULC have not been revoked. His Word is still active and mighty. That Word will prevail. I am confident that the Lord will work good out of this tragic loss.

JTP+
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 17, 2011, 10:54:26 PM
Maybe this is what Pastor Benke had in mind in regards to our use of YouTube...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMkLUzssMFU
Bear with me it's my first one.

Pax,
Scott+

Pr. Geminn,

Nice video.  Glad to see the saints there at Holy Cross rallying together to feed the hungry in your community.  The only editing I would do to the video would be to cut out that few seconds around 5:50 or so in where some lady is shown wearing a Michigan sweatshirt, which just ruins an otherwise well done video. ;) 

Seriously, thanks for sharing, brother. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: tcs on September 18, 2011, 03:56:24 AM
He does a great job of reaching today's youth especially.

Rev. Fisk does a great job of reaching today's thirty and forty year-olds too.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: John_Hannah on September 18, 2011, 08:16:17 AM

The reason provided is that the mission budget is tight and the district wants to take campus ministry in a new direction, away from dedicated campus ministry congregations with facilities on the campuses they serve. Instead, they propose providing $5,000 grants to congregations near campuses to come up with means to minister to college students. This new system would be administered at the district level by a Campus Ministry Facilitator. Since dedicated congregations would not be needed in the new system, the proceeds from the sale of the current properties would be used to fund this system and its staff.

In the district's materials on the financial reasons for this move, it appears as though the two MN-S campus ministries are a huge drain on the district mission finances. However, the spreadsheets fail to account for the rental income received on the ULC property which almost completely offset the expenses for that campus ministry. CLC's pastor is called by MN-S and his salary package is paid for out of district mission funds. ULC's pastor is called by ULC and his salary package is paid by the congregation. When it comes down to brass tacks, ULC costs the MN-S a net expense of less than $15,000. It can hardly be said that ULC is any sort of financial drain on the district mission funds.


Thanks; this is helpful. I have no dog in this hunt but ask from curiousity, "Who pays for the maintainence of that $3.2M property?" Given the age and value, I would think mainainence costs could be substantial.

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 18, 2011, 08:21:06 AM
Nice work, Pr. Geminn!  I thought it was always sunny in Colorado, though.  As opposed to Monsoon New York, with 75 inches of rain per year.  Blessings on your Sunday celebrations. 

In terms of Rev. Fisk, I will have to journey down to Philadelphia (or have him visit the Big Apple) to hear his vision for mission in the urban setting.  Sounds to me from what's been said as though he's in it for the long term.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dan Fienen on September 18, 2011, 08:29:16 AM
Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries recently called a graduate of Ft. Wayne to be Missionary at Large and mission developer.  They are doing exciting things to reclaim areas of Philadelphia.

Dan
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 18, 2011, 08:31:13 AM
This is in addition to Rev. Fisk?

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dan Fienen on September 18, 2011, 08:41:51 AM
I'm not sure how they are set up, but the Pr. Fisk has his own church as well as what he does for PLM.  This new graduate, Pr. Joshua Gale, is full time developing the mission.  My impresssion (may be wrong) is the Pr. Fisk is more coordinator with the consortium of congregations supporting the mission, and Pr. Gale is the one out pounding the pavement.

Dan
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Sandra on September 18, 2011, 09:22:16 AM
Thanks; this is helpful. I have no dog in this hunt but ask from curiousity, "Who pays for the maintainence of that $3.2M property?" Given the age and value, I would think mainainence costs could be substantial.

The district pays for most of the utilities and maintenance, though the congregation manages it and provides for the general upkeep. The congregation has also renovated the common spaces on their own dime. As I mentioned previously, the rent paid offsets nearly all of the expenses on the facility - which has been owned free and clear for some time. ULC is not the only renter - a student group rents out the former parsonage, and up until 2010 (I believe) Lutheran Counseling Center rented a number of office spaces as well. At one time the Lutheran Church for the Deaf had space there, as did an international student group from the campus. The building is open to the public during the week and students frequently come and hang out for study and recreation and others stop in to ask questions and talk as well.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LutherMan on September 18, 2011, 02:50:21 PM
Wow.  There is a Letter to the MN South District Board of Directors by Rev. Mark Preus published over at Steadfast Lutherans.   He didn't pull any punches.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: prsally on September 18, 2011, 11:43:45 PM
Speak from outside of Missouri, I am an LCMC pastor, I am sincerely asking, is the situation with the University church indicative of a persistent pattern in the LCMS of leadership acting in rather arbitrary and vindictive ways on a fairly consistent basis? I really don't mean this in a mean way but I take note of the way the FM station was closed, how Todd Wilkins was fired, later Chuck Rather. I thought the new President Harrison, might change some of this sort of stuff but it seems to go on stubbornly, is this a cultural flaw in LCMS or what, their is so much good in LCMS but his stuff must really hurt.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave_Poedel on September 19, 2011, 02:01:04 AM
I'm still mystified.  I mean, could my DP write me an email informing me that Mt. Calvary is being donated to VALLEY Lutheran High School, which is a tenant on our campus, because we don't send enough money to District?  Or because I am living in the 3rd Century with regards to Liturgy and Pastoral Care?

I mean, does ULC own their building? do they have a mortgage?  Old buildings are expensive to maintain, I concede, have they failed to be good stewards? Is it really about the congregation not supporting the District financially (show me a single campus ministry that does), or the Liturgical Divine Service?

UNBELIEVABLE!
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Sandra on September 19, 2011, 02:15:15 AM
The property was built prior to the division of the Minnesota District, and the deed has been held since that time by the MN-S District. The mortgage has long been paid, and ULC has been paying rent for about 10 years from what I've been told. They have managed the facilities well and been good stewards of the District's property. The common spaces were remodeled a bit (paint, carpet, some updated furnishings) a few years back at the congregation's expense. But the rent being paid has apparently offset the expenses of the utilities and other property costs.

What has been suggested is that because confessional congregations and individuals have stopped giving to MN-S District mission funds (and have been giving directly to the organizations they choose to support instead), that there is a financial crisis (which the Treasurer denied last spring was the situation, mind you). And unfortunately, ULC (and CLC - though ULC has a much higher market value) must be sold to recoup those losses. If only all those stodgy traditionalist congregations hadn't stopped sending offerings to the District for the last few years, this never would've had to come about...
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: John_Hannah on September 19, 2011, 06:10:27 AM
If those calling themselves "confessional" have persuaded their congregations to withhold money, that does suggest an adversarial relationship. There goes the "innocent victim" narrative.

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on September 19, 2011, 06:56:00 AM
John, Why would a congregation send money for missions when that money is then used to fund Community Church of Hope or Crosswalk Ministries?  (Notice what name is missing in those titles of churches?)  Or to buy an antique firetruck for use in a parade?  (Nothing says Proper Distinction of the Law and Gospel like an antique firetruck.)

And if a congregation can give directly to ministries, what's the harm in that?

Jeremy
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: peter_speckhard on September 19, 2011, 08:46:20 AM

What has been suggested is that because confessional congregations and individuals have stopped giving to MN-S District mission funds (and have been giving directly to the organizations they choose to support instead), that there is a financial crisis (which the Treasurer denied last spring was the situation, mind you). And unfortunately, ULC (and CLC - though ULC has a much higher market value) must be sold to recoup those losses.
This doesn't follow. Not, that is, unless current levels of spending at district are a non-negotiable, that the shrinking of the district budget (without shrinking the total support for missions, since the congregations send the funds directly) is unthinkable. Only then "must" they recoup the money.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: John_Hannah on September 19, 2011, 08:47:53 AM
QUOTE:
John, Why would a congregation send money for missions when that money is then used to fund Community Church of Hope or Crosswalk Ministries?  (Notice what name is missing in those titles of churches?)  Or to buy an antique firetruck for use in a parade?  (Nothing says Proper Distinction of the Law and Gospel like an antique firetruck.)

And if a congregation can give directly to ministries, what's the harm in that?

Jeremy
----------------

Nothing at all is wrong. Nor is it wrong for the district to invest in something else.

This has been an adversarial relationship between one representative of the so-callled "confessionals" and the MN-S District. There is more or less equal responsibility on both sides. I suspect that its been brewing for some time.

Saddening.

Peace, JOHN

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 19, 2011, 08:55:36 AM
If the designation were "evangelical catholic" and not "confessional" I wonder if some would view this in the same way.  But truly it IS an evangelical catholic parish, centered in the Holy Eucharist. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 19, 2011, 09:07:54 AM
Nothing at all is wrong. Nor is it wrong for the district to invest in something else.

To invest in something else at the expense of Word and Sacrament ministry? Interesting. I'd love to have the opportunity to visit with Bishop Obare, for example, and see if the Lutheran mission in Kenya was based on something other than a Word and Sacrament ministry- the establishment of congregations as nuclei and an expansion therefrom, i.e., establish a congregation and then gut it aand "invest" in order to do go in a different missional direction.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 19, 2011, 09:52:15 AM
If the property is such a drain on the district, why doesn't the district simply give the property to the congregation and let THEM deal with the expenses?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Jim Butler on September 19, 2011, 10:20:00 AM
I don't know anything about this campus ministry, the pastor, or anything else other than what I read in a newspaper article that a friend linked me to (which only quoted members of the congregation, so I guess its from their perspective).

I've served on the NED Board of Directors since 1994. I've sat through a lot of difficult discussions and had to vote on some hard decisions (including closing a ministry, ending support for another, and yes, selling a building that the district owned out from under a congregation.)

ULC's building is a district asset. The district is being offered $3,200,000 for the ULC property. According to the article I read, ULC reaches 50 students a year. That amounts to a subsidy of $60,000 per student per year. 50 students, out of 30,000 students on the campus.

The district's Board of Directors has to ask what other kinds of ministry can the district be doing with that money. How many churches can be planted? How many sem and college students supported? If the money were invested conservatively, what kind of return could it get for ministry on an on-going basis? How many other college/university students could be ministered to? Is this the only form of ministry to college students or can there be other, more effective ways of ministry to college and university students?

I'm not saying the District's BOD is making the right decision. I don't know.  But these are the kinds of questions that a District's BOD has to ask. These are the kinds of decisions that the Board has to make. They asked hard questions. They made a hard decision. Maybe some people--those who don't pull any punches--could try to follow the 8th commandment and put the best construction on this situation. Maybe they can try putting themselves in the seat of those on the Board and ask what they would do given a situation where there is an asset worth 3.2 million with a worship attendance of 100 (50 of whom are students). Because the question the Board has to ask is a simple one: is this the best use of the District's assets? Frankly, looking at an offer of $3.2 million for a ministry that is reaching 50 students out of a student population of over 30,000, (according to Wikipedia) I'd say no, it isn't the best use.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 19, 2011, 10:47:32 AM
Jim Butler's perspective should be read carefully by all in the dialog on this matter.  He speaks from wisdom and experience.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on September 19, 2011, 10:48:26 AM
If the property is such a drain on the district, why doesn't the district simply give the property to the congregation and let THEM deal with the expenses?

Excellent point. And nowhere have I seen any indication that MN-S plans to share any proceeds with the Minnesota North District, although the ministries were founded by both districts.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on September 19, 2011, 11:04:18 AM
ULC's building is a district asset. The district is being offered $3,200,000 for the ULC property. According to the article I read, ULC reaches 50 students a year. That amounts to a subsidy of $60,000 per student per year. 50 students, out of 30,000 students on the campus.


Well, not really. At a $15,000 net annual cost to the District, if all one counts is the students (not faculty, staff, or others who can find the Missouri Synod chaplaincy because it is in a public, fixed location and not a "flash mob" on Twitter), it's $250 per student per year. Such extravagance, to serve the spiritual needs of church members at a very critical time of their lives and in a challenging environment.

The alleged capital value of the physical plant remains year by year to serve succeeding cohorts of students, and probably grows in value about as much as any other investment the District could make with the money.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 19, 2011, 11:06:23 AM
Pr. Butler,

Thank you for providing us insight into how a District BoD looks at things.  Very enlightening, but also very sad, in my opinion, since the focus is on "success" and "numbers," rather than on faithfulness. 

And, your math is way off, my friend.  ULC currently costs the MNS District less than $15,000/year.  So, per 50 students "reached" (your language), that amounts to less than $300/student/year.  Well worth it, if you ask me. 

You are looking at it from the perspective of this being a district asset.  This is precisely the sin Pr. Mark Preus addresses in his "hold no punches" letter he wrote to the MNS BoD.  The property under consideration is not the district's to do with as it pleases (even though it has the legal right to do so).  It belongs to the congregation.  The property was purchased with donations from faithful donors who desired for there to be a chapel on the campus of the University of Minnesota.  The idea was that there would be a place for Lutherans (students and others in the area) to gather in the Name of our Lord and be fed and sustained by the Holy Word and Sacraments delivered from font, pulpit, and altar.  The dream of these donors was to have a chapel full of God's children receiving His gifts on a regular basis right there on the campus.  That dream is being realized even more than those original donors probably anticipated, thanks be to God.  But, alas, this is not enough.  We have the chance to get our hands on $3.2 million, so the dream must come to an end.  Very, very, very sad, that. 

We just had an appraisal of our congregation's property.  It's worth about $750K.  We currently average around 65 in Divine Service on a Sunday, which is up from around 35 when I first started serving here six years ago, thanks be to God.  That's $11,538/congregant.  Probably not the best use of our money.  Maybe we should sell the property, destroy the building and search for more effective ways to "do ministry."  What's very sad is that I'm sure many synodical officials would actually think that to be a wonderful idea.  Truly, we have forsaken our "first love." 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on September 19, 2011, 11:15:26 AM
Well, not really. At a $15,000 net annual cost to the District,


Is that all it costs the district? While we are in a much different climate, and have, I presume, less building space, our utilities are about $18,000. Where does the pastor's salary/housing/pension, etc. come from? That certainly would be more than $15,000 -- and not something that 50 students could afford.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on September 19, 2011, 11:18:41 AM
Truly, we have forsaken our "first love."


I don't think that our "first love" is supposed to be a building or maintaining a building.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 19, 2011, 11:21:31 AM
Is that all it costs the district? While we are in a much different climate, and have, I presume, less building space, our utilities are about $18,000. Where does the pastor's salary/housing/pension, etc. come from? That certainly would be more than $15,000 -- and not something that 50 students could afford.

Pr. Kind's salary, housing, and pension are paid for by the congregation, which consists of around 100 members (not including the 50-100 students it regularly serves each year). 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 19, 2011, 11:22:08 AM
I don't think that our "first love" is supposed to be a building or maintaining a building.

Exactly my point, Pr. Stroffregen.  Thank you. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 19, 2011, 11:31:07 AM
I don't think that our "first love" is supposed to be a building or maintaining a building.

Exactly my point, Pr. Stroffregen.  Thank you.

Indeed. This becomes particularly important when it is deemed so relevant that a building has a market value of (i.e., it can be disposed of) $3.2 million rather than $320,000.

Query what the market value of St. Peter Lutheran Church of Brooklyn, NY, with a weekly attendance of 128 (according to the LCMS website), is and whether such market value could be used for other missional activities other than supporting an average of 128 attendees.

Note Prof. John T. Pless' comment over on BJS "The impact of ULC/CLC" regarding the intrinsic missional value of "location, location, location."
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 19, 2011, 11:37:17 AM
My understanding was the the Minnesota South District owned a number of properties that were being held for future use (to build missions in areas where the district believed population growth would someday occur).  Why are these not sold instead, since they are not already being used for ministry?  The old "a bird in the hand" proverb...
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on September 19, 2011, 11:52:09 AM
Well, not really. At a $15,000 net annual cost to the District,


Is that all it costs the district? While we are in a much different climate, and have, I presume, less building space, our utilities are about $18,000. Where does the pastor's salary/housing/pension, etc. come from? That certainly would be more than $15,000 -- and not something that 50 students could afford.

You can read the church's accounts in the report that it submitted to the MN South District. See http://ulcmn.org/Files/Save%20ULC%20Files/2011-5-17%20MNS%20BOD%20Presentation.pdf (http://ulcmn.org/Files/Save%20ULC%20Files/2011-5-17%20MNS%20BOD%20Presentation.pdf).

2011 Budgeted Cost to District
For the U of M Campus Ministry
$76,600 - for U of M Campus Ministry
- $41,535 Rent paid by ULC
- $18,000 Rent paid by People of Praise
- $5,000 Program subsidy declined by ULC
$12,165 - Total budgeted cost

I have not seen any suggestion that those accounts are misleading.

Peace,
Michael

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 19, 2011, 12:05:45 PM
According to the article I read, ULC reaches 50 students a year.

According to the article I read:

"More than 100 University of Minnesota students regularly visit the church, making up roughly half of the congregation’s members."

http://www.mndaily.com/2011/09/19/dinkytown-church-close-make-room-new-complex
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on September 19, 2011, 12:12:29 PM
And then there is this: does the Minnesota South District have the legal right to dispose of the University Lutheran Church without a concurrent resolution from the Minnesota North District? From the ULC's report to the District BOD:


✤   The Jan. 1963 special convention splitting the MN District stipulates
that the student center at the U of M is to continue to serve both
Districts, and was specifically excluded from the division of assets for
that reason.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 19, 2011, 12:25:59 PM
And then there is this: does the Minnesota South District have the legal right to dispose of the University Lutheran Church without a concurrent resolution from the Minnesota North District?

Probably. "RESOLVED, that the University Lutheran Center be excluded from the division of assets, but that it serve the two Districts with the Minnesota South District holding title to the property and assuming control and the cost of operating the same."

http://ulcmn.org/Files/Save%20ULC%20Files/1963%20MN%20Dist%20Resolution.pdf

This gets into the issue of the 9th commandment concept of obtaining property by "a show of right" as discussed by a young pastor online. As I earlier expressed, at the very least Christian courtesy would dictate getting input and at least tacit agreement by MNN before selling.

And then there was the resolution passed by the MNS-MNN Joint Pastoral Conference requesting that the decision be made by the District in convention next spring. No teeth to it, although those who voted are Synodical members and members of their respective districts, but Christian courtesy would put that into the mix.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dan Fienen on September 19, 2011, 12:32:30 PM
So far, we have heard a great deal about the ministry that has taken place at ULC, and great dismay at the building being sold.  We have heard a great deal of speculation as to why the MNS is doing this - most of it disreputable.  We have heard little of MNS explanation for the move.  Surely they have a side to the story.

I do not know what to think about this, and MNS may well be in the wrong for doing this.  But perhaps we should be careful before we rush to judgement and remember that speculation as to nefarious motives are just that, speculation.

Dan
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Sandra on September 19, 2011, 12:40:54 PM
The official District information is available at http://mns.lcms.org/MissionInformation/CampusMinistryMaterials/tabid/206/Default.aspx (http://mns.lcms.org/MissionInformation/CampusMinistryMaterials/tabid/206/Default.aspx).
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Jim Butler on September 19, 2011, 12:44:48 PM
According to the article I read, ULC reaches 50 students a year.

According to the article I read:

"More than 100 University of Minnesota students regularly visit the church, making up roughly half of the congregation’s members."

http://www.mndaily.com/2011/09/19/dinkytown-church-close-make-room-new-complex

Well, I'm not sure which numbers are right. According to Lcms.org, the church's attendance is 100 per week. Half of the congregation's membership would be 50 (those are the numbers the church submits, so I would assume they would be accurate). According to the newspaper article, there are 200 people in worship, 100 of which are students. You figure out which ones are the correct numbers.

Still, my argument stands. The property is worth a lot of money. The question the District Board needs to ask is: is this the right use of a valuable resource? Is this good stewardship? Is this the best model for campus ministry?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 19, 2011, 12:52:53 PM
According to the newspaper article, there are 200 people in worship, 100 of which are students.

I'm sorry, but I don't see that. Where is that stated?

Still, my argument stands. The property is worth a lot of money. The question the District Board needs to ask is: is this the right use of a valuable resource? Is this good stewardship? Is this the best model for campus ministry?

And my response stands. Should not every piece of church property in high-valued, usually metro, areas, which is home to a viable congregation, be given the same scrutiny and analysis? Should Trinity, Soulard be sold so that mission work and feeding the poor* (I think the latter assertion has been propounded before), two of Trinity's foci, can purportedly better be accomplished in St. Louis?

*Can you imagine how many of the poor could be fed or mission projects started if they simply sold that 18th century chalice!  http://trinitystlouis.com/services
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 19, 2011, 12:54:06 PM
Rev. Butler,

The article says that roughly 100 students regularly visit the church, not that 100 are there each Sunday.  Similarly we have about 12-15 college students who regularly attend Our Savior's during the school year -- not that they are all here each week (that's pretty rare) but rather that those students are here more often than not.  So we usually have 6-10 students per Sunday.  It's kind of hard to quantify students since they do not often formally become members, are gone for the summer months (and school breaks), and often have streaky attendance.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Sandra on September 19, 2011, 01:04:59 PM
Pastor Kind posted this on his Facebook yesterday:

"Rejoice with us! We had 29 brand new students in church this morning at University Lutheran Chapel. Truly the Lord is at work, even in times of great trouble."
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 19, 2011, 01:09:02 PM
I've always found it quite interesting how the notoriously liberal, student-run Minnesota Daily has continually been supportive of ULC, both through the publicity and in its positive tone of the articles.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 19, 2011, 01:16:55 PM
The question the District Board needs to ask is: is this the right use of a valuable resource? Is this good stewardship? Is this the best model for campus ministry?

Is this the right use of a valuable resource?

A beautiful chapel is filled regularly (that's one of the things most troubling about this - we're not dealing with a chapel where few attend) as our Lord brings congregants and students in to gift them with forgiveness, life, and salvation via His Holy Word and Sacraments.  Could there be a better use? 

Is this good stewardship?

It costs the district less than $15K/year - good stewardship would be to support this faithful pastor and congregation; better stewardship would be to sign over the deed to that congregation and leave them alone - bad stewardship is to see this as a valuable asset of the district, rather than a congregation of saints.   

Is this the best model for campus ministry?

Is there a better model for campus ministry among Lutherans than to have a chapel, served by a full-time pastor, where students can regularly and readily be fed and nourished by our Lord? 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 19, 2011, 01:41:46 PM
Is there a better model for campus ministry among Lutherans than to have a chapel, served by a full-time pastor, where students can regularly and readily be fed and nourished by our Lord?

I think that perhaps there is a better model for campus ministry. That is a unique situation. It's providing for the spiritual needs of students who temporarily reside in dorms and apartments near a college or university, but who usually remain legal residents of their parents' homes and members of their home congregations. It is also an opportunity to reach people who are otherwise unchurched or even not Christians. So, perhaps a better model for that sort of ministry is the ministry of our Lord, who did not sit in a beautiful building waiting for sinners to come see Him. Jesus went out and about, and met with and ministered to the needs of those He found by being out and about. And after He ministered to them, they continued to worship at the synagogues that were already in their towns.
 
According to the LCMS website, these congregations are within 5 miles of the Zip Code where the University of Minnesota is located.
 
Emmaus Lutheran Church, SAINT PAUL, MN
Evangelical Mekane Yesus Church Fellowship in Minnesota, SAINT PAUL, MN
Faith Lutheran Church, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Grace International Lutheran Church, ROBBINSDALE, MN
Holy Cross Lutheran Church, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Jehovah Lutheran Church, SAINT PAUL, MN
Midway Mission Lutheran Church, SAINT PAUL, MN
Peace Lutheran Church Of Robbinsdale, ROBBINSDALE, MN
Saint James Lutheran Church, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Saint Matthew Lutheran Church, Columbia Heights, MN
Saint Peter Lutheran Church, SAINT PAUL, MN
The Alley Midway, Saint Paul, MN
Trinity First Lutheran Church, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Trinity Lutheran Church, ARDEN HILLS, MN
University Lutheran Chapel, MINNEAPOLIS, MN

Which of those are not suitable for LCMS college students to worship at?
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LutherMan on September 19, 2011, 02:14:35 PM

Which of those are not suitable for LCMS college students to worship at?
The contemporary ones.  The students seem to prefer the liturgical orthodox services that they get at ULC.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 19, 2011, 02:33:24 PM
Jehovah, St. Paul is a liturgical parish of the first order, served by Pr. Robert J. Benke. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on September 19, 2011, 02:39:02 PM
Quote
According to the LCMS website, these congregations are within 5 miles of the Zip Code where the University of Minnesota is located.
 
Emmaus Lutheran Church, SAINT PAUL, MN
Evangelical Mekane Yesus Church Fellowship in Minnesota, SAINT PAUL, MN
Faith Lutheran Church, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Grace International Lutheran Church, ROBBINSDALE, MN
Holy Cross Lutheran Church, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Jehovah Lutheran Church, SAINT PAUL, MN
Midway Mission Lutheran Church, SAINT PAUL, MN
Peace Lutheran Church Of Robbinsdale, ROBBINSDALE, MN
Saint James Lutheran Church, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Saint Matthew Lutheran Church, Columbia Heights, MN
Saint Peter Lutheran Church, SAINT PAUL, MN
The Alley Midway, Saint Paul, MN
Trinity First Lutheran Church, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Trinity Lutheran Church, ARDEN HILLS, MN
University Lutheran Chapel, MINNEAPOLIS, MN

There is another issue, that is rarely talked about and that is what campus chapels tend to do to area churches. A campus chapel model of ministry attracts students that could be participating in area churches. As a result, local churches in the area are often deprived of the valuable gifts and talents that these young people can provide. What I wonder is how effective the local ELCA is in doing campus ministry in the same location as the ULC? What is the percentage of ELCA Lutherans on campus in comparison to the LCMS? And how effective is the LCMS campus ministry compared to the ELCA on that basis?

A recent news article stated: The University Lutheran Chapel practices a more traditional faith model, which Kind says isn’t popular with the Synod. (MNdaily.com).  That actually might be the big issue at stake. It might very well be that all the LCMS churches in the area reflect a less traditional - perhaps blended style of liturgical worship on Sunday mornings?

Another point to consider is that while one could argue that one should tolerate diversity in styles of worship with campus ministries, the so-called confessional movement in the District has a recent history of being perceived as somewhat intolerant towards those who desire a less traditional style of worship and ministry. So, the less traditional folks are not as likely to foot the bill, especially if (by doing so) it continues to support and encourage certain antagonists who are perceived as robbing them of their rightful gifts and talents to be used in effective ministry.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 19, 2011, 02:49:10 PM
I suppose I am intolerant.  I'm intolerant of a Lutheran Church offering less than the liturgy in our hymnal.  I'm intolerant of treating the royal priesthood like rats to do experiments on rather than as the great choir that God is joining together with the angels to sing praises to the Triune God.  I'm intolerant of members of my parish going off to school somewhere and not being able to find a congregation that just uses the book, thus robbing them of the very liturgical heritage in which they were nurtured and which they value and love.  I'm intolerant of "mission experts" consistently telling us that the path to mission is to drop the Lutheran liturgy and our hymns.  Color me intolerant.  Absolutely.  Radical, even.  I'm all for traditional Lutheran liturgy and hymns and I believe that we have a responsibility to see that they are served up richly, beautifully, and well to the next generation.  Blended service?  Last time I was forced to experience it only convinced me that I simply don't recognize it as my liturgical home and never will.  Sorry, folks.  Intolerant Willy here.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 19, 2011, 02:49:42 PM
Jehovah, St. Paul is a liturgical parish of the first order, served by Pr. Robert J. Benke. 
Dave Benke

Bp. Benke,

What do you mean by "liturgical parish of the first order"? 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 19, 2011, 02:57:25 PM
There is another issue, that is rarely talked about and that is what campus chapels tend to do to area churches. A campus chapel model of ministry attracts students that could be participating in area churches. As a result, local churches in the area are often deprived of the valuable gifts and talents that these young people can provide.

JAQ,

Um, no, this is not an issue which needs to be talked about.  College students are far (FAR!) more likely to go to Divine Service at campus chapels, and participate in that chapel's activities, than to do so at other churches in the area.  When this is not available to them, the vast majority won't make it a point to search out, attend, and get involved in area churches.  Just doesn't happen.  A few will.  Not many.  ULC is not depriving any area churches of the valuable gifts and talents students can provide.  It is, instead, providing those students with the opportunity to be served, and to serve, that they otherwise would not have. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 19, 2011, 03:02:42 PM
Indeed. One of the suggestions was that, after ULC is disposed of, funds could be provided to bus University students to area churches.

Uh huh. Get rid of a congregation that has facilities, worship, Bible studies, etc. virtually on a campus of 50,000+ students (location, location, location) and, instead, bus them Sunday mornings, again for mid-week Bible class, again for Advent and Lenten mid-week services...  ::)  It's hard to get high schoolers to take the bus to school!
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 19, 2011, 03:12:44 PM
OK, there are some questions I still think need answered.
 
Which of the congregations I cut & pasted from the LCMS website have unacceptably non-traditional services?
 
When it is claimed that students want to go to the campus chapel, is that only referring to those church-going Lutherans who wouldn't dream of not going to church somewhere, or does it refer to those who wouldn't go to church at all if there wasn't one actually on campus?
 
Does anyone have any hard stats on how many college students would just stop going to church completely if they had to go to a regular congregation that was off-campus?
 
The students who go to churches that have traditional worship practices obviously like churches with traditional worship practices. How many students are staying away from church because they don't like traditional worship practices? Don't they count? Should they be written off as inconsequential?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on September 19, 2011, 03:22:56 PM
Quote
I'm intolerant of members of my parish going off to school somewhere and not being able to find a congregation that just uses the book, thus robbing them of the very liturgical heritage in which they were nurtured and which they value and love.

Well, I'm all for having churches that keep the liturgical heritage the same. It is a shame that the old Latin Mass is no longer being promoted by Lutherans. I love listening to old Latin chants. But lets say that I am an advocate of the Latin Mass and I say, I will not give you a dime to support your ministry unless you use the Latin Mass exclusively in your worship. To me that is intolerance. On the other hand, to be tolerant is to say, I love the Latin Mass, could you consider offering it occasionally at the campus chapel - that I am supporting with my financial gifts?

Quote
College students are far (FAR!) more likely to go to Divine Service at campus chapels, and participate in that chapel's activities, than to do so at other churches in the area.  When this is not available to them, the vast majority won't make it a point to search out, attend, and get involved in area churches.  Just doesn't happen. 

I don't believe that it is always the case. And, it is my experience that when it does happen, it is often because the local churches are not doing intentional campus outreach like they should - e.g. how many offer free student transportation to events? If you visit churches of other denominations near any given campus many of them will have strong vibrant ministries that attract campus students. Campus chapels are not always the most effective way of doing outreach.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 19, 2011, 03:44:47 PM
Pr. Messer -
Weekly Eucharist celebrated at Divine Service using Ordo/LSB

Those "of the highest order" are many.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 19, 2011, 04:00:37 PM
I don't believe that it is always the case. And, it is my experience that when it does happen, it is often because the local churches are not doing intentional campus outreach like they should - e.g. how many offer free student transportation to events? If you visit churches of other denominations near any given campus many of them will have strong vibrant ministries that attract campus students. Campus chapels are not always the most effective way of doing outreach.

I live in a college town - Alma College (Alma, MI).  Fifteen minutes to the north of me is another college town (actually, 'round here we call it the big city - Mt. Pleasant, which is home to Central Michigan University).  My good friend and brother LCMS pastor, Pr. Jon Bakker, serves at Christ the King chapel (located on the CMU campus)/Zion Lutheran Church.  We get a few kids who come to our Services regularly, even though we have three faculty members of Alma College who belong to our congregation, have advertised our congregation to the Alma College students in a variety of ways, have a couple of members who live within walking distance of the campus and have offered rides to students, etc.  But, I suppose our lack of "success" in getting students more involved in our congregation has to do with us not doing "intentional campus outreach" as we should, right?  And, what we should do is learn from the congregations of other denominations in our area that have strong vibrant ministries that attract campus students, right?  Except that a) we're Lutherans and b) none of those other congregations are very "successful" in reaching the students at Alma College and getting them to come and be involved in their congregations.  I've spoken to several of the pastors of those other congregations of other denominations and they all struggle as we do to "reach out" to the students.  You know where most of the students who do make it a habit to attend church regularly (or, at least, semi-regularly) go at Alma College?  The Presbyterian chapel on campus.  Go figure!  Even some of the Lutherans (even some from our own synod) go there, and this is not because we're not available to them, or because they don't like our "style of worship," etc. (the kids who do attend our congregation love us).  It's because the chapel is, um, right there.  Location, location, location - as Pr. Kirchner pointed out.  Oh, and I brought up Pr. Bakker and Christ the King simply to say that he is blessed with a vibrant campus ministry there at CMU, as he is a true gift to the students there (much as Pr. Kind is to the students at UofM), but he would be the first to tell you that the major reason for the vibrancy there is location.  This isn't rocket science; it's not even rock science. 

But, we will keep plugging away and making ourselves available to the students at Alma College, and I'll keep picking Pr. Bakker's brain for ideas along the way.  I'm going to be starting a Bible Study on the campus there in a month or so - maybe we'll get a few more students to attend and participate in our congregation through that; maybe not - we'll see.  But, we'll never ever - no not ever - have the sort of vibrant ministry to the students at Alma College we would have if we had a chapel right smack in the middle of the campus.  The Presbyterians have one and, well, they thrive there.  Again, go figure!     
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 19, 2011, 04:12:01 PM
It's because the chapel is, um, right there.  Location, location, location - as Pr. Kirchner pointed out.     

And I was paraphrasing Prof. Pless from his BJS post, who wrote of the importance of "location, location, location" from his personal experience as the pastor of ULC.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: racin_jason on September 19, 2011, 04:23:16 PM
Let me offer some context to the situation:

1) The School. The University of Minnesota is a major university situated in the middle of a large urban center. As a result, much of the student body commutes to campus. This makes for diffuse community life. Yes, there are 30,000+ students, but they come from varied places and stay on campus for varied times before returning to a dorm, apartment or a home in the suburbs. The campus is not one but three, spread out on the East Bank, West Bank, and St. Paul campuses. So we are not dealing with Ann Arbor or Athens or College Station, where the "U" is the biggest show in town and you can walk from one end to the other in twenty minutes.

This makes campus ministry a challenge at the U of M. That the LCMS has a viable campus ministry is reason to rejoice. Many have failed. Frankly the ELCA hasn't had a great deal of success in Minneapolis (St. Paul campus is another story), nor have other student groups with the exeption of Intravarsity Christian Fellowship and an effort known as the Maranatha Center. In my view, the chapel is a significant factor in the ministry's success. Great location, great facility...as well as a critical mass of students.

2) Existing Congregations.  Someone asked about area ELCA churches and campus ministry. There are two on the East Bank: Grace University in Stadium Village near the hospital and dorms (http://www.graceattheu.org/) and University Lutheran Church of Hope which is in Dinkytown. http://ulch.org/ (Hope was served by Mark Hanson in the 1990's before he became a synodical bishop and eventually presiding bishop of the ELCA).

Over the last thirty years, ELCA Lutherans have struggled on how to best minister to students on campus. The two congregations listed above have primarily served adults, with students attending worship of course but mainly yielding to Lutheran Campus Ministry to focus campus ministry. Over the past few decades there had been efforts to do campus ministry in these churches when individuals got a bee in their bonnets over Lutheran Campus Ministry not "doing enough", but none of the ministries took on a life of their own.

Historically this has been a source of tension between the local churches and Lutheran Campus Ministry, rooted in who's supposed to do what and how, and how the the congregations and Lutheran Campus Minstry are to relate to one-another. In recent years, as campus ministry funding has dwindled, it has improved as these groups have worked together more.
 
Why I tell you this: In our case, it has been difficult for ELCA parishes to suddenly adapt to doing campus ministry. Many have tried, and more often than not they just don't have the heart for it. It is a sudden shift in the priorities of the institution/community, not an easy one to surmount. Specialized ministry is specialized for a reason.     

3) The Students.  It is my understanding that the district proposes that grants be sent to congregations to do student ministry. Although the idea of students becoming a part of existing parishes seems like a noble one, it really doesn't take into account the needs and preferences of the students. Maybe the LCMS is different than the ELCA, but we found that Campus Ministry was attractive to students because it was uniquely geared to them, different than their home church. The median age of many Lutheran churches is around, say 55. If students wanted to hang out with older people, they could go to their own church or a parish in their neighborhood.   

Students like to hang out with other students, not with people who remind them of their 3rd grade sunday school teacher (not that there's anything wrong with 3rd grade sunday school teachers). That's why ULC has worked over the years.

I don't see a strong grasp of the context of ULC for those proposing that the building be sold.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 19, 2011, 04:38:21 PM
Mr. Erdner,

It is not that any of those churches you listed are inferior in their worship, but the simple obvious fact that people are less likely to travel 5 miles than a couple of blocks.  Driving 5 miles in the Twin Cities is not just a couple of minutes (5 miles for me in Crookston is no big deal -- no traffic, 55 MPH speed limit, etc.).  Isn't it just common sense that you'll get more students if they don't have to have a car, board a bus, catch a ride from a friend, etc but only have to walk 5 minutes?

My first year of college I attended UW-Whitewater.  I attended church at the local LCMS church (it was a bit of a hike as I had no car).  I was just about the only student there.  The pastor was kind, but I never felt like anything more than a visitor.  The next year I transferred to UW-Stevens Point, where the LCMS had a campus ministry.  Just a couple of blocks from my dorm.  Virtually everyone there was a student (there were a couple of families too).  It was an entirely different dynamic. 

By the way, "the most boring part of Pennsylvania" -- isn't that like saying "the coldest part of Minnesota"?  ;D
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on September 19, 2011, 04:43:48 PM
A few years ago, The Episcopal Church transformed its campus ministry at the U of M in a way that appears to resemble the plan offered as a replacement for the ULC. Here are some glimpses of what happened then:

http://www.uec-mn.org/pdf/newsletter.pdf (http://www.uec-mn.org/pdf/newsletter.pdf) from Fall 2007
http://www.uec-mn.org/pdf/springnews.pdf (http://www.uec-mn.org/pdf/springnews.pdf) from Spring 2008
http://www.uec-mn.org/pdf/newsletter%20small%20file.pdf (http://www.uec-mn.org/pdf/newsletter%20small%20file.pdf) from Fall 2008
By Fall 2009, the newsletter had been replaced by an "Annual Report" http://www.uec-mn.org/pdf/2009%20Annual%20Report.pdf (http://www.uec-mn.org/pdf/2009%20Annual%20Report.pdf)
Then no more newsletters or reports online.
In Fall 2011, the University Episcopal Community has moved to a different site: http://www.uec-mn.org/index.html (http://www.uec-mn.org/index.html) Note the two different addresses, with worship at a third address (Grace Lutheran Church [ELCA]).

That is one model of carrying out campus ministry. Whether it is an improvement on the ULC model is open to question.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 19, 2011, 05:28:55 PM
Yes, there are 30,000+ students, but they come from varied places and stay on campus for varied times before returning to a dorm, apartment or a home in the suburbs. The campus is not one but three, spread out on the East Bank, West Bank, and St. Paul campuses.

Make that 50,000+ students. Yes, the St. Paul campus is not within walking distance from the Minneapolis campus, but the East and West Banks are. The Washington Avenue Bridge crossing the Mississippi River provides access between the East and West Banks, either on foot, designated bike lanes, or via free shuttle service. Nearly all of us at the undergrad level had classes both on the East and West Banks, and walked between them. Dinkytown and ULC, therefore, are within easy walking distance from both the East and West Banks.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 19, 2011, 05:42:16 PM
Mr. Erdner,

It is not that any of those churches you listed are inferior in their worship, but the simple obvious fact that people are less likely to travel 5 miles than a couple of blocks.  Driving 5 miles in the Twin Cities is not just a couple of minutes (5 miles for me in Crookston is no big deal -- no traffic, 55 MPH speed limit, etc.).  Isn't it just common sense that you'll get more students if they don't have to have a car, board a bus, catch a ride from a friend, etc but only have to walk 5 minutes?

My first year of college I attended UW-Whitewater.  I attended church at the local LCMS church (it was a bit of a hike as I had no car).  I was just about the only student there.  The pastor was kind, but I never felt like anything more than a visitor.  The next year I transferred to UW-Stevens Point, where the LCMS had a campus ministry.  Just a couple of blocks from my dorm.  Virtually everyone there was a student (there were a couple of families too).  It was an entirely different dynamic. 


Based on my experience with students at the University of Pittsburgh, which is similar to the U of M in terms of being located in a major metropolitan city as opposed to some sleepy little college town, the students don't all live in on-campus dorms, many students have cars, and there is bus service available. I know everyone likes to assume that all experiences are the same everywhere, but I cannot believe that there aren't more than a few U of M students who live in apartments rather than dorms, and who commute to school on weekdays but actually live closer to neighborhood churches on Sundays.
 
Also, I noted that list of congregations within 5 miles, not all located at 5 miles away. If the LCMS website had enabled me to ask for those within only 2 miles, that's what I would have looked up.
 
I attempted to map the various Lutheran churches in proximity to the U of M, but couldn't manage one that was exclusively LCMS. But I did do a local search based on one address on the U of M campus (which is a fairly big, sprawling thing) and found over 20 entries in fewer than 2 miles. In fact, according to the Google map, it appears that it is almost a full mile from one end of the campus to the other!
 
I'm not defending the decision to close the campus church. I'm not sure if it's a good idea or a bad idea. But I do challenge the assumption that it is an automatic "given" that having a congregation on campus is unquestionably the only way that campus ministry should be done. I only entered this discussion to refute the rhetorical question, "Is there a better model for campus ministry among Lutherans than to have a chapel, served by a full-time pastor, where students can regularly and readily be fed and nourished by our Lord?", that seems to imply that there is no better model. I treated that rhetorical question as a real question, and provided an answer of what could possibly be a better model.
 
The one thing that I am certain of is that experiences as sleepy little back-water college town almost never translate into applicable models for major urban colleges and universities. For one thing, there is the issue of which students choose to go to schools in sleepy little college towns compared to those who choose to attend schools in major urban centers. That dynamic alone changes the situation dramatically.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Sandra on September 19, 2011, 05:58:45 PM
I can see selling the property and trying something different for campus ministry - IF what was going on wasn't already working very well. But ULC is functional, alive, busy, vibrant, and all those things of a healthy congregation. They just don't own the facilities they've been using - even though the land purchased and the facilities built specifically for the purpose that they are now being used, and used very effectively.

Why can't MN-S slow things down and allow ULC the time to raise funds for the purchase themselves, or work out some sort of financing plan with the congregation, instead of saying they'll sell to the first bidder promising $3.2 million? Why can't this new model of campus ministry be tested and the kinks worked out on a smaller scale before dumping what has become a model for campus ministry around the LCMS? Why not offer small subsidies to those congregations within 5 miles to start attracting students and transporting them to their congregations without selling off the ULC property? If students are that interested in commuting to those churches because they're so convenient, wouldn't they be going already or be easy to convince to start? Why displace them and force the issue?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: racin_jason on September 19, 2011, 06:16:46 PM
Yes, there are 30,000+ students, but they come from varied places and stay on campus for varied times before returning to a dorm, apartment or a home in the suburbs. The campus is not one but three, spread out on the East Bank, West Bank, and St. Paul campuses.

Make that 50,000+ students. Yes, the St. Paul campus is not within walking distance from the Minneapolis campus, but the East and West Banks are. The Washington Avenue Bridge crossing the Mississippi River provides access between the East and West Banks, either on foot, designated bike lanes, or via free shuttle service. Nearly all of us at the undergrad level had classes both on the East and West Banks, and walked between them. Dinkytown and ULC, therefore, are within easy walking distance from both the East and West Banks.

I don't recall stating one way or the other as to whether ULC is within "easy" walking distance from  anywhere. I am an alum of the U of Mn - Twin Cities. I am familiar with how students get around. Given the temperatures in January, I would not describe walk anywhere "easy", unless a person learned to take advantage of the extensive tunnel system.

My hope is that you got the point of the entire paragraph, that the U of M is large and spread out, that the student body isn't concentrated in any one area, making campus ministry challenging. That ULC could get from 50-100 students together for any event is impressive. The good people at LCM-TC (ELCA) never managed even half that in my time worshiping with them. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 19, 2011, 06:23:56 PM
I am an alum of the U of Mn - Twin Cities. I am familiar with how students get around.


As am I.

Given the temperatures in January, I would not describe walk anywhere "easy", unless a person learned to take advantage of the extensive tunnel system.

Then you must not be from Minnesota, you wuss!   ;)  Up at UND and here at BSU the guys wear walking shorts throughout the winter!

My hope is that you got the point of the entire paragraph, that the U of M is large and spread out, that the student body isn't concentrated in any one area, making campus ministry challenging. That ULC could get from 50-100 students together for any event is impressive. The good people at LCM-TC (ELCA) never managed even half that in my time worshiping with them.

If that was your point, then yes, I got it. And I agree that ULC's track record is impressive.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on September 19, 2011, 06:42:29 PM
Quote
I do challenge the assumption that it is an automatic "given" that having a congregation on campus is unquestionably the only way that campus ministry should be done.

This is a good point. Of course, the problem now is how to help the students who are currently at the ULC to be able to able to make the transition to transfer to a local church close to them. $3.2 million dollars is a lot of money that could be spent on alternative ways of doing ministry. However, it is also possible that a campus chapel model is indeed the most effective manner of doing ministry. So, it should be reconsidered at some future point if the transportation ministry does not equal or exceed 50 students in regular worship in the next five years. I think a good thing to do would be to ask the incoming students some questions: Are you more likely or less likely to attend worship if the campus has a chapel? If the answer is yes, than ask, on a scale of 1 to 10, if the service has a blend of traditional/contemporary is it more or less likely that you would attend consistently? Ask, whether on a scale of 1 to 10, how likely you would attend on a regular basis if it is organ driven and traditional in its style of worship? Questions could also be asked, of students who are Seniors, related to what is their perception of how effective future ministry should operate.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Robert Johnson on September 19, 2011, 06:47:57 PM
Does anyone have any hard stats on how many college students would just stop going to church completely if they had to go to a regular congregation that was off-campus?

I'll give you one data point.  When I was in college I walked to a church that was across the street from campus.  Almost everybody who attended church walked to a service on or near campus.  I never knew anybody who drove.  Bus?  No, thanks.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 19, 2011, 06:48:45 PM
Organ driven?  What an odd way of putting things.  You can do a traditional Lutheran liturgy without any organ at all.  The organ in no way "drives" the liturgy.  If used, it ornaments the liturgy.  Frankly, DS III in 4 part harmony with no organ whatsoever totally rocks.  Spirit driven, you know, dude?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Sandra on September 19, 2011, 06:51:18 PM
So, it should be reconsidered at some future point if the transportation ministry does not equal or exceed 50 students in regular worship in the next five years.

Won't that be a little late? Why not start it now and run them concurrently?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on September 19, 2011, 07:02:52 PM
Quote
Why not start it now and run them concurrently?

If the current fund raising drive is successful and supporters of ULC buy back the chapel from the developers, than that still could be done. It looks like the District needs the money from the sale to make ends meet. My suggestion is that the District also take some of the money and work with local developers to create new campus housing (on a small scale) that also can provide facilities for worship on Sunday mornings. Local congregations (there are 15 of them within 5 miles) could than support Bible studies and a variety of liturgical worship styles (even some without any instruments) - as desired by the students who live there.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 19, 2011, 07:07:11 PM
JAQ,

Where do you get the idea that MNS needs the money now to "make ends meet"?  I was under the understanding that the district's treasurer told the MNS pastors in May that this was NOT because the district needed cash.  Perhaps I misunderstood.

You suggest that if the new model of campus ministry is not effective that the district can go back to the current on-campus model.  How?  What property would it buy?  With what funds? 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 19, 2011, 07:08:00 PM
Some other thoughts on the District's needs (and applicable to many Districts):

Can we have a realistic evaluation of what we actually need the Districts to do?
How much of current structure seeks to find a way to justify its own existence rather than being actually useful?
Might we be in a situation where we have District bureaucracies we cannot afford doing things that we actually no longer need?

Here's a thought experiment:  if we were to start our Synodical structures from scratch, given today's media options, and put in place only what we needed to get the jobs done that congregation's simply can't do effectively on their own, what would that structure look like?  What might we be able to do to nudge our Synod in that direction?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on September 19, 2011, 07:24:44 PM
If the current fund raising drive is successful and supporters of ULC buy back the chapel from the developers,

If you read the history of the ULC, you will see that it was mostly built by donations specifically designated to provide pastoral care for LCMS students at the U of M. Who are these "developers" whom the destinaries of those gifts have to buy their gifted property "back from"?  Surely not the BOD of the Minnesota South District sixty years later?!

Peace,
Michael

P.S. Maybe you mean the developers who may be pressing the BOD to sell them the property so they can build apartments? That would truly be pulling the chain on the donations raised in the 40s.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 19, 2011, 07:45:04 PM
Some other thoughts on the District's needs (and applicable to many Districts):

Can we have a realistic evaluation of what we actually need the Districts to do?
How much of current structure seeks to find a way to justify its own existence rather than being actually useful?
Might we be in a situation where we have District bureaucracies we cannot afford doing things that we actually no longer need?

Here's a thought experiment:  if we were to start our Synodical structures from scratch, given today's media options, and put in place only what we needed to get the jobs done that congregation's simply can't do effectively on their own, what would that structure look like?  What might we be able to do to nudge our Synod in that direction?

Sure - I'll bring it up tomorrow if we have time.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 19, 2011, 07:50:36 PM
Thanks, Bishop.  I really think, though, that the evaluation needs not to be done by the DP's and district staff as much as by the pastors, church workers and congregations in the Districts. We already know you guys are sure you're indispensable.  ;)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: sgehrke on September 19, 2011, 09:01:55 PM
Reading some of the comments about ELCA and LCMS ministry at the U of M made me think that people might be interested to know that ULC used to be a joint ministry of the ELCA predecessor bodies and the LCMS, as I hadn't seen this acknowledged previously.  I wrote the following on BJS last spring when this issue first came up.  The following is a slightly edited version for this forum.  Steve

I may have a unique perspective on ULC history, having attended there for 3 years prior to Pr Pless and for 3 years after Pr Pless arrived. To the best of my recollection, there were only two of us to have attended ULC regularly in years both pre- and post-Pless. Thus in the years since, I've enjoyed telling people that I was half of Pr. Pless' first congregation and half of the second couple he married there (yes, I met my wife at ULC).  Maybe that was not literally true but close – so the following is more memoir than history as I’ve not fact-checked anything.

When I started attending ULC in 1980 as a graduate student, it was a pan-Lutheran campus ministry and had both an LCMS and I believe ALC pastor.  The chairs were arranged in a semicircle in the nave facing the east wall and the chancel area was not used –it was an awkward layout but intended to make things informal and less ‘churchy.’  The pastor preached standing in the middle of the semicircle of chairs.  LBW was used in some services, in others, it was the Chicago Folk Service with acoustic instruments.  I remember that at the time I really liked the 'rock' style services but found all of the other liturgical innovations designed to appeal to college students like 'clown ministry' (miming the gospel among other things) painfully embarrassing and/or tedious. So in today’s terminology, you’d say ULC was a contemporary worship congregation 30 years ago.

LCMS students were a distinct minority, maybe 25% of the congregation.  There were no non-student members that I can recall as there are now at ULC. At the time the LCMS made the decision to separate the LCMS campus ministries from the ELCA predecessor bodies in the early 80's, the LCMS position happened to be vacant.  Thus the situation at the time of the split was that the LCMS owned the building but the pastor and the congregation were effectively ELCA (pardon the anachronism).  No one was happy when the congregation was evicted by the LCMS and the whole group, including almost all of the LCMS students, packed up and moved to the Episcopal Center on the other side of campus. Almost all of the LCMS students left with the pastor and the rest of the congregation since the ALC pastor was popular guy and the students, LCMS or not, wanted to stay with their friends.  I stayed out of inertia, to be honest, as the location as ULC was on the way between my apartment and my office on campus and hence convenient, and the Episcopal center was a much farther walk (at that time in my life, I would never have taken a bus to a distant congregation).  So for most of the winter/spring of 1983, a rotating series of pastors, at least sometimes with guitar in tow, would show up on Sunday to conduct the service for the handful of LCMS students who showed up.

When Pr. Pless showed up in the summer of 1983, he had a building and one active member (Carl) and one passive member (me). (I apologize to anyone else I've forgotten who also stayed through the transition). I don’t know anything about how supportive or resistant to the MNS district was to Pr Pless’s efforts to revive ULC as a liturgical congregation rather than the CoWo one it had been.  But with Pr. Pless, LBW was out and TLH was in. I never heard a guitar again in ULC, but it was a while before the chairs were turned to face the chancel. I’m sure the data is out there, but I am quite certain that the numbers of LCMS students who attended ULC when it was a CoWo congregation in the early 80’s were much less than when it was revived as a liturgical congregation under Pr Pless and continued with Pr Kind.  And of course I don’t know how you quantify the “success” of ULC in terms of the formation of solidly grounded, committed Lutherans who go on not just to start the careers the U of M trained them for, but also to be active in their congregations as elders, trustees, Sunday School teachers, forming and raising Lutheran families and so on. 

Undoubtedly, selling out ULC (or any campus ministry) is the equivalent of eating the LCMS’s seed corn (recognize that the 50 regular student attenders in any one year turn over every few years and go on to join other congregations after graduation).  My life would have unfolded entirely differently if not for Pastor Pless and ULC, and not just because I met my wife at ULC, but because it set me on a pathway for growth in my faith in line with the Lutheran Confessions that has not wavered though 30 years of ups and downs because of what I learned and experienced there after Pr Pless arrived and recreated ULC as a liturgical, confessional parish from nothing but God's Word, his faithful work and a building in a prime location. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 19, 2011, 09:32:04 PM
Might we be in a situation where we have District bureaucracies we cannot afford doing things that we actually no longer need?

I'm all for unpaid volunteer District workers, being one myself.  :D
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Richard Johnson on September 19, 2011, 10:15:30 PM
Organ driven?  What an odd way of putting things.  You can do a traditional Lutheran liturgy without any organ at all.  The organ in no way "drives" the liturgy.  If used, it ornaments the liturgy.  Frankly, DS III in 4 part harmony with no organ whatsoever totally rocks.  Spirit driven, you know, dude?

Thank you!
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on September 19, 2011, 10:16:03 PM
Quote
...at the time of the split was that the LCMS owned the building but the pastor and the congregation were effectively ELCA (pardon the anachronism).  No one was happy when the congregation was evicted by the LCMS...

So, the people that were behind the majority of the donations toward the campus chapel years ago were effectively what is now known as the ELCA and the moderate wing of the LCMS? Also, it looks like the majority of donations were made by those who were in support of less traditional worship and ministry.

Quote
I don’t know anything about how supportive or resistant to the MNS district was to Pr Pless’s efforts to revive ULC as a liturgical congregation rather than the CoWo one it had been.  But with Pr. Pless, LBW was out and TLH was in. I never heard a guitar again in ULC,...

I wonder how many incoming LCMS students ended up at other area churches as a result of that change? Or, did the majority just adjust to a different style just like some people adjust to different types of food?
Quote
I’m sure the data is out there, but I am quite certain that the numbers of LCMS students who attended ULC when it was a CoWo congregation in the early 80’s were much less than when it was revived as a liturgical congregation under Pr Pless and continued with Pr Kind. 

That is a fascinating observation. I wonder if some of the students who liked the more traditional approach ended up at the ULC instead of area churches? It would be easy enough to confirm by looking at old statistical reports and interviewing pastors who served nearby at the time. Of course, the numbers should be compared with the total number of college age LCMS students who were students at the time. Also, it would be good to look at surrounding CoWo ministries to see if they were also growing - as it could be just a reflection of a general rise in religious participation during those years. Like I argued in a previous post, the best way to make sure prospective LCMS students attend an LCMS congregation/campus ministry during their college years is to survey them ahead of time to find out what their needs actually are.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 19, 2011, 10:18:10 PM
the best way to make sure prospective LCMS students attend an LCMS congregation/campus ministry during their college years is to survey them ahead of time to find out what their needs actually are.

Why are you so sure of that?  I'm not sure that I had the first clue what my "needs" actually were in college. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on September 19, 2011, 10:26:35 PM
QUOTE:
John, Why would a congregation send money for missions when that money is then used to fund Community Church of Hope or Crosswalk Ministries?  (Notice what name is missing in those titles of churches?)  Or to buy an antique firetruck for use in a parade?  (Nothing says Proper Distinction of the Law and Gospel like an antique firetruck.)

And if a congregation can give directly to ministries, what's the harm in that?

Jeremy
----------------

Nothing at all is wrong. Nor is it wrong for the district to invest in something else.

This has been an adversarial relationship between one representative of the so-callled "confessionals" and the MN-S District. There is more or less equal responsibility on both sides. I suspect that its been brewing for some time.

Saddening.

Peace, JOHN

And the recent testimonies tell more of that story.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 19, 2011, 10:27:03 PM
I've served in both volunteer and staff leadership in district and synodical work for around 40 years, having been in the Atlantic District when it basically blew apart in the mid-70s and taking part until this very day.  I served as a parish pastor on the Mission Blueprint for the 90s, which met 40 days and 40 nights in developing that document.  That was a national labor.  The blend of volunteers and some paid staff is what gets the collaborations going among parishes and develops relationships that last.  There's a reasonably strong amount that's been written about what are called in Protestant terminology "middle judicatories." 

There's not much indicating that the middle judicatories aren't needed.  In fact, the middle judicatories are where most of the on-the-ground ecclesiastical supervision as well as most of the delivery system for worker support and mission/ministry gets done.  The restructuring of the Missouri Synod, passed at the last convention, pushed a ton of stuff out of headquarters and back to the districts.  But I think your idea of having the middle judicatories evaluated should be shared with the COP in some way - in the ways of conventions and action, it's about a nine year process from start to some kind of completion.   While some might think the dissatisfaction with the district board decision that's the threadpoint here is behind this desire, that doesn't really matter.  If it's valid, it should be explored.  Thanks,

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 19, 2011, 10:29:14 PM
Bishop,

I know this will sound like fawning, but it's true.  You remain my picture of the possible.  I hope YOU will become more the norm and less the exception.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: racin_jason on September 19, 2011, 10:35:13 PM

Given the temperatures in January, I would not describe walk anywhere "easy", unless a person learned to take advantage of the extensive tunnel system.

Then you must not be from Minnesota, you wuss!   ;)  Up at UND and here at BSU the guys wear walking shorts throughout the winter!

My hope is that you got the point of the entire paragraph, that the U of M is large and spread out, that the student body isn't concentrated in any one area, making campus ministry challenging. That ULC could get from 50-100 students together for any event is impressive. The good people at LCM-TC (ELCA) never managed even half that in my time worshiping with them.

If that was your point, then yes, I got it. And I agree that ULC's track record is impressive.

I was born and raised in Bemidji and my father is from Int'l Falls, and I absolutely despise the winters. Yep, I'm a total wuss when it comes to the cold. That's why I live in Atlanta now.

Reading sgehrke's post above was an absolute delight. Coming into the Lutheran Campus ministry at the end of the tenure of the ALC pastor listed above through the late 1980's into the early 1990's, I was aware of the breakup between the LCMS and was involved in what became the ELCA campus ministry. Thank-you for your post, it filled in the details of what transpired on the other side of the tracks. My best friend in campus ministry was an LCMS pastor's kid, and he was the one who clued me into what was going on at ULC even though he was involved with the ELCA ministry where I was.

At stake here is having a prominent and distinct Lutheran voice on campus. That's why I care about what is transpiring on this front. How done a deal is this?   


 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: sgehrke on September 19, 2011, 10:42:47 PM
J.A.Q. -
ULC has always been an LCMS chapel except for the period of 1975-1982 when there was a joint ministry with the ALC.
http://www.ulcmn.org/About/History.html.

The chapel was built in a traditional style.  According the web site, nearly $200,000 was spent in the 1970's to tear out the pews and redesign the interior into the styles of the disco era, which was already dated by the early 80's when I attended.  I don't know what the MNS has invested in ULC infrastructure since that renovation (or what the source of those funds were - MNS or otherwise). However, from recent pictures of ULC at worship it appears that the same purple chairs I sat on then are still in use, though they are now arranged as though they were pews and oriented toward the chancel.
Steve
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LutherMan on September 19, 2011, 10:45:11 PM
Reading some of the comments about ELCA and LCMS ministry at the U of M made me think that people might be interested to know that ULC used to be a joint ministry of the ELCA predecessor bodies and the LCMS, as I hadn't seen this acknowledged previously.
Prior to that it was a Synodical Conference endeavor.  I had MN WELSian cousins who supported the building project and their children attended ULC while attending the school. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: sgehrke on September 19, 2011, 11:13:01 PM
Thanks, 'racin'.  As best I recall, the ALC pastor handled his and his congregation's eviction from the building by the LCMS gracefully.  I do remember that he respected the LCMS's positions on issues like women's ordination and I expect that extended to the LCMS's decision to cut off its joint campus ministries with the ALC (and the LCA and AELC). But then I'm not certain I remember his name, either - Warren Jorenby?

The irony that 30 years later a (LCMS-only) ULC congregation is once again being evicted from the building by the LCMS is not lost on me.
Steve
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: racin_jason on September 19, 2011, 11:28:48 PM
Yes, the Rev. Warren Jorenby...and Jerie Smith...and Ray Makeever and a few others on staff who cycled through.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 19, 2011, 11:51:32 PM
ScottG,

I do not understand why you would put "more traditional Lutheran" and "more evangelical" as oppositional choices.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pr dtp on September 20, 2011, 02:04:20 AM
Interesting points picked up here and there,

1.  How many years did the district spend studying campus ministries?

2.  How much time since the proposal to sell BOTH campuses was brought to the table?  And why is all the crying about just one of the chapels (if one is a tragedy equivalent to 911 or the council of Trent - aren't both?)  Matter of fact- why weren't these people crying over the other what 100 churches and schools to close in the last year?

3.  Why is the sale of a building considered the death knell for any ministry?

4.  Can't the fundraisers at BJS come up with a down payment significant enough to back a loan for say... 3.3 million?

5.  One of the articles said there were only 3 LCMS churches close to the campus.  Why can't one of these house the ministry?   
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 20, 2011, 06:27:12 AM
Bishop,

I know this will sound like fawning, but it's true.  You remain my picture of the possible.  I hope YOU will become more the norm and less the exception.

A couple of DPs were speaking about what I think you're referencing, the parish/district combo, with me yesterday, in positive ways.  There are now two VPs and three DPs with parish responsibilities, along with Pres. Harrison, on the COP.  Our tribe is increasing!  We had sung Matins yesterday in chapel devotions, as we did twice at our district staff retreat last week, so I guess that's catching too. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 20, 2011, 07:44:41 AM
In this situation everyone wants the same thing - to share Jesus Christ.  It's just a matter of how to go about doing that.  Is it what would be dubbed the more traditional Lutheran way or the more evangelical way which may still bring the kids to Word and Sacrament?  But we'll see.

As Rev. Bohler points out, a false dichotomy, and I add that it is joined to a reductionist view of the Gospel.

What I meant by "more evangelical" is that which is akin to a non-denom/church growth approach to ministry.  I did not mean it in the way that I think you think I meant it.  :o Maybe I should have capitalized "evangelical"?

Thr latter would seem to fit what's been coming out of MNS the last years. And the former certainly is the ULC approach.

The answer is obvious. Lutherans will take the traditional Lutheran way, which focuses on Jesus alone, over the Evangelical non-denom/CG way. And I am willing to question those who would support the latter for ULC.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Matt on September 20, 2011, 04:11:34 PM
Pr. Benke,

I would say there is far more LCMS mission activity in Philadelphia right now than there is in New York City, and I know, because I've spent the last five years looking for it. You boast endlessly of your achievements in Brooklyn, but my neighborhood was Manhattan. Which congregation are you willing to hold up as your model of vibrant, growing, "reaching the community" ministry, True Light or Church for All Nations?

Sorry, Bishop, I'm looking for a church; not a combination rock band venue and trampoline gym.

How has the attendance trend been over the last 10 years in the Atlantic District? New York City? This is a city of 8 million people, why are there more Lutherans in worship in Ann Arbor Michigan in any given week?

Its pretty rich to see Pr. Fisk accused of neglecting the mission in Philadelphia from the man who has been DP while Lutheranism collapsed in New York City. Maybe we should start judging you by the measure you use to judge others.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mmeyer on September 20, 2011, 04:38:38 PM
My name is Monte Meyer and I am currently called as the Campus Missionary to the Campus Lutheran Chapel in Mankato.  My building is also on the block to be sold.  At this time, the market is soft in Mankato - so I'm not sure when it will be sold.  But from what I heard at the board meeting - it will be sold.

Would I like to keep my building?  Certainly?  Was I surprised that this took place - NOT at all.  Anyone who has been paying attention would have seen the writing on the wall - dwindling mission giving over the years - warnings from the district, campus ministry meetings, etc.  I have personally been planning for this eventuality for the past 10 yrs or so.  It was going to happen.  With pastors increasingly encouraging their congregations to stop giving to district missions out of some sort of protest - something will be affected.  The law of unintended consequences has struck two very popular campus ministries.  ULC is a very classic Lutheran ministry which has kicked out a number of pastors and theologians from it's work.  The CLC is also very influential - I would suspect it is one of the larger, if not the largest student only campus ministries in the LCMS - having 100-125 students attending the services each week for the past several years.  Both are certainly committed to Word and Sacrament ministry - the only difference being is that the CLC uses a worship "band" for their music, while the ULC is traditionally liturgical.  Some would say that is a significant difference - but I guarantee you, it's content, message and intentions are entirely Lutheran.  Pr. Kind may not always agree with our approach, but we have always been collegial and encouraging to each other, when we have the chance to visit.

The CLC has made plans to move up on campus.  For the past two years - I have spent the majority of my time on campus - only spending a few hours outside of worship at my office.  We have researched what it would take to move our work and worship on campus - and have found suitable options.  I anticipate that we will not only survive on campus - but should probably thrive in a central location that is removed from a church building.  We estimate about 80-90% of the campus is functionally "unchurched" or "de-churched".  There is a lot of skepticism about "churches" so I think the move would be beneficial to us.

On the other hand - the ULC has members who are not college students (THe CLC is entirely students).  In fact, from what I understand - the majority of people are "non-college".  This will make their transition much more difficult.   I hope and pray that they can work things out in such a fashion that they can continue to make a difference  with the Gospel on campus. 

Please be careful to sift through the myriads of information being ejected on the web.  Much of it is untrue and/or speculation.  I have added my name to this forum on the chance that I might be able to answer some questions to the best of my ability. 

I had been responding to some topics on a different site - but their reception is a bit chilly at times.  But I guess I can understand - the proposed sale of such an icon like the ULC will stir up strong emotions. 

As for the Campus Lutheran Chapel - I am proud of how our students and alumni have responded to the challenge.  We have attempted to be very proactive in our approach to the proposed sale and we feel our best days are ahead of us. 

Let me know if I can help or give some insight.

Monte Meyer
Campus Lutheran Chapel

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Matt on September 20, 2011, 05:04:22 PM
Self-serving, dishonest, self-justifying nonsense will get a chilly reception here as well.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mariemeyer on September 20, 2011, 05:24:15 PM
Self-serving, dishonest, self-justifying nonsense will get a chilly reception here as well.


Matthew:  Please explain the above.  Thanks!

Marie Meyer
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 20, 2011, 05:28:02 PM
Rev. Meyer,

On that "other" site, it was reported that one of the outcomes of the MNS's plan is that the new district facilitator (which would be you, I understand) would become a part-time campus pastor and would spend the rest of his time working with other churches and their outreach to college students.  And that the salary/benefits package for this new position would start at about $100,000/year and increase to $162,000 in a couple of years.  Is that correct? If so, doesn't that seem excessive?  Just for comparison purposes, I live in Crookston MN and my salary/benefits package (including the fair market value of the parsonage) are about $62,000/year (I serve a dual parish of about 650 members, with a parochial school, am the sole pastor and how been in the ministry 18 years).
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mmeyer on September 20, 2011, 05:31:42 PM
I have not been asked to be that facilitator, although I have expressed my ideas to Peter Meier on how I would do that job with recruiting peer ministers to raise money and work with the local congregations for a year with the students - funneling them to the local Word/Sacrament ministry.   We'll see if that's how this works and if this happens - although I have some other things in the works, helping a local rural congregation which is struggling and perhaps expanding our own campus work into a church plant in town targetting the 35 and under crowd.  But all that is still theoretical as of now.  My work is somewhat up in the air - and it would be nice to get it settled sooner rather than later. 

Currently I make district guidelines for a pastor living in Mankato having 24 yrs of experience.  I am on plan C of the health plan.

I hope that answers your question and somehow placates Matt.  Be nice Matt - and I will respond likewise. 



Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on September 20, 2011, 05:34:02 PM
I have not been asked to be that facilitator.   Currently I make synodical guidelines for a pastor living in Mankato having 24 yrs of experience.  I am on plan C of the health plan.

Pr. Meyer,

Thanks for joining the ALPB to provide your perspective.  I for one am glad to see you here and hope the innuendos and chilly reception do not prevent you from staying and joining in on other threads.

Mike
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Matt Staneck on September 20, 2011, 05:42:49 PM
Mr. Jamison,

Since I am the current vicar at the trampoline gym you reference I would like to address the claims you have made.

While True Light is a congregation that is in the midst of what we might call a period of "non-growth" (whatever that means) it is not true that it is a stagnant trampoline gym.  The very fact I am here is actually part of a cooperative effort between Circuity #6 Counselor and the Bishop.  You cite two examples of struggling congregations in Manhattan (while neglecting to mention their locations with the one in midtown that is not in a residential area and the other one which is in an area that is immediately in decline and/or decidedly non-Christian), but fail to bring up the vibrant congregations in the rest of Circuit #6 (which includes Brooklyn and Staten Island) as well as the revitalization that has gone on in the Bronx under the direction of the Bishop.  My good friend was just installed at Trinity in the Bronx and that is about an active evangelical and catholic parish you can find, urban or not!  Look it up yourself.

Back to True Light.  The activities we have here are geared toward especially engaging the surrounding non-Christian area with the Gospel of Hope found in Jesus Christ and Him alone in Word and Sacrament.  A typical week includes an after school program with the vicar doing Jesus Time with the kids, currently a flea market raising money for our youth programs, a strong scouts program that hopefully can be channeled to help make a connection from the Scouts world to the world of the church via the vicar doing pre-catechesis in helping them obtain their religious medals, also discovering ways to invite the kids back another day for fellowship activity directly tied to the mission of the church, a sunday school program which acts as a lead-in to Mandarin school in the afternoons, a weekly meeting of Chinese speaking members who come to sing hymns, eat, study the Bible, and pray together under the direction of the Chinese Pastor here, a current weekly bible study led by the vicar for a group of 10-12 members, a future evening bible study led my the vicar featuring resources from the seminary of all places, and a developing young adult fellowship of young professionals from all over the country who left their areas for the adventure of living in New York yet who want fellowship with other Lutherans and want to be/are already connected to a local church in Circuit #6.  And there is also and always all of the wonderful unexpected yet always available ministry opportunities that arise in the city.

Did you strike a nerve?  Yup.  I hope this was worth my time sitting here answering your remarks instead of bouncing on the trampoline upstairs with the kids.  BTW, if you know where that trampoline is I would greatly appreciate you telling me.

Vicar Staneck
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Matt on September 20, 2011, 05:43:42 PM
Self-serving, dishonest, self-justifying nonsense will get a chilly reception here as well.


Matthew:  Please explain the above.  Thanks!

Marie Meyer

I am especially offended by the idea that these events are the result of confessional Lutherans withholding donations to the district as a form of protest.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mmeyer on September 20, 2011, 05:44:24 PM
Thanks Mike.  I really appreciate the level of angst over this - shoot, I feel it as well.  I don't want anyone to lose their building.  It's a royal pain to plan on what to do next.  I actually like Pr. Kind and the ULC - he's been very gracious to me and I pray that their church and ministry lands on their feet.  I have absolutely NO control on what the District will do - in fact, I made a suggestion about selling more properties which didn't seem to get a very warm reception. 

We live in difficult times - and since MN South District is not responding to questions - I'm going to stand up and try to shed some light from my opinion - and perhaps defend myself from some of the shots I've taken since everything blew up at the Joint Spring Pastor's conference in Brainerd. 

It's been a LONG summer!! 

Again - I hope and pray that people just calm down and that the ULC figures out how they can continue their valuable ministry.  The CLC is a completely different entity since we just have college students and no members - we are much more flexible for that reason.  We'll be fine!
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mmeyer on September 20, 2011, 05:50:17 PM

[/quote]

I am especially offended by the idea that these events are the result of confessional Lutherans withholding donations to the district as a form of protest.
[/quote]

Well, that's my opinion.  I never said confessional - those are your words.  From what I can tell - there are lots of people with an ax to grind in this district.  Mission offerings have gone down steadily - and I know for A FACT that pastors and congregations have re-directed mission giving in a form of protest.  that's a fact. 

It's too bad this had to happen - I don't like it either.  I'm always very appreciative for the mission giving in our district because it supports a HUGE VITAL MISSION - probably one of the largest pure mission fields in the country - the college campus setting. 

I'm not going to apologize to you - if you don't like it - I can't change that.  Again - these are just my opinions - and we have to deal with the reality we have now - and do our best with a rotten situation.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Matt on September 20, 2011, 05:58:03 PM
I'm not asking for your apology, pastor, and I mean no personal offense.

You know, maybe your ministry "failed" because you were not diligent enough in your evangelism efforts. After all, that is the usual slander thrown at pastors of small or declining churches.

Pr. Benke constantly pushes this idea that decline in our church bodies is the result of doctrinal rigidity, fear of outsiders and cowardice. This is false, and I'm tired of politely bearing this hypocrisy.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mmeyer on September 20, 2011, 06:02:48 PM
I'm glad we're not at loggerheads here Matt!

I think my campus ministry failed because last week I had 117 students in attendance and an offering of only 24 dollars and three pieces of Starburst candies!!!
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on September 20, 2011, 06:40:56 PM
Quote
My name is Monte Meyer and I am currently called as the Campus Missionary to the Campus Lutheran Chapel in Mankato.  My building is also on the block to be sold…As for the Campus Lutheran Chapel - I am proud of how our students and alumni have responded to the challenge.  We have attempted to be very proactive in our approach to the proposed sale and we feel our best days are ahead of us.

What a beautiful display of a lived out theology of the cross! I am so proud of folks like you. God bless your tribe! Keep speaking the truth – as you appear to have a better view than the rest of us - but continue to do it with great love and remember to die to your own ambition by living in grace.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 20, 2011, 06:42:52 PM
Rev. Meyer,

Thanks for your response, but it didn't really answer my questions.  They were: 1) are those figures for the proposed salary/benefit package correct?, and 2) does that seem excessive to you? 

By the way, I understand that you do not hold the position (since it does not yet exist).
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on September 20, 2011, 07:38:53 PM
Quote
the salary/benefits package for this new position would start at about $100,000/year

Actually, I interpret the chart as that they are willing to pay up to $100,351 to support a pastor - a pastor who might even have more years of experience than a typical pastor in the LCMS. If you look at the chart on page 28 of the website (http://www.mns.lcms.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=NW4oveke-0Q%3d&tabid=206&mid=791) it looks like this includes the Concordia Plan. The budgeted amount probably also includes a very large traveling & food allowance – which would be essential for effectively fulfilling a fund raising role. I suspect that they are simply following their own District salary guidelines in creating this position. It does not seem to be excessive to me.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 20, 2011, 07:52:33 PM
Matt Jamison - see the following on any given Sunday - have you visited any of these mission locations?  You give evidence of your experience, so just checking:
St. John the Evangelist, Brooklyn
St. Paul, Brooklyn
St. Peter's Brooklyn (3 language worshiping groups)
Christ, Woodside (4 language worshiping groups)
Christ Assembly African Immigrant, Staten Island
Trinity, Bronx
Redeemer, Bronx
Our Saviour, Bronx
Holy Trinity, Brooklyn
Immanuel, Whitestone (5 language worshiping groups)
Grace, Queens Village
to name a few.

All of these Atlantic District congregations celebrate the Eucharist weekly with people from between ten to twenty-five countries of origin in attendance.  At our national mission gathering just now the folks at our table including me spoke at length about aligning ourselves strategically with the threefold emphasis - Mercy, Witness, Life Together - so that we might evidence One Voice, One Love, and One Heart and thus engage the world through the local axis mundi where the grace of God is released into the world through Word and Sacrament

Thanks for the opportunity to share the grace of God at work.  We pray of course that this is being accomplished powerfully in Philadelphia as well. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 20, 2011, 08:29:19 PM
I have not been asked to be that facilitator, although I have expressed my ideas to Peter Meier on how I would do that job with recruiting peer ministers to raise money and work with the local congregations for a year with the students - funneling them to the local Word/Sacrament ministry.   We'll see if that's how this works and if this happens - although I have some other things in the works, helping a local rural congregation which is struggling and perhaps expanding our own campus work into a church plant in town targetting the 35 and under crowd.  But all that is still theoretical as of now.  My work is somewhat up in the air - and it would be nice to get it settled sooner rather than later. 

Pastor Meyer:

Thank you for your willingness to participate in this discussion.  If you would answer a couple of questions for me, I'd appreciate it.

1.  What are the qualifications and duties of a "peer minister" in regards to campus ministry?  Is this position the same as the "CMin Facilitator" on Slide 28 of the linked presentation from the district?

2.  In what way is planting a church with a target age range helpful to anyone, especially college students?  Are we not all one in Christ (Rom 12:4-5 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%2012:4-5&version=ESV))?  Wouldn't this rob this one demographic of the richness that could be found in fellowship with those of all ages?

For the purpose of full disclosure, I manage the $115M personnel budget of a midwest university, have assisted with Lutheran campus ministry at the same (which has gone nowhere in part due to lack of meeting space while other denominational campus ministries thrive in their own dedicated buildings), teach college courses and also assisted with a church plant that started with only 6 individuals--my family--which grew quite quickly because outreach was targeted to ALL ages.  I put this information forth not to boast but to let it be known that many have concerns about what is occuring with the sale of ULC because the proposed campus ministry model is NOT seen as effective by those of us with experience in this arena.  To make matters worse, when designated funds are used in a way that do not align with the original donors' intent, the trust and credibility of an organization are greatly jeopardized.

If you could shed some light on these questions, it would be appreciated.

Dcs. Kim Schave (who also happens to be a CPA if it helps you to know)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 20, 2011, 08:37:20 PM
JAQ,

I went to the MNS district salary guideline page and, if I calculated correctly (a big IF!), then Rev. Meyer's salary/housing at present should be about $71,500.  That is based on his statement that he has 24 years experience in the ministry, plus I assume he lives in Blue Earth County (Mankato is located there) -- the guidelines have one take a base salary (33,976), muliply by a factor for experience (in this case, 2.021 for 24 years), and then mulitply that by another factor for location (1.04 for Blue Earth County).  Adding in another 24,000 for Concordia Plan benefits (just as a guess), that comes to $95,000.  Pretty close to the beginning $100,000.  But why does it go up to $162,000 in four or five years?  That's the part I don't get.  $60,000 for travel per year?  That seems excessive to me.

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mmeyer on September 20, 2011, 08:53:16 PM
You will have to come to that determination of you think my salary is too much.   

I have no idea why it goes up this much - you will have to ask Peter Meier who put this together.  I have  nothing to do with this scenario.  I'm a campus pastor - have been for 12 yrs - we've brought this mission from the brink of closing to a large, vibrant mission.  So quit dragging my salary through the public and wetting on my cheerios!  Good grief - if you want a call down here and get into the "riches" - I'll see what I can do.

Otherwise - why not just ask MN South.  I'm just one of their missionaries - they don't let me in on the top secret meetings.  LOL
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mmeyer on September 20, 2011, 09:02:02 PM
Dear Deaconess,

I can't really answer that first question because my model is MY opinion - not necessarily the district.  That's what I suggested they do.  And this is the model that the RC church uses with their FOCUS group - with great effectiveness.  It works - because we train students to funnel people to W/S ministry - plus it gives people a great opportunity to learn how to share the faith - teach a bible class - etc.  This nonsense about wrecking their vocation as a student is silly.  Would you say that same thing to a farmer - "oh, don't help out with sharing the faith - that will interfere with their vocation of plowing."   I don't buy it - and I feel some are trying to make a theological argument out of thin air. 

Two - as far as the church plant - this is just a plan - and not the district's plan - again it's mostly my idea which is just in the talking stage with a local congregation.  You may be a good accountant - but I think I might have some good ideas about this too.  God gifts each of us differently - let's see what happens.  Besides - it isn't going to cost you one thin dime - so don't worry about it - yet....

On a positive note - maybe I can consult you to help me with the business side of the church plant - while I have some experience in the ministry side - I'm not too proud to solicit good ideas from others with more expertise.  And I truly appreciate all the help I can get!! 

Monte

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 20, 2011, 09:12:12 PM
Dear Deaconess,

I can't really answer that first question because my model is MY opinion - not necessarily the district.  That's what I suggested they do.

Two - as far as the church plant - this is just a plan - and not the district's plan - again it's mostly my idea which is just in the talking stage with a local congregation.  So just let me dream and try to figure things out here - my vocation is a little up in air.

Maybe I can consult you to help me with the business side of the church plant - while I have some experience in the ministry side - I'm not too proud to solicit good ideas from others with more expertise.

Oh, that's OK, you're welcome to share your model as your opinion and also your thoughts on a targeted church plant whether the district is in agreement or not.  So does slide 28 of the linked presentation represent the model you proposed?  How does targeting a 35 and under group for a church plant work?  Are you excluded since I presume you're over 35?  Why would they want such an old guy for a pastor then?  ;D  I'm trying to understand the logic, honestly.

Is the proposed model for campus ministry moving away from having a called rostered pastor then?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mmeyer on September 20, 2011, 09:15:28 PM
No - the model is not moving away from a called pastor - in MY MODEL - the peer ministers would be used to funnel people to pastor-led w/s ministry.

You are right about an old guy like me leading it - so I will probably just be helping  - if it even gets out of the thinking stage.  (Although I do look younger than my 50 yrs, after losing a little weight!)

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Revbert on September 20, 2011, 09:48:44 PM
When I was on the Lutheran Campus Ministry steering committee at the University of Maryland, and I presume now as well, the campus ministry program had an excellent peer ministry program. I would call peer ministers the committee chairpersons in a regular parish, but they were selected with a lot more care than committee leaders normally are! Good peer ministers lead their respective programs, and are vital to the successful ministry of the campus chaplain. Pastor Meyer, you have my prayers and support (such as it is).

UMd is unique in that the campus chapel is a Memorial Chapel and used by all faiths (much like a military base chapel), and has space for the campus chaplains. Also, at UM, the ELCA parish next to the campus (Hope Lutheran Church and Student Center), serves the campus as well (and has parking spaces for students!). It is one of the things the ELCA did well, and I'll salute the ministry there.  For the historically-minded, Pr Beth Platz was the chaplain there for many years, and just retired. She hated being known as "the first woman ordained a Lutheran pastor in the USA."
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 20, 2011, 10:19:32 PM
No - the model is not moving away from a called pastor - in MY MODEL - the peer ministers would be used to funnel people to pastor-led w/s ministry.

From this presentation (http://www.mns.lcms.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=NW4oveke-0Q%3d&tabid=206&mid=791):

Then why the shift in budgeted funds to the CMinFacilitator and away from Campus Pastor in 2013 on slide 28?

How do the Campus Ministry Facilitators' duties as described on slide 22 actually funnel people to a Word and Sacrament ministry?

Campus Ministry Facilitator
•Part-time position
•Training and coaching site leaders & students
•Encouragement, networking, identifying and sharing resources
•Organize annual Campus Ministry Retreat
•Report to Assistant to President for Missions

Certainly you see the concern that there is a claim to be shifting investments away from buildings and onto people, but how is this model investing in people--students--by moving away from paying theologically trained ministers to provide for their spiritual care?  Who are these Campus Ministry Facilitators?  What are their qualifications?  I believe these are pretty simple questions that you can answer.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 20, 2011, 10:49:02 PM
Rev. Meyer,

I am not saying your salary is too high; I don't even know what it is.  I am only going on your comments about receiving district guidelines and then JAQ's conjecture that the $162,000 figure was district guidelines for salary/benefits plus travel.  So if my calculations were correct, that would mean that the $162,000 total would be $50,000-60,000 more than guidelines for salary/benefits -- which would be an awful lot for travel/expenses, it seems to me.  However, if that $162,000 is strictly for salary and benefits that DOES seem excessive compensation to me. 

Again, as someone pointed out (and which I was hinting at but did not say), that seems to be a lot more expensive than what the district is paying now for campus ministry.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mmeyer on September 20, 2011, 11:48:56 PM
Deaconess, I can't answer those questions because I have not been offered the position.  That's something which Peter Meier can answer.

Whatever happens - I'm going to be recruiting peer ministers eventually for the CLC - regardless.  I believe in how that works - I've seen it first hand with CRU and IV (even though I don't personally like their models) and also with the RC's and their FOCUS group - which seems much closer to what I have in mind.  Whatever Peter has in mind - I'll let him explain that.  I have no job offer except to be campus missionary and a few other theoretical projects which may or may not happen.

Rev. Bohler - I don't know how to answer your questions.   Seems like a good gig if someone would actually get paid like that.  I'd rather doubt that this will happen.  I have a feeling this is all conjecture by people who are really upset. 

I'm really not trying to be evasive - I just don't have the answers both of you want.  I really have no insight into what the district is planning - outside of what I asked directly and suggested myself.

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 21, 2011, 12:22:15 AM
It works - because we train students to funnel people to W/S ministry - plus it gives people a great opportunity to learn how to share the faith - teach a bible class - etc.  This nonsense about wrecking their vocation as a student is silly.  Would you say that same thing to a farmer - "oh, don't help out with sharing the faith - that will interfere with their vocation of plowing."   I don't buy it - and I feel some are trying to make a theological argument out of thin air. 
Monte

Pr. Meyer,

If you would actually listen to the theological argument, perhaps you wouldn't dismiss it as nonsense and claim that it's being made out of thin air.  A student's vocation is to be a student.  A farmer is a farmer.  A mother, a mother; a father, a father; a factory worker, a factory worker, etc.  And while a student, farmer, mother, father, factory worker, etc. may have multiple vocations, not a one of them is a minister (unless, of course, one of them has been called and ordained to serve in Christ's stead and by His command).  Your idea to raise up students to be "peer ministers" not only takes them out of their God-given vocation(s) to be students (son or daughter, etc.), but places them into a vocation that has not been given them by God.  It's one thing to encourage students to get involved in the activities of campus ministries (volunteering for service projects, inviting others to come to the Services and events, confessing their faith to their peers as the Holy Spirit gives them opportunity, and so forth); it's quite another thing to deem them "ministers" and have them doing what has not been given them to do (lead worship, teach Bible Studies, be "missionaries," etc.).  The former fits well with our theology; the latter does not.  This is theological, like it or not.  Contrary to popular belief among many these days, Lutherans do not go for the whole "everyone a minister" thing.  Doesn't jive with our theology.  It's what modern "protestants" and "evangelicals" do, to be sure, but not us.  When we entice students to take a year off so that they can become "missionaries," we are misleading them, and we have abandoned our theology.  I'd suggest you give "Luther on Vocation" a good read before you simply dismiss the arguments against your ideas as nonsense and thin-aired theology.     
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: A Sasse Waltherian on September 21, 2011, 12:31:45 AM
Or Gene Veith's book God at Work or the just simply the Table of Duties in the SC.  The doctrine of vocation is simply a lost article of faith amongst some modern day Lutherans.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pr dtp on September 21, 2011, 01:56:31 AM
It works - because we train students to funnel people to W/S ministry - plus it gives people a great opportunity to learn how to share the faith - teach a bible class - etc.  This nonsense about wrecking their vocation as a student is silly.  Would you say that same thing to a farmer - "oh, don't help out with sharing the faith - that will interfere with their vocation of plowing."   I don't buy it - and I feel some are trying to make a theological argument out of thin air. 
Monte

Pr. Meyer,

If you would actually listen to the theological argument, perhaps you wouldn't dismiss it as nonsense and claim that it's being made out of thin air.  A student's vocation is to be a student.  A farmer is a farmer.  A mother, a mother; a father, a father; a factory worker, a factory worker, etc.  And while a student, farmer, mother, father, factory worker, etc. may have multiple vocations, not a one of them is a minister (unless, of course, one of them has been called and ordained to serve in Christ's stead and by His command).  Your idea to raise up students to be "peer ministers" not only takes them out of their God-given vocation(s) to be students (son or daughter, etc.), but places them into a vocation that has not been given them by God.  It's one thing to encourage students to get involved in the activities of campus ministries (volunteering for service projects, inviting others to come to the Services and events, confessing their faith to their peers as the Holy Spirit gives them opportunity, and so forth); it's quite another thing to deem them "ministers" and have them doing what has not been given them to do (lead worship, teach Bible Studies, be "missionaries," etc.).  The former fits well with our theology; the latter does not.  This is theological, like it or not.  Contrary to popular belief among many these days, Lutherans do not go for the whole "everyone a minister" thing.  Doesn't jive with our theology.  It's what modern "protestants" and "evangelicals" do, to be sure, but not us.  When we entice students to take a year off so that they can become "missionaries," we are misleading them, and we have abandoned our theology.  I'd suggest you give "Luther on Vocation" a good read before you simply dismiss the arguments against your ideas as nonsense and thin-aired theology.   


Rev. Messer - if you said not everyone is a pastor - hey no problem - full agreement.

But minister?  diakonos?  Seriously?  That is our vocation - all our vocation.

By the way, in case your want to claim this isn't Waltherian, consider:

“Here then we are again assured that a Christian does not only have the right and authority to teach the Word of God, but also that he is in duty bound to do so at the peril of losing his soul and God’s grace. You may say: ‘But how? If he has not been called to do so, as you yourself have often taught, he dare not preach.’ To this I reply: Here you must place a Christian in two places. First, if he is where there are no Christians, he needs no other call than that he is a Christian, inwardly called by God and anointed. There he owes it to the erring heathen or non-Christian to preach and teach them the Gospel, moved by Christian love, even though no Christian has called him to do so. Thus St. Stephen did, as we are told in Acts 7:1–53; though the apostles had not entrusted him with the office of preaching, yet he preached and performed great miracles among the people (Acts 6:8). So also did Philip, the deacon, Stephen’s partner (Acts 8:5), though also to him the ministry had not been entrusted. So also did Apollos (Acts 18:25–26). In such cases a Christian out of Christian love has compassion on the distress of the poor, perverted souls and does not wait until he receives a command or letter from a prince or bishop, for necessity ignores all laws and recognizes no law. Hence Christian love makes it one’s duty to help, where otherwise there is no one who helps or should help. :

  C.F.W. Walther, Church and Ministry : Witness of the Evangelical Lutheran Church on the Question of the Church and the Ministry, electronic ed. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999), 163-64.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 21, 2011, 07:26:44 AM
Deaconess, I can't answer those questions because I have not been offered the position. 

Sorry, I thought you were serious about discussing the proposed campus ministry model based on this statement of yours:

Let me know if I can help or give some insight.


Quote
I really have no insight into what the district is planning - outside of what I asked directly and suggested myself.

I am asking what your insight involves, not what the district is planning.  Are you able to answer that?  Specifically, please help me understand how a student "peer minister" would be in a position to "funnel" other students to a Word and Sacrament ministry?  It's difficult enough for a theologically-trained person to do this, so how would a student be equipped to do it?  I would think the most effective way for a student to get others to come to a nearby church would be by simply offering an invitation to "come and see (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%201:46&version=ESV)".  Are students now paid to make these invitations? 

I've seen quite the push to offer all sorts of leadership training to students under the guise of campus ministry.  I can say with certainty that an emphasis on serving is much more effective than an emphasis on leading within the church.  Does your model involve leadership training for students?  How does that lend itself to "funneling" students to a Word and Sacrament ministry?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: John_Hannah on September 21, 2011, 08:42:49 AM

We live in difficult times - and since MN South District is not responding to questions - I'm going to stand up and try to shed some light from my opinion - and perhaps defend myself from some of the shots I've taken since everything blew up at the Joint Spring Pastor's conference in Brainerd. 

It's been a LONG summer!! 


I don't know what happened in Brainerd, nor do I need to. "A blow up" suggests that there has been a long standing adversarial relationship and that the campus ministries have become pawns in that.

If so, I would urge all evangelical catholics to stand aside from this dog fight. We are never going to advance in adversarial situations. We only give reason for folks to reject evangelical catholic interests.

I am a Book of Concord confessionalist and "high church" (for those who understand only Episcopalian paradigms). I challenge anyone to show me where a parish embraced a more confessional liturgical practice under adversarial conditions.

Peace, JOHN

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mmeyer on September 21, 2011, 09:07:08 AM
Deaconess - I agree with your statement on service - that's a huge part of this.  The leadership part of the equation is that they would lead by example.  Being invitational, caring and giving are also learned responses, I believe.  We want something that is able to be duplicated by the students they interact with. 

The other side of this is that we are bringing these "Peer volunteers" into an environment which is positive and outreach - oriented.  Already we are able to duplicate these attitudes pretty well - but I'm 50 yrs old and my inroads to the student population is limited by age. Empowering and equipping same aged peer ministers would help us just by their increased interaction with the students who attend the CLC.  It's amazing how well it works with the Roman Catholic ministry.   Our peer volunteers are able to set the tone for our other students to "come and hear the Good News". 

By the way - they won't be paid - they will raise their own money to work with us for a year - like people do with short term mission work overseas. 

Pastor Messer - I think dropping the term "ministers" is helpful.  Thanks for the clarification.  I think this would create less confusion. 

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on September 21, 2011, 09:51:12 AM

We live in difficult times - and since MN South District is not responding to questions - I'm going to stand up and try to shed some light from my opinion - and perhaps defend myself from some of the shots I've taken since everything blew up at the Joint Spring Pastor's conference in Brainerd. 

It's been a LONG summer!! 


I don't know what happened in Brainerd, nor do I need to. "A blow up" suggests that there has been a long standing adversarial relationship and that the campus ministries have become pawns in that.

If so, I would urge all evangelical catholics to stand aside from this dog fight. We are never going to advance in adversarial situations. We only give reason for folks to reject evangelical catholic interests.

I completely agree.

I think that the MNS district's actions are unwise.   I find them especially unwise since it seems quite possible that another path could have been followed in which supporters of ULC could gather funds to buy the chapel from the district and make it officially theirs.

However, that lack of wisdom does not excuse treating Pr. Meyer as some sort of whipping boy because he has another ministry affected by all of this and may be considered for a position in the new ministry plan.   He has answered questions which others are not answering.  In doing so, he has expressed regret for what is happening to ULC, and I have seen not a single word defending the wisdom of this course.

Mike
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 21, 2011, 11:06:04 AM
I don't know what happened in Brainerd, nor do I need to. "A blow up" suggests that there has been a long standing adversarial relationship and that the campus ministries have become pawns in that.

What happened in "Brainerd" (at Madden's on Gull Lake) was that, at the Joint MNN/MNS Pastoral Conference, the pastors, members of the two Synodical Districts, passed a resolution asking the BOD of the MNS District to bring the issue of ULC to the MNS District Convention this coming spring, and let the District in convention make the decision.

It appears that the MNS BOD decided not to follow the wishes of those members and that resolution, specifically requiring a sale if it can be done by the end of the year, before the District convention.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 21, 2011, 11:21:56 AM
We live in difficult times - and since MN South District is not responding to questions - I'm going to stand up and try to shed some light from my opinion - and perhaps defend myself from some of the shots I've taken since everything blew up at the Joint Spring Pastor's conference in Brainerd. 

It's been a LONG summer!! 

Can you imagine how long it will seem if this transpires?

On that "other" site, it was reported that one of the outcomes of the MNS's plan is that the new district facilitator (which would be [Monte Meyer], I understand) would become a part-time campus pastor and would spend the rest of his time working with other churches and their outreach to college students.  And that the salary/benefits package for this new position would start at about $100,000/year and increase to $162,000 in a couple of years.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 21, 2011, 11:24:37 AM
Rev. Messer - if you said not everyone is a pastor - hey no problem - full agreement.

But minister?  diakonos?  Seriously?  That is our vocation - all our vocation.

By the way, in case your want to claim this isn't Waltherian, consider:

“Here then we are again assured that a Christian does not only have the right and authority to teach the Word of God, but also that he is in duty bound to do so at the peril of losing his soul and God’s grace. You may say: ‘But how? If he has not been called to do so, as you yourself have often taught, he dare not preach.’ To this I reply: Here you must place a Christian in two places. First, if he is where there are no Christians, he needs no other call than that he is a Christian, inwardly called by God and anointed. There he owes it to the erring heathen or non-Christian to preach and teach them the Gospel, moved by Christian love, even though no Christian has called him to do so. Thus St. Stephen did, as we are told in Acts 7:1–53; though the apostles had not entrusted him with the office of preaching, yet he preached and performed great miracles among the people (Acts 6:8). So also did Philip, the deacon, Stephen’s partner (Acts 8:5), though also to him the ministry had not been entrusted. So also did Apollos (Acts 18:25–26). In such cases a Christian out of Christian love has compassion on the distress of the poor, perverted souls and does not wait until he receives a command or letter from a prince or bishop, for necessity ignores all laws and recognizes no law. Hence Christian love makes it one’s duty to help, where otherwise there is no one who helps or should help. :

  C.F.W. Walther, Church and Ministry : Witness of the Evangelical Lutheran Church on the Question of the Church and the Ministry, electronic ed. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999), 163-64.

J & S,

Apples and oranges, much like the comparison you have made here and elsewhere to congregations and schools being closed and the selling of ULC.  When I refer to the "everyone a minister" theology employed by modern "protestants" and "evangelicals," do you really not understand what I mean?  And, do you really believe that this little quote from Walther may be used to defend that theology?  Seriously? 

We're not talking here about Christians finding themselves where there are no Christians and, thus, taking it upon themselves to preach and teach the Word to heathens.  We're talking here about whether or not it is appropriate, according to our Lutheran theology, to develop and implement a plan which deliberately raises up students to be "ministers."  Big difference there.   
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 21, 2011, 11:40:18 AM
Deaconess - I agree with your statement on service - that's a huge part of this.  The leadership part of the equation is that they would lead by example.  Being invitational, caring and giving are also learned responses, I believe.  We want something that is able to be duplicated by the students they interact with. 

The other side of this is that we are bringing these "Peer volunteers" into an environment which is positive and outreach - oriented.  Already we are able to duplicate these attitudes pretty well - but I'm 50 yrs old and my inroads to the student population is limited by age. Empowering and equipping same aged peer ministers would help us just by their increased interaction with the students who attend the CLC.  It's amazing how well it works with the Roman Catholic ministry.   Our peer volunteers are able to set the tone for our other students to "come and hear the Good News". 

By the way - they won't be paid - they will raise their own money to work with us for a year - like people do with short term mission work overseas. 

Now that really raises concern over the budget that is publicly available for others to see.  I guess the funds dedicated to the Campus Ministry Facilitators aren't going there afterall, then, meaning it is going towards . . . .??

I'm still left scratching my head as to how a volunteer student is supposed to provide quality spiritual care to other students and also be effective at steering students to a Word and Sacrament ministry.  If you'd like to answer that with examples of existing situations, it would be helpful.

I do appreciate your willingness to answer these questions.  I have to agree with my brother dgkirch that if summer seemed long, the next year and beyond will not bode well for some who find themselves in positions that are richly rewarded financially at the expense of a viable campus ministry program.  I'm not saying change wasn't the District's to make, but the way they went about this without helping the existing congregation at ULC possibly purchase the building themselves is questionable in the minds of many.  The next District convention ought to be very interesting.  My prayers are with everyone involved.  In the end, God's will shall be done despite what any of us might do to get in the way of it.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on September 21, 2011, 11:46:59 AM
Quote
I am only going on your comments about receiving district guidelines and then JAQ's conjecture that the $162,000 figure was district guidelines for salary/benefits plus travel.

Actually, I never said the 162,000 figure was the district guideline. What I did write was that I interpreted the chart as that they are willing to pay, during the first year, up to $100,351 to support a pastor - a pastor who might even have more years of experience than a typical pastor in the LCMS. If you look at the chart on page 28 of the website (http://www.mns.lcms.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=NW4oveke-0Q%3d&tabid=206&mid=791) it looks like this includes the Concordia Plan. Which as you pointed out would cost around $24,000 – but probably more, in my estimation. I figure a realistic traveling and food allowance for fund raising would be around $10,000. So, the base number is more like $65,000.  The chart does suggest a budget which factors in an 8% increase for the year to come. However, that estimate was probably based upon speculation that our nation was going into a period of rapid inflation. So, the 8% number could be adjusted downward if, as a nation, we do not enter into a period of rapid inflation.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 21, 2011, 11:59:06 AM
By the way - they won't be paid - they will raise their own money to work with us for a year - like people do with short term mission work overseas. 

Pastor Messer - I think dropping the term "ministers" is helpful.  Thanks for the clarification.  I think this would create less confusion.

Pr. Meyer,

Using a different term will not change the fact that the plan you're talking about will involve students being trained to function as "ministers."  Confusion will still abound, especially among the students who participate in your plan.  If you pull them out of school for a year and have them serve as "missionaries," they will naturally think that they are, well, "missionaries."  If you train them to lead worship and teach Bible Studies, etc., they will naturally think that they are, well, "ministers."  I, and many others, contend that this is not only wrongheaded, but that it is inconsistent with our theology.  Campus Ministry should not be something for students to do, but something our Lord does for them. 

Also, as a parent who currently has two daughters in college and another one who will be joining them next year, I am, to be quite frank, appalled at the idea you're proposing to have students volunteer to put their studies on hold for a year, raise their own money, and serve as "short-term missionaries."  They have enough on their plate already.  Let them be students, already.  This is a time for them to study and learn and plan for their future.  They don't need the church pulling them away from that.  Besides that, who are these students who will be able to afford taking a year off and raising money to serve as "missionaries"?  The vast majority of them struggle financially and accumulate debt via student loans.  If they can raise enough money to support themselves to participate for a year in your campus ministry plan, shouldn't they be using that money to pay for their education?  I just think it is absurd to expect students to do what you're proposing, both theologically and pragmatically.       
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mmeyer on September 21, 2011, 12:26:30 PM
Who ever said anything about them leading worship????   Name one single time that was mentioned.   You're trying too hard.

And so is it wrong for them to lead a bible class among a small group of friends.  really??  You want to stick with that.

Let me know the names of your kids and I promise to mark and avoid them for recruitment.   I will tell you that many students take time off to study abroad, or just travel.   If you really think what I am planning is wrong, oh well.  So we disagree.  Don't let your kids go.   That's totally acceptable.

Don't try to make a theological argument just because you don't agree with an action taken by the mns district.  I understand your feelings, just stop trying to justify them with some reach where you interject things like "students leading worship" when that is not the case at all.  Lying won't make your case.   

Makes me wonder how far your type will go....

Oh yeah, I understand the threat implicit by some other posters ,who pretty much claim that any one tied to the sale and redirection of campus funds will be in for more trouble.   I'm tired of the threats.  And that's what they are, threats.   Who do you think you are, the Godfather?   
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LCMS87 on September 21, 2011, 12:30:41 PM
As I understand the district's plan, they wish to sell the University Lutheran Chapel property for a minimum of $3.2 million, then invest the proceeds with income from the investment used to fund a student ministry facilitator position at the district office as well as grants of up to $5,000 to help local congregations reach out to university students in their communities.  From what I've read, I don't believe the proceeds of the sale are intended to fund anything else--that is, they aren't going to be made available for other purposes of the district.

One of the issues I have with this option is the question I have about endowment type funds generally.  It seems to me to be something like burying the talent the King gave to you in your back yard rather than using it now for his work.  Better to be faithful in your stewardship of the gifts of the Lord's people and trust that he will continue to provide for the needs of his church.

A better option, to my way of thinking, would be for the district to sell the property to ULC, financing it themselves.  Each month ULC would make a payment to the district which could be used to extend student ministry.  (There might not be money for a full time student ministry facilitator in such a model, but most congregations tend to be a bit leery of increasing the size of district staff anyway.  Does Minnesota South District really need a full-time staff person whose sole responsibility is student ministry?)  The benefit of this option would be that the ministry of ULC can continue in its current location while at the same time the district has a steady stream of income, not subject to Fed rate fluctuations and Wall Street speculators, to designate toward a new model of ministry to university students.  If it turns out the model's a bust, ULC hasn't been undermined in the process.  It still remains on the Minneapolis campus of the U of M.  If the new model works, a steady income stream continues for the foreseeable future.  A decade or two from now ULC' s equity would perhaps enable them to get a loan to fully buy out the district's remaining interest.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on September 21, 2011, 12:32:29 PM
I found comment from a leader of the ULC. on the website, Brothers of John the Steadfast:

We provide rides for students each Sunday; members of the congregation volunteer to pick up and return students from various U of MN dorms, as well as students further afield, such as Concordia University, St Paul. (http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=15735)

So, of the 50 students in attendance on a weekly basis at the ULC I wonder how many are from Concordia University, St. Paul? I notice that there are a large number of churches located nearby the Concordia campus. See: http://www.csp.edu/CampusMinistry/LocalChurches/LCMS.html Also, there appears to be a number of worship activities during the week on the Concordia campus itself. See: http://www.csp.edu/CampusMinistry/Chapel.html

So I guess it is another case where the liturgical grass is always greener in another community.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 21, 2011, 12:32:57 PM
Who ever said anything about them leading worship????   Name one single time that was mentioned.   You're trying too hard.

And so is it wrong for them to lead a bible class among a small group of friends.  really??  You want to stick with that.

Let me know the names of your kids and I promise to mark and avoid them for recruitment.   I will tell you that many students take time off to study abroad, or just travel.   If you really think what I am planning is wrong, oh well.  So we disagree.  Don't let your kids go.   That's totally acceptable.

Don't try to make a theological argument just because you don't agree with an action taken by the mns district.  I understand your feelings, just stop trying to justify them with some reach where you interject things like "students leading worship" when that is not the case at all.  Lying won't make your case.   

Makes me wonder how far your type will go....

Oh yeah, I understand the threat implicit by some other posters ,who pretty much claim that any one tied to the sale and redirection of campus funds will be in for more trouble.   I'm tired of the threats.  And that's what they are, threats.   Who do you think you are, the Godfather?

Oh, my, apparently you didn't really come here for honest dialogue.  Unfortunately, this display confirms my worst fears about this situation.  My prayers go with you through this time of transition.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on September 21, 2011, 12:35:36 PM
A better option, to my way of thinking, would be for the district to sell the property to ULC, financing it themselves.  Each month ULC would make a payment to the district which could be used to extend student ministry.  (There might not be money for a full time student ministry facilitator in such a model, but most congregations tend to be a bit leery of increasing the size of district staff anyway.  Does Minnesota South District really need a full-time staff person whose sole responsibility is student ministry?)  The benefit of this option would be that the ministry of ULC can continue in its current location while at the same time the district has a stream of income to designate toward a new model of ministry to university students.  If it turns out the model's a bust, ULC hasn't been undermined in the process.  It still remains on the Minneapolis campus of the U of M.  If the new model works, a steady income stream continues for the foreseeable future.  A decade or two from now ULC' s equity would perhaps enable them to get a loan to fully buy out the district's remaining interest.

That seems a better option to me as well.  Indeed, something like that was what I hoped would happen.

It is a shame that as things appear now, it is unlikely that it will.

Mike
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on September 21, 2011, 12:38:48 PM
Who ever said anything about them leading worship????   Name one single time that was mentioned.   You're trying too hard.

And so is it wrong for them to lead a bible class among a small group of friends.  really??  You want to stick with that.

Let me know the names of your kids and I promise to mark and avoid them for recruitment.   I will tell you that many students take time off to study abroad, or just travel.   If you really think what I am planning is wrong, oh well.  So we disagree.  Don't let your kids go.   That's totally acceptable.

Don't try to make a theological argument just because you don't agree with an action taken by the mns district.  I understand your feelings, just stop trying to justify them with some reach where you interject things like "students leading worship" when that is not the case at all.  Lying won't make your case.   

Makes me wonder how far your type will go....

Oh yeah, I understand the threat implicit by some other posters ,who pretty much claim that any one tied to the sale and redirection of campus funds will be in for more trouble.   I'm tired of the threats.  And that's what they are, threats.   Who do you think you are, the Godfather?

Oh, my, apparently you didn't really come here for honest dialogue.  Unfortunately, this display confirms my worst fears about this situation.  My prayers go with you through this time of transition.

He expresses anger at threats -- after quite a few fairly calm posts -- and you say he did not come here for honest dialogue?

What is more honest than admitting that you recognize threats but are unfazed by them?  ???

Mike
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 21, 2011, 12:41:03 PM
Who ever said anything about them leading worship????   Name one single time that was mentioned.   You're trying too hard.

And so is it wrong for them to lead a bible class among a small group of friends.  really??  You want to stick with that.

Let me know the names of your kids and I promise to mark and avoid them for recruitment.   I will tell you that many students take time off to study abroad, or just travel.   If you really think what I am planning is wrong, oh well.  So we disagree.  Don't let your kids go.   That's totally acceptable.

Don't try to make a theological argument just because you don't agree with an action taken by the mns district.  I understand your feelings, just stop trying to justify them with some reach where you interject things like "students leading worship" when that is not the case at all.  Lying won't make your case.   

Makes me wonder how far your type will go....

Oh yeah, I understand the threat implicit by some other posters ,who pretty much claim that any one tied to the sale and redirection of campus funds will be in for more trouble.   I'm tired of the threats.  And that's what they are, threats.   Who do you think you are, the Godfather?

Pr. Meyer,

I didn't say that you said anything about students leading worship.  I said, "IF you train students to lead worship and teach Bible Studies . . ."  The reason I am responding to this potentiality is because this is exactly the sort of thing that happens in plans like the one you're proposing, which borrow from those who adhere to a theology foreign to ours. 

But, I see that you really do not want to have a conversation about this, wherein we take a theological look into the plan, but would rather cast me (and others who are critical of what you're proposing) aside as liars and "your type(s)."  I have not issued one threat at you or anyone else, but have simply shared my thoughts with you, but you have lumped me in with those "Godfathers" who have threatened you.  Oh well.  Carry on, sir.   
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 21, 2011, 12:43:10 PM
He expresses anger at threats -- after quite a few fairly calm posts -- and you say he did not come here for honest dialogue?

What is more honest than admitting that you recognize threats but are unfazed by them?  ???

Mike

Been down this road many times, Mike, within and outside of the church . . . this will not go well when the dollars settle.  I make no threats, I point out the obvious.  I also have committed to praying for those affected.  The battle belongs to the Lord.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 21, 2011, 12:43:34 PM

He expresses anger at threats -- after quite a few fairly calm posts -- and you say he did not come here for honest dialogue?

What is more honest than admitting that you recognize threats but are unfazed by them?  ???

Mike

Mike,

Where, on this board, has anyone threatened Pr. Meyer?  Maybe I missed it, but I don't see any. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on September 21, 2011, 12:53:22 PM
Quote
If you train them to lead worship and teach Bible Studies, etc., they will naturally think that they are, well, "ministers."  I, and many others, contend that this is not only wrongheaded, but that it is inconsistent with our theology.


Well, go back to the Reformation when it was basically a student movement and there were lay theologians that taught students. How do you explain that?

If this type of anti-laity theology was something that the ULC was pushing, than it is no wonder the District made the decision to pull the plug on its subsidy. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on September 21, 2011, 12:59:37 PM

He expresses anger at threats -- after quite a few fairly calm posts -- and you say he did not come here for honest dialogue?

What is more honest than admitting that you recognize threats but are unfazed by them?  ???

Mike

Mike,

Where, on this board, has anyone threatened Pr. Meyer?  Maybe I missed it, but I don't see any.

I hate being cross-wise with the deaconess whom I respect greatly.

And I certainly can see how she may not have meant this as a veiled threat.

I do appreciate your willingness to answer these questions.  I have to agree with my brother dgkirch that if summer seemed long, the next year and beyond will not bode well for some who find themselves in positions that are richly rewarded financially at the expense of a viable campus ministry program.

But I can also see how it could be perceived as one and the drawing of lines of hostility towards those involved with the new ministry direction.

Its following up after Pr. Bohler's interrogation about what the new mission coordinator would make (and the tying of that to Pr. Meyer when he has not been offered the position nor determined whether he would accept it) and Mr, Jamison's accusations of his providing "self-serving, dishonest, self-justifying nonsense" close the circle.

All that said, I  join the deaconess in the words she followed this quote with.

I'm not saying change wasn't the District's to make, but the way they went about this without helping the existing congregation at ULC possibly purchase the building themselves is questionable in the minds of many.  The next District convention ought to be very interesting.  My prayers are with everyone involved.  In the end, God's will shall be done despite what any of us might do to get in the way of it.

My prayers are with all involved, and while I think the way ULC was dealt with was wrong, I am still hopeful and supportive of the new ministry direction.

And I also agree that $100K seems sufficient and there is no need to elevate that to $160K rather than spending that additional $60K somewhere else.

Mike
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 21, 2011, 01:07:04 PM
Well, go back to the Reformation when it was basically a student movement and there were lay theologians that taught students. How do you explain that?

If this type of anti-laity theology was something that the ULC was pushing, than it is no wonder the District made the decision to pull the plug on its subsidy.

Man, those dudes at the time of the Reformation must have been pretty schizophrenic - on the one hand, it was "basically a student movement and there were lay theologians that taught students"; on the other hand, they came up with AC XIV.  However shall we reconcile this schizophrenia? 

That you conclude from my postings that I'm anti-laity is telling.  That you wonder if anti-laity theology was pushed by the ULC and led to the District pulling the plug on its subsidy (which, of course, is not what we're talking about here, since the District is not merely pulling the plug on its subsidy, but selling the property) reveals that you no little about the theology at ULC.  Ask the laity from that congregation if the theology espoused was "anti-laity." 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pr dtp on September 21, 2011, 01:12:13 PM
Rev. Messer - if you said not everyone is a pastor - hey no problem - full agreement.

But minister?  diakonos?  Seriously?  That is our vocation - all our vocation.

By the way, in case your want to claim this isn't Waltherian, consider:

“Here then we are again assured that a Christian does not only have the right and authority to teach the Word of God, but also that he is in duty bound to do so at the peril of losing his soul and God’s grace. You may say: ‘But how? If he has not been called to do so, as you yourself have often taught, he dare not preach.’ To this I reply: Here you must place a Christian in two places. First, if he is where there are no Christians, he needs no other call than that he is a Christian, inwardly called by God and anointed. There he owes it to the erring heathen or non-Christian to preach and teach them the Gospel, moved by Christian love, even though no Christian has called him to do so. Thus St. Stephen did, as we are told in Acts 7:1–53; though the apostles had not entrusted him with the office of preaching, yet he preached and performed great miracles among the people (Acts 6:8). So also did Philip, the deacon, Stephen’s partner (Acts 8:5), though also to him the ministry had not been entrusted. So also did Apollos (Acts 18:25–26). In such cases a Christian out of Christian love has compassion on the distress of the poor, perverted souls and does not wait until he receives a command or letter from a prince or bishop, for necessity ignores all laws and recognizes no law. Hence Christian love makes it one’s duty to help, where otherwise there is no one who helps or should help. :

  C.F.W. Walther, Church and Ministry : Witness of the Evangelical Lutheran Church on the Question of the Church and the Ministry, electronic ed. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999), 163-64.

J & S,

Apples and oranges, much like the comparison you have made here and elsewhere to congregations and schools being closed and the selling of ULC.  When I refer to the "everyone a minister" theology employed by modern "protestants" and "evangelicals," do you really not understand what I mean?  And, do you really believe that this little quote from Walther may be used to defend that theology?  Seriously? 

We're not talking here about Christians finding themselves where there are no Christians and, thus, taking it upon themselves to preach and teach the Word to heathens.  We're talking here about whether or not it is appropriate, according to our Lutheran theology, to develop and implement a plan which deliberately raises up students to be "ministers."  Big difference there.

Rev. Messer,

Actually the Walther quote you casually dismiss does exactly that.  Read it again.  You tell me - what is Walther defedning - but the service/ministry of God's people?
 Where do you think Stephen and Phillip became diakonos - servants/ministers of the church?  They were given the knowledge of Christ's love through word and sacrament - and they could not but use it to ministry(diakonos) to those God brought them into contact with.  Look at the quote again - Walther is defending the vocation of the priesthood of all believers, the work of the ministry we are bound to - as part of the church.  He reaslized what you don't - Pastors are shepherds and overseers,  everyone is a diakonos/minister/servant.

Neo-Waltherianism as you advocate is not anything close to Church and Minsitry, or Walther.  For your enjoyment - another quote by Walther:

Hence the highest office is that of the ministry of the Word, with which all other offices are also conferred at the same time. Every other public office in the church is part of the ministry of the Word or an auxiliary office that supports the ministry, whether it be the elders who do not labor in the Word and doctrine (1 Tim. 5:17) or the rulers (Rom. 12:8) or the deacons (the office of service in a narrow sense) or whatever other offices the church may entrust to particular persons for special administration. Therefore, the offices of Christian day school teachers, almoners, sextons, precentors at public worship, and others are all to be regarded as ecclesiastical and sacred, for they take over a part of the one ministry of the Word and support the pastoral office. (p.289-290)


As to you apples and oranges -  you are right - those churches closing are often those where there is no other church within commuting distance, and word & sacrament is not found in those areas afterward.  Schools closing because there is no money to support their minstries - working with families that desire their kids to have a good Christian education - those are tragedies.   Loosing an entitlement, not so much.  Not even an orange - more like a prune.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on September 21, 2011, 01:17:51 PM

A better option, to my way of thinking, would be for the district to sell the property to ULC, financing it themselves.  Each month ULC would make a payment to the district which could be used to extend student ministry.  (There might not be money for a full time student ministry facilitator in such a model, but most congregations tend to be a bit leery of increasing the size of district staff anyway.  Does Minnesota South District really need a full-time staff person whose sole responsibility is student ministry?) 

The current plan is for only a part-time student ministry facilitator in any case. (Nothing is being said about how that person will earn the rest of their salary. Having had split responsibilities myself, I know that both halves of any ministerial responsibility want to take one's time over completely.)

Peace,
Michael

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 21, 2011, 01:37:06 PM
Neo-Waltherianism as you advocate is not anything close to Church and Minsitry, or Walther.

Again, I find it hard to believe that you really do not understand what I mean when I reference the "everyone a minister" theology espoused by modern "protestants" and "evangelicals," and how that theology is not the theology of C.F.W.  If rejecting that foreign theology makes me a "Neo-Waltherian," I guess I'll have to live with that.  Sigh. 

As to you apples and oranges -  you are right - those churches closing are often those where there is no other church within commuting distance, and word & sacrament is not found in those areas afterward.  Schools closing because there is no money to support their minstries - working with families that desire their kids to have a good Christian education - those are tragedies.   Loosing an entitlement, not so much.  Not even an orange - more like a prune.

As I said to you before, show me the congregation/school that had a vibrant, self-sustaining ministry and was closed by a District against their will.  Then, I'll consider your comparison.  And, by the way, neither I nor anyone else has ever said that the closing of a congregation/school is not sad and tragic.  You keep implying that we don't care about such things or something, which is absurd.  Please stop, and reconsider how you're coming off with such remarks, brother.  Do you really think that those of us opposed to what the District is doing with ULC would not be just as opposed to a District doing the same thing with any other congregation? 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 21, 2011, 01:46:06 PM
I'm confused and befuddled by how often people are strong advocates of making specific decisions about specific situations in specific places at specific times, but when a specific decision they disagree with is made about a specific situation in a specific place at a specific time, then they want to use broad, sweeping generalities as arguments against the specific decision. 
 
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LCMS87 on September 21, 2011, 01:54:22 PM

A better option, to my way of thinking, would be for the district to sell the property to ULC, financing it themselves.  Each month ULC would make a payment to the district which could be used to extend student ministry.  (There might not be money for a full time student ministry facilitator in such a model, but most congregations tend to be a bit leery of increasing the size of district staff anyway.  Does Minnesota South District really need a full-time staff person whose sole responsibility is student ministry?) 

The current plan is for only a part-time student ministry facilitator in any case. (Nothing is being said about how that person will earn the rest of their salary. Having had split responsibilities myself, I know that both halves of any ministerial responsibility want to take one's time over completely.)

Peace,
Michael

Thanks for the correction, Fr. Slusser.  I either misread on am reflecting an earlier version of the plan.

If the compensation package is $100k going up to $160k just a few years down the road for a part-time position, though, the cost of living in Minnesota must be far higher than I imagined! 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on September 21, 2011, 02:06:56 PM
I'm confused and befuddled by how often people are strong advocates of making specific decisions about specific situations in specific places at specific times, but when a specific decision they disagree with is made about a specific situation in a specific place at a specific time, then they want to use broad, sweeping generalities as arguments against the specific decision.

Would that be a broad, sweeping generality?   ;D  ;D

Actually, the present conversation has been more focused than many on this Forum.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on September 21, 2011, 02:08:08 PM
Thanks for the correction, Fr. Slusser.  I either misread on am reflecting an earlier version of the plan.

If the compensation package is $100k going up to $160k just a few years down the road for a part-time position, though, the cost of living in Minnesota must be far higher than I imagined!

Interesting comment, and it is one that seems pegged to how socialism has affected our economics.

Do we pay what a job is worth in terms of hours and effort expended and responsibility managed?  Or do we pay according to how much the cost of living is regardless of how difficult and exhausting a job is?

Somewhere in the middle certainly.  But it certainly seems that we are trending more toward what is needed to live rather than how hard one works and how good of a job is done.

I seem to remember Ben and Jerry's seeking a CEO and capping his salary at some multiple of what the line worker made.  They had to abandon that idea.

Mike
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on September 21, 2011, 02:36:56 PM
Quote
If the compensation package is $100k going up to $160k just a few years down the road for a part-time position, though, the cost of living in Minnesota must be far higher than I imagined!
 
Actually, the chart contains the number 100%, which clearly shows that it is not budgeting for a part-time position. Also, the $160k (that is not written down, but can be extrapolated) a few years down the road assumes a worse case inflation (COLA) rate of 8%. It is not locked into stone, but is subject to the variables of the economy. Nor is the money set aside in the budget necessarily what they will end up spending. It looks like the total of 100k includes the Concordia Health Plan. The CHP would run around $24,000 or more, in my estimation. I figure a realistic traveling and food allowance for fund raising would be around $10,000. So, the base number is more like $65,000. This is hardly extravagant for a ministry position that works in a missional realm where local churches need to have help and support.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mmeyer on September 21, 2011, 02:57:46 PM
Oh yeah, I understand the threat implicit by some other posters ,who pretty much claim that any one tied to the sale and redirection of campus funds will be in for more trouble.   I'm tired of the threats.  And that's what they are, threats.   Who do you think you are, the Godfather?

Take it easy, Monte. No one is threatening you. You seem still to be affected by feelings of self-importance, thinking that people are talking about you and taking shots at you, that you've somehow become the whipping boy because of the proposed sale of ULC. It's not about you.

Nicely done!!!  You guys are good at this. 

No - I'm not very important - but I did get a lot of personal emails and calls threatening to "expose" me - whatever that means - which raised my ire this summer.  I guess that's why I'm touchy.

Again - nice shot - I can take a punch.  And I do hope that the ULC gets things settled.  The CLC will be fine either way.  I did like the proposal someone brought up about putting a worship area in the proposed apartment site.  That sounds like a nice compromise...
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on September 21, 2011, 03:09:50 PM
Quote
Man, those dudes at the time of the Reformation must have been pretty schizophrenic - on the one hand,…there were lay theologians that taught students"; on the other hand, they came up with AC XIV.  However shall we reconcile this schizophrenia?
Indeed, Phillip Melanchton even wrote the preface to the Apology of the Augsburg Confession. He taught theology, yet he was not an ordained member of the clergy. How do you explain that?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LCMS87 on September 21, 2011, 03:45:04 PM
Quote
If the compensation package is $100k going up to $160k just a few years down the road for a part-time position, though, the cost of living in Minnesota must be far higher than I imagined!
 
Actually, the chart contains the number 100%, which clearly shows that it is not budgeting for a part-time position. Also, the $160k (that is not written down, but can be extrapolated) a few years down the road assumes a worse case inflation (COLA) rate of 8%. It is not locked into stone, but is subject to the variables of the economy. Nor is the money set aside in the budget necessarily what they will end up spending. It looks like the total of 100k includes the Concordia Health Plan. The CHP would run around $24,000 or more, in my estimation. I figure a realistic traveling and food allowance for fund raising would be around $10,000. So, the base number is more like $65,000. This is hardly extravagant for a ministry position that works in a missional realm where local churches need to have help and support.

Fr. Slusser noted that the position is listed as part time. 

In my district, scale for a pastor with 25 years experience, full Concordia Plans, offset, mileage reimbursement, etc. the total package adds up to between $90k - $100k.  Cash salary including housing would be around $60k - $65k.  I'd agree with you.  To pay a faithful pastor at that level isn't extravagant, even though many congregations struggle to do so.  If it's not a full-time position, however, as some of the documentation indicates, then then a total package of $100k seems excessive. 

I would think that if someone at the district could make time to answer reporters questions and, more importantly, respond to constituents with clear explanations, that would be a very good thing.  In this area, at least, the church could learn something from the civil sphere, where openness and transparency are mandated by law.  Why would we, in Christian love, choose to do anything less.  I'm never unavailable for day after day to answer questions from a member of my congregation, and when it comes to the business of the congregation there is no executive session.  Everything is available to the member who asks.  (And perhaps because it is, there really aren't very many questions and people continue to support the work of the congregation even when one or two decisions aren't as they would have liked.)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on September 21, 2011, 03:46:12 PM
Quote
If the compensation package is $100k going up to $160k just a few years down the road for a part-time position, though, the cost of living in Minnesota must be far higher than I imagined!
 
Actually, the chart contains the number 100%, which clearly shows that it is not budgeting for a part-time position. Also, the $160k (that is not written down, but can be extrapolated) a few years down the road assumes a worse case inflation (COLA) rate of 8%. It is not locked into stone, but is subject to the variables of the economy. Nor is the money set aside in the budget necessarily what they will end up spending. It looks like the total of 100k includes the Concordia Health Plan. The CHP would run around $24,000 or more, in my estimation. I figure a realistic traveling and food allowance for fund raising would be around $10,000. So, the base number is more like $65,000. This is hardly extravagant for a ministry position that works in a missional realm where local churches need to have help and support.

What chart do you have in mind?

Slide 22:
Campus Ministry Facilitator
• Part-time position
• Training and coaching site leaders & students
• Encouragement, networking, identifying and sharing resources
• Organize annual Campus Ministry Retreat
• Report to Assistant to President for Missions

That's pretty unambiguous.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 21, 2011, 03:47:50 PM
I think whenever we substitute our own ideas for the Lord's gifts of Word and Sacrament, we end up being sorry in the long run.  His gifts are always the best - and foolish as they may seem to us, they still are how He chooses to gather and hold to Himself a church.  Give me on campus Word and Sacrament ministry any day. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Matt on September 21, 2011, 03:48:16 PM
Matt Jamison - see the following on any given Sunday - have you visited any of these mission locations?  You give evidence of your experience, so just checking:
St. John the Evangelist, Brooklyn
St. Paul, Brooklyn
St. Peter's Brooklyn (3 language worshiping groups)
Christ, Woodside (4 language worshiping groups)
Christ Assembly African Immigrant, Staten Island
Trinity, Bronx
Redeemer, Bronx
Our Saviour, Bronx
Holy Trinity, Brooklyn
Immanuel, Whitestone (5 language worshiping groups)
Grace, Queens Village
to name a few.

All of these Atlantic District congregations celebrate the Eucharist weekly with people from between ten to twenty-five countries of origin in attendance.  At our national mission gathering just now the folks at our table including me spoke at length about aligning ourselves strategically with the threefold emphasis - Mercy, Witness, Life Together - so that we might evidence One Voice, One Love, and One Heart and thus engage the world through the local axis mundi where the grace of God is released into the world through Word and Sacrament

Thanks for the opportunity to share the grace of God at work.  We pray of course that this is being accomplished powerfully in Philadelphia as well. 

Dave Benke

Six of those, actually. But the 10-25 countries of origin bit is typically disingenous. Honestly, how many of the above congregations regularly attract more than 50 worshipers? What do you suppose the sum total number of LCMS worshipers is on a given Sunday in New York City?

The ELCA website lists 13 congregations in Manhattan.  The LCMS lists five. Of those five, two are, near as I can tell, completely out of business. The other three are what you would call very small congregations. Grace in the Bronx apparently went up for sale on Craigslist in 2006 after the "Mosaic Model" didn't work out so well, but the pastor is still on the books of the AD, at least according to LCMS.org. Honestly, are there any of your congregations in the city that aren't struggling with low numbers, tight budgets and crumbling facilities?

The largest, and ironically, the most conservative and liturgical Lutheran churches in Manhattan are affiliated with the ELCA. One NYC Lutheran told me that my best bet would be to join St. Peter's ELCA on Lexington if I was interested in reverent liturgy and more-or-less conservative theology. 

One need not visit every LCMS church in the five boroughs to see that the LCMS is in deep, deep decline in New York (and when's the last time you visited all of these to observe the divine service?) If the trend of the last 10 years continues for the next 10 years, there will be absolutely no LCMS presence in the Nation's largest city.

Furthermore, until quite recently I lived two doors down from CFAN on W. 57th. I would occasionally worship there and drop by for a pleasant conversation with Pr. H during the week. I think he's done some great things with that place, relative to the abomination that I observed there on Sunday morning during the vacancy before his arrival (want details?) At that time the facility was obviously collapsing, now its quite beautiful and I saw some of the congregation's work days that made it so. I don't know why the pastor never invited me or my family to join, though I was (and am) on a first-name basis with him. I watched CFAN attempt every fad from the ALPHA course, to "congregational renewal" to contemporary worship and yet it is still a small congregation.

And as you know, I have been enormously blessed through small congregations both inside and outside of the Atlantic District. I have nothing against them. It is not me passing judgment on pastors who don't produce quantitative growth! As far as I can tell, there is little difference in membership and growth between the churches of the AD that try all the church growth gimmicks and those who do not.

Yes, I know that urban ministry is tough, you tell us all the time as you brag about your success in Brooklyn. Yet, according to www.nycreligion.info the number of people self-identifying as Evangelical Christian has about tripled from 1% to 3% since 1990. How much of this growth did the LCMS capture? During one two-month period in 2009, at least one new church was planted in NYC every Sunday. Redeemer Presbyterian alone has planted 75 new congregations in the city since its founding in 1989. And Redeemer is a member of the PCA, the smaller, more conservative, more southern Presbyterian church body. They do not hide the name "Presbyterian" and they make no bones about their conservative Calvinist theology. The LCMS presence in the city looks just like it did in 1990, only smaller.

Journalist Terry Mattingly attributes this uptick in NYC church growth to 9/11. Of course we in the LCMS did a great job of tearing ourselves apart over 9/11. Blame whoever you want to for that fiasco.

So where is the LCMS in all this? We've been left in the dust. This is obviously not all your fault, Dr. Benke, a certain amount of the blame falls on my shoulders as well. But I'm infuriated by the idea that somehow ULC in Minneapolis is not a "successful ministry" and the laughable fiction that selling off church buildings somehow advances the mission work of the church there.

Then you have the nerve to call out one young pastor in Philadelphia for neglecting the mission there. At least he has the honesty to admit that we are working to bring back Lutheranism in a city where it had nearly completely died off. By my estimation, the situation in NYC is even worse and this happened on your watch as District President.

As you know, Dr. Benke, I consider you a friend and I have a great deal of respect for your skills as an administrator and bishop. I don't enjoy calling you out like this in public. If any of my facts above are incorrect, I have no doubt that you will correct the record and I defer to your much greater knowledge of the situation. But the hypocrisy in this thread has become too much to bear so I feel I must call it as I see it.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mmeyer on September 21, 2011, 04:08:42 PM
I think whenever we substitute our own ideas for the Lord's gifts of Word and Sacrament, we end up being sorry in the long run.  His gifts are always the best - and foolish as they may seem to us, they still are how He chooses to gather and hold to Himself a church.  Give me on campus Word and Sacrament ministry any day.

I agree with that statement. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 21, 2011, 04:54:47 PM
Matt Jamison, I'm not sure what hypocrisy in this thread you're referencing, but with regard to the Philadelphia situation I have had several extended conversations with those directly involved.  They were interesting. 

They are less than pertinent in substance to the thread, which is about a different situation in a different state. 

As far as the Atlantic District and my visitation, I have been in probably ten of the NYC parishes in the past year for the DS, which is about on the track I try to keep.  I'm not sure why you threw that aside in there, but it had that egregious feel to it. 

As far as the five boroughs that make up NYC, the rest of the world looks at Manhattan as New York City.  Those of us living in the other four boroughs tend to think we also live in New York City.  The church that's made an enormous success in Manhattan as you reference is a non-sacramental outfit called Redeemer Presbyterian. Many of our folks have gone to their "planting" trainings and attempted to Lutheranize them, and we've been well-received. 

I don't have time to go through the whole thread as to my comments about the viability of a parish with 100 plus in worship, but that would be one of the larger efforts among Lutherans of all stripes in NYC.  The largest 5 borough attendance in the LCMS right now is at Redeemer Bronx; the largest for a number of years prior to the economic downturn was Christ Assembly African Immigrant on Staten Island. 

I do promise to keep promoting my parish here, however.  It gives me joy because of what God does in this very humble spot on the planet.  I was at a luncheon at which Bo Dietl spoke this afternoon.  He's the guy who's on Fox and Imus, who made his career by solving the Palm Sunday Massacre case about six blocks from our parish base in 1984.  I went to that funeral for 10, 7 of them children.  Speaking of children, there are 20 children right now in the next room in Homework Help, which was a midweek idea we stole from Redeemer in the Bronx, and which gives us an avenue into a bunch of kids we don't see otherwise and then can bring into catechesis and worship attendance.  Anyone can try it, even those of you in far off New Jersey!

The vision of the Atlantic District is to have vitalized parishes that serve and reach out to their neighborhoods from the renewal received at the altar and through the Word.  As we all end up saying, soli Deo gloria!

Always good to interact with you,

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on September 21, 2011, 04:56:47 PM
Quote
What chart do you have in mind? Slide 22: Campus Ministry Facilitator • Part-time position…
Go to page 28 for the budget.  Part time positions do not appear to be in operation until the second year of the plan. I would argue that, from a hermeneutical point of view, what is contained in the budget should be used to determine the sequence of events described in the rest of the document. For example, in the budget during the year 2013 there is clear distinction that is made between the campus pastor and part time facilitators.

Quote
Redeemer Presbyterian alone has planted 75 new congregations in the city since its founding in 1989. And Redeemer is a member of the PCA, the smaller, more conservative, more southern Presbyterian church body. They do not hide the name "Presbyterian" and they make no bones about their conservative Calvinist theology.
So are you suggesting that the AD start being less traditional like the Presbyterians in their liturgy? Should they start casting away their albs, chasubles, stop chanting and concentrate on having more philosophically oriented lectures and seminars – around the coffee pot? Perhaps AD LCMS churches could put more of an emphasis on God doing the work in election, so that there is less of a shame based focus on feeling guilty about not effectively witnessing to those who are unbelievers –as was sometimes the case with the Ablaze movement? Perhaps the AD should also be more expansive in how they relate to the culture around them – e.g. helping people be more successful in their everyday vocations, with a 7th commandment application emphasis? Perhaps a focus on election should be not whether we get to heaven, but how God has elected the church to bring a bit of heaven on this earth – i.e. a Christ transforming culture ethic? Perhaps, a little bit of all of the above in moderation is the key to more effective outreach? Perhaps being an evangelical catholic in doing the liturgy is a nice thing to do with a few people, but not the best use of one's gifts and talents as a full time approach to effective ministry?

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 21, 2011, 05:11:05 PM
Rev. Meyer,

If you have not been offered the position of facilitator under discussion here, then I hardly see where anyone is even talking about YOUR salary or compensation.  We are talking about the proposed salary/benefits of that proposed position.  You defensiveness is a bit puzzling.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on September 21, 2011, 05:15:47 PM
Pastor Bohler writes (re the new person here):
 You defensiveness is a bit puzzling.
I muse:
Maybe because he's new and is a little shaken up by the "we're gonna getcha" remarks so soon in the discussion.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on September 21, 2011, 05:26:33 PM
Matthew Jamison writes:
The largest, and ironically, the most conservative and liturgical Lutheran churches in Manhattan are affiliated with the ELCA. One NYC Lutheran told me that my best bet would be to join St. Peter's ELCA on Lexington if I was interested in reverent liturgy and more-or-less conservative theology.
I comment:
Good recommendation. St. Peter's is a fine congregation, and not only because they let me be an associated pastor there back when I was working in Manhattan. They have been a Reconciled in Christ congregation since 1989, and according to the RIC website, offer services for same sex unions. Pastor Amandus Derr was pastor in the New Jersey town where I live and confirmed my children. He was long-time secretary of the New Jersey Synod.
When I used to attend St. Peter's, I would tell people that those who worship and serve there "are exactly the kind of New Yorkers that contemporary mythology says do not go to church."
I recommend it to all people who ask about a Manhattan Lutheran church.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 21, 2011, 05:29:49 PM
Is that the St. Peter's in the base of Citicorp?  If so, it's a place that Krauser, myself, and Walton frequented some during our college days at Bronxville.  Kathy Weidmann would load us up in her little car and off we'd head into the city.  There was some fine preaching there in those days - John Damm was pastor there then.  The music was also outstanding - thanks to Thomas Schmidt among others.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on September 21, 2011, 05:32:39 PM
Yes, St. Peter's under the slant-roofed Citicorp towers. I was at the last service in the "old" St. Peter's, the ornate neo-gothic structure torn down to make way for the new.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on September 21, 2011, 05:42:56 PM
I met Monte Meyer at a PLI event in Mankato. We had gotten to know one another on the internet (that is where I meet all of my guys...); so it was neat to see him in person.

In addition, I have been gratified to see him literally transform himself—just check out a few of his before and after pics—he is quite an inspiration.

I am very pleased to have him come on to alpb and offer up some helpful comments. Because a great deal of the discussion (not on this thread, necessarily, but elsewhere...except for http://tinyurl.com/3kkaan5 (http://tinyurl.com/3kkaan5)) has gone overboard. Decisions are made and people are told to repent, accused of breaking commandments, etc. It is all unfortunate.

But it comes with the territory.

So, please be patient Monte! Come back often and help to correct some of the unfortunate positions that have been expressed. We are very glad to have you.

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 21, 2011, 05:44:58 PM
There used to be a huge icon of the Virgin and Child next to the baptismal font, leaning against the Paschal candle.  It was strikingly beautiful.  I wonder if it is still there.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on September 21, 2011, 05:55:02 PM
So, can we distinguish between:

 "everyone a minister" = every lay person has the right to perform Word & Sacrament ministry.

And say:

"college peer ministers" = college students who teach the Word, do not preach, do not celebrate the sacraments, etc.

Monte, am I wrong, but are you looking for second, are you not?

Just to nail something down, Pr Messer, you say:

It's one thing to encourage students to get involved in the activities of campus ministries (volunteering for service projects, inviting others to come to the Services and events, confessing their faith to their peers as the Holy Spirit gives them opportunity, and so forth); it's quite another thing to deem them "ministers" and have them doing what has not been given them to do (lead worship, teach Bible Studies, be "missionaries," etc.).

Is it actually the teaching of our church body that laity are not to teach Bible studies? Or are you saying they are not to do the whole package?

I also agree with what Pr Weedon says:

I think whenever we substitute our own ideas for the Lord's gifts of Word and Sacrament, we end up being sorry in the long run.  His gifts are always the best - and foolish as they may seem to us, they still are how He chooses to gather and hold to Himself a church.  Give me on campus Word and Sacrament ministry any day.

I don't see how this at all means that there can be no peer ministers as well serving on campus.

One last thing: what Monte said about campus ministry is entirely true. The writing was on the wall back when I started campus ministry. It is too bad.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 21, 2011, 05:58:01 PM
Tom Schmidt is organist at St. Peter's Citicorp even unto this very day, Pr. W. 

Dave Benke

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: John_Hannah on September 21, 2011, 06:21:43 PM
Tom Schmidt is organist at St. Peter's Citicorp even unto this very day, Pr. W. 

Dave Benke

...and he used to be the organist at Trinity in the Bronx, one of those thriving congregations once thought to be dying by those inclined to think that the Atlantic District is dying at a faster rate than the rest of the LCMS and the ELCA.

St. Peter's, Manhattan, does indeed present a fine witness in the practice of Lutheran liturgy. Its roots are Augustana and that is what one would expect. John Damm, pastor for 20 or so years was a disciple of Arthur Carl Piepkorn, so such expectations are reinforced.

St. Luke's and Immanuel, both in Manhattan maintain an exemplary liturgical practice. They were Missouri until....     (Before Bishop Benke came upon the scene, by the way.)

Peace, JOHN

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 21, 2011, 06:34:06 PM
Immanuel.  Was that where Ray Schulze (sp?) served.  He was another fine preacher.  If that's the one I'm thinking of, the altar sported several statues, including a curious one of Moses?  Ah, you guys are bringing back "old memory" days for me.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 21, 2011, 06:35:48 PM
Can anyone, ANYONE, familiar with and supportive of the aforementioned model of campus ministry explain how students are actually funneled into a Word and Sacrament ministry?  I've asked this question about 3 times now I think, and have not received a clear answer as of yet.

I heard a story once about an LCMS campus ministry facilitator type person who took a student to a non-denominational box church two blocks from an LCMS church.  The church has very publicly denied many tenets of the faith that we as Missouri-Synod Lutherans adhere to.  When asked how the student was assisted in understanding the difference between what Lutherans adhere to theologically and what this church taught, the response was "there is no difference."  I hope this explains my personal concern for entrusting non-theologically trained campus ministers to the spiritual care of vulnerable student populations.  My opinion is of little significance in this debate; there are people much more in the know on this particular situation than me who surely have even graver concerns.  I would say the concerns are quite valid.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 21, 2011, 06:38:54 PM
Lord, have mercy, Deaconess.  Let's sincerely hope that's not what this is about.  But the point Pr. Messer made about students having the vocation of being students is really easy to overlook.  I think that teaching that classic Lutheran doctrine of vocation is one of the strong points of the ministry of ULC.  Sort of a Pless heritage...
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: jtpless on September 21, 2011, 06:39:31 PM
I spent 17 very good years (1983-2000) as campus pastor at ULC. When I was called to ULC in 1983, the mission executive said "we're calling you to an empty building." He was right. Contention had rocked the chapel and its relationship with the district since the 60's as some within the district thought that the chapel's ministry reflected the activism associated with protest against Vietnam and jettisoning of traditional Lutheran worship. The MNS district experienced the tug of war between moderates and conservatives over fellowship with the ALC and then the trauma of Seminex in 1975. Even though is clear by 1975 that fellowship with the ALC would not continue, strangely the the MNS District entered into an agreement for joint campus ministry in 1975. This arrangement was disputed from the beginning and finally ended by convention vote in 1982. In 1983 I was called to re-start an LCMS campus ministry at ULC.

Freshly ordained and with four years of work under Dr. Norman Nagel at the Chapel of the Resurrection at Valpo, I came to the U of M unsure of what the future would hold. A small group of LCMS students were active in the inter-Lutheran campus ministry. Most of those students were angry at the decision of the MNS to pull out of cooperative ministry and moved with their ALC and LCA friends down the street to the Episcopal Center. We started with only a handful of students but with the conviction that the re-established ministry at ULC would be centered in the Divine Service (using both The Lutheran Hymnal and Lutheran Worship) with every Sunday celebration of the Sacrament. Private confession and absolution was offered. I began to teach a Tuesday night "Table Talk" Bible study (a meal followed by the study of Scriptures) and a Sunday morning class. The first years were not easy. A couple of LCMS pastors in the district told me they would not encourage their students to come to ULC but directed them to the ALC/LCA ministry down the street. The tensions surrounding the decision to end the cooperative ministry lingered for a long time and perhaps even to this day.

ULC did prosper and grow. Work was started with international students. Additional Bible studies were offered in ULC itself as well as with residential halls and Coffman Union. The Fall Study Weekend which would become annual feature of chapel life bringing to campus Lutheran theologians who addressed topics suggested by the students. Retreats were planned with other LCMS campus ministries in the upper Midwest. There was a strong accent on the doctrine of vocation. An issue of THE REPORTER earlier this year noted that ULC is one of the top three congregations for sending men to our seminaries. There have been a few deaconesses and Lutheran teachers too. But just as important are the hundreds of men and women who are contributing to the vitality of congregations throughout the world. ULC alumni have gone on to serve in the district and Synod, too. A recent alumna was recently appointed to serve on the Synod's Commission on Theology and Church Relations. In an increasingly graying church body, ULC is a source of young and energetic lay leadership.

When I arrived at ULC, the MNS District was funding the entire budget of ULC (over $120,000 if my memory is correct). The district campus ministry committee encouraged ULC to move in the direction of a town-gown ministry. This we did as some former students remained in the Twin Cities and continued to worship at ULC. Other young adults found the chapel as their spiritual home. Over the years we needed less and less district subsidy as offerings increased. When I left ULC to come to Fort Wayne, the chapel was only dependent on the district for a subsidy of about $30,000 per year I think. As I understand it that amount is now down to less than $12,000.

In the late 80's I began writing for various publications including Lutheran Forum and the Forum Letter. For a while I would serve as a contributing editor of the Forum Letter with Russ Saltzman. Those early writings were largely focused on Lutheran identity and especially liturgy and evangelism as those issues were being pressed by the devotees of the Church Growth Movement. ULC had resisted the not so subtle attempts of some leaders in the district to move us into contemporary worship, cell groups and the like. With the election of a new district president in 1991, the pressures seemed to mount. During those years there were always members of the district board of directors and some vice presidents who supported ULC and its focus on Word and Sacrament ministry on campus. This present attempt to close ULC was not the first. The election of a highly partisan district board of directors (i.e. promoted by the "Mission Vision" group) at the 2010 convention provided an opportunity for what some had been seeking to accomplish for years.

ULC flourished in the 1990's and that flourishing would continue and increase after my departure in 2000. ULC was organized as a congregation of the Synod. Given the disarray in campus ministry at the end of the short inter-Lutheran era, I was called not by the congregation but by the district. Prior to my departure, the congregation requested an opinion from the Synod's CCM as to whether the congregation or the district had the right to call its pastor. The CCM ruled that it was the congregation not the district that retained the right of the call. Within nine months of my leaving, ULC extended a call to a former student, Pastor David Kind who has served the congregation with distinction for the last decade.

ULC's location is crucial for its mission. I can't even begin to count the number of students who came to participate in the campus ministry because we were visible and accessible. I think, for example, of a Chinese post-doctoral student on his way to visit the Mormon Institute for Religion just down the street two blocks from the chapel. This student decided to check out ULC, not knowing the difference between Mormonism and Christianity. That drop in visit led to catechesis and Baptism. There are many other stories like that. One of my mentors in campus ministry, the sainted Don Deffner said "campus ministry is about location, location, location." He was right. The Gospel has produced fruit out of ULC's location on University Ave SE and it would be a shame to forfeit it on account of a flawed and ideologically biased decision of the district's current leadership.

JTP+


Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 21, 2011, 06:45:36 PM
I muse:
Maybe because he's new and is a little shaken up by the "we're gonna getcha" remarks so soon in the discussion.

ROFL! 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 21, 2011, 06:59:37 PM
Lord, have mercy, Deaconess.  Let's sincerely hope that's not what this is about.  But the point Pr. Messer made about students having the vocation of being students is really easy to overlook.  I think that teaching that classic Lutheran doctrine of vocation is one of the strong points of the ministry of ULC.  Sort of a Pless heritage...

Indeed.  I credit him a great deal in the shaping of my own understanding of vocation . . . something I had not been taught much about until my studies at the seminary.

I can only speak from my own experience with campus ministry and also my work as a college instructor . . . students have enough on their plate, and having a place close to campus to hang out at as well as a place to rest and receive during worship is the best model I know of for them.  Having a pastor in close proximity to provide spiritual care when needed is added gravy.  I suppose until someone posits something showing how peer ministers can bridge students to Word and Sacrament, I'm left believing the situation I spoke of upthread is one danger of this model.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on September 21, 2011, 07:02:00 PM
Prof. Pless, thank you so much for the great historical piece about ULC!  It was very informative and encouraging. 

Yet I am discouraged at these (not so) recent events and am left thinking, "We're doing it to ourselves again." 

Egos are getting in the way, and thus, since ULC's success is not MY success, then it must be gotten rid of.

I appreciate what you had to share. 

Jeremy 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mariemeyer on September 21, 2011, 07:30:26 PM
Has there been any further word from President Seitz or the Board that sheds light on their decision? President Seitz is not known to take action without careful consideration of various alternatives nor is he known to be partisan. In the past the same was true for the MNS Board.

Marie Meyer
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dan Fienen on September 21, 2011, 07:37:54 PM
Conflict is never pleasant, but in dealing with human institutions and organizations, conflict is inevitable.  Apparently the situations within the MNS district are conflicted, not only over ULC and CLC but mission work in general within the district and over what makes for good evangelism and good worship.

One positive in all of this is that the conflict shows that people care and care deeply.  We do not have conflict over things that do not matter to us.

One could say that "traditionalists" and "Evangelical Catholics" are stubborn and resistant to change.  But then I have my own stories of being a church planter in Michigan District under a born again Church Growth true believer as a mission executive.  Those who buy into the Church Growth ideology can be just as intransigent. 

Similarly, I've interacted with contemporary worship advocates who are as rigid in their expectations and ideology as any traditional worship advocates.

Add to this some personal issues (I would guess) among some of the players in this situation, as well as turff protection and you get a real mess.

If it has (and I have no information) devolved into churches of a particular persuasion diverting mission dollars from the district and then demanding to say how the district should spend the dollars it does receive, it just gets worse.

I do not know the solution.  Perhaps some high level mediation from Synod, perhaps devoting a pastor's conference to that?  Certainly a reminder of what all sides have in common and a reminder of their mutual dedication to mission work (even if they do not yet agree on how) could not hurt.  And also a moritorium on reminders of how my side tried to cooperate and the other side did not.  The past is past.  It cannot be undone.  It should not be ignored, but mutual recriminations will not help.

Perhaps after settling this conflict down, the mediators can relax and take on something easier - like mediating the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.  (We are talking German Lutherans on both sides with a dash of Scandinavian for variety.)

Dan
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 21, 2011, 07:41:41 PM
Once again, might we drop the characterization of the LCMS as "German"?  German in origin, but not German in makeup now.  Don't get me wrong - I love the heritage.  But when you guys describe it like that you have no idea how "outside" it makes those of us feel who AREN'T German at all nor Scandinavian. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dan Fienen on September 21, 2011, 07:46:45 PM
Whose heritage do you think keeps us from totally imploding - it ain't the Germans.  Around here we have a saying - you can always tell a German, you just can't tell him very much.   8)

Sorry to leave you out.

Dan
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on September 21, 2011, 07:51:55 PM
If a decrease in mission dollars headed to the district is a motivation for closing a self-sufficient liturgical and confessional congregation at a major university in a heavily Lutheran state, then I suspect (as they say) "you ain't seen nuthin' yet." Some confessional congregations have indeed cut most of their direct mission support to districts when those dollars were being used to support such things as missions that appear to be Lutheran only in name (and in some cases not even in name). Others have questioned the financial overhead of district offices in comparison to the perceived value of what congregations receive back. More and more, mission dollars are sent directly to the missions supported rather than filtered through district coffers.

Sorry, folks, but the trust level in the bureaucracy is lower than I have ever seen it. This action is not going to reverse it. My guess is that MNS will see another dip in revenue. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mariemeyer on September 21, 2011, 08:09:33 PM
It happens that District Mission execs are now meeting in St. Louis with the new North American Mission Board.  I'll be speaking with my husband later this evening and hope to learn what thoughts are being expressed by different district leaders.  Of interest will be knowing if and how districts are pulling together or if there is an inclination to follow separate paths.

I think the chairman of the North American Misson Board is from MNS.   

Marie Meyer
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: sgehrke on September 21, 2011, 08:15:54 PM
Hi Pastor Pless,
I appreciated reading your history of ULC, it filled out a lot of things that I was not aware of as a student and of which I had become only aware of in a general way since then.  Back at post #151 I posted my 'memoir' of ULC - so-called since it was more my impressions/memories  than the factual items you have described.  I remember several years ago you when spoke in Kansas that you told me there were a couple more students than just Carl and myself when you first arrived, but as I noted there, otherwise, all of the LCMS students had left with the ALC pastor so that you arrived to an empty building and a negative vibe among the vast majority of UM LCMS students due to their eviction from the chapel the previous semester. 

It took a couple years of Table Talk before I started to really understand what you were teaching about the Lutheran faith and got me to move beyond Sunday-only involvement with church.  But that set me on a trajectory that has continued unwavering in the 25 years since you married Kathy and myself at ULC and we moved away from ULC and Minnesota.  I doubt that I would have become elder, trustee, convention delegate, etc. at several churches over the years without you and ULC (nor Kathy Sunday school teacher, LWML president, district newsletter editor, etc).  And as noted in that post, I originally began attending ULC simply because of its convenient location relative to campus (as an undergrad, the LCMS campus ministry was in a regular parish a mile off campus, and that kept it enough 'out of sight out of mind' such that I never once attended it in 4 years).

In the years since graduation from UM and ULC and working as an engineering professor in several state universities, I have frequently found myself in situations of discussing how Lutheran higher education can be best accomplished, especially in the sciences, engineering and graduate programs where the CUS does not/cannot provide that option for Lutheran students (BTW, some of that was brought up in the recent Valpo thread on this forum). I have always promoted the ULC-UM combination of a strong just-off-campus ministry + first rate secular university as an excellent model of higher education for Lutheran students.  And since we're also talking money here, it is also an approach that is much more cost-effective for the LCMS than expanding Concordias into new areas such as pharmacy (recognizing that Concordias are budgeted entirely differently from campus ministries, tuition is involved, and not intending to pick on CU-W, but I have a pharmaceutical chemistry appointment so I'm very familiar with that field - plus the fact that UW-Madison and KU tussle for the #2 spot in rankings of pharmacy programs nationwide).

Apart from any of my own emotional investment in ULC as the key formative period for my faith, I am disappointed that the success of this model in Minneapolis in educating students in the faith while attending a secular university is not being promoted by the LCMS (or at least MNS) as THE model to develop rather than as one to reject.  I understand that it is very expensive to start up such a bricks-and-mortar ministry, but to shut an existing one down, especially in the face of a recent district resolution that did not support such an action, is hard to accept.

Thanks again for all you have done for Kathy and myself, ULC and the LCMS.

Steve
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on September 21, 2011, 08:28:27 PM
Steve, wonderful testimony.  And good thoughts about doing campus ministry.  I serve in the same town as the Univ. of Delaware.  I have several faculty and staff members as members of the congregation and a couple of students come by to worship with us.  But the location is a factor.  We're not too far but we're also not too close.  We try to go to them.  We meet monthly for lunch in the Student Commons.  It is primarily for our own fellowship but sometimes they bring friends with them.  We never know what will happen.

Marie, I hope that you do learn something because the MNS district is keeping their lips sealed.  Larry Peters had an excellent blog post on the lack of transparency in this whole matter.  They're not saying nothing!  And that is disappointing.  Fr. Slusser has raised several questions that were very pertinent, like did the MNS ask the MNN's opinion on this, since ULC was a project begun before the districts split?  It is this lack of transparency that contributes to the speculation and the suspicion.

Jeremy
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on September 21, 2011, 08:46:47 PM
Can anyone, ANYONE, familiar with and supportive of the aforementioned model of campus ministry explain how students are actually funneled into a Word and Sacrament ministry?  I've asked this question about 3 times now I think, and have not received a clear answer as of yet.

So: you have a floor of guys & girls. All mixed up, as they are these days — both on the floor and mentally. You have a peer minister — maybe a girl, maybe a guy — and they are organizing a clean-up at a local house of some grandmother. They invite their friends to participate in this event that is sponsored by their campus Lutheran activity.

Hey, who doesn't want to help out? Plus, they have lunch. So guys & girls go.

Next month, they are headed to the battered women's shelter's transitional housing. Once again, why not, let's help out. But by now, they know one another, they can talk about faith issues, about what they believe/don't believe.

So, the peer minister says "Look, my pastor leads a Bible study at the local bar. Want to come?"

There you go. Could happen any other way as well. Maybe peer leaders have the Bible study; maybe they invite the friends to church; etc. Any number of ways.

This isn't rocket science. It is exactly how ordinary, non-student people get connected to W&S ministries as well. It is just that they don't all live on the same hall...
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on September 21, 2011, 08:48:58 PM
Lord, have mercy, Deaconess.  Let's sincerely hope that's not what this is about.  But the point Pr. Messer made about students having the vocation of being students is really easy to overlook.  I think that teaching that classic Lutheran doctrine of vocation is one of the strong points of the ministry of ULC.  Sort of a Pless heritage...

No, it is crazy, that's what it is Wil. Crazy.

Did you listen to President Harrison's sermon to the Conference on National Mission? You will see there how vocation plays out in the life of laity—and how it can play out in the life of college laity as well.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on September 21, 2011, 09:17:05 PM
This news clip does not make the MNS District look very good at all.

http://kstp.com/news/stories/S2294889.shtml?cat=1

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: peter_speckhard on September 21, 2011, 09:24:16 PM
I was a mission developer right out of seminary, so my salary was paid by the district. After a little while our average Sunday attendance was well over fifty, and within two years was right around 100. Yet the district held the loan on our building and continued to have to partly subsidize our mission. I can imagine scenarios in which they just couldn't afford it anymore and I would have had to scramble for a place to lead worship. But what I can't imagine them doing is basically saying they have the money, but think it would be better spent training and equipping the 50-100 people there in personal evangelism. I would have taken that as a decision against Worship/Word/Sacrament.

A church is not the same thing as a youth group. I can imagine a struggling inner city parish needing to be subsidized by wealthier congregations more or less indefinitely, but I can't imagine those wealthier congregations deciding not to subsidize the congregation and instead send the money to equip the members to invite their friends to other churches. At least, I wish I could not imagine that.

A campus ministry that is an actual church has many similarities to an inner-city congregation. Very little money, lots of coming and going, difficult to establish "regulars", tough mission field environment, etc. Efforts to justify this switch in mission emphasis should bear that in mind.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 21, 2011, 09:35:47 PM
Marcus,

I'm not sure I see what you think is crazy about the idea.  The student's primary vocation is as student.  Certainly in that vocation they will seek ways to confess Christ, they will intercede for others, they will join the whole royal priesthood of the baptized in singing praises to the Triune God.  But their primary vocation there is nothing less than learning. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LCMS87 on September 21, 2011, 09:37:02 PM
Has there been any further word from President Seitz or the Board that sheds light on their decision? President Seitz is not known to take action without careful consideration of various alternatives nor is he known to be partisan. In the past the same was true for the MNS Board.

Marie Meyer

Every news report I've seen indicates something like this:  There was no response to a phone call and email to the board. (http://kstp.com/news/stories/S2294889.shtml?cat=1) 

I don't know President Seitz or any of the district executives, but the lack of any response from an MNS spokesman to requests for comment from the news media doesn't reflect well on the district.  Indeed, I can't understand why they wouldn't at least have prepared talking points a spokesman could repeat ad nausium.  As Dr. Gard notes, the MNS district is coming across in a very negative light. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 21, 2011, 09:43:00 PM
Negative is almost too weak a word.  I think David Kind would make a fabulous President in MNS, given the amazing pastoral way he has handled himself in this as his own District (mis)behaved toward him and his parish. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 21, 2011, 09:48:00 PM
I spent 17 very good years (1983-2000) as campus pastor at ULC . . . The Gospel has produced fruit out of ULC's location on University Ave SE and it would be a shame to forfeit it on account of a flawed and ideologically biased decision of the district's current leadership.
JTP+

Prof. Pless,

Thank you for your faithful service, both as a campus pastor for 17 years and as an excellent seminary prof.  It truly was a privilege to sit at your feet and learn from you (and I'm still learning from you from afar)! 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on September 21, 2011, 09:49:03 PM
Marcus,

I'm not sure I see what you think is crazy about the idea.  The student's primary vocation is as student.  Certainly in that vocation they will seek ways to confess Christ, they will intercede for others, they will join the whole royal priesthood of the baptized in singing praises to the Triune God.  But their primary vocation there is nothing less than learning.

Let's start with this: "The student's primary vocation is as a student."

Oh really? So they cease to be a child? Why is the student vocation primary over the vocation of being a child?

My daughters are students in elementary and middle school — is that primary over their being my children?

There is no "primacy" of vocation Wil. All vocations make equal demands upon us. I know that Wingren says that.

Would you say that your member's jobs are their "primary" vocation over being a "spouse"?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: D. Engebretson on September 21, 2011, 09:49:51 PM
I was a mission developer right out of seminary, so my salary was paid by the district. After a little while our average Sunday attendance was well over fifty, and within two years was right around 100. Yet the district held the loan on our building and continued to have to partly subsidize our mission. I can imagine scenarios in which they just couldn't afford it anymore and I would have had to scramble for a place to lead worship. But what I can't imagine them doing is basically saying they have the money, but think it would be better spent training and equipping the 50-100 people there in personal evangelism. I would have taken that as a decision against Worship/Word/Sacrament.

A church is not the same thing as a youth group. I can imagine a struggling inner city parish needing to be subsidized by wealthier congregations more or less indefinitely, but I can't imagine those wealthier congregations deciding not to subsidize the congregation and instead send the money to equip the members to invite their friends to other churches. At least, I wish I could not imagine that.

A campus ministry that is an actual church has many similarities to an inner-city congregation. Very little money, lots of coming and going, difficult to establish "regulars", tough mission field environment, etc. Efforts to justify this switch in mission emphasis should bear that in mind.

My first parish out of seminary was an "established mission" congregation heavily subsidized by the Michigan District.  Within a year or two they attempted to discontinue that subsidy as part of a changing paradigm in the district (late 80's).  An elder pastor in the circuit who had been heavily involved in the district intervened and saved us for a while.  Eventually a strong Circuit Mission Council was established and the circuit itself picked up the shortfall, at the time totaling at least $30,000.  We were in one of the poorest counties in the lower peninsula and the only Lutheran congregation of any synod in the county.  I am grateful that the circuit saw the value of our congregation and so generously picked up the financial shortfall.  They even took over my student loan payments for a time.  Dependency on district dollars is indeed risky, as my experience also demonstrated.  All it takes is a change in leadership and a new "vision" and before you know it you are left adrift.  As a new and inexperienced pastor I was vulnerable and thankfully a brother pastor went to bat for me, not to mention the ongoing and unflagging support of my circuit.  I hope that there are such supporters for the folks at ULC. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 21, 2011, 09:52:13 PM
We are speaking of college students.  I think at that time of their life, assuming they are not spouse but maybe even if they are, their primary vocation is that of student.  It is the thing they are called to give chief attention to.  Certainly they continue to have other vocations.  My daughter finished her college vocation as the spouse of her husband.  She had to juggle both vocations.  But she and her husband gave primary attention to their primary vocations at that point:  finishing school.  They even lived apart for a number of months as that primary vocation on either's part required.  Primary doesn't mean there are not other vocations.  But college students really are sent to college primarily to learn.  I wouldn't think that's a disputable statement.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 21, 2011, 09:57:46 PM
Can anyone, ANYONE, familiar with and supportive of the aforementioned model of campus ministry explain how students are actually funneled into a Word and Sacrament ministry?  I've asked this question about 3 times now I think, and have not received a clear answer as of yet.

So: you have a floor of guys & girls. All mixed up, as they are these days — both on the floor and mentally. You have a peer minister — maybe a girl, maybe a guy — and they are organizing a clean-up at a local house of some grandmother. They invite their friends to participate in this event that is sponsored by their campus Lutheran activity.

Hey, who doesn't want to help out? Plus, they have lunch. So guys & girls go.

Next month, they are headed to the battered women's shelter's transitional housing. Once again, why not, let's help out. But by now, they know one another, they can talk about faith issues, about what they believe/don't believe.

So, the peer minister says "Look, my pastor leads a Bible study at the local bar. Want to come?"

There you go. Could happen any other way as well. Maybe peer leaders have the Bible study; maybe they invite the friends to church; etc. Any number of ways.

This isn't rocket science. It is exactly how ordinary, non-student people get connected to W&S ministries as well. It is just that they don't all live on the same hall...

Pr. Louderback,

What one must need a degree in rocket science to understand is why we need to sell the campus properties and use the proceeds to establish a new district position to enact a new campus ministry plan which involves encouraging students to do what you're talking about here.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on September 21, 2011, 09:59:15 PM
There is no "primacy" of vocation Wil. All vocations make equal demands upon us. I know that Wingren says that.

Would you say that your member's jobs are their "primary" vocation over being a "spouse"?

There actually is a priority of vocational obligations. Conflicts, rare as they may be by God's mercy, have to be resolved by priority. That may be why RC priests are hardly ever ordained from among the married, because of the priority claims a spouse and family have on a man.

In the case of students, we know that the NCAA Division I doesn't recognize that being a student is the priority obligaton for students. The church can join the NCAA if it really wants, but hardly on evangelical grounds. Individual students find themselves with a challenge to minister to their fellow students, and that is OK-- but we must not tell them that is their priority calling. We have no right.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 21, 2011, 10:01:51 PM
Do you mean, Pr. Messer, that the students who attend ULC might be doing that and more WITHOUT the District benefiting from a $3.2 million dollar windfall.  Well, how utterly rude of them!
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 21, 2011, 10:03:30 PM
Do you mean, Pr. Messer, that the students who attend ULC might be doing that and more WITHOUT the District benefiting from a $3.2 million dollar windfall.  Well, how utterly rude of them!

 ;)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mmeyer on September 21, 2011, 10:09:06 PM
I just watched a Campus Evangelist "Sean the Baptist" street preach his semi-pelagaistic nonsense to jeering MSU-Mankato college students - sick of being beaten over the head with the law from this man. There comes a point when you get beaten with the law so much that you turn a deaf ear and strike back.

I wonder if all the press that's been heaped upon the BOD of MNS through various media outlets might have similar results.  Looks like there's no turning back on the rhetoric now.  Someone's going to win - someone's going to lose... 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 21, 2011, 10:10:42 PM
Can anyone, ANYONE, familiar with and supportive of the aforementioned model of campus ministry explain how students are actually funneled into a Word and Sacrament ministry?  I've asked this question about 3 times now I think, and have not received a clear answer as of yet.

So: you have a floor of guys & girls. All mixed up, as they are these days — both on the floor and mentally. You have a peer minister — maybe a girl, maybe a guy — and they are organizing a clean-up at a local house of some grandmother. They invite their friends to participate in this event that is sponsored by their campus Lutheran activity.

Hey, who doesn't want to help out? Plus, they have lunch. So guys & girls go.

Next month, they are headed to the battered women's shelter's transitional housing. Once again, why not, let's help out. But by now, they know one another, they can talk about faith issues, about what they believe/don't believe.

So, the peer minister says "Look, my pastor leads a Bible study at the local bar. Want to come?"

There you go. Could happen any other way as well. Maybe peer leaders have the Bible study; maybe they invite the friends to church; etc. Any number of ways.

This isn't rocket science. It is exactly how ordinary, non-student people get connected to W&S ministries as well. It is just that they don't all live on the same hall...

OK, I get that, thanks for the example.  Now tell me who the rocket scientist is that determined it takes $3.2M to put this model into action.  I hope I made my point that this is what we're all doing any way.  I see some major stewardship issues if it takes $3.2M to train people to do what the Bible already instructs us to do.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 21, 2011, 10:11:36 PM
Someone's going to win - someone's going to lose...

God wins; Satan loses.  Every time!  ;)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 21, 2011, 10:12:14 PM
Good grief, Pr. Meyer.  Can't you see that there are NO winners here.  The question is can the board actually give us something to hold onto so that we CAN keep the 8th commandment.  We need help with it, because as of right now, there doesn't appear to BE a best construction, save lunacy.  Help from them would be greatly appreciated:  EXPLAIN their rationale on this.  PLEASE.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Sandra on September 21, 2011, 10:30:25 PM
So, the peer minister says "Look, my pastor leads a Bible study at the local bar. Want to come?"

There you go. Could happen any other way as well. Maybe peer leaders have the Bible study; maybe they invite the friends to church; etc. Any number of ways.

This isn't rocket science. It is exactly how ordinary, non-student people get connected to W&S ministries as well. It is just that they don't all live on the same hall...

Wouldn't this work just as well (maybe even better) if that "peer leader" could invite the friends to church right on campus, where they meet regularly for Bible study and then go and grab a beer at a nearby bar, or they could could drop in any time during the week to chat with Pastor, or to have a quiet place to study or hang out together?

I just don't understand why this model requires that ULC and CLC need to be eliminated in order for it to work.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 21, 2011, 10:36:42 PM
I just don't understand why this model requires that ULC and CLC need to be eliminated in order for it to work.


Sandra,

That's the $3.2 million dollar question...
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: John_Hannah on September 22, 2011, 06:26:26 AM
Immanuel.  Was that where Ray Schulze (sp?) served.  He was another fine preacher.  If that's the one I'm thinking of, the altar sported several statues, including a curious one of Moses?  Ah, you guys are bringing back "old memory" days for me.

Yes, that one. 88th and Lexington.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: jtpless on September 22, 2011, 10:07:36 AM
Steve,

Thanks for your wonderful testimony to the significance of ULC for your and Kathy. For those who have ears to hear, your note speaks volumes as to why ULC is worth saving. As time allows I plan to write up a little more detailed account of my time at ULC which I think will shed more light on the current attempts to destroy the chapel. In the meantime, I give thanks to God for you and numerous others who were (and in some cases still are) part of the congregation: "You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be read and known by all" (II Corinthians 3:2). The chapel may well be demolished and that would be a tremendous loss but the work of God's mighty Word done there will remain. That is my consolation.

JTP+

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mmeyer on September 22, 2011, 10:38:12 AM
I still think the idea of building a worship area on the 1st floor of that complex would be a nice compromise to a difficult situation. 

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mmeyer on September 22, 2011, 10:50:11 AM
For what it's worth, I just received an email from the district office with a FAQ page on the sale of the campus properties.  I assume it was sent to everyone in the MNS district...

I just found the link to the actual letter I received. Here it is...

http://mns.lcms.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=Vq-gxLbP3os%3d&tabid=206&mid=791
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 22, 2011, 10:54:20 AM
I still think the idea of building a worship area on the 1st floor of that complex would be a nice compromise to a difficult situation.

What is the likelihood that a secular developer would share this sentiment?  Perhaps you could suggest that this requirement be written into the purchase agreement with the developer, with an additional rider designating this space for the sole use of LCMS campus ministry.  (Then watch them laugh all the way to the bank.)  ;)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 22, 2011, 11:09:25 AM
I am having trouble getting to the CCM opinion that is mentioned.  Can someone post it?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mmeyer on September 22, 2011, 11:13:20 AM
Pr Bohler, I think if you go to the mns.lcms.org website - then to the Campus link - the CCM report should be there..
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Birkholz on September 22, 2011, 11:16:39 AM
I am having trouble getting to the CCM opinion that is mentioned.  Can someone post it?

The request for an opinion is here:  http://mns.lcms.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=uFCrCV2rhLU%3d&tabid=206&mid=791 (http://mns.lcms.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=uFCrCV2rhLU%3d&tabid=206&mid=791)

The opinion is here: http://mns.lcms.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=ArAkOQMBX8A%3d&tabid=206&mid=791 (http://mns.lcms.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=ArAkOQMBX8A%3d&tabid=206&mid=791)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 22, 2011, 11:18:48 AM
Thank you, Rev. Meyer and Rev. Birkholz.  Right after I made my request here I went to the Steadfast Lutherans site and was able to read the opinion via a link there.

So, basically, the CCM did not really say much of anything except that the convention resolution in 1963 did not specifically set up any agreement between the two new Minnesota districts so the CCM could not address the questions posed to it by ULC.  Is that how others read the opinion?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on September 22, 2011, 11:32:50 AM
It is interesting that the document states:

The Board considered the prospect of aging properties, which could require substantial capital improvements within the next 2-5 years. They also recognized favorable market conditions at the U of M in particular at the present time.

So, it is a money pit and that is why it needs to be sold. My initial analysis was correct. Perhaps what could be done is that money that is generated from the John the Steadfast group could go towards putting a beautiful chapel on the top/ground floor of the new proposed student housing. Scholarships could than be made available for students to encourage them to live there.

Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies...
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 22, 2011, 11:49:28 AM
It is interesting that the document states:

The Board considered the prospect of aging properties, which could require substantial capital improvements within the next 2-5 years. They also recognized favorable market conditions at the U of M in particular at the present time.

So, it is a money pit and that is why it needs to be sold. My initial analysis was correct. Perhaps what could be done is that money that is generated from the John the Steadfast group could go towards putting a beautiful chapel on the top/ground floor of the new proposed student housing. Scholarships could than be made available for students to encourage them to live there.

Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies...

That's quite a leap to take (emphasis mine).  This suggestion lends itself nicely to the cause to sell, though.  You bought it.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on September 22, 2011, 11:55:38 AM
Wil,

I think at that time of their life, assuming they are not spouse but maybe even if they are, their primary vocation is that of student. 

That's fine Wil. But that is your opinion and it certainly is not the doctrine of vocation. Why in the world does being a student begin at college and not in elementary school?

Suppose the student wants to drop out of college and go into the army—is that verboten? Can he not break the primary vocation? What happens if he wants to drop out of college and start a web-site? Is that also not appropriate?

How about dropping out of college to play professional sports? Is that forbidden by vocation?

If your answers to all of these questions is "No" then how odd that a student can't take a year off to go into full-time church work. That all of the sudden is prevented by "vocation"? Do you see my point?

It is the thing they are called to give chief attention to.  Certainly they continue to have other vocations.  My daughter finished her college vocation as the spouse of her husband.  She had to juggle both vocations.  But she and her husband gave primary attention to their primary vocations at that point:  finishing school.

Once again, could they skip church? If school is primary, is being a Christian a secondary vocation?

I don't buy it Wil. That was not their "primary" vocation. Does Luther actually speak about "primary" vocation? Does Scripture speak about primary vocation? You are just making this up.

Once again, I will check my notes, but I don't remember Wingren speaking about this at all.

But college students really are sent to college primarily to learn.  I wouldn't think that's a disputable statement.

Sure. A college student has a vocation—being a student. And that is important and worthy and a good and wonderful thing.

But let's not law where there is none. Your daughter getting married interfered with her education—there is no way that having a relationship does not. Does that mean that it was wrong for her to do so? After all, she is going to college for an education—not to hang around with boys.

No. Vocation does not work like that. She has many vocations, all of which clamor for time and attention. Thanks be to God that we can pray to Him and ask Him to carry us and our work when there is not enough time in the day.

But there is no "Primary" vocation.

Or, how about this: what is your primary vocation now? Being a husband? Or being a parent? Or being a child (if your parents are still alive)? Or being a pastor? Which one is primary?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 22, 2011, 12:02:18 PM
Wouldn't this work just as well (maybe even better) if that "peer leader" could invite the friends to church right on campus, where they meet regularly for Bible study and then go and grab a beer at a nearby bar, or they could could drop in any time during the week to chat with Pastor, or to have a quiet place to study or hang out together?

You make it sound like the campus is some mystical place surrounded by a wall and moat, and that traveling off of the sacred grounds of the campus leads one to a place noted on the map with "Here there be dragons". I looked up the map of the university in question. It covers a lot of territory. A location just outside of the moat that surrounds the campus could actually be closer to many points on the campus than an on-campus location at the far edge of the campus. Which means that using the criteria "right on campus" is at best, very misleading.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: sgehrke on September 22, 2011, 12:38:07 PM
I have no idea about the costs of maintaining ULC's building. I don't think there is any question that the current building is larger than is actually needed - ULC has long leased/rented space in the building or the former parsonage.  Having a big front lawn for student barbecues, Frisbee, and curb appeal is nice but not essential to the ministry. So I won't argue about the possibility that there could be alternative uses of the property.

The core concerns that I have is that the decision to sell the property has been made without a clear plan for the future of ULC the congregation and ministry, not ULC the building.  Although the MNS FAQ talks about *possible* increases in subsidies to ULC, my understanding from the document is that the only decision that has actually been made is to sell the property in the next few months.  Thus ULC has no basis to make any concrete plans for its future in the apparently likely event that they will be out on the streets in a few months.  It is also a confused plan to on the one hand propose to subsidize ULC and on the other to encourage other congregations to get involved with University of Minnesota ministries (#3).  Implicit there is a belief that ULC's ministry is inadequate in some way, which is a significant issue.

Putting the bulk of the money into an endowment also implies a lack of faith that the MNS plan for state-wide campus ministry is sustainable over the long term.  I don't think that any congregation serious about campus ministry would require a $5,000 grant from the district to get involved with a nearby school.  If the congregation cannot afford that amount from its current budget, or unwilling to budget that amount, then it will not be a not sustainable outreach by that congregation.

Thus the things that bother me about this situation is not the possibility that the building has outlived its usefulness (I have no way to critique the MNS estimates of upcoming maintenance bills, though apparently the current occupants think they can handle those costs), they are the facts that 1) MNS plans to sustain ULC-the-congregation-and-ministry are not as concrete as their plan to sell ULC-the-building, 2) the implication that ULC's ministry is inadequate, 3) a college ministry plan that seems simultaneously excessively conservative (putting the proceeds into an endowment and drawing amounts that ought to be within the ongoing budgets of the district congregations if they believed in the plan) and radical (shattering established successful ministries for a risky new approach) and 4) the apparent disregard for the expressed opinions of the District in convention regarding campus ministry (which does not bode well for the success of their new college ministry plan).

Steve
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 22, 2011, 12:45:00 PM
Marcus,

My primary vocation at the moment - the one that requires the most time and attention - is that of pastor.  Even though I am also husband and father (and impatiently waiting to be grandfather!), my relationship to my children and wife has always also included that component.  I'm not only their dad.  I'm their pastor.  At least for the time being.

College students are obviously under no divine law about continuing in college; I'm not sure how you'd get that I'd even think that.  But when a student heads off to college they are doing something that requires them to prioritize their time towards its demands - and that is learning.  As Fr. Michael said well, don't burden them with the task of missionary.  They are not being called to that by being sent to college.  When they study, when they write well, when they master a topic - they are doing a good and godly work all in itself.  And there should be no sense of it being "secular" or anything less than a true good work that is God pleasing.  Look, it's the same as when the frazzled mom who is busy taking care of her children, is made to feel guilty because she's not volunteering for some churchy duty.  Pity sakes, she's tending at that moment to her primary vocation.  It's full time and more.  It doesn't need to have something churchy attached to it to make is holy and a good work. 

Let the students study, for pity sake, and don't lay a guilt trip on them for focusing on that.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on September 22, 2011, 12:46:46 PM
Pastor Messer,

What one must need a degree in rocket science to understand is why we need to sell the campus properties and use the proceeds to establish a new district position to enact a new campus ministry plan which involves encouraging students to do what you're talking about here.

Well, first, that was not the question I was asked, right? I mean, my point was how the peer minister thing could work.

Second, you don't need a degree in rocket science: money. All campus ministries cost money. They don't bring money to the district.

That is the way it is. We've all seen it.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on September 22, 2011, 12:50:55 PM
Buckeye Deaconess,

OK, I get that, thanks for the example.  Now tell me who the rocket scientist is that determined it takes $3.2M to put this model into action.  I hope I made my point that this is what we're all doing any way.  I see some major stewardship issues if it takes $3.2M to train people to do what the Bible already instructs us to do.

Once again, not the issue, right? Look at the basic idea from the presentation on campus ministry:

Currently Funding of Campus Ministry: District 100%
Future Funding of Campus Ministry: District 65%/Foundation 35%

Or whatever the numbers are. It is just comes down to costs.

I'm not saying it is right; it is what it is.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: A Sasse Waltherian on September 22, 2011, 12:51:24 PM
Well said, Fr. Weedon.  The mother or father who changes a baby's diaper is living in their vocation of father/mother and is doing so to the least of his brethren.  They are in fact changing Christ's diapers.

When a student goes off the college, their first priority is to learn.  If, while in a study group, they have opportunity to talk about God while studying WWII than it's all good.

President Harrison should really appoint someone like Gene Veith or John Pless to write a series of papers on the doctrine of vocation (or those that are so confused on the topic should just read one of their books or articles on said topic).
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on September 22, 2011, 12:53:13 PM
So, the peer minister says "Look, my pastor leads a Bible study at the local bar. Want to come?"

There you go. Could happen any other way as well. Maybe peer leaders have the Bible study; maybe they invite the friends to church; etc. Any number of ways.

This isn't rocket science. It is exactly how ordinary, non-student people get connected to W&S ministries as well. It is just that they don't all live on the same hall...

Wouldn't this work just as well (maybe even better) if that "peer leader" could invite the friends to church right on campus, where they meet regularly for Bible study and then go and grab a beer at a nearby bar, or they could could drop in any time during the week to chat with Pastor, or to have a quiet place to study or hang out together?

I just don't understand why this model requires that ULC and CLC need to be eliminated in order for it to work.

Yes, it would.

Once again, I was not answering the question "Why is this model better than a church on campus model?"

There is a reason why they can get $3.2M for the church—obviously it is in a valuable spot. But a valuable spot for a business is a valuable spot for a church.

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on September 22, 2011, 01:10:03 PM
Wil,

My primary vocation at the moment - the one that requires the most time and attention - is that of pastor. 

Nononononononno!!!!!

That is NOT what primary means. The one that requires most time and attention? No. If that is what you mean, then sure. I guess we would say that jobs are primary and being a student is primary.

So, right now, for my daughter, rather than being my daughter, being a student is primary because it takes most of her time and attention.

But that is not at all what "primary" would generally refer to. Primary would speak of importance as well, would it not?

College students are obviously under no divine law about continuing in college; I'm not sure how you'd get that I'd even think that. 

Really? No idea?

But when a student heads off to college they are doing something that requires them to prioritize their time towards its demands - and that is learning.  As Fr. Michael said well, don't burden them with the task of missionary.

Whoa! Back up! First, Monte spoke about getting the kids to drop out of school for a year. So, that wouldn't be a "burden" would it?

Second, was your son-in-law a "burden" to your daughter? I mean, is that how you saw him?

They are not being called to that by being sent to college. 

No: they are called to that by the fact that they are a baptized Christian.

When they study, when they write well, when they master a topic - they are doing a good and godly work all in itself.

No doubt.

When they vote, and participate in our democratic system, they are doing a good and G-odly work (Capital G Wil! This is God we are talking about, not some random god!)

When they date and treat their dates well and right, that is a good and Godly work.
When they call home and keep in touch with their moms & dads, that is a good and Godly work.
When they share Christ with their friends and those around them, that is a good and Godly work.
When they keep in touch with their siblings and offer advice and help, that is a good and Godly work.
When they take care of their bodies and exercise and compete, that is a good and Godly work.

Etc. Etc. We can go on listing all of the different parts of vocation that people are called to and the work that they do. It is all good.

And there should be no sense of it being "secular" or anything less than a true good work that is God pleasing. 

No doubt.

Look, it's the same as when the frazzled mom who is busy taking care of her children, is made to feel guilty because she's not volunteering for some churchy duty.

Right! She ought not to be made to feel guilty about not going to church! Having a lot of kids makes it difficult to go to church. We ought to excuse her and her kids from....

Oh wait. No, we ought not to.

And in fact, every single person at church has demands upon their time. Every single person at church could fill their life with God-pleasing activities that are a part of their vocation.

But I do not apologize one bit in asking people to help out at church. Without volunteers—without making demands upon people's time and asking them to carve out time for others—how is the church going to work? Rely just on retired people who don't have grandchildren or children?

Vocation is a calling that the individual has. And there are umpteen callings. All making demands on time, and energy, and money.

But it is wrong to make campus pastors feel guilty for asking kids to get involved in the work of the church. Their work is just as God-pleasing as all the other vocations.

And is no less primary.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on September 22, 2011, 01:12:31 PM
Well said, Fr. Weedon.  The mother or father who changes a baby's diaper is living in their vocation of father/mother and is doing so to the least of his brethren.  They are in fact changing Christ's diapers.

When a student goes off the college, their first priority is to learn.  If, while in a study group, they have opportunity to talk about God while studying WWII than it's all good.

President Harrison should really appoint someone like Gene Veith or John Pless to write a series of papers on the doctrine of vocation (or those that are so confused on the topic should just read one of their books or articles on said topic).

When a father gets a job, is his first priority to work?

I think you guys are the ones confused on vocation.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 22, 2011, 01:17:51 PM
Sigh.  I'm not sure the vocation conversation is honestly worth continuing.  I could say:  "You're wrong, Marcus" and you could say:  "No, you're wrong, Will."  I don't think that would bear any worthwhile fruit.  My last word on the topic:  all of life is meant to be a sacrament; and joy can meet us at every opportunity when we do not confine the living out of our faith to what folks consider "religious" activities. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on September 22, 2011, 01:23:34 PM
Let's clear this vocation thing up:

A student is no different from a person with a job. A person with a job works at her job, does her best, gets paid.

The same is exactly true with a student: they work at studying. They don't get paid, but get deferred payment.

A student is no different from a parent who is not working, but raising his kids. He does not get paid, but it is still a good work.

So, anything you would ask a person who works — "please vote", "please coach youth soccer", "please volunteer for Habitat for Humanity", "please teach Sunday School", "please stay home with the baby, so I can go out with my friends","please stay late and help me out of this bind" — it is all exactly the same.

In the many vocations, we have many demands upon our time. People all want us to help them. Some people will pay for this help, some people will just want the help given voluntarily.

That's it. That is what vocation is all about. How does a person decide what to do and what not to do? They make a decision. They stick with it. That is how you live out your life. That is exactly what stewardship is.

It is not EASY, but the concept is not hard.

So stop all the foolishness about college students having some vocation that excuses them from other vocations. They don't. They simply don't.

If you want to say "You ought not to be made to feel guilty for not doing what a vocation demands" well, you know, some people feel guilty over those things, others don't. Part of maturing is learning to say no. Setting boundaries. Once again, being a good steward.

That's it.

So, please, stop all this nonsense about vocation. Is it legitimate to ask a _________ (fill in the blank: Retired person, elementary school student, mother, US Senator, college student, my cat) to ___________? (Fill in the blank with most anything that is legal)

Yes.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on September 22, 2011, 01:30:33 PM
Sigh.  I'm not sure the vocation conversation is honestly worth continuing.  I could say:  "You're wrong, Marcus" and you could say:  "No, you're wrong, Will."  I don't think that would bear any worthwhile fruit.  My last word on the topic:  all of life is meant to be a sacrament; and joy can meet us at every opportunity when we do not confine the living out of our faith to what folks consider "religious" activities.

Just because we each say that the other is wrong, does not mean that there is not truth when it comes to this issue. People disagree about a lot of the teachings of Scripture. But there is still a truth.

My arguments are out there. They match up with what those who have written on vocation say about vocation. Time will tell whether my words are taken to be truth or not.

I disagree completely that the issue is one of "Are religious activities better than secular?" That has NEVER been the issue at hand. I have instead disagreed with your position of a primacy of a certain vocation over other vocations (while agreeing that certain vocations take longer to participate in than other vocations). I have disagreed with your position that the church ought not to infringe upon people's commitments to their vocation—we infringe just as must as any other vocation. Because ours is also important, and worthy.

I disagree entirely with the idea that asking college students to be more than college students is somehow a rejection of vocation. It is rather a simple illustration of vocation.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 22, 2011, 01:36:22 PM
Marcus,

My primary vocation at the moment - the one that requires the most time and attention - is that of pastor.  Even though I am also husband and father (and impatiently waiting to be grandfather!), my relationship to my children and wife has always also included that component.  I'm not only their dad.  I'm their pastor.  At least for the time being.

College students are obviously under no divine law about continuing in college; I'm not sure how you'd get that I'd even think that.  But when a student heads off to college they are doing something that requires them to prioritize their time towards its demands - and that is learning.  As Fr. Michael said well, don't burden them with the task of missionary.  They are not being called to that by being sent to college.  When they study, when they write well, when they master a topic - they are doing a good and godly work all in itself.  And there should be no sense of it being "secular" or anything less than a true good work that is God pleasing.  Look, it's the same as when the frazzled mom who is busy taking care of her children, is made to feel guilty because she's not volunteering for some churchy duty.  Pity sakes, she's tending at that moment to her primary vocation.  It's full time and more.  It doesn't need to have something churchy attached to it to make is holy and a good work. 

Let the students study, for pity sake, and don't lay a guilt trip on them for focusing on that.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. A student who devotes his every waking hour to nothing but academic study stands a very good chance of being very poorly educated. He ends up with a head full of facts, and little or no wisdom to accompany them. Even the most diligent student must break from his academic efforts for a while to engage in other activities to keep himself grounded and well-rounded. That's why hobbies and extra-curricular activities exist. Those are as important to a student as classroom lectures and independent study.
 
Asking a student to take up as a "hobby" or extra-curricular activity something that benefits God's people is not the least bit unreasonable. For example, if a college student were to tutor high school students, that would be a beneficial ministry that helps both the college student and the high school student. Or, a if a college student studying accounting were to donate some time to helping a struggling non-profit organization with their bookkeeping, that would be a similar mutually beneficial ministry. The only limit to coming up with additional examples would be the imagination of the person attempting to think of such examples.
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: peter_speckhard on September 22, 2011, 01:38:37 PM
Mark, the fact remains that saying students can me missionaries is no different than saying truck drivers should be missionaries-- it isn't Word and Sacrament ministry we're talking about. The fact that it is a university church merely explains why it needs some subsidy. Students can't give much money. In every other respect it is just a congregation. And since there is no mad rush to close our congregations, sell our buildings, and use the money to equip the various nurses and teachers and factory workers in our congregations to be peer ministers, why is that considered the way to go for this church? Why not do it with every church?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mmeyer on September 22, 2011, 01:42:36 PM
I actually understand where Pr Weedon is coming from - I think.  CRU and IV recruit students to go on these mission events and make it sound like their faith is not complete - or that they are not serving God enough - unless they become a professional at it - or do it full time.  I don't buy that - nor am I trying to push that in any fashion.

I'm giving students who take time off from school to be a peer volunteer the opportunity to work with a dynamic, fast growing - mission oriented campus ministry - and experience many opportunities to share the faith with their contemporaries - help lead bible classes - and lead our students to become even more invitational to our worship opportunities at the CLC (Whatever room that may be in the Student Union).  In that year - we will have quarterly retreats with guest speakers from CSP and other places - to teach theology - outreach - etc.  It will be a unique and wonderful experience for those who are interested. 

I know how to do these things.  It will work.  IT's not an experiment.  It's being done by the RC's right now - and they are making a HUGE difference on campus.  They went from 40 a sunday to 300 in about 2 yrs.  Right now I get about 115 students per week - not quite 1% of the campus population.  There are so many students who have disconnected themselves from the faith and most likely WON'T come back.  But we've proved time and time again that student invitations to worship are helpful in outreach.  When friends bring friends to worship - the HS has an opportunity to work in their lives through Word and Sacrament. 

This is not experimental.  This is how the life of the church works - as people invite their friends to come and see...
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on September 22, 2011, 01:45:35 PM
Quote
I looked up the map of the university in question. It covers a lot of territory. A location just outside of the moat that surrounds the campus could actually be closer to many points on the campus than an on-campus location at the far edge of the campus.


That is a good point. I think what you are trying to say is that there is no magical vortex that necessitates a chapel be situated on the corner of 11th Ave and University Ave in Minneapolis. A campus chapel could be built in any number of places - where students could have easy access.

What is most important is that ULC keep focusing on their God given task to maintain a presence in the campus community with the old ways - the ancient ways of worshiping God. The ULC now needs to work at finding a new place (with the money generated from the John the Steadfast fund raiser) that can be set up with kneelers, icons, candles and all the other aspects of the evangelical catholic heritage. With help from other churches and individuals the ULC can focus on creating what they can do best – i.e. create a new sanctuary with the ambience being reflective of the ancient ways of experiencing God in a holy place that is conducive to experiencing both the transcendence and immanence of God through Word and Sacrament.

There is a place for supporting a non-liturgical rock em, sock em ministry like the Alley in the LCMS. Indeed, soon the non-liturgical churches in the LCMS (if not already) will be the biggest and largest churches - and will also be the financial backbone of Synod. If good will is created now, than the less traditional folks will have it in their hearts to help fund and support smaller venues that cater to the more reclusive type of individuals. There is a place for supporting a quiet liturgical contemplative side of the faith to be practiced like the ULC.

It was pointed out earlier, in the scathing critique by Matthew Jamison, how the LCMS churches in New York look just like they did in 1990 - only smaller. He wrote how the LCMS is in deep, deep decline in New York. However, he also pointed out that Redeemer Presbyterian alone has planted 75 new congregations in the city since its founding in 1989. While he did not exactly come to this conclusion himself, it appears to me that the most logical inference is that the churches that are thriving and growing are precisely because they are both less traditional and more innovative than the typical LCMS church. Now does that mean that there is no room for a high church type ministry? I would argue, no. But those types of high church ministries that cater to that smaller niche of the population are not going to be survive financially without the less traditional churches being supported now - so that down the road high church worship styles can be subsidized by the less traditional churches. Think of children supporting parents in their old age and you can get the picture.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on September 22, 2011, 01:54:16 PM
Quote
I'm giving students who take time off from school to be a peer volunteer the opportunity to work with a dynamic, fast growing - mission oriented campus ministry - and experience many opportunities to share the faith with their contemporaries - help lead bible classes…It's being done by the RC's right now - and they are making a HUGE difference on campus.  They went from 40 a sunday to 300 in about 2 yrs.
The problem is, that for the so-called confessionals, they view lay led Bible studies as forms of conventicles that are to be forbidden by orthodox Lutherans. Until you get over that hurdle, your plan will never fly. Advocating the concept that students should teach and lead Bible studies is the kiss of death in any new campus plan that you want the so-called confessionals to buy into. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on September 22, 2011, 02:36:10 PM
Peter,

Mark, the fact remains that saying students can me missionaries is no different than saying truck drivers should be missionaries

Exactamundo. I think rather, this is what the entire issue boils down to—is it legit to say that a truck driver is a missionary? Do Christians have a call, a vocation, to share their faith with others—to see themselves as sent ones, going out and bringing Christ to others.

Or, is that only the work of the pastor? Does the college student/truck driver have a vocation to be seeking to share their faith—or, is it really not their vocation, and their call is merely one of passive response—if someone asks them about what they believe, then they share. Otherwise, that is not their vocation.

So yes, Peter, this is absolutely-dutely correct.

The fact that it is a university church merely explains why it needs some subsidy. Students can't give much money.

Well #1: I knew a guy in my brother's grade and I asked hm about his giving to church and he said he tithed what his scholarship was. He gave 10% of what his scholarship was to the church.

Kids can't give much money—but how much are fraternity dues? Sorority dues? How much money do they spend eating, drinking out?

Most of the kids have jobs too, don't they?

No, they can give money. Mostly they chose not to.

I understand that college kids tend to be wealthy (in terms of stuff) and cash poor. But we do a dis-service by letting them off the hook, as though the vocation of college student was an excuse to not give to the church.

Story: when I was in college, I worked as a waiter. I had a big table that drank a lot and gave me a poor tip, and wrote on the ticket "Sorry, we are poor graduate students."  A fellow waiter said "Well, then buy your beer and drink at home." That has stuck with me.

#2: This is why most University Churches are being closed and they have become town & gown congregations. Isn't ULC described as such? I think in one of my previous districts, both University chapels were being flipped to town & gown congregations.

It is the first step...

In every other respect it is just a congregation. And since there is no mad rush to close our congregations, sell our buildings, and use the money to equip the various nurses and teachers and factory workers in our congregations to be peer ministers, why is that considered the way to go for this church? Why not do it with every church?

Because districts don't own the buildings of the other churches. If they did...

Look Peter, I'm not trying to defend what the district is doing. I'm not saying that peer ministry is a good idea.

I am saying that trying to use the argument "Well, college students have a vocation" is wrong.

And, as well, I'm saying that saying "College students and truck drivers are not missionaries; only pastors are missionaries" is not helpful either.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 22, 2011, 02:49:48 PM
Quote
I looked up the map of the university in question. It covers a lot of territory. A location just outside of the moat that surrounds the campus could actually be closer to many points on the campus than an on-campus location at the far edge of the campus.


That is a good point. I think what you are trying to say is that there is no magical vortex that necessitates a chapel be situated on the corner of 11th Ave and University Ave in Minneapolis. A campus chapel could be built in any number of places - where students could have easy access.


Likewise, it could also be integrated into an existing congregation that's in close proximity to the campus, where students would have easy access and integration into a full, diverse congregation rather than a specialized little academic microcosm.
 
As I see it, the issue boils down to whether or not students need to be segregated away from other people or if it is good that students be accepted as simply human beings in need of Law and Gospel, no different from other people of different ages or careers. I accept that students might have particular needs that are different from their chronological peers who are working in blue collar jobs, or who are students at any of the other institutions of higher learning in the Twin Cities.
 
I did a search for colleges in Minneapolis, MN and got 351 hits. In that regard, it would appear that the Twin Cities are not that much different from other metropolitan areas, in that there are more institutions of higher learning than just the University of Minnesota. So, what of the needs of students at those other schools? Below are just a few I pulled off of the first few pages from the on-line Yellow Pages of colleges and community colleges in the Twin Cities.
 
      Century College  Chad College  Chopper College  College Arch & Landscape Arch  Community School of Excellence  Dunwoody College of Technology  Hamline University  Inver Hills Community College  Kaplan Professional Schools  MacAlester College  Mc Nally Smith College-Music  Metropolitan State University  Minneapolis College of Art and Design  Minneapolis Community and Technical College  National American University  Normandale Community College  North Central University  North Hennepin Community College  St Paul Center-Inver Hills Community College  St Paul College  University of Phoenix  University of St Thomas  Vesper College
 
That's only a few of the other institutions of higher learning. What about their students? What are they? Chopped liver? Don't they need some sort of "campus" ministry? Are their needs unimportant? Is it that students who have to get their educations from places like the University of Phoenix don't deserve the same ministry outreach as students at a university with a big-time football team?
 
 
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 22, 2011, 02:50:52 PM
Quote
I'm giving students who take time off from school to be a peer volunteer the opportunity to work with a dynamic, fast growing - mission oriented campus ministry - and experience many opportunities to share the faith with their contemporaries - help lead bible classes…It's being done by the RC's right now - and they are making a HUGE difference on campus.  They went from 40 a sunday to 300 in about 2 yrs.
The problem is, that for the so-called confessionals, they view lay led Bible studies as forms of conventicles that are to be forbidden by orthodox Lutherans. Until you get over that hurdle, your plan will never fly. Advocating the concept that students should teach and lead Bible studies is the kiss of death in any new campus plan that you want the so-called confessionals to buy into.

Is this true?  I don't know that this is true.  Are there people whom you identify as confessional who view lay-led Bible studies to be forbidden?
If so, why?  I would say the Pastor/pastoral office is the called teaching office, so any teaching ministry is under my (the pastor's) supervision.  And where there have been lay-led classes in my experience, they are supervised by the Pastor.  But the pastor does not have to teach all of the classes.  How would Sunday School be held then?

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 22, 2011, 02:53:56 PM
Peter,

Mark, the fact remains that saying students can me missionaries is no different than saying truck drivers should be missionaries

Exactamundo. I think rather, this is what the entire issue boils down to—is it legit to say that a truck driver is a missionary? Do Christians have a call, a vocation, to share their faith with others—to see themselves as sent ones, going out and bringing Christ to others.

Or, is that only the work of the pastor? Does the college student/truck driver have a vocation to be seeking to share their faith—or, is it really not their vocation, and their call is merely one of passive response—if someone asks them about what they believe, then they share. Otherwise, that is not their vocation.

So yes, Peter, this is absolutely-dutely correct.


I wonder why no one ever posts anything like that when I suggest that evangelism outreach should be deliberate and proactive, and I get jumped on by pastors who insist that all evangelism comes from their parishioners living their lives in Christian example and witness.
 
I wonder if any of the pastors who raked me over the coals for not agreeing that it's enough that their congregation members are inspired to spread the word and no other evangelism is needed or even a good idea will jump in and disagree with what you wrote. (That's a rhetorical statement. I'm confident that they won't.)
 
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on September 22, 2011, 03:52:04 PM
Has there been any further word from President Seitz or the Board that sheds light on their decision? President Seitz is not known to take action without careful consideration of various alternatives nor is he known to be partisan. In the past the same was true for the MNS Board.

Marie Meyer

Every news report I've seen indicates something like this:  There was no response to a phone call and email to the board. (http://kstp.com/news/stories/S2294889.shtml?cat=1) 

I don't know President Seitz or any of the district executives, but the lack of any response from an MNS spokesman to requests for comment from the news media doesn't reflect well on the district.  Indeed, I can't understand why they wouldn't at least have prepared talking points a spokesman could repeat ad nausium.  As Dr. Gard notes, the MNS district is coming across in a very negative light.

Has there been any comment from President Harrison on this?

One blessing, perhaps small as it may be, has been a lack of implication that such actions flow all the way up to an agenda of the synodical administration.  If Dr. Kieschnick were still SP, then I have little doubt we would have seen such implications made.

Mike
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mmeyer on September 22, 2011, 03:58:55 PM
Peter,

Mark, the fact remains that saying students can me missionaries is no different than saying truck drivers should be missionaries

Exactamundo. I think rather, this is what the entire issue boils down to—is it legit to say that a truck driver is a missionary? Do Christians have a call, a vocation, to share their faith with others—to see themselves as sent ones, going out and bringing Christ to others.

Or, is that only the work of the pastor? Does the college student/truck driver have a vocation to be seeking to share their faith—or, is it really not their vocation, and their call is merely one of passive response—if someone asks them about what they believe, then they share. Otherwise, that is not their vocation.

So yes, Peter, this is absolutely-dutely correct.


I wonder why no one ever posts anything like that when I suggest that evangelism outreach should be deliberate and proactive, and I get jumped on by pastors who insist that all evangelism comes from their parishioners living their lives in Christian example and witness.
 
I wonder if any of the pastors who raked me over the coals for not agreeing that it's enough that their congregation members are inspired to spread the word and no other evangelism is needed or even a good idea will jump in and disagree with what you wrote. (That's a rhetorical statement. I'm confident that they won't.)

Well - I would like to comment.  IN my 24+ years as an LCMS pastor, I have noticed one common thread - many, maybe even a majority, of Lutherans are AFRAID to give testimony to the hope we have in Jesus Christ for fear that THEY WILL SAY SOMETHING WRONG.  We have become so clergy-centric and scared that we don't put together the exact doctrinal formula that we seem to all but shut people down. 

One of the things I've learned is that it's good to give people the permission to speak about the hope they have in Jesus Christ - yes, to even PRACTICE it out loud - so they get comfortable.  They get used to speaking with their voice what they carry in their soul/heart.

One of the most rewarding groups on campus is our prayer team.  We practice a version of the Lectio Divina - where we read a section of scripture, talk about it for a bit - then re-read it two verses at a time, then pray after each reading.  We take turns praying outloud - either reflecting on what was said in Scripture or adding whatever else may be on our hearts.  It has been such a great experience for our students to learn not only about THE Faith - but to practice praying and talking THE Faith. 

Creating a climate where we can freely, openly and excitedly talk about the hope we have in Jesus Christ is the best evangelism program one can have - in my opinion.  As the Gospel is shared, the Holy Spirit works on hearts - how cool is that? 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Robert Johnson on September 22, 2011, 04:01:48 PM
Quote
I looked up the map of the university in question. It covers a lot of territory. A location just outside of the moat that surrounds the campus could actually be closer to many points on the campus than an on-campus location at the far edge of the campus.


That is a good point. I think what you are trying to say is that there is no magical vortex that necessitates a chapel be situated on the corner of 11th Ave and University Ave in Minneapolis. A campus chapel could be built in any number of places - where students could have easy access.


Likewise, it could also be integrated into an existing congregation that's in close proximity to the campus, where students would have easy access and integration into a full, diverse congregation rather than a specialized little academic microcosm.
 

Every Lutheran congregation I've belonged to (including a couple next door to universities) was family-focused.  Unmarried young people were invisible.   Basically none of the non-worship activities were relevant to college age singles. 

Perhaps my experience is unusual, but I tend to doubt it.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on September 22, 2011, 04:04:37 PM
Quote
Are there people whom you identify as confessional who view lay-led Bible studies to be forbidden? If so, why?

Oh sure, for example one previous pastor of the ULC wrote on this thread:

Quote
ULC had resisted the not so subtle attempts of some leaders in the district to move us into contemporary worship, cell groups and the like.

In fact the main reason why cell groups were resisted by the so-called CL’s is because they were perceived as modern forms of conventicles. (Sewing circles, LWML business meetings, men’s bowling clubs, etc. would not be considered cell groups or conventicles as they do not have a focus on hearing the Word of God.) It is based upon a particular interpretation that AC XIV is meant to limit the public teaching of adults to that of just the ordained clergy. They are particularly fond of quoting C.F.W.Walther’s writings against conventicles. It is the reason why so many get nervous when they hear the LWML sometimes doing devotions without a member of the ordained clergy leading it.
   
Now, the ordained clergy do have more theological training to lead devotions and Bible studies. So, if they do the job exclusively it is really not that bad of an idea. It just may not be practical for doing outreach effectively.

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on September 22, 2011, 04:15:46 PM
Someone writes:
It is the reason why so many get nervous when they hear the LWML sometimes doing devotions without a member of the ordained clergy leading it.

I ask:
Does this really happen? Do some people really get nervous if a LWML meeting has devotions without a pastor present?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 22, 2011, 04:16:09 PM
Quote
I looked up the map of the university in question. It covers a lot of territory. A location just outside of the moat that surrounds the campus could actually be closer to many points on the campus than an on-campus location at the far edge of the campus.


Hey, I want to hear more about this moat. Not knowing about it, you would think that I'd have fallen in when I walked onto campus.  ;)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: sgehrke on September 22, 2011, 04:20:01 PM
Just looking at maps is not adequate to determine a good location for a church.  If the land at 11th & University on the edge of campus is worth $3.2M, land even closer to campus center would be expected to be even more expensive. However, this location is on the edge of campus most proximate to where the most students live.  That is why the apartment developers want to get their hands on it. So there is no question that ULC’s ministry will be diminished moving from its current location.  It’s not just a question of how many blocks from campus center the church is, or a matter of how many miles as the crow flies it is to other congregations.

Regarding rock’em, sock’em worship, that was tried at ULC with a major financial investment prior to Pr. Pless’s arrival on campus as I’d pointed out quite a few posts back.  A curious thing I’ve noticed is that defenders of ULC here and on BJS are from the early 60’s or from the Pless/Kind years, but I’ve not seen anyone from ULC’s cutting edge CoWo years defend it in that form.  But I do appreciate JAQ stating clearly its absence is what he sees as deficient in ULC’s ministry.  Does the MNS Board share that view?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 22, 2011, 04:21:24 PM
Well - I would like to comment.  IN my 24+ years as an LCMS pastor, I have noticed one common thread - many, maybe even a majority, of Lutherans are AFRAID to give testimony to the hope we have in Jesus Christ for fear that THEY WILL SAY SOMETHING WRONG.  We have become so clergy-centric and scared that we don't put together the exact doctrinal formula that we seem to all but shut people down. 

Boy, you've been in different crowds than I. And look on the various lists. You've been on LQ since 2004, Monte. You go on BJS. Perhaps WT. Not only are the majority not afraid that they'll something wrong, many don't care if they do! Relativism is rampant in most circles.

We have become so clergy-centric and scared that we don't put together the exact doctrinal formula that we seem to all but shut people down?  Pure flummery.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on September 22, 2011, 04:35:28 PM
When they date and treat their dates well and right, that is a good and Godly work.
When they call home and keep in touch with their moms & dads, that is a good and Godly work.
When they share Christ with their friends and those around them, that is a good and Godly work.
When they keep in touch with their siblings and offer advice and help, that is a good and Godly work.
When they take care of their bodies and exercise and compete, that is a good and Godly work.

And when they cheer on the Yankees, that is an evil and dastardly work.

Mike
(whose primary vocation right now is cheering on the Rangers who are up right now, 2-1)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 22, 2011, 04:43:39 PM
Just to set the record straight - as far as this particular evangelical catholic is concerned - I have no opposition to well-prepared and mature laity leading studies; I next to never share my Sunday Bible Class as I regard that a primary feature of my calling here, but have on occasion, last one I think was a dear lady who is a Bible translator and works in areas hostile to Christianity; our LWML always meets without the pastor and engages in Bible Study and discussion; opposition to small group ministry (i.e., conventicles) as it was at one time being pushed is not at all the same thing as saying that a student cannot lead a Bible study.  Most pastors I know would be delighted to hear of students getting together to study the Word of God; provided, of course, that it didn't BECOME a conventicle by substituting for the regular nourishment of the congregation gathered around the table of the Lord's Word and Meal.  Next straw man, please?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on September 22, 2011, 04:52:01 PM
Pastor Weedon sensibly and pastorally answered my question, for which, thanks. The thought that someone would get upset if LWML had devotions or discussed scripture without a pastor present gives me a creepy feeling.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on September 22, 2011, 04:52:26 PM
Just to set the record straight - as far as this particular evangelical catholic is concerned - I have no opposition to well-prepared and mature laity leading studies; I next to never share my Sunday Bible Class as I regard that a primary feature of my calling here, but have on occasion, last one I think was a dear lady who is a Bible translator and works in areas hostile to Christianity; our LWML always meets without the pastor and engages in Bible Study and discussion; opposition to small group ministry (i.e., conventicles) as it was at one time being pushed is not at all the same thing as saying that a student cannot lead a Bible study.  Most pastors I know would be delighted to hear of students getting together to study the Word of God; provided, of course, that it didn't BECOME a conventicle by substituting for the regular nourishment of the congregation gathered around the table of the Lord's Word and Meal.

Wow.  This is unexpected and welcoming to hear from you.

I'll just have to say that in my experience those who participate in small group lay-led Bible studies tend to attend services MORE often and appreciate the Sacraments MORE deeply.

I've yet to come upon any small-group Bible study group which has taken it upon themselves to take up the water crackers and Riesling set out for snacking and think "Hey, who needs our church? We can do this ourselves."  ::)

Mike
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on September 22, 2011, 05:24:50 PM
Quote
Regarding rock’em, sock’em worship, that was tried at ULC with a major financial investment prior to Pr. Pless’s arrival on campus as I’d pointed out quite a few posts back.  A curious thing I’ve noticed is that defenders of ULC here and on BJS are from the early 60’s or from the Pless/Kind years, but I’ve not seen anyone from ULC’s cutting edge CoWo years defend it in that form.


Good point. I am sure that there must be some reason why the rock’em, sock’em worship style did not work as well in the past, but now seems to be more effective these days. Or, perhaps they were more effective than we think. Perhaps the church would have totally died out if had not been for some variation of contemporary worship thrown into the liturgical mix of a Sunday morning worship in the late 1960’s? The fresh focus on liturgical contemplative traditional worship in the 1980’s might have been successful precisely because it was a change of pace from the usual style. A change of pace is sometimes good for the soul.

I don’t know if the ULC would be sold if they had offered more of variety of styles – such as a contemporary worship blend with a traditional liturgical framework. I suspect some might argue that the sanctuary itself is not as conducive as a more secular venue might for inviting students to events. They might argue that a sanctuary has too much of a sacred feel to it. They might argue that a rock’em, sock’em worship experience needs to take place in a flip flop friendly coffee house & jam session venue than a place that generates vibes that feel like a weird Celtic combination and/or hybrid of traditional and contemporary religion.

Maybe the ULC needs to get a new place with a basement where the kids can jam out with the electric guitars and be seeker friendly, while upstairs on the top floor they can play good old fashioned Gregorian chant and do contemplative praying with incense, candles, icons, etc. and show Godly reverence with frequent participation in the Eucharist? With the ministry/apartment development combo concept, the District could actually support two ministries - where different pastors do different things and all live in peace and harmony.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 22, 2011, 05:27:01 PM
First toleration; then equality; then extermination.  Yup, Krauth was bang on right. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LCMS87 on September 22, 2011, 05:32:10 PM
Just to set the record straight - as far as this particular evangelical catholic is concerned - I have no opposition to well-prepared and mature laity leading studies; I next to never share my Sunday Bible Class as I regard that a primary feature of my calling here, but have on occasion, last one I think was a dear lady who is a Bible translator and works in areas hostile to Christianity; our LWML always meets without the pastor and engages in Bible Study and discussion; opposition to small group ministry (i.e., conventicles) as it was at one time being pushed is not at all the same thing as saying that a student cannot lead a Bible study.  Most pastors I know would be delighted to hear of students getting together to study the Word of God; provided, of course, that it didn't BECOME a conventicle by substituting for the regular nourishment of the congregation gathered around the table of the Lord's Word and Meal.

Wow.  This is unexpected and welcoming to hear from you.

I'll just have to say that in my experience those who participate in small group lay-led Bible studies tend to attend services MORE often and appreciate the Sacraments MORE deeply.

I've yet to come upon any small-group Bible study group which has taken it upon themselves to take up the water crackers and Riesling set out for snacking and think "Hey, who needs our church? We can do this ourselves."  ::)

Mike

Pr. Weedon's response is one with which I'm quite comfortable.  Our education director for the past few years has made a habit of checking with me on materials being considered.  Leaders of the various Bible studies often come to me with questions they have as they prepare or with issues raised in class they aren't quite sure how to answer.  As the Reverend President noted, all the teaching that goes on in the parish is under the pastor's responsibility as the called servant of the word, but that doesn't mean he teaches each and every class personally.  (Oh, and I don't pass off the adult confirmation class either.  Besides the catechization, I wouldn't miss the opportunity to get to know and be known by the prospective members.)   

But to the highlighted portion, you need to get out more Mike   :P
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on September 22, 2011, 05:35:47 PM
Maybe the ULC needs to get a new place with a basement where the kids can jam out with the electric guitars and be seeker friendly, while upstairs on the top floor they can play good old fashioned Gregorian chant and do contemplative praying with incense, candles, icons, etc. and show Godly reverence with frequent participation in the Eucharist? With the ministry/apartment development combo concept, the District could actually support two ministries - where different pastors do different things and all live in peace and harmony.

If I want rose-colored glasses, I'm coming to you! At least as likely as your optimistic scenario is what happened to the University Episcopal Center at the University of Minnesota, which can be tracked through its increasingly dispirited and infrequent newsletters. See the links I posted above at http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=4114.msg238355#msg238355 (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=4114.msg238355#msg238355).

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LCMS87 on September 22, 2011, 05:36:43 PM

I don’t know if the ULC would be sold if they had offered more of variety of styles – such as a contemporary worship blend with a traditional liturgical framework.

JAQ,

Is this just your speculation, or do you know for a fact that the MNS BOD thinks this way? 

If you're privy to inside information, I'd note that this doesn't match what the FAQ's say.  If you're not, you've done them a disservice.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on September 22, 2011, 05:38:06 PM
I've yet to come upon any small-group Bible study group which has taken it upon themselves to take up the water crackers and Riesling set out for snacking and think "Hey, who needs our church? We can do this ourselves."  ::)

But to the highlighted portion, you need to get out more Mike   :P

Or I've been blessed to belong only to well-catechized ministries -- altho I guess not so well-catechized as to reject those demonic praise bands and CCM.  ;)

Probably somewhat self-selection.  I'd probably reject attending any LCMS congregation which truly would encourage such cell-group conventicles because of any number of other things before learning about them.

Mike
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mariemeyer on September 22, 2011, 05:49:36 PM
Just to set the record straight - as far as this particular evangelical catholic is concerned - I have no opposition to well-prepared and mature laity leading studies; I next to never share my Sunday Bible Class as I regard that a primary feature of my calling here, but have on occasion, last one I think was a dear lady who is a Bible translator and works in areas hostile to Christianity; our LWML always meets without the pastor and engages in Bible Study and discussion; opposition to small group ministry (i.e., conventicles) as it was at one time being pushed is not at all the same thing as saying that a student cannot lead a Bible study.  Most pastors I know would be delighted to hear of students getting together to study the Word of God; provided, of course, that it didn't BECOME a conventicle by substituting for the regular nourishment of the congregation gathered around the table of the Lord's Word and Meal.  Next straw man, please?

Will:

Loved the comment about " a dear lady who is a Bible translator" being invited on a rare occasion to teach your Sunday adult Bible Class.   During the years I served on the LBT Board  we fanned out to local churches to lead Sunday Bible Class, do a "temple talk" and in the case of clergy Board members, preach. As a result of the Board practice I had the opportunity to speak in LCMS churches through out the country. I wonder if I was thought of as a "dear lady?"  Better that than  "dear old lady." ;)

Marie
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 22, 2011, 05:55:03 PM
First toleration; then equality; then extermination.  Yup, Krauth was bang on right.

Wow, Krauth spoke out on offensive jihad, the three-stage process describing how Islam is to be advanced throughout the world? Nothing new under the sun.

http://www.lhmmen.com/studyvideofull.asp?ID=12218&fid=1981&mode=
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 22, 2011, 05:57:16 PM
Well, since Islam is justly regarded as a Christian heresy at its foundation; um, YES.  :)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 22, 2011, 06:02:52 PM
Marie,

LOL.  Old is always relative, I suppose.  I never consider anyone old who is younger than my parents - and my mom was born in 1917.  So you are still a dear YOUNG lady. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 22, 2011, 06:23:18 PM
Every Lutheran congregation I've belonged to (including a couple next door to universities) was family-focused.  Unmarried young people were invisible.   Basically none of the non-worship activities were relevant to college age singles. 

Perhaps my experience is unusual, but I tend to doubt it.

Are they family focused because there is some scriptural foundation that requires it, or is it just inertia? Is there any reason why congregations should be family-focused to the extent that unmarried young people (and unmarried middle-aged people and widows and widowers) should be excluded? Is it a positive thing that congregations should be so unwelcoming to single people? Perhaps that's why so few of the adults who are (for all practical intents and purposes) chased away from our congregations when they become adults, and when they do finally marry and start families, they return to churches other than Lutheran churches.
 
Want to know the best way to chase away an entire generation? Make the congregations unwelcoming to single adults, so that they stop attending when they leave their parents' homes. Enough of them will eventually marry people of other faith traditions, and when the time comes to return to church with their kids (since clearly, having children is a requirement for full participation membership), there's a good chance they'll go to a church of the other spouse's faith tradition, or they'll compromise on a church of neither of their faith traditions.
 
When I married my then Roman Catholic wife, we came very close to compromising on becoming Episcopalians, as we both saw that as the middle ground between Lutheran and Roman Catholic. And please, we don't need any nitpicking corrections about that compromise. For one thing, we didn't do it. For another, whether that perception is accurate or not, a great many Lutheran and Roman Catholic pewsitters perceive it as being accurate, and that perception is what drives choices.
 
We ended up raising our daughter Lutheran, but my wife didn't officially convert until after we had been married over 20 years, several years after I became a Lay Worship Leader.
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 22, 2011, 06:26:51 PM
JAQ,

If contemprorary worship and/or mega-churches are to be the backbone of the synod, then they had better start giving more.  My understanding is that these churches give far less to district and synod, on average, than do the tired old liturgical churches.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Harry Edmon on September 22, 2011, 07:15:14 PM
For what it's worth, I just received an email from the district office with a FAQ page on the sale of the campus properties.  I assume it was sent to everyone in the MNS district...

I just found the link to the actual letter I received. Here it is...

http://mns.lcms.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=Vq-gxLbP3os%3d&tabid=206&mid=791

Here is ULC's response to this letter:

http://www.ulcmn.org/Files/Save%20ULC%20Files/MNS%20Dist%20FAQ-Notated-2.pdf
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 22, 2011, 07:57:52 PM
Just to set the record straight - as far as this particular evangelical catholic is concerned - I have no opposition to well-prepared and mature laity leading studies; I next to never share my Sunday Bible Class as I regard that a primary feature of my calling here, but have on occasion, last one I think was a dear lady who is a Bible translator and works in areas hostile to Christianity; our LWML always meets without the pastor and engages in Bible Study and discussion; opposition to small group ministry (i.e., conventicles) as it was at one time being pushed is not at all the same thing as saying that a student cannot lead a Bible study.  Most pastors I know would be delighted to hear of students getting together to study the Word of God; provided, of course, that it didn't BECOME a conventicle by substituting for the regular nourishment of the congregation gathered around the table of the Lord's Word and Meal.  Next straw man, please?

That's what I thought, and that's basically what I do.  If there are pastors insecure enough to claim the sole responsibility for all teaching, they're just mistaken.  And I agree completely with Mike - the small group Bible study folks are normally way MORE likely to attend the Divine Service. 

As to SW's thesis that the large churches give less, I might grant that on a percentage of budget from the parish basis, but not on the raw numbers.  Our larger parishes are the backbone of our district budget in terms of just straight dollars and cents.  I would guess that's true Synod-wide.  Do you have some statistical evidence for your thesis, SW, or is that more a local phenomenon?

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 22, 2011, 08:06:34 PM
Yup, you are right, President Benke.

A congregation that averages attendance of 80/Sunday gives $6,000/year to District/Synod. A congregation that averages 1500/Sunday gives $10,000/year to District/Synod.

You are correct. In "raw numbers" the megachurch gives more.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on September 22, 2011, 08:37:57 PM
Mike Gehlhausen,

(whose primary vocation right now is cheering on the Rangers who are up right now, 2-1)

You cheer because, unlike the Yankees, they have not clinched the division. :)

People who don't cheer for the Yankees are more likely to kick small animals, trip blind people, and scratch DVDs. That is just part of their vocation...


Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Evangel on September 22, 2011, 08:56:19 PM
Mike Gehlhausen,

(whose primary vocation right now is cheering on the Rangers who are up right now, 2-1)

You cheer because, unlike the Yankees, they have not clinched the division. :)

People who don't cheer for the Yankees are more likely to kick small animals, trip blind people, and scratch DVDs. That is just part of their vocation...

And this Yankee fan's baseball cheering vocation will be complete (until the playoffs start) when the Red Sox slide out of Wild Card contention.   :P
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on September 22, 2011, 09:05:04 PM
George Erdner,
 
I wonder why no one ever posts anything like that when I suggest that evangelism outreach should be deliberate and proactive, and I get jumped on by pastors who insist that all evangelism comes from their parishioners living their lives in Christian example and witness.

Well, I am sorry for not backing you up. Once again, when you argue that the only evangelism that laity need to do is really to be a passive witness to their faith...
 
I wonder if any of the pastors who raked me over the coals for not agreeing that it's enough that their congregation members are inspired to spread the word and no other evangelism is needed or even a good idea will jump in and disagree with what you wrote. (That's a rhetorical statement. I'm confident that they won't.)

Only because I know where they live...
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: jtpless on September 22, 2011, 09:55:32 PM
I'm not sure how JAQ came to the conclusion that my rejection of "cell groups" (as in Carl George's "Meta Church" as is was called back then) meant that I did not allow students to lead Bible studies at ULC. That was not the case.

JTP+
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 22, 2011, 10:18:25 PM
George Erdner,
 
I wonder why no one ever posts anything like that when I suggest that evangelism outreach should be deliberate and proactive, and I get jumped on by pastors who insist that all evangelism comes from their parishioners living their lives in Christian example and witness.

Well, I am sorry for not backing you up. Once again, when you argue that the only evangelism that laity need to do is really to be a passive witness to their faith...
 

That has never been my contention. I've said that it should be planned and deliberate, not something that everyone hopes simply happens. Clergy and laity alike need to be involved.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 22, 2011, 10:21:57 PM
Yup, you are right, President Benke.

A congregation that averages attendance of 80/Sunday gives $6,000/year to District/Synod. A congregation that averages 1500/Sunday gives $10,000/year to District/Synod.

You are correct. In "raw numbers" the megachurch gives more.

That's why I mentioned it, Don.  Although 1500 in attendance giving $10000 a year would jump up as extraordinarily wimpy.  Now there are other examples where the parish of 80 gives nothing and the one with 1500 gives $150000.   What are the real numbers?  Anyone with more than a guess?

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pr dtp on September 23, 2011, 01:16:32 AM
For what it's worth, I just received an email from the district office with a FAQ page on the sale of the campus properties.  I assume it was sent to everyone in the MNS district...

I just found the link to the actual letter I received. Here it is...

http://mns.lcms.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=Vq-gxLbP3os%3d&tabid=206&mid=791

Here is ULC's response to this letter:

http://www.ulcmn.org/Files/Save%20ULC%20Files/MNS%20Dist%20FAQ-Notated-2.pdf

Interesting- it looks like the District is giving the same opportunity and financing any church plant in our district receives, plus the potential of $250,000.  (most of the church planters I've met would love to have that financing!

Now based on the conversations around here, it sounds like there is a non-student base of 100+ regular attenders, which means there is additional income to that which the district is considering giving.  Again - most missions I know would love to have that kind of financing.

Even so, the claim is made that this will kill off the congregation, that moving to a store front, or renovating some other facility will not be the same.   Interesting, because I have seen churches convert modular buildings, gyms, restaurants, and office spaces etc into serviceable sanctuaries that still maintain a sense of reverence.  I even know one church that took over and older automotive repair facility and used it for 10 years as a sanctuary, where communion was held weekly.

If such a hardship would close down this congregation, I wonder what would happen if there was real tribulation?





Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: sgehrke on September 23, 2011, 03:55:30 AM
The very significant difference is that the property was donated specifically to create a campus ministry to the University of Minnesota - Minneapolis.  It is nearly is and proposes to become a self-sustaining congregation as long as its property is not taken away from the congregation to whom the property was given.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 23, 2011, 07:18:34 AM
Interesting- it looks like the District is giving the same opportunity and financing any church plant in our district receives, plus the potential of $250,000.  (most of the church planters I've met would love to have that financing!

Now based on the conversations around here, it sounds like there is a non-student base of 100+ regular attenders, which means there is additional income to that which the district is considering giving.  Again - most missions I know would love to have that kind of financing.

Even so, the claim is made that this will kill off the congregation, that moving to a store front, or renovating some other facility will not be the same.   Interesting, because I have seen churches convert modular buildings, gyms, restaurants, and office spaces etc into serviceable sanctuaries that still maintain a sense of reverence.  I even know one church that took over and older automotive repair facility and used it for 10 years as a sanctuary, where communion was held weekly.

If such a hardship would close down this congregation, I wonder what would happen if there was real tribulation?

Um, slight difference between a new church plant and a ministry that has  existed in a location for over 60 years (http://ulcmn.org/About/History.html).  It is also a very different thing for a district to provide funds to a church plant (or new ministry or new ministry concept) from other budgeted sources than from an unhelpful appropriation of resources that will potentially destroy an existing viable ministry.

I'm not sure why it appears to be so difficult for some to understand that if the District indeed needed out from under the expense of this building, the meet, right and salutary thing to do would have been to assist ULC purchase the building themselves at a fair value that the church could afford over the needed length of time (or if the District was to act in a truly merciful way, at the original purchase price).  We have the Church Extension Fund for this very purpose.  Because that didn't happen and because it appears it won't happen, there can be nothing else to conclude but that eyes are set on that $3.2 million only.  Tetzel would be so proud.  :P
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on September 23, 2011, 08:17:48 AM
I'm not sure why it appears to be so difficult for some to understand that if the District indeed needed out from under the expense of this building, the meet, right and salutary thing to do would have been to assist ULC purchase the building themselves at a fair value that the church could afford over the needed length of time (or if the District was to act in a truly merciful way, at the original purchase price).  We have the Church Extension Fund for this very purpose.  Because that didn't happen and because it appears it won't happen, there can be nothing else to conclude but that eyes are set on that $3.2 million only.  Tetzel would be so proud.  :P

I doubt -- as I should per the Eighth Commandment -- that MNS is calculating enough to do so, but it is interesting to see how in the face of ULC being sold out from under those using it, the prospect of ULC buying out the property from the district is now so strongly endorsed.  I wonder whether people might have come out with analogies of MNS holding the chapel for hostage if it had just come out with that plan at first.

Now, if MNS finds a good way to save face, it can indeed get its $3.2 million or close to it from supporters of ULC, have all cheer them for doing it, and start up the new ministry direction.   Not a bad outcome if the pending deal can be backed out of somehow.

And if the deal cannot be backed out of, then is all of this outrage to any effect?

Mike
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on September 23, 2011, 08:32:18 AM
George Erdner,
 
I wonder why no one ever posts anything like that when I suggest that evangelism outreach should be deliberate and proactive, and I get jumped on by pastors who insist that all evangelism comes from their parishioners living their lives in Christian example and witness.

Well, I am sorry for not backing you up. Once again, when you argue that the only evangelism that laity need to do is really to be a passive witness to their faith...
 

That has never been my contention. I've said that it should be planned and deliberate, not something that everyone hopes simply happens. Clergy and laity alike need to be involved.

Sorry, my post was a bit unclear. I did not mean to suggest that this was your opinion. The fact that the position is there is what is annoying and we ought to push against that.

I think that the "everyone hopes simply happens" is quite the passive attitude that I don't think should fly. Evangelism—just like pastoral care—ought to be intentional.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on September 23, 2011, 08:41:43 AM
George Erdner,
 
I wonder why no one ever posts anything like that when I suggest that evangelism outreach should be deliberate and proactive, and I get jumped on by pastors who insist that all evangelism comes from their parishioners living their lives in Christian example and witness.

Well, I am sorry for not backing you up. Once again, when you argue that the only evangelism that laity need to do is really to be a passive witness to their faith...
 

That has never been my contention. I've said that it should be planned and deliberate, not something that everyone hopes simply happens. Clergy and laity alike need to be involved.

Sorry, my post was a bit unclear. I did not mean to suggest that this was your opinion. The fact that the position is there is what is annoying and we ought to push against that.

I think that the "everyone hopes simply happens" is quite the passive attitude that I don't think should fly. Evangelism—just like pastoral care—ought to be intentional.

I think that inevitably reactions to ULC being sold and the new mission direction will be mingled because the actions are so linked.

This did not have to be.  I am mildly supportive of the new mission direction -- if it is even really new rather than just more explicit and intentiional.   But I definitely think that MNS should have been more patient and given ULC supporters a chance to finance purchasing the building.

But then I am still burned up by the sale of KFUO-FM and that happened a year or two ago.

I can only hope that as we go into the district conventions and then the synodical presidential election positioning, I do not hear the "we need to consider selling a seminary (StL since FtW cannot be sold)" talk again.

Mike
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 23, 2011, 09:58:41 AM
I am mildly supportive of the new mission direction -- if it is even really new rather than just more explicit and intentiional.   

If you're really interested in gaining a better understanding of this "new mission direction", feel free to PM me.  The incident I referenced above was one I was directly involved with.  Campus ministry is MINISTRY, and needs to be conducted by those trained in Lutheran theology.

If you want your church's and District's dollars going towards students being taken to a church like this because there is no difference in our theology, good on ya'.  ;D  I want Lutheran students (and ALL students) to receive better than this . . . I want them to receive the Truth.  I want them to receive the Word and Sacraments.

http://www.crossroads.net/my/about/whatWeBelieve/statementoffaith.htm
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 23, 2011, 10:07:31 AM
Pastor Messer,

What one must need a degree in rocket science to understand is why we need to sell the campus properties and use the proceeds to establish a new district position to enact a new campus ministry plan which involves encouraging students to do what you're talking about here.

Well, first, that was not the question I was asked, right? I mean, my point was how the peer minister thing could work.

Second, you don't need a degree in rocket science: money. All campus ministries cost money. They don't bring money to the district.

That is the way it is. We've all seen it.

Pr. Louderback,

I understood your point.  What I don't understand is why it is necessary to sell the campus properties to do the peer ministry thing you describe.  It seems to me that if the peer ministry thing simply involves what you describe, the District could implement this plan without having to sell the campus properties.  Plus, it seems very odd to me that the District would even consider messing with the campus ministry being done at ULC and CLC, where the things you describe are already happening, in order to expand the peer ministry thing to other campuses in the District.  But, then, I do lack a degree in rocket science, so I suppose this will remain over my head. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 23, 2011, 10:13:21 AM
I doubt -- as I should per the Eighth Commandment -- that MNS is calculating enough to do so, but it is interesting to see how in the face of ULC being sold out from under those using it, the prospect of ULC buying out the property from the district is now so strongly endorsed.  I wonder whether people might have come out with analogies of MNS holding the chapel for hostage if it had just come out with that plan at first.

Now, if MNS finds a good way to save face, it can indeed get its $3.2 million or close to it from supporters of ULC, have all cheer them for doing it, and start up the new ministry direction.   Not a bad outcome if the pending deal can be backed out of somehow.

And if the deal cannot be backed out of, then is all of this outrage to any effect?

Mike

The prudent thing for any organization calling itself Christian to do is to put ALL options on the table for ALL affected parties to discuss fairly and openly.  I'm completely understanding of the need to make some very tough financial decisions in light of a very challenging economy; I'm beat up as a result of these decisions five days a week within one of my vocations.  That doesn't end the obligation for Christian leaders to conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the one they are to represent . . . Jesus.  Jesus would have his eye on those 100+ souls in an existing congregation, doing what was necessary to work out the best solution for the existing congregation in a way that would not cause them harm.  Jesus would not turn his eye towards a way of making $3.2 million on property that has gained value only because of the passage of time.  $3.2 was never invested in the property to have need of recouping at this point.  That time was spent faithfully serving God for upwards of 60 years now and bringing His love and Mercy to countless numbers of souls.  Forgive me, but I have a strong passion for that place where money and mercy/mission intersect.  We are not business leaders, we are CHURCH leaders and need to conduct ourselves as such.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 23, 2011, 10:16:23 AM
So stop all the foolishness about college students having some vocation that excuses them from other vocations. They don't. They simply don't.

Stop the foolishness of purposely misinterpreting what others, including myself, have said about students and vocations.  No one has said that a student's vocation as student excuses them from other vocations.  You have effectively knocked down the straw man of your own creation, Pr. Louderback (much like your continued harping about election and evangelism, per Pr. Curtis' paper/presentation, which you misunderstand and misrepresent).   
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on September 23, 2011, 10:18:29 AM
Pastor Messer,

What one must need a degree in rocket science to understand is why we need to sell the campus properties and use the proceeds to establish a new district position to enact a new campus ministry plan which involves encouraging students to do what you're talking about here.

Well, first, that was not the question I was asked, right? I mean, my point was how the peer minister thing could work.

Second, you don't need a degree in rocket science: money. All campus ministries cost money. They don't bring money to the district.

That is the way it is. We've all seen it.

Pr. Louderback,

I understood your point.  What I don't understand is why it is necessary to sell the campus properties to do the peer ministry thing you describe.  It seems to me that if the peer ministry thing simply involves what you describe, the District could implement this plan without having to sell the campus properties.  Plus, it seems very odd to me that the District would even consider messing with the campus ministry being done at ULC and CLC, where the things you describe are already happening, in order to expand the peer ministry thing to other campuses in the District.  But, then, I do lack a degree in rocket science, so I suppose this will remain over my head.

I can understand how money might be needed to provide administrative and spiritual personnel specifically devoted to the peer ministry program.

I can even understand how selling ULC to obtain these funds might be one solution.

What I cannot understand is MNS not giving ULC more of a chance to finance purchasing the property themselves.

I can't understand any compensation of students if it exists either.  They should be doing this out of faith and not a desire for compensation.

Mike
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: John_Hannah on September 23, 2011, 10:26:39 AM

I can even understand how selling ULC to obtain these funds might be one solution.

What I cannot understand is MNS not giving ULC more of a chance to finance purchasing the property themselves.

Mike


I think they may. How would you give them more of a chance?

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 23, 2011, 10:30:20 AM
Mr. Gehlhaussen,

You wrote: "... if MNS finds a good way to save face, it can indeed get its $3.2 million or close to it from supporters of ULC.."  The problem with that is it is NOT MNS's 3.2 million dollars.  The property in question was not a gift to MNS for it to dispose of as it wished; it was entrusted to MNS to maintain as a campus ministry.  Elsewhere Rev. Kirchner rightly reminded me that "trustee" language is legal language that may not apply in this situation.  But legalese aside, it seems clear what was the intent of the 1963 resolution.  And it was not to give MNS control over the property for any other purpose but for campus ministry at THAT campus.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on September 23, 2011, 10:31:15 AM

I can even understand how selling ULC to obtain these funds might be one solution.

What I cannot understand is MNS not giving ULC more of a chance to finance purchasing the property themselves.

Mike


I think they may. How would you give them more of a chance?

By taking more time to work with ULC on a plan to finance selling it to them rather than making this sale which I believe is already contractually committed.

One of us is misunderstanding the other.  Perhaps it is me.  What point are you making that I am missing?

Mike
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on September 23, 2011, 10:35:43 AM
But legalese aside, it seems clear what was the intent of the 1963 resolution.  And it was not to give MNS control over the property for any other purpose but for campus ministry at THAT campus.

Legalese may not be put aside.

Your attitude towards this seems every bit as post-modern as Pr. Stoffregen's often is on theology.  Your interpretation of what is "clear" is obviously not the interpretation that seems to be prevailing.

As such, it is not clear despite your insistence on that point.

Mike
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 23, 2011, 10:38:48 AM
I think they may. How would you give them more of a chance?

I know this was directed at Mike, but I'll offer my two cents.  Offering a reasonable sale price for the building based on ACTUAL expenditures through the years would be one way, and to assist with an in-house method of financing the purchase (or assisting with coordinating it through the CEF) would have been a fair proposal, as well as one that would have allowed the District to uphold the donors' original intent.  The District has not sunk $3.2 million into that building unless someone knows something that the publicly-available information isn't showing.  The need for obtaining $3.2 million at the expense of a viable ministry is the, well, 3.2 million dollar question.  It's easy to speculate as to the answers to this question in the absence of transparency. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 23, 2011, 10:40:30 AM
Mr. Gehlhaussen,

You wrote: "... if MNS finds a good way to save face, it can indeed get its $3.2 million or close to it from supporters of ULC.."  The problem with that is it is NOT MNS's 3.2 million dollars.  The property in question was not a gift to MNS for it to dispose of as it wished; it was entrusted to MNS to maintain as a campus ministry.  Elsewhere Rev. Kirchner rightly reminded me that "trustee" language is legal language that may not apply in this situation.  But legalese aside, it seems clear what was the intent of the 1963 resolution.  And it was not to give MNS control over the property for any other purpose but for campus ministry at THAT campus.

What I wrote was that to hold property “in trust” for another is a legal term of art. I don’t know that such a term definitively is the case in this situation. The resolution was:

“RESOLVED, that the University Lutheran Center be excluded from the division of assets, but that it serve the two Districts with the Minnesota South District holding title to the property and assuming control and the cost of operating the same.”

http://ulcmn.org/Files/Save%20ULC%20Files/1963%20MN%20Dist%20Resolution.pdf

That said, in some jurisdictions it is possible for a legal owner to create a trust of property without transferring it to anyone else, simply by declaring that the property will henceforth be held for the benefit of the benficiary or beneficiaries. While the trustee has legal title the beneficiary has equitable title.

So, you raise an interesting issue. I do not specialize in trust law, which has become a specialty, so I do not know if this would be a valid issue in Minnesota and in this case. But I have suggested that, at the very least, the resolution should be recorded against the property to give notice to a potential purchaser thereof.

And I have stated that, given that the property is to be held to “serve the two Districts” common courtesy would suggest that the input of MNN be solicited before any decision to sell. And perhaps that has been done.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 23, 2011, 10:44:21 AM
Your attitude towards this seems every bit as post-modern as Pr. Stoffregen's often is on theology.  Your interpretation of what is "clear" is obviously not the interpretation that seems to be prevailing.

Can you explain what you mean by this?  It read like a cheap shot, but I could have missed something.  It's not like you to do such a thing.  I'll be PMing you shortly on my personal experiences with campus ministry done the "post-modern" way.  :)  Perhaps it will help you see why some of us are so adamant about what ministry to students should entail.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on September 23, 2011, 10:48:46 AM
Your attitude towards this seems every bit as post-modern as Pr. Stoffregen's often is on theology.  Your interpretation of what is "clear" is obviously not the interpretation that seems to be prevailing.

Can you explain what you mean by this?  It read like a cheap shot, but I could have missed something.  It's not like you to do such a thing.  I'll be PMing you shortly on my personal experiences with campus ministry done the "post-modern" way.  :)  Perhaps it will help you see why some of us are so adamant about what ministry should entail.

I'm sorry if it seems like a cheap shot.  It is not meant to be.

I just disagree with people asserting that matters that are anything but clear are in fact clear, and everyone else should simply bow to their opinion.

That happens a lot in Internet forum discussion, and it seems to be happening more here on ALPB than it used to.

Mike
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 23, 2011, 11:15:32 AM
I'm sorry if it seems like a cheap shot.  It is not meant to be.

I just disagree with people asserting that matters that are anything but clear are in fact clear, and everyone else should simply bow to their opinion.

That happens a lot in Internet forum discussion, and it seems to be happening more here on ALPB than it used to.

Mike

Do you believe that transparency in this situation was lacking?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on September 23, 2011, 11:17:51 AM
I'm sorry if it seems like a cheap shot.  It is not meant to be.

I just disagree with people asserting that matters that are anything but clear are in fact clear, and everyone else should simply bow to their opinion.

That happens a lot in Internet forum discussion, and it seems to be happening more here on ALPB than it used to.

Mike

Do you believe that transparency in this situation was lacking?

Yes.

Have I said anything to make you believe otherwise?

Mike
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 23, 2011, 11:31:28 AM
Do you believe that transparency in this situation was lacking?

Yes.

Have I said anything to make you believe otherwise?

Mike

No, I'm just not following what you're insinuating is happening with those of us who have expressed our concern over how this situation has played out.  I'm sure the fault is mine, but maybe you could clarify.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on September 23, 2011, 11:42:53 AM
Do you believe that transparency in this situation was lacking?

Yes.

Have I said anything to make you believe otherwise?

Mike

No, I'm just not following what you're insinuating is happening with those of us who have expressed our concern over how this situation has played out.  I'm sure the fault is mine, but maybe you could clarify.

Could you clarify as to what you perceive me to be insinuating?  I hope and think I am being misunderstood.

In terms of clarification, I don't think I can improve much upon what I said earlier.

I can understand how money might be needed to provide administrative and spiritual personnel specifically devoted to the peer ministry program.

I can even understand how selling ULC to obtain these funds might be one solution.

What I cannot understand is MNS not giving ULC more of a chance to finance purchasing the property themselves.

I can't understand any compensation of students if it exists either.  They should be doing this out of faith and not a desire for compensation.

Mike
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on September 23, 2011, 11:52:47 AM
Pastor Messer,

What one must need a degree in rocket science to understand is why we need to sell the campus properties and use the proceeds to establish a new district position to enact a new campus ministry plan which involves encouraging students to do what you're talking about here.

Well, first, that was not the question I was asked, right? I mean, my point was how the peer minister thing could work.

Second, you don't need a degree in rocket science: money. All campus ministries cost money. They don't bring money to the district.

That is the way it is. We've all seen it.

Pr. Louderback,

I understood your point.  What I don't understand is why it is necessary to sell the campus properties to do the peer ministry thing you describe.  It seems to me that if the peer ministry thing simply involves what you describe, the District could implement this plan without having to sell the campus properties.  Plus, it seems very odd to me that the District would even consider messing with the campus ministry being done at ULC and CLC, where the things you describe are already happening, in order to expand the peer ministry thing to other campuses in the District.  But, then, I do lack a degree in rocket science, so I suppose this will remain over my head.

The Campus Ministry section of the district budget never shrinks, and usually only gets larger. It makes a tempting target.

How do you guys do campus ministry up there?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 23, 2011, 11:53:08 AM
I"m going to throw this out again, since it was ignored the first time.
 
I did a search for colleges in Minneapolis, MN and got 351 hits. In that regard, it would appear that the Twin Cities are not that much different from other metropolitan areas, in that there are more institutions of higher learning than just the University of Minnesota. So, what of the needs of students at those other schools? Below are just a few I pulled off of the first few pages from the on-line Yellow Pages of colleges and community colleges in the Twin Cities.
 
 Century College
Chad College
Chopper College
College Arch & Landscape Arch
Community School of Excellence
Dunwoody College of Technology 
Hamline University 
Inver Hills Community College 
Kaplan Professional Schools 
MacAlester College 
Mc Nally Smith College-Music 
Metropolitan State University 
Minneapolis College of Art and Design 
Minneapolis Community and Technical College 
National American University 
Normandale Community College 
North Central University 
North Hennepin Community College 
St Paul Center-Inver Hills Community College 
St Paul College 
University of Phoenix 
University of St Thomas 
Vesper College
 
That's only a few of the other institutions of higher learning. It's a small sample. What about their students? What are they? Chopped liver? Don't they need some sort of "campus" ministry? Are their needs unimportant? Is it that students who have to get their educations from places like the University of Phoenix don't deserve the same ministry outreach as students at a university with a big-time football team? Don't students learning to be veterinary technicians or medical technicians or paramedics or draftsmen or administrative assistants or any of the hundreds of other careers that only require a two-year Associates Degree have ministry needs? What about people in their early 20's taking vocational apprenticeships? Don't electricians or plumbers or carpenters need ministry?

What sort of "campus ministry" programs does the LCMS (and ELCA, for that matter) have in place for students who are on campuses other than the BIG school in town?
 
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on September 23, 2011, 11:56:20 AM
So stop all the foolishness about college students having some vocation that excuses them from other vocations. They don't. They simply don't.

Stop the foolishness of purposely misinterpreting what others, including myself, have said about students and vocations.  No one has said that a student's vocation as student excuses them from other vocations.  You have effectively knocked down the straw man of your own creation, Pr. Louderback (much like your continued harping about election and evangelism, per Pr. Curtis' paper/presentation, which you misunderstand and misrepresent).   

Bah! Re-read what was written and see if I really got it wrong. Shoot re-read Pr Curtis' paper and see if I got it wrong!

Your position is not the same as Pr Weedon's I believe though—yours is more of a "they are not missionaries" sorta argument right? Missionaries = pastors sorta thing? I could be wrong about that....I'm not wrong about Pastor Curtis.

But hey—I've got a paper on it! You can always write a response! :) That's how it works.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on September 23, 2011, 12:00:01 PM
I"m going to throw this out again, since it was ignored the first time.
 
I did a search for colleges in Minneapolis, MN and got 351 hits. In that regard, it would appear that the Twin Cities are not that much different from other metropolitan areas, in that there are more institutions of higher learning than just the University of Minnesota. So, what of the needs of students at those other schools? Below are just a few I pulled off of the first few pages from the on-line Yellow Pages of colleges and community colleges in the Twin Cities.
 
 Century College
Chad College
Chopper College
College Arch & Landscape Arch
Community School of Excellence
Dunwoody College of Technology 
Hamline University 
Inver Hills Community College 
Kaplan Professional Schools 
MacAlester College 
Mc Nally Smith College-Music 
Metropolitan State University 
Minneapolis College of Art and Design 
Minneapolis Community and Technical College 
National American University 
Normandale Community College 
North Central University 
North Hennepin Community College 
St Paul Center-Inver Hills Community College 
St Paul College 
University of Phoenix 
University of St Thomas 
Vesper College
 
That's only a few of the other institutions of higher learning. It's a small sample. What about their students? What are they? Chopped liver? Don't they need some sort of "campus" ministry? Are their needs unimportant? Is it that students who have to get their educations from places like the University of Phoenix don't deserve the same ministry outreach as students at a university with a big-time football team? Don't students learning to be veterinary technicians or medical technicians or paramedics or draftsmen or administrative assistants or any of the hundreds of other careers that only require a two-year Associates Degree have ministry needs? What about people in their early 20's taking vocational apprenticeships? Don't electricians or plumbers or carpenters need ministry?

What sort of "campus ministry" programs does the LCMS (and ELCA, for that matter) have in place for students who are on campuses other than the BIG school in town?

Lutheran Student Fellowship (http://www.lutheranstudentfellowship.org) for one.

If you can't see why a large student body with a large campus which many students may rarely have need to leave might benefit from an on-campus ministry where a smaller college which serves only commuter students and which may not even have a campus or housing would not, I don't know how to persuade you on that point.

Mike
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on September 23, 2011, 12:07:09 PM
Mike,

What is the magic number for the Rangers now? My Yankees are starting to dial in it...getting set for the play-offs...

I think that inevitably reactions to ULC being sold and the new mission direction will be mingled because the actions are so linked.

I think you are right about this completely. It makes sense (the combining) because the sale is being done in order to accomplish the other. I don't think that the district thought for a moment that it could start up a new mission opportunity without extra funds coming from somewhere. Or maybe it happened a different way.

I can only hope that as we go into the district conventions and then the synodical presidential election positioning, I do not hear the "we need to consider selling a seminary (StL since FtW cannot be sold)" talk again.

Why not? Things are changing Mike. We can pretend as though they are not, but our Synod is a shrinking Synod. The Church in America is getting smaller. How long do we need to keep two Sems open?

I'm not in favor of selling and closing one—for many reasons—but we can't pretend as though these things are not on the table.

When you don't have money, you have to make cuts. Things have to change. So let's keep all options on the table.

On the other hand, we have to make sure that we compare apples and oranges and the like. And that selling property (like ULC) is a bell that is might hard to unring...
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 23, 2011, 12:14:30 PM
I just disagree with people asserting that matters that are anything but clear are in fact clear, and everyone else should simply bow to their opinion.

We're likely talking past each other.  I didn't know what you meant by this statement above.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on September 23, 2011, 12:21:53 PM
I just disagree with people asserting that matters that are anything but clear are in fact clear, and everyone else should simply bow to their opinion.

We're likely talking past each other.  I didn't know what you meant by this statement above.

That was a general comment which is to be related to Pr. Bohler's attitude in his post and not so much any of the actual facts and attitudes pertaining to this controversy.

And yeah, I probably misunderstood Pr. Bohler's attitude in the first place and ask forgiveness for doing so. 

Mike
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 23, 2011, 12:26:01 PM
If you can't see why a large student body with a large campus which many students may rarely have need to leave might benefit from an on-campus ministry where a smaller college which serves only commuter students and which may not even have a campus or housing would not, I don't know how to persuade you on that point.

Mike

The only large student body campuses I've ever encountered where many students rarely leave are the big schools in small towns, like Penn State. I've never encountered a college of any size located in a major urban area in which most students didn't frequently venture off-campus. To be sure, there will always be the timid who are afraid to venture out past the moat. I doubt that they are that big a proportion of the entire student body.
 
Besides, please note what Robert Johnson pointed out:
 
Likewise, it could also be integrated into an existing congregation that's in close proximity to the campus, where students would have easy access and integration into a full, diverse congregation rather than a specialized little academic microcosm.
 

Every Lutheran congregation I've belonged to (including a couple next door to universities) was family-focused.  Unmarried young people were invisible.   Basically none of the non-worship activities were relevant to college age singles. 

Perhaps my experience is unusual, but I tend to doubt it.

I note you didn't disagree with him when he posted that. So, regardless of whether the students go to some lesser school that is inferior to the mighty U of M, the local churches are still geared towards families, not students of ANY particular institution.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on September 23, 2011, 12:33:49 PM

Besides, please note what Robert Johnson pointed out:
 
Likewise, it could also be integrated into an existing congregation that's in close proximity to the campus, where students would have easy access and integration into a full, diverse congregation rather than a specialized little academic microcosm.
 

Every Lutheran congregation I've belonged to (including a couple next door to universities) was family-focused.  Unmarried young people were invisible.   Basically none of the non-worship activities were relevant to college age singles. 

Perhaps my experience is unusual, but I tend to doubt it.

I note you didn't disagree with him when he posted that. So, regardless of whether the students go to some lesser school that is inferior to the mighty U of M, the local churches are still geared towards families, not students of ANY particular institution.

I'm not following you at all.  This seems to me a reason for on-campus ministries on large campuses where they can be feasible.   Such ministries are intentionally student-focused.

Yeah, it would be cool to do that for the DeVry's of the world too since so many congregations suck at student ministry and perform it with a patronizing attitude if at all, but that just does not seem feasible in this sinful fallen world of limited resources.

Mike
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on September 23, 2011, 12:40:08 PM
Mike,

What is the magic number for the Rangers now? My Yankees are starting to dial in it...getting set for the play-offs...

Check this (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=1572.msg238920#msg238920) out.

I can only hope that as we go into the district conventions and then the synodical presidential election positioning, I do not hear the "we need to consider selling a seminary (StL since FtW cannot be sold)" talk again.

Why not? Things are changing Mike. We can pretend as though they are not, but our Synod is a shrinking Synod. The Church in America is getting smaller. How long do we need to keep two Sems open?

I'm not in favor of selling and closing one—for many reasons—but we can't pretend as though these things are not on the table.

When you don't have money, you have to make cuts. Things have to change. So let's keep all options on the table.

If a synod cannot support its educational system and its missionaries, then it has deep systemic problems which cry to be addressed.

These are last resorts similar to amputation of a limb.  If we are truly at the point of having to cut off an arm to save the LCMS, then yeah, perhaps put selling StL on the table.

I'm far from persuaded that things are that dire however.

Mike
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 23, 2011, 01:22:49 PM
I'm not following you at all.  This seems to me a reason for on-campus ministries on large campuses where they can be feasible.   Such ministries are intentionally student-focused.

Yeah, it would be cool to do that for the DeVry's of the world too since so many congregations suck at student ministry and perform it with a patronizing attitude if at all, but that just does not seem feasible in this sinful fallen world of limited resources.

Mike

You speak of "large campus ministries" as if all large campuses are identical and interchangeable. They aren't. You speak of congregations being unable to minister to their own sons and daughters once they transition from being high school kids living with mommy and daddy to young and not-yet-married adults as if that were an inescapable fact of life that there is no reason to attempt to change.
 
Frankly, I think the defeatist attitude that "we can't minister to young, single adults, so we won't bother even trying" is the biggest stumbling block.
 
There were reportedly 51,721 students at the University of Minnesota's main campus. According to the LCMS website, the average attendance at ULC is 99 people. It is reaching .2% of the entire campus population, in Minnesota, where Lutherans are at least a major plurality, if not a majority.
 
But, from the ULC's website I find this statement: University Lutheran Chapel is a place where you can join with other students from the U of M, Augsburg, Macalester, Concordia, St. Thomas, St. Catherine, and other Twin Cities' colleges and universities.
 
So, apparently, the LCMS assumes that students from Augsburg, Macalester, Concordia, St. Thomas, St. Catherine, and other Twin Cities' colleges and universities can leave their campuses to travel to the U of M campus. And Augsburg, Macalester, Concordia, St. Thomas, and St. Catherine aren't exactly part of "the DeVry's of the world", are they? And, if the ULC regards students of those other schools as part of the people that the ULC is supposed to be serving, then the ratio isn't just 99/51,721 -- it's 99/(51,721 + the student bodies of Augsburg, Macalester, Concordia, St. Thomas, St. Catherine, and other Twin Cities' colleges and universities). I assume that "other Twin Cities' colleges and universities" includes "the DeVry's of the world", right?
 
Is it good stewardship of resources to devote a huge chunk of resources to serving less than a single percent of the people who need served when those resources could possibly be re-allocated in a way that serves even more? How much would it cost to expand the Sunday Morning ULC Shuttle program needed to schlep students around the U of M campus to cover students all over the Twin Cities to the nearest LCMS church? I mean, given how many people, including you, keep making the point about having a ministry "on-campus", if the campus is so big it requires shuttle service to get the students to the church, just how important is "on-campus"?
 
So, aren't the real issues, "How can all LCMS congregations learn to minister to all of their own sons and daughters once they transition from being high school kids living with mommy and daddy to young and not-yet-married adults?" and "How do we solve the transportation issues for students living in dorms of all educational institutions who need a ride to a Lutheran church on Sunday Morning?"
 
I'd also suggest that the ELCA work on those issues as well, but the ELCA has even more daunting issues it has to resolve first. The LCMC, NALC, WELS, AALC, AFLC, and all the other acronymed Lutheran denominations are in the same boat as the LCMS on this issue, to one degree or another.
 
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 23, 2011, 01:53:05 PM
Mr. Erdner,

Because if you totalled the student bodies of all those other institutions together, they still would not equal the number that attend the U of M.  It is really quite simple.



Mr. Gehlhausen,

You do not think the 1963 resolution was clear that the intent was for the maintenance of a campus ministry at the U of M at that given location?  If not, then I do not know what to say.



Rev. Kirchner,

Thank you again for correcting my sloppy/errant writing. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 23, 2011, 01:55:56 PM
Mr. Gehlhausen,

You do not think the 1963 resolution was clear that the intent was for the maintenance of a campus ministry at the U of M at that given location?  If not, then I do not know what to say.

Yeah, that's where I guess I'm parting ways with the good Mike, too.  It is very clear when a donor provides funds for a specific purpose, that purpose is expected to be carried out in perpetuity so long as the resources are available.  The resources are clearly still available.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 23, 2011, 02:06:37 PM
Rev. Kirchner,

Thank you again for correcting my sloppy/errant writing.

Oh... I thought I was supporting your position.   :-\
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 23, 2011, 02:12:43 PM
Rev. Kirchner,

See, I missed the point again!  Thanks for support, even when I don't realize it!
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 23, 2011, 02:15:39 PM
Mr. Erdner,

Because if you totalled the student bodies of all those other institutions together, they still would not equal the number that attend the U of M.  It is really quite simple.

So? And that has meaning because? Perhaps the total of all the student bodies of the handful of institutions listed on the ULC website might be small, or the total of all the student bodies of the even longer list I posted earlier, which was still a very, very small sample. But do you honestly think that the number of human beings in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area who are between the ages of 18 and 22 and who are attending some sort of institution of education, and who are therefore accurately called "students" is less than 51,721? 
 
And, so what if the combined totals of students at all of those schools is less than 51,721? Does that mean that those other students are worth the effort to reach?
 
I'm also curious about why you saw the need to correct what wasn't really a mistake and yet to totally ignore the fact that of the 51,721 students at the U of M, the average attendance at ULC is only 99 people. Isn't that a more important and compelling issue?
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 23, 2011, 02:57:07 PM
George raises points about campus ministry for Lutherans and really other Christians that lift up a concern.  Without resorting to the level of "defeatist" for the small numbers of those reached through everybody's efforts, there seems to me to be a really big gap between the Church and post-high school/college age/university age young adults.  There are more students at all colleges and universities in metro NYC than in Western Europe.  Lots of them want to stay herer, live here, hang out here afterward because of all NYC has to offer in terms of both learning and jobs and a diverse and active social setting. 

As the thread topic here is very specific and controversial, this might get lost along the way.  But the young adults I have catechized lately are sharp, listen in to a big variety of religious information, and have antennae high when it comes to judgmentalism or intolerance, while hungering for deeper insights.  Actually, the Lutheran Law/Gospel framework is perfect for this kind of apologetic.  But as has been mentioned, I'm not sure we "get to" enough of those students at this formative time.  Just as an example, there's a young man who's attending Fordham, was just baptized by me recently, and is working at MLB Fan Cave in the Village as an intern.  His daily world is light years from mine, and we're in the same parish and live in the same city.  My young adult nephew works as a project coordinator on the High Line, an NYC park built on an elevated roadway.  The people he sees are in a different solar system from mine.  I guess what I'm driving at is that the parish base for young adult ministry has a hard time keeping up with the kinds of diversities brought from their worlds of daily life and influence.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 23, 2011, 03:02:36 PM
So stop all the foolishness about college students having some vocation that excuses them from other vocations. They don't. They simply don't.

Stop the foolishness of purposely misinterpreting what others, including myself, have said about students and vocations.  No one has said that a student's vocation as student excuses them from other vocations.  You have effectively knocked down the straw man of your own creation, Pr. Louderback (much like your continued harping about election and evangelism, per Pr. Curtis' paper/presentation, which you misunderstand and misrepresent).   

Bah! Re-read what was written and see if I really got it wrong. Shoot re-read Pr Curtis' paper and see if I got it wrong!

Your position is not the same as Pr Weedon's I believe though—yours is more of a "they are not missionaries" sorta argument right? Missionaries = pastors sorta thing? I could be wrong about that....I'm not wrong about Pastor Curtis.

But hey—I've got a paper on it! You can always write a response! :) That's how it works.

You did get it wrong, Mark, because you jumped into this discussion and honed in on what I (and others) were saying about students and vocations and then went all crazy and started telling us that we were saying things we weren't saying.  Just like you did in response to Pr. Curtis' paper.  Perhaps you should follow your own advice and re-read what was written and your responses to what was written.

Where do I differ with Pr. Weedon?  As far as I know, I am in perfect agreement with his position on vocation, as he expressed it upstream.  He can correct me if I'm mistaken, but I don't gather from what he has written above that he thinks we Lutherans should develop a campus ministry program that raises up students to be "ministers/missionaries." 

As for the paper you wrote in response to Pr. Curtis' paper/presentation, I read it when you first posted it here a few weeks back or so.  I don't think I need to write a detailed response to it.  My response would be rather short:  You have chosen to hone in on one aspect of Pr. Curtis' paper/presentation and have written a response to that one aspect, giving the reader the impression that this is the only thing Pr. Curtis has said on the matter.  Then, you appear in other venues around the blogosphere and make ridiculous and mocking statements, which misrepresent Pr. Curtis' paper/presentation, saying things like, "According to Pr. Curtis, none of this should matter, since God will save His elect," as if Pr. Curtis has argued that we should all sit around and twiddle our thumbs and do nothing, since God will do His thing and not lose any of His elect, when you have to know that this is not at all what Pr. Curtis has argued.  Which, again, is kinda like you jumping into this discussion and misrepresenting what I (and others) have written about students and vocation, as if we are suggesting that because students have a vocation to be students they should do nothing else. 

But, I'll stop now, because I know that, whether or not Pr. Weedon and I are in complete agreement regarding the doctrine of vocation (which I'm pretty sure we are), I do completely agree with him that it would be rather fruitless to carry on this discussion with you. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 23, 2011, 03:05:12 PM
Bishop and George,

The Lord's leaving the 99 to hunt for the 1 ad then taking extreme joy and celebration over the finding of that single one never makes sense to those who are into watching the numbers for measuring effectiveness and evaluating the worth of a ministry upon that.  I'm glad we have a Lord who does the illogical with the numbers and turns them on their head. 

Pr. Messer,

Rest assured; we're agreed.  On both points.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 23, 2011, 03:12:06 PM
Bishop and George,

The Lord's leaving the 99 to hunt for the 1 ad then taking extreme joy and celebration over the finding of that single one never makes sense to those who are into watching the numbers for measuring effectiveness and evaluating the worth of a ministry upon that.  I'm glad we have a Lord who does the illogical with the numbers and turns them on their head. 

Pr. Messer,

Rest assured; we're agreed.  On both points.

AMEN!   (from someone who eats, drinks, sleeps and breathes numbers)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: sgehrke on September 23, 2011, 03:41:47 PM
Just a quick anecdote between classes-

I mentioned upstream that I met my wife at ULC.  She was not a U of M student but was invited to attend by a friend she had made at her fitness club who was a ULC member.  She thought it would be fun to attend a congregation with a younger demographic than the church she grew up in.  So she first showed up for a service project at ULC, followed by a movie, but as she didn't have a car (it took two bus transfers to get to ULC, so she had to be pretty motivated to get there) and by the time we all got back to ULC her buses weren't running any more. So Pr. Pless asked me if I could drive her home - she hadn't noticed me up to that point, though I had noticed her.  And the rest is history...
Steve
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 23, 2011, 03:50:41 PM
Just a quick anecdote between classes-

I mentioned upstream that I met my wife at ULC.  She was not a U of M student but was invited to attend by a friend she had made at her fitness club who was a ULC member.  She thought it would be fun to attend a congregation with a younger demographic than the church she grew up in.  So she first showed up for a service project at ULC, followed by a movie, but as she didn't have a car (it took two bus transfers to get to ULC, so she had to be pretty motivated to get there) and by the time we all got back to ULC her buses weren't running any more. So Pr. Pless asked me if I could drive her home - she hadn't noticed me up to that point, though I had noticed her.  And the rest is history...
Steve

Awwww, sweet love.   :-*  A dear friend of mine was married by Prof. Pless.  He must be a natural matchmaker.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Keith Falk on September 23, 2011, 03:56:30 PM
Bishop and George,

The Lord's leaving the 99 to hunt for the 1 ad then taking extreme joy and celebration over the finding of that single one never makes sense to those who are into watching the numbers for measuring effectiveness and evaluating the worth of a ministry upon that.  I'm glad we have a Lord who does the illogical with the numbers and turns them on their head. 

Pr. Messer,

Rest assured; we're agreed.  On both points.

AMEN!   (from someone who eats, drinks, sleeps and breathes numbers)


Numbers should never be the sole arbiter of ministry, and usually never the primary - but they shouldn't be cast aside, either.  If numbers were so unimportant (especially regarding evangelism), then why does Luke always mention numbers - both using specific terms and general terms - in the book of Acts?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 23, 2011, 04:09:34 PM
I suspect the holy evangelist St. Luke mentions the numbers because they were remarkable - then, even as they are now.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 23, 2011, 04:17:04 PM
Well, the angels and God and all of us take great joy in that one.  No argument from me.  However, in the parable the 99 are safe and sound.  The way I look at it out there in the college/university/young adult world of NYC, the numbers are pretty much flipped around.  There are just a few "in the fold," and the great number are on their own and searching for spiritual food. 

In that case, WWTGSD?  What would the Good Shepherd do?  Maybe appoint 70 elders, or something like that - send them out 2 x 2.  No conventicles though.

Seriously, that's what presents itself to me as the reality.  The kids who are "in the fold" are in school or hanging with this great bundle of people who are not being brought up with a Christian foundation.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 23, 2011, 04:17:43 PM
Numbers should never be the sole arbiter of ministry, and usually never the primary - but they shouldn't be cast aside, either.  If numbers were so unimportant (especially regarding evangelism), then why does Luke always mention numbers - both using specific terms and general terms - in the book of Acts?

I'm not an advocate for casting aside numbers.  When numbers become our master, though, we have removed God from His rightful place as Master.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 23, 2011, 04:22:28 PM
Well, I'm not sure the 99 are safe in the parable.  He leaves them "in the wilderness."  But my point is just that comments about couldn't we get more bang for our buck if we did X are a not very subtle way of denigrating the good that IS happening at the two Minnesota campus ministries.  It comes dangerously close to "could not this ointment be sold and the money given to the poor" in which case the Lord invites repentance:  "Leave her (them!) alone; they have done a beautiful thing."  Dr. Nagel was fond of saying that measuring is always "of the Law" and as such it has a place; but not the ultimate one.  Not ever.  One of these little ones is worth more than all the world.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 23, 2011, 04:30:29 PM
One of these little ones is worth more than all the world.

Pure Gospel!  This understanding is what brought me into the church and is what keeps me in the church.  It is so important that we focus on the one in front of us without being tempted to look past them with an eye toward the masses.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 23, 2011, 04:33:56 PM
Bishop and George,

The Lord's leaving the 99 to hunt for the 1 ad then taking extreme joy and celebration over the finding of that single one never makes sense to those who are into watching the numbers for measuring effectiveness and evaluating the worth of a ministry upon that.  I'm glad we have a Lord who does the illogical with the numbers and turns them on their head. 


I'm not suggesting "leaving the 99 to look for 1". I'm looking to moving the 99 to a different place of safety, and then looking for the other 51,622. The only way it could be seen as "leaving" the 99 would be if there weren't careful plans in place to hang on to the 99. And, anyone who thinks that searching through the remaining 51,622 would only find 1 is far to pessimistic to be entrusted with this sort of project in the first place.
 
I'd also submit that there is an enourmous difference to becoming a slave to the numbers and using numbers in their proper place. If "One of these little ones is worth more than all the world", then what are two of these little ones worth? Is the Great Commission, "Go and make a few disciples here and there, and if you don't reach most folks, don't worry about it"?
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 23, 2011, 04:45:53 PM
In that case, WWTGSD?  What would the Good Shepherd do?  Maybe appoint 70 elders, or something like that - send them out 2 x 2.  No conventicles though.
Dave Benke

I agree, and we should not disturb the Good Shepherd's work, for He has sent one of His elders (undershepherds) to ULC to feed His flock and gather in the strays.  Rather, we should support our Good Shepherd in the salvific work He is accomplishing there.     
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 23, 2011, 04:47:33 PM
Mr. Erdner,

I thought you had wondered why it was important for ULC to be located as near as possible to the U of M campus, considering all the other institutions in the Twin Cities.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 23, 2011, 04:49:31 PM
Mr. Erdner,

I thought you had wondered why it was important for ULC to be located as near as possible to the U of M campus, considering all the other institutions in the Twin Cities.

Yes, I had wondered that. Care to provide an answer?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 23, 2011, 05:33:27 PM
I was not speaking about the specific of this thread, Pr. W.  The theory is not that one is more valuable than the ninety nine, is it?  We're the objective reconciliation folks, aren't we?  All are valuable in the economy of reconciliation.  And each individually is equally valuable. 

That's sort of the point in Matthew, no?  The heavenly Father does not want any of these little children to be lost.  And in Luke, the 99 are described as "the good people who don't need to change."  Hard-core Pentecostals, I guess.  Or "the saved." 

My reference is simply that the arithmetic of the parable has shifted to the many being "the lost", and the heavenly Father does not any of them to BE lost.  Thank God for the one who's found/saved in the contemporary numerology.  Thank God for the 99 in the parable who were not lost/in need of change. 

Pray and work so that more might be found/saved so that the Father's economy of will - that none of these little children might be lost - would propel us from our altars out into the world fortified with the Body and Blood of Christ as His Body in the world.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 23, 2011, 05:48:45 PM
Well, I wouldn't say that they are equally valuable; as in, one is worth no more than the other.  I'd say that they are each, in their own individuality, infinitely precious.  For each of them an infinite ransom has been paid; and so each one is worth more than the universe itself.  That's, I believe, to look at things God's way; where measuring is always the measuring of the gift that Christ gave:  i.e., measureless. 

P.S.  I'm aware that the above makes no logical sense; I still think it's true in God's economy.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 23, 2011, 06:59:54 PM
Well, I wouldn't say that they are equally valuable; as in, one is worth no more than the other.  I'd say that they are each, in their own individuality, infinitely precious.  For each of them an infinite ransom has been paid; and so each one is worth more than the universe itself.  That's, I believe, to look at things God's way; where measuring is always the measuring of the gift that Christ gave:  i.e., measureless. 

P.S.  I'm aware that the above makes no logical sense; I still think it's true in God's economy.

True it may be. I don't dispute that to God, it is true. But should that truth be how mortal men who are called to be good stewards of God's resources should manage those resources? Is that a truth that should blind us to the need to be good stewards? Should all churchmen be profligate with the resources they are entrusted with? Is there never a need for taking care in the use of that which the Lord gives us? If we only use that particular truth to guide us in our actions, what would that lead to?
 
If God gave you a certain amount of money to buy food for the hungry, would there be any difference between using the money to preparing a dinner of stew for 100 hungry people and preparing dove under glass with pâté de foie gras and truffles for five hungry people?
 
 
 
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 23, 2011, 07:54:58 PM
You make a valid point, George, but with a relatively obvious illustration.  Should we fund the mission that works among people of other religions or no religion more so than the mission designed to work among people who are already Christian or already Lutheran?  What do you think?

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on September 23, 2011, 08:02:04 PM
You make a valid point, George, but with a relatively obvious illustration.  Should we fund the mission that works among people of other religions or no religion more so than the mission designed to work among people who are already Christian or already Lutheran?  What do you think?

Dave Benke

I view chaplaincy to university students much the way I view chaplaincy to military service men and women: they are people who have already demonstrated superior qualities and who are facing unusual challenges to themselves as Christians and human beings. The church should make every effort to be there to help them.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 23, 2011, 10:08:02 PM
That makes sense in many ways.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 23, 2011, 10:14:50 PM
You make a valid point, George, but with a relatively obvious illustration.  Should we fund the mission that works among people of other religions or no religion more so than the mission designed to work among people who are already Christian or already Lutheran?  What do you think?

Dave Benke

I think that if any illustration that I post isn't extremely obvious, then responses with pick apart the illustration and ignore the point.
 
Personally, I think that there is a need for both working among people who are already Lutheran Christians and with reaching people who aren't Christian at all. I don't think it's possible to accomplish one without the other.
 
I view chaplaincy to university students much the way I view chaplaincy to military service men and women: they are people who have already demonstrated superior qualities and who are facing unusual challenges to themselves as Christians and human beings. The church should make every effort to be there to help them.

Peace,
Michael

I can't even begin to respond to that. Equating students to soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen just boggles my mind. I'm totally flabbergasted that anyone could possibly equate the two.
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pr dtp on September 23, 2011, 10:23:52 PM
You make a valid point, George, but with a relatively obvious illustration.  Should we fund the mission that works among people of other religions or no religion more so than the mission designed to work among people who are already Christian or already Lutheran?  What do you think?

Dave Benke

I view chaplaincy to university students much the way I view chaplaincy to military service men and women: they are people who have already demonstrated superior qualities and who are facing unusual challenges to themselves as Christians and human beings. The church should make every effort to be there to help them.

Peace,
Michael

All chaplains (whether campus, military or hospice) minister to more than just those people from their religious background, albeit the ministry differs.  But the ministry is to the campus - to the staff as well as the students.  But the focus of the ministry should be the campus, the base, or the homes of the hospice patients/hospital/facility.

In the campus ministries I have been involved in, and as a hospice chaplain, there were always "others" not directly involved (non-students, volunteers) that were part of the ministry.  BUT, they were not the focus of the ministry.  The same thing here, looking at the numbers, it is not the 99 who stayed, and 1 who was lost - rather just the other way around.

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on September 23, 2011, 10:26:51 PM

I view chaplaincy to university students much the way I view chaplaincy to military service men and women: they are people who have already demonstrated superior qualities and who are facing unusual challenges to themselves as Christians and human beings. The church should make every effort to be there to help them.

Peace,
Michael

I can't even begin to respond to that. Equating students to soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen just boggles my mind. I'm totally flabbergasted that anyone could possibly equate the two.

They're 18, 19, 20 year olds, encountering challenges to their faith that they had never imagined before. I've worked with that age all my life. They're all worth the effort. Especially if they've chosen military service or qualified for university education.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mietzner on September 23, 2011, 10:51:26 PM
Checking young Pr. Fisk's parish assignment in Pa. at lcms.org, his video skills apparently haven't yet translated into any gains in the worshiping assembly, or maybe better have grabbed time away from turning in any of that pesky data.  One never knows when that time spent commenting on goings-on in Minnesota will pay off in Pennsylvania, though. 

Dave Benke
I'm super late here, but I must defend Pr. Fisk, for even though his own congregation may not be growing numerically, I have actually baptized people because of his videos.  He is providing quite a service to the church.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 24, 2011, 12:34:42 AM

I view chaplaincy to university students much the way I view chaplaincy to military service men and women: they are people who have already demonstrated superior qualities and who are facing unusual challenges to themselves as Christians and human beings. The church should make every effort to be there to help them.

Peace,
Michael

I can't even begin to respond to that. Equating students to soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen just boggles my mind. I'm totally flabbergasted that anyone could possibly equate the two.

They're 18, 19, 20 year olds, encountering challenges to their faith that they had never imagined before. I've worked with that age all my life. They're all worth the effort. Especially if they've chosen military service or qualified for university education.

Peace,
Michael

That is a crock. All 18, 19, and 20 year old encounter challenges to their faith. It comes with the territory. It's no different for college students or kids going straight to asking people if they want fries with that.
 
But to equate getting accepted into college, which nowadays usually means little more than being able to qualify for a student loan, with making the decision to put one's life on the line in defense of one's country is up with some of the worst insults to military personnel I've ever read. How dare you equate going away to college with joining an organization which includes among its requirements accepting the fact that other people are going to be making a deliberate effort to kill you, but you have to continue to do your job anyway?
 
If you can't see the obvious difference between the challenges of joining the military compared with going to college, how can your judgement on any other such issue be trusted?
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Revbert on September 24, 2011, 07:50:26 AM

I view chaplaincy to university students much the way I view chaplaincy to military service men and women: they are people who have already demonstrated superior qualities and who are facing unusual challenges to themselves as Christians and human beings. The church should make every effort to be there to help them.

Peace,
Michael

I can't even begin to respond to that. Equating students to soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen just boggles my mind. I'm totally flabbergasted that anyone could possibly equate the two.

They're 18, 19, 20 year olds, encountering challenges to their faith that they had never imagined before. I've worked with that age all my life. They're all worth the effort. Especially if they've chosen military service or qualified for university education.

Peace,
Michael

That is a crock. All 18, 19, and 20 year old encounter challenges to their faith. It comes with the territory. It's no different for college students or kids going straight to asking people if they want fries with that.
 
But to equate getting accepted into college, which nowadays usually means little more than being able to qualify for a student loan, with making the decision to put one's life on the line in defense of one's country is up with some of the worst insults to military personnel I've ever read. How dare you equate going away to college with joining an organization which includes among its requirements accepting the fact that other people are going to be making a deliberate effort to kill you, but you have to continue to do your job anyway?
 
If you can't see the obvious difference between the challenges of joining the military compared with going to college, how can your judgement on any other such issue be trusted?
 

George,

While the personal risk may not be equal, each person deals with the challenges and risks of growing up and moving on differently.  And, college life isn't that cushy these days. I guess you didn't hear of the 19-yr-old freshman girl stabbed to death by her roommate just because of the music coming out of her iPod.

Art
(reminded of that old saw, "Better to be silent and thought a fool....")
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 24, 2011, 08:39:03 AM
But to equate getting accepted into college, which nowadays usually means little more than being able to qualify for a student loan, with making the decision to put one's life on the line in defense of one's country is up with some of the worst insults to military personnel I've ever read. How dare you equate going away to college with joining an organization which includes among its requirements accepting the fact that other people are going to be making a deliberate effort to kill you, but you have to continue to do your job anyway?
 
If you can't see the obvious difference between the challenges of joining the military compared with going to college, how can your judgement on any other such issue be trusted?

Getting accepted into college these days is becoming much more difficult, actually.  Admission standards are becoming more stringent than in the past at universities.  Of course at open-admission institutions such as community colleges, that's not so much the case.  The need for campus ministry at community colleges isn't such a priority because you don't have residential students there typically; they're commuters.

I'm not the least bit offended as a military veteran by Father Slusser's comparison.  I'm willing to bet that many military personnel are also college students.  Serving in both vocations at once can lead to quite high stress levels, and the need for pastoral care is great.  I wish I had seen the need for pastoral care/campus ministry when I was a college student being activated for Desert Storm, returning just in time for my wedding then re-entering college in a very different frame of mind.  My thoughts for what they're worth.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 24, 2011, 10:11:35 AM
While the personal risk may not be equal, each person deals with the challenges and risks of growing up and moving on differently.  And, college life isn't that cushy these days. I guess you didn't hear of the 19-yr-old freshman girl stabbed to death by her roommate just because of the music coming out of her iPod.

Art
(reminded of that old saw, "Better to be silent and thought a fool....")

I agreed that there were challenges in simply being 18, 19, or 20. What does the venue of that action have to do with choosing to enroll in college or choosing to go to beautician school, or going straight to work as a clerk in a store? Such random acts of violence have nothing to do with choosing to go to school. If anything, it proves false your assertion that I object to most:
 
I view chaplaincy to university students much the way I view chaplaincy to military service men and women: they are people who have already demonstrated superior qualities and who are facing unusual challenges to themselves as Christians and human beings. The church should make every effort to be there to help them.


You claim that university students have "already demonstrated superior qualities", implying they are superior to those 18, 19, and 20 year olds who do not become university students, which is a sort of academic elitism I find repugnant, and you support that idea by referring to one of those people who have "already demonstrated superior qualities" stabbing a roommate to death over a trivial issue.
 
You need to pay attention to the old saws you bring up. 
 
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on September 24, 2011, 10:15:23 AM
Pr. Hebbeler, I guess some people on this Forum can't tell us apart. Maybe we're having more fun than is allowed by law.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 24, 2011, 10:25:25 AM
Pr. Hebbeler, I guess some people on this Forum can't tell us apart. Maybe we're having more fun than is allowed by law.

Peace,
Michael

Ooops. Mea Culpa. My bad. The content was so similar I did not look closely enough to see who wrote what. My apologies.
 
It doesn't change my objection to calling university students "superior". Nor does it change my objection to equating students to those who enlist in the military, regardless of who makes the comparison.
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on September 24, 2011, 10:47:59 AM

It doesn't change my objection to calling university students "superior". Nor does it change my objection to equating students to those who enlist in the military, regardless of who makes the comparison.

Students have to show superior qualities in order to get into college. They aren't selected randomly. Many or most of them are surprised that they have to work a lot harder than they did in high school to get good grades; in high school they were often admired or resented for their ability to learn.

In college, they are introduced rapidly to people and ideas they had never heard of before. They thought they had a pretty good knowledge of the world and truth, but the walls of their knowledge are knocked down and they find that the mental room in which they had been comfortable was built inside a much, much larger space full of stuff that makes them wonder if they can still even keep, much less use, the furniture that was there--like their childhood religious faith.

That (and not a knife in the back) is the challenge to their faith that these talented young people face, and I repeat, the church should make every effort to be there to help them.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on September 24, 2011, 10:48:31 AM
Just a thought or two on military members and college students. In many ways, the young people who enlist in the military are an elite group. Why do I say this? Roughly only 25% of all American youth meet the qualifications to enlist (this is a figure I learned from recruiters). They must meet the stringent requirements of educational, physical fitness, medical, drug/substance abuse, criminal history and security screening. Many of these kids must also test very high to secure training in advanced technological fields. In some ways, it is far harder to qualify for enlistment than it is to gain admission to a college.

For some enlistees, the military is their route to higher education. Many will take college courses while in uniform. Many will continue after they leave the service by using their well-earned veterans’ benefits. All will benefit from the discipline, training and experiences they gain while serving their country.

Obviously, I am proud to be a chaplain to these amazing young people. Remember, less than 1% of the population have worn the uniform and protected the other 99%.

But with that said, they do indeed have a lot in common with their peers who go directly into college. They are young. They have profound spiritual needs (accentuated for service members by the fact that they can be sent forward on short notice into life and death situations). Many of them have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ and are clueless as to what a pastor might be. They are making decisions that will affect them for the rest of their lives. When you take away the outward differences between a student at a college and (for example) a Marine Lance Corporal, what you find is pretty much the same person.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on September 24, 2011, 10:57:17 AM
One last thought. The Church needs to be there for young people wherever they are. On campus? YES! In the military? YES! On the streets of our cities and villiages? YES! In prisons and jails? YES!
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mariemeyer on September 24, 2011, 10:58:44 AM
The meeting of LCMS district leaders responsible for North American missions has concluded. From what my husband heard in St. Louis there is concern about internet misinformation regarding decisions related to the University Lutheran Chapel. Some statements on various blogs may in fact be slanderous.  I hope this forum is not a place where misinformation has or will be passed on.

Closing beloved LCMS insitutions, missions or congregations will always be troubling. The previous closing of St. John's College Winfied Kansas is an example.  A countless number of pastors (including former synodical President John Behnken), teachers, missionaries and parish workers were "Johnies." An uncle of my mother donated money to establish the college.  Bill's grandfather was for many years the president. Graduates joined efforts to save the school, but the decision to close held.   My home congregation, considered the oldest Lutheran Church in America, recently had to sell it's church building, a decision I regret.

I do not know all the factors contributing to a decision troubling to many people concerned about campus ministry. My prayer is that all MNS college students continue to be served in a manner that strengthens their Christian faith. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Robert Johnson on September 24, 2011, 11:09:43 AM
The meeting of LCMS district leaders responsible for North American missions has concluded. From what my husband heard in St. Louis there is concern about internet misinformation regarding decisions related to the University Lutheran Chapel. Some statements on various blogs may in fact be slanderous.  I hope this forum is not a place where misinformation has or will be passed on.

When the decision makers choose not to be transparent and to not communicate effectively, it's human nature to fill in the blanks.   Don't want that?  Tell people clearly what is going on.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on September 24, 2011, 01:32:45 PM
The meeting of LCMS district leaders responsible for North American missions has concluded. From what my husband heard in St. Louis there is concern about internet misinformation regarding decisions related to the University Lutheran Chapel. Some statements on various blogs may in fact be slanderous. 

Mrs. Meyer,

Can you point us to the potentially "slanderous" (libelous?) blogs and indicate what has been said that qualifies?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 24, 2011, 02:53:12 PM

It doesn't change my objection to calling university students "superior". Nor does it change my objection to equating students to those who enlist in the military, regardless of who makes the comparison.

Students have to show superior qualities in order to get into college. They aren't selected randomly. Many or most of them are surprised that they have to work a lot harder than they did in high school to get good grades; in high school they were often admired or resented for their ability to learn.


That is some of the most elitist blather I've ever read. That is no reason to justify special ministry programs for them when others who aren't in college, for whatever reason, are virtually ignored.
 
One last thought. The Church needs to be there for young people wherever they are. On campus? YES! In the military? YES! On the streets of our cities and villiages? YES! In prisons and jails? YES!

So why do so many Christian church bodies spend large portions of their resources on campus ministries for the elite few who made it into college, and next to nothing on those who can't afford college?
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on September 24, 2011, 02:58:19 PM
Hypothetically, let’s say the ULC situation was totally different. Let us suppose a few years down the road, some old fashioned retro hippie dippy types were running the place with a watered down liturgy, banging guitars and clanging cymbals. Than let suppose that they had cell groups - not the structured Bible study kind of cell groups mind you, but the kind where they just sit around in a circle, hold hands, give each other back massages and sing Love Is But A Song We Sing, Kumbaya and other great classics from the past.

They say,...what matters is that you need to continue to support the ministry even if that means allowing us to rent below the prevailing market rate, helping us out with an $11,000 per year subsidy, plus continue to spend lots of money to repair the place – as it looks like it is going to need some major repair work soon.  O.K., so we don’t have that many students from the University that is nearby – in comparison to those who claim to have a Lutheran background, but we do shuttle students in from other universities where they are bored stiff with the services that are offered at those other places. And we have sent many of our students on to Seminary where they are able to be change agents in the Synod for grandpa and grandma’s way of doing things in the church. Our grandparents put a lot of money into helping to renovate this chapel. We have a legacy to maintain and it does not matter how many students participate in the ministry. What matters is that we continue to witness in the way that shows honor and respect to those who have gone before us – by keeping their traditions intact. This is your Grandfather's Synod after all.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on September 24, 2011, 03:37:08 PM
That is some of the most elitist blather I've ever read  The words "elitist blather" are resonant, aren't they?  There's a whole thread waiting to happen on ministry to young adults apart from the current topic which is more controverted.  And inside that thread would be a sub-unit on the culture of college/certification/qualification/delayed adolescence/elitism that would delve into whether college is even good for much of anything any more for most students. 

That doesn't make your point valid, George - I'm sure you're aware that Luther was a Campus Pastor/Professor.  Wittenberg?  Castle Church?  Lectures on Galatians?   Don't shoot the Founder, for Pete's sake. 

Dave Benke

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Jeff-MN on September 24, 2011, 03:39:58 PM
The meeting of LCMS district leaders responsible for North American missions has concluded. From what my husband heard in St. Louis there is concern about internet misinformation regarding decisions related to the University Lutheran Chapel. Some statements on various blogs may in fact be slanderous.  I hope this forum is not a place where misinformation has or will be passed on.

Fr Kind has been careful to relate only the facts on the ULC website:
http://www.ulcmn.org/Files/Pages/SaveULC.html
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 24, 2011, 03:42:14 PM
JAQ,

Could you show where upcoming major repair expenses for the property are listed?  You have mentioned this before, but I do not recall seeing anything that says what exactly these needed repairs are, or when they will need to be done, or how much they will cost.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 24, 2011, 04:07:28 PM
That is some of the most elitist blather I've ever read  The words "elitist blather" are resonant, aren't they?  There's a whole thread waiting to happen on ministry to young adults apart from the current topic which is more controverted.  And inside that thread would be a sub-unit on the culture of college/certification/qualification/delayed adolescence/elitism that would delve into whether college is even good for much of anything any more for most students. 

That doesn't make your point valid, George - I'm sure you're aware that Luther was a Campus Pastor/Professor.  Wittenberg?  Castle Church?  Lectures on Galatians?   Don't shoot the Founder, for Pete's sake. 

Dave Benke

It took me a while to come up with "blather" as an acceptable euphemism for what I wanted to type.
 
The blather is that getting accepted into a college is evidence that the person accepted is superior to everyone else. That is blather. Good, qualified people get into colleges. So do people who aren't very qualified, but who have the financial means to handle the tuition. Large, muscular people who can play football or basketball get into colleges, even if they can't spell their own names.
 
And, many smart, qualified people can't get into colleges because they are too poor to pay the tuition. but too rich to qualify for some grants. Some can't opt for college because they have life requirements that they earn a living. Some don't have the gifts for academic learning, but as kinesthetic learners can train for a respectable and rewarding career actually working, such as becoming a carpenter, plumber, electrician, welder, or practitioner of some other trade.
 
That is not to say that people who make it into colleges are inferior. It is to say that the very idea of ranking people as "superior" and, by implication, "inferior" is simply wrong, on many, many levels.
 
As for the situation in 16th century Germany compared with 21st century Minnesota, those are two very different places and times, with very different circumstances.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 24, 2011, 04:14:18 PM
The meeting of LCMS district leaders responsible for North American missions has concluded. From what my husband heard in St. Louis there is concern about internet misinformation regarding decisions related to the University Lutheran Chapel. Some statements on various blogs may in fact be slanderous.  I hope this forum is not a place where misinformation has or will be passed on.

From what your husband heard which is what others there told him they heard or read, which is what someone else heard or read... concerns...might be...

Remember the Watergate non-denial denial? Is this the non-accusation accusation? Lord have mercy, Mrs. Meyer!
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Harry Edmon on September 25, 2011, 03:40:42 PM
Gee, back again to the original topic - the sinful sale of the ULC property by MNS - Lutheran Satire has now weighed in:

http://youtu.be/9nbZgWa5G6I
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Harry Edmon on September 25, 2011, 05:49:55 PM
The meeting of LCMS district leaders responsible for North American missions has concluded. From what my husband heard in St. Louis there is concern about internet misinformation regarding decisions related to the University Lutheran Chapel. Some statements on various blogs may in fact be slanderous.  I hope this forum is not a place where misinformation has or will be passed on.


Stating there is misinformation that may be slanderous without stating what the misinformation is, is itself slanderous.   Note, I am not claiming this about mariermeyer or her husband.   I am stating that about those making these "vague" claims of misinformation that her husband heard.   If there is sin, expose it!
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 26, 2011, 09:10:12 AM
Indeed, from what I've read there are concerns about internet misinformation regarding what others are writing regarding decisions related to the University Lutheran Chapel. Some statements regarding such concerns on various blogs may in fact be slanderous.  I hope this forum is not a place where what might be slanderous speculation and misinformation has or will be passed on.

Not pointing any fingers, mind you. Simply expressing what might be concerns about what might be concerns about what might have taken place based upon what someone might have heard about a certain situation.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on September 26, 2011, 09:56:59 AM
Tom Messer,

Hey—let's go backwards through your post, shall we?

As for the paper you wrote in response to Pr. Curtis' paper/presentation, I read it when you first posted it here a few weeks back or so.  I don't think I need to write a detailed response to it.  My response would be rather short:  You have chosen to hone in on one aspect of Pr. Curtis' paper/presentation and have written a response to that one aspect, giving the reader the impression that this is the only thing Pr. Curtis has said on the matter.  Then, you appear in other venues around the blogosphere and make ridiculous and mocking statements, which misrepresent Pr. Curtis' paper/presentation, saying things like, "According to Pr. Curtis, none of this should matter, since God will save His elect," as if Pr. Curtis has argued that we should all sit around and twiddle our thumbs and do nothing, since God will do His thing and not lose any of His elect, when you have to know that this is not at all what Pr. Curtis has argued.

First, the great thing about writing things down, is that people can say things, but then, you know...things are written down.

So, in my paper, I can point out to page 15, where I I show out how the Confessions looks at election differently than Pr Curtis. On p 17 I object to his position that the elect will like only liturgical worship. And on p. 19 I talk about his objections concerning guilt motivated missions work—how the issue is one of stewardship and election really doesn't solve the problem as he thinks it would.

You can make statements then—"[you] have written a response to that one aspect, giving the reader the impression that this is the only thing Pr. Curtis has said on the matter."—but that is why we write things down. To say "Well, let the reader decide that."

Now let's go to:

You did get it wrong, Mark, because you jumped into this discussion and honed in on what I (and others) were saying about students and vocations and then went all crazy and started telling us that we were saying things we weren't saying.  Just like you did in response to Pr. Curtis' paper.  Perhaps you should follow your own advice and re-read what was written and your responses to what was written.

I am CRAZY!!!! I'm CRAZY for the truth!!!

Eh, that sounded better in my head with the music and all....

Anyway, with vocation, I'd point to my initial post:

http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=4114.msg238650#msg238650 (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=4114.msg238650#msg238650)

That was my original thought. I think I stand by it—it neatly covers the peer minister idea. (so helpful to have things written—and hyperlinks!)

Students have a vocation the same as any lay person has a vocation. And that includes being a Christian.

That is the vocation that is important here. What does it mean to be a lay Christian? That is the issue. Y'all confuse it with your "student is a student, farmer is a farmer" talk. The vocation of a Lutheran student is to be a Lutheran. What does that mean? That's the issue. Not that a student is a student.

Now, as to the last comment:
But, I'll stop now, because I know that, whether or not Pr. Weedon and I are in complete agreement regarding the doctrine of vocation (which I'm pretty sure we are), I do completely agree with him that it would be rather fruitless to carry on this discussion with you.

I must say, I look forward to the Koin. Because there, we are not going to be able to walk away from one another when the going gets tough. We are not going to be able to ignore comments and throw up our hands and say discussion is "fruitless".

Nope. Things will be different then. I look forward to it.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on September 26, 2011, 11:07:59 AM
Anyway, with vocation, I'd point to my initial post:

http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=4114.msg238650#msg238650 (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=4114.msg238650#msg238650)

That was my original thought. I think I stand by it—it neatly covers the peer minister idea. (so helpful to have things written—and hyperlinks!)

Students have a vocation the same as any lay person has a vocation. And that includes being a Christian.

That is the vocation that is important here. What does it mean to be a lay Christian? That is the issue. Y'all confuse it with your "student is a student, farmer is a farmer" talk. The vocation of a Lutheran student is to be a Lutheran. What does that mean? That's the issue. Not that a student is a student.

Now, as to the last comment:
But, I'll stop now, because I know that, whether or not Pr. Weedon and I are in complete agreement regarding the doctrine of vocation (which I'm pretty sure we are), I do completely agree with him that it would be rather fruitless to carry on this discussion with you.

I must say, I look forward to the Koin. Because there, we are not going to be able to walk away from one another when the going gets tough. We are not going to be able to ignore comments and throw up our hands and say discussion is "fruitless".

Nope. Things will be different then. I look forward to it.

I look forward to the Koinonia Project for this very reason as well.

Before things tended to go awry, I got a taste of this in the discussion between Dr. Becker and Pr. Yakimow on womens' ordination which expanded into ministry and then later the very distinction of what we know about God from His revelation in Jesus Christ and what we do not and cannot know and just where we begin the theological task considering this distinction.

Indeed, it is perhaps for this very reason -- that people will be encouraged, almost even obligated, to engage each other and reconcile disagreement -- that I believe the Koinonia Project has the most worth.  Concord and unity in confession may never be reached even after 10 or 20 years seeking it.  However, the differences in confession will have been drawn out much more starkly and attempts to obfuscate a position will be more difficult.

Mike
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 26, 2011, 11:30:46 AM
Gee, back again to the original topic - the sinful sale of the ULC property by MNS - Lutheran Satire has now weighed in:

http://youtu.be/9nbZgWa5G6I (http://youtu.be/9nbZgWa5G6I)

Am I correct in understanding that this incident is simply an isolated thing that is happening in a vacuum, and discussion of the larger issues raised by this incident are therefore off-topic? Does this incident have nothing to do with larger plans for stewardship of resources for ministry and outreach?
 
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mmeyer on September 26, 2011, 01:44:40 PM
Fwiw here is the CLCs official response.  People have been asking so here it is .

The CLC is the people and not the building.   It has always been that way even from the early days of Gamma Delta.  You should be proud that the CLC is the one of the largest if not the largest campus ministry in the LCMS.  God continues to do powerful work through our students as they witness to the overwhelming grace of Jesus Christ.  When they sell our building we will continue on campus.   We feel our best days are ahead of us.   God is faithful!!  
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Harry Edmon on September 26, 2011, 02:06:02 PM
Gee, back again to the original topic - the sinful sale of the ULC property by MNS - Lutheran Satire has now weighed in:

http://youtu.be/9nbZgWa5G6I (http://youtu.be/9nbZgWa5G6I)

Am I correct in understanding that this incident is simply an isolated thing that is happening in a vacuum, and discussion of the larger issues raised by this incident are therefore off-topic? Does this incident have nothing to do with larger plans for stewardship of resources for ministry and outreach?

A wider discussion is always welcome as far as I am concerned.    I just don't want to forget the original incident.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: FrPeters on September 26, 2011, 02:43:34 PM
Quote
The meeting of LCMS district leaders responsible for North American missions has concluded. From what my husband heard in St. Louis there is concern about internet misinformation regarding decisions related to the University Lutheran Chapel. Some statements on various blogs may in fact be slanderous.  I hope this forum is not a place where misinformation has or will be passed on.

The officials have ample opportunity and access to the internet to make their case... absent much from the "officials" I would have to say I think the statements have been relatively benign.  There has been no name calling -- basically just loud complaints about a short-sighted decision made behind the scenes with nary a public face to the decision, the decision makers, or the rationale...
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: RobertBurmeister on September 27, 2011, 08:17:41 AM
Dear Bloggers,

Please consider the following letter which was sent to the LCMS MN South Board of Directors back in May.  It is my personal testimony to the importance of having an EASILY accessible worship structure across the street from the University of Minnesota.

-------------
May 8, 2011

Dear Rev. Dr. Seitz and Rev. Meier,

Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!  I wish many blessings to you and your work on behalf of the Holy Church in my home state of Minnesota.

I am writing to you as an alumnus of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis and as a former member of ULC-Minneapolis.  As a young undergraduate at the U of M, I was faced with many difficult challenges that are presented to most, if not all college students.  College was an exciting time, but very tough for someone out on his own for the first time.  Many temptations and false ideas were presented to me during those formative years.  I thank God that I was blessed with the stability of University Lutheran Chapel during my undergraduate studies.  I give thanks to God for the blessing of the forgiveness of sins that was pronounced on me by the called minister of Christ at ULC and for the Holy Body and Blood that were fed to me for the forgiveness of my sins and strengthening of my faith.

I am absolutely terrified by the instability which is now facing ULC-Minneapolis with the proposed sale of their church building.  College is when most kids fall away from the Church.  Students at the University quite frankly need encouragement to attend church.  A great encouragement is to have a stable, warm and inviting church building within walking distance of the fourth largest public university in the United States. 

When I first arrived on campus at the University of MN, I had no car and knew no one.  Only because of ULC’s proximity to the campus and the dormitories was I able to attend church.  During my time at ULC-Minneapolis, I was able to be fed Word and Sacrament.  I was able to receive in-depth catechesis, which was in many ways more valuable than the scientific knowledge I learned at the University.  At ULC I was able to make friends with other LCMS Lutherans at college and even find my future wife.

I have enclosed a map of the churches near the University of MN East and West Banks.  It appears to be mostly unchanged from when I was a student at the University.  The map was provided by ULC at their website: http://ulcmn.org http://ulcmn.org/Files/Save%20ULC%20Files/MPLS%20Campus%20Churches.jpg (http://ulcmn.org/Files/Save%20ULC%20Files/MPLS%20Campus%20Churches.jpg).  As you can see, there is only one church in proximity of the main campus that teaches the true Christian faith: University Lutheran Chapel.  To sell the ULC property is to give students rationale to attend a church of some other denomination such as the ELCA, or to rationalize that they will only attend church on rare occasion when they are “home visiting parents”.  Given the expansion of the University campus, if the property is sold, it will be impossible to ever get a similar property back again.

ULC’s property and its proximity to the U of M is a jewel.  To be good stewards of the mission money of the MN South District, I encourage you to support what is one of the best, if not the best, college campus ministries in the entire Missouri Synod.  As a former member of the congregation and as a former student of the U of M, I attest to the fact that the location and the facility have a significant influence on University students, as well as the campus in general.

I pray that you have the wisdom of God as you deliberate how best to support campus ministry for the students of the University of Minnesota who are in need of God’s gracious forgiveness through the Holy Means of Grace.


In Christ,

Robert Burmeister

ULC-Minneapolis Alumnus, 1990-94

CC: MN South Board of Directors

Enclosure.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on September 27, 2011, 08:52:57 AM
The letter cited above has this sentence in it:
"As you can see, there is only one church in proximity of the main campus that teaches the true Christian faith: University Lutheran Chapel." 

I comment:
Well, then....  ::) >:( ::) ::)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: jtpless on September 27, 2011, 10:18:36 AM
When I served at ULC (1983-2000), the churches within walking distance of the chapel were two ELCA congregations with strong gay agendas, University Baptist Church (advertising itself as a "liberal church"), and the newly constructed Church of Latter Day Saints Center. There was also a joint Lutheran-Episcopal Center and a United Protestant campus ministry (UCC, Presbyterian, Methodist). The Newman Center was closed by the archdiocese on account of their hosting a Mass for pro-gay Roman Catholics. JTP+

PS
On a more positive note, "Christ on Campus" a branch of Higher Things (www.higherthings.org/campus/chapters) just announced that they have added their 100th chapter. Congratulations to Pastors Zill and Kind on this fine work.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Harry Edmon on September 28, 2011, 04:32:49 AM
Pastor Kind was interviewed on Issues, Etc. on Monday about the sale.   MNS was asked a number of times over the past 5 months to talk on Issues, Etc about ULC and has declined.   Here is the audio:

http://issuesetc.org/2011/09/26/monday-september-26-2011-2/
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: RobertBurmeister on September 28, 2011, 02:08:45 PM
New editorial in the Minnesota Daily:

There goes the neighborhood
Development companies are destroying the character of student neighborhoods.

http://www.mndaily.com/2011/09/27/there-goes-neighborhood
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 28, 2011, 03:35:33 PM
New editorial in the Minnesota Daily:

There goes the neighborhood
Development companies are destroying the character of student neighborhoods.

http://www.mndaily.com/2011/09/27/there-goes-neighborhood (http://www.mndaily.com/2011/09/27/there-goes-neighborhood)

What do you mean by "character" of student neighborhoods? And, I thought this controversy was over the requirement that there must be a Lutheran church on campus. That implies that off-campus, in the "student neighborhood" that surrounds the campus, is unacceptable.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Birkholz on September 28, 2011, 03:56:00 PM
The district has entered into an agreement to sell the property to Doran for $3.5 million.

http://www.ulcmn.org/Files/Save%20ULC%20Files/District%20Sells%20to%20Doran.pdf (http://www.ulcmn.org/Files/Save%20ULC%20Files/District%20Sells%20to%20Doran.pdf)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Harry Edmon on September 28, 2011, 04:14:02 PM
A very sad day for the LCMS.

I hope that next year's Minnesota South District Convention votes everyone out of office who was associated with the sale.  Someone in the District should also propose an resolution to give the proceeds from the sale to ULC for a new piece of property.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Sandra on September 28, 2011, 04:32:51 PM
Do you really think that this congregation can afford $3.5 million for a new space?

Or that they could raise those kinds of funds in a matter of 10 days?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 28, 2011, 04:42:49 PM
What do you mean by "character" of student neighborhoods? And, I thought this controversy was over the requirement that there must be a Lutheran church on campus. That implies that off-campus, in the "student neighborhood" that surrounds the campus, is unacceptable.

It is unacceptable, George.  The cross of Christ stands before the eyes of every student that goes onto that campus.  Now the cross might be hidden in an office building away from the campus, presuming that affordable rental space can be found.

Do you really think that this congregation can afford $3.5 million for a new space?

I think that congregation can find an excellent space for much less than $3.5 million dollars. With an average attendance of 99 people per week (according to the LCMS website), I think $35,353 dollars worth of assets per average worshipping might not be the most prudent stewardship of resources.
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Sandra on September 28, 2011, 04:57:00 PM
But it has been good stewardship for 50 years. The chapel sanctuary is nearly full every Sunday. It wasn't designed to seat much more than that. It's not like they're having services in a space they're barely filling. Yes, there is additional office/classroom space available in the building, but those spaces have been rented out in the past and could be again. They were even used as District offices for a time.

Even if this was the ultimate result, the District has handled this whole thing VERY poorly.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 28, 2011, 05:35:56 PM
But it has been good stewardship for 50 years. The chapel sanctuary is nearly full every Sunday. It wasn't designed to seat much more than that. It's not like they're having services in a space they're barely filling. Yes, there is additional office/classroom space available in the building, but those spaces have been rented out in the past and could be again. They were even used as District offices for a time.

Even if this was the ultimate result, the District has handled this whole thing VERY poorly.

Sandra, I believe that good stewardship includes adapting to changing times. If the reported attendance averages 99, and that means that the chapel is nearly full, then that could mean that there's not much room for growth. There are over 57,000 students on the campus after all.
 
As for stewardship over time, the physical value of any building includes both the building and the land it sits on. While buildings seldom increase in value, the land that they sit on usually does. Land is, after all, a finite commodity. God stopped making new land a long time ago.
 
I am not arguing about how the District handled things. I don't have an iron in that fire. I'm only speaking in the most general of terms, and attempting to address the larger issues that this specific thing is just one example of.
 
Maybe there is a good and compelling reason for not selling. I do not know. Maybe this is one of the best ideas that the LCMS every had, even though it rubs some people the wrong way. I don't know. But I do know that there hasn't been a compelling case made that would cause an impartial, non-LCMS Lutheran like me to be swayed against selling. There also hasn't been a compelling case made in here in favor of selling that would convince an impartial, non-LCMS Lutheran like me.
 
The one thing I am convinced of is that situations like this will become more common, not less common, as time passes. The entire issue of ministering to young adults in the years of transition from kids living with Mom and Dad to married adults with children of their own is something that almost no Christian denomination has done a very good job of dealing with. The arguments presented in here seem to, for the most part, reflect an outdated and nostalgic remembrance of how things used to be. The statements supposedly describing what it's like to be a twentysomething in the 21st century seem to portray a very realistic depiction of what it was like in the mid 20th century.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 28, 2011, 06:44:22 PM
I do think that would be an appropriate resolution from MNS - that no use of the proceeds can be made until ULC has been placed into a new facility.  Not a snowball's chance in the down under, I'm guessing.  Still, it would be a wonderful thing to see.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on September 28, 2011, 06:51:34 PM
Fortunately, District Presidents and various boards are not elected for life as bishops are. Our forefathers had the wisdom to call them to account through election proceedings. The biggest question is: will the pastors and congregations of the MNS District do so next summer? A second question: will the pastors and congregations of other districts ask whether their elected officials support the actions of their counterparts in MNS?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 28, 2011, 07:39:53 PM
Mr. Erdner,

I disgaree with your math.  If you want to put a price tage on preaching the Word, on administering the sacraments, on proclaiming the Gospel to the world, then the 3.5 million figure should not be divided by the 99/week in attendance but rather by the hundreds and thousands of students who have attended over the past decades (and those that would have attended in the future).  Perhaps you should also include those who were touched by former students who had attended there as well -- what is it, something like 26 LCMS future pastors attended there when served by Pless and Kind?  How many other church workers?  My wife, for instance, who teaches 1st and 2nd grade in our parochial school, has said that ULC was a lifeline to her faith when she was a student at Concordia -- St. Paul.  And what about students who grew spiritually while at the U, who did not enter professional church work?  Men and women who are pillars of their congregations, impacting lives with what they saw and heard at ULC?  Money well spent, if you ask me.   
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on September 28, 2011, 07:43:41 PM
Mr. Erdner,

I disgaree with your math.  If you want to put a price tage on preaching the Word, on administering the sacraments, on proclaiming the Gospel to the world, then the 3.5 million figure should not be divided by the 99/week in attendance but rather by the hundreds and thousands of students who have attended over the past decades (and those that would have attended in the future).  Perhaps you should also include those who were touched by former students who had attended there as well -- what is it, something like 26 LCMS future pastors attended there when served by Pless and Kind?  How many other church workers?  My wife, for instance, who teaches 1st and 2nd grade in our parochial school, has said that ULC was a lifeline to her faith when she was a student at Concordia -- St. Paul.  And what about students who grew spiritually while at the U, who did not enter professional church work?  Men and women who are pillars of their congregations, impacting lives with what they saw and heard at ULC?  Money well spent, if you ask me.

Exactly, Pastor Bohler. Maybe someone can tell us what a reasonable cost per soul might be in dollars (adjusted for inflation, of course). Then that person can write a book, "The Purpose Economics Driven Church."

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 28, 2011, 08:09:27 PM
Selling assets is idiotic.

Agreed.  Let's not lose sight of the fact that the $3.5 million represents APPRECIATED property value that exists only because of the passage of time and not actual expenses related to maintaining this ministry.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 28, 2011, 10:48:22 PM
Mr. Erdner,

I disgaree with your math.  If you want to put a price tage on preaching the Word, on administering the sacraments, on proclaiming the Gospel to the world, then the 3.5 million figure should not be divided by the 99/week in attendance but rather by the hundreds and thousands of students who have attended over the past decades (and those that would have attended in the future).  Perhaps you should also include those who were touched by former students who had attended there as well -- what is it, something like 26 LCMS future pastors attended there when served by Pless and Kind?  How many other church workers?  My wife, for instance, who teaches 1st and 2nd grade in our parochial school, has said that ULC was a lifeline to her faith when she was a student at Concordia -- St. Paul.  And what about students who grew spiritually while at the U, who did not enter professional church work?  Men and women who are pillars of their congregations, impacting lives with what they saw and heard at ULC?  Money well spent, if you ask me.

I will accept that argument and acknowledge it as accurate if, and only if, you can make any sort of case that the sale of that property will effectively end any similar activities in the future.
 
I seem to also recall that thanks to the ebbs and flows of history, the city of Ephesus no longer exists, including its once thriving Christian church. So, I guess we might as well removed the Epistle to the Ephesians from the Bible, right?
 
I think that congregation can find an excellent space for much less than $3.5 million dollars. With an average attendance of 99 people per week (according to the LCMS website), I think $35,353 dollars worth of assets per average worshipping might not be the most prudent stewardship of resources.

Tell me, George, how much are 100 college students each week worth?  How much is the Gospel worth to you?

Selling assets is idiotic.  Money disappears.  Assets remain in perpetuity.  Money can be replaced.  Assets cannot.

100 college students are worth what they are worth. I'd never attempt to put a price on them. But, given a limited supply of physical resources, allocating them to serve 200 students is better than allocating them to serve 100 students, all other things being equal.
 
As to what the folks who are converting the assets to cash so as to be able to use the cash for other purposes, such as buying new, and better, assets plan to do, I don't know. I'm not in the LCMS, but based on their historical track record, I have a reasonable level of confidence that they'll make a good decision. I'm not certain, mind you. But apparently I have more confidence in your leadership than you do.
 
And as for "Assets remain in perpetuity", go visit the church in Ephesus I mentioned above.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Robert Johnson on September 28, 2011, 11:47:11 PM

Sandra, I believe that good stewardship includes adapting to changing times.

Yup; the synod has to grab for the green.  Get the dinero while the offer is hot.

Students?  Let them ride a bus.  Somebody will take them in.  Probably.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 29, 2011, 09:50:29 AM
Mr. Erdner,

ULC cost the district less than $15,000 per year.  Pretty cheap to reach 100 people/week (which surely is more than the same 100 people each week).
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 29, 2011, 10:14:50 AM
Mr. Erdner,

ULC cost the district less than $15,000 per year...

And, of course, the use of $3,000,000+ that the District couldn't keep their hands off of. Oh yeah, that's right. ULC will get back approximately 1%   ???
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on September 29, 2011, 10:22:01 AM
Just out of curiosity, how many people in this rather bitter and contentious discussion are actually in the district involved or directly connected to the campus ministry being discussed?
Or how much is criticism from afar and is there the chance that folks far away or not personally connected don't have the whole, the real story?
There does seem to be the tendency in some circles to respond: "Well! If they did it ("they" being people we don't like or people we don't trust), there must be something terribly wrong!"

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 29, 2011, 10:26:40 AM
Just out of curiosity, how many people in this rather bitter and contentious discussion are actually in the district involved or directly connected to the campus ministry being discussed?

Well, Pr. Austin, you are in this discussion. Are you actually in the district involved or directly connected to the campus ministry being discussed?

Yes, I have been and continue to be directly connected to the campus ministry being discussed.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on September 29, 2011, 10:31:57 AM
I think that congregation can find an excellent space for much less than $3.5 million dollars. With an average attendance of 99 people per week (according to the LCMS website), I think $35,353 dollars worth of assets per average worshipping might not be the most prudent stewardship of resources.

Tell me, George, how much are 100 college students each week worth?  How much is the Gospel worth to you?

Selling assets is idiotic.  Money disappears.  Assets remain in perpetuity.  Money can be replaced.  Assets cannot.

Buildings are assets, until they begin to deteriorate, then they are a liability. In addition, I have been in a congregation where members stated that their purpose was to maintain their building.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: James Gustafson on September 29, 2011, 10:35:47 AM
As for stewardship over time, the physical value of any building includes both the building and the land it sits on. While buildings seldom increase in value, the land that they sit on usually does. Land is, after all, a finite commodity. God stopped making new land a long time ago.

I quickly scanned the posts here but I don't see that you've withdrawn this statement, yet.  If you have, I apologize for bringing it up.  The statement, buildings seldom increase in value might be true for abandoned buildings and unused warehouses, but its a fundamentally flawed premise. As a rule, given time, the exact opposite is true.  100 year old buildings, 50 year old buildings, and 25 year old buildings (or houses) etc., nearly always sell for more money than they were worth when built.  10k houses built fifty years ago sell for 100k now, with essentially no upgrades, and when the recession is over, they'll be worth 75 k  ;), but it's still more than they were sold for when they were brand new.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 29, 2011, 10:40:33 AM
In addition, I have been in a congregation where members stated that their purpose was to maintain their building.

And what does that have to do with the issue at hand?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on September 29, 2011, 10:55:44 AM
If our ELCA friends do not understand why LCMS folk who not in the MNS District still get involved, they need to understand that Missouri is unlike the ELCA and its synods. Missouri is one synod, not a bunch of synods banded together. A district is simply synod in that place. Thus, I am a member of the Indiana District but all that is is the local expression of the Synod to which I belong. So what happens in Minneapolis is as much a concern for me as what happens in Indianapolis.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on September 29, 2011, 10:58:07 AM
In addition, I have been in a congregation where members stated that their purpose was to maintain their building.

And what does that have to do with the issue at hand?

Part of my response to the general statement that buildings are assets.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 29, 2011, 11:01:45 AM
In addition, I have been in a congregation where members stated that their purpose was to maintain their building.

And what does that have to do with the issue at hand?

Part of my response to the general statement that buildings are assets.

I understand that it was part of your response. The question is what does a statement by members in a congregation where you were have to do with the issue at hand?

IOW, how is that part of your response relevant?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 29, 2011, 11:09:15 AM
Buildings are assets, until they begin to deteriorate, then they are a liability.

Try running that gross generality by an accountant!  ::)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: jtpless on September 29, 2011, 11:19:39 AM
President Harrison requested a face to face meeting with the MNS District Board of Directors on the proposed selling of the chapel. The meeting was (is) to take place in a few weeks. It appears that the district leadership moved quickly to sell the building before the meeting could take place.

JTP+
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on September 29, 2011, 11:23:37 AM
In addition, I have been in a congregation where members stated that their purpose was to maintain their building.

And what does that have to do with the issue at hand?

Part of my response to the general statement that buildings are assets.

I understand that it was part of your response. The question is what does a statement by members in a congregation where you were have to do with the issue at hand?

IOW, how is that part of your response relevant?

As relevant or perhaps more so than your comments about how irrelevant my comments are.

Has it been established that the building is an asset to the campus ministry or to the district or a liability?

Or perhaps a more realistic question: in what ways is the building an asset to the ministry/district and in what ways is it a liability?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on September 29, 2011, 11:28:37 AM
I will take seriously the notion that ULC's builing may not be an asset only when the possibility is raised by a parish pastor who leads a parish that sold its building in order to be free of that liability.

If you think that ULC's building is or might be a liability, sell your own church building. Then come back.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on September 29, 2011, 11:36:41 AM
President Harrison requested a face to face meeting with the MNS District Board of Directors on the proposed selling of the chapel. The meeting was (is) to take place in a few weeks. It appears that the district leadership moved quickly to sell the building before the meeting could take place.

JTP+

Pastor Pless, the news of Pres. Harrison's request for a meeting is heartening.  The knowledge that MNS and Doran Builders/Contractors to sell or contract for $3.5 million before the meeting could occur is disheartening.  This whole thing is so unseemly. 

I know you are the previous pastor at ULC and this news must be upsetting to you evenmoreso than me. 

This whole thing is so unseemly.  Is this how Christians are to act?  (No.)  I realize that Boards of Directors are placed into position where difficult decisions have to be made, but this whole mess is one big mess and the actions of the MNS are not doing anything to clean up the mess.  My little children, when I tell them to clean up the toy room, often leave it messier than when they started to clean up. 

I guess I'll say thanks for this news.  I'm glad to see that Pres. Harrison is trying to be involved and to slow down this unseemly sale.

Jeremy
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 29, 2011, 12:00:00 PM
In addition, I have been in a congregation where members stated that their purpose was to maintain their building.

And what does that have to do with the issue at hand?

Part of my response to the general statement that buildings are assets.

I understand that it was part of your response. The question is what does a statement by members in a congregation where you were have to do with the issue at hand?

IOW, how is that part of your response relevant?

As relevant or perhaps more so than your comments about how irrelevant my comments are.

Well, we can add nonresponsiveness to irrelevancy.   ::)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 29, 2011, 12:27:39 PM
As for stewardship over time, the physical value of any building includes both the building and the land it sits on. While buildings seldom increase in value, the land that they sit on usually does. Land is, after all, a finite commodity. God stopped making new land a long time ago.

I quickly scanned the posts here but I don't see that you've withdrawn this statement, yet.  If you have, I apologize for bringing it up.  The statement, buildings seldom increase in value might be true for abandoned buildings and unused warehouses, but its a fundamentally flawed premise. As a rule, given time, the exact opposite is true.  100 year old buildings, 50 year old buildings, and 25 year old buildings (or houses) etc., nearly always sell for more money than they were worth when built.  10k houses built fifty years ago sell for 100k now, with essentially no upgrades, and when the recession is over, they'll be worth 75 k  ;) , but it's still more than they were sold for when they were brand new.

First, you're talking about inflation, not just appreciation. Second, you are referring to the increase in price of the total package of building and land. Yes, $10k houses built 50 years ago (in 1961 dollars) now sell for $100K now (in inflated 2011 dollars). But you cannot buy a house without also buying the land it sits on, can you? Adjusted for inflation, the building materials and labor of a house 50 years ago is about the same today, adjusted for inflation, and adjusted to take into account the improvements in HVAC and other systems. But a vacant lot you could have bought in 1961 has usually appreciated well beyond the rate of inflation, at least in desirable neighborhoods. That's where the increase in "value" is coming from. And, that's what's losing value in the current housing market collapse.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 29, 2011, 12:34:57 PM
Everyone, as I said before, I don't know if converting the ULC property to cash in order to use the cash for a different purpose is a good idea of a bad idea.
 
No one has yet, as near as I can see, has presented a good argument why the plan the powers that be have for that money is not as good. No one has yet, as near as I can see, presented a good argument why the plan that the powers that be have for the money is better. No one has yet, as near as I can see, presented what plan the powers that be even have!
 
There are some very good reasons why this sale might be a terrible idea. I think that those who need to be convinced to change their minds might be swayed by the presentation of some very good reasons. But I haven't seen any very good reasons presented in here.
 
I am very, very grateful that I am able to look at this as an outsider looking in. And, I'm very grateful that should it ever come to pass that I am involved in a controversy like this from the inside, I have the experience of seeing how ineffective most arguments are at opposing this sort of action.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on September 29, 2011, 01:11:51 PM
A friend posted this from Psalm 74 to my blog on the topic:

"They break down the carved work thereof at once with axes and hammers.

They have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of thy name to the ground.

They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land."
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: James Gustafson on September 29, 2011, 01:17:15 PM
First, you're talking about inflation, not just appreciation. Second, you are referring to the increase in price of the total package of building and land. Yes, $10k houses built 50 years ago (in 1961 dollars) now sell for $100K now (in inflated 2011 dollars). But you cannot buy a house without also buying the land it sits on, can you? Adjusted for inflation, the building materials and labor of a house 50 years ago is about the same today, adjusted for inflation, and adjusted to take into account the improvements in HVAC and other systems. But a vacant lot you could have bought in 1961 has usually appreciated well beyond the rate of inflation, at least in desirable neighborhoods. That's where the increase in "value" is coming from. And, that's what's losing value in the current housing market collapse.

I'm sorry, you're still mistaken.  Yes, the value of the property (land) has gone up, but you dismiss the value of the building as inflation only, that's not at all correct.  The "real" price, in economic terminology "real" prices are prices that have been adjusted for inflation, house values have gone up 500% more than inflation has gone up in the last forty years.  A house worth approx., 25k in 1970 would have an equivalent value of 140K in "real" price, however, the same house is now valued at 175k.  Real price increased from 140 to 175 and is the inflation rate, however, the nominal house price has gone from 25k to 175k, 500% higher than the inflation based real price.

I wouldn't push the real estate prices in this thread topic except it's directly pertinent to the topic, the value of the ULC building will increase over time, not decrease, in less than another 50 year the value of the building will likely be more than twice the 3.5 million it is worth today.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Sandra on September 29, 2011, 01:36:26 PM
Just out of curiosity, how many people in this rather bitter and contentious discussion are actually in the district involved or directly connected to the campus ministry being discussed?

I was a member of ULC from about 11/03-3/06. I've also been a member during the interim of my move this summer, from May to the present. I moved into my home in Fort Wayne, IN last week, but haven't had the heart to ask Pastor Kind for my transfer with all the turmoil going on right now.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on September 29, 2011, 01:42:31 PM
First, you're talking about inflation, not just appreciation. Second, you are referring to the increase in price of the total package of building and land. Yes, $10k houses built 50 years ago (in 1961 dollars) now sell for $100K now (in inflated 2011 dollars). But you cannot buy a house without also buying the land it sits on, can you? Adjusted for inflation, the building materials and labor of a house 50 years ago is about the same today, adjusted for inflation, and adjusted to take into account the improvements in HVAC and other systems. But a vacant lot you could have bought in 1961 has usually appreciated well beyond the rate of inflation, at least in desirable neighborhoods. That's where the increase in "value" is coming from. And, that's what's losing value in the current housing market collapse.

I'm sorry, you're still mistaken.  Yes, the value of the property (land) has gone up, but you dismiss the value of the building as inflation only, that's not at all correct.  The "real" price, in economic terminology "real" prices are prices that have been adjusted for inflation, house values have gone up 500% more than inflation has gone up in the last forty years.  A house worth approx., 25k in 1970 would have an equivalent value of 140K in "real" price, however, the same house is now valued at 175k.  Real price increased from 140 to 175 and is the inflation rate, however, the nominal house price has gone from 25k to 175k, 500% higher than the inflation based real price.

I wouldn't push the real estate prices in this thread topic except it's directly pertinent to the topic, the value of the ULC building will increase over time, not decrease, in less than another 50 year the value of the building will likely be more than twice the 3.5 million it is worth today.

Can you show any reference that calculates the value of the building alone, without taking into account the value of the land it sits on? When I took the Pennsylvania real estate licensing course back in the 1990's, one of the main points that the instructor kept hammering away at was the principle that the three most important thing in determining any building's worth are location, location, and location. That refers to the value of the land, and how that impacts the worth of the building. I have seen far too many older buildings bought and torn down to make room for new construction because the old buildings weren't as valuable as a new building would be on the same piece of land.
 
I don't know what condition the building of ULC is in. Some have suggested that it is showing its age, others say it has not. Some suggest that it is expensive to heat and operate, others say otherwise. I don't know the details. I'll accept any reasonably authoritative statement about the condition of the building.
 
But to repeat what I keep repeating, I'm looking at this as typical of general trends, not a specific case. Maybe some old buildings are especially valuable because they were extremely well made in the first place. Many older buildings were designed to accommodate the needs of the past, and aren't as well suited to the needs of the present or future as they should be. Some are extremely expensive to operate and maintain due to outdated and/or poorly designed designed heating and cooling systems. An argument in favor of preserving any older building must be based on accurate and specific facts about the specific older building, not generalities. On the other hand, a discussion of good stewardship of property in general (which is what I have made it absolutely clear is what I am addressing) requires reasonably accurate general statements. 
 
Just out of curiosity, how many people in this rather bitter and contentious discussion are actually in the district involved or directly connected to the campus ministry being discussed?

I was a member of ULC from about 11/03-3/06. I've also been a member during the interim of my move this summer, from May to the present. I moved into my home in Fort Wayne, IN last week, but haven't had the heart to ask Pastor Kind for my transfer with all the turmoil going on right now.

In that case, do you have any specific information about the physical building of ULC? How expensive is it to heat during a Minnesota winter? What sort of repairs might it need in the near future? What condition is the roof in?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: RobertBurmeister on September 29, 2011, 03:02:00 PM
Concerts in Dallas, TX and Houston, TX are scheduled for support of University Lutheran Chapel.  Here is the information and flyer for the Dallas Concert:

Come listen to the music of your favorite composers performed by some of Dallas and Houston's best!

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church is hosting a FREE concert on Friday, October 7th, at 7:00 p.m. to benefit University Lutheran Chapel (ULC) at the University of Minnesota.

World-class composer and pianist Kris Becker, organist Tim Shewmaker, saxophonist Dr. Scott Sandberg, and soprano Katie Schuermann will join forces to perform beloved works of Bach, Chopin, Gershwin, and more.

An opportunity will be provided to make a freewill donation to ULC. Visit http://ulcmn.org for information about the ministry of ULC.

7611 Park Lane | Dallas, TX 75225 | 214-368-1371

Flyer: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/195823/ULC/Dallas%20ULC%20Recital%20Flyer.pdf
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: RobertBurmeister on September 29, 2011, 03:02:57 PM
Concerts in Dallas, TX and Houston, TX are scheduled for support of University Lutheran Chapel.  Here is the information and flyer for the Houston Concert:

Come listen to the music of your favorite composers performed by some of Houston and Dallas’s best!

Memorial Lutheran Church is hosting a FREE concert on Saturday, October 8th, at 2:00 p.m. to benefit the University Lutheran Chapel (ULC) at the University of Minnesota.

World-class composer and pianist Kris Becker, organist Timothy Shewmaker, saxophonist Dr. Scott Sandberg, and soprano Katie Schuermann will join forces to perform beloved works of Bach, Chopin, Gershwin, and more.

An opportunity will be provided to make a freewill donation to ULC. Visit http://ulcmn.org for more information about the ministry of ULC.

5800 Westheimer | Houston, TX 77057 | 713-782-6079

Flyer: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/195823/ULC/Houston%20ULC%20Recital%20Flyer.pdf
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on September 29, 2011, 04:46:38 PM
dgkirch writes (re my question about how many folks here are actually in the area or directly connected to the campus ministry in question):
Well, Pr. Austin, you are in this discussion. Are you actually in the district involved or directly connected to the campus ministry being discussed?

I respond:
No, dgkirch, I am not in the discussion and have not expressed an opinion here, nor do I intend to do so. How the LCMS structures an independent campus ministry is none of my business and I will not butt in. As we have already seen, others in the ELCA might leap in with "advice" on real estate, student life and other matters. Not me.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 29, 2011, 05:22:13 PM
I respond:
No, dgkirch, I am not in the discussion

Really? A full 10% of your last 100 posts (10/100) have been on this thread. Granted, you don't say much of substance, but you certainly have joined in the discussion! So, to your question: Are you actually in the district involved or directly connected to the campus ministry being discussed?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 29, 2011, 05:31:59 PM
No, dgkirch, I am not in the discussion and have not expressed an opinion here, nor do I intend to do so. How the LCMS structures an independent campus ministry is none of my business and I will not butt in.

Exactly.  You can't possibly be in this discussion, since this is an LCMS discussion, and we all know that you have sworn not to butt in, or involve yourself, in LCMS discussions.  So, regardless of the fact that you post with far more frequency than many LCMS-ers in LCMS discussions, you can't possibly be in those discussions. 

Makes perfect sense, Pr. Kirchner.  Don't know why you don't get it.  ;) 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 29, 2011, 07:54:06 PM
Has it been established that the building is an asset to the campus ministry or to the district or a liability?

Accounting 101
An asset = something you OWN. 
A liability = something you OWE. 

There is no existing mortgage on the building, so it's pure ASSET.

There are annual EXPENSES related to the upkeep and maintenance of the building, insurance, etc, and the congregation covered all but $12,165 of these costs in 2011.  So ultimately, the cost per member (assuming membership of 100) is actually $121.65 per year.  Heck, who wouldn't have been willing to adopt a couple of members per year at that rate to help them cover the costs to the District.

http://ulcmn.org/Files/Save%20ULC%20Files/MNS%20Campus%20Budget.pdf

So, as you can see, this has nothing to do with LIABILITY and everything to do with PROFIT.  Sadly, the NET LOSS is absorbed by the students, the faithful members of this church, and the very caring shepherd who fought for his flock.

I think their district convention next year ought to be quite telling.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on September 29, 2011, 08:29:38 PM
Has it been established that the building is an asset to the campus ministry or to the district or a liability?

Accounting 101
An asset = something you OWN. 
A liability = something you OWE. 

There is no existing mortgage on the building, so it's pure ASSET.

Thank you for the proper definitions. They were not quite what I was using, which was that a liability is something that costs us money -- which properly fall under expenses.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 29, 2011, 09:00:41 PM
. . . which was that a liability is something that costs us money -- which properly fall under expenses.

No, liabilities NEVER fall under expenses.  They are different classifications entirely.

The net cost to the MNS District for the ULC campus ministry in 2011 is $12,165 . . . period.  This amount could have been rather easily obtained by ULC from outside sources had this amount been too much of a drain on the District.

This whole situation is sort of like robbing Peter to pay Paul  (http://www.infoplease.com/dictionary/brewers/robbing-peter-to-pay-paul.html) I suppose.  :-\
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on September 29, 2011, 09:29:28 PM
Don't challenge a deaconess who is also an accountant.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on September 29, 2011, 09:53:56 PM
...who also knows her way around the business end of a high-powered rifle, or other such firearm.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 29, 2011, 10:24:13 PM
I'd be more concerned over my access to poisonous nuts!  ;D
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on September 29, 2011, 10:43:18 PM
Get real, folks. In any of those comments have I addressed the situation of your campus ministry at the University? Have I ever expressed an opinion on that ministry, the church involved, the sale of property or the competence of people making those decisions? I have not.
The thread has wandered - gee! imagine that! - to other areas such as a reference to St. Peter's, New York City, a congregation I knew very well. Hence my comments.
As to your kerfuffle over the Twin Cities congregation, I challenge you to find any opinion I have expressed on that situation.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 30, 2011, 08:01:11 AM
Get real, folks...

That's 11%
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on September 30, 2011, 08:41:06 AM
So there is yet another nasty swipe, but the swiper ignores the truth of my statement. I have not commented on your campus ministry dust-up.

Except for this brief, one-time statement, which I make now:
Close it down. We in the ELCA will be happy to take care of LCMS students. We're probably doing that already.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on September 30, 2011, 09:12:32 AM
No, dgkirch, I am not in the discussion and have not expressed an opinion here, nor do I intend to do so.

12.5 %

"It is an all-too-common attitude expressed among some of us: 'We're small. No one is listening to me. I don't think we'll make it. So since God said the world would be against me, I must be doing the right thing.'"

"Maybe. Maybe not. Perhaps it's the pastor's job to get the people of the parish to turn it in to a 'larger and growing' parish? Some pastors have the charisma for bringin' 'em in, others don't."

"I have no mouse in this maze, but was a little uncomfortable when the fast-talking pastor (a former sideshow barker? a side job making infomercials for 3 a.m. TV? 'But wait! There's more!') used Luther's hymn to call the district officials 'the old evil foe,' (and we know who that is). But maybe that's more common among you guys than among the rest of us."

"Close it down. We in the ELCA will be happy to take care of LCMS students. We're probably doing that already."

"...I am not in the discussion and have not expressed an opinion here, nor do I intend to do so." [emphasis added]
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: D. Engebretson on September 30, 2011, 10:04:53 AM
So there is yet another nasty swipe, but the swiper ignores the truth of my statement. I have not commented on your campus ministry dust-up.

Except for this brief, one-time statement, which I make now:
Close it down. We in the ELCA will be happy to take care of LCMS students. We're probably doing that already.

"We're probably doing that already." 

Really? What indicates that the ELCA has been assuming pastoral care for LCMS students?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: FrPeters on September 30, 2011, 10:18:29 AM
A poster on my blog indicated that DP Lane Seitz has announced his plan to retire at the end of his term.  It may be too late to prevent the sale from going through, I do not know anything about the details of the sale, but it is not too late for the good people of MNS to elect new leadership who support the work of the kingdom. A cost of $12,500K per year for a ministry and mission that effectively cares for the Lutheran students on campus, sends a high number of folks into church work, and cares for the physical asset of the property is already missional and does not need to be revamped. However, the District may not to revamp its leadership (clergy and lay) if this is the best that can be done in the name of missions.  BTW it should not be forgotten that they are also trying to sell the other property in Mankato. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on September 30, 2011, 10:37:37 AM
Pastor Engebretson writes:
Really? What indicates that the ELCA has been assuming pastoral care for LCMS students?

I comment:
Common sense. Many of our young people care less about the denominational pedigree than some of their elders.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: D. Engebretson on September 30, 2011, 10:49:19 AM
Pastor Engebretson writes:
Really? What indicates that the ELCA has been assuming pastoral care for LCMS students?

I comment:
Common sense. Many of our young people care less about the denominational pedigree than some of their elders.

Well, that answers my question.  It's just an assumption at best.  We might assume the opposite just as well. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on September 30, 2011, 11:14:53 AM
Pastor Engebretson writes:
Really? What indicates that the ELCA has been assuming pastoral care for LCMS students?

I comment:
Common sense. Many of our young people care less about the denominational pedigree than some of their elders.

Well, that answers my question.  It's just an assumption at best.  We might assume the opposite just as well.
There are two ELCA congregations with actual churches on or adjacent to the East Bank campus (Grace Lutheran Church http://www.graceattheu.org (http://www.graceattheu.org) and University Lutheran Church of Hope http://ulch.org/ (http://ulch.org/)) and adjacent to the West Bank dorm complex is Augsburg College, where in addition to the College's own campus ministry there is the home of another ELCA congregation that was displaced to build one of the new University buildings, Trinity Lutheran (http://www.trinity-lc.org/ (http://www.trinity-lc.org/)), which has been given space on the Augsburg campus.

The ELCA has far and away the best coverage at the U of M in terms of presence. Let's hope they're caring for a lot of students.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pr dtp on September 30, 2011, 11:23:39 AM
In 70 A.D. another structure was raised, the place the entire early church met daily. It too was not owned by the Christians that worshiped there. 

That seemed to work out okay.  Partially because they realized that worship was no longer tied to "a" building. 

If the conservatives cried out like this for every church that closed, for every missionary and DCE that was laid off, I could appreciate the over the top reaction that is apparent here. But that's not the case, this place is being glorified more than Solomon's Temple, as if no other facility, as if in no other place could the mercy of God be poured out on His people. 

If you are trying to make this the rallying cry for a takeover of the BOD - do yourselves a favor - look in the mirror first, ask why a building is more important to you, than the kids it is supposed to serve.  Ask why the inflamed rhetoric is necessary, and whether it is conducive to koinonia.

and ask if money and a building haven't become your idols.

Then perhaps, come back, the logs out of your eyes - and focus on helping the pastor find a new location (say perhaps in the storefront at the bottom of the housing complex? anyone think of that?  It could be written into the developer's plans and would be a great option for ministry)


Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: sgehrke on September 30, 2011, 12:08:42 PM
J&S-
I don't know why you have the impression that this is primarily about saving a building or trying to get a bigger cut of the proceeds.  As a ULC alum and defender of its current ministry, I posted the reasons I'm concerned about the sale back at #301 explicitly noting that to me at least saving the building is not my main concern, as valuable as the building and location is to the ministry (as described by Rev. Pless a couple pages of comments earlier).

The possibility of incorporating a chapel into the new development has been floated by ULC supporters numerous times on BJS; they're not opposed to that model if the MNS district is in a financial crisis (they say they are not) and must sell the building as a result.  Did MNS BOD consider this possibility and try to negotiate this with the developer? No one knows as the nature of the negotiations have not been made public, but now that a purchase agreement has been signed, they would not seem to have much leverage to insist on that now.

So a key reason ULC supporters have been upset by this action is not nostalgia for a building but it has been because ULC has been kept out of the loop regarding the fate of its facilities, and the apparent lack of concern for the ministry of the congregation by the MNS leadership.  Here is a link to the memo that notified ULC that its building had been sold, with ULC's annotations about how the sale unfolded from their perspective.  I don't perceive pastoral concern for the ministry at ULC from the MNS District in this memo or manner of notification of ULC about the sale.

http://www.ulcmn.org/Files/Save%20ULC%20Files/Memo%20-%20Sept%2028.pdf

As it does not seem to me that there is much basis to abrogate the purchase agreement unless the necessary rezoning fails, my concerns have in fact switched to how ULC's ministry can be supported under much more difficult circumstances going forward.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on September 30, 2011, 12:18:29 PM
Fr. Slusser writes:
The ELCA has far and away the best coverage at the U of M in terms of presence. Let's hope they're caring for a lot of students.

I comment:
Good. Yes.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on September 30, 2011, 12:20:29 PM
There are two ELCA congregations with actual churches on or adjacent to the East Bank campus (Grace Lutheran Church http://www.graceattheu.org (http://www.graceattheu.org) and University Lutheran Church of Hope http://ulch.org/ (http://ulch.org/)) and adjacent to the West Bank dorm complex is Augsburg College, where in addition to the College's own campus ministry there is the home of another ELCA congregation that was displaced to build one of the new University buildings, Trinity Lutheran (http://www.trinity-lc.org/ (http://www.trinity-lc.org/)), which has been given space on the Augsburg campus.

The ELCA has far and away the best coverage at the U of M in terms of presence. Let's hope they're caring for a lot of students.

Peace,
Michael

I omitted the Lutheran Campus Ministry, which appears to be anchored on the Grace and Hope congregations (with its mailing address at Grace):
http://umnlutheran.wordpress.com/ (http://umnlutheran.wordpress.com/)

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on September 30, 2011, 12:36:27 PM
If the conservatives cried out like this for every church that closed, for every missionary and DCE that was laid off, I could appreciate the over the top reaction that is apparent here. But that's not the case, this place is being glorified more than Solomon's Temple, as if no other facility, as if in no other place could the mercy of God be poured out on His people.

Again, either show us the congregation that is self-sustaining and has a vibrant Word and Sacrament Ministry serving hundreds, which has been closed by a District against the will of the congregation, or quit making this idiotic comparison.  And, should you manage to show us such an example, I'm quite sure we "conservatives" would cry out just as vehemently in protest.     

If you are trying to make this the rallying cry for a takeover of the BOD - do yourselves a favor - look in the mirror first, ask why a building is more important to you, than the kids it is supposed to serve.  Ask why the inflamed rhetoric is necessary, and whether it is conducive to koinonia.

and ask if money and a building haven't become your idols.

Then perhaps, come back, the logs out of your eyes - and focus on helping the pastor find a new location (say perhaps in the storefront at the bottom of the housing complex? anyone think of that?  It could be written into the developer's plans and would be a great option for ministry)

Ask yourself if you have honestly listened to those protesting this move by the MNS District and whether or not your conclusions, that their protesting is about money and a building, are accurate.  Ask yourself why your inflamed rhetoric ("conservatives," "over the top reaction," accusing those opposed to this of idolatry, etc.) is necessary and conducive to koinonia.  Then, come back, the logs out of your own eyes, and maybe we can actually discuss why a great many of us are outraged over this situation. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on September 30, 2011, 01:17:45 PM
President Harrison's response to the sale can be read here.

http://www.wmltblog.org/2011/09/concerning-the-sale-of-university-lutheran-chapel/
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on September 30, 2011, 01:42:44 PM
From a local newspaper article on the opening of the expanded Weisman Art Museum on the U of M campus:

King sees WAM as a welcoming, nonintimidating museum for the thousands of students who travel past the building each day. Sitting at one of the busiest pedestrian intersections in the Twin Cities next to the Washington Avenue footbridge that crosses the Mississippi River, the museum's location signals to students and visitors that "art is right in the middle of your lives. You can't ignore it," she said.

The Weisman expansion, which started in 2008, comes about two years after the completion of another construction project at the U, the addition of the TCF Bank Stadium. The importance isn't lost on King. She said WAM's new galleries will give students an "equal opportunity to learn to love art, just as they have an opportunity to learn to love football."

Lots of luck on that, but they have a better chance of getting students to love art with a museum building in the midst of campus than without one.

Peace,
Michael

Apologies for any elitism displayed in this post.  ;)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Scott6 on September 30, 2011, 01:45:36 PM
...just as they have an opportunity to learn to love football[/b]." [/color]

Someone can learn and love football at the U of Minnesota?  ???
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on September 30, 2011, 02:06:21 PM
...just as they have an opportunity to learn to love football[/b]." [/color]

Someone can learn and love football at the U of Minnesota?  ???

Maybe not at the same time.  :'(

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on September 30, 2011, 02:09:35 PM
...just as they have an opportunity to learn to love football[/b]." [/color]

Someone can learn and love football at the U of Minnesota?  ???

Sure, they play (loosely speaking) against some good football teams, such as the Wisconsin Badgers (and now, I guess, they will have to add the NDSU Bison).
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: jtpless on September 30, 2011, 02:20:15 PM
I am deeply grateful for President Harrison's statement. Clearly he recognizes the value of ULC and the impact this campus ministry has had in the LCMS and beyond. It is regrettable that the MNS District Board of Directors acted in an imprudent way, ignoring the wisdom of the joint pastoral conference of the MNS/MNN Districts that the question of selling the property be referred to the MNS convention in June. He also affirms the approach to campus ministry embodied at ULC. Obviously the synod president cannot tell the district what to do with its property, his statement acknowledges the harm that has been done by the district's board in this matter. JTP+
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: peter_speckhard on September 30, 2011, 02:31:45 PM
...just as they have an opportunity to learn to love football[/b]." [/color]

Someone can learn and love football at the U of Minnesota?  ???
They learn football and the theology of the cross at the same time, though the football knowledge comes mostly from watching what the visiting teams do.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Zill on September 30, 2011, 07:11:11 PM
Dear everyone,

I don't frequent this board, but I couldn't help but notice the level of discussion taking place surrounding ULC in Minneapolis.

I have served as a full-time campus pastor in the LCMS for nearly 13 years and am privileged to serve as the Christ on Campus Executive for Higher Things.  In short, campus ministry is my life and my passion.  If you care, you can read my personal reflections on this situation at http://tinyurl.com/ulcreflections.

FWIW, and lest you think the rest of of us serving in LCMS campus ministries are either silent or unconcerned, I can assure you that those of us who labor on the campuses of our land grieve this action by the Minnesota South (MNS) Board of Directors (BOD) without measure. FYI, a great many of us appealed to the MNS BOD in this matter very early on.  If you are interested, you can read the appeal that we made on Easter Wednesday:

http://standrewslaramie.org/files/appealforulc.pdf

We are also tremendously grateful for President Harrison's response.  I'm sure that he was as surprised as anyone to hear that the MNS BOD had already signed the sale agreement, especially since he is in Europe and not even in the country.

As a campus pastor I found great comfort in President Harrison's words and I pray others will as well. The mere fact that he said something while across the pond, underscores the importance that he places on the situation and it's gravity, not to mention the level of concern that there is throughout the LCMS. While, yes, it would be nice to think President Harrison could just issue a declaration and make things right, that is not his role. He is correct, the MNS District has the right to legally sell the property, even if we wish it were otherwise. The bottom line is that President Harrison didn't create this mess, nor can he change it unilaterally.

Of course, having the legal authority in this case doesn't make it the right course of action and it is a shame that the MNS BOD has brushed aside the cries of ULC, the concerns of the pastors of her own District and the neighboring one to the north, campus pastors/workers throughout the Synod, and the church at large. 

Again, we in the LCMS campus ministry community grieve what is taking place. We care not only for ULC and her pastor, but especially those LCMS students at the University of Minnesota who will be most effected by this situation and will not understand why their church bodies leaders would seek to unnecessarily evict the viable and thriving campus ministry that is serving them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Sacramental Gifts when they need them most.

Having said that, this event has shined a huge spotlight on the importance of campus ministry, albeit in a negative way.  While we pray that somehow, someway, God will bring this madness to a halt, we will not despair. 

I firmly believe that campus ministry in our Synod has a great future.  It is as important now as ever!

Rev. Marcus Zill
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pr dtp on September 30, 2011, 11:12:42 PM
If the conservatives cried out like this for every church that closed, for every missionary and DCE that was laid off, I could appreciate the over the top reaction that is apparent here. But that's not the case, this place is being glorified more than Solomon's Temple, as if no other facility, as if in no other place could the mercy of God be poured out on His people.

Again, either show us the congregation that is self-sustaining and has a vibrant Word and Sacrament Ministry serving hundreds, which has been closed by a District against the will of the congregation, or quit making this idiotic comparison.  And, should you manage to show us such an example, I'm quite sure we "conservatives" would cry out just as vehemently in protest.     

If you are trying to make this the rallying cry for a takeover of the BOD - do yourselves a favor - look in the mirror first, ask why a building is more important to you, than the kids it is supposed to serve.  Ask why the inflamed rhetoric is necessary, and whether it is conducive to koinonia.

and ask if money and a building haven't become your idols.

Then perhaps, come back, the logs out of your eyes - and focus on helping the pastor find a new location (say perhaps in the storefront at the bottom of the housing complex? anyone think of that?  It could be written into the developer's plans and would be a great option for ministry)

Ask yourself if you have honestly listened to those protesting this move by the MNS District and whether or not your conclusions, that their protesting is about money and a building, are accurate.  Ask yourself why your inflamed rhetoric ("conservatives," "over the top reaction," accusing those opposed to this of idolatry, etc.) is necessary and conducive to koinonia.  Then, come back, the logs out of your own eyes, and maybe we can actually discuss why a great many of us are outraged over this situation.

Rev. Messer,

Just curious - have you some inside knowledge where Rev. Kind has been told his congregation is being "closed"?

As to another ministry - equally vibrant - how about the other Chapel up for sale? 

There are a number of churches out there because of the downturn on economy and the congregations are going into default because of high unemployment.  This week I heard of two such incidences, and I know of a couple more.  Congregations of 200+ - with mostly new Christians in them.

And if you look outside the LCMS - there are many more.  Perhaps the most famous church in California is facing such a situation, even as they have made a turn to a far more Christ centered message.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on October 01, 2011, 12:15:35 AM
Rev. Messer,

Just curious - have you some inside knowledge where Rev. Kind has been told his congregation is being "closed"?

J & S,

No, I have no inside knowledge that Pr. Kind has been told his congregation is being closed, nor have I a clue why you would ask if I did.  You are the one who brought up the closing of congregations ("If the conservatives cried out like this for every church that closed . . .").  My point, which I think I've made with you at least three times now, is that your comparison is ridiculous.  What you really want to say is that you think "conservatives" are meany, poopie heads, who only cry out when they feel one of their own is being wronged.  You are free to think such things.  I think you're wrong.  I think we "conservatives" would be equally upset if a District in our synod sold any thriving congregation's property out from under them against their will.  But, that's a moot point, since you have yet to point to something specific to support your theory.  Again, where are these congregations that are self-sustaining and have a vibrant Word and Sacrament Ministry serving hundreds, which has had their property sold by the District against their will? 

As to another ministry - equally vibrant - how about the other Chapel up for sale?

How about it?  What's your point?  The pastor there seems to be all for the sale and the direction the district is taking regarding campus ministry.  Different story.  Apples and oranges.  But, you know that. 
 
There are a number of churches out there because of the downturn on economy and the congregations are going into default because of high unemployment.  This week I heard of two such incidences, and I know of a couple more.  Congregations of 200+ - with mostly new Christians in them.

How this has anything to do with the MNS District selling the ULC is beyond me.  Are any of these congregations being forced out of their buildings by their Districts selling the building and property where they're doing Word and Sacrament Ministry against their will?   

And if you look outside the LCMS - there are many more.  Perhaps the most famous church in California is facing such a situation, even as they have made a turn to a far more Christ centered message.

Again, how this has anything to do with the MNS District selling the ULC is beyond me. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pr dtp on October 01, 2011, 01:40:19 PM
Rev. Messer,

Just curious - have you some inside knowledge where Rev. Kind has been told his congregation is being "closed"?

J & S,

No, I have no inside knowledge that Pr. Kind has been told his congregation is being closed, nor have I a clue why you would ask if I did.  You are the one who brought up the closing of congregations ("If the conservatives cried out like this for every church that closed . . .").  My point, which I think I've made with you at least three times now, is that your comparison is ridiculous.  What you really want to say is that you think "conservatives" are meany, poopie heads, who only cry out when they feel one of their own is being wronged.  You are free to think such things.  I think you're wrong.  I think we "conservatives" would be equally upset if a District in our synod sold any thriving congregation's property out from under them against their will.  But, that's a moot point, since you have yet to point to something specific to support your theory.  Again, where are these congregations that are self-sustaining and have a vibrant Word and Sacrament Ministry serving hundreds, which has had their property sold by the District against their will? 

As to another ministry - equally vibrant - how about the other Chapel up for sale?

How about it?  What's your point?  The pastor there seems to be all for the sale and the direction the district is taking regarding campus ministry.  Different story.  Apples and oranges.  But, you know that. 
 
There are a number of churches out there because of the downturn on economy and the congregations are going into default because of high unemployment.  This week I heard of two such incidences, and I know of a couple more.  Congregations of 200+ - with mostly new Christians in them.

How this has anything to do with the MNS District selling the ULC is beyond me.  Are any of these congregations being forced out of their buildings by their Districts selling the building and property where they're doing Word and Sacrament Ministry against their will?   

And if you look outside the LCMS - there are many more.  Perhaps the most famous church in California is facing such a situation, even as they have made a turn to a far more Christ centered message.

Again, how this has anything to do with the MNS District selling the ULC is beyond me.

1.  ULC is not losing its ministry, just the place it met in.  But according to the accusations hurled against the BOD - you would think they were taking Pr. Kind and de-frocking him, and closing down the entire ministry.   They have been called everything from heretics to having Psalms quoted out of context about them, as if they are tearing down the Temple and desecrating the Holy of Holies.  Or do you think threats voiced over the internet is the best strategy for working with those you don't agree with?

2.  Vibrant growing ministries - ministering to those they were sent are being closed down all around the country.  Buildings are being sold out from under ministries all around the country.  Name one that BJS and yourself have protested as much as this one. 

3.  I think you need to check with Monte - he's never said he's in favor of selling the chapel - matter of fact he's said just the opposite - in this thread.  But he also sees the reality of it, and is willing to work with it, trusting that God will still gather His people around W&S. The apples and oranges isn't the ministries - it is the reaction to it. 

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on October 01, 2011, 02:41:46 PM
I have a question related to the LCMS President’s letter, where he writes:

Quote
Of the several concerns raised by the then-impending sale of the University Lutheran Chapel property, President Fondow and I were in agreement that it was unwise to disregard the resolution of the joint pastors’ conference requesting that any decision to sell the property be made at the Minnesota South District Convention. We were seeking to share this and other information directly with the board.

My question is related to what exactly was contained in the resolution made at the joint pastors’ conference. It would be helpful to have the "whereas" and "resolved” clauses laid out for all to see – along with a preamble.  It was my initial understanding that the conference wanted to delay the sale of ULC because it was thought that the prevailing real estate market was in a period of high fluctuation and that by waiting more money could be made off the sale. The District Board might have respected the spirit of caution expressed in the resolution, but were still of the opinion that now is the best time to sell, before the prices drop even more. This would explain the urgency of the action and why they did not want to wait until the next Convention.

I also note that in the District FAQ it states: Campus Lutheran Chapel (CLC) is the other campus ministry of our District. It is owned and operated by the District and its pastor is called by the District and paid by the District.

It also states: According to the District Bylaws, the Board of Directors is granted the authority to dispose of District-owned properties. IN the past, several properties have been disposed of by the District Teasurer with input by the Finance Committee with reports of the sale being given to the Board of Directors. http://ulcmn.org/Files/Save%20ULC%20Files/MNS%20Dist%20FAQ-Notated.pdf

Now that is quite a claim. If the pastor is called by the District and the church is owned by the District than why are they not ultimately accountable to the District for how they do mission and ministry? Specifically, if the District wants them to move in a more contemporary direction with blended services, Bible cell groups, etc. should they have the right to continually reject their requests (bite the hand that feeds them?) and still expect to be funded - to the exclusion of other styles of minstry on the same campus?

If the situation was reversed and the chapel wanted to do a style of ministry similar to The Alley, I wonder what would happen if more conservative members were elected to the Board? Would the new Board feel the need to cut off funding because they don’t believe that blended services (contemporary and traditional) are appropriate expressions of Christian spirituality? As it is, it does not look like the District really wants the ULC to fail in its traditional style of doing things. Rather, it looks like the District is trying to financially make ends meet by creatively changing the way ministry is done in a campus setting. I suspect that their view of adiaphora would encourage them to support a comprehensive approach of providing contemporay, blended, traditional and high church styles of worship and ministry - as the need arises. Still, I wonder if with all the antagonistic reactions from ULC supporters, will there be a backlash in which the ULC will be entirely de-funded by the District? Why would the elected leaders of that District want to support a ministry that is at odds with the walking together that the Synod stands for - especially when the results of the last election appeared to give them a strong mandate to move in a more so-called missional (i.e. less traditional) direction?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on October 01, 2011, 02:45:33 PM
1.  ULC is not losing its ministry, just the place it met in.  But according to the accusations hurled against the BOD - you would think they were taking Pr. Kind and de-frocking him, and closing down the entire ministry.   They have been called everything from heretics to having Psalms quoted out of context about them, as if they are tearing down the Temple and desecrating the Holy of Holies.  Or do you think threats voiced over the internet is the best strategy for working with those you don't agree with?

I have heard a lot of protesting about the sale of ULC - done much of that protesting myself - but I have not heard anyone suggest that the BoD is defrocking Pr. Kind or closing down the entire ministry.  What I have heard is that many vehemently disagree not only with the MNS BoD's actions, but also with the way they've gone about bringing their actions to fruition.  Do you think the MNS District DP and BoD has handled things in a Christian manner throughout this fiasco?  Have you read all of the documentation posted on the ULC website?  Have you no sympathy for these brothers and sisters in Christ, who have been kept out of the loop and treated so shamefully by the DP and BoD of their own district, from the formation of a Campus Ministry Task Force without their knowledge, after they had been promised to be kept informed, to the sudden change in plans to move forward with selling their property, after they had been told that this was off the table, to the immediate moving into Executive Sessions so that those whose future they were messing with could not be privy to their discussions and decision-making, to the 5 a.m. email from the DP announcing the resolution passed unanimously to sell, to the signing of the purchase agreement just 10 days after the passed resolution, which was also a thumbing of their noses at our Synodical President, who had requested to meet with them to express some concerns, to the 5-day delay in informing ULC that the purchase agreement had been executed, not to mention the silence from the DP and BoD throughout, who could not be reached for comment, and who refused to respond to the great many who expressed their concerns with them?  Or, do you think all of this is kosher?   

What strategy would you employ to work with those you disagree with who are unwilling to give you the time of day?  Have there been some over-the-top "threats" issued by some?  Probably.  But, does this negate the very legitimate concerns many have expressed over this matter?
   
2.  Vibrant growing ministries - ministering to those they were sent are being closed down all around the country.  Buildings are being sold out from under ministries all around the country.  Name one that BJS and yourself have protested as much as this one.

For the last time, show me these buildings and ministries all around the country that have a thriving Word and Sacrament Ministry serving hundreds and have had their property sold by their Districts against their will.  If what you keep alluding to is true, I'll be the first to cry out in protest over them.
 
3.  I think you need to check with Monte - he's never said he's in favor of selling the chapel - matter of fact he's said just the opposite - in this thread.  But he also sees the reality of it, and is willing to work with it, trusting that God will still gather His people around W&S. The apples and oranges isn't the ministries - it is the reaction to it.

Here's the reality:  Pr. Meyer, along with the MNS DP and BoD, sees a different reality of what campus ministry should be.  What they see and what ULC sees is most definitely apples and oranges.  Here's some more reality:  ULC has a vibrant W&S Ministry serving hundreds, is not a financial drain on the District, and has been a tremendous blessing to our synod at large for many years, having many men emerge from there to go on to become faithful pastors.  If you're looking for a picture of what campus ministry should look like among Lutherans, you'd be hard pressed to find a better one than ULC.  Unfortunately, those responsible for selling the property at ULC have a different picture.  As does Pr. Meyer. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Birkholz on October 01, 2011, 02:49:06 PM
I have a question related to the LCMS President’s letter, where he writes:

Quote
Of the several concerns raised by the then-impending sale of the University Lutheran Chapel property, President Fondow and I were in agreement that it was unwise to disregard the resolution of the joint pastors’ conference requesting that any decision to sell the property be made at the Minnesota South District Convention. We were seeking to share this and other information directly with the board.

My question is related to what exactly was contained in the resolution made at the joint pastors’ conference. It would be helpful to have the "whereas" and "resolved” clauses laid out for all to see – along with a preamble.

The resolution may be found here:

http://www.ulcmn.org/Files/Save%20ULC%20Files/MNS%20MNN%20Maddens%20Resolution.pdf (http://www.ulcmn.org/Files/Save%20ULC%20Files/MNS%20MNN%20Maddens%20Resolution.pdf)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on October 01, 2011, 03:32:00 PM
I believe President Harrison's letter is helpful in this situation. 

A side topic is the "Missionary-at-large" through the district Divine Call, which is referenced with regard to this campus ministry.  I wrestle with that one.  To me it's always advisable, but not always possible, to have the Divine Call issued through the member or RSO organization of Synod for the purpose of direct connection or if you will accountability to the local assembly of believers or agency.  For a missionary starting from scratch, there is no member congregation, of course.  And for some in RSO or agency service, there are reasons that is not a smooth or do-able option.  And there are some circumstances in which the congregation that had "mission" status may elect to stay with the MAL usage for awhile after becoming a member of the LC-MS.  But by and large, I make the attempt to move the pastor/worker away from the district payroll - the direct "subsidy" creates a "two-masters" thought by everyone involved - the worker, the parish, the district and those outside.  Muddy water.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on October 01, 2011, 03:56:09 PM
Quote
The resolution may be found here:

http://www.ulcmn.org/Files/Save%20ULC%20Files/MNS%20MNN%20Maddens%20Resolution.pdf

Thanks for the link. You really can't tell why the pastors wanted to wait before the next Convention before making a firm decision to sell the property. Was it because the real estate market was considered to be in a high state of flux or were there other reasons for wanting to wait? What were some of the comments made at the time of the vote? How close was the vote? Why was it an oral vote, rather than by secret ballot? Obviously, what should have been done by those who did not want the chapel sold, would be to add in the resolution that the campus ULC should not be sold - period. That would have put more teeth into the resolution. It is interesting that, according to the LCMS President, the decision to sell the property comes as no surprise. If it really came as no surprise, why than was there not a firm resolution at a previous convention brought out to be voted upon that would have locked the ministry into place so that the chapel could not be sold by the District Board - period?

On the Brothers of John the Steadfast site, I came across a claim made by a former Board Member of the District:

Quote
It may interest the readers that it has happened in the past that others have earmarked/restricted gifts to the MNS district for ULC and that money has not increased the amount ULC has received from the district. Instead, either it sits on the district books without ever be disbursed, or it is considered disbursed because the district spends more than the amount of the gifts on the property used by ULC.
http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=15886

Now that is quite a claim. Was this brought to President Harrison's attention?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Birkholz on October 01, 2011, 04:42:56 PM
Quote
The resolution may be found here:

http://www.ulcmn.org/Files/Save%20ULC%20Files/MNS%20MNN%20Maddens%20Resolution.pdf

Thanks for the link. You really can't tell why the pastors wanted to wait before the next Convention before making a firm decision to sell the property. Was it because the real estate market was considered to be in a high state of flux or were there other reasons for wanting to wait? What were some of the comments made at the time of the vote? How close was the vote? Why was it an oral vote, rather than by secret ballot? Obviously, what should have been done by those who did not want the chapel sold, would be to add in the resolution that the campus ULC should not be sold - period. That would have put more teeth into the resolution. It is interesting that, according to the LCMS President, the decision to sell the property comes as no surprise. If it really came as no surprise, why than was there not a firm resolution at a previous convention brought out to be voted upon that would have locked the ministry into place so that the chapel could not be sold by the District Board - period?

I was not present, so I can't answer most of your questions.  Please note that this was a Pastor's Conference, rather than a District Convention.  In my limited experience, most pastor's conferences do not spend much time considering resolutions.  The primary reason for gathering is usually for worship, continuing education, mutual support, to hear news from the district, etc...  There's not a whole lot that a pastor's conference can do, other than express the will of the pastors on a certain matter, or request that certain matters be considered by others, including the DP, BOD, or District Convention (at the last NID pastor's conference we requested that the DP encourage congregations towards a weekly celebration of the Eucharist).  Voice votes are most common.  If it's close, there may be a "division of the house" by standing or raising hands.  I've not been to a pastor's conference where paper ballots were used for anything other than elections.

As an outsider, my reading of this resolution was simply that the pastors of the districts considered this matter to be important enough that the whole MNS District should make the decision rather than the BOD (even thought they do have this authority). Perhaps the framers thought that a more strongly worded resolution may not have passed.  I think that if the decision to sell the property would have been made at the District Convention in June, this conversation would be significantly different.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: swbohler on October 01, 2011, 05:06:49 PM
As I recall, when the issue was brought forward to the combined group (MNN and MNS pastors), most of the comments were from pastors who felt any decision to sell the ULC property was a big enough of a deal that it should be done only by the wishes of the whole MNS district in convention.  There were also a number of pastors who rose to speak their own personal ULC stories (their own attendance, or that of family members, or parishioners), all of which reflected well on ULC.  There were no "teeth" to the resolution because we had no authority to put teeth into the thing.  Just a friendly, pastoral word of advice to the MNS BOD.  Which, apparently, they ignored.

By the way, there was no "let's wait for a better market to sell" stance taken that I recall.  It was basically a plea for the district BOD not to take this burden onto itself, knowing how divisive it could/would be.  I do not recall anyone saying that now was not the time, market-wise, but in the future it would be a good idea.  Perhaps others' recollection will be different.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on October 01, 2011, 05:27:17 PM
Quote
By the way, there was no "let's wait for a better market to sell" stance taken that I recall.  It was basically a plea for the district BOD not to take this burden onto itself, knowing how divisive it could/would be.  I do not recall anyone saying that now was not the time, market-wise, but in the future it would be a good idea.

Thanks for sharing your observation.

I wonder if this could be a good test case for the rest of the LCMS to take note of? It is possible that with the declining economic situation in the LCMS, there will be other cases in which elected leaders will work to sell property and/or even defund certain ministries - so as to fund other ministries. For example, it may very well be the case that ministries like The Alley might be defunded by a future more conservative Board - so as to better promote more traditional ministries. As I see it, a more conservative Board could look at the current ULC decision and feel justified to proceed with a similar defunding strategy, despite what pastoral gatherings might say with a voice vote. So, I wonder if the future of the LCMS will be towards less structure and more independently funded ministries? In the long run that actually might fit in better with an overall emphasis on koinonia - with a big tent philosophy, as opposed to an urge to purge philosophy.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on October 01, 2011, 08:10:44 PM
Generally speaking, and not in reference to any specific institution operated by mortal men, but rather to all institutions in general, when economic times get tough, and when operating resources become scarce, then decisions have to be made about allocating those scarce resources. Often those decisions are hard. And often those who favor one particular activity over another will advocate for retaining the resources for the activity they favor over other activities.
 
If this were ancient times, we would consider 2011 a year of famine. Like it or not, that's the way it is. Denying the reality won't change the reality. We pray for God to end the famine. While we wait for that to happen, we cope as best we can. Anyone who isn't responsible for actually making the hard decisions can always second guess those who are so tasked.
 
And of course, many people will have opinions and reactions. Some might be very closely involved, others less closely involved, others only marginally involved, still others might be total outsiders who might be able to help provide objective clarity to those whose vision is clouded by emotional reaction or simply being too close to the issue, and unable to differentiate forest from trees.
 
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on October 01, 2011, 08:55:23 PM
On the Brothers of John the Steadfast site, I came across a claim made by a former Board Member of the District:

Quote
It may interest the readers that it has happened in the past that others have earmarked/restricted gifts to the MNS district for ULC and that money has not increased the amount ULC has received from the district. Instead, either it sits on the district books without ever be disbursed, or it is considered disbursed because the district spends more than the amount of the gifts on the property used by ULC.
http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=15886

Now that is quite a claim. Was this brought to President Harrison's attention?

What seems to be the problem? As stated over there:

"All charitable organizations generally work this way:  As an example, a charity district office has budgeted $20,000 to go to Location X.  The district office then receives a donation of $5,000 designated for Location X.  At the end of the year, Location X still gets only $20,000 not $25,000.    The source of the allocation is $5,000 restricted receipts and $15,000 unrestricted receipts but the total doesn’t change.  This is legal and generally considered ethical."  Hope this isn’t too confusing, but please don’t send designated donations to an intermediary."
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on October 01, 2011, 09:06:43 PM
Quote
...when economic times get tough, and when operating resources become scarce, then decisions have to be made about allocating those scarce resources. Often those decisions are hard. And often those who favor one particular activity over another will advocate for retaining the resources for the activity they favor over other activities.

This is so true and no particular side is beyond being tempted to withhold giving to their District/Synod to favor one particular activity over another. I suspect that this is only the beginning of a war over the increasing scarcity of resources in the LCMS. For example. I came across an article in June of 2009 posted by The Brothers of John the Steadfast. The article was entitled Confessionals “Get Their Lunch Handed to Them” at the Minnesota South District, by Pr. Klemet Preus. In response to the article, the host of Issues Etc., posted a comment. While the decision to sell the ULC appears to me to have been based upon purely financial reasons, it makes me wonder if there might be more to the story - especially after reading the comment:

If we don’t want “churches” like The Alley funded by our offerings, then let’s try defunding this nonsense at the source, on both the synodical and district level. (http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=5436)

Here is another, more recent, statement found on The Brothers of John the Steadfast site:



Urgently consider changing your support to the District office by giving directly to the Synod, and redirect any amount financial support for MNS to the ULC rebuilding fund. If this is about money, let them suffer and sink. Put MNS out of business. http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=15886

Yes, we are going through very difficult times and there is sure to be even more hard feelings as operating resources become scarce and decisions have to be made about allocating those scarce resources. The Life Together which we enjoy is indeed very fragile and often fractured..
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on October 01, 2011, 09:19:42 PM
I have to say that I agree 100% with Pr. Wilken on the matter of defunding those who continue to support and fund parishes that will not identify themselves as Lutheran and will not commit to use doctrinally pure Agenda and Hymnbooks (with appropriate diversity).  I think that's kind of a no-brainer.  I do not regard that as political maneuvering.  I regard it as simply good stewardship of the resources God has given us. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on October 01, 2011, 11:15:25 PM
Quote
I have to say that I agree 100% with Pr. Wilken on the matter of defunding those who continue to support and fund parishes that will not identify themselves as Lutheran and will not commit to use doctrinally pure Agenda and Hymnbooks

Wow! I assume that you are currently in the ecclesiastical process of making charges that The Alley is guilty of false doctrine? I look forward to hearing how your case is decided. However, I doubt your stance is going to ever prevail in the LCMS.

Warning, Sarcasm Ahead:

It is amazing how the early church survived for decades, after the New Testament was composed, without an Agenda and Hymnbook that contained the various parts of the full and complete liturgy that the LCMS now has in the LSB. And to think that the Apostle Paul himself never received such an Agenda and Hymnbook that was so fully developed and pure as the LCMS has! What a great sin of omission that that the Apostle Paul made in not writing down what he knew deep in his heart what the church should be doing.  And to think that Martin Luther himself once made the great doctrinal mistake of not wanting his followers to call themselves after his name and even had the audacity to change the agreed upon Ecumenical Creed into something (e.g. We All Believe in One True God) that could be sung with entirely different words!

Those who desire to work with an early 2nd century primitive church liturgy (which, by the way, also did not have the name Lutheran), should be given the freedom to do as they desire. For true confessional Lutherans, it is a matter of adiaphora. But if you must fight a battle for tradition, think about how there is much more evidence from tradition to argue a strong case that the Eucharist should be held every Sunday than to argue that the various parts of the LSB were always around in their full form and richness in the early pre-Reformation church.

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pr dtp on October 01, 2011, 11:29:04 PM
I have to say that I agree 100% with Pr. Wilken on the matter of defunding those who continue to support and fund parishes that will not identify themselves as Lutheran and will not commit to use doctrinally pure Agenda and Hymnbooks (with appropriate diversity).  I think that's kind of a no-brainer.  I do not regard that as political maneuvering.  I regard it as simply good stewardship of the resources God has given us.

Do you really want to see your friends judged by that standard?

Of course you may be referring to Lutheran in name, but I would say those who don't identify themselves by doctrine and practice with the scriptures and our confessions. 

Such Standards cut hard both ways Rev. Weedon. That too is a no-brainer.

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on October 02, 2011, 12:36:07 AM
Indeed, I wonder if the clergy associated with the ULC took a similar public stance against The Alley church and were also striving to make public attempts to defund The Alley on a District level? If so, it would be hard to defend why the ULC should be allowed to receive District funds at all - now that the new pro Alley leadership is in place on the Board of Directors.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LCMS87 on October 02, 2011, 01:19:06 AM
Indeed, I wonder if the clergy associated with the ULC took a similar public stance against The Alley church and were also striving to make public attempts to defund The Alley on a District level? If so, it would be hard to defend why the ULC should be allowed to receive District funds at all - now that the new pro Alley leadership is in place on the Board of Directors.

JAQ.

You should really refrain from making statements like this.  If you have evidence of the premise in your first sentence, then just say so.  "Wondering if" and then concluding "if so" ends up doing nothing but smearing University Lutheran Chapel and Pr. Kind.  It would be equally as ridiculous for me to wonder if your church is a front for Al-Qaeda and then conclude that if it is the Department of Homeland Security should certainly raid it and shut it down.  Of course I have no evidence for my premise, but unless you can show evidence for yours my conclusion is just a valid as yours.  (That would be not at all, but quite inflammatory nonetheless.)

Argue against cutting off funding to the district if you wish.  I'm generally opposed to that sort of action, so I'd probably agree with you.  But unless you have evidence that Pr. Kind or the church council at University Lutheran Chapel are pushing that sort of action, leave them out of it. 
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: D. Engebretson on October 02, 2011, 07:47:34 AM
Quote
I have to say that I agree 100% with Pr. Wilken on the matter of defunding those who continue to support and fund parishes that will not identify themselves as Lutheran and will not commit to use doctrinally pure Agenda and Hymnbooks

Wow! I assume that you are currently in the ecclesiastical process of making charges that The Alley is guilty of false doctrine? I look forward to hearing how your case is decided. However, I doubt your stance is going to ever prevail in the LCMS.

Warning, Sarcasm Ahead:

It is amazing how the early church survived for decades, after the New Testament was composed, without an Agenda and Hymnbook that contained the various parts of the full and complete liturgy that the LCMS now has in the LSB. And to think that the Apostle Paul himself never received such an Agenda and Hymnbook that was so fully developed and pure as the LCMS has! What a great sin of omission that that the Apostle Paul made in not writing down what he knew deep in his heart what the church should be doing.  And to think that Martin Luther himself once made the great doctrinal mistake of not wanting his followers to call themselves after his name and even had the audacity to change the agreed upon Ecumenical Creed into something (e.g. We All Believe in One True God) that could be sung with entirely different words!

Those who desire to work with an early 2nd century primitive church liturgy (which, by the way, also did not have the name Lutheran), should be given the freedom to do as they desire. For true confessional Lutherans, it is a matter of adiaphora. But if you must fight a battle for tradition, think about how there is much more evidence from tradition to argue a strong case that the Eucharist should be held every Sunday than to argue that the various parts of the LSB were always around in their full form and richness in the early pre-Reformation church.

For the sake of balanced discussion, might we consider Pr. Weedon's point in another light for a moment?  First, what obligation does a denomination have to grant funding and financial support to churches who do not want to identity themselves as a distinctive part of that organization?  If churches want to identity themselves in such a way as to not be associated with the supporting organization, then shouldn't they by right seek funding from those who support such generic ecclesiology?  Why is it so bad to expect that a subsidized church of a Lutheran church body would agree to identify itself as "Lutheran"?

Secondly, I believe that Pr. Weedon qualified his statement about "doctrinally pure Agenda and Hymnbooks" (which, btw, is part of the LCMS constitution), with the phrase "with appropriate diversity" (which was inadvertently omitted when quoted.)  Does the LCMS have a right to limit diversity to that which they determine is "appropriate"?  That seems reasonable.  One would think some limits would be imposed unless you really didn't care what the churches did.  And any way, Pr. Weedon did not impose those limits.  As he demonstrated (by his statement), they were in place in the constitution already. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on October 02, 2011, 08:04:35 AM
Thank you, Pr. Engebretson, for your charitable and accurate read of my comments on Pr. Wilken's statement. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: BrotherBoris on October 02, 2011, 10:17:55 AM
Perhaps I should not even comment on this, but I am on Pastor Weedon's side in this matter.  Is its REALLY such a big deal to ask a Lutheran Mission to boldly identify itself as Lutheran?  Why would any honest Lutheran pastor not want the parish he served to be identified as Lutheran, unless, of course, he was secretly (or not so secretly) ashamed of his Lutheran heritage? Does anyone besides me see this as a form of 'truth-in-advertising"?  How could a person really trust a parish that was deliberately concealing and hiding its identity from inquirers?  I know I wouldn't trust them.  And to what end is this concealment of identity? Could it be to bring more non-denominational types into the LCMS? And to what end is that? Could it be to make the LCMS into a copy of Joel Osteen's "church" that just happens to preach Law and Gospel? I sincerely hope not.

What I still don't understand in the LCMS is why a traditional, liturgical, sacramental parish with high musical standards is not considered to the THE GOAL every Lutheran parish should strive for. 

Bishop John Shelby Spong, the notoriously liberal and nearly unbelieving retired ECUSA bishop of the Diocese of Newark, once wrote a book titled, "Why Christianity Must Change or Die."  If you read that book, and I have, you'll see that Spong attacks nearly every Christian dogma contained in the Nicene Creed, and then some.   His basic premise seems to be "we must become more like the world in order for the world to take us seriously."  I cannot help but notice a similar attitude amongst some of the anti-liturgy Church Growthers in the LCMS.  Their position seems to be, "Why the LCMS must abandon the Lutheran Liturgy or Die".  Dare I call these people the Spongs of Missouri? Perhaps I am not being charitable? 

How is this different than what Samuel Schmucker did at Gettysburg back in the 19th century?  The LCMS had the wisdom to reget it then. God grant it the wisdom to reject it now!

As an Eastern Orthodox Christian looking at the LCMS, I am starting to view this attact on the the Lutheran Liturgy, Lutheran hymnody, Lutheran architecture, worship and heritage as the Lutheran equivalent of the Iconoclastic Movement. What else can one call a movement that seeks to disincarnate Lutheranism from its history, worship, and liturgy? 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LutherMan on October 02, 2011, 12:07:25 PM
Pastor Engebretson writes:
Really? What indicates that the ELCA has been assuming pastoral care for LCMS students?

I comment:
Common sense. Many of our young people care less about the denominational pedigree than some of their elders.
The dozen or so university students who worship/bible study/fellowship with us care very much that they are attending an LCMS parish.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on October 02, 2011, 01:22:01 PM
Perhaps I should not even comment on this, but I am on Pastor Weedon's side in this matter.  Is its REALLY such a big deal to ask a Lutheran Mission to boldly identify itself as Lutheran?  Why would any honest Lutheran pastor not want the parish he served to be identified as Lutheran, unless, of course, he was secretly (or not so secretly) ashamed of his Lutheran heritage? Does anyone besides me see this as a form of 'truth-in-advertising"?  How could a person really trust a parish that was deliberately concealing and hiding its identity from inquirers?  I know I wouldn't trust them.  And to what end is this concealment of identity? Could it be to bring more non-denominational types into the LCMS? And to what end is that? Could it be to make the LCMS into a copy of Joel Osteen's "church" that just happens to preach Law and Gospel? I sincerely hope not.


Did you ever consider that in some circles, the term "Lutheran" contains a great deal of unfortunate baggage? Did you ever think that in some circles having the name "Lutheran" on the door means "Sorry, you can only watch the rest of us take communion, you aren't welcome"?
 
When one's mission is reaching out to people, which is more important, reaching them with the Gospel as Lutherans understand the Gospel, or maintaining the name "Lutheran" on the sign in front? If the latter is an impediment to the former, which takes priority?
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on October 02, 2011, 02:18:19 PM
George,

If congregations want to mimic non-denoms in their attempt to reach people with the Gospel, they are perfectly welcome to do so. 

Just don't ask me to fund it. 

I intend to give my funds toward congregations that seek to be intentionally Lutheran in their identification of themselves, in the way they worship, and in the way they reach out and welcome others into the Body of Christ.  If you want to give your money to the others, help yourself, my friend.  I just want no part of it.  Never have and never will.  I believe that IF the Lutheran Church has a future it will be AS Lutheran, not as imitation non-denoms living off the good will and bounty of traditional Lutheran Churches. 

Sorry for the grumpy tone of the post, but I honestly don't get why you would object to an LCMS congregation refusing to fund a so called mission start that my congregation couldn't even recognize AS Lutheran.  YOU go give to them, George. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 02, 2011, 04:17:48 PM
From afar, I hear the sound of bridges being burned.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: A Sasse Waltherian on October 02, 2011, 04:22:30 PM
I hear a Luther, Gerhard, Walther, or Sasse preaching.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on October 02, 2011, 04:25:54 PM
I think the sound of an imaginary bridge being burned is a lot less deafening than the very real sounds of a beloved sanctuary being bulldozed.  The love of money is the root of all evil, and Pr. Kind is right that his congregation was sinned against - and perhaps with the best of intentions, but intentions do nothing to alleviate the very real suffering of his people at this juncture.  Call a thing what it is.  The truth is our hope.  It always is. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pastormesser on October 02, 2011, 05:25:24 PM
From afar, I hear the sound of bridges being burned.

It's nice to see that your non-participation and your non-opinions are continuing.

Pr. Osbun,

He said, "from afar," which means that any participation or opinions which follow are not considered participation or opinions.  You'll get it, eventually. :)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on October 02, 2011, 05:52:29 PM
George,

If congregations want to mimic non-denoms in their attempt to reach people with the Gospel, they are perfectly welcome to do so. 

There's a huge range of territory between downplaying the word "Lutheran" and mimicking the non-denominational churches. I encountered one Lutheran church which, based on its website, was more "Lutheran" than most Ablaze! churches that had "Lutheran" carved in stone on their buildings, but their church name was something along the lines of "Grace Alone Christian Church", or something similar. It was a while ago, and I didn't take notes. 
 
Just don't ask me to fund it. 

Personally, or as one member of a collective of millions?

Sorry for the grumpy tone of the post, but I honestly don't get why you would object to an LCMS congregation refusing to fund a so called mission start that my congregation couldn't even recognize AS Lutheran.  YOU go give to them, George.

Sorry, but the only thing I object to are knee-jerk objections. I would agree if you were referring to a congregation where if you sat through an entire worship service, you wouldn't know it was Lutheran except for the sign out front. I wouldn't want to support that either. On the other hand, I would disagree with withholding funds from a faithful, confessional Lutheran congregation where the Gospel was rightly preached, the sacraments were properly administered, and the Lutheran confessions were faithfully followed just because you couldn't tell that the church was Lutheran when you drove past it on the highway.
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: D. Engebretson on October 02, 2011, 08:16:50 PM
Perhaps I should not even comment on this, but I am on Pastor Weedon's side in this matter.  Is its REALLY such a big deal to ask a Lutheran Mission to boldly identify itself as Lutheran?  Why would any honest Lutheran pastor not want the parish he served to be identified as Lutheran, unless, of course, he was secretly (or not so secretly) ashamed of his Lutheran heritage? Does anyone besides me see this as a form of 'truth-in-advertising"?  How could a person really trust a parish that was deliberately concealing and hiding its identity from inquirers?  I know I wouldn't trust them.  And to what end is this concealment of identity? Could it be to bring more non-denominational types into the LCMS? And to what end is that? Could it be to make the LCMS into a copy of Joel Osteen's "church" that just happens to preach Law and Gospel? I sincerely hope not.


Did you ever consider that in some circles, the term "Lutheran" contains a great deal of unfortunate baggage? Did you ever think that in some circles having the name "Lutheran" on the door means "Sorry, you can only watch the rest of us take communion, you aren't welcome"?
 
When one's mission is reaching out to people, which is more important, reaching them with the Gospel as Lutherans understand the Gospel, or maintaining the name "Lutheran" on the sign in front? If the latter is an impediment to the former, which takes priority?

As far as that is concerned we might also say that the term "Christian" also contains a lot of baggage, with people attaching all kinds of impressions and caricatures to it.  In the Muslim world the term "Christian" can even be a dangerous label with which to be identified.  Should we therefore avoid this term? The fact that some people would interpret "Lutheran" as exclusionary in an uncaring and arbitrary fashion does not deter me from using that term.  People attach misguided and inaccurate ideas to many terms, but if we avoided these terms (such as Lutheran) for this reason we would also miss the opportunity to enlighten people on the truth rather than reinforce their misinformed impressions. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on October 02, 2011, 08:32:12 PM
Perhaps I should not even comment on this, but I am on Pastor Weedon's side in this matter.  Is its REALLY such a big deal to ask a Lutheran Mission to boldly identify itself as Lutheran?  Why would any honest Lutheran pastor not want the parish he served to be identified as Lutheran, unless, of course, he was secretly (or not so secretly) ashamed of his Lutheran heritage? Does anyone besides me see this as a form of 'truth-in-advertising"?  How could a person really trust a parish that was deliberately concealing and hiding its identity from inquirers?  I know I wouldn't trust them.  And to what end is this concealment of identity? Could it be to bring more non-denominational types into the LCMS? And to what end is that? Could it be to make the LCMS into a copy of Joel Osteen's "church" that just happens to preach Law and Gospel? I sincerely hope not.


Did you ever consider that in some circles, the term "Lutheran" contains a great deal of unfortunate baggage? Did you ever think that in some circles having the name "Lutheran" on the door means "Sorry, you can only watch the rest of us take communion, you aren't welcome"?
 
When one's mission is reaching out to people, which is more important, reaching them with the Gospel as Lutherans understand the Gospel, or maintaining the name "Lutheran" on the sign in front? If the latter is an impediment to the former, which takes priority?

As far as that is concerned we might also say that the term "Christian" also contains a lot of baggage, with people attaching all kinds of impressions and caricatures to it.  In the Muslim world the term "Christian" can even be a dangerous label with which to be identified.  Should we therefore avoid this term? The fact that some people would interpret "Lutheran" as exclusionary in an uncaring and arbitrary fashion does not deter me from using that term.  People attach misguided and inaccurate ideas to many terms, but if we avoided these terms (such as Lutheran) for this reason we would also miss the opportunity to enlighten people on the truth rather than reinforce their misinformed impressions.

I'll answer if you'll be more specific about what level of avoidance you're talking about. For example, most Lutheran churches I know don't include the word "Christian" in their names or on their main signs. The same goes for churches of almost every other faith tradition, except those denominations that actually include the word "Christian" in their name, like the First Christian Church.
 
And please, tell my just how explicit we should be in using the "opportunity" we get by chasing people away from our churches before they even set foot inside to hear whatever enlightenment is in store for them once they cross the threshold. Just how much "opportunity" do you encounter on a regular basis to enlighten the people who won't set foot in your church?
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: D. Engebretson on October 02, 2011, 08:54:31 PM
Perhaps I should not even comment on this, but I am on Pastor Weedon's side in this matter.  Is its REALLY such a big deal to ask a Lutheran Mission to boldly identify itself as Lutheran?  Why would any honest Lutheran pastor not want the parish he served to be identified as Lutheran, unless, of course, he was secretly (or not so secretly) ashamed of his Lutheran heritage? Does anyone besides me see this as a form of 'truth-in-advertising"?  How could a person really trust a parish that was deliberately concealing and hiding its identity from inquirers?  I know I wouldn't trust them.  And to what end is this concealment of identity? Could it be to bring more non-denominational types into the LCMS? And to what end is that? Could it be to make the LCMS into a copy of Joel Osteen's "church" that just happens to preach Law and Gospel? I sincerely hope not.


Did you ever consider that in some circles, the term "Lutheran" contains a great deal of unfortunate baggage? Did you ever think that in some circles having the name "Lutheran" on the door means "Sorry, you can only watch the rest of us take communion, you aren't welcome"?
 
When one's mission is reaching out to people, which is more important, reaching them with the Gospel as Lutherans understand the Gospel, or maintaining the name "Lutheran" on the sign in front? If the latter is an impediment to the former, which takes priority?

As far as that is concerned we might also say that the term "Christian" also contains a lot of baggage, with people attaching all kinds of impressions and caricatures to it.  In the Muslim world the term "Christian" can even be a dangerous label with which to be identified.  Should we therefore avoid this term? The fact that some people would interpret "Lutheran" as exclusionary in an uncaring and arbitrary fashion does not deter me from using that term.  People attach misguided and inaccurate ideas to many terms, but if we avoided these terms (such as Lutheran) for this reason we would also miss the opportunity to enlighten people on the truth rather than reinforce their misinformed impressions.

I'll answer if you'll be more specific about what level of avoidance you're talking about. For example, most Lutheran churches I know don't include the word "Christian" in their names or on their main signs. The same goes for churches of almost every other faith tradition, except those denominations that actually include the word "Christian" in their name, like the First Christian Church.
 
And please, tell my just how explicit we should be in using the "opportunity" we get by chasing people away from our churches before they even set foot inside to hear whatever enlightenment is in store for them once they cross the threshold. Just how much "opportunity" do you encounter on a regular basis to enlighten the people who won't set foot in your church?

My question was more of a rhetorical nature.  I wasn't thinking specifically of church signs, but of terms in general.  Perhaps your world is different than mine, but I am not aware of people feeling "chased away" from my church because of the word "Lutheran" on the sign out front.  But I wonder if people who were specifically turned off of because of the name Lutheran on my sign aren't carrying a lot of other baggage as well.  In other words, could it be as simple as one word in the sign that keeps people from "setting foot in my church"?  And how many of these people are there?  I just don't see how there is a huge number of people who would boycott my church just because of the name "Lutheran."  Maybe your experience is different. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on October 02, 2011, 09:51:27 PM
Quote
most Lutheran churches I know don't include the word "Christian" in their names or on their main signs.

That is a good point. The church I went to this morning had the word Lutheran plastered on the sign out front without the word Christian mentioned at all. During the worship service they never mentioned the word Christian - except during the Creed, which (when you think about it) was changed for branding purposes from the original word catholic. The pastor’s sermon quoted Martin Luther and the Lutheran Catechism many times more than the Bible itself. Now, I don’t think that is wrong. However, I do wonder if visitors from outside the Lutheran Church might think that our church is some kind of cult - because of the heavy emphasis on Martin Luther and the name Lutheran.

Quote
...could it be as simple as one word in the sign that keeps people from "setting foot in my church"?  And how many of these people are there?

Yes, there are probably people who do discriminate on the basis of signage. That can be good or bad, depending if you want transfer growth from other Lutheran churches or visitors from generic churches. It is not a matter of doctrine, as the phrase Lutheran is more of a recent American phenomena. It is a simple matter of branding.

Why would folks not want to go to a Lutheran church?

Well, the most likely scenario these days is that many folks are homophobic and because they have heard a lot of news about LGBT acceptance in the Lutheran church they have a difficult time stepping into the door of any church that has the label Lutheran.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: D. Engebretson on October 02, 2011, 10:23:10 PM
Quote
most Lutheran churches I know don't include the word "Christian" in their names or on their main signs.

That is a good point. The church I went to this morning had the word Lutheran plastered on the sign out front without the word Christian mentioned at all. During the worship service they never mentioned the word Christian - except during the Creed, which (when you think about it) was changed for branding purposes from the original word catholic. The pastor’s sermon quoted Martin Luther and the Lutheran Catechism many times more than the Bible itself. Now, I don’t think that is wrong. However, I do wonder if visitors from outside the Lutheran Church might think that our church is some kind of cult - because of the heavy emphasis on Martin Luther and the name Lutheran.

Quote
...could it be as simple as one word in the sign that keeps people from "setting foot in my church"?  And how many of these people are there?

Yes, there are probably people who do discriminate on the basis of signage. That can be good or bad, depending if you want transfer growth from other Lutheran churches or visitors from generic churches. It is not a matter of doctrine, as the phrase Lutheran is more of a recent American phenomena. It is a simple matter of branding.

Why would folks not want to go to a Lutheran church?

Well, the most likely scenario these days is that many folks are homophobic and because they have heard a lot of news about LGBT acceptance in the Lutheran church they have a difficult time stepping into the door of any church that has the label Lutheran.

I would find it difficult to believe that a significant number of people would avoid "stepping into the door of any church that has the label 'Lutheran'" simply because of issues surrounding issues of sexuality.  True, it might affect some in particular situations.  But still, are the issues surrounding a church's view on matters related to the LGBT community's "acceptance" a significant criterion for why folks would not go to a Lutheran church in general?  I have a hard time accepting that.  I will refrain from distracting this thread by engaging the word "homophobic," but think that invoking this 'judgment' does not address the substantive issue of why people attend or do not attend Lutheran churches.  Also, might the term "Lutheran" not be the issue you are pointing to, but rather the denomination attached to the term "Lutheran"?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 02, 2011, 10:28:09 PM
A New York pastor once contended that in his context, he feared that "Lutheran" meant "German" and that meant "anti-Semitic," not a good thing in NYC. I did not agree with him, but it was how he saw it.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: BrotherBoris on October 02, 2011, 10:35:18 PM
A New York pastor once contended that in his context, he feared that "Lutheran" meant "German" and that meant "anti-Semitic," not a good thing in NYC. I did not agree with him, but it was how he saw it.

Interesting story. 

Too bad he didn't equate Lutheran with Swedish or Danish.  The more I study about the Swedes and the Danes, I am amazed at what they did to save Jews during the Holocaust, from the King of Denmark himself, to the Danish underground, to the nation of Sweden that gave refugee to the Danish Jews and of the great Swede Raoul Wallenberg who did so much to save the Jews of Central Europe. 

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 02, 2011, 10:37:06 PM
And that was why I disagreed with my NYC friend. I contended that we should be lifting up those people, that part of our heritage and not apologizing for being "Lutheran" or underplaying that distinguished name.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on October 02, 2011, 10:52:55 PM
And that was why I disagreed with my NYC friend. I contended that we should be lifting up those people, that part of our heritage and not apologizing for being "Lutheran" or underplaying that distinguished name.

14%
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 02, 2011, 11:06:32 PM
I'm sympathetic to Pr. Kind and his congregation's cause, but I have severe reservations about his not only making the point but reiterating and emphasizing it, that the congregation is being sinned against by the district. At a practical, business level the move may be unwise and not likely to bear fruit, but that makes it a competence issue rather than a moral/sin issue. Preaching from the pulpit, where one must be able to say "In the Name of Jesus, Amen" Pr. Kind needs clear evidence of what he is saying, and I think he says too much. To accuse the district of serving God and mammon is a pretty serious thing indeed. It seems to me quite possible that at least some people in the district were sinned against in this sermon.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on October 02, 2011, 11:30:22 PM
My question was more of a rhetorical nature.  I wasn't thinking specifically of church signs, but of terms in general.  Perhaps your world is different than mine, but I am not aware of people feeling "chased away" from my church because of the word "Lutheran" on the sign out front.  But I wonder if people who were specifically turned off of because of the name Lutheran on my sign aren't carrying a lot of other baggage as well.  In other words, could it be as simple as one word in the sign that keeps people from "setting foot in my church"?  And how many of these people are there?  I just don't see how there is a huge number of people who would boycott my church just because of the name "Lutheran."  Maybe your experience is different.

One of the most difficult things to determine is why the people who aren't there aren't there. I'm not arguing against including the word "Lutheran" in the name of a congregation. The fact is, I think it's a good thing to include the word "Lutheran" in the name of Lutheran churches. But that's only my personal opinion, and I haven't done the research (or seen the results of the research of others') that proves my opinion correct or incorrect. Therefore, I object to knee-jerk reactions that automatically oppose any Lutheran congregation adopting a congregation name that doesn't include the word "Lutheran".
 
I would suggest that all congregation leaders, clergy and lay people alike, who aren't struggling with the issue of how to accommodate their growing congregations, or who aren't located in areas where 100% of the people in the area are attending some church every Sunday morning, should not be too smug about assuming that they know why the people who aren't attending their church (or any church) are staying home. Just because one is unaware of the reasons why people aren't entering your church, doesn't mean one knows why the people are staying away. If one knows the reason why people aren't coming to your (or any) church, then one should be working diligently to address that reason, right?
 
Why would folks not want to go to a Lutheran church?

Well, the most likely scenario these days is that many folks are homophobic and because they have heard a lot of news about LGBT acceptance in the Lutheran church they have a difficult time stepping into the door of any church that has the label Lutheran.

And what formal research have you seen that supports that contention? While I am certain that there are reasons why people don't go to church at all, or who want to go to church but can't figure out which one to go to, and reject Lutheran and other "name brand" churches, I don't know what those reasons are. If you actually know, and aren't just guessing, I'd like to know where you got your information.
 
I have read that a significant number of people seeking a church to join reject all "brand name" churches. I shot the people at at least two Presbyterian churches that had changed their names to "Community" something or other, though they did have a tiny little PCUSA logo at the bottom of their sign that was so small that you had to squint to see it. This was one of the first congregations I shot, back in 2003. The folks at the church told me that since they changed their name and dropped "Presbyterian", their attendance and membership had increased dramatically. Their new directory was almost twice as big as their previous one. And for demographic purposes, the Greater Pittsburgh Area is to Presbyterians what Minnesota is to Lutherans. The first big batch of immigrants to settle in Pittsburgh were Scots-Irish.
 
But even though that anecdote says that in at least one case, losing the faith tradition "brand name" helped a congregation in reaching more people, it doesn't begin to indicate why that works.
 
And to refer back to what Pastor Weedon mentioned, I'm not talking about losing the real meat of the Lutheran Faith tradition in worship practice, teaching, or theology. I'm only talking about how a congregation presents itself to those people in the general public who aren't already members.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: sgehrke on October 03, 2011, 02:01:32 AM
For those interested in critiquing Rev. Kind's sermon, I think it is worth clicking the link provided to his sermon to put the sentences quoted in context. The sermon is not a rant against the district or any particular individuals, nor is it a call to rebellion, but rather a sermon focused on reminding the congregation to trust God rather than man, to avoid despair "in troubled times", and to forgive those who have wronged you while repenting of your own sins.

Considering that the people for whom the sermon was written is a congregation facing eviction by their own leadership, they do seem appropriate issues to raise by the pastor on the first Sunday after receiving that news.  I've never met Rev. Kind and have no idea in what kind of tone he delivered the sermon, but if a few sentences in a four page sermon were more strongly worded than perhaps was advisable, I won't judge him harshly for that (as a layman, I will leave it to the ordained in this forum to draw any necessary distinctions between sins and pious mistakes).  I think even ULC's critics in this forum such as JAQ agree with Rev. Kind's diagnosis of the core issues in ULC's conflict with the district, even if such critics think ULC brought the situation upon themselves by refusing to compromise on their understanding of what God has called them to do (not compromising one's integrity is another theme in the sermon).
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Scott6 on October 03, 2011, 08:37:24 AM
And that was why I disagreed with my NYC friend. I contended that we should be lifting up those people, that part of our heritage and not apologizing for being "Lutheran" or underplaying that distinguished name.

14%

WDTM?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LutherMan on October 03, 2011, 08:42:00 AM
And that was why I disagreed with my NYC friend. I contended that we should be lifting up those people, that part of our heritage and not apologizing for being "Lutheran" or underplaying that distinguished name.

14%

WDTM?

I respond:
No, dgkirch, I am not in the discussion

Really? A full 10% of your last 100 posts (10/100) have been on this thread. Granted, you don't say much of substance, but you certainly have joined in the discussion! So, to your question: Are you actually in the district involved or directly connected to the campus ministry being discussed?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 03, 2011, 09:02:25 AM
To respond to the annoying needle, I repeat: I have not expressed any opinion on your campus ministry situation, other than to ask a question, wonder whether the level of language in the sermon quoted would make reconciliation difficult and muse that if you guys have to pull out or weaken your campus ministry, we in the ELCA would be glad to take care of LCMS students at the university.
As to the issue itself, was it right or wrong, evil or prudent, yellow or blue to sell the building: don't know, don't care, can't comment.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on October 03, 2011, 09:18:30 AM
To respond to the annoying needle, I repeat: I have not expressed any opinion on your campus ministry situation, other than to ask a question, wonder whether the level of language in the sermon quoted would make reconciliation difficult and muse that if you guys have to pull out or weaken your campus ministry, we in the ELCA would be glad to take care of LCMS students at the university.
As to the issue itself, was it right or wrong, evil or prudent, yellow or blue to sell the building: don't know, don't care, can't comment.

Correction:  16%
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pr dtp on October 03, 2011, 11:10:00 AM
I'm sympathetic to Pr. Kind and his congregation's cause, but I have severe reservations about his not only making the point but reiterating and emphasizing it, that the congregation is being sinned against by the district. At a practical, business level the move may be unwise and not likely to bear fruit, but that makes it a competence issue rather than a moral/sin issue. Preaching from the pulpit, where one must be able to say "In the Name of Jesus, Amen" Pr. Kind needs clear evidence of what he is saying, and I think he says too much. To accuse the district of serving God and mammon is a pretty serious thing indeed. It seems to me quite possible that at least some people in the district were sinned against in this sermon.

Several times and in several different forms the question has been asked, "How have the district officials acted in a Christ-like manner toward ULC?"  No one has stepped forward to answer that question yet, and I suspect the reason why is because everyone knows that what they did was sinful.  The "strongest" argument that anyone has been able to muster is that this move might be more beneficial to an unknown, unidentified number of people who are currently not being served by the Gospel.  Therefore, it is a Christ-like move to help these unknown, unidentified people at the expense of these known, identified people.

So I guess I would ask you the same question: in what way(s) was/were the district's actions NOT sinful against ULC?  And don't just look at the fact that they are selling the building.  Look at the entire picture.  Look at how they attempted to do all of this without involving ULC.  Look at how they ignored the resolution of the joint MN North and MN South pastors.  Look at how they notified Pr. Kind.  Look at how they ignored Pres. Harrison.  Look at the totality of the FACTS behind this entire situation and then tell us how they acted in a Christ-like manner.

The question should be asked of those backing the ULC as well.  Using words like vendetta, accusing people of destroying the temple (by quoting psalms and applying them toward the directors).  Trying this in the press - both by the members of ULC and their voluntary proxies doesn't sit well by me.  And silence on the BOD's part, doesn't mean an acceptance of guilt.

What I've read a number of times is that isn't something new - this has been on the table 10 years, and the selling of the building seriously for three.  That was discussed six, eight months ago on this board in depth.  In that time, how many times has the ULC membership worked to propose other options directly to the board?  How much time was spent raising money - like every other mission congregation does. (and there is a stable congregation there - is there not?)

Sorry - if you are going to call one side sinners - recognize your side is as well.  If you are going to claim you are the saints, then do the same for those brothers and sisters in Christ whom you disagree with, but have been placed in authority/responsibility in this issue.

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on October 03, 2011, 11:36:05 AM
How much time was spent raising money - like every other mission congregation does. (and there is a stable congregation there - is there not?)

Seriously?  Please tell me how long it would take for YOUR existing congregation to raise $3.5 million?  The ULC was NOT a financial burden on the District (unless $12k per year is a burden; even then the church could have quite readily come up with that amount had the district demanded it).  Please do your homework (http://ulcmn.org/Files/Save%20ULC%20Files/MNS%20Campus%20Budget.pdf) before trying to connect dots that can't be connected.  The profit from the sale of the property is what is driving this decision.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Sandra on October 03, 2011, 11:57:27 AM
It's also a bit tricky to raise money when no one will tell you what the end goal has to be. ULC got their own appraisal of the property value and began fundraising over the summer with that value as the "goal" as a stab in the dark. They did not find out the proposed sale price of the property until the BOD meeting at which the BOD decided to go ahead and list it for sale. And then it was only TEN DAYS until they signed the purchase agreement with the buyer.

At what point was ULC supposed to raise $3.5 million dollars?

You seem to be missing the point that ULC was kept out of the loop on the whole campus ministry plan, was not informed of the formation of the task force, was not informed of upcoming meetings or the content of them in a timely fashion. They have been prevented from participating in the process, have tried to propose alternatives and other options - but are barred from the Executive Sessions where the matters are discussed and decided. And even when things are decided, how is it anything but cowardly for the DP to inform Pastor Kind BY EMAIL at 5am the morning after the BOD decision to sell the property? A week later, Harrison and Fondow requested a meeting with the BOD to discuss the whole matter and how it's been handled, and were told arrangements were being made to schedule it...but (gasp) at the VERY SAME TIME that schedules were being coordinated, the purchase agreement was signed! Oh, and it took FIVE DAYS to notify ULC of that fact.

I strongly disagree with selling ULC, but from a business standpoint can see how it was an option. A poor one to choose, IMO, but one nonetheless. But really? Going about it THIS WAY? It really makes the business side of things look a lot more personal.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: peterm on October 03, 2011, 12:06:13 PM
...just as they have an opportunity to learn to love football[/b]." [/color]

Someone can learn and love football at the U of Minnesota?  ???

Not this year  8)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Revbert on October 03, 2011, 12:08:29 PM
...just as they have an opportunity to learn to love football[/b]." [/color]

Someone can learn and love football at the U of Minnesota?  ???

Not this year  8)

Hard to love ANY Minnesota football this year....
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: peterm on October 03, 2011, 12:10:03 PM
sad but true...may have to jump on the wagon of my fallback team...the Buffalo Bills
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on October 03, 2011, 12:24:45 PM
As far as that is concerned we might also say that the term "Christian" also contains a lot of baggage, with people attaching all kinds of impressions and caricatures to it.  In the Muslim world the term "Christian" can even be a dangerous label with which to be identified.  Should we therefore avoid this term? The fact that some people would interpret "Lutheran" as exclusionary in an uncaring and arbitrary fashion does not deter me from using that term.  People attach misguided and inaccurate ideas to many terms, but if we avoided these terms (such as Lutheran) for this reason we would also miss the opportunity to enlighten people on the truth rather than reinforce their misinformed impressions.

Actually, this is why many missionaries in the US use the term "follower of Jesus" to replace the term "Christian" because of the baggage that is there.

George Erdner, I commend your words on this thread. I'd say something, but you have rendered it superfluous.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Keith Falk on October 03, 2011, 12:34:39 PM
I'm sympathetic to Pr. Kind and his congregation's cause, but I have severe reservations about his not only making the point but reiterating and emphasizing it, that the congregation is being sinned against by the district. At a practical, business level the move may be unwise and not likely to bear fruit, but that makes it a competence issue rather than a moral/sin issue. Preaching from the pulpit, where one must be able to say "In the Name of Jesus, Amen" Pr. Kind needs clear evidence of what he is saying, and I think he says too much. To accuse the district of serving God and mammon is a pretty serious thing indeed. It seems to me quite possible that at least some people in the district were sinned against in this sermon.

Several times and in several different forms the question has been asked, "How have the district officials acted in a Christ-like manner toward ULC?"  No one has stepped forward to answer that question yet, and I suspect the reason why is because everyone knows that what they did was sinful.  The "strongest" argument that anyone has been able to muster is that this move might be more beneficial to an unknown, unidentified number of people who are currently not being served by the Gospel.  Therefore, it is a Christ-like move to help these unknown, unidentified people at the expense of these known, identified people.

So I guess I would ask you the same question: in what way(s) was/were the district's actions NOT sinful against ULC?  And don't just look at the fact that they are selling the building.  Look at the entire picture.  Look at how they attempted to do all of this without involving ULC.  Look at how they ignored the resolution of the joint MN North and MN South pastors.  Look at how they notified Pr. Kind.  Look at how they ignored Pres. Harrison.  Look at the totality of the FACTS behind this entire situation and then tell us how they acted in a Christ-like manner.


Where is the line between sinning and being a bumbling idiot?  I appreciate Peter's comment, because it is something (as an admitted outsider) I have been struggling with in the midst of these discussions.  It appears as though the Board has made some colossal mistakes and have handled the whole thing poorly.  Are mistakes sins?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on October 03, 2011, 12:52:02 PM
Are mistakes sins?

I suppose some could answer in the affirmative if they're calculated mistakes.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on October 03, 2011, 01:25:06 PM
Sin is transgression of the Law. (1 John 3:4). We are on the hook for our sins, and God doesn't view us as innocent misguided victims of our "mistakes" any more than he buys Flip Wilson's old quip: "The devil made me do it!"
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on October 03, 2011, 01:34:07 PM
George Erdner, I commend your words on this thread. I'd say something, but you have rendered it superfluous.

Thank you. I appreciate hearing that.
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Keith Falk on October 03, 2011, 03:06:50 PM
Sin is transgression of the Law. (1 John 3:4). We are on the hook for our sins, and God doesn't view us as innocent misguided victims of our "mistakes" any more than he buys Flip Wilson's old quip: "The devil made me do it!"


Are all mistakes sin?  That is what you seem to be saying.  So if I put down that Thomas Jefferson was the first president of the US instead of George Washington, is that a sin?


Is the selling of the ULC Building/chapel a sin, or is it a mistake, or both?  Can it be a mistake (because the money should be used elsewhere, because of thriving ministry already at ULC, etc) without being a sin?


Can it be that the selling of the ULC building is NOT a sin, but that if the board is intentionally deceiving or misleading people that the deceiving/misleading is sin?


Can anyone who is calling the sale of a building sinful conceive of a scenario where the selling is not sinful, but merely mistaken?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on October 03, 2011, 03:10:34 PM
Sin is transgression of the Law. (1 John 3:4). We are on the hook for our sins, and God doesn't view us as innocent misguided victims of our "mistakes" any more than he buys Flip Wilson's old quip: "The devil made me do it!"

Are all mistakes sin?  That is what you seem to be saying.  So if I put down that Thomas Jefferson was the first president of the US instead of George Washington, is that a sin?

Is erring as to the 1st president a transgression of the law?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on October 03, 2011, 04:48:43 PM
Whether sins or mistakes at the end of the day what is disturbing about this whole situation is a lack of transparency which has led to suspicion and therefore more sinning.  I empathize with ULC and was really pulling for Pastor Kind and the congregation to raise enough money to buy the property but clearly that hasn't happened.  In a Synod that is rampant with distrust this just doesn't help.  There's truth in the light and that's something that needs to be emphasized by all of us.  I don't know any of the people involved nor do I have a side that I support but such situations really do bring out the worst in our Synod.  When transparency is lacking it can only cause sin to fester and build up more and more.  This is a pattern that can be found in our Synod for awhile now (some might argue since its founding).  Clearly, it's not a good one.

Scott+

Can someone help me understand this a little better. Is this about raising $3,500,000 dollars cash, or was it about raising $350,000 for 10% down and securing a mortgage? If it is about a mortgage, are there no Lutheran agencies or philanthropists who would step forward to guarantee a note?
 
And if this congregation is so "viable", even if the membership is mostly students who move on after the graduate from the University, wouldn't one expect that their equivalent of an alumni list would include more than a few people who would either donate cash or assist with credit to raise the necessary funds?
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on October 03, 2011, 05:23:49 PM
Scott, I think your post is really good.  And I agree about the lack of transparency really hindering our unity.  While I side with the folks at ULC, I don't know any of them.  (I know Don, so I suppose I do know one.)  Yet I am connected to them (and you) because of our synod ties.  I think you should send your note to the the folks in MNS and let them know of the negative impact.  You stated it very well.  There is a lot of distrust floating around.  My district (SED) talks about it frequently and I think they do a fairly good job of keeping the information pipeline flowing. 

Nice post.

Jeremy 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Sandra on October 03, 2011, 05:23:50 PM
1. ULC did not know that the property would be listed for sale immediately following the BOD meeting last month. The campus ministry plan has still not been accepted, nor has the endowment fund in which the proceeds from the sale are supposed to be held for the purpose of using them for the proposed (but not yet accepted) campus ministry plan. Who would've expected the place to be put on the market before those integral parts of the plan were established? While ULC had gotten their own appraisal of the property value, there was no way for them to know what the listing price would be because they were not privy to what the District's appraisal valued it at, or what they were considering for the listing price. That all came out at that meeting when the BOD decided to sell it.

2. Only 10 days transpired between the date the Board met and decided to list it for sale and the purchase agreement was signed. Even some of the best fundraising efforts would be hard-pressed to raise $350,000 in 3 (summer) months with little notice to organize and without knowing that $350,000 was their immediate goal. Qualifying for financing would take additional time beyond that. I'm not sure how it works for organizations, but having just gone through the process personally for my new house, that can take a good month. You'd THINK that the district would try to work with them and come up with some sort of financing plan or viable means for them to at least give bidding on it the old college try. But they had $3.2 in an offer at the BOD meeting, and within 10 days negotiated it up to $3.5 and signed on the dotted line. Not much of a chance for ULC there.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: FrPeters on October 03, 2011, 05:50:18 PM
Quote
Actually, this is why many missionaries in the US use the term "follower of Jesus" to replace the term "Christian" because of the baggage that is there.

At what point do we jettison things because of the negative baggage there?  The liturgy, the hymnody, the name Lutheran... all have baggage, we all admit it, but so does the cross, sin, repentance, faith, etc... Maybe the safest mission is no mission at all -- lest we offend by preaching a crucified Savior who suffered and died for the terrible and death incurring sins of all sinners and whose grace, inclusive as it is, is available only in this Gospel and only by faith?!

I think it is all balderdash.  The Gospel has and always will be offensive.  Its baggage cannot be avoided.  It brings faith not because it is palatable or reasonable but because the Spirit is attached to this Word and God has determined to work through the Word to accomplish His saving purpose... messy, yes, indeed, but the only way God works...

Paul's all things to all men has become the grape kool-aid of a people all too willing to ditch everything to please everyone but end up with nothing at all...
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on October 03, 2011, 06:34:03 PM
Quote
Actually, this is why many missionaries in the US use the term "follower of Jesus" to replace the term "Christian" because of the baggage that is there.

At what point do we jettison things because of the negative baggage there?  The liturgy, the hymnody, the name Lutheran... all have baggage, we all admit it, but so does the cross, sin, repentance, faith, etc... Maybe the safest mission is no mission at all -- lest we offend by preaching a crucified Savior who suffered and died for the terrible and death incurring sins of all sinners and whose grace, inclusive as it is, is available only in this Gospel and only by faith?!

I think it is all balderdash.  The Gospel has and always will be offensive.  Its baggage cannot be avoided.  It brings faith not because it is palatable or reasonable but because the Spirit is attached to this Word and God has determined to work through the Word to accomplish His saving purpose... messy, yes, indeed, but the only way God works...

Paul's all things to all men has become the grape kool-aid of a people all too willing to ditch everything to please everyone but end up with nothing at all...

Agreed. I travel alot and, if I am free on a Sunday, I look for a parish where I can be fed with Word and Sacrament. If a LCMS parish does not have Lutheran in its name and does not identify itself as LCMS in the phone book and/or on their sign, I look for another one that does.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: sgehrke on October 03, 2011, 07:28:44 PM
ULC put a national committee together in late August with a stated goal of raising $1M toward the purchase of the chapel.   I understand that dollar amount was the estimated value of the building.  Perhaps they were thinking they could lease the land from the district or perhaps sign over rights to the land in the event of its sale in the future if the chapel were to close. $1M would be far more than enough for the MNS to implement their new ministry plan over its stated time frame.  But obviously ULC never got chance to get very far with that fundraising campaign to buy the building, as the District did not give them chance to work out any kind of a deal other than to outbid the developer with only a couple weeks' notice.

One member of that committee, Rev. Brian Thorson, posted on BJS a statement that about 10 years ago ULC was offered the opportunity to buy the chapel for $1 in exchange for giving up its annual support from the District, which was then on the order of $100K per year.  He said that at the time ULC was not financially able to accept the deal.  The relationship that was worked out between ULC and the MNS District, including the financial aspects, is posted on ULC's site (with their annotations):  http://www.ulcmn.org/Files/Save%20ULC%20Files/Ministry%20Understandings.pdf  The original adoption date was May 3, 2000, though it is noted that the posted agreement has been through several subsequent revisions with the dates of revision noted in the agreement.

As a ULC alum, I remember getting requests in the annual alumni newsletter starting about 2000 asking for help from alumni with either annual or endowment support of ULC, and my wife and I began making modest approximately annual contributions to ULC starting around that time.  As it has been stated elsewhere on this thread, over the past decade, ULC has successfully moved to become nearly financially independent of the district and is ready to become totally self-supporting.  However, the District now wants $3,499,999 more from ULC for the property than they wanted a decade ago. 

I should note that I am not involved in any way with ULC other than as an interested alum. What I've written above is simply based upon what I've read here, on BJS, and on ULC's site, and I'm open to any correction if I'm in error somewhere.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: JMK on October 03, 2011, 08:52:39 PM
I ask that men make no reference to my name, and call themselves not Lutherans, but Christians. What is Luther? My doctrine, I am sure, is not mine, nor have I been crucified for any one. St Paul, in 1 Corinthians iii, would not allow Christians to call themselves Pauline or Petrine, but Christian. How then should I, poor, foul carcass that I am, come to have men give to the children of Christ a name derived from my worthless name? No, no, my dear friends; let us abolish all party names, and call ourselves Christians after Him Whose doctrine we have. -  Martin Luther

So, the question that I have is whether Martin Luther made a serious error in the above statement - an error so horrible that it rises to the level of a make or break doctrine? Should a church church or ministry be defunded if they dare to take Martin Luther at his word, for their given cultural context?

Quote
“Our churches also teach that one holy church is to continue forever. The church is the assembly of saints in which the gospel is taught purely and the sacraments are administered rightly. For the true unity of the church it is enough to agree concerning the teaching of the gospel and the administration of the sacraments. It is not necessary that human traditions or rites and ceremonies instituted by men should be alike everywhere. It is as Paul says, “One faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all” etc. (Eph. 4:5-6).”

There is an interesting article in The Christian Century, where it describes how Crusader Lutheran Church in Rockville, Maryland recently changed its name to Living Faith Lutheran Church. Evidently, following the decision, about a third of the members left the congregation. The article also states, in part:

Quote
..the Baptist brand has been tarnished by controversial congregations like the antigay (and independent) Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas...."A number of churches on the left and the right are concerned that people are turned off by the Baptist name," Leonard said. "They believe that in the public square Baptists have looked shrill, unwelcoming, sectarian."

The article goes on to state:

Quote
Many people won't attend [Reformed churches] based on preconceptions of what Reformed means," Demers said. "The whole stigma of denominations has proven divisive."

http://www.christiancentury.org/article/2011-07/churches-seek-new-life-under-new-names

Now, as I see it, the jury is still out on whether the whole stigma of denominations has proven divisive. However, if a church is successful in reaching out to visitors and guests by having another type of branding than that is a good thing - provided, of course that the 16th Century Evangelical Catholic Confessions are still followed.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on October 03, 2011, 09:53:29 PM
Agreed. I travel alot and, if I am free on a Sunday, I look for a parish where I can be fed with Word and Sacrament. If a LCMS parish does not have Lutheran in its name and does not identify itself as LCMS in the phone book and/or on their sign, I look for another one that does.

If you look on the LCMS website for churches by entering the ZIP code where you're staying, you'll find all of them in the area, regardless of whether they have Lutheran in their title or not. As for identifying themselves as LCMS in the phone book, have you looked in most paper phone books lately? In most of them, you're lucky if they have half the churches even included. But, if they do, and they have the "Religion" section subdivided by denomination, if "The Grace Alone Church of the Augsburg Confession" happens to be LCMS, it'll show up in the appropriate category regardless of congregation name.
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 04, 2011, 12:23:44 AM
Imagine this scenario. The sales goes through, ULC relocates to some rented space, but the purchaser runs into zoning snags and cannot tear down the building just yet. Meanwhile, new elections in the Minnesota South District, before the 3.5 mil is allocated, result in a sweep by ULC-sympathetic candidates from the DP on down. Pr. Kind and people who share his views now run the show, and have 3.5 million to work with. Would the first order of business be to re-purchase the building from the developer if they could get it for the original selling price? 

The reason I ask is that this scenario allows those who are upset (and I include myself in that) to see it as perhaps the board is seeing it. To the board, it is a simple question of which will serve the mission and ministry of the district more, 3.5 million dollars or a really nice church building on campus? Answering such questions in their job. However, to those who worked to build it up, those who are personally invested in the place, it is an obscene question, like a man pawning his wife's wedding ring on the theory that the family benefits most by having the cash.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: FrPeters on October 04, 2011, 07:36:14 AM
But that is not entirely the point, Peter.  The BoD and DP could have acted entirely above board and given ULC a first option with a time limit and each gotten their appraisals.  They could have negotiated in good faith.  But this did not happen.  The timeline suggests that this was never going to happen, it was never the intent of the BoD or DP to give ULC a real chance and therefore we are left with the bad taste in our mouths that this was vindictive or retributive. Plus there was talk of giving ULC $250K as compensation for their trouble, so to speak, but we have not heard a word about that, now have we.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on October 04, 2011, 08:27:08 AM
However, to those who worked to build it up, those who are personally invested in the place, it is an obscene question, like a man pawning his wife's wedding ring on the theory that the family benefits most by having the cash.

A better analogy might be that a father buys a farm and asks his sons to work it. Under an agreement that the father will own the farm for their benefit, the sons give up the opportunity for other careers, they establish roots, they sacrificially work the farm for decades, they have families that live on the farm and help with the work, they make improvements, they put their sweat and blood into that farm, making it very productive. They, in turn, raise sons who also work the farm, establishing roots, and the farm prospers even more.

Suddenly, aware that the price of farmland has increased greatly, the father decides to sell the farm and sends them an email telling them so. Knowing that his sons would like to buy the farm so that they can continue to earn incomes, not have to uproot their families, and can continue doing what they love in a community that they love, he instead refuses to meet with them and enters into a sale with little warning. When the sons ask him what they and their families are now going to do, the father tells them that he is going to invest his money from the sale in farm-related stocks, and maybe he'll give them a bit of the proceeds so that they can maybe get a new start. He'll have to see.

"But Father, this is our home. You agreed to keep the family farm for our benefit so that we could work it, raise families, and earn incomes. Why did you not talk to us about this and give us the opportunity to work out a way to buy the farm and remain here?" the sons ask. The father's response to his sons: "It's my farm. I'll do with it what I wish. Consider yourselves lucky that I might give you a stipend so you can continue to farm in some manner- maybe tenant farming. If you have any other questions talk to my attorney. Oh, by the way, start packing."
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on October 04, 2011, 09:28:04 AM
Wow, just WOW!  A fitness franchise ministry for a church plant at the same time as the ULC debacle.  Lord have mercy!

Minutes
Board of Directors
Minnesota South District
Monday-Tuesday, September 12-13, 2011
AmericInn, Owatonna, MN

http://www.mnsdistrict.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=o97tfLR5Qzs%3D&tabid=59&mid=789
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 04, 2011, 09:51:24 AM
However, to those who worked to build it up, those who are personally invested in the place, it is an obscene question, like a man pawning his wife's wedding ring on the theory that the family benefits most by having the cash.

A better analogy might be that a father buys a farm and asks his sons to work it. Under an agreement that the father will own the farm for their benefit, the sons give up the opportunity for other careers, they establish roots, they sacrificially work the farm for decades, they have families that live on the farm and help with the work, they make improvements, they put their sweat and blood into that farm, making it very productive. They, in turn, raise sons who also work the farm, establishing roots, and the farm prospers even more.

Suddenly, aware that the price of farmland has increased greatly, the father decides to sell the farm and sends them an email telling them so. Knowing that his sons would like to buy the farm so that they can continue to earn incomes, not have to uproot their families, and can continue doing what they love in a community that they love, he instead refuses to meet with them and enters into a sale with little warning. When the sons ask him what they and their families are now going to do, the father tells them that he is going to invest his money from the sale in farm-related stocks, and maybe he'll give them a bit of the proceeds so that they can maybe get a new start. He'll have to see.

"But Father, this is our home. You agreed to keep the family farm for our benefit so that we could work it, raise families, and earn incomes. Why did you not talk to us about this and give us the opportunity to work out a way to buy the farm and remain here?" the sons ask. The father's response to his sons: "It's my farm. I'll do with it what I wish. Consider yourselves lucky that I might give you a stipend so you can continue to farm in some manner- maybe tenant farming. If you have any other questions talk to my attorney. Oh, by the way, start packing."
Okay, I'll accept that as a better analogy (though many of those who are upset might be a little put off by the idea of the district being the father and the congregation being the children) but the point of my question remains. If the scenario I outlined above took place, would those who are upset use the 3.5. million to repurchase the building? All the question does is give people a chance to see it from the other side. If it is a choice between 3.5 million and this building, which is better for the district to have? That is the question facing the board. They might have gotten the choice wrong. They might have gone about it in an unprofessional manner. They might have a vision for student ministry that is entirely bogus. But to claim in a sermon to the congregation that the sale is an example of the district falling prey to the allure of mammon and seeking to serve two masters, etc. is, well, a pretty bold thing to say, since you have to know their hearts and be able to say, "thus says the Lord," to your judgment. Maybe it is spot on. But from my perspective as a sympathetic onlooker from afar, it comes across as saying too much in the context of a sermon. As a private opinion, sure, but as the Word of God to the congregation, I don't know if I would go there. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on October 04, 2011, 10:16:42 AM
Wow, just WOW!  A fitness franchise ministry for a church plant at the same time as the ULC debacle.  Lord have mercy!

Minutes
Board of Directors
Minnesota South District
Monday-Tuesday, September 12-13, 2011
AmericInn, Owatonna, MN

http://www.mnsdistrict.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=o97tfLR5Qzs%3D&tabid=59&mid=789

Did I read those minutes right?  MSU-Mankato's building will not be sold at this time?  And did you read the resolution about the selling of ULC-Minneapolis?  The MNS district will give them "up to" $250000?  ULC-Minneapolis "may" have to relocate?  And that the final "Resolved" was struck, that ULC will not be given the organ or any of the furnishings which will be helpful to them?

The fitness ministry?  Whatever.  That seems to be standard BS about how to do ministry these days and what's effective.  But the resolution regarding ULC-Minneapolis seemed cruel.  We're selling your building, now eff off.

Jeremy
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: pr dtp on October 04, 2011, 10:22:55 AM
The question should be asked of those backing the ULC as well.

I don't accept your misdirection.  You avoided answering the question (though, in all fairness, I didn't ask it of you) and began spewing accusations at ULC.  That was not the question.  The question was how the BOD has acted in a Christ-like manner.  Calling someone else a sinner is not an answer to the question at hand.

I suppose that speck and beam thing was removed from your Bible?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on October 04, 2011, 10:38:23 AM
Did I read those minutes right?  MSU-Mankato's building will not be sold at this time?  And did you read the resolution about the selling of ULC-Minneapolis?  The MNS district will give them "up to" $250000?  ULC-Minneapolis "may" have to relocate?  And that the final "Resolved" was struck, that ULC will not be given the organ or any of the furnishings which will be helpful to them?


I was struck by those, too--the "up to" change (which doesn't promise any amount), the change to "may have to relocate" (in case they decide to squat on the developer's construction site), and that the District will not go on record letting them take any of their stuff. Oh, and that the money would go only if the congregation continues its campus ministry (word added by amendment).

But most interesting of all was the decision to postpone the vote on the resolution thus minimized until the December BOD meeting. The Board may have a feeling that this is perceived as all happening too fast.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Sandra on October 04, 2011, 01:19:17 PM
They can't keep the organ, altar, or other furnishings?? Wow. Talk about COLD.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on October 04, 2011, 01:59:28 PM
Sandra, This is so sad and those parts of the resolution were very troubling to me.  I am a sympathetic supporter of ULC.  But this strikes me as telling ULC to get lost.  Even a "You're not welcome here anymore."

Josh- I wonder where the $$$ is coming from to give the executive staff those raises?  Where could they find money to pay for that.  I'm at a loss.  Are you aware of any fundraising that MNS is doing?  What could be done to raise some money?  I'll have to think about various answers to those questions. 

This whole episode is so unseemly. 

Jeremy
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on October 04, 2011, 02:10:03 PM

Here's what I am more disturbed about:

Quote
I. Devotions – Mr. Will Bartley led the opening devotion. His devotion was based on Ephesians 2:8-10. “Works, Attitude, and Forgiveness.” He led the group in confession of sins, confession of faith, and prayer.

I don't know who "Mr. Will Bartley" is, but he does not show up on the LCMS' "Find a Worker" website.  So why is "Mr. Will Bartley" "[leading] the group in confession of sins" when there are ten ordained men who are listed as being present in the roll call and an additional two listed as staff?

Google says he's a Pastoral Care Assistant at Woodbury Lutheran Church, Woodbury MN, and a member of the Board of Omega Camp http://campomega.org/media/omega-word-winter-2011.pdf (http://campomega.org/media/omega-word-winter-2011.pdf). Apparently a layman, but it doesn't bother me when prayer is led by lay people.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Sandra on October 04, 2011, 02:59:24 PM
Prayer is one thing. Confession and absolution?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on October 04, 2011, 03:00:59 PM
Prayer is one thing. Confession and absolution?

Did someone say absolution?

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Sandra on October 04, 2011, 03:06:52 PM
Oh sorry. Confession without absolution. Like Rome, I guess...

Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Michael Slusser on October 04, 2011, 03:12:18 PM
Oh sorry. Confession without absolution. Like Rome, I guess...
  :)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on October 04, 2011, 03:39:34 PM
One must keep in mind that many of us, and hopefully the secretary of MNS, speak Lutheranese:

"What is Confession?
 
"Confession has two parts. First, that we confess our sins, and second, that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself, not doubting, but firmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven." (Small Catechism)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Harry Edmon on October 04, 2011, 03:47:40 PM
From: http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=15913

Resolution
MNN District Fall Pastors Conference
October 4, 2011

WHEREAS, the Minnesota South District (MNS) Board of Directors (BOD) has recently taken actions and executed an agreement to sell the property on the campus of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, used for the past 62 years by University Lutheran Chapel (ULC); and

WHEREAS, the Joint Minnesota South/Minnesota North Districts Pastors Conference (May 11, 2011, Brainerd, MN) had requested that the MNS BOD bring this entire matter before the MNS District in convention to deliberate and determine an appropriate course of action regarding the sale of the ULC property; and

WHEREAS, the decision to sell the Lutheran Student Center by the MNS District BOD has resulted in tension, divisions, and a disruption to our life together; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Minnesota North District (MNN) 2011 Fall Pastors Conference humbly express its sincere sadness at the outcomes of these actions of the MNS BOD; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the MNS BOD be urged to communicate caringly and clearly and further explain its rationale, and, if at all possible, reverse or delay its recent decisions regarding ULC, so that the matter may considered by the MNS District Convention; and be it further

RESOLVED, that encouragement be given to individuals, congregations, circuits, and districts across the LCMS to offer solutions to sustain the ongoing ministry and mission of ULC; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that the MNN 2011 Fall Pastors Conference encourage all to fervently pray that the Lord of the Church bless the outcomes of these deliberations and decisions concerning ULC.
 
Action: Adopted
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on October 04, 2011, 04:25:37 PM
A well worded and pastoral expression of concern by the MNN pastors. I pray that the MNS board will listen to them. Sadly, that has not been the record of the MNS board when others, including the joint pastoral conference and President Harrison, have urged them to reconsider.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on October 04, 2011, 05:21:56 PM
Quote
Actually, this is why many missionaries in the US use the term "follower of Jesus" to replace the term "Christian" because of the baggage that is there.

At what point do we jettison things because of the negative baggage there?  The liturgy, the hymnody, the name Lutheran... all have baggage, we all admit it, but so does the cross, sin, repentance, faith, etc... Maybe the safest mission is no mission at all -- lest we offend by preaching a crucified Savior who suffered and died for the terrible and death incurring sins of all sinners and whose grace, inclusive as it is, is available only in this Gospel and only by faith?!

I think it is all balderdash.  The Gospel has and always will be offensive.  Its baggage cannot be avoided.  It brings faith not because it is palatable or reasonable but because the Spirit is attached to this Word and God has determined to work through the Word to accomplish His saving purpose... messy, yes, indeed, but the only way God works...

Paul's all things to all men has become the grape kool-aid of a people all too willing to ditch everything to please everyone but end up with nothing at all...

Simply because the Gospel is offensive does not mean that we as Christians ought to be needlessly offensive. We ought to let the Gospel be offensive alone and us be offensive little.

If this means being aware of how others perceive us and taking care in how we act, why not do so out of love? It is a kind and loving thing to do.

Look at the book unChristian or They Like Jesus but not the Church. Both speak about a robust engagement of the community—not holding back. But both give us something to think about in how we do our engaging, out of love for our neighbor.

The actions here are not by people avoiding confrontation—they are looking to engage others and engage the community. Now, we can debate whether it is best to drop the name "Lutheran" or not—I know there was some question about my own church's name when it was started—but we can put these discussions simply in the situation of "How are we best to engage our people?"

Not "Are we ashamed of our name?" or "Do we not think the cross is offensive?"
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mqll on October 04, 2011, 05:29:44 PM
However, to those who worked to build it up, those who are personally invested in the place, it is an obscene question, like a man pawning his wife's wedding ring on the theory that the family benefits most by having the cash.

A better analogy might be that a father buys a farm and asks his sons to work it. Under an agreement that the father will own the farm for their benefit, the sons give up the opportunity for other careers, they establish roots, they sacrificially work the farm for decades, they have families that live on the farm and help with the work, they make improvements, they put their sweat and blood into that farm, making it very productive. They, in turn, raise sons who also work the farm, establishing roots, and the farm prospers even more.

Suddenly, aware that the price of farmland has increased greatly, the father decides to sell the farm and sends them an email telling them so. Knowing that his sons would like to buy the farm so that they can continue to earn incomes, not have to uproot their families, and can continue doing what they love in a community that they love, he instead refuses to meet with them and enters into a sale with little warning. When the sons ask him what they and their families are now going to do, the father tells them that he is going to invest his money from the sale in farm-related stocks, and maybe he'll give them a bit of the proceeds so that they can maybe get a new start. He'll have to see.

"But Father, this is our home. You agreed to keep the family farm for our benefit so that we could work it, raise families, and earn incomes. Why did you not talk to us about this and give us the opportunity to work out a way to buy the farm and remain here?" the sons ask. The father's response to his sons: "It's my farm. I'll do with it what I wish. Consider yourselves lucky that I might give you a stipend so you can continue to farm in some manner- maybe tenant farming. If you have any other questions talk to my attorney. Oh, by the way, start packing."
Okay, I'll accept that as a better analogy (though many of those who are upset might be a little put off by the idea of the district being the father and the congregation being the children) but the point of my question remains. If the scenario I outlined above took place, would those who are upset use the 3.5. million to repurchase the building? All the question does is give people a chance to see it from the other side. If it is a choice between 3.5 million and this building, which is better for the district to have? That is the question facing the board. They might have gotten the choice wrong. They might have gone about it in an unprofessional manner. They might have a vision for student ministry that is entirely bogus. But to claim in a sermon to the congregation that the sale is an example of the district falling prey to the allure of mammon and seeking to serve two masters, etc. is, well, a pretty bold thing to say, since you have to know their hearts and be able to say, "thus says the Lord," to your judgment. Maybe it is spot on. But from my perspective as a sympathetic onlooker from afar, it comes across as saying too much in the context of a sermon. As a private opinion, sure, but as the Word of God to the congregation, I don't know if I would go there.

Sorry for the long quote and the short note: but I agree with Peter.

Once again, I point to my own words at the beginning and I say this as one who has seen this happening in campus ministry for a bit o'time. It is too bad.

But I think the language used is a bit much; will we bring the board on charges and have them excommunicated? I have sympathy for ULC and I'm not saying everything the MN board did was done in the best way possible. But are they sinful in this situation? Obviously in the wrong? Going against the will of their Heavenly Father? Not sure about that...
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Revbert on October 04, 2011, 05:42:22 PM
From: http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=15913

Resolution
MNN District Fall Pastors Conference
October 4, 2011

WHEREAS, the Minnesota South District (MNS) Board of Directors (BOD) has recently taken actions and executed an agreement to sell the property on the campus of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, used for the past 62 years by University Lutheran Chapel (ULC); and

WHEREAS, the Joint Minnesota South/Minnesota North Districts Pastors Conference (May 11, 2011, Brainerd, MN) had requested that the MNS BOD bring this entire matter before the MNS District in convention to deliberate and determine an appropriate course of action regarding the sale of the ULC property; and

WHEREAS, the decision to sell the Lutheran Student Center by the MNS District BOD has resulted in tension, divisions, and a disruption to our life together; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Minnesota North District (MNN) 2011 Fall Pastors Conference humbly express its sincere sadness at the outcomes of these actions of the MNS BOD; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the MNS BOD be urged to communicate caringly and clearly and further explain its rationale, and, if at all possible, reverse or delay its recent decisions regarding ULC, so that the matter may considered by the MNS District Convention; and be it further

RESOLVED, that encouragement be given to individuals, congregations, circuits, and districts across the LCMS to offer solutions to sustain the ongoing ministry and mission of ULC; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that the MNN 2011 Fall Pastors Conference encourage all to fervently pray that the Lord of the Church bless the outcomes of these deliberations and decisions concerning ULC.
 
Action: Adopted

RESOLVED, that the MNN Pastors shall not welcome said BOD to any gathering for adult beverages.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: FrPeters on October 04, 2011, 06:26:59 PM
Quote
If this means being aware of how others perceive us and taking care in how we act, why not do so out of love? It is a kind and loving thing to do.

So.... who gets to decide what is kind and loving, what is acceptable to ditch and what must be kept?  Also since the vast majority of $ that go to missions come from congregations unapologetically Lutheran and using hymnals, do they have a say?  It seems that the number of those clamping down on those who ditch things in the name of being more friendly to the culture is vastly more than those who actually try to reign this in.  The ones who want to reign this in may be louder in voice but in all practicality the choice was made for them by whomever and they (we, me) feel left out in all of this.  It is like paying someone to insult you. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on October 04, 2011, 06:48:05 PM
Now, we can debate whether it is best to drop the name "Lutheran" or not—I know there was some question about my own church's name when it was started—but we can put these discussions simply in the situation of "How are we best to engage our people?"

Newly incorporating congregations within the LCMS are required to include the words "Evangelical" and "Lutheran" in their legal names.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LutherMan on October 04, 2011, 06:57:13 PM
Newly incorporating congregations within the LCMS are required to include the words "Evangelical" and "Lutheran" in their legal names.
I am assuming that the requirement wasn't in place when "The Alley" incorporated.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on October 04, 2011, 07:00:38 PM
Now, we can debate whether it is best to drop the name "Lutheran" or not—I know there was some question about my own church's name when it was started—but we can put these discussions simply in the situation of "How are we best to engage our people?"

Newly incorporating congregations within the LCMS are required to include the words "Evangelical" and "Lutheran" in their legal names.

Does that mean that they are also required to use their full legal name on all signage and evangelism materials?
 
I was a member of a congregation that was originally named "The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer". In time, the word "Evangelical" took on a different connotation thanks to the non-denominationals and fundamentalists that usurped that word to describe their faith tradition. For many decades, the congregation presented itself to the world as "Our Redeemer Lutheran Church" or, in colloquial usage, "Our Redeemer". They eventually formally renamed themselves "Our Redeemer Lutheran Church", but in newsletters and other documents, stuck with just "Our Redeemer".
 
They are an anomaly in the South Western PA Synod. They are actually growing! They not only welcome new members who had been Lutherans all of their lives, they also welcome many people who self-identify as merely "Protestants". Their worship practices are Lutheran. The sermons preached are based on Lutheran theology. They preach that the Body and Blood are truly present at communion. They don't deny being Lutheran Christians, but they don't rub peoples' noses in it.
 
I'm not saying every congregation should go and do likewise, but I am saying that middle ground position worked well for that congregation's ministry.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on October 04, 2011, 07:27:07 PM
Newly incorporating congregations within the LCMS are required to include the words "Evangelical" and "Lutheran" in their legal names.
I am assuming that the requirement wasn't in place when "The Alley" incorporated.

It was a requirement in 2006 when our new little mission church was getting started.  I can't find an online link to the requirement now, though.  It isn't in the section on organizing and incorporating in the LCMS Treasurer's Manual, so I think it must have been in the Church Planter's Toolkit book.

I don't know why any church would want to drop the name "Lutheran" from their signage, etc.  I also don't know why anyone would wish to plant a church using gimmicks.  Have we become that desperate?  People come to church to escape the world, not remain a part of it.  Let the church be the other-worldly place God designed it to be.  Evangelize at MMA fights, fitness clubs, coffee houses, strip clubs (probably best to let a Deaconess handle this one, guys  ;)), truck stops or what have you, but refrain from turning the church into these places.  We need to give people something better . . . we need to give them heaven on earth.  My view is that this is best done through the liturgy within the Divine Service.  I didn't always feel this way, but I have come to this understanding in recent years.  It actually works!  And it works in places where people know nothing of Lutheranism or mistake you for that church that supports the teachings of MLK, Jr.  We have a niche, and trying to compete with the non-denoms is a mistake . . . we simply can't compete.  We have what they don't . . . Word and Sacrament, Law and Gospel, and great potlucks.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on October 04, 2011, 07:38:16 PM
I find this very interesting. In the published (but unapproved) minutes of the MNS BOD meeting 12-13 September 2011, they also discussed this:

V. Information and Decision Items
a. Mission Committee (Rev. Dr. James Heining, Chair)
Mission Committee meeting minutes were included in the Board packet.
1. Grant for ReDO Fitness to establish a prototype of a ReDO Fitness Site.
A motion was made and seconded to proceed with the development of a prototype of the ReDO Fitness model.
A motion was made, seconded, and carried to stop debate on the motion.
A motion was made and seconded to postpone decision on the motion until the February 2012 meeting of the Board of Directors. The motion was carried.
There was much discussion on the ReDO concept and franchise model as a format for church planting.
Among the issues to be considered prior to making a decision are: tax status in relation to franchise law needs to be explored further, and perhaps legal tax counsel should be retained regarding this issue; the issue of competition with other fitness clubs; the concept of worship, fellowship, and word and sacraments within the ReDO franchise model.


Seriously? Shut down and sell ULC so that they can have fitness centers as mission? They actually are considering this?

http://www.mns.lcms.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=o97tfLR5Qzs%3d&tabid=59&mid=789
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Revbert on October 04, 2011, 07:55:17 PM
Now, we can debate whether it is best to drop the name "Lutheran" or not—I know there was some question about my own church's name when it was started—but we can put these discussions simply in the situation of "How are we best to engage our people?"

Newly incorporating congregations within the LCMS are required to include the words "Evangelical" and "Lutheran" in their legal names.

Grrr. Evangelical and Lutheran together is like calling it the Department of Redundancy Department.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: LutherMan on October 04, 2011, 08:05:55 PM
I was reared in a synod called Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.  I belong to an LCMS parish called Mt. Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church.  (the cornerstone also says of the UAC)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on October 04, 2011, 08:08:44 PM
Dr. Gard,

Just when you hoped the silly season might be coming to an end...  Disheartening.  I received an email from a dear laywoman today who was absolutely scandalized over this.  "Tell me...why I should not despair?"  She left this nonsense behind and joyfully embraced a Book of Concord Lutheranism.  Uncounted are the many like her who may well be the little ones our Lord refers to, made to stumble.  Kyrie eleison.

Part of me wants to say that the proper way to deal with nonsense is to laugh it out of the church.  This strikes me as prime example.  "You all were JOKING, weren't you?" seems to be the way to go!
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on October 04, 2011, 08:40:08 PM
Evangelize at MMA fights, fitness clubs, coffee houses, strip clubs (probably best to let a Deaconess handle this one, guys  ;))

You probably don't want to linger on this image too much, but guess how I paid my way through seminary?  Came out debt-free!

Jeremy (frequently requested I humbly add)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on October 04, 2011, 08:44:32 PM
Evangelize at MMA fights, fitness clubs, coffee houses, strip clubs (probably best to let a Deaconess handle this one, guys  ;))

You probably don't want to linger on this image too much, but guess how I paid my way through seminary?  Came out debt-free!

Jeremy (frequently requested I humbly add)

Strip clubs??  I know two people on this forum that will have a field day with that one (you being a Buckeye fan and all).  ;)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 04, 2011, 09:31:30 PM
The deaconess writes:
People come to church to escape the world, not remain a part of it.  Let the church be the other-worldly place God designed it to be.
I muse:
Not necessarily. To "escape the world" is to fail to recognize that this world, its blessings and ills, is the place and time that God has given us. I do not want to "escape the world;" nor do I want to keep "the world" out of my faith and church. Redeemed people of God live and move in "the world," why would I want to escape it and them?
The people I know live fully in "the world," and find that their faith must be fully connected to that world. To "escape the world" into faith renders that faith of no earthly good.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on October 04, 2011, 09:49:31 PM
I don't know why any church would want to drop the name "Lutheran" from their signage, etc. 

Perhaps that's because you favor keeping the Lutheran faith tradition as a (mostly) "tribal church" for persons of German and Scandinavian ancestry.
 
I also don't know why anyone would wish to plant a church using gimmicks. 

That's because you can't spread your mind beyond the usual list of over-the-top, outrageous and inappropriate innovations properly called "gimmicks", and refuse to recognize that not all innovations are like the straw men you listed.
 
For the record, at one time installing pews so worshippers could sit down some of the time was once a "gimmick". So was using pipe organs to accompany hymns and other liturgical music. So, I suggest that all who are dead set against all "gimmicks" put their money where their mouths are and remove all pews and all musical instruments from your churches. Or, if you're unwilling to get rid of those particular gimmicks, then at least show some restraint in denouncing other gimmicks.
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on October 04, 2011, 09:59:26 PM
Perhaps that's because you favor keeping the Lutheran faith tradition as a (mostly) "tribal church" for persons of German and Scandinavian ancestry.


George...you know that's not true.  Why do you say such things???  Honestly!
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on October 04, 2011, 10:04:27 PM
Perhaps that's because you favor keeping the Lutheran faith tradition as a (mostly) "tribal church" for persons of German and Scandinavian ancestry.


Uh, no.  You're the only one on my radar who makes that claim.  My church is full of people of varying ages, ethnicities and previous faith traditions (or none at all).  My experience in all the churches I've had membership in involved this same varied composition.

I also don't know why anyone would wish to plant a church using gimmicks. 
That's because you can't spread your mind beyond the usual list of over-the-top, outrageous and inappropriate innovations properly called "gimmicks", and refuse to recognize that not all innovations are like the straw men you listed.
 
For the record, at one time installing pews so worshippers could sit down some of the time was once a "gimmick". So was using pipe organs to accompany hymns and other liturgical music. So, I suggest that all who are dead set against all "gimmicks" put their money where their mouths are and remove all pews and all musical instruments from your churches. Or, if you're unwilling to get rid of those particular gimmicks, then at least show some restraint in denounce other gimmicks.

I'm talking about worship within a Word and Sacrament ministry . . . the place where we RECEIVE the gifts from God.  Evangelism and outreach is a different issue altogether.  I love being a part of outreach activities.  It's quite different from the Sunday morning worship service, though.  Planting a church means, well, of course, starting a CHURCH--a congregation which worships God!  Gathering people to attend this church can take on a whole host of forms . . . most of which I'd probably support.  My all-time favorite approach to doing this involves reaching out through human care activities.  It works . . . people see that you genuinely care and hopefully will be drawn to your church to experience the greater love and care that Jesus provides for them there. 

People are smarter than we tend to give them credit for within the church growth school of thought . . . they know when they're just seen as another piece of fresh meat.  I know I sure did back before I became churched.  It is within the realm of Confessional Lutheranism that I've experienced the most peace, joy and comfort--and ultimately, SECURITY.  That's why I'm an advocate of it.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mietzner on October 04, 2011, 10:05:50 PM
My favorite part of the minutes was when they voted to increase their base salaries and list their housing allowances.  Combine that with the sale of the chapel and the fact that some of those housing allowances are more than my total compensation, it is pretty unreal.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on October 04, 2011, 10:07:50 PM
Pr. Mietzner,

That old God and mammon thingy...once again.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on October 04, 2011, 10:09:19 PM
The deaconess writes:
People come to church to escape the world, not remain a part of it.  Let the church be the other-worldly place God designed it to be.
I muse:
Not necessarily. To "escape the world" is to fail to recognize that this world, its blessings and ills, is the place and time that God has given us. I do not want to "escape the world;" nor do I want to keep "the world" out of my faith and church. Redeemed people of God live and move in "the world," why would I want to escape it and them?
The people I know live fully in "the world," and find that their faith must be fully connected to that world. To "escape the world" into faith renders that faith of no earthly good.

WORSHIP, Charles, WORSHIP.  Divine Service, receiving the gifts, praising our Mighty God.  Nothing in my world even comes close to matching what I receive in that 1 to 1.5 hours every Sunday morning.  Maybe it's different in your world, I don't know.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on October 04, 2011, 10:23:31 PM
Perhaps that's because you favor keeping the Lutheran faith tradition as a (mostly) "tribal church" for persons of German and Scandinavian ancestry.


George...you know that's not true.  Why do you say such things???  Honestly!

It's the most appropriate response to an equally untrue statement, "I don't know why any church would want to drop the name "Lutheran" from their signage, etc.". Given how many reasons have been posted in this very thread that presented reasons why some churches might want to drop the word "Lutheran" from their signage, to say "I don't know why" is a left-handed way of saying, "I totally reject the various reasons presented why a church might want to not make a big show of being Lutheran, and won't even acknowledge that such reasons exist or were posted in here for me to read."
 
So, why not ask the Buckeye Deaconess why she doesn't know why any church would want to drop the name "Lutheran" from their signage? It's not like anyone should have to agree with the reasons that have been presented. It would be quite different to say, "I know the reasons why some churches might want to leave the name 'Lutheran' off of their signage, but I don't think they are good reasons so I disagree with them". That wouldn't have been insulting.
 
So, my response was an example of using a similar response. The truth is that whether Lutherans like to admit it or not, there is baggage attached to the name Lutheran, just as there is baggage to most other faith tradition "brand names", or to the concept of even having faith tradition brand names.
 
If you were forced to make a choice between either (A) preaching the Gospel rightly and administering the sacraments properly to a large congregation of believers who come from a broad range of ethnic backgrounds, including many who never even attended church until they discovered this one, in a church with a sign out front that says "Grace Alone Church of Christ", or (B) preaching the Gospel rightly and administering the sacraments properly to a small congregation of believers who are mostly descendants of people who emigrated from Saxony in the mid-1800's in a church with a sign out front that says "Concordia Evangelical Lutheran Church - LCMS"? I realize that most staunch Lutheran pastors assume that because they were so motivated by the Lutheran faith tradition that they devoted eight years of their lives to first college and then seminary just to become Lutheran pastor, that means that everyone else in the world has as positive a view of the word "Lutheran" as they do. Had I made that sort of life investment in being "Lutheran", I suppose I'd feel that way, too.
 
Which is why the "brand name" denominations in the US, including Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Baptist, and all the rest are in a perpetual state of decline, and the self-styled "non-denominational" churches are the only Christian churches showing consistent growth.
 
There are some aspects of being part of the Lutheran faith tradition that shouldn't be considered as baggage that can be jettisoned to lighten the load. We can't jettison our theology. We shouldn't jettison our liturgy. But why do we need to slavishly stick to the name originally attached to our faith tradition as an epithet? When conducting worship in German (or Swedish, Norwegian, or any other ethnic language) came to be an impediment, Lutherans switched to worshipping in English. So how is downplaying the word "Lutheran" that much different from changing to worshipping in the language of the Anglicans?
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Keith Falk on October 04, 2011, 10:23:59 PM
My favorite part of the minutes was when they voted to increase their base salaries and list their housing allowances.  Combine that with the sale of the chapel and the fact that some of those housing allowances are more than my total compensation, it is pretty unreal.


Some of those housing allowances (not one more than $50,000) is more than your total compensation?  Are you in a part time call or full time call?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 04, 2011, 10:33:55 PM
The deaconess writes:
WORSHIP, Charles, WORSHIP.  Divine Service, receiving the gifts, praising our Mighty God.  Nothing in my world even comes close to matching what I receive in that 1 to 1.5 hours every Sunday morning.  Maybe it's different in your world, I don't know.

I comment:
Actually, much in my world "comes close" to what I receive in an hour of WORSHIP. Friendship, love, the delight of creation and its plants and animals (especially Sally Pearl, my cat), what I am privileged to see in the personal, intellectual and spiritual growth of friends and colleagues. Such things are connections with God, are they not? They are different from what I may receive in WORSHIP, but they ain't cheap peanut butter.
And if my world, its problems and promises, is not present in my WORSHIP, then all I would have would be some privatized, personalistic ecstasy. Don't want that.
I once stopped visiting a church because the pastor and the worship service were so "focused" on narrow theological and pious targets that we never ever heard anything about the world we would live in as soon as we walked out the church doors. Don't want that.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on October 04, 2011, 11:01:53 PM
Which is why the "brand name" denominations in the US, including Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Baptist, and all the rest are in a perpetual state of decline, and the self-styled "non-denominational" churches are the only Christian churches showing consistent growth.

Well, if it's all about growth and numbers and not faithfulness, then sure, drop the name.  Why do you think those churches are growing so fast George?  Could it have something to do with this (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2 Timothy+4:3&version=ESV)?  That has been my experience with the non-denoms.  They can't tell Law from Gospel as a starter.

My goodness, I am so sorry for you that your experience within Lutheranism has soured your opinion so much.  It has done the exact opposite for me, and I continue to see it working wonders towards freeing people from their burdens and sins.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: D. Engebretson on October 04, 2011, 11:12:33 PM
George Ergner wrote:
"If you were forced to make a choice between either (A) preaching the Gospel rightly and administering the sacraments properly to a large congregation of believers who come from a broad range of ethnic backgrounds, including many who never even attended church until they discovered this one, in a church with a sign out front that says "Grace Alone Church of Christ", or (B) preaching the Gospel rightly and administering the sacraments properly to a small congregation of believers who are mostly descendants of people who emigrated from Saxony in the mid-1800's in a church with a sign out front that says "Concordia Evangelical Lutheran Church - LCMS"? I realize that most staunch Lutheran pastors assume that because they were so motivated by the Lutheran faith tradition that they devoted eight years of their lives to first college and then seminary just to become Lutheran pastor, that means that everyone else in the world has as positive a view of the word "Lutheran" as they do. Had I made that sort of life investment in being "Lutheran", I suppose I'd feel that way, too.
 
Which is why the "brand name" denominations in the US, including Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Baptist, and all the rest are in a perpetual state of decline, and the self-styled "non-denominational" churches are the only Christian churches showing consistent growth."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
I realize that you pose the contrasting choices to make a point, but they are nevertheless overly exaggerated. I suspect you know that and were looking for a reaction (or to poke at those with whom you disagree).  Those of us who you refer to as having an "investment in being 'Lutheran'" by and large preach and minister to rather diverse congregations these days, not just "believers who are mostly descendants of people who emigrated from Saxony in the mid-1800's."  You interpret the commitment to the name Lutheran as some slavish obsession rising from misplaced devotion.  Might one consider another more reasonable alternative?  We might like to have a world in which labels and 'brand names,' as you call them, didn't matter.  Perhaps some would not mind reinforcing the prevailing American belief that all churches are ultimately the same and that the differences inside their buildings are only incidental and minor.  Many people deplore the fact that we would even imply that what is taught in some churches is wrong or false.  Dropping all the "labels" would certainly make that easier.  People could just comfortably assume that they are all pretty much the same any way, which is what wanted to believe from the beginning.  A world without all those labels would certainly make it easier on people. 

BTW, claiming that churches are in decline simply due to a commitment to a name is, at best, overly simplistic.  I think we can agree that the reasons for denominational decline are a bit more complex than that. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on October 04, 2011, 11:13:17 PM
The deaconess writes:
Actually, much in my world "comes close" to what I receive in an hour of WORSHIP. Friendship, love, the delight of creation and its plants and animals (especially Sally Pearl, my cat), what I am privileged to see in the personal, intellectual and spiritual growth of friends and colleagues. Such things are connections with God, are they not? They are different from what I may receive in WORSHIP, but they ain't cheap peanut butter.
And if my world, its problems and promises, is not present in my WORSHIP, then all I would have would be some privatized, personalistic ecstasy. Don't want that.
I once stopped visiting a church because the pastor and the worship service were so "focused" on narrow theological and pious targets that we never ever heard anything about the world we would live in as soon as we walked out the church doors. Don't want that.

I come to worship to have my problems taken away (sins absolved) and receive His promises and gifts (Word and Sacrament).  Sounds like your worship is something altogether different, at least it would seem that way given how you explain it.  My world IS the Biblical world . . . there are ample enough stories in Scripture to relate to modern problems, that's for sure.

Do you not approach the communion rail knowing the other half of the circle is completed by the saints who have gone before you?  Surely that isn't just LCMS theology?  I can't think of anything more "otherworldly" than communing with the angels, archangels and the whole company of heaven.  I don't get to do THAT in my every day routine, that's for sure.

The Proper Preface for Holy Communion concludes by placing these words in the mouth of the officiant: "Therefore with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven we laud and magnify Thy glorious name . . ." "Therefore with angels and archangels!" This statement is both glorious and utterly incredible. With these words we are transported. Suddenly time and space fall away; they recede into insignificance and we are united with heavenly choirs. In the Holy Communion we are joined to an ongoing feast in the presence of God. This is the feast which will never end. This is worship. This is the worship of saints. And here you have your place, a place reserved for you from the foundation of the world. At the Holy Communion heaven overlaps earth and the words of Hebrews 12 become present reality: "But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect." In the liturgy of the church this eternal worship of God enters time - our time. This is the "real" time – time which finds its beginning in God; time which is never diminished. (from http://www.confessionallutherans.org/papers/angelB.htm)
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mietzner on October 04, 2011, 11:16:19 PM
My favorite part of the minutes was when they voted to increase their base salaries and list their housing allowances.  Combine that with the sale of the chapel and the fact that some of those housing allowances are more than my total compensation, it is pretty unreal.


Some of those housing allowances (not one more than $50,000) is more than your total compensation?  Are you in a part time call or full time call?

I am full time.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on October 04, 2011, 11:35:37 PM
Which is why the "brand name" denominations in the US, including Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Baptist, and all the rest are in a perpetual state of decline, and the self-styled "non-denominational" churches are the only Christian churches showing consistent growth.

Well, if it's all about growth and numbers and not faithfulness, then sure, drop the name.  Why do you think those churches are growing so fast George?  Could it have something to do with this (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2 Timothy+4:3&version=ESV)?  That has been my experience with the non-denoms.  They can't tell Law from Gospel as a starter.

My goodness, I am so sorry for you that your experience within Lutheranism has soured your opinion so much.  It has done the exact opposite for me, and I continue to see it working wonders towards freeing people from their burdens and sins.

It's not only about growth and numbers, though bringing increasing numbers of people to God's house to hear God's word is not a bad thing. Growth and faithfulness are not mutually exclusive things. It is not an either/or choice. And, it's not about that quote from Timothy.
 
I'll repeat this again, for the umpteenth time. I'll use short words. I'll use short sentences. OK?
 
1. Hearing the Gospel rightly preached is good for people.
 
2. For people to hear the Gospel rightly preached they have to walk in through the front door.
 
3. If something makes people not want to walk through the front door, then they won't walk through the front door.
 
4. A denominational "brand name" like "Lutheran" sometimes makes some people not want to walk through the front door. (see #3. And please note, I did not say that it always makes all people. So don't respond as if that is what I said. That would be insulting.)
 
5. It is extremely important that we remain Lutheran inside the doors of our church.
 
6. It is less important that we present ourselves as Lutheran outside of the doors of our church.
 
7. What name is displayed outside the church doesn't change what goes on inside the church. A discussion of what name to display outside of a church is only about what name to display outside of a church. Dragging in things about what is preached inside the church in a discussion of what name is displayed outside of a church is a red herring. Those are not good things.
 
8. Any argument about how wonderful the things are that go in inside the church doesn't mean anything when talking about what is outside the church in terms of identification on the building. That's also a  red herring, which, as I said earlier, is not a good thing.
 
9. No one, including me, is saying that no Lutheran church should call itself "Lutheran".
 
10. Some Lutheran congregations find that they get more people to come inside if they keep the name Lutheran inside instead of outside.
 
11. Some Lutheran congregations don't.
 
12. If your congregation is identified by line 11, that doesn't negate the experiences of the ones identified with number 10.
 
BTW, claiming that churches are in decline simply due to a commitment to a name is, at best, overly simplistic.  I think we can agree that the reasons for denominational decline are a bit more complex than that. 

Complexity is usually the result of a combination of many simple things. It can be very beneficial to address complex issues by examining each individual simple thing first, then assmble the simple pieces back into a complex system again. When I repaired complex computer equipment, there might be several flawed components and many, many other components that worked just fine. The only way to repair them was to take each component one by one and examine it for proper operation. Then the broken bits were fixed and the working bits were simply cleaned and lubricated.
 
Of course, assuming that because only one component of a complex system is mentioned in a discussion that includes discussing that one component means that only that one component mentioned is in need of attention is making an unfair assumption. Wouldn't you agree?
 
 
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: mietzner on October 04, 2011, 11:57:15 PM
My favorite part of the minutes was when they voted to increase their base salaries and list their housing allowances.  Combine that with the sale of the chapel and the fact that some of those housing allowances are more than my total compensation, it is pretty unreal.


Some of those housing allowances (not one more than $50,000) is more than your total compensation?  Are you in a part time call or full time call?

I am full time.

Apologies... I didn't include my Concordia Plan... which puts it way over the top of any of these housing allowances.  My congregation takes care of me.  They really do.  I just don't see how housing allowances like this are warranted, because my congregation takes care of me for much less.  Are we trying to fill up our barns or provide for our families?
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on October 05, 2011, 12:08:02 AM
It's not only about growth and numbers, though bringing increasing numbers of people to God's house to hear God's word is not a bad thing. Growth and faithfulness are not mutually exclusive things. It is not an either/or choice. And, it's not about that quote from Timothy.
 
I'll repeat this again, for the umpteenth time. I'll use short words. I'll use short sentences. OK?
 
1. Hearing the Gospel rightly preached is good for people.
 
2. For people to hear the Gospel rightly preached they have to walk in through the front door.
 
3. If something makes people not want to walk through the front door, then they won't walk through the front door.
 
4. A denominational "brand name" like "Lutheran" sometimes makes some people not want to walk through the front door. (see #3. And please note, I did not say that it always makes all people. So don't respond as if that is what I said. That would be insulting.)
 
5. It is extremely important that we remain Lutheran inside the doors of our church.
 
6. It is less important that we present ourselves as Lutheran outside of the doors of our church.
 
7. What name is displayed outside the church doesn't change what goes on inside the church. A discussion of what name to display outside of a church is only about what name to display outside of a church. Dragging in things about what is preached inside the church in a discussion of what name is displayed outside of a church is a red herring. Those are not good things.
 
8. Any argument about how wonderful the things are that go in inside the church doesn't mean anything when talking about what is outside the church in terms of identification on the building. That's also a  red herring, which, as I said earlier, is not a good thing.
 
9. No one, including me, is saying that no Lutheran church should call itself "Lutheran".
 
10. Some Lutheran congregations find that they get more people to come inside if they keep the name Lutheran inside instead of outside.
 
11. Some Lutheran congregations don't.
 
12. If your congregation is identified by line 11, that doesn't negate the experiences of the ones identified with number 10.
 
BTW, claiming that churches are in decline simply due to a commitment to a name is, at best, overly simplistic.  I think we can agree that the reasons for denominational decline are a bit more complex than that. 

Complexity is usually the result of a combination of many simple things. It can be very beneficial to address complex issues by examining each individual simple thing first, then assmble the simple pieces back into a complex system again. When I repaired complex computer equipment, there might be several flawed components and many, many other components that worked just fine. The only way to repair them was to take each component one by one and examine it for proper operation. Then the broken bits were fixed and the working bits were simply cleaned and lubricated.
 
Of course, assuming that because only one component of a complex system is mentioned in a discussion that includes discussing that one component means that only that one component mentioned is in need of attention is making an unfair assumption. Wouldn't you agree?

We live in two different worlds of Lutheranism, I'm afraid.  I especially take exception to your #6.  We have a doctrine of vocation (http://www.cranach.org/vocation.php) within Lutheranism that begs to differ with your claim.  But that's OK, George . . . I get it that you have a different opinion than me.  I see people all the time getting past the name Lutheran, getting past the "stodgy" old liturgy and "funeral dirges" for hymns . . . because we reach out authentically and sincerely to invite them to come and see (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+1:46&version=ESV).  Many stay.  Perhaps in your world this doesn't work; in mine, it does.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 05, 2011, 04:52:39 AM
The deaconess writes:
I come to worship to have my problems taken away (sins absolved) and receive His promises and gifts (Word and Sacrament).
I comment:
I come to worship because God has already forgiven me and brought me into the Body of Christ where I can continually hear that good news. Attending worship does not take away all my other problems, nor allow me to "escape the world," although it does give me a new perspective on the world.

The deaconess writes:
Sounds like your worship is something altogether different, at least it would seem that way given how you explain it.  My world IS the Biblical world . . . there are ample enough stories in Scripture to relate to modern problems, that's for sure.
I comment:
No, your real world is the 21st Century, unless you are here as some spectre from another age and living out a sci-fi plot.

The deaconess writes:
Do you not approach the communion rail knowing the other half of the circle is completed by the saints who have gone before you?  Surely that isn't just LCMS theology?
I comment:
That is a good ol' Augustana image, too. But I also approach my daily life knowing that the Sunday service is not the only place where I encounter God's grace or meet with fellow Christians. The Body of Christ isn't just Sunday. That may not even be the most important place to encounter the Body of Christ.

The deaconess writes:
I can't think of anything more "otherworldly" than communing with the angels, archangels and the whole company of heaven.  I don't get to do THAT in my every day routine, that's for sure.
I comment:
See above. I can think of numerous times when I have known the presence of "angels, archangels and the whole company of heaven," not to mention the grace of God and Body of Christ, outside that Sunday morning experience. If you don't, I feel sorry for you.
And in a world where some people can't distinguish between a Lutheran and a Lexus, let alone a Lutheran and a Presbyterian; I'd rather they think of me first of all as a Christian.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on October 05, 2011, 07:10:51 AM
The deaconess writes:
I come to worship to have my problems taken away (sins absolved) and receive His promises and gifts (Word and Sacrament).
I comment:
I come to worship because God has already forgiven me and brought me into the Body of Christ where I can continually hear that good news. Attending worship does not take away all my other problems, nor allow me to "escape the world," although it does give me a new perspective on the world.

The deaconess writes:
Sounds like your worship is something altogether different, at least it would seem that way given how you explain it.  My world IS the Biblical world . . . there are ample enough stories in Scripture to relate to modern problems, that's for sure.
I comment:
No, your real world is the 21st Century, unless you are here as some spectre from another age and living out a sci-fi plot.

The deaconess writes:
Do you not approach the communion rail knowing the other half of the circle is completed by the saints who have gone before you?  Surely that isn't just LCMS theology?
I comment:
That is a good ol' Augustana image, too. But I also approach my daily life knowing that the Sunday service is not the only place where I encounter God's grace or meet with fellow Christians. The Body of Christ isn't just Sunday. That may not even be the most important place to encounter the Body of Christ.

The deaconess writes:
I can't think of anything more "otherworldly" than communing with the angels, archangels and the whole company of heaven.  I don't get to do THAT in my every day routine, that's for sure.
I comment:
See above. I can think of numerous times when I have known the presence of "angels, archangels and the whole company of heaven," not to mention the grace of God and Body of Christ, outside that Sunday morning experience. If you don't, I feel sorry for you.
And in a world where some people can't distinguish between a Lutheran and a Lexus, let alone a Lutheran and a Presbyterian; I'd rather they think of me first of all as a Christian.

Clearly we have different theologies of worship.  As for feeling sorry for me, don't cry for me Argentina . . . I have objective proof that I'm encountering angels and archangels and the whole company of heaven at worship every Sunday--God's Word.  I can't think of anything more helpful for a grieving loved one than to be reminded that on this very Sunday (and every Sunday) they will be kneeling at the throne of the Almighty along with their dearly departed loved one while at the communion rail.

I'm pretty sure we're not always quite aware of when we might be entertaining angels (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+13:2&version=ESV) outside the realm of worship.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 05, 2011, 08:28:38 AM
The deaconess persists:
Clearly we have different theologies of worship.
I comment:
Actually, we probably don't.

The deaconess:
As for feeling sorry for me, don't cry for me Argentina . . . I have objective proof that I'm encountering angels and archangels and the whole company of heaven at worship every Sunday--God's Word.
Me:
And what makes you think that I don't?

The deaconess:
I can't think of anything more helpful for a grieving loved one than to be reminded that on this very Sunday (and every Sunday) they will be kneeling at the throne of the Almighty along with their dearly departed loved one while at the communion rail.
Me:
You have such a gloomy side! How many Sundays am I grieving for one departed? Why bring that into the picture? And for the real world - the one we live in, remember - usually I'm more interested in the connection with the people on my left and right rather than those on the "other side".

The deaconess:
I'm pretty sure we're not always quite aware of when we might be entertaining angels (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+13:2&version=ESV) outside the realm of worship.
Me:
Not always, but sometimes we are aware. Why do you disparage the real world and the joy and inspiration that it offers? Your posts are so packed with an emphasis on doom, death, destruction and sorrow.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on October 05, 2011, 08:49:28 AM
The deaconess persists:
Clearly we have different theologies of worship.
I comment:
Actually, we probably don't.

The deaconess:
As for feeling sorry for me, don't cry for me Argentina . . . I have objective proof that I'm encountering angels and archangels and the whole company of heaven at worship every Sunday--God's Word.
Me:
And what makes you think that I don't?

The deaconess:
I can't think of anything more helpful for a grieving loved one than to be reminded that on this very Sunday (and every Sunday) they will be kneeling at the throne of the Almighty along with their dearly departed loved one while at the communion rail.
Me:
You have such a gloomy side! How many Sundays am I grieving for one departed? Why bring that into the picture? And for the real world - the one we live in, remember - usually I'm more interested in the connection with the people on my left and right rather than those on the "other side".

The deaconess:
I'm pretty sure we're not always quite aware of when we might be entertaining angels (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+13:2&version=ESV) outside the realm of worship.
Me:
Not always, but sometimes we are aware. Why do you disparage the real world and the joy and inspiration that it offers? Your posts are so packed with an emphasis on doom, death, destruction and sorrow.

Well, probably because I'm watching my pastor-husband grieve over the loss of one of his sheep this week.  The funeral is Friday.  Also, every time time we experience a death alongside someone we care about, it puts us both right back in the moment of our own loss of two children who died in our arms.  Compassion works that way, you know.

I also have a rather realistic view of sin, death and the devil.  I wouldn't trade that knowledge for the world; previously I was duped into not realizing it existed.  My prayers go out to those who might be duped as I was.  Theology of the Cross, Charles, Theology of the Cross.  The Glory comes later.  In the meantime, I'm extremely blessed in this world and live life to the fullest, but I'm also keenly aware of the spiritual battles taking place around me all the time.  This is apparently even one of them. :P

Sorry for the diversion, folks.  Back to the topic at hand . . . the ULC.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 05, 2011, 09:27:48 AM
To say that the Word and Sacrament offers forgiveness, life, and salvation says something about sin, death, and the power of the devil. The beauty of the world-- autumn leaves, kids growing up, good friends sitting around a bonfire, etc. etc. does not really enter into a Christian worship service except among the list of many things we give thanks for. Worship itself-- the one or two hours a week we focus on receiving forgiveness, life, and salvation-- necessarily brings into focus sin, death, and the power of the devil. The "real world" is always there. To the degree it is beautiful and lovely, we give thanks for it. But for the hour or two of worship, we focus on forgiveness, life, and salvation overcoming sin, death, and the power of the devil, which means we're either focused on Christ in Word and Sacrament or the fallenness of the world.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: George Erdner on October 05, 2011, 09:49:57 AM
We live in two different worlds of Lutheranism, I'm afraid.  I especially take exception to your #6.  We have a doctrine of vocation (http://www.cranach.org/vocation.php) within Lutheranism that begs to differ with your claim.  But that's OK, George . . . I get it that you have a different opinion than me.  I see people all the time getting past the name Lutheran, getting past the "stodgy" old liturgy and "funeral dirges" for hymns . . . because we reach out authentically and sincerely to invite them to come and see (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+1:46&version=ESV).  Many stay.  Perhaps in your world this doesn't work; in mine, it does.

That's the first time I've seen that link to the doctrine of vocation. Where in that page you linked is the part that says we must always first identify ourselves as Lutheran Christians?
 
I'd also refer you back to point #4 about some people not being the same as all people. When harvesting a wheat field, we are not to glean it, but to leave some grain unharvested. That only applies to harvesting wheat. When it comes to making disciples of all nations, we aren't supposed to leave behind those who don't happen to respond to one particular kind of invitation.
 
 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on October 05, 2011, 10:20:52 AM
I come to worship to have my problems taken away (sins absolved) and receive His promises and gifts (Word and Sacrament). 

Yes, Deaconess, that is why we go to church- to receive the gifts, to get our sins forgiven. Unfortunately, there is a view out there that rears its ugly head now and then, the view that we've already been forgiven (true) and that, therefore, the Gospel gives us only the assurance of forgiveness of our sins and not a present forgiveness of sins (false).

"We go to church for the forgiveness of sins.  We go to church to get saved.  We go to church so that we may find Jesus the Savior who gives us eternal life."   http://www.christforus.org/Papers/Content/why_go_to_church.html
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 05, 2011, 11:41:36 AM
Peter writes:
The beauty of the world-- autumn leaves, kids growing up, good friends sitting around a bonfire, etc. etc. does not really enter into a Christian worship service except among the list of many things we give thanks for.
I comment:
And why is that?

Peter writes:
Worship itself-- the one or two hours a week we focus on receiving forgiveness, life, and salvation-- necessarily brings into focus sin, death, and the power of the devil.
I comment:
So it that all? sin, death, the power of the devil and the possibility that when we die we are free of all that?

Peter writes:
The "real world" is always there. To the degree it is beautiful and lovely, we give thanks for it.
I comment:
"To the degree it is..." means that it really isn't. So we're back to sin, death and the devil.

Peter writes:
But for the hour or two of worship, we focus on forgiveness, life, and salvation overcoming sin, death, and the power of the devil, which means we're either focused on Christ in Word and Sacrament or the fallenness of the world.
I comment:
So where is the "good news" for this world? Where is the joy in living? Where is the celebration of the life we have as children of God? These exist, but lie submerged, I fear, under the emphasis on sin, death, and the power of the devil.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Chuck Sampson on October 05, 2011, 11:47:36 AM
Peter writes:
The beauty of the world-- autumn leaves, kids growing up, good friends sitting around a bonfire, etc. etc. does not really enter into a Christian worship service except among the list of many things we give thanks for.
I comment:
And why is that?

Peter writes:
Worship itself-- the one or two hours a week we focus on receiving forgiveness, life, and salvation-- necessarily brings into focus sin, death, and the power of the devil.
I comment:
So it that all? sin, death, the power of the devil and the possibility that when we die we are free of all that?

Peter writes:
The "real world" is always there. To the degree it is beautiful and lovely, we give thanks for it.
I comment:
"To the degree it is..." means that it really isn't. So we're back to sin, death and the devil.

Peter writes:
But for the hour or two of worship, we focus on forgiveness, life, and salvation overcoming sin, death, and the power of the devil, which means we're either focused on Christ in Word and Sacrament or the fallenness of the world.
I comment:
So where is the "good news" for this world? Where is the joy in living? Where is the celebration of the life we have as children of God? These exist, but lie submerged, I fear, under the emphasis on sin, death, and the power of the devil.
Eh . . . the "good news" for this world IS CHRIST IN WORD AND SACRAMENT.   Nothing else . . . but that is enough.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on October 05, 2011, 11:52:35 AM
So where is the "good news" for this world?

By definition, it is in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, our Lord, who has redeemed us lost and condemned creatures, purchased and won us from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil, not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, in order that we may be His own, and live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity.

Hence, heaven and nature sing, "Joy to the world!"
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on October 05, 2011, 12:01:33 PM
The via media in this dialog, which I find strange, is in my opinion the Word Incarnate or "incarnational theology."  Those who arbitrate for what I take to be the theory of worship, that is the slogan "Word and Sacrament," end up extracting the connective tissue of the Gospel in Christ Jesus from the world, forgetting that before and after He said "Come unto me, all ye who labor and are heavy laden," he laid into the very real problems of several cities around him and then proceeded to pick corn on the Sabbath.  His teachings and life were not above, but enmeshed IN the world.  And the Body and Blood of Christ Present and not just in (dim) memory for us Lutherans connect the very eating and drinking to the Word Incarnate.  So the Divine Service not only has by accident but includes purposefully the First Article, and the Third Article in proclamation and celebration.  Forgiveness of sins is not a theory but an examination of life in society by the individual and by the Body.  And restoration is not only an internal messge but results in a life lived in the Body and out on the streets.  Yes, that hour or two is not the same as a trip to Home Depot, not by any means.  But we should pray, praise and give thanks for the specific instances, individual and corporate, of mercy received and creation sustained.

Charles' comments are not difficult for me to understand as incorporated into the Divine Service as I practice it weekly, and there are no weekly services at which we do not celebrate the Eucharist.  Water, bread, wine are the visible signs for a reason - to connect us intimately to the real world in Christ.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on October 05, 2011, 12:13:47 PM
From the conclusion to the Preus paper, "Why Go to Church?" cited and linked above:

"Now is the time for worship.  The Divine Service has made it possible. The worship we offer in return is the life that God has given us to live in our vocation to which he has called us.  As David P. Scaer once put it in his inimitable way, 'Let’s get the good works out of the church and into the world where they belong!'  I say amen to that.  And of course, those good works turn out to be filled with sin, don’t they?  So we keep on coming back to the Divine Service, to be served and saved by our gracious God and to find in that Divine Service the only heaven there is on this earth."

 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: D. Engebretson on October 05, 2011, 12:24:42 PM
Peter writes:
The "real world" is always there. To the degree it is beautiful and lovely, we give thanks for it.
I comment:
"To the degree it is..." means that it really isn't. So we're back to sin, death and the devil.


I don't think you have to be exclusionary here, and I don't believe that Peter was.  "To the degree" is just that.  We see
the beauty of God's good creation despite sin's effects and give thanks for it.  Sin does not entirely hide the signs of God's
goodness in creation.  We can acknowledge both without excluding either. 
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Matt Staneck on October 05, 2011, 12:32:40 PM
(If this is thread drift please remove/relocate/whatever)

I'm preaching on Isaiah 25:6-9 this Sunday.  I find this text to be one of the best things in Scripture (though that usually applies to whatever it is I'm studying at a particular moment!).  After weeks of negative vineyard stories/passages we come to one that exemplifies what the vineyard talk is all about: The Feast that is to come.  This feast is, of course, something we see in a micro way each Lord's Day as the Sacrament of the Altar is celebrated.  Micro in this sense does not mean that it conveys anything less than the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation, but that it is indeed a foretaste of the feast to come and while containing a very real and very present promise, it also points to the great marriage banquet of the Lamb. 

What I like about Bishop Benke and Pastor Kirchner's posts here are the recognition of both the reality of the promise, and how that then enlivens us (like nothing else can) to engage the world around us with that same Gospel.  The Church is the only place in creation that brings with it the new creation (in a now, not yet tension).  So, naturally, even outside of corporate worship, the Church is ushering in the new creation by acts of mercy and proclamation of the Gospel.  I think of Augustine in The City of God, where he says the best citizens of the city of man can only be those who are also citizens (through baptism another means of grace!) of the city of God.  And also how Dionysius (correct me if I'm wrong) marveled at the fact that when others flew the coup during plagues and during the downfall of Rome, the Church remained, Christians remained, and tended to the sick in a most incarnational way as they were present in the city of man's most dire time of need. 

Kind of like the Son of God, yet Son of Man, who remained and died for the city of man in order to usher us into the city of God.  In fact, the strange behavior of Christians can only be explained through the cross of Christ.  That's the beauty of being who we are, isn't it?

M. Staneck
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on October 05, 2011, 12:42:06 PM
Good observations, Matt. Although I must disagree with the characterization of "weeks of negative vineyard stories/passages." Last week, for example:

"Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?"  (Matt. 21:42 ESV)

A call to repentance is for the sake of the Gospel.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Weedon on October 05, 2011, 12:42:21 PM
Very well said, Vicar Staneck.  The point of connection is precisely that:  THIS world renewed, transformed, offered back as foretaste and downpayment of the age to come.  Which isn't exactly "heaven" but rather the creation restored, cleansed, made new and whole.  We literally live in the Church from that pledge and downpayment - it's what keeps us going as we head, invariably, towards the dissolution of this age (in our own bodies, in the wider creation itself).  Faith's great:  "NEVERTHELESS!" spoken over every rotting body.  You made my day - thanks for writing that.
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Dave Benke on October 05, 2011, 12:49:05 PM
Nice job, Vicar.  The Vicar was at our Pastoral Conference with his dad yesterday, who is a candidate for ordination this December.  Dad, Michael, was introduced as a pre-ordinand (along with four others on that track).  The vicar, being a vicar, remained nameless, "just a vicar."  He is well-known, however, in lower Manhattan.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 05, 2011, 01:05:30 PM
Eh . . . the "good news" for this world IS CHRIST IN WORD AND SACRAMENT.   Nothing else . . . but that is enough.

From the Smalcald Articles
[4:] Concerning the Gospel
We now want to return to the gospel, which gives guidance and help against sin in more than one way, because God is extravagantly rich in his grace: first, through the spoken word, in which the forgiveness of sins is preached to the whole world (which is the proper function of the gospel); second, through baptism; third, through the holy Sacrament of the Altar; fourth, through the power of the keys and also through the mutual conversation and consolation of brothers and sisters. Matthew 18[:20*]: “Where two or three are gathered . . .”


The "mutual conversation and consolation" is something different than the word preached in church -- and probably takes place outside of the worship service.

   
Title: Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on October 05, 2011, 02:02:56 PM
Eh . . . the "good news" for this world IS CHRIST IN WORD AND SACRAMENT.   Nothing else . . . but that is enough.

The "mutual conversation and consolation" is something different than the word preached in church -- and probably takes place outside of the worship service.

Uh, Rev. Stoffregen, the context of the response was worship:

"Peter writes:
But for the hour or two of worship, we focus on forgiveness, life, and salvation overcoming sin, death, and the power of the devil, which means we're either focused on Christ in Word and Sacrament or the fallenness of the world.
I comment:
So where is the "good news" for this world?"  [Emphasis added]

So, your reference to mutual conversation, which as you state, "probably takes place outside of the