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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: Eileen Smith on December 24, 2017, 12:54:57 PM

Title: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Eileen Smith on December 24, 2017, 12:54:57 PM
Once again a beautiful message from Bishop Bradosky.
 https://www.thenalc.org/bishop-bradoskys-christmas-message2017/ (https://www.thenalc.org/bishop-bradoskys-christmas-message2017/)
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Matt Hummel on December 24, 2017, 01:09:59 PM
Lovely!
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: readselerttoo on December 24, 2017, 02:05:01 PM
IMO, a better and more appropriate message than ELCA Presiding Bishop's.
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Charles Austin on December 24, 2017, 02:34:31 PM
And was that not-so-sly dig really necessary on this day? It probably doesn’t surprise people that you’re not thrilled with messages from the ELCA.
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Dave Benke on December 26, 2017, 11:22:01 AM
Off-topic-ish, but for those of the cloth on the forum, what kinds of gifts do you receive from congregants/parishioners at Christmas?  Maybe it's length of service, but lots of folks want to leave something under their pastor's tree in this part of the Caribbean basin world.  Maybe there are parts of the world where the pastor is not a recipient of gifts.  I don't know, so just checking in with the rest of you.

For my part, I get
scarves/gloves
sweaters
gift cards
cash
booze

In order of receipt, the last is unquestionably first.  I think this is a perk of being Lutheran and not some alcohol-forbidding Protestant sect.  So I receive Hennessy (including Hennessy Pure White, which is really fine stuff and no, you can't have any) , various types of rum including coquito, bourbon, scotch, wine, grappa (which is an acquired taste that I acquired while serving as a Missouri Synod District President), and this year, some moonshine from an undisclosed source.  And Judy and I are not heavy drinkers, in fact barely light drinkers.  So when we have parties at the house, people have a lot of choices.  I guess it's sort of a foretaste of the feast to come - wine of the lees and all.

I suppose there's another topic in there - do pastors get Christmas bonuses as a seasonal part of compensation?  I don't, never have, but maybe some do. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Jonathan Priest on December 26, 2017, 12:06:17 PM
I'm curious about the gifts topic, so am going to post to it...

1. Before child -- candy, booze, gift cards, scarves. After child -- clothes, toys, gift cards (for her), =)
2. My former congregation, a small "bonus"
3. Current congregation organizes a "Gift of Love" - all members contribute and the total is divided among church paid staff (office, musicians, clergy).

Seasonal bonus in both congregations was something instituted by members of congregation who received them from their employment and felt strongly about equitable practices in the church.

Jonathan Priest
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Norman Teigen on December 26, 2017, 12:16:24 PM
In Galatians Paul wrote:  "Let him that is taught in the Word, share every good thing with him who teaches."  {I think I got that one right.}  Lay persons should at least pay for the Pastor's lunch. Holiday gifts are good.  Expressions of appreciation throughout the  for the pastor's ministry are even better.
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on December 26, 2017, 04:13:40 PM
I get a lot of monetary gifts, some gift cards. It's very kind and helpful. And writing thank you notes gives me something to do while I take a few days off. One year we received a meat and cheese tray, which was great. I've never not been treated kindly by the congregation whether in Ohio, Delaware, or Missouri.

Jeremy
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Dave Likeness on December 26, 2017, 04:37:06 PM
Mr. Teigen mentions that expressions of appreciation for the pastor's ministry are welcome throughout
the entire year.  In three different summers our family was given the use of a parish member's get-away home.
for two weeks.  Once a cabin in northern Wisconsin, another time in June we went to a condo in Tucson,
Arizona and another June to a home near Tampa, Florida.  Personally, I was often the guest of a member
at the local country club golf course or a member (who was a White Sox fan) would drive us to Chicago
to see the New York Yankees play.  There were also times when my wife and I were treated to a musical
concert
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Dave Benke on December 26, 2017, 06:07:17 PM
I get a lot of monetary gifts, some gift cards. It's very kind and helpful. And writing thank you notes gives me something to do while I take a few days off. One year we received a meat and cheese tray, which was great. I've never not been treated kindly by the congregation whether in Ohio, Delaware, or Missouri.

Jeremy

I forgot to include the cheese and sausage brigade.  Being native Wisconsinites, we have always appreciated an annual gift of a box of various Usinger's products.  I have just ingested a hickory stick. 

All the folks I have known through the year have been more than kind.   I went through a period of seven years (the seven lean years) when I was under an IRS tax lien for over a million American dollars and was told by the IRS that any income I might receive could be seized.  Some of my members began bringing food to the parsonage, an in-kind contribution - 10 lbs of potatoes, etc (this being a very non-rural part of the world).  That offer and those gifts remain as a strong memory of what the fellowship of the faithful is all about.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Team Hesse on December 26, 2017, 06:48:25 PM
The congregation is paying all of my expenses for a trip to Ethiopia (and back<smile>) in January. Other than that many small kindnesses and notes of appreciation throughout the year.


Lou
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Charles Austin on December 26, 2017, 08:06:26 PM
I usually got two bottles of scotch, from two people knew that that used to be my drink of choice.
And bags of cookies, boxes of candy, Sometimes a book, usually the wrong one.
 If I was an interim in the Christmas season, I usually got a nice financial gift.
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Richard Johnson on December 27, 2017, 10:03:12 AM
At my last parish, there was a "Christmas gift for pastor" envelope in the boxed envelopes we ordered from Augsburg. I kind of liked that because it meant I didn't know who was participating, so couldn't be influenced (or be thought to be influenced). When we called a second pastor, it was made clear that the amount given would be split evenly between the pastors; and at my urging, eventually we got an additional envelope that said "Christmas gift for the staff" which was split between secretary, custodian, etc.

Of course there were also the cookies, fruitcakes, lefse, etc., which were also appreciated. We've even gotten a couple of things like that from our present congregation members, even though I'm just a retired guy in the pew who helps out now and then.
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: LCMS87 on December 27, 2017, 10:10:07 AM
At my last parish, there was a "Christmas gift for pastor" envelope in the boxed envelopes we ordered from Augsburg. I kind of liked that because it meant I didn't know who was participating, so couldn't be influenced (or be thought to be influenced). When we called a second pastor, it was made clear that the amount given would be split evenly between the pastors; and at my urging, eventually we got an additional envelope that said "Christmas gift for the staff" which was split between secretary, custodian, etc.

Of course there were also the cookies, fruitcakes, lefse, etc., which were also appreciated. We've even gotten a couple of things like that from our present congregation members, even though I'm just a retired guy in the pew who helps out now and then.

Ever any lutefisk?  (Would that be a sign of love and appreciation?)
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Norman Teigen on December 27, 2017, 10:22:03 AM
Fresh home made lefse would be the ultimate food gift.
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Dave Likeness on December 27, 2017, 12:20:27 PM
It was 36 degrees below zero in International Falls, Minnesota today at 6 am.
This morning city officials cancelled the Ice Fishing Contest scheduled for this
weekend. The Christmas message from Minnesota is "Baby, it is cold outside".
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Richard Johnson on December 27, 2017, 05:24:56 PM
At my last parish, there was a "Christmas gift for pastor" envelope in the boxed envelopes we ordered from Augsburg. I kind of liked that because it meant I didn't know who was participating, so couldn't be influenced (or be thought to be influenced). When we called a second pastor, it was made clear that the amount given would be split evenly between the pastors; and at my urging, eventually we got an additional envelope that said "Christmas gift for the staff" which was split between secretary, custodian, etc.

Of course there were also the cookies, fruitcakes, lefse, etc., which were also appreciated. We've even gotten a couple of things like that from our present congregation members, even though I'm just a retired guy in the pew who helps out now and then.

Ever any lutefisk?  (Would that be a sign of love and appreciation?)

No and no!!
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Richard Johnson on December 27, 2017, 05:26:22 PM
Fresh home made lefse would be the ultimate food gift.

We had two church members who were world class lefse makers. Now that they're gone (one died, one moved) we have had to work on our own lefse skills. Made a batch this year but have to say our Chinese in-laws aren't all that wild about it.
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Dave Benke on December 28, 2017, 07:11:11 PM
At my last parish, there was a "Christmas gift for pastor" envelope in the boxed envelopes we ordered from Augsburg. I kind of liked that because it meant I didn't know who was participating, so couldn't be influenced (or be thought to be influenced). When we called a second pastor, it was made clear that the amount given would be split evenly between the pastors; and at my urging, eventually we got an additional envelope that said "Christmas gift for the staff" which was split between secretary, custodian, etc.

Of course there were also the cookies, fruitcakes, lefse, etc., which were also appreciated. We've even gotten a couple of things like that from our present congregation members, even though I'm just a retired guy in the pew who helps out now and then.

I like the splitting of the pot.  Good karma with the staff troops is thus encouraged. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on December 28, 2017, 10:50:49 PM
Ever any lutefisk?  (Would that be a sign of love and appreciation?)

Ja und ja!

And I am Pennsylvania Dutch (German).
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: D. Engebretson on December 29, 2017, 11:16:48 AM
Here at my rural parish in northern Wisconsin we regularly receive a number of food-related gifts, usually candy and cookies.  One parishoner generously blessed us with a very nice ham in a basket also graced with some rather nice craft beer!  One wealthy business owner who is a member gives us a sizeable check each year, and I think it is around this time of year that we also receive a substantial check from the memorial fund left behind by another wealthy business owner who passed away some years ago.  Also, gift cards are given, usually to our favorite local eating establishments!  One farm family gives us butter and cheese - very appropriate around here!
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Don Whitbeck on December 29, 2017, 02:20:02 PM
And was that not-so-sly dig really necessary on this day? It probably doesn’t surprise people that you’re not thrilled with messages from the ELCA.

Congratulations, on your retirement, Pastor Austin. Thank you for your many years of Service to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  I can imagine, you setting around and doing nothing. I hope you have plans to travel, relax and enjoy life like you always have!

God Bless you!

Don Whitbeck
Confessional Lutheran
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Dave Benke on December 29, 2017, 07:27:27 PM
Here at my rural parish in northern Wisconsin we regularly receive a number of food-related gifts, usually candy and cookies.  One parishoner generously blessed us with a very nice ham in a basket also graced with some rather nice craft beer!  One wealthy business owner who is a member gives us a sizeable check each year, and I think it is around this time of year that we also receive a substantial check from the memorial fund left behind by another wealthy business owner who passed away some years ago.  Also, gift cards are given, usually to our favorite local eating establishments!  One farm family gives us butter and cheese - very appropriate around here!

Cheese, butter, beer - everything's coming up Wisconsin!

Dave Benke
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Matt Hummel on December 29, 2017, 07:45:03 PM
To get back on track-

I find it interesting to look at the two messages side to side- the one from PB Eaton and the one from Bp. Bradosky.

I think that you can see  the difference between the two groups in their respective messages. I learned not a whole lot about Bp. Bradosky from his message. Bishop Eaton on the other hand, shared a great deal.

There is a time and a place for both styles of presenting the Gospel. And I certainly do not wish to disparage Bp. Eaton, about whom I continue to hear good things. But I think it says something about the the respective denominations that one's leader's message starts with Jesus and gets to us and the other's leader's starts with us and gets to Jesus.

Both are well written but they have two different centers of gravity.
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on December 29, 2017, 08:11:43 PM

Both are well written but they have two different centers of gravity.

Perhaps not so much two different centers of gravity; but rather two different ellipses, both with twin foci.

One ellipse has its theocentric focal point at the top; the other places the anthropocentric focus in that position.

The movement of the Incarnation assumes the theocentric focus at the top/beginning, as in the Prologue of John; and as in the opening words of the Great Doxology with which every Divine Liturgy begins: 

Glory to Him who has shown us the light:
Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace and goodwill among men.
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: cdmue on December 30, 2017, 09:43:03 AM
With regards to Bishop (aka "B and B") Behnke and his assertion of "everything coming up Wisconsin," we welcome that challenge this evening in the Orange Bowl, where the Badgers will play the local U of Miami Hurricanes, Should be a very good game..go 'Canes!  Dave Mueller, U of Miami, MS Ed, 1980
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: D. Engebretson on December 30, 2017, 10:39:59 AM
Here at my rural parish in northern Wisconsin we regularly receive a number of food-related gifts, usually candy and cookies.  One parishoner generously blessed us with a very nice ham in a basket also graced with some rather nice craft beer!  One wealthy business owner who is a member gives us a sizeable check each year, and I think it is around this time of year that we also receive a substantial check from the memorial fund left behind by another wealthy business owner who passed away some years ago.  Also, gift cards are given, usually to our favorite local eating establishments!  One farm family gives us butter and cheese - very appropriate around here!

Cheese, butter, beer - everything's coming up Wisconsin!

Dave Benke

Wrong order.  It always starts with beer! ;)
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Dave Likeness on December 30, 2017, 11:18:01 AM
Wisconsin has the reputation for good beer and brats.   Milwaukee was once the beer capital of the U.S.A.
and still produces enough Miller High Life to satisfy your thirst.  Johnsonville Brats come from the premier
sausage factory in American located in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin.  Beer and Brats sum up the Wisconsin
experience for casual dining.
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Dave Benke on December 30, 2017, 11:41:27 AM
With regards to Bishop (aka "B and B") Behnke and his assertion of "everything coming up Wisconsin," we welcome that challenge this evening in the Orange Bowl, where the Badgers will play the local U of Miami Hurricanes, Should be a very good game..go 'Canes!  Dave Mueller, U of Miami, MS Ed, 1980

The Badgers O Line was termed “A rolling Tsunami of Cheddar” this morning- and the Cheese will stand alone at night’s end!

Dave Benke
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: readselerttoo on December 30, 2017, 12:13:23 PM
To get back on track-

I find it interesting to look at the two messages side to side- the one from PB Eaton and the one from Bp. Bradosky.

I think that you can see  the difference between the two groups in their respective messages. I learned not a whole lot about Bp. Bradosky from his message. Bishop Eaton on the other hand, shared a great deal.

There is a time and a place for both styles of presenting the Gospel. And I certainly do not wish to disparage Bp. Eaton, about whom I continue to hear good things. But I think it says something about the the respective denominations that one's leader's message starts with Jesus and gets to us and the other's leadership starts with us and gets to Jesus.

Both are well written but they have two different centers of gravity.

Good insight. 

Eaton means well but I think a missional approach which begins with one's "story" and ends with Jesus  fails to set the groundwork, the basis for intent.  On the other hand Bradosky understand on what ground he has his feet planted.  He speaks from there.  It may be offensive to some but no one can doubt where Bradosky stands, imo.  The Gospel is offensive to some, btw.  Besides all this notice how St. Paul begins his speech in Athens ala Acts 17.
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Eileen Smith on December 30, 2017, 01:48:42 PM
I'm wondering if one needs to look at intended audience.  From Bishop Bradosky's salutation, my understanding is that he is writing to the ministerium and laity of the NALC.  Bishop Eaton, I believe, is writing beyond that audience to those not in the pews of the ELCA, not in any pew at all -- yet, of course, including the ELCA.

As one who active in the church I found great depth and much to think about in the NALC greeting.  Yet, so often I found myself in the situation Bishop Eaton describes and I thought it an excellent piece on Advent and its significance.

I'm quite certain that Bishop Eaton's feet are planted as firmly as Bishop Bradosky's are and Jesus certainly was proclaimed in both messages. 

At the risk of ending on a less than positive note, I would agree with many here that there are a number of issues that might cause one grief in the ELCA, but sometimes I think we look for what might not even exist.  My intent on starting this thread was to share what I thought was a beautiful reflection, not to compare it to the ELCA, LCMS or any other Lutheran body and have that body come up short.
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: gan ainm on December 30, 2017, 02:32:29 PM
I'm wondering if one needs to look at intended audience.  From Bishop Bradosky's salutation, my understanding is that he is writing to the ministerium and laity of the NALC.  Bishop Eaton, I believe, is writing beyond that audience to those not in the pews of the ELCA, not in any pew at all -- yet, of course, including the ELCA.

As one who active in the church I found great depth and much to think about in the NALC greeting.  Yet, so often I found myself in the situation Bishop Eaton describes and I thought it an excellent piece on Advent and its significance.

I'm quite certain that Bishop Eaton's feet are planted as firmly as Bishop Bradosky's are and Jesus certainly was proclaimed in both messages. 

At the risk of ending on a less than positive note, I would agree with many here that there are a number of issues that might cause one grief in the ELCA, but sometimes I think we look for what might not even exist.  My intent on starting this thread was to share what I thought was a beautiful reflection, not to compare it to the ELCA, LCMS or any other Lutheran body and have that body come up short.

Eileen, as always, you reflect God's grace.  Happy New Year to you and yours. 

Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: readselerttoo on December 30, 2017, 03:49:48 PM
St. Paul reflects upon life in Christ by way of what had happened to him in Christ's encounter with him on the Damascus Rd,:   "I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live but it is Christ who lives in me.  That which I now live in the flesh I live in faith of the Son of God (ie. Christ Jesus)..."

This should be more than enough proof that our ground is no longer within ourselves nor within our experiences.  Our basis of intent is in the faith of the Son of God and then going forward in that...

Bp. Eaton while perhaps  trying to tie a common thread with others, loses me (as one of those "others") because I need to hear "her story" first before God's story.  That approach seems to mix up priorities.  St. Paul in Athens had been talking about Jesus and the Resurrection (not a second deity!) to those in the marketplace.  He seems to not care whether they might know about "his story" as much as it seems more urgent to talk about the One who is beyond death and who is present now (really and actually present now!) in His Word (not in St. Paul's).  The urgency and preponderance which the Gospel contains has us ditching our story for the story of the One who calls each one into a loving and forgiving and saving relationship now and then moving forward.  Calls to repentance seem to issue from someone who no longer is interested in their own personal story or their own intention.  "Come to me all who are weary and heavily laden and I will give you rest" is Jesus' word to those who no longer have hope in their own because they have discovered true and thorough peace in That Other who is alive and wants no more for anything else but to serve them with His Hope through His Narrative.

I understand that Bp. Eaton is concerned for others as well.  But the ground that needs to be laid no longer resides in us/her or in "Our Story"  in general, but in the One who is for us and not against us.
Title: Re: A Christmas Message from the NALC
Post by: Pastor Ken Kimball on December 30, 2017, 03:51:43 PM
I'm wondering if one needs to look at intended audience.  From Bishop Bradosky's salutation, my understanding is that he is writing to the ministerium and laity of the NALC.  Bishop Eaton, I believe, is writing beyond that audience to those not in the pews of the ELCA, not in any pew at all -- yet, of course, including the ELCA.

As one who active in the church I found great depth and much to think about in the NALC greeting.  Yet, so often I found myself in the situation Bishop Eaton describes and I thought it an excellent piece on Advent and its significance.

I'm quite certain that Bishop Eaton's feet are planted as firmly as Bishop Bradosky's are and Jesus certainly was proclaimed in both messages. 

At the risk of ending on a less than positive note, I would agree with many here that there are a number of issues that might cause one grief in the ELCA, but sometimes I think we look for what might not even exist.  My intent on starting this thread was to share what I thought was a beautiful reflection, not to compare it to the ELCA, LCMS or any other Lutheran body and have that body come up short.
Thanks Eileen.  As an NALC pastor, I am grateful for John's gifts as our bishop, including his ability to reflect and write deeply on the Christian faith.  We are blessed to have him.