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Title: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 24, 2007, 04:32:07 PM
The ELCA Churchwide Assembly Memorials Committee has attempted to forestall a trainwreck at the Chicago assembly next month by recommending that all memorials and resolutions related to sexuality--both those urging a change in Vision and Expections and those opposing such a change, and those urging development of a rite for same-sex blessings--be referred to the Task Force on Sexuality. This proposal, if adopted, would essentially put off any substantive change in either area until 2009.

It presumably won't prevent discussion this year, however; the recommendation also asks that a verbatim transcript of the CWA's discussion be provided to the Task Force for their edification.

Sounds like a good plan to me. Maybe someone will have the decency to move the previous question before the verbatim transcript gets too long (longer than a paragraph or so, let's say). Only downside is that it keeps all these issues alive for another biennium, but then that would no doubt be the case anyway.

Then there were the resolutions asking bishops to refrain from disciplining pastors in same sex relationships. That one, ilf the Memorials Committee has its way, will be referred to the Council of Bishops as part of an "en bloc" motion. Not a bad idea either, though I must admit I think it would be better to substitute a resolution asking bishops to fulfill their constitutional duties for a change.

All in all, it sounds like there may some interest in allowing plenty of time for the election of a presiding bishop and secretary. If we can put off the sexuality trainwreck another two years, that would probably be a salutary thing.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 24, 2007, 05:10:11 PM
Our esteemed moderator writes:
If we can put off the sexuality trainwreck another two years, that would probably be a salutary thing.

I comment:
There is no certainty that it will be a "trainwreck," either this year or two years from now.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Maryland Brian on July 24, 2007, 05:20:01 PM
I comment:
There is no certainty that it will be a "trainwreck," either this year or two years from now.

True enough.  It might be possible to take the same path as TEC and PCUSA and UCC and not lose congregations, financial support, and ecumenical contacts outside US based mainlines.  Indeed, we could drive this train just like these other denominations and not find ourselves hurtling into the trees.  It could happen.  It could. ...  now, if I can only find a start to wish upon ...

Maryland Brian
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 24, 2007, 05:25:24 PM
Ah, the ever-positive and hopeful Maryland Brian! The man with the crystal ball. The one who writes off ELCA in evangelism, ethics, parish structure, and leadership. We won't need "wishing on a star," we will need people willing to work and pray and worship and serve together through our disagreements with a sense of hope (even when the situation looks hopeless) and a commitment to be together in the body of Christ, rather than having the arm hacking away at the leg.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Maryland Brian on July 24, 2007, 05:34:34 PM
Ah, the ever-positive and hopeful Maryland Brian! The man with the crystal ball.

  There's a great book you might want to add to your reading list for the summer.  I was fortunate to meet the author (Dr. Henry Cloud) at a retreat last fall.  He's also written a number of great books about boundaries, but his latest is, "Integrity, the Courage to Face Reality."

Sounds like the memorials committee might have read it too.

Maryland Brian
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on July 24, 2007, 05:41:56 PM
This proposal, if adopted, would essentially put off any substantive change in either area until 2009.

Is prolonging the angst a good thing?

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: FrostyPastor on July 25, 2007, 10:54:21 AM
Among the suggestions coming out of Lutheran CORE prior to this spring/summer round of synod assemblies was the reccommendation to wait for 2009 and the hopefully completed social statement on human sexuality believing that, perhaps, there maybe some foundational basis there for deciding these questions, again, if we weren't done with them in 2005.

Curiously, here in Northeastern Penn, the synod assembly approved, barely - a low 50's majority, the first "Good Soil" resolution but also approved, significantly - nearly two-thirds - the Lutheran CORE "wait" resolution.

I'm hopeful that the two additonal years might be a good thing.

Mike Frost
Zion's Stone Church,
Schuylkill County, PA
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Maryland Brian on July 25, 2007, 01:11:22 PM

I'm hopeful that the two additonal years might be a good thing.

Mike Frost
Zion's Stone Church,
Schuylkill County, PA

 I'm not sure two years will reframe the issues any more clearly or keep us from leaving the same rails of just about all the other mainlines (train wreck reference), but if it can happen, it will allow us two more years of ministry and mission before the "decision" must be made.  Sometimes buying time can be helpful.  I see the memorial committee's actions - as reported by Richard Johnson - to fully understand what's at risk right now in our life together.

Maryland Brian
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Dave_Poedel on July 25, 2007, 05:04:19 PM
I searched the website of the CWA in vain for a list of resolutions to be presented to the Assembly.  I received an email from the ELCA News about it, but found only the resolutions forwarded by the Synod Assemblies.

Is the  final edition of the resolutions completed and available yet?  I hope to follow the CWA as many from the ELCA folk on this board followed the LCMS one...on streaming video.

Actually, Charles, I pray for the ELCA on a very regular basis....we share a name, and many of my in-laws are members of ELCA congregations, and I meet with an ELCA Pastor each week for prayer.  I pray that the ELCA turns ever so slightly (OK, more than that) to the right...towards the middle.....and together may we meet at the Cross!

Dave
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: mchristi on July 25, 2007, 06:29:08 PM
Dave (and any others) the report of the Memorials Committee can be found, as a PDF, at http://www.elca.org/assembly/votingmatters/ReportoftheMemorialsCommittee.pdf.  Some background on the process can be seen at http://www.elca.org/assembly/votingmatters/Memorials&Resolutions.html.

There are a few other items that come from ELCA leadership under "Recomendations" on http://www.elca.org/assembly/votingmatters/

Hope that helps.

Mark C.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Dave_Poedel on July 25, 2007, 09:41:45 PM
Thanks, Mark.  I found that one, but I guess I need to read it again.  Do the "model resolutions" get presented to the voters?  Do Floor Committees percolate them into those presented?  I need to do some reading to understand the process in the ELCA.  Thanks again.

Dave
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: mchristi on July 26, 2007, 11:32:28 AM
Thanks, Mark.  I found that one, but I guess I need to read it again.  Do the "model resolutions" get presented to the voters?  Do Floor Committees percolate them into those presented?  I need to do some reading to understand the process in the ELCA.  Thanks again.

The memorials passed by synod assemblies are categorized into that Memorials Committee Report.  The recommendations of that committee are what is on the floor, although those can be amended, substituted, and so forth.  When numerous versions of a resolution arrive, they present a "model" and indicate its variations, as you have no doubt seen.

Voting members also have the opportunity at the assembly to present resolutions on items not already on the agenda.  They need a certain number of signatures to present the resolution.  There is a reference and council committee that will deal with them.  I'm not entirely sure what you mean by a "Floor Committee."  There are no topical committees like one finds in legislatures that deal with resolutions before going to the assembly floor.

Does that help?  I try to understand the process through reading and observation, but I've never been directly involved with it as a voting member.  Maybe someone who has can add (or subtract) something here.

Mark C.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 26, 2007, 11:35:21 AM
Were I a gambling man, I would bet a dinner at a Chicago steakhouse that there is a strong effort to bring those memorials to the floor of the Assembly.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: BeornBjornson on July 26, 2007, 06:31:51 PM
Not that much of a gamble actually.  It can be pretty well expected that GoodSoil/LCNA voting members will make the attempt.  THe question will be how the "muddled middle" (folks who are neither GoodSoil/LCNA leaning nor Lutheran CORE/WordAlone leaning) interpret the effort to bring these before the CWA.  They may see such action as "divisive" and (depending on the emotion level of the GoodSoil supporters) see it as "not nice."  They may catch the nervous anxiety of the ELCA's leadership and seize the opportunity to move the issue down the road and let the Sexuality Studies Task Force and the 2009 CWA deal with it.   Or they may "cry havoc and let loose the dogs of church conflict" setting synod against synod and division within synods and the ELCA's financial and numerical shrinkage will take a critical turn for the worse.  It won't be Ragnarok yet or dissolution of the ELCA but it will prompt a sharp backlash in and from conservative synods like Northeast Iowa and the ELCA's Churchwide pocketbook will take a very sharp hit.
Ken Kimball
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 26, 2007, 11:05:39 PM
It's "cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war." from Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare.

CMA
Once an English major, always an English major.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on July 27, 2007, 07:40:51 AM
well, Charles, that depends on the translation/paraphrase you are using of Willy...  some feel that the term SLIP today has slide in sense with some feminine undercurrents, and would much prefer the more modern and loose translation, especially those who have some knowledge in the NT canon and enjoy the way it often slips in the way it translates OT verses....   also noticed that you used double quote marks and the proper English fashion is single with double within, this side of the pond we use double, single within...   always an American English writer... duh...  Harvey Mozolak



It's "cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war." from Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare.

CMA
Once an English major, always an English major.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: BeornBjornson on July 27, 2007, 09:51:50 AM
From one English major to another: thank you Pastor Austin for the correction.  Of course, I was already taking liberties by exchanging "church conflict" for "war" but nonetheless I tip my hat to your superior recollection of the Bard. 

Ken Kimball 
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: ptmccain on July 27, 2007, 08:11:01 PM
Plus, if you are not confident of the outcome of a vote, it is always better to delay it and build more support for it. In my view of things, the conclusion on this issue is inevitable and, as I've said before, by virtue of full communion with church bodies that have an "open" position on homosexuality in the ranks of its clergy, the ELCA is already supporting the position. After all the agreement with the ECUSA requires the ELCA to receive all the ECUSA bishops as fully legitimate, so, de facto, the ELCA already has its first "openly" homosexual bishop, boyfriend and all.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: BeornBjornson on July 27, 2007, 08:25:03 PM
Paul,
The "inevitable" thing is Jesus' victory and final appearing.  I'm sick to death of being told (and I'm not jumping on you here) that the pro-glbt thing is inevitable for the ELCA (and not just the ELCA but for our whole culture, the world, blah, blah).   I seem to recall that the 1,000 Year Reich whose victory was "inevitable" lasted 13 years.  Then there was the inevitable Marxist victory of the dictatorship of the proletariat blah blah blah...the Wall came down.  There were times when a Confederate victory and continuation and expansion of slavery seemed inevitable too...then came Grant and Sherman.  Writing as an orthodox-conservative ELCA pastor, I am not conceding inevitable nothing to the revisionists.  Seems to me that Churchill had some pertinent things to say about those calling for surrender to the inevitable.  Sometimes you just have to keep on fighting...better to fail in a cause that will ultimately succeed than to succeed in a cause that will ultimately fail. 

Even more to the point: just how inevitable did Arianism appear as the future of the Church in the 4th century?  We need to follow Athanasius' example and be prepared to persevere for the long term.  There have been other dark times for the church. 

Pastor Ken Kimball
Member of Lutheran Coalition for Reform Steering Committee
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 27, 2007, 11:05:31 PM
Pastor McCain writes:
n my view of things, the conclusion on this issue is inevitable and, as I've said before, by virtue of full communion with church bodies that have an "open" position on homosexuality in the ranks of its clergy, the ELCA is already supporting the position.

I comment:
You are wrong. The fellowship agreement does not bind us or them to accept the disciplinary procedures of the other church body except when an ordained person in that church body receives a call in the other. Please have the courtesy not to declare your "view of things" on our ecumenical agreements when it is clear you do not understand them and willfully misinterpret them.

Pastor McCain continues the misinterpretation and error:
After all the agreement with the ECUSA requires the ELCA to receive all the ECUSA bishops as fully legitimate, so, de facto, the ELCA already has its first "openly" homosexual bishop, boyfriend and all.

I explain:
No. We have no standing to question the legitimacy of Bishop Robinson's ministry within the Episcopal Church. But, according to our present rules, he would not be able to receive a call to an ELCA parish. Your ignorance of our ecumenical documents and how they were developed and are practiced is so stunning that I suggest you restrain your desire to interpret our documents to us and to others here. And the snippy comment, "boyfriend and all," is another example of how you are unable to engage in polite conversation on this subject.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: ptmccain on July 28, 2007, 07:56:06 AM
Paul,
The "inevitable" thing is Jesus' victory and final appearing.  I'm sick to death of being told (and I'm not jumping on you here) that the pro-glbt thing is inevitable for the ELCA (and not just the ELCA but for our whole culture, the world, blah, blah).   I seem to recall that the 1,000 Year Reich whose victory was "inevitable" lasted 13 years.  Then there was the inevitable Marxist victory of the dictatorship of the proletariat blah blah blah...the Wall came down.  There were times when a Confederate victory and continuation and expansion of slavery seemed inevitable too...then came Grant and Sherman.  Writing as an orthodox-conservative ELCA pastor, I am not conceding inevitable nothing to the revisionists.  Seems to me that Churchill had some pertinent things to say about those calling for surrender to the inevitable.  Sometimes you just have to keep on fighting...better to fail in a cause that will ultimately succeed than to succeed in a cause that will ultimately fail. 

Even more to the point: just how inevitable did Arianism appear as the future of the Church in the 4th century?  We need to follow Athanasius' example and be prepared to persevere for the long term.  There have been other dark times for the church. 

Pastor Ken Kimball
Member of Lutheran Coalition for Reform Steering Committee


Ken, well said! I stand corrected. You are right that it is tempting always to assume that nothing will improve or get better. Thanks for your post. And blessings on your efforts!
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: ptmccain on July 28, 2007, 08:52:54 AM
One wonders though if the churchwide assembly will take any disciplinary action against the bishops of the ELCA, like Payne, who are in violation of its position on same-sex unions, etc. It seems ELCA bishops are increasingly willing to take actions in spite of what the Assembly does, or does not, do.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Gladfelteri on July 28, 2007, 08:59:01 AM
One wonders though if the churchwide assembly will take any disciplinary action against the bishops of the ELCA, like Payne, who are in violation of its position on same-sex unions, etc. It seems ELCA bishops are increasingly willing to take actions in spite of what the Assembly does, or does not, do.
As an observer, I wonder if there is any pressure (perhaps that is too strong a word) - an impetus  -  from inside or outside the ELCA - to get in line with the position on openly gay clergy and same-sex unions held by Churches with which the ELCA is in full communion / pulpit and altar fellowship (like TEC and the USS) in order to preserve or at least to put as few strains as possible on those  full communion agreements?  That is, could "loyalty and solidarity" factor in here below the surface in addition to the convictions of many in the ELCA who are convinced that what TEC and the UCC has done and are doing in this area are correct?
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: ptmccain on July 28, 2007, 09:21:06 AM
One wonders though if the churchwide assembly will take any disciplinary action against the bishops of the ELCA, like Payne, who are in violation of its position on same-sex unions, etc. It seems ELCA bishops are increasingly willing to take actions in spite of what the Assembly does, or does not, do.
As an observer, I wonder if there is any pressure (perhaps that is too strong a word) - an impetus  -  from inside or outside the ELCA - to get in line with the position on openly gay clergy and same-sex unions held by Churches with which the ELCA is in full communion / pulpit and altar fellowship (like TEC and the USS) in order to preserve or at least to put as few strains as possible on those  full communion agreements?  That is, could "loyalty and solidarity" factor in here below the surface in addition to the convictions of many in the ELCA who are convinced that what TEC and the UCC has done and are doing in this area are correct?

You may be right Irl.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Maryland Brian on July 28, 2007, 09:41:51 AM
Even more to the point: just how inevitable did Arianism appear as the future of the Church in the 4th century?  We need to follow Athanasius' example and be prepared to persevere for the long term.  There have been other dark times for the church. 

  Point well taken.  Look at the leadership that's being provided by the Orthodox, RC and Global South Anglicans during these days.

I think we can also watch how we define "the church" during these times.  Perhaps we may discover "the church" is much larger than the ELCA and, as such, time will tell if that particular institutional expression will be remembered as part of the problem or part of the solution.

Maryland Brian
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: peter_speckhard on July 28, 2007, 09:48:55 AM

Quote
The purpose of the private message system regarding personal issues is not to attack anyone. Intense disagreements and personal arguments have a better chance of being resolved in private and do not need to derail the discussions. It is not fair to post the content of private messages here without getting both parties' consent and/or running it past the moderator. If you want the moderator to do something, please ask directly via the private messaging system rather than publicly. I've already seen some of these exchanges in that way.

I've removed two recent post that disclosed, in a very selective and misleading way, the contents of private exchanges via the personal messaging system.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on July 28, 2007, 10:27:13 AM
As greatly as I might disagree with Charles Austin many times and as sympathetic as I have been often to what ptmccain (Paul?) often writes about theology... there is something, maybe privately certainly publicly, poisoned about the e-air these days on ALPB Form online discussion.  Here I wrestle because this sounds xenophobic, but has there been a whole lot of new names/voices in the last few months get very active at least on the conservative side?  The more liberal side seems to have the same old couple of names.   Is there any sense in which the play has developed... let’s see if we can win by piling on people rather than tackling issues?    I said it a few weeks ago before I was on a week’s vacation and having returned and just quickly read and scanned scores of postings...  camps have become fortresses, discussion points shaped into missile heads lobbed...   And there are also just too many now even to read, topics and postings on the topics...  maybe this one also... a critical mass is forming...  and animosity begets animosity, I feel it now as a pox on everybody....  Someone advised that if we wait and ignore, some of the gore will shrink away...  But then I/we have lost a thoughtful form meanwhile.     Harvey Mozolak
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 28, 2007, 01:21:35 PM
One wonders though if the churchwide assembly will take any disciplinary action against the bishops of the ELCA, like Payne, who are in violation of its position on same-sex unions, etc. It seems ELCA bishops are increasingly willing to take actions in spite of what the Assembly does, or does not, do.

The churchwide assembly has no constitutional role to play in any disciplinary action. The very most they could do would be to express their disapproval, but that isn't likely to happen.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: peter_speckhard on July 28, 2007, 01:56:42 PM
As greatly as I might disagree with Charles Austin many times and as sympathetic as I have been often to what ptmccain (Paul?) often writes about theology... there is something, maybe privately certainly publicly, poisoned about the e-air these days on ALPB Form online discussion.  Here I wrestle because this sounds xenophobic, but has there been a whole lot of new names/voices in the last few months get very active at least on the conservative side?  The more liberal side seems to have the same old couple of names.   Is there any sense in which the play has developed... let’s see if we can win by piling on people rather than tackling issues?    I said it a few weeks ago before I was on a week’s vacation and having returned and just quickly read and scanned scores of postings...  camps have become fortresses, discussion points shaped into missile heads lobbed...   And there are also just too many now even to read, topics and postings on the topics...  maybe this one also... a critical mass is forming...  and animosity begets animosity, I feel it now as a pox on everybody....  Someone advised that if we wait and ignore, some of the gore will shrink away...  But then I/we have lost a thoughtful form meanwhile.     Harvey Mozolak
Harvey, your sense is one I share-- the two conventions happening in the same summer, plus a lot of new people here lately (which is good), plus a lot of contentious issues have made for a tremendous amount of honest, substantive and often pointed discussion here, but it has a tendency to become nasty at times. This turns off the lurkers, new folks, and people who might want to post something but don't want to get into a heated argument. So, sarcasm when it is all in good fun, but otherwise respectful disagreement. My ability to keep my new moderator powers from going to my head is being sorely tested as I'm in a bad mood anyway, having lost five consecutive family games of CandyLand after playing on a new board in which all the stuff is renamed from when I was a kid (which grinds my conservative gears), not once drawing Queen Frostine, and enduring a two-year-old who has somehow learned to gloat. Stupid game, it's all luck anyway...   
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: scott3 on July 28, 2007, 02:02:43 PM
Stupid game, it's all luck anyway...   

Keep telling yourself that.  My nemesis is Cooties...
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: ptmccain on July 28, 2007, 02:34:37 PM
As greatly as I might disagree with Charles Austin many times and as sympathetic as I have been often to what ptmccain (Paul?) often writes about theology... there is something, maybe privately certainly publicly, poisoned about the e-air these days on ALPB Form online discussion.  Here I wrestle because this sounds xenophobic, but has there been a whole lot of new names/voices in the last few months get very active at least on the conservative side?  The more liberal side seems to have the same old couple of names.   Is there any sense in which the play has developed... let’s see if we can win by piling on people rather than tackling issues?    I said it a few weeks ago before I was on a week’s vacation and having returned and just quickly read and scanned scores of postings...  camps have become fortresses, discussion points shaped into missile heads lobbed...   And there are also just too many now even to read, topics and postings on the topics...  maybe this one also... a critical mass is forming...  and animosity begets animosity, I feel it now as a pox on everybody....  Someone advised that if we wait and ignore, some of the gore will shrink away...  But then I/we have lost a thoughtful form meanwhile.     Harvey Mozolak
Harvey, your sense is one I share-- the two conventions happening in the same summer, plus a lot of new people here lately (which is good), plus a lot of contentious issues have made for a tremendous amount of honest, substantive and often pointed discussion here, but it has a tendency to become nasty at times. This turns off the lurkers, new folks, and people who might want to post something but don't want to get into a heated argument. So, sarcasm when it is all in good fun, but otherwise respectful disagreement. My ability to keep my new moderator powers from going to my head is being sorely tested as I'm in a bad mood anyway, having lost five consecutive family games of CandyLand after playing on a new board in which all the stuff is renamed from when I was a kid (which grinds my conservative gears), not once drawing Queen Frostine, and enduring a two-year-old who has somehow learned to gloat. Stupid game, it's all luck anyway...   

Losing at Candyland is indeed a crushing blow to one's sense of self-worth, but you can always project the fatherly, "Of course I let you win" smile.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Maryland Brian on July 28, 2007, 03:00:50 PM
The churchwide assembly has no constitutional role to play in any disciplinary action. The very most they could do would be to express their disapproval, but that isn't likely to happen.

  Coming home from a hospital visit this afternoon another thought struck me: Symbolic statements (as seemingly intended by the on-site communion service) also have micro communication aspects.  I'm thinking the real damage will not be limited to this assembly, but to the relationships within the HOB.  What message will be left with the retiring bishop of the Atlanta area?  Or what will be the state of  relationship between Bishop Payne and the newly elected one?  Bishop Payne's actions are not limited to simple support of a recently defrocked pastor.  She is communicating a slap across the face to the Bishop who felt compelled to file that disciplinary action and who no doubt endured the kind and gentle ministrations of the advocates. 

  This is exactly the same trajectory we have observed in TEC - broken relationships at the core leadership level of their church.  And with Bishop Payne's public action, it will signal we are on the very same course.  I am sure no disciplinary action will be filed against her.  OTOH, I would think even the most causal observer would have to agree her actions will negatively impact relationships within the HOB.

And maybe that's the point.  It doesn't matter who gets hurt as long as the advocates win.

Maryland Brian
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: scott3 on July 28, 2007, 03:40:15 PM
I am sure no disciplinary action will be filed against her. 

Just since I don't know, how would one go about filing for disciplinary action against a bishop in the ELCA?  Can a congregation or a pastor do it?
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 28, 2007, 03:42:38 PM
I am sure no disciplinary action will be filed against her. 

Just since I don't know, how would one go about filing for disciplinary action against a bishop in the ELCA?  Can a congregation or a pastor do it?

It appears to me that charges could be filed by ten pastors on the roster of that bishop's synod, or by the presiding bishop.

Ain't gonna happen.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Maryland Brian on July 28, 2007, 03:49:12 PM
It appears to me that charges could be filed by ten pastors on the roster of that bishop's synod, or by the presiding bishop.

Ain't gonna happen.

 Filing charges against one's bishop.... I think we'd call that a career ender.  Hmm .. what about a group of retired bishops?

MD Brian
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 28, 2007, 04:22:29 PM
It appears to me that charges could be filed by ten pastors on the roster of that bishop's synod, or by the presiding bishop.

Ain't gonna happen.

 Filing charges against one's bishop.... I think we'd call that a career ender.  Hmm .. what about a group of retired bishops?

MD Brian

Nope. Only if they are on that synod's roster.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: navyman on July 30, 2007, 02:00:13 PM
Were I a gambling man, I would bet a dinner at a Chicago steakhouse that there is a strong effort to bring those memorials to the floor of the Assembly.

I wish it would Charles, and be done with it once an for all.  Then we can all answer, our we for Scripture and the true teachings of God's Word, or are we just going to throw our arms up and say Scripture doesn't apply to us, as we have done before, with CCM, as well as the Augsburg Confession.

As Luther stated, we base every doctrine on Scripture proofs.  Where is the Scripture proofs for these actions?  I just wish they would put it up for a ChurchWide Vote period, World Wide, and be done with it.  I think the whole issue would be dropped period.  However, this will never happened, the whole issue has gone beyond reason!

There is nothing in Scripture that supports going against Scripture, and its teachings, no matter how enlightened a person is.  Get Along Faithfully, correct - Love the Sinner, hate the sin!  Be a repentant Sinner, or an Unrepentant Sinner, be ungoldy and immoral, or repentant and turn away from immorality, and perversion!

Don Whitbeck
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Deb_H. on July 30, 2007, 08:01:25 PM
Were I a gambling man, I would bet a dinner at a Chicago steakhouse that there is a strong effort to bring those memorials to the floor of the Assembly.

I wish it would Charles, and be done with it once an for all. 

When those memorials come to the floor in Chicago next week (and they will, at least one if not all three), it would certainly be nice if the assembly could vote on them and "be done with it once an[d] for all."  That will happen only if the assembly votes to bless same sex unions and ordain practicing homosexuals.  Anything short of that, and especially any sort of no vote, will just cause them to ramp up for the next assembly. 

Interesting thing in assembly votes -- a yes is a yes, and there's no going back to review it afterward (we voted, and it's a done deal, lets move on!), but a no is never truly heard as a no, only a "not this time."  Things that are voted down can always come back again, and do, and this one always will, until there is a yes vote.  They've said as much themselves.  So now or later, there will be a  yes on this issue.  The only hope for the ELCA is that before that happens, the assembly first votes to give congregations and synods the ability to ratify any constitutional changes made by the churchwide assembly (something they've already said no to several times, because the congregations might "get it wrong"). 

Debbie
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: ptmccain on July 30, 2007, 08:12:34 PM
Bishops are called to lead, not to stand by and "moderate" floor debates. If Bishop Hanson is in fact opposed to the ordination of homosexuals and marriage of the same, or, he should boldly call for it. I'm not impressed by the game-playing and posturing that takes the form of "we need to agree to disagree" which is simply a way to push the issue ahead that you are favor or, but don't have the courage to speak for.

The pro-homosexual forces should be invited, then made, to leave the ELCA and found their own organization where they can practice whatever they wish.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 30, 2007, 10:36:50 PM
Pastor McCain writes:
The pro-homosexual forces should be invited, then made, to leave the ELCA and found their own organization where they can practice whatever they wish.

I comment:
That is not the way we do things in the ELCA. We even have people in the ELCA who are still "Missourian" in their outlook on some things. We do not make them leave.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Eric_Swensson on July 31, 2007, 02:17:41 PM
Pastor McCain writes:
The pro-homosexual forces should be invited, then made, to leave the ELCA and found their own organization where they can practice whatever they wish.

I comment:
That is not the way we do things in the ELCA. We even have people in the ELCA who are still "Missourian" in their outlook on some things. We do not make them leave.

That is right, the ELCA does not make anyone leave, people do it on their own:

 "ELCA Membership Drops 1.6 Percent to 4.8 Million in 2006"

(http://www.elca.org/ScriptLib/CO/ELCA_News/encArticleList.asp?article=3641).

The WordAlone Board site has someone's analysis with some charts http://www.wordalone.org/docs/time-for-change.shtml showing how the exodus picked up steam under Mark Hanson.

BTW, Charles, could you explain your words, "We even have people in the ELCA who are still "Missourian" in their outlook on some things. We do not make them leave." What does it mean "to be Missourian in outlook"?
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Kurt Strause on July 31, 2007, 04:18:51 PM
Interesting thing in assembly votes -- a yes is a yes, and there's no going back to review it afterward (we voted, and it's a done deal, lets move on!), but a no is never truly heard as a no, only a "not this time." 

Not quite true. CCM was definitely a yes. Two years later we passed a "yes, but..." A characteristic of our polity, for better or worse,is that each biennial is a self-contained and essentially autonomous entity. The next assembly can, if votes are sufficient, overturn a previous assembly's action.

Kurt Strause
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 31, 2007, 04:19:00 PM
Eric asks:
What does it mean "to be Missourian in outlook"?

I answer:
It means when they look out their windows, they see a river running between Iowa and Nebraska.  ;D ;D









There are people in the ELCA, some of them with roots in the LC-MS, who tend to view certain things more like the way those things are viewed in that church body than in the ALC, LCA or ELCA. But surely you knew that.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 31, 2007, 04:21:51 PM
There are people in the ELCA, some of them with roots in the LC-MS, who tend to view certain things more like the way those things are viewed in that church body than in the ALC, LCA or ELCA. But surely you knew that.

Gee, and I've always been under the impression that the "former Missourians" in the ELCA have often been among the most activist in their pushing for change in a whole variety of areas.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 31, 2007, 04:24:52 PM
Maryland Brian writes (re the concern about the alleged violations about to be committed by Bishop Payne):
Filing charges against one's bishop.... I think we'd call that a career ender.

I comment:
But if it's for the sake of the true Gospel, would this matter? Do we value our careers above the truth?
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Eric_Swensson on July 31, 2007, 05:06:04 PM
Eric asks:
What does it mean "to be Missourian in outlook"?

I answer:
It means when they look out their windows, they see a river running between Iowa and Nebraska.  ;D ;D

There are people in the ELCA, some of them with roots in the LC-MS, who tend to view certain things more like the way those things are viewed in that church body than in the ALC, LCA or ELCA. But surely you knew that.

Of course, but that is no explanation, or at least it doesn't address how you meant it in that exchange with Pr McCain. One such interpretation, based on your repeated pattern of hostility to the LC-MS, is that you were making an inference that was an ad hominem at Pastor McCain and  a swipe at Missouri.

I just got back from Brasil where I attended the 11th International Luther Congress at Canoas. LCMS academics are received with honor there. Robert Kolb gave one of the best received keynotes, even with his being the only one gven by video link. When you said you were off down to SA I thought I might see you there. 

Imagine my surprise when you replied to the first post I made in two weeks , and that just to correct a typo. I guess it's "Welcome Back..."

I was glad to hear from our new moderator that we are going to make this a less onerous place for the sake of the visitors. How about it?
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: ptmccain on July 31, 2007, 05:13:52 PM
The prospectus of Concordia Publishing House's twenty volume extension of the American Edition was a particularly big hit at the conference.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 31, 2007, 05:41:00 PM
Eric includes in a comment a reference to:

based on your (that is "my" ) repeated pattern of hostility to the LC-MS,

I object:
Wrong! I have no "hostility" towards the LC-MS! I have high regard for the kind of churchmanship that I have seen among LC-MS people; and some of the best things about the parish where I am interim are due to their LC-MS background.
I do think the LC-MS is wrong about some things (as is the ELCA). And some LC-MS members and defenders are a mite too self-righteous for my taste. I also don't understand some of the developments in that church body over the past 15+ years.
But I'm not "hostile." They are fellow Lutherans and fellow members of the body of Christ. I have preached and presided in LC-MS churches and LC-MS clergy have been in my church.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Mike Bennett on July 31, 2007, 06:02:29 PM
The prospectus of Concordia Publishing House's twenty volume extension of the American Edition was a particularly big hit at the conference.

Say what?

And when will the Logos version be available?

Mike Bennett
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: ROB_MOSKOWITZ on July 31, 2007, 09:42:49 PM
Eric includes in a comment a reference to:

based on your (that is "my" ) repeated pattern of hostility to the LC-MS,

I object:
Wrong! I have no "hostility" towards the LC-MS! I have high regard for the kind of churchmanship that I have seen among LC-MS people; and some of the best things about the parish where I am interim are due to their LC-MS background.
I do think the LC-MS is wrong about some things (as is the ELCA). And some LC-MS members and defenders are a mite too self-righteous for my taste. I also don't understand some of the developments in that church body over the past 15+ years.
But I'm not "hostile." They are fellow Lutherans and fellow members of the body of Christ. I have preached and presided in LC-MS churches and LC-MS clergy have been in my church.
I think you proved Eric's point.

Rob Moskowitz
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Charles_Austin on August 01, 2007, 05:33:22 AM
Rob Moskowitz writes (re my intended-to-be-kind words about the LC-MS):
I think you proved Eric's point.

I wonder:
How? Eric accused me of being "hostile" to the LC-MS. I strongly object to this characterization of my views and I explained that I consider people in the LC-MS fellow Lutherans and fellow members of the Body of Christ (though I find the words and tactics of some of them unpleasant), and that I have a high regard for many aspect of the LC-MS (though I think it wrong on some matters.) If an LC-MS congregation invites me to preach, I accept; and if I were to do so, I would not use the occasion to point out how I think they are wrong. How is this being "hostile"?
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Eric_Swensson on August 01, 2007, 09:12:08 AM
Eric includes in a comment a reference to:

based on your (that is "my" ) repeated pattern of hostility to the LC-MS,

I object:
Wrong! I have no "hostility" towards the LC-MS! I have high regard for the kind of churchmanship that I have seen among LC-MS people; and some of the best things about the parish where I am interim are due to their LC-MS background.
I do think the LC-MS is wrong about some things (as is the ELCA). And some LC-MS members and defenders are a mite too self-righteous for my taste. I also don't understand some of the developments in that church body over the past 15+ years.
But I'm not "hostile." They are fellow Lutherans and fellow members of the body of Christ. I have preached and presided in LC-MS churches and LC-MS clergy have been in my church.

Charles, my use of the word "hostile" is based on my interpretation of the words you write in this forum and nothing else, so you can say that over the years you do this and that, and you can attempt to explain your actual understanding, but if you do not think that you come across as  hostile that is puzzling. A more plausible explanation for your reaction is that you don't like being called on it. Why not take a poll?

Anyway, perhaps it is me that is being hostile--hostile to the prejudice that is easily seeen in many people in the ELCA against LC-MS, branding them as theological neanderthals, as anri-woman, close-minded becasue of closed-communion. Whereas some embrace ambiguity as a general theological good, yet cannot grant an even-handed disposition toward people of other denominations, well, what can we say?

I do not wish to argue about anything today. I am reflecting on the research we mulled over in our seminar. A young Finn, Jussi Koivisto, wrote a paper on Luther's view of doctrine and life in the 1535 Galatians commentary. Luther believed that when it came to doctrine we must be 100% committed to truth about the divine doctrine concerning faith, cling to that in hope, but when it comes to love, in that theological virtue we must be generous, bearing the burden of others, including those who would sin against us.

So here we are today. Those who are committed to traditional Lutheran doctrine are judged as close-minded, those who would change the doctrine to be accepting are judged as "the way to go."
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Charles_Austin on August 01, 2007, 11:09:21 PM
Eric writes:
So here we are today. Those who are committed to traditional Lutheran doctrine are judged as close-minded, those who would change the doctrine to be accepting are judged as "the way to go."

I comment:
But Eric. I am committed to traditional Lutheran doctrine.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: navyman on August 04, 2007, 12:58:09 PM
Eric writes:
So here we are today. Those who are committed to traditional Lutheran doctrine are judged as close-minded, those who would change the doctrine to be accepting are judged as "the way to go."

I comment:
But Eric. I am committed to traditional Lutheran doctrine.

Charles, with all do respect, which one are you committed to?  Liberal, Revisionist, moderate or Traditionalist.  I don't think any Traditional Lutheran is for gay ordination, or acceptance of Glory Theology, or thowing away the Lutheran Confessions, for CCM, as well as Scripture, as we have done in the ELCA!  However, I should say many pew members and Pastors don't believe or follow gay acceptance as non-sin, and deserves special treatment.  I think Luther's statement on perversion still stands, as well as Scripture, no matter what humankind says!  God's Law still stands, as well as preaching the true Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Regards!

Don
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Charles_Austin on August 04, 2007, 03:56:43 PM
Eric writes, when I say I am committed to traditional Lutheran doctrine:
Charles, with all do (sic) respect, which one are you committed to?  Liberal, Revisionist, moderate or Traditionalist.  I don't think any Traditional Lutheran is for gay ordination, or acceptance of Glory Theology, or thowing away the Lutheran Confessions, for CCM, as well as Scripture, as we have done in the ELCA!

I respond:
Again, you seem to want to define "traditional Lutheran doctrine" in your way.  Well, I think traditional Lutheran doctrine can embrace a lot of (but perhaps not all) of those things. And I certainly do not agree that the ELCA has thrown away the confessions or scripture.  If you believe it has, well, then ....
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: BeornBjornson on August 04, 2007, 05:11:58 PM
Well then...stay and fight to uphold Scripture and the Confessions for the sake of the majority of ELCA laity and congregations that remain traditional and orthodox, just as Eric and many others have been and continue to do!
Ken Kimball
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Charles_Austin on August 04, 2007, 05:47:51 PM
Someone writes:
Well then...stay and fight to uphold Scripture and the Confessions for the sake of the majority of ELCA laity and congregations that remain traditional and orthodox, just as Eric and many others have been and continue to do!

I comment:
There's that "fight" language again. Why does it have to be "fight"? I intend to stay in the ELCA and preach and proclaim the Gospel based on scripture and live within a church shaped by the Lutheran Confessions (and some other stuff). But I do not do so "for the sake of the majority of ELCA laity and congregations," nor is it for any minority. It is for the sake of the Gospel. And let us also be clear; It may be that the ways some of us lift up the Gospel (not "fighting" but proclaiming) and "do church" based on the Lutheran confessions are not exactly the same ways that Eric and some others choose.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Eric_Swensson on August 04, 2007, 05:52:04 PM
Eric writes, when I say I am committed to traditional Lutheran doctrine:
Charles, with all do (sic) respect, which one are you committed to?  Liberal, Revisionist, moderate or Traditionalist.  I don't think any Traditional Lutheran is for gay ordination, or acceptance of Glory Theology, or thowing away the Lutheran Confessions, for CCM, as well as Scripture, as we have done in the ELCA!

I respond:
Again, you seem to want to define "traditional Lutheran doctrine" in your way.  Well, I think traditional Lutheran doctrine can embrace a lot of (but perhaps not all) of those things. And I certainly do not agree that the ELCA has thrown away the confessions or scripture.  If you believe it has, well, then ....

Charles, Don wrote that, not me-. I do wish you would read things more carefully. I decided to let your description of yourself as "traditional Lutheran" go by without comment. 
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Eric_Swensson on August 04, 2007, 05:54:03 PM
Someone writes:
Well then...stay and fight to uphold Scripture and the Confessions for the sake of the majority of ELCA laity and congregations that remain traditional and orthodox, just as Eric and many others have been and continue to do!

I comment:
There's that "fight" language again. Why does it have to be "fight"? I intend to stay in the ELCA and preach and proclaim the Gospel based on scripture and live within a church shaped by the Lutheran Confessions (and some other stuff). But I do not do so "for the sake of the majority of ELCA laity and congregations," nor is it for any minority. It is for the sake of the Gospel. And let us also be clear; It may be that the ways some of us lift up the Gospel (not "fighting" but proclaiming) and "do church" based on the Lutheran confessions are not exactly the same ways that Eric and some others choose.

 "...live within a church shaped by the Lutheran Confessions (and some other stuff)." LOL! What other stuff?
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 04, 2007, 06:33:43 PM
"...live within a church shaped by the Lutheran Confessions (and some other stuff)." LOL! What other stuff?
The Constitution and Bylaws of the ELCA, one's synod, and one's congregation -- and the common confession of faith included in each of those.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Eric_Swensson on August 04, 2007, 07:45:42 PM
"...live within a church shaped by the Lutheran Confessions (and some other stuff)." LOL! What other stuff?
The Constitution and Bylaws of the ELCA, one's synod, and one's congregation -- and the common confession of faith included in each of those.

LOL! What, did Charles text message the answer to you?

I think what Charles meant by "stuff" did include that but it also meant " a lot of stuff" another way of saying that could be "the world". See, as you all know, we are informed by many things, from ur parents and teachers and peers to where we go for our news. It becomes a problem when the world trumps Scripture. Now, no one thinks that they are guilty of this, but it is apparent to others, and boy is it apparent in the issue of human sexuality.  What Don was asking Charles is 'How can you call yourself traditional if you write as you do on these issues?"

Anyone can jump in here, Brian included, but we'll be awaaiting Charles, who must be at some fine Chicago eatery (we will no doubt hear his menu choices).  :D
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Keith Falk on August 04, 2007, 10:44:00 PM
Someone writes:
Well then...stay and fight to uphold Scripture and the Confessions for the sake of the majority of ELCA laity and congregations that remain traditional and orthodox, just as Eric and many others have been and continue to do!

I comment:
There's that "fight" language again. Why does it have to be "fight"? I intend to stay in the ELCA and preach and proclaim the Gospel based on scripture and live within a church shaped by the Lutheran Confessions (and some other stuff). But I do not do so "for the sake of the majority of ELCA laity and congregations," nor is it for any minority. It is for the sake of the Gospel. And let us also be clear; It may be that the ways some of us lift up the Gospel (not "fighting" but proclaiming) and "do church" based on the Lutheran confessions are not exactly the same ways that Eric and some others choose.

That "Someone" identified himself (without any editing, so it was there from the initial posting) as Ken Kimball.  While he is a someone, he is also a particular someone who should be identified as such.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Charles_Austin on August 04, 2007, 11:35:04 PM
My most humble apologies for not noting Ken Kimball's name, his posting is under another sign, and then he writes his name at the bottom. navyman does it too, sometimes making it unclear who is saying what.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 05, 2007, 12:03:02 AM
LOL!  :DWhat, did Charles text message the answer to you?
Nope. I thought of it all by myself.

Quote
I think what Charles meant by "stuff" did include that but it also meant " a lot of stuff" another way of saying that could be "the world".
Instead of trying to read Charles's mind about what he thought, why not ask him? Or tell us what you think the "lot of stuff" might be -- share what's in your mind. That's what I did. I'm glad you got a laugh out of it. That really wasn't the response I intended, though.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Charles_Austin on August 05, 2007, 05:10:21 AM
My explanation of "stuff" -- Anyone who thinks our church and/or churches are based only on "Scripture" and the "Lutheran Confessions" does not have a realistic view of the world. Our churches are also grounded - sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally - on a lot of other things.

A minimal list:
The ethnicity of the founders and their way of doing things.
The geographic or cultural milieu in which a denomination or congregation functions.
How much money they have to spend.
What kind of controversies they have been through.
The personalities and theologies of previous pastors.
The influence of certain families or contributors.
How much contact they have had with other churches or other denominations.
The enthusiasm and/or zealotry of newer members.
The educational level of the members.
The "spirituality" of the parish: sacramental or pietistic or born-again or civil religion or new age or whatever.
The religious make-up of their community.
The political and social zeitgeist of the day.
and ... and ... and...

All these things and more constitute the "stuff" that is foundational or basic for our denominations and parishes. We hope that scripture and confessions - the urgrund of our type of organized religion - are the key and most influential aspects of our life together, but even that involves interpretation and a give-and-take.

And - here I go again! - the influence of all these things may be one of the ways in which the Spirit leads and guides the Church through ever-changing times. (Because God is not silent, nor is God done with us yet.)

Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Eric_Swensson on August 05, 2007, 06:40:06 AM
My explanation of "stuff" -- Anyone who thinks our church and/or churches are based only on "Scripture" and the "Lutheran Confessions" does not have a realistic view of the world. Our churches are also grounded - sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally - on a lot of other things.

A minimal list:
The ethnicity of the founders and their way of doing things.
The geographic or cultural milieu in which a denomination or congregation functions.
How much money they have to spend.
What kind of controversies they have been through.
The personalities and theologies of previous pastors.
The influence of certain families or contributors.
How much contact they have had with other churches or other denominations.
The enthusiasm and/or zealotry of newer members.
The educational level of the members.
The "spirituality" of the parish: sacramental or pietistic or born-again or civil religion or new age or whatever.
The religious make-up of their community.
The political and social zeitgeist of the day.
and ... and ... and...

All these things and more constitute the "stuff" that is foundational or basic for our denominations and parishes. We hope that scripture and confessions - the urgrund of our type of organized religion - are the key and most influential aspects of our life together, but even that involves interpretation and a give-and-take.

And - here I go again! - the influence of all these things may be one of the ways in which the Spirit leads and guides the Church through ever-changing times. (Because God is not silent, nor is God done with us yet.)



No one said "our church and/or churches are based only on "Scripture" and the "Lutheran Confessions" (why do you put those words in quotes?) and what we were talking about wasn't the church being "based on" but "shaped by". I already addressed that many things shape us in addition to Scripture and the Confessions, but what trumps what?

You are prepared to say that the Spirit is leading us to change our policy and you are discerning that through some sort of fairness doctrine, and you will do that knowing that it will definitely not be all of "us" who will be going into this Brave New World. Lots of luck!
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Charles_Austin on August 05, 2007, 07:57:26 AM
Eric writes:
You are prepared to say that the Spirit is leading us to change our policy and you are discerning that through some sort of fairness doctrine, and you will do that knowing that it will definitely not be all of "us" who will be going into this Brave New World. Lots of luck!

I respond:
No, I am not yet prepared to say that, nor am I discerning anything though "some sort of fairness doctrine." But history shows that some did not come with us into the mergers that formed the ALC and the LCA; some did not come with us into the ELCA (or came in but acted as if they didn't) ; some did not come with us when we chose to ordain women, some did not come with us iinto fellowship with the Episcopal Church. So it is reasonable to assume that some will not come with us into whatever shape of the ELCA or its successors emerges in the future.
Nor do I consider our future an ecclesial version of Huxley's engineered utopia. The future is in the hands of God, not social engineers (though God might work through such folk.) We should understand that we do not need "lots of luck," but care, prayer, and cooperation. I'm prepared, I hope, to offer that. Are you?
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Eric_Swensson on August 05, 2007, 02:58:12 PM
Prepared to pray? Already there. Prepared to be unfaithful to God's Word? Please. Care and cooperation? I've been doing that for years, but if the ELCA makes the transgressions that have been being overlooked a legal reality, I would not advise cooperation with that for anyone.

Again, comparing sexuality to issues of merger and partnership with other denominations  shows that you do not look at these issues as a traditionalist does and perhaps you should consider no longer thinking of yourself as one. This is not an issue where many people can "go along to get along". Should the ELCA make that mistake they will learn soon enough.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Charles_Austin on August 05, 2007, 03:22:45 PM
Eric writes:
Care and cooperation? I've been doing that for years, but if the ELCA makes the transgressions that have been being overlooked a legal reality, I would not advise cooperation with that for anyone.

I ask: A "legal reality"? So if the ELCA allows some things by not lowering the boom even though they are officially illegal, you do advise cooperation; but if certain things are made "legal," your advice is different?

Eric again:
Again, comparing this to women's ordination shows that you are not able to look at these issues as a traditionalist does and you should consider no longer thinking of yourself as one. And your comparing this issue to ones of merger and partnership with other denominations shows you really do not place Scripture and Confessions very high on the list of considerations.

Me, again:
That depends on what "this" is. I don't think I have to let you define "traditionalist." I might think of some "traditionalist" things lacking in your views.
Again, I'm not "comparing" what you call "this issue" - the sex thing? right or wrong? - with those other things. And it's not fair to say that I do not place "Scripture and Confessions" very high on the list of consideration just because I have a different view of Scripture and Confessions than you do.

But my question: is it legalizing something that you don't like that breaks the deal, but if something you don't like continues to go on illegally without sanctions, you're still with us? That would be cool. It would be like living together despite our differences.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Eric_Swensson on August 05, 2007, 03:54:25 PM
Eric writes:
Care and cooperation? I've been doing that for years, but if the ELCA makes the transgressions that have been being overlooked a legal reality, I would not advise cooperation with that for anyone.

I ask: A "legal reality"? So if the ELCA allows some things by not lowering the boom even though they are officially illegal, you do advise cooperation; but if certain things are made "legal," your advice is different?


It seems there's nothingthose of us who are opposed to this can do about it. I am not proposing it as a way ahead!
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Charles_Austin on August 05, 2007, 04:36:23 PM
So if the ELCA "legalizes" what you don't like, that's a deal-breaker. But if the ELCA lets something go on that is technically illegal, but something that is proving to be unenforced or unenforceable, you're still with us? Again. Cool.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Deb_H. on August 05, 2007, 07:18:10 PM
We should understand that we do not need "lots of luck," but care, prayer, and cooperation. I'm prepared, I hope, to offer that. Are you?

I can't speak for Eric, but I have a hunch he is no more prepared to offer what you ask than Elijah was prepared to offer the same to Ahab.  (I Kings 18:17-18)  Nor am I.  Care, prayer, and cooperation are characteristics which are not unique to Christian religion. 
We first need to see language like "humility," "repentance," "forgiveness of sin," "obedience," and such, and have some general agreement on what those mean for the Christian life.

Lou
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Eric_Swensson on August 05, 2007, 08:33:28 PM
So if the ELCA "legalizes" what you don't like, that's a deal-breaker. But if the ELCA lets something go on that is technically illegal, but something that is proving to be unenforced or unenforceable, you're still with us? Again. Cool.
I answered this already. You really need to get this--it is not about what I like or don't like. It's about crossing the line. I am not going to cross it. I really don't get what you are reading into what I wrote. I think that if the goodsoil amendments get to the floor and don't pass, we will be able to see V&E enforced. That is the goal.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Charles_Austin on August 05, 2007, 11:22:32 PM
Eric opines:
I think that if the goodsoil amendments get to the floor and don't pass, we will be able to see V&E enforced.

I wonder:
But supposing we don't see V&E enforced?
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: mchristi on August 05, 2007, 11:41:56 PM
I think that if the goodsoil amendments get to the floor and don't pass, we will be able to see V&E enforced. That is the goal.

Why do you think that if these proposals/memorials don't pass that anything will change from the status quo of enforcement in the policy set forth in Definitions and Guidelines for Discipline (the actual document that effects the disciplinary process)?  It currently gets enforced in some places and not in others, sometimes rather quietly and sometimes more publically.  Do you think that those who are reticent to press charges now will suddenly change their minds and start backing and enforcing the policy?

Mark C.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 05, 2007, 11:54:53 PM
But supposing we don't see V&E enforced?
Or enforced as it often has been -- a bishop administering the discipline of private admonition and censure.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: mchristi on August 06, 2007, 12:06:58 AM
But supposing we don't see V&E enforced?
Or enforced as it often has been -- a bishop administering the discipline of private admonition and censure.

Or seeking and recieving a resignation from call and/or roster.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 06, 2007, 12:19:39 AM
But supposing we don't see V&E enforced?
Or enforced as it often has been -- a bishop administering the discipline of private admonition and censure.

Or seeking and recieving a resignation from call and/or roster.
That is not one of the disciplinary actions listed in the ELCA Constitution -- but it is an action that happens. Going through the disciplinary process is expensive for both the synod and the defendent.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: scott3 on August 06, 2007, 12:24:44 AM
Am I understanding this correctly?  Do folks in the ELCA have to agree to live within Visions and Expectations to be ordained?  If so, leaving aside the issue of the sinfulness of homosexual behavior, isn't there a basic integrity issue at stake for those who go back on their word?
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Mel Harris on August 06, 2007, 04:25:12 AM

Am I understanding this correctly?  Do folks in the ELCA have to agree to live within Visions and Expectations to be ordained?  If so, leaving aside the issue of the sinfulness of homosexual behavior, isn't there a basic integrity issue at stake for those who go back on their word?


You are making the mistake of taking words and promises seriously.  And, by the way,

Quote

What is Integrity?

Integrity is a nonprofit organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender [LGBT] Episcopalians and our straight friends.  ...


http://www.integrityusa.org/WhatIsIntegrity/index.htm

As you might have noticed here on ALPB Forum Online, words mean different things to different people.  When you have some of the "Full Communion" partners that we have, you learn all kinds of new meanings for words.  It also looks like there will be a push at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly to change parts of Visions and Expectations, or at least ignore and not enforce them; so... even your question may soon be out of date.

Mel Harris
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Charles_Austin on August 06, 2007, 07:02:59 AM
There is some discussion over whether certain documents have juridical "standing." There are also different ways to approach what may appear to be "violations," even if it is not clear whether such things are the violations of ordination vows, of the constitutions of the ELCA, its synods, or congregations, or some other aspect of our common life.
Some take a juridical approach - a document says this, he or she says or does something else, out with them! Some say this requires a clearer understanding of what document or policy says or intends to accomplish, so we need a more official and detailed interpretation of the document.
Some take an approach that might be called "pastoral," though that does not seem to be the right word. Someone may appear to be in "violation," but those responsible for discipline believe that to exercise the discipline or apply the severest penalty - expulsion - would not seem to serve the mission of the Church, or that uncertainties about the "juridical" aspects mean that the penalties should be, if not withheld completely, at least suspended temporarily.
We in the ELCA do not all agree on every aspect of all the issues relating to sexuality. It would appear that in large parts of our church, people are seeking changes, while in other parts of our church, people believe that change would be wrong. Various "sides" of this discussion are using different methods, some juridical, some pastoral, some political, of advancing their concerns. It's messy sometimes, but it seems to be how we do things.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Eric_Swensson on August 06, 2007, 07:06:23 AM
Eric opines:
I think that if the goodsoil amendments get to the floor and don't pass, we will be able to see V&E enforced.

I wonder:
But supposing we don't see V&E enforced?


If goodsoil fails, every member of the ELCA can go to their synodical bishop and say that the Assembly has spoken on this twice and it is clear what the rule is on sexual activity by clergy. Enforce the rule. Tell the ministerium that you will initiate disciplinary hearings or step down. Clergy who are not willing to abide by the promises they made can step down. That is the "creative solution" we can live with.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Eric_Swensson on August 06, 2007, 07:09:14 AM
There is some discussion over whether certain documents have juridical "standing." There are also different ways to approach what may appear to be "violations," even if it is not clear whether such things are the violations of ordination vows, of the constitutions of the ELCA, its synods, or congregations, or some other aspect of our common life.
Some take a juridical approach - a document says this, he or she says or does something else, out with them! Some say this requires a clearer understanding of what document or policy says or intends to accomplish, so we need a more official and detailed interpretation of the document.
Some take an approach that might be called "pastoral," though that does not seem to be the right word. Someone may appear to be in "violation," but those responsible for discipline believe that to exercise the discipline or apply the severest penalty - expulsion - would not seem to serve the mission of the Church, or that uncertainties about the "juridical" aspects mean that the penalties should be, if not withheld completely, at least suspended temporarily.
We in the ELCA do not all agree on every aspect of all the issues relating to sexuality. It would appear that in large parts of our church, people are seeking changes, while in other parts of our church, people believe that change would be wrong. Various "sides" of this discussion are using different methods, some juridical, some pastoral, some political, of advancing their concerns. It's messy sometimes, but it seems to be how we do things.

Single clergy candidates were asked if they would not engage in sexual activity unless they marry. The whole idea that this is something to be parsed out is ludicrous.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Charles_Austin on August 06, 2007, 07:20:30 AM
Eric writes:
Single clergy candidates were asked if they would not engage in sexual activity unless they marry. The whole idea that this is something to be parsed out is ludicrous.

I comment:
Sexual activity? Would that be dating, holding hands, kissing, necking, or masturbation?

But that is not what is to be "parsed out." Those seeking change are asking whether people whose "sexual activity" - or at least certain aspects of it - takes place within the context of a committed, same-sex relationship can be ordained or continued on the ELCA clergy roster.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Eric_Swensson on August 06, 2007, 08:05:43 AM
Eric writes:
Single clergy candidates were asked if they would not engage in sexual activity unless they marry. The whole idea that this is something to be parsed out is ludicrous.

I comment:
Sexual activity? Would that be dating, holding hands, kissing, necking, or masturbation?


Ephesians 5:4  Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Charles_Austin on August 06, 2007, 08:36:41 AM
Eric posts:
Ephesians 5:4  Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk

I comment:
Do you refer to my post? There is no obscenity there. Neither is there silliness or vulgarity. You used the term "sexual activity," and since the issue of sexuality is complex and nuanced, portmanteau words and phrases are sometimes problematic. Hence my gentle - I thought - suggestion that we need to keep in mind the range of "sexual activity" as we talk.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Dadoo on August 06, 2007, 08:54:54 AM
Am I understanding this correctly?  Do folks in the ELCA have to agree to live within Visions and Expectations to be ordained?  If so, leaving aside the issue of the sinfulness of homosexual behavior, isn't there a basic integrity issue at stake for those who go back on their word?

Scott,

Visons and Expectations was written in the late 80's to clarify what the vows of ordination mean.  The sentence tht is going t be under heavy discussion this week in Chicago is out of the section that is to clarify the officiant's question: Will you crown your proclamation with a life of holy living?  [quote from memory- I can hear Brian heading for his iturgical resources even as I typem to give the current correct verbage]  At least I seem to remember this question..  Yes, during seminary and candidacy you are supposed to be made familiar with this document.  At Trinity in 89 the school took a day off and studied and discussed it. 

If your question is: Did these folks not know that this plege to chstity was going to made of them?  THe answer is: Yes, they did know.  Their argument now is that, like in the celbacy issue of the 16th century, to ask them to abstain from sex is against God's design and will and therefor should be released from this implication of the vow.  Hence the argument that "God made them this way."

Keep the Faith

Peter
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Erma_S._Wolf on August 06, 2007, 10:16:29 AM
Am I understanding this correctly?  Do folks in the ELCA have to agree to live within Visions and Expectations to be ordained?  If so, leaving aside the issue of the sinfulness of homosexual behavior, isn't there a basic integrity issue at stake for those who go back on their word?

To answer your question, the answer is yes, we do have to agree to live within Vision and Expectations in order to be ordained.  (One vision, many expectations!)  As I was already ordained when this document was produced, in my synod there was opportunity/requirement to study the document within pastor clusters in order to understand what it said and yes it applied to us folks too.  There are many things in it, not just the sexual morality stuff.  I think it is a well written piece and is helpful.  Of course, if one is looking for loopholes or is afraid that the document will be used as a weapon against pastors, then one will regard it accordingly.  Like anything, it can be abused. 

Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Erma_S._Wolf on August 06, 2007, 10:30:27 AM
Some take a juridical approach - a document says this, he or she says or does something else, out with them! Some say this requires a clearer understanding of what document or policy says or intends to accomplish, so we need a more official and detailed interpretation of the document.
Some take an approach that might be called "pastoral," though that does not seem to be the right word. Someone may appear to be in "violation," but those responsible for discipline believe that to exercise the discipline or apply the severest penalty - expulsion - would not seem to serve the mission of the Church, or that uncertainties about the "juridical" aspects mean that the penalties should be, if not withheld completely, at least suspended temporarily.

I think we might agree that the disciplinary approach used often depends on the type of offense, and how it is discovered.  A pastor coming forward to a bishop and "confessing" and asking for help, showing signs of remorse, repentence, etc., would I think be dealt with differently than when the situation is reported, sometimes on the pages of the newspaper, and there is denial, even defiance, by the rostered individual.  Of course, some offenses would be of a nature that repentence could not assure, and should not assure, that an individual could continue in the rostered ministry.  Most of the time those offenses are sexual, but not always.  I think a rostered individual who confessed to grievous financial malfeasance, such as embezzeling funds or cheating members of the congregation out of inheritances, etc. would be asked to resign. 

It is the synodical bishops who are on the front lines in these matters.  I have heard, and readily believe, that those types of disciplinary matters are the most difficult professionally and personally for the bishops.  And I know, especially when there is more than one of these situations taking place at a time, that it is extremely draining on these men and women.  No one should stand for election as a bishop who has not given this matter of discipline a great deal of serious thought.  If that person does not think that he or she would have the fortitude to go forward with discipline of a pastor that they were close personal friends with, then they should not serve in that office.  Their gifts are elsewhere. 

Another reason why prayer for those who serve in these offices of oversight should be a daily observance for all of us.

Erma Wolf
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Deb_H. on August 06, 2007, 10:36:00 AM
Am I understanding this correctly?  Do folks in the ELCA have to agree to live within Visions and Expectations to be ordained?  If so, leaving aside the issue of the sinfulness of homosexual behavior, isn't there a basic integrity issue at stake for those who go back on their word?

Scott,

Visons and Expectations was written in the late 80's to clarify what the vows of ordination mean.  The sentence tht is going t be under heavy discussion this week in Chicago is out of the section that is to clarify the officiant's question: Will you crown your proclamation with a life of holy living?  [quote from memory- I can hear Brian heading for his iturgical resources even as I typem to give the current correct verbage]  At least I seem to remember this question..  Yes, during seminary and candidacy you are supposed to be made familiar with this document.  At Trinity in 89 the school took a day off and studied and discussed it. 

If your question is: Did these folks not know that this plege to chstity was going to made of them?  THe answer is: Yes, they did know.  Their argument now is that, like in the celbacy issue of the 16th century, to ask them to abstain from sex is against God's design and will and therefor should be released from this implication of the vow.  Hence the argument that "God made them this way."

Keep the Faith

Peter

One other piece of the V&E problem that is essentially the crux of the arguement is just how much it is meant to be "enforced."  It is an expectation, where most ELCA people that I have talked to consider it policy.  There is a difference.  V&E was never passed as policy by a churchwide assembly; and the attempt to do so was rejected by the Orlando assembly in 2005. 
It's not policy, even though Phil Harris' office (in particular) will demand it be considered policy for the sake of insurance coverage.  This was much discussed as part of the discussion around the Jerald Thomas lawsuits in TX at one Sexuality Task Force meeting.  The ELCA has to have policy on sexual matters to obtain insurance coverage, but the fact of the matter is they can't get such policy approved by the churchwide assembly.  So, with smoke and mirrors, the bishops and the attorney's office have declared V&E to be 'sort of' policy, in lieu of action from the assembly.  It would be interesting to know, if this actually got into the courts, if that would be sufficient for the insurance companies --  ie, "we have policy, but the bishops have discretion in enforcement of said policies."  Kind of like requiring smoke detectors in a home for insurance coverage, but intentionally leaving the batteries out so they don't make noise at inappropriate times, and then expecting the insurance company to pay willingly after a fire.

Lou
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 06, 2007, 12:37:12 PM
The ELCA has to have policy on sexual matters to obtain insurance coverage, but the fact of the matter is they can't get such policy approved by the churchwide assembly.
I believe that every synod has to have their policy on sexual matters. It is the synods who are responsble for rostered persons, not the ELCA. (The courts declared that the ELCA was not liable in the one case I remember of a clergy molesting children, but the synods involved were liable.)

Quote
So, with smoke and mirrors, the bishops and the attorney's office have declared V&E to be 'sort of' policy, in lieu of action from the assembly.

However, the preface to V&E by Bishop Herbert Chilstrom states: "This document should not be confused with 'Definitions and Guidelines for Discipline.' The latter is a juridical document that describes the grounds on which ordained ministers may be subject to discipline according to the practice of this church."

Under Sexual Matters D&E has:
The biblical understanding which this church affirms is that the normative setting for sexual intercourse is marriage. In keeping with this understanding, chastity before marriage and fidelity within marriage are the norm. Adultery, promiscuity, the sexual abuse of another, or the misuse of counseling relationships for sexual favors constitutes conduct that is incompatible with the character of the ministerial office.

Practicing homosexual persons are precluded from the ordained ministry of this church.

The question is asked about how is the second paragraph about homosexuals related to the first paragraph? I note that there are no references to scriptures to any of these prohibitions. Does the preclusion (whatever that word means) of practicing homosexuals happen because they are not married? If so, what happens if more states allow them to be married? Is it assumed that "practicing homosexuals" are promiscuous and/or involved in sexual abusing the other? If so, the revisionists agree that such behaviors should be grounds for discipline, but those aren't the behaviors we expect to happen within a "committed relationship."

Quote
It would be interesting to know, if this actually got into the courts, if that would be sufficient for the insurance companies --  ie, "we have policy, but the bishops have discretion in enforcement of said policies."  Kind of like requiring smoke detectors in a home for insurance coverage, but intentionally leaving the batteries out so they don't make noise at inappropriate times, and then expecting the insurance company to pay willingly after a fire.
I think that you are trying to compare two different things. I think that the ELCA, like stated above, is very clear that we are against sexual abuse and misusing counseling relationships -- the kinds of behaviors that end up in the courts. All the "revisionists" I heard from are also against these as well as adultery and promiscuity. The area of disagreement is over homosexuals who are in a committed same-sex relationship.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: mchristi on August 06, 2007, 02:00:46 PM
If goodsoil fails, every member of the ELCA can go to their synodical bishop and say that the Assembly has spoken on this twice and it is clear what the rule is on sexual activity by clergy.

The ELCA churchwide assembly has yet to pass any resolution or motion on this topic, one way or another.  The rule continues to be one created by the church council without any CWA approval or disapproval.  Additionally, it is worth pointing out that in 2005 neither an amendment that would have unambiguously supported the current church council passed rules nor an amendment that would have unambiguously changed them failed to pass on simple majority votes.  It would then be a stretch to say that the failure of the exceptions proposal is a clear statement of any kind, much less a statement for the current policy which was clearly presented to the assembly and rejected.  The only think clear is that the assembly could reach no decision.

Mark C.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Pr. Jerry on August 06, 2007, 02:20:07 PM
The ELCA churchwide assembly has yet to pass any resolution or motion on this topic, one way or another.  The rule continues to be one created by the church council without any CWA approval or disapproval.  Additionally, it is worth pointing out that in 2005 neither an amendment that would have unambiguously supported the current church council passed rules nor an amendment that would have unambiguously changed them failed to pass on simple majority votes.  It would then be a stretch to say that the failure of the exceptions proposal is a clear statement of any kind, much less a statement for the current policy which was clearly presented to the assembly and rejected.  The only think clear is that the assembly could reach no decision.

 ???
Mark, that logic drives me nuts...  The assembly did reach a decision, and clear decisions at that.  They REJECTED (49--51%) the call to grant exceptions to V+E.  They also APPROVED a statement regarding pastoral care that, in it's process, DECLINED to bless sam-sex unions or provide rites for the blessing of same-sex unions.  To say that they "could reach no decision" is just plain not true.

The same logic, sadly, is the same reason that some argue "I can do *** because no one said I can't."  So you have clergy blessing same-sex unions claiming that the CWA gave them authority to do so because it didn't explicitly say "not to," (ignoring that, historically no ever said that it was possible) and you have congregations calling and "ordaining" persons outside the call process because "I/we can." 

Such sophistry is wasted air.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 06, 2007, 02:41:58 PM
They REJECTED (49--51%) the call to grant exceptions to V+E.
Yes, and it would have taken 2/3 majority to pass.

Quote
They also APPROVED a statement regarding pastoral care that, in it's process, DECLINED to bless sam-sex unions or provide rites for the blessing of same-sex unions.  To say that they "could reach no decision" is just plain not true.
No, it was made clear at the assembly that the bishop's statement was intentionally ambiguous. It does say that they are against the ELCA creating a service for blessing same-sex unions. However, it does not prohibit individual pastors from creating or officiating at such services.

Quote
The same logic, sadly, is the same reason that some argue "I can do *** because no one said I can't."  So you have clergy blessing same-sex unions claiming that the CWA gave them authority to do so because it didn't explicitly say "not to," (ignoring that, historically no ever said that it was possible) and you have congregations calling and "ordaining" persons outside the call process because "I/we can." 

That's exactly right. The ELCA does not prohibit its clergy from blessing same-sex unions. There is no discipline for pastors who preside at such rites. However, the ELCA constitution does prohibit congregations from calling non-ELCA rostered clergy without the bishop's approval. The congregations who have done so, are subject to discipline. They can be, should the bishop bring a recommendation to the synod council, removed from the congregational roster of the ELCA.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: mchristi on August 06, 2007, 02:54:00 PM
Mark, that logic drives me nuts...  The assembly did reach a decision, and clear decisions at that.  They REJECTED (49--51%) the call to grant exceptions to V+E.  They also APPROVED a statement regarding pastoral care that, in it's process, DECLINED to bless sam-sex unions or provide rites for the blessing of same-sex unions.  To say that they "could reach no decision" is just plain not true.

No twisted logic here, Jerry.  The ELCA assembly declined to grant exceptions to the current policies for ordination regarding gay and lesbian candidates.  The ELCA assembly also declined to specifically change the policies of this church outright.  The ELCA assembly also declined to specifically repeat and endorse those policy as an action of the assembly.  That, to me, looks like an assembly that has not really decided what is best and cannot reach a decision with clarity.  They rejected all three options.

Mark C.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 06, 2007, 02:55:31 PM
No twisted logic here, Jerry.  The ELCA assembly declined to grant exceptions to the current policies for ordination regarding gay and lesbian candidates.  The ELCA assembly also declined to specifically change the policies of this church outright.  The ELCA assembly also declined to specifically repeat and endorse those policy as an action of the assembly.  That, to me, looks like an assembly that has not really decided what is best and cannot reach a decision with clarity.  They rejected all three options.
Or they continued to support ambiguity as the best option for the ELCA at this time in our history.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Pr. Jerry on August 06, 2007, 03:04:45 PM
Mark, that logic drives me nuts...  The assembly did reach a decision, and clear decisions at that.  They REJECTED (49--51%) the call to grant exceptions to V+E.  They also APPROVED a statement regarding pastoral care that, in it's process, DECLINED to bless sam-sex unions or provide rites for the blessing of same-sex unions.  To say that they "could reach no decision" is just plain not true.

No twisted logic here, Jerry.  The ELCA assembly declined to grant exceptions to the current policies for ordination regarding gay and lesbian candidates.  The ELCA assembly also declined to specifically change the policies of this church outright.  The ELCA assembly also declined to specifically repeat and endorse those policy as an action of the assembly.  That, to me, looks like an assembly that has not really decided what is best and cannot reach a decision with clarity.  They rejected all three options.

I guess you just can't take "NO" as an answer?

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: mchristi on August 06, 2007, 03:33:06 PM
I guess you just can't take "NO" as an answer?

No, Jerry, I'm just recognizing that they said "no" to three different questions, including to proposals which were exactly opposite.  They said "no" to exceptions.  They said "no" to passing the current policy.  They said "no" to simply repealing it.

Can you not see that this creates a more complex reality than you are suggesting?  I can see that they said "no" to all three of those questions.  Can you? 
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Deb_H. on August 06, 2007, 04:19:20 PM

Quote
It would be interesting to know, if this actually got into the courts, if that would be sufficient for the insurance companies --  ie, "we have policy, but the bishops have discretion in enforcement of said policies."  Kind of like requiring smoke detectors in a home for insurance coverage, but intentionally leaving the batteries out so they don't make noise at inappropriate times, and then expecting the insurance company to pay willingly after a fire.
I think that you are trying to compare two different things. I think that the ELCA, like stated above, is very clear that we are against sexual abuse and misusing counseling relationships -- the kinds of behaviors that end up in the courts. All the "revisionists" I heard from are also against these as well as adultery and promiscuity. The area of disagreement is over homosexuals who are in a committed same-sex relationship.

You are technically correct.  I am comparing two different things.
1)  The discretionary non-enforcement of V&E towards gay practice, and
2)  the claimed mandatory enforcement of violations of V&E, which are abusive or mis-usive.

The problem is, as I told the director of the Division of Ministry at the time, that this nuance that parts of V&E are considered discretionary by the ELCA while other parts are considered mandatory, is lost on an insurance company which has to pay when the ELCA fails to enforce the mandatory portions of their policies.  Which is precisely what happened in the Jerald Thomas case.  Things which should have been recognized and enforced upon were missed by various authorities, costing the ELCA or their insurers a great deal of money. The comment that only synods are held liable is simply not true.  Chicago was on the edge of some serious payouts because things were missed or overlooked (by pastoral discretion) at all levels of the process.  Nobody wants to talk about this; nobody knows for sure just what the payouts were, and by whom they were paid.  Stinky.

I also told the director that the ELCA got lucky in the Thomas case, but the next time it happens, it (the ELCA) won't survive since it does not have the deep pockets of the Roman Catholic church.

Lou
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 06, 2007, 06:55:10 PM
You are technically correct.  I am comparing two different things.
1) The discretionary non-enforcement of V&E towards gay practice, and
An interpretation of what has happened in the Sierra Pacific Synod, as it was told to me by a lay member of the synod's executive board is that they believed the bishops (over the years more than one has been involved) have acted in accordance with our policies. A practicing homosexual is subject to discipline. One of the disciplines available to a bishop (and the only one that can be done by the bishop,) is private censure and admonition. That has been done. Thus, according to this lay person, this synod council believes that the bishop has acted in conformity with ELCA policies.

Quote
2)  the claimed mandatory enforcement of violations of V&E, which are abusive or mis-usive.

The problem is, as I told the director of the Division of Ministry at the time, that this nuance that parts of V&E are considered discretionary by the ELCA while other parts are considered mandatory, is lost on an insurance company which has to pay when the ELCA fails to enforce the mandatory portions of their policies.  Which is precisely what happened in the Jerald Thomas case.  Things which should have been recognized and enforced upon were missed by various authorities, costing the ELCA or their insurers a great deal of money. The comment that only synods are held liable is simply not true.  Chicago was on the edge of some serious payouts because things were missed or overlooked (by pastoral discretion) at all levels of the process.  Nobody wants to talk about this; nobody knows for sure just what the payouts were, and by whom they were paid.  Stinky.

I also told the director that the ELCA got lucky in the Thomas case, but the next time it happens, it (the ELCA) won't survive since it does not have the deep pockets of the Roman Catholic church.
As I understand it, the ELCA voluntarily had its insurance companies give compensation to victims in the Thomas case. The court ruled that the ELCA was not liable. We have a different structure than the Roman Catholic Church. I also note that in the RCC, it has been diocese (which relate to our synods,) who have been sued and are paying out millions; not the Vatican.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: ptmccain on August 06, 2007, 07:39:18 PM
"Private censure and admonition"

Hmmmm.....a slap on the wrist, and they are still permitted to serve as pastors.

So much for discipline.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Charles_Austin on August 06, 2007, 07:43:09 PM
Pastor McCain writes:
"Private censure and admonition"
Hmmmm.....a slap on the wrist, and they are still permitted to serve as pastors.
So much for discipline.

I observe:
It's not "so much for discipline." It's just that discipline is not always wielded with the bloodlust and violence of a member of the 14th Century Inquisition.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: ptmccain on August 06, 2007, 08:05:19 PM
(http://vuodatus-static.web-effect.net/g/9037/172467.jpg)

NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again.

Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: scott3 on August 06, 2007, 08:07:40 PM
I knew that you were that type!  Nice  flyer's hat, though (since you're the dude on the left, of course -- he's got the biggest cross so is probably most appropos for a 14th century murderous horde type).
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: ptmccain on August 06, 2007, 08:11:08 PM
The discipline of "private admonition and censure" of public and open sodomites is akin go the Comfy Chair used capably by the Monty Python Spanish Inquisitors.

Ximinez: So you think you are strong because you can survive the soft cushions. Well, we shall see. Biggles! Put her in the Comfy Chair!

[They roughly push her into the Comfy Chair]

Ximinez [with a cruel leer]: Now -- you will stay in the Comfy Chair until lunch time, with only a cup of coffee at eleven. [aside, to Biggles] Is that really all it is?
Biggles: Yes, lord.


Which is to say such "discipline" is a joke!
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 06, 2007, 10:13:03 PM
So much for discipline.
Well, that's the discipline a bishop can give.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: ptmccain on August 06, 2007, 10:15:42 PM
It's the "Comfy Chair" option, to be sure.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: scott3 on August 06, 2007, 10:18:55 PM
So much for discipline.
Well, that's the discipline a bishop can give.

The "Comfy Chair" was prior to the one that massaged you.  Catch up with the times, will you?
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 06, 2007, 10:25:17 PM
The discipline of "private admonition and censure" of public and open sodomites is akin go the Comfy Chair used capably by the Monty Python Spanish Inquisitors.
The cases I know of, the pastors in a same-sex relationship were not all that public. Few outside of their conference knew of their relationship. All of the most public clergy I know of, are not on the ELCA roster and thus they are not subject to discipline by our bishops. In a case I know of, a local newspaper did an article on a homosexual clergy (who was in a relationship). That pastor told me that soon afterwards, there was phone call from the bishop, which I presume involved further private admonition and censure.

In contrast, no one keeps Jeff Johnson quiet.
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: ptmccain on August 06, 2007, 10:30:52 PM
So, they are not pastors in the ELCA, but they serve as pastors in ELCA congregations. Do those congregations get the "Comfy Chair" treatment too?
Title: Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 06, 2007, 10:37:37 PM
So, they are not pastors in the ELCA, but they serve as pastors in ELCA congregations. Do those congregations get the "Comfy Chair" treatment too?
The bishop can give congregations censure and admonition -- and it doesn't have to be private. In addition the bishop can file charges against a congregation, which then takes it to a discipline hearing committee. In the specific case of a congregation calling a non-rostered and non-authorized person as pastor, the bishop can bring a recommendation to the synod council to remove the congregation. I don't know of any case where this has happened. Three congregations within a synod can bring charges against another congregation. I don't know of any case where this has happened.