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Archived Boards => ELCA Churchwide Assembly 2007 => Topic started by: Richard Johnson on July 26, 2007, 02:09:27 PM

Title: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 26, 2007, 02:09:27 PM
Beginning Monday, August 5, [correction: August 6] I'll be filing regular reports on what is happening at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Chicago. Will Bp. Hanson win on the first ballot? Who will be the new Secretary? Will Goodsoil resolutions be pulled from the "referral" group? Check in regularly and often, and join in the conversation.

--Richard O. Johnson
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Keith Falk on July 26, 2007, 02:22:59 PM
I think a more important question is...

"At the end of the Assembly, whose expense report will be higher - Peter's or Richard's?"   ;D
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: scott3 on July 26, 2007, 02:26:33 PM
I think a more important question is...

"At the end of the Assembly, whose expense report will be higher - Peter's or Richard's?"   ;D

Hmmm.  Do you have any family in Chicago, Richard?
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 26, 2007, 02:30:16 PM
I think a more important question is...

"At the end of the Assembly, whose expense report will be higher - Peter's or Richard's?"   ;D

Hmmm.  Do you have any family in Chicago, Richard?

Nope. And mine will definitely be higher because (a) I'm the editor and (b) He didn't spend 50% of the total allocation.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: LutherMan on July 26, 2007, 03:00:41 PM
Where will we find the streaming video?
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 26, 2007, 04:53:00 PM
Where will we find the streaming video?

Start at www.elca.org and I'm sure there will be a link to take you there.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: BeornBjornson on July 26, 2007, 05:43:44 PM
Which year will you be attending the CWA Richard?  My 2007 calendar has August 5 as a Sunday but maybe it's some sort of quantum multiverse thing that Matt Hummel or Mark Christianson could explain.   ;D ;) :D
Ken Kimball
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 26, 2007, 07:45:26 PM
Which year will you be attending the CWA Richard?  My 2007 calendar has August 5 as a Sunday but maybe it's some sort of quantum multiverse thing that Matt Hummel or Mark Christianson could explain.   ;D ;) :D
Ken Kimball

I think it will be this year. But I'll have to put my glasses on and look at the calendar again to be sure.  :D
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: bmj on July 26, 2007, 07:48:50 PM
Beginning Monday, August 5, [correction: August 6] I'll be filing regular reports on what is happening at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Chicago. Will Bp. Hanson win on the first ballot? Who will be the new Secretary? Will Goodsoil resolutions be pulled from the "referral" group? Check in regularly and often, and join in the conversation.

--Richard O. Johnson

Based on the LCNA link below, there will certainly be attempts pull the Goodsoil resolutions from the referral group:

http://www.lcna.org/lcna_news/2007-07-24.shtm

"Goodsoil will be working hard with our Voting Member allies to persuade the Assembly that referral is not proper way to handle these memorials and that the time is now for the Assembly to vote on eliminating the flawed policies. All supportive Voting Members are encouraged to register at Goodsoil.org so that our coordinated efforts may bear fruit."

We will look forward to your reports.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: ptmccain on July 26, 2007, 08:38:18 PM
Will we get to see another melodramatic "protest march" to the front of the hall, standing silently while the chair attempts politely to scold them into leaving? I think when they did this last time they just shot themselves in the foot and probably caused undecided delegates to vote their position down.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 26, 2007, 11:00:22 PM
Pastor McCain writes (re activities at the Orlando Assembly) :
I think when they did this last time they just shot themselves in the foot and probably caused undecided delegates to vote their position down.

I comment:
You were not there and your assessment is flat-out wrong.

Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: scott3 on July 26, 2007, 11:05:54 PM
You were not there and your assessment is flat-out wrong.

Cool.  You know this how (i.e., please provide the data upon which you are condemning this view as being "flat-out wrong")?
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 26, 2007, 11:08:46 PM
Scott writes (re my correction of Pastor McCain's assessment of activity at the Orlando Assembly):
Cool.  You know this how?

I respond:
Because I was there. Up front. Close. Talking to people with various points of view as things were going on. But I see no reason to try and explain this to an LC-MS pastor (not Scott) who writes so intemperately and has already adjudged the ELCA and some of us in it as beyond the pale of any kind of orthodoxy.
With the funeral of a congregational founder coming up, and some other assignments, some of them quite pleasant, I shall probably not be active here for a while. And then I go to Chicago, and will not be doing any "instant analysis." I'm sure that the anti-ELCAers of various types will take plenty of opportunities to let everyone know how far the church body is straying from "orthodoxy."
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: LutherMan on July 27, 2007, 12:32:04 AM
I will keep your CWA in my prayers...
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Deb_H. on July 27, 2007, 02:05:00 AM
Because I was there. Up front. Close. Talking to people with various points of view as things were going on.

I was also there; upfront (second row from front).  Talking to lots of people of all stripes.  Mari Irvin even asked me to wear a rainbow stole ...
Pastor McCain is not that far wrong -- the silent protest did more harm than good for the gay cause.  If Solid Rock could have gotten the one gay voting member from NW Washington to the mic a few more times, we might have carried the whole kit and kaboodle. 

Lou
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on July 27, 2007, 02:53:40 AM
Pastor McCain writes (re activities at the Orlando Assembly) :
I think when they did this last time they just shot themselves in the foot and probably caused undecided delegates to vote their position down.

I comment:
You were not there and your assessment is flat-out wrong.


Well, Charles, I was there.  I spoke with voting members.  His assessement is not flat-out wrong.

But we've had this conversation before....

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on July 27, 2007, 02:59:41 AM
Monday, August 6?  Rather ominous for those with long (62 years) recollections...

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: BeornBjornson on July 27, 2007, 08:44:47 AM
Monday, August 6?  Rather ominous for those with long (62 years) recollections...

Pax, Steven+

August 6, 1945  Hiroshima. Enola Gay. Captain Paul Tibbetts.  ?

Ken Kimball
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 27, 2007, 10:03:28 AM
Pastor McCain writes (re activities at the Orlando Assembly) :
I think when they did this last time they just shot themselves in the foot and probably caused undecided delegates to vote their position down.

I comment:
You were not there and your assessment is flat-out wrong.


Well, Charles, I was there.  I spoke with voting members.  His assessement is not flat-out wrong.

But we've had this conversation before....

Pax, Steven+

And I, too, was there, and I agree with Lou and Steven.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: ptmccain on July 27, 2007, 01:04:54 PM
I was watching the live stream and watched as the camera panned the voting delegates several times during the "silent protest" -- the looks on the faces were quite revealing, to be sure.

Such protests may be a matter of conscience for some, and if so, well, there you go, but if such things are done with the thought that they will win a hearing for the position being advocated, come now people, we all know the tendency of all Lutherans is to be polite, and when people engage in rude behavior and ignore the kindly pastor at the chairman's microphone, well, that just doesn't play well with your average Lutheran delegate to a church convention.

All of which is to say...I agree with Richard who agrees with Lou and Steve, who agreed with me....or something like that.  :D
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 27, 2007, 01:28:04 PM
Pastor McCain writes:
I was watching the live stream and watched as the camera panned the voting delegates several times during the "silent protest" -- the looks on the faces were quite revealing, to be sure.

I comment:
Revealing of what? You are claiming a skill at wizardry that would make a magna cum laude graduate of Hogwarts blush. You can understand precisely what is being "revealed" by the faces of people you have never met, far away from the actual scene and its full panoply of sounds and sights? When are they going to build a television show around you?
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 27, 2007, 01:30:26 PM
Well, Charles, I was there.  I spoke with voting members.  His assessement is not flat-out wrong.

But we've had this conversation before....
Well, Steven, I was there. I spoke with voting members and with demonstrators. Some reported that the demonstation produced negative responses and votes among the undecideds, others said that it accomplished what they intended -- it put faces on the people being affected by the votes and swayed people the other way.

He may not have been flat-out wrong; but he wasn't flat-out right either.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: scott3 on July 27, 2007, 01:32:35 PM
I comment:
Revealing of what? You are claiming a skill at wizardry that would make a magna cum laude graduate of Hogwarts blush. You can understand precisely what is being "revealed" by the faces of people you have never met, far away from the actual scene and its full panoply of sounds and sights? When are they going to build a television show around you?

Chuckle.  You did notice that he seems to have agreement from others who were also there which would mean that his degree from Hogwarts is well-earned (I wonder what type of broomstick he flies).  I watched it live, too, and greatly enjoyed the witty comeback by Bp. Hanson re: his 6 kids and ignoring bad behavior.  Given that that line provoked laughter and some applause, one doesn't really need a crystal ball to figure out that at least some in the convention were put-off by the bad behavior of the rainbow folks.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: peter_speckhard on July 27, 2007, 02:11:22 PM
Pastor McCain writes:
I was watching the live stream and watched as the camera panned the voting delegates several times during the "silent protest" -- the looks on the faces were quite revealing, to be sure.

I comment:
Revealing of what? You are claiming a skill at wizardry that would make a magna cum laude graduate of Hogwarts blush. You can understand precisely what is being "revealed" by the faces of people you have never met, far away from the actual scene and its full panoply of sounds and sights? When are they going to build a television show around you?
Charles, as a reporter you know that facial expressions reveal a lot to the onlooker. You know for a fact how important reading faces can be, in political debates, in trials, in business deals, in counseling, in everything. That's why people who don't want to reveal anything work on their poker faces. Paul said what he thought from seeing the faces. You disagree with his conclusions. Most people who were every bit as "there" as you were seem to disagree with you and agree with Paul. But why the rage against Paul? Paul never said he could understand "precisely", you put that word into his mouth to make him look bad. And in his original post bringing it up, he began with "I think..." which is mopre than you did in your response to him. The quoted post above was 100% ad hominem and added nothing to the conversation. I'm only making a point of it because I'm new to this moderating thing and wanted an example to use for my plea to everyone: As a matter of policy, just ignore the people you don't like. We want people feeling welcome as first-time posters here.   
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: SCPO on July 27, 2007, 03:12:47 PM
I'm only making a point of it because I'm new to this moderating thing and wanted an example to use for my plea to everyone: As a matter of policy, just ignore the people you don't like. We want people feeling welcome as first-time posters here.   

     Well put Pastor.  May I be the first to say "Hail Peter, esteemed moderator.   Long live the new king"

Regards,

Senior
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on July 27, 2007, 03:30:10 PM
Hiroshima. Enola Gay. Captain Paul Tibbetts.  ?

Colonel Paul Tibbets.  One "t."  No relation.

pax, spt+
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: scott3 on July 27, 2007, 03:40:53 PM
I'm only making a point of it because I'm new to this moderating thing and wanted an example to use for my plea to everyone: As a matter of policy, just ignore the people you don't like. We want people feeling welcome as first-time posters here.   

     Well put Pastor.  May I be the first to say "Hail Peter, esteemed moderator.   Long live the new king"

Regards,

Senior


Isn't the first part of that: "The king is dead..."?
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 27, 2007, 03:43:03 PM
I'm only making a point of it because I'm new to this moderating thing and wanted an example to use for my plea to everyone: As a matter of policy, just ignore the people you don't like. We want people feeling welcome as first-time posters here.   

     Well put Pastor.  May I be the first to say "Hail Peter, esteemed moderator.   Long live the new king"

Regards,

Senior


Isn't the first part of that: "The king is dead..."?

Mark 5.39b.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: MaddogLutheran on July 27, 2007, 03:47:29 PM
     Well put Pastor.  May I be the first to say "Hail Peter, esteemed moderator.   Long live the new king"
The beginning of a new ALPB rosary?   ::)
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: scott3 on July 27, 2007, 03:50:12 PM
I'm only making a point of it because I'm new to this moderating thing and wanted an example to use for my plea to everyone: As a matter of policy, just ignore the people you don't like. We want people feeling welcome as first-time posters here.   

     Well put Pastor.  May I be the first to say "Hail Peter, esteemed moderator.   Long live the new king"

Regards,

Senior


Isn't the first part of that: "The king is dead..."?

Mark 5.39b.

Uhhh, talitha cum?  :o
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 27, 2007, 04:45:03 PM
I'm only making a point of it because I'm new to this moderating thing and wanted an example to use for my plea to everyone: As a matter of policy, just ignore the people you don't like. We want people feeling welcome as first-time posters here.   

     Well put Pastor.  May I be the first to say "Hail Peter, esteemed moderator.   Long live the new king"

Regards,

Senior


Isn't the first part of that: "The king is dead..."?

Mark 5.39b.

Uhhh, talitha cum?  :o

Your versification is erroneous.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: scott3 on July 27, 2007, 04:50:02 PM
I'm only making a point of it because I'm new to this moderating thing and wanted an example to use for my plea to everyone: As a matter of policy, just ignore the people you don't like. We want people feeling welcome as first-time posters here.   

     Well put Pastor.  May I be the first to say "Hail Peter, esteemed moderator.   Long live the new king"

Regards,

Senior


Isn't the first part of that: "The king is dead..."?

Mark 5.39b.

Uhhh, talitha cum?  :o

Your versification is erroneous.

No, I'm just trying to rouse that little girl in you.  8)
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 27, 2007, 04:51:28 PM

No, I'm just trying to rouse that little girl in you.  8)

No comment. :P
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: ptmccain on July 27, 2007, 07:57:15 PM
OK, this thread just got ... a bit on the weird side.

 :)

I'm kind of hopeful for another big showy protest at the ELCA convention. Makes it more interesting to watch. Perhaps the speakers can wear "GoodSoil" sponsorship patches on their shirt sleeves? Kind of like NASCAR drivers cover their jump suits with sponsorship patches?
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 27, 2007, 08:33:24 PM
Charles, as a reporter you know that facial expressions reveal a lot to the onlooker. You know for a fact how important reading faces can be, in political debates, in trials, in business deals, in counseling, in everything.
But how closely and clearly would cameras capture the facial expressions of all 1000+ voting members at the CWA? I'm certain that by selecting particular groups of people, a camera operator (or the button-pusher in the booth) could give the impression that everyone was upset or that everyone was pleased with what was happening.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 27, 2007, 11:55:59 PM
Charles, as a reporter you know that facial expressions reveal a lot to the onlooker. You know for a fact how important reading faces can be, in political debates, in trials, in business deals, in counseling, in everything.
But how closely and clearly would cameras capture the facial expressions of all 1000+ voting members at the CWA? I'm certain that by selecting particular groups of people, a camera operator (or the button-pusher in the booth) could give the impression that everyone was upset or that everyone was pleased with what was happening.

This is really sort of pointless, don't you think? Different people, all present, had different impressions of what was going on. Period.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 28, 2007, 12:47:44 AM
This is really sort of pointless, don't you think? Different people, all present, had different impressions of what was going on. Period.
Exactly my point against those claiming to know what was in the minds of even a majority of those 1000 people. Sometimes the point is, the argument is pointless. (Having just watched War Games again, it can be like a compluter playing tic tac toe against itself -- every game will be a draw. No one ever wins.)
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 28, 2007, 06:27:58 AM
RIchard Johnson writes:
Different people, all present, had different impressions of what was going on. Period.

I comment:
Yes. So for Pastor McCain to declare what was "revealed" to him from afar in that video is ridiculous.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: ptmccain on July 28, 2007, 08:33:00 AM
It must be hard for a person who supports the gay-rights agenda in the ELCA to recognize how many rank and file ELCA members hold such an agenda in utter contempt. The looks on the faces during that protest were priceless: disgust, anger, sadness, irritation, a "give me a break" look, and when the chair commented on how he was used to puerile petulance as a father of six, that got quite a good response from the delegates. It was all easy to see, live and in color.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: 1Ptr5v67 on July 28, 2007, 08:40:10 AM
Below is an excerpt from another Lutheran that was there in 2005,  as posted on her blog - Reflections Day 5

http://onelutheransthoughts.blogspot.com/2005_08_01_archive.html
I think this action hurt this group and any possibility for changes in policy (although that would still have been slim) at this point. I personally was offended as they simply showed no respect for the assembly or the work of this church. I wonder how many who sit/sat on the fence on this issue voted down issue three simply because they thought, "Well, if they break the simple rules here, what else will they do?" So I was appalled and insulted.
http://onelutheransthoughts.blogspot.com/2005_08_01_archive.html
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: ptmccain on July 28, 2007, 08:57:14 AM
Thanks for posting that. I think the full quote is worth reprinting here, from that blog site:

Then issue three, certainly the most controversial. This was debated and several alternative ammendments were put forth (all of which failed) from allowing for the full inclusion (ordination, consecration and commissioning) of any practicing gay/lesbian (GLBT) persons; to who would monitor this 'special ordination' - from the Church Council to the Presiding Bish... All of these were defeated, and the motion that carried simply stated that this church would continue to uphold the Visions and Expectations document for all of its candidates and rostered people. Therefore no change in policy.

What was most disturbing was the action of the Goodsoil group. At the beginning of issue two I noted a significantly larger group of these silent protestors on either side of the conference hall. Then when issue three was called to the floor, they broke through the visitor barriers and proceeded to walk to the front of the hall, directly in front of the stage where the presiding bishop stood. All who were protesting wore a stole - but no rainbow sash anymore. There was murmuring and some limited shouting in the hall, but the bishop called for silence. Then the bishop informed the group that they were out of order and violating the rules of the assembly, and asked them to return to the visitor section. Over the next 10 or so minutes this group did not move, several on the floor called for personal privelage and spoke about the group (either calling them on their violation or asking the house to simply allow their silent protest and to take from that the importance of the issue.) The bish. spoke to this and made a motion to simply continue on with the business of the day, and not to allow others to detract from the important business of the day. It looked like a gentleman from WA was going to move to have them forcibly removed, but the bish.'s motion passed and so debate, and voting continued. This group remained upfront passed the time when the assembly adjourned.

I think this action hurt this group and any possibility for changes in policy (although that would still have been slim) at this point. I personally was offended as they simply showed no respect for the assembly or the work of this church. I wonder how many who sit/sat on the fence on this issue voted down issue three simply because they thought, "Well, if they break the simple rules here, what else will they do?" So I was appalled and insulted.

I learned later that CW was aware of their intended protest and were ready outside with personnel and security if need be, and the bish. was simply trying to avoid having to have the personally removed. I saw a kind, gracious and yet powerful leader in the bish. this day, and I have great respect for his dignity and honor.

God, continue to be present in this church and help us remain in gracious and thoughtgul dialogue.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 28, 2007, 01:25:51 PM
I wrote:

Different people, all present, had different impressions of what was going on. Period.

Charles responded:

Yes. So for Pastor McCain to declare what was "revealed" to him from afar in that video is ridiculous.

And then Paul added:

It must be hard for a person who supports the gay-rights agenda in the ELCA to recognize how many rank and file ELCA members hold such an agenda in utter contempt. The looks on the faces during that protest were priceless: disgust, anger, sadness, irritation, a "give me a break" look, and when the chair commented on how he was used to puerile petulance as a father of six, that got quite a good response from the delegates. It was all easy to see, live and in color.

To which I respond:

What part of "period" don't you guys understand?  >:(
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Maryland Brian on July 28, 2007, 03:35:23 PM
I comment:
Yes. So for Pastor McCain to declare what was "revealed" to him from afar in that video is ridiculous.

  ... in your opinion ...

   Communication events happen in one's head as words/expressions/gestures and such are shared between individuals who compare their observations, their emotional reactions, their interpretations, their wants in the moment etc., etc.  We call that dialog.

  Basic communication theory, that I suspect all of us learned in seminary (NOTE - this is an assumption I hold so I am open to being called on it not true for all), tells us that labeling another's feelings, interpretations, etc. shuts down conversations every time. 
I also remember my first mentor, Dr Carl Mau telling me that ironically he'd found most of his communication staff had very poor interpersonal communication skills.  But then, that was his experience as the general secretary of the LWF and may not hold true for all communication specialists either.

Maryland Brian
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: ptmccain on July 28, 2007, 06:04:33 PM
Our moderator emeritus has said, "period." What part of this don't we all understand?
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Maryland Brian on July 28, 2007, 06:29:49 PM
Our moderator emeritus has said, "period." What part of this don't we all understand?

  I posted before I read further down the page.  Perhaps I should read all new messages before replying in the future.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: ptmccain on July 28, 2007, 06:31:01 PM
I was really just kidding MB.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Maryland Brian on July 28, 2007, 06:37:17 PM
I was really just kidding MB.

Uh, I couldn't tell.  See how hard this communication thing is???  :-)

MD Brian
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Laroki on July 28, 2007, 06:49:11 PM
I was a voting member in Orlando and will never forget the demonstration surrounding the third rec vote.  The defiance and stubborn refusal to obey the bishop was breathtaking.  I too, sat close, in the second row.  I sometimes work with large groups of children and so I have little tolerance for such methods of mass manipulation.  I would never allow my own children to get away with such behavior, either.  I kept coming back to this analogy again and again, the demonstrators being the defiant children and the adults firmly saying "no".  I can't imagine I was alone in my opinions.  I believe the demonstration definitely cost Good Soil dearly. 
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: aberaussie on July 28, 2007, 09:16:29 PM
I was there as well, as a volunteer.  I heard no positive responses to the demonstration.
Katie Abercrombie
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: pastorg1@aol.com on July 28, 2007, 11:49:39 PM
Arrested development in so many ways...

Pete Garrison
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Maryland Brian on July 29, 2007, 08:19:58 AM


"The struggle is not over, LGBT Lutherans and their allies both clergy and lay will not relent until justice and mercy prevail." Emily Eastwood, Executive Director, Lutherans Concerned/North America

Note the, "will not relent until ..."  They have a difficult time hearing no.

BTW, I've often wondered how the self-defined "B" in the above lingo fits into all this.  At some point it must mean the "B" in the group makes a decision about their sexuality in order to remain in a monogamous relationship.  That must mean sexuality is a choice.  Or it might mean LC/NA has no real intention of stopping at monogamy.

Anyway, only rhetorical questions this morning.  If this takes off into a conversation about Bisexuality and what that means for same-sex couples and LC/NA's ultimate intent ... we can start something in Your Turn.

I only raise it in the context of the understanding LC/NA's final agenda and "will not relent."

MD Brian
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Laroki on July 29, 2007, 08:53:27 AM


"The struggle is not over, LGBT Lutherans and their allies both clergy and lay will not relent until justice and mercy prevail." Emily Eastwood, Executive Director, Lutherans Concerned/North America

Note the, "will not relent until ..."  They have a difficult time hearing no.

BTW, I've often wondered how the self-defined "B" in the above lingo fits into all this.  At some point it must mean the "B" in the group makes a decision about their sexuality in order to remain in a monogamous relationship.  That must mean sexuality is a choice.  Or it might mean LC/NA has no real intention of stopping at monogamy.

Anyway, only rhetorical questions this morning.  If this takes off into a conversation about Bisexuality and what that means for same-sex couples and LC/NA's ultimate intent ... we can start something in Your Turn.

I only raise it in the context of the understanding LC/NA's final agenda and "will not relent."

MD Brian

Just a rhetorical theory:  What if we all claimed sexual minority status by explaining that we are all, in fact, bisexual.  We have simply decided on one monogamous partner and that partner just happens to be of the opposite sex and we have married them.  Then we could all be "extraordinary"!
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Deb_H. on July 30, 2007, 06:01:06 AM
What if we all claimed sexual minority status

Sort of like the characters in the Star Bellied Sneeches book, by Dr. Seuss? 

Quote
by explaining that we are all, in fact, bisexual.  We have simply decided on one monogamous partner and that partner just happens to be of the opposite sex and we have married them.  Then we could all be "extraordinary"!

This is, in fact, pretty much what one 'expert' told the sexuality task force -- that everyone is, to some degree or another, homosexually oriented.  Some more than others, of course, but all on a continuum (not a bell curve).  He claimed no one is 100% heterosexual or homosexual, based on 'scientific' studies where people were asked to watch different combinations of couplings and measuring heart rate changes, etc.  Doesn't really fit into the "I was born that way, it's not a choice, can't change it" reasoning, if so many of us have been able to "choose" one partner (opposite sex) and so I'm not sure what they made of that input to the task force. 

The sexuality task force never really did spend a lot of time hearing from sexual minorities other than the GL set, or talking about them even, but since the Lutheran Youth voted to welcome and support people of ALL SEXUAL ORIENTATIONS they will get to talk about it someday in the ELCA, I am sure (even though I don't think the youth had any idea just how many 'orientations' are out there nowdays).

If we all claimed bisexual status and said we just "chose" to marry opposite sex, we'd have to also support those who would choose otherwise, I suppose, so this strategy wouldn't work.  I don't think orientation is a choice, but that still doesn't make it good, or bless-able. (it's a bondage, as in 'we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves.')  Adam and Eve were created good; after that, the rest of us come into the world as sinners.

Debbie Hesse
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: JEdwards on July 31, 2007, 02:48:12 PM
I'm kind of hopeful for another big showy protest at the ELCA convention.

I assume that you hope for the well-being of the Church Universal and the success of her mission.  Can you explain how these hopes coexist?

Jon Edwards
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Mike Bennett on July 31, 2007, 02:58:52 PM
I'm kind of hopeful for another big showy protest at the ELCA convention.

I assume that you hope for the well-being of the Church Universal and the success of her mission.  Can you explain how these hopes coexist?

Jon Edwards

I'm not Paul, but I can offer one way these hopes could coexist.  The sooner those who would trouble the Church are exposed for what they are and are forced to withdraw in shame, the better.  Before you rise up and accuse me of an unChristian attitude, remember the imprecatory Psalms. 

Mike Bennett
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Rev. BT Ball on July 31, 2007, 03:23:55 PM
To the ELCA folks out there - has a more complete schedule of the CWA been released yet?  I have looked on the ELCA website and only found the times for the plenary sessions, services, meals etc.   Is there anything more specific?  Thanks.
Pr. Ben Ball, St. Paul's Ev. Lutheran Church, Brookfield, IL
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Mike Bennett on July 31, 2007, 03:36:05 PM
To the ELCA folks out there - has a more complete schedule of the CWA been released yet?  I have looked on the ELCA website and only found the times for the plenary sessions, services, meals etc.   Is there anything more specific?  Thanks.
Pr. Ben Ball, St. Paul's Ev. Lutheran Church, Brookfield, IL

This might be what you're looking for, unless you've already been here:

http://www.elca.org/assembly/votingmatters/

Mike Bennett
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Rev. BT Ball on July 31, 2007, 03:46:37 PM
Thanks: that is where I was and if you hit the schedule link, you'll see there isn't much there regarding specifics.
Pr. Ball+
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Michael_Rothaar on July 31, 2007, 03:47:14 PM
To the ELCA folks out there - has a more complete schedule of the CWA been released yet?  I have looked on the ELCA website and only found the times for the plenary sessions, services, meals etc.   Is there anything more specific?  Thanks.
Pr. Ben Ball, St. Paul's Ev. Lutheran Church, Brookfield, IL

This might be what you're looking for, unless you've already been here:

http://www.elca.org/assembly/votingmatters/

Mike Bennett


I assume Pr. Ball is seeking a tentative order of business within the plenaries -- something I'd love to see, as well, to better plan my week. Even before the assembly begins, there exists at least an approximate notion of when elections will be balloted, when various motions will be considered, etc. Since my volunteering services downtown were only requested on Monday, I won't necessarily attend the assembly or tune in to the web site throughout the week. No point in sitting through greetings from dignitaries and en bloc voting matters if one is not one of those poor saps a voting member of the assembly.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Rev. BT Ball on July 31, 2007, 04:02:45 PM
Pr. Rothaar-
that is exactly what I am looking for;  I'd like to head downtown to observe a bit, and I'd like to plan prudently (e.g. not taking the train in and getting stuck listening to discussions about finance).  If a more complete schedule is released, would you please post it?

As an aside, I have passed by your parish many, many times.  My wife's OB is down the street; and I'll be by in a couple days to see the ultrasound of the next arrow in the quiver.

Pr. Ben Ball+
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Michael_Rothaar on August 01, 2007, 01:24:18 PM
Pr. Rothaar-
that is exactly what I am looking for;  I'd like to head downtown to observe a bit, and I'd like to plan prudently (e.g. not taking the train in and getting stuck listening to discussions about finance).  If a more complete schedule is released, would you please post it?

Did you notice that when you're at http://www.elca.org/assembly/index.html, the right sight of the screen is a navigation frame that is carried forward  on all the sub-pages. Within that navigation screen, there's a calendar. When you click on any of the assembly dates, it opens up a more detailed agenda for that day. If a more detailed agenda is published, I suspect that's where it'll be.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Rev. BT Ball on August 01, 2007, 01:31:44 PM
Mike, thanks for the help, I hadn't noticed that.
Peace, Pr. Ben Ball+
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Erma_S._Wolf on August 04, 2007, 03:18:53 AM
   From another website I have learned that the opening session on Monday night will have, in addition to the adoption of the rules and the agenda (will it be as interesting as in 2005? Could be!), the first ballot for presiding bishop. 

    I'm already in Chicago (I'm attending Worship Jubilee).  Got in late so I didn't get over to Navy Pier tonight.  Actually, I'm lucky to have a room at all; the Hyatt overbooked. (I'm sleeping on a couch tonight.  They've promised a rollaway bed by tomorrow night.)  Hope this gets cleared up by Monday, when most of the assembly voting members come in!

Erma Wolf
Title: That's One Big Closet
Post by: ptmccain on August 04, 2007, 09:48:10 AM
Just in time for the Assembly...

http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/faith/entries/2007/08/03/thats_one_big_closet_more_than_1.html

Quote from the story:

Are you serious, I thought when I heard the voice mail. More than 80 Lutheran ministers will go public with their homosexual identity next week? Mind you, these clergy members serve a comparatively liberal branch of Lutheranism, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. But still, many of those coming out on Tuesday are in homosexual relationships, and the ELCA restricts ordination to heterosexuals who are faithful in marriage or celibate homosexuals. As it happens, the ELCA will be debating the issue of dropping the celibacy requirement for gay ministers at its biennial assembly next week in Chicago. I got the phone message about next week’s press conference from a fellow with Lutherans Concerned/North America, a group that supports people of “all sexual orientations and gender identities.”

Interesting story in the Tribune on these issues:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/southsouthwest/chi-lutheransaug03,1,6348304.story?ctrack=1&cset=true
Title: Re: That's One Big Closet
Post by: Maryland Brian on August 04, 2007, 10:11:08 AM
Just in time for the Assembly...

http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/faith/entries/2007/08/03/thats_one_big_closet_more_than_1.html


   In reading the article, I found this quote more intriguing to me personally:

"The Lutheran communion has not come to the point of division over human sexuality," he added. "It's not to minimize the tension, but it is to affirm the thoughtfulness with which we have engaged each other."

Hanson, who at this assembly seeks re-election to a second six-year term as presiding bishop, expressed hope that the assembly will not eclipse efforts to develop a statement on human sexuality by 2009.

 Since he is the president of the body in question, I would think Hanson would know we are part of a federation, not a communion.  That language, a Lutheran Communion, was studied and rejected a number of years ago by the LWF.  I wonder what he's playing at by taking it upon himself to change the language and the structural intent of the Lutheran World Federation?  Or was it badly quoted by the reporter?

Be that as it may, I interpret his comments in the rest of the article to mean he's probably aware that what's happening in TEC would quickly happen in the ELCA should the policy be changed.  Sounds like he and the memorials committee would prefer to punt for a few years.

Maryland Brian
Title: Re: That's One Big Closet
Post by: Bergs on August 04, 2007, 10:39:20 AM
Just in time for the Assembly...

http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/faith/entries/2007/08/03/thats_one_big_closet_more_than_1.html

Quote from the story:

Are you serious, I thought when I heard the voice mail. More than 80 Lutheran ministers will go public with their homosexual identity next week? Mind you, these clergy members serve a comparatively liberal branch of Lutheranism, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. But still, many of those coming out on Tuesday are in homosexual relationships, and the ELCA restricts ordination to heterosexuals who are faithful in marriage or celibate homosexuals. As it happens, the ELCA will be debating the issue of dropping the celibacy requirement for gay ministers at its biennial assembly next week in Chicago. I got the phone message about next week’s press conference from a fellow with Lutherans Concerned/North America, a group that supports people of “all sexual orientations and gender identities.”

What?  LCNA is planning a big surprise?  They are trying to introduce some more spin in a rather emotional way?  What a newsflash.  If this is the only attempted shocker used at Navy Pier the delegates should consider themselves fortunate.  LCNA continues to be an embarassment as an officially recognized ELCA organization.

It will be interesting to see if they actually publish the list.  Then it will be interesting to see if the names are new or already known names such as if Anita Hill, Bradley Schmeling, Jeff Johnson, etc. will be on it.  In fact I can probably come up with 20 names just off the top of my head.  The closet door might have already opened and this is just a reworking of old news. 

The goodsoil website lists all kinds of opportunities that LCNA and her allies will be using to change policy by playing on delegates' emotions.  With all of the events, I don't notice a Bible study, but then they might discover an inconvenient truth.

Grace & Peace,
Brian J. Bergs
Minneapolis, MN
Title: Re: That's One Big Closet
Post by: Kurt Strause on August 04, 2007, 11:00:34 AM
Since he is the president of the body in question, I would think Hanson would know we are part of a federation, not a communion.  That language, a Lutheran Communion, was studied and rejected a number of years ago by the LWF.  I wonder what he's playing at by taking it upon himself to change the language and the structural intent of the Lutheran World Federation?  Or was it badly quoted by the reporter?
Maryland Brian

I'm not exactly sure when the exact words "a Lutheran Communion" were studied and rejected by the LWF, but the LWF defines itself as a "communion of churches which confess the Triune God, agree in the proclamation of the Word of God and are united in pulpit and altar fellowship." (LWF Constitution, Article III) This was affirmed at Winnipeg in 2003.

I can see a subtle distinction between the LWF as "a Lutheran Communion" and a "communion of churches," but its probably lost on a secular reporter.

Kurt Strause
Title: Re: That's One Big Closet
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 04, 2007, 11:27:38 AM
It will be interesting to see if they actually publish the list.  Then it will be interesting to see if the names are new or already known names such as if Anita Hill, Bradley Schmeling, Jeff Johnson, etc. will be on it.  In fact I can probably come up with 20 names just off the top of my head.  The closet door might have already opened and this is just a reworking of old news.
A reminder: Anita Hill, Bradley Schmeling, Jeff Johnson, Steve Sabin, among many others are not on the ELCA clergy roster. They could be used by the "traditionalists" to indicate how our ELCA policy does keep "practicing homosexuals" off our clergy roster.
Title: Re: That's One Big Closet
Post by: Pr. Jerry on August 04, 2007, 11:34:51 AM
Just in time for the Assembly...

http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/faith/entries/2007/08/03/thats_one_big_closet_more_than_1.html

Quote from the story:

Are you serious, I thought when I heard the voice mail. More than 80 Lutheran ministers will go public with their homosexual identity next week? Mind you, these clergy members serve a comparatively liberal branch of Lutheranism, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. But still, many of those coming out on Tuesday are in homosexual relationships, and the ELCA restricts ordination to heterosexuals who are faithful in marriage or celibate homosexuals. As it happens, the ELCA will be debating the issue of dropping the celibacy requirement for gay ministers at its biennial assembly next week in Chicago. I got the phone message about next week’s press conference from a fellow with Lutherans Concerned/North America, a group that supports people of “all sexual orientations and gender identities.”

What?  LCNA is planning a big surprise?  They are trying to introduce some more spin in a rather emotional way?  What a newsflash.  If this is the only attempted shocker used at Navy Pier the delegates should consider themselves fortunate.  LCNA continues to be an embarassment as an officially recognized ELCA organization.

It will be interesting to see if they actually publish the list.  Then it will be interesting to see if the names are new or already known names such as if Anita Hill, Bradley Schmeling, Jeff Johnson, etc. will be on it.  In fact I can probably come up with 20 names just off the top of my head.  The closet door might have already opened and this is just a reworking of old news. 

The goodsoil website lists all kinds of opportunities that LCNA and her allies will be using to change policy by playing on delegates' emotions.  With all of the events, I don't notice a Bible study, but then they might discover an inconvenient truth.

LC/NA has, for several months now, been publicizing an effort they call "The Missing Members (or Pieces, I can't remember right off the top...) of the Body of Christ" in which they have been compling names, pictures, and testimonials of clergy whom they say have been marginalized or driven from ministry because of their sexual orientation.  I don't know if this has anything to do with this other story, but they were supposed to be unveiling the project outside the CWA to call attention to the plight of the church, which is incomplete (as they see it) without these clergy...

As I remember it, I saw one voting member, a Pastor from Long Beach, CA, rise and address the 2005 assembly by announcing that he had been violating V+E for seven years and had been keeping it from his Bishop.  I don't recall any adverse reactions to his revelation.  Point is, just how deep can "the closet" be when you can reveal your "secret" in front of the P.B., the CWA, and the whole world and not suffer any reprocussions?  You can even check that you are not going to abide by V+E on your mobility paperwork for God's sake.  So eighty-some-odd clergy are "coming out."  Whether they're new names, familiar names, or some mixture (probably this is the case...) of both, what exactly do they expect to happen?  

I think it is a rather feeble attempt at drama that the press will likely play up, but should be met with a chorus of yawns.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
 
Title: Re: That's One Big Closet
Post by: Pr. Jerry on August 04, 2007, 11:41:43 AM
A reminder: Anita Hill, Bradley Schmeling, Jeff Johnson, Steve Sabin, among many others are not on the ELCA clergy roster. They could be used by the "traditionalists" to indicate how our ELCA policy does keep "practicing homosexuals" off our clergy roster.

Actually Brian, they will be used by the "pro-change" side to indicate how ELCA policy does keep "practicing homosexuals" off the roster. 

For that matter, Jeff Johnson, Anita Hill, and Brad Schmelling among others continue to serve ELCA congregations and ministries.  So this "traditionalist" asks: How exactly does the ELCA policy keep discipline amongst it's ordained ministers?  For whether they're "on the roster" or not, they are serving with and amongst us.  Which is, I believe, LC/NA's point.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
 
Title: Re: That's One Big Closet
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 04, 2007, 11:47:01 AM
For that matter, Jeff Johnson, Anita Hill, and Brad Schmelling among others continue to serve ELCA congregations and ministries.  So this "traditionalist" asks: How exactly does the ELCA policy keep discipline amongst it's ordained ministers?  For whether they're "on the roster" or not, they are serving with and amongst us.  Which is, I believe, LC/NA's point.
Yes, these and others are serving ELCA congregations. Then the issue is about the discipline of congregations who have called non-rostered clergy. This has not happened. Even the bishop who filed charges against Schmelling has said that he will not pursue discipline against the congregation. (His successor has already been elected.)
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: scott3 on August 04, 2007, 12:05:07 PM
Sounds like this could be a good opportunity for exercising some doctrinal discipline.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Pr. Jerry on August 04, 2007, 12:21:12 PM
Sounds like this could be a good opportunity for exercising some doctrinal discipline.

It would be, but it won't...  After all, what are you supposed to do when only some Bishops will excercise their authority (like Bp. Warren), and then only partially, but their neighboring Bishops will not.  So when you do excercise authority and discipline you get castigated while others who refuse to excercise their authority are lauded.  It's amazing to me that our Bishops retain their sanity, but then again we are the ones responsible for electing them over, and over again.  So it shouldn't be a surprise to us that we've gotten the Bishops, we in fact, deserve.

Besides, the heart-and-soul of the ELCA these days is that, for every rule, there must be exceptions.  So discipline, doctrinal or behavioral, is thwarted because how can you ever hope to enforce a rule that has exceptions?

Not to mention (and I hate this logic...) that's what LC/NA is looking for: a new group of "martyrs."  They want the publicity of 80 disciplinary hearings.  Not sying that we should decide (as a denomination) what we do because of what LC/NA wants, mind you, but the reality is that if discipline was enjoined, they would trumpet the "injustice" of the situation on every paper, television news program, and accross the web.  Bp. Hanson sure doesn't want that heat, and neither do most Synodical Bishops. 

So the long and the short of it is, we'll have to endure these 80+ being lionized as paragons of honesty and courage.  And so it goes.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: That's One Big Closet
Post by: navyman on August 04, 2007, 12:33:12 PM
It will be interesting to see if they actually publish the list.  Then it will be interesting to see if the names are new or already known names such as if Anita Hill, Bradley Schmeling, Jeff Johnson, etc. will be on it.  In fact I can probably come up with 20 names just off the top of my head.  The closet door might have already opened and this is just a reworking of old news.
A reminder: Anita Hill, Bradley Schmeling, Jeff Johnson, Steve Sabin, among many others are not on the ELCA clergy roster. They could be used by the "traditionalists" to indicate how our ELCA policy does keep "practicing homosexuals" off our clergy roster.

As one Pastor has indicated before, the ELCA doesn't have any active gay pastors.  Please Brian, it wasn't the "traditionalist" who got us into this mess.  As you know our views were silence in the sexuality study, as well as any discussion, that was based on the Bible, was silenced. It was the Liberal and Revisionist, from the very start of the ELCA.  ALC, had nothing to do with it, it was the Liberal side if your remember!

Do you think for a min, that the ELCA is going to let the Bible stand in the way of gay acceptance, glory theology, gay theology, and the confessions that we don't keep.

Come On Brian, not all of the pew members march to the tune of HQ @ Higgins Rd, or the Bishops of the ELCA.  After all its the pew members who have been fighting this all along, but our voice aren't heard by the Liberal or Revisionist side.

Not all pastors, within the ELCA are committed to gay ordination or gay anything.  There is no special sin Brian!  Although, the ELCA seems to believe more in Glory Theology, and sees it as no sin!  Of course Luther taught differently, Theology of the Cross, conversion, repentance, forgiviness, and picking up one cross and following Christ alone, not the teaching of humankind!

Regards!

Don

Regards!

Don Whitbeck
Title: Re: That's One Big Closet
Post by: Richard Johnson on August 04, 2007, 01:48:20 PM
Even the bishop who filed charges against Schmelling has said that he will not pursue discipline against the congregation. (His successor has already been elected.)

Now how exactly are you going to spin his decision not to pursue discipline? From reading his letter announcing his decision, my read on it would be: Of course he's not. He's a lame duck, a disciplinary procedure takes months if not years, and nothing would be more unfair to his successor than to hand him an in process disciplinary matter. Bp. Warren did exactly the right thing under the circumstances, which is to tell the congregation council they should be in touch with their new bishop as he decides whether or not to file charges against them for violating their constitution.
Title: Re: That's One Big Closet
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 04, 2007, 01:58:29 PM
As one Pastor has indicated before, the ELCA doesn't have any active gay pastors. 
Yes, it does. There are practicing homosexuals on the ELCA clergy roster. However, those who have been mentioned in this discussion are not.
Title: Re: That's One Big Closet
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on August 04, 2007, 02:45:24 PM
Since he is the president of the body in question, I would think Hanson would know we are part of a federation, not a communion.  That language, a Lutheran Communion, was studied and rejected a number of years ago by the LWF. 

You're a bit out of date, Brian.  At its 10th Assembly in 2003 in Winnipeg (I was there), the LWF amended its formal name to become "The Lutheran World Federation - A Communion of Churches."  The self-description of "communion" with a declaration of altar and pulpit fellowship between all member churches had been adopted at the 9th Assembly in 1997.

Now, at this point, Pr. McCain should be jumping in to note that not all LWF members (particularly those in the Baltics and Eastern Europe that are in Altar and Pulpit Fellowship with the LCMS) have formally declared that state to exist and that they do not accept that the LWF is a "communion." 

My response to that, based on my own observations and conversations with some of the Baltic churchmen (including an Archbishop), is that we are both correct.  (Those Baltic churchmen could teach our State Department a thing or 2 about diplomacy. ;) )

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: That's One Big Closet
Post by: scott3 on August 04, 2007, 03:21:22 PM
Since he is the president of the body in question, I would think Hanson would know we are part of a federation, not a communion.  That language, a Lutheran Communion, was studied and rejected a number of years ago by the LWF. 

You're a bit out of date, Brian.  At its 10th Assembly in 2003 in Winnipeg (I was there), the LWF amended its formal name to become "The Lutheran World Federation - A Communion of Churches."  The self-description of "communion" with a declaration of altar and pulpit fellowship between all member churches had been adopted at the 9th Assembly in 1997.

Now, at this point, Pr. McCain should be jumping in to note that not all LWF members (particularly those in the Baltics and Eastern Europe that are in Altar and Pulpit Fellowship with the LCMS) have formally declared that state to exist and that they do not accept that the LWF is a "communion." 

My response to that, based on my own observations and conversations with some of the Baltic churchmen (including an Archbishop), is that we are both correct.  (Those Baltic churchmen could teach our State Department a thing or 2 about diplomacy. ;) )

Pax, Steven+

Our LCMS partner church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya, is strongly against the re-labeling.  Bishop Obare has been very vocal in his opposition, and I even seem to recall (I'm not positive and would welcome correction on this point) that their (ELCK) annual assembly voted against the name change.
Title: Re: That's One Big Closet
Post by: ptmccain on August 04, 2007, 03:40:57 PM
Now, at this point, Pr. McCain should be jumping in to note that not all LWF members (particularly those in the Baltics and Eastern Europe that are in Altar and Pulpit Fellowship with the LCMS) have formally declared that state to exist and that they do not accept that the LWF is a "communion." 

Now, at this point, let me jump in to note that not all LWF members (particularly those in the Baltics and Eastern Europe, and Africa, and Asia, and Central and South America, that are in Altar and Pulpit Fellowship with the LCMS), as well as other member churches of the LWF, have never endorsed or accepted the notion that the LWF is a communio of churches.

: )
Title: Re: That's One Big Closet
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 04, 2007, 05:13:02 PM
Now, at this point, let me jump in to note that not all LWF members (particularly those in the Baltics and Eastern Europe, and Africa, and Asia, and Central and South America, that are in Altar and Pulpit Fellowship with the LCMS), as well as other member churches of the LWF, have never endorsed or accepted the notion that the LWF is a communio of churches.
There were congregations who voted "no" on whether or not to form a new church. However, when the resolution was approved, they were part of the ELCA whether they liked it or not. (They could, and some did, follow the proper procedures for leaving the ELCA.)
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Charles_Austin on August 04, 2007, 05:51:09 PM
And the LWF has declared itself a "communion" of churches in which all should be in altar and pulpit fellowship with one another. But it is not a perfect world, is it? The LWF holds services of Holy Communion when it meets and back in the old days when I was there, the LC-MS related churches that were members participated, sometimes in spite of scolding from St. Louis.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: ptmccain on August 04, 2007, 06:46:35 PM
What's interesting to watch is while the Western liberal Lutheran churches in the LWF are in a freefall: demographically and theologically, the more conservative Lutheran churches in the LWF are thriving and growing, by leaps and bounds. And the theology and ethics represented by the European state churches and their American partner are held in very low regard. If Hanson, and his supporters, think they will be able to "smooth talk" their way around the homosexuality issue, like they are trying to do in their own churches, they are going to be sorely disappointed. The Eastern European and Baltic member churches of the LWF have a long memory of how the liberal churches were praising Marx and Lenin and socialism in general, while they were being persecuted and killed by these "progressive" governments. The weak and empty theology of liberal Lutheranism did not sustain the Lutherans behind the Iron Curtain during the years of persecution: it was only the solid confession of the Scriptures and Confessions, Catechism and old Hymnals that sustained them. And they remember it. That's why they so much appreciate the incredibly teaching work going on throughout the world by confessional Lutheran seminary professors, and why they are welcomed with open arms, much to the chagrin to the Genevan power brokers who can wave money around in front of impoverished churches in the third world, but who bring only an impoverished theology.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: scott3 on August 04, 2007, 07:13:44 PM
And if you would like to re-visit the position of the ELCK (in Kenya) with regard to the influence of the liberal churches, check out Bishop Obare's outstanding address that he gave to the LWF Council in Jerusalem.  It was subsequently published in Concordia Theological Quarterly.

Here's an excerpt without the footnotes which include a wealth of scriptural and confessional backing as well as interesting commentary:


2. "Calling a thing what it is"


“A theology of glory calls evil good and good evil.  A theology of the cross calls the thing what it actually is.” (Martin Luther, Heidelberg Disputation, Thesis 21)
[/i]

Rather than following the path of fidelity to Scripture and to the historic confession of the church, the Church of Sweden pursues the path of ecclesial tyranny and oppression through the enforcement of its humanly contrived rules and regulations.  Rather than exercising true Christian love and unity, it fosters schism and controversy.  Like true theologians of glory, the leadership of the Church of Sweden and other Northern, liberal churches insist on calling the bad good and the good bad.  The LWF is not innocent of this charge.  Let us examine some documents prepared by such theologians to see if this is the case.

a.   After receiving the request from the Mission Province to consecrate Bishop Olsson, Archbishop Hammar wrote a well-publicized letter to me that contained this excerpt: “Within the Church of Sweden there are many inner-church movements with different perspectives.  Today, they exist side-by-side united by a wish to stay together even though there are different opinions regarding many of these perspectives.  We seem to have reached the painful situation where the wish for some to stay together is no longer as strong as the need to stress one’s own perspective.”

The truth is that the Mission Province never intended to leave the Church of Sweden.  They have always maintained their desire to remain as a confessing reform movement within the Church of Sweden (one of Archbishop Hammar’s “inner-church movements”), not as a new church.   Their desire for unity with a church that has been persecuting their beliefs is remarkable for its commitment to both maintain their confession and the visible unity of the church.  But what happened in point of fact?  The Church of Sweden removed Bishop Olsson from her roster.   

Which party is the one whose need “to stress one’s own perspective” overcomes the desire to stay together?  Archbishop Hammar agrees that inner-church movements are possible, but when one comes along that does not fit in well with the agenda of the church leadership, it is kicked out.  And this despite the protestations from the so-called “schismatics” who over and over express their intention to remain within the Church of Sweden!  The good of maintaining the historic Christian confession of faith is no longer tolerated and is called bad.  The good of desiring to remain united with the Church of Sweden in order to reform her is called bad.  Nietzche’s “will to power” expresses itself through the leadership of the Church of Sweden as regulations are used not to further the unity of the church but to splinter it.  In the end, a particular ideological agenda seeks to crush all opposition in its quest for power within the church.  My brothers and sisters, call a thing what it is!

b.   In Presiding Bishop Hanson’s address to the LWF Council in September 2004, he discussed diversity within the church when he called for: “Expansion of our understanding of ‘differentiated consensus’ and ‘reconciled diversity’ as theological tools for deepening conversation will help us to grow in unity without demanding uniformity.”

While the theological and logical confusion behind such terms as “differentiated consensus” and “reconciled diversity” is evident,   Bishop Hanson’s stated hope would be that churches could allow for different opinions existing within them.  This is a very different goal than Paul’s “being of one mind”,  but let us look how this desire works out in practice to see if something more sinister is concealed behind these phrases.

The Church of Sweden fosters division and schism by its intolerant policy of not allowing priests to be ordained unless they agree with women’s ordination.  This is hardly an example of helping “us to grow in unity without demanding uniformity.”  Yet the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has done nothing to help alleviate the situation.  From an African perspective, the reasons for this are likely to be because of the wealth and power of the church and the unwillingness of the LWF to honestly confront one of its wealthiest and most powerful members.

But weaker members are fair game.  For my willingness to speak the truth to power and act on the biblical confession of faith, I face expulsion from the LWF Council.  The Church of Sweden has already expelled Bishop Olsson for his plea for the tolerance of his position within the Church of Sweden.  Apparently, uniformity is demanded, but it is uniformity to novel doctrines that have only arisen in the last 50 years of church history.

So what is concealed behind the terms “differentiated consensus”, “reconciled diversity” and “unity without demanding uniformity” is something quite different from what they state on the face of it.  Rather, these are expressions of the dominating will of a powerful elite who seek to enforce their ideologies on the rest of the church.  They conceal with a thin veneer the “will-to-power” operative in the church today.  We have watched this happen over and over in liberal, Northern Christianity.  Liberal theological trends progressively take over, not in the congregations, but in the leadership.  They become imposed through the “will-to-power” concealed in pleasant expressions like “differentiated consensus” upon the everyday Christian through the exercise of ecclesial dominion.  Gentle sounding phrases become the weapons of a politics of exclusion that dominate liberal churches.   The exercise of this concealed “will-to-power” has crept like an assassin from church to church leaving many spiritual corpses in its wake.  It is even, through financial enticements (a pleasantry I substitute for the term “bribe”), being marketed to Southern churches.  This is at least true in Africa where it is not uncommon for money to be connected to the implementation of the liberal agenda. 

But no more.  Now is the time to say “No!” to this development.  This occupation and domination of churches has hurt enough people.  The intellectual and theological dishonesty concealed by this “double-speak” must end.  Call a thing what it is!

c.   Another theme in Bishop Hanson’s address is standing up for the persecuted of this world.  One example is when he says: “Have we accepted tolerance as the highest value in a pluralistic world, so that we refrain from condemning acts of injustice, violence and intolerance?”  Once again, we see ecclesial “double-speak” rearing its ugly head.  What I did in consecrating Bishop Olsson is exactly to condemn injustice, theological violence and intolerance of the historic confession of the Christian faith.  And it is exactly for this that the LWF Executive Committee, of which Bishop Hanson is the chair, recommended that I be removed from the LWF Council.
A further example is Bishop Hanson’s statement regarding the persecution of Christians: “Let us not forget that Christians and persons of other religions are experiencing persecution and discrimination.  Our failure to speak out for an end to such actions will cause us to grow apart.  We must reject violence in all its forms even as we work for peace and justice.”  In the context of the persecution of pastors holding to the historic confession of the Christian faith in the Church of Sweden, I have spoken out to end such actions.  I have spoken by word and deed.  This is for true peace within the church based on the Word of our Lord as well as justice.  But, once again, the discriminatory practices of the Church of Sweden and Archbishop Hammar have not been censured, but the smaller, weaker Mission Province and I myself have been singled out for retribution.  Is this just?  Is this peaceful?  Is this unity?

To paraphrase Bishop Hanson’s own words I now say: “In the face of injustice, exploitation and violence, [I have spoken] words of prophetic judgment.”  Will anyone listen?

d.   Now let us come to the charges brought against me.  The recommendation made by the Executive Committee reads: “The consecration took place outside all regulations in the Church of Sweden.  This action, by Bishop Obare, together with those who assisted him, must be considered inappropriate interference in the life of a sister church, with negative consequences for the unity of the LWF as a communion of churches as a whole.”  This says that my actions were inconsistent with my role as an “advisor to the Council, entrusted with the responsibility to uphold and further the unity of the Lutheran communion.”

These statements are filled with misunderstandings of what true unity is and of the basis upon which decisions should be made in the church.  They are also hypocritical.

To begin with, unity is God-given, created by the Holy Spirit, and founded upon a common confession of faith as understood through the Holy Scriptures.  The Lutheran Confessions help us understand the message of the Scriptures and are also an aid to unity.  True Christian unity and love demands that injustice be addressed and Scriptural truths upheld.  If this is not done, the message of the Gospel will be compromised in the short or longer term.  This cannot be.  So as stated above, Christian love and unity drove me to aid the Mission Province who sought to be faithful both to the divine command to ordain qualified men into the ministry and to the good human tradition of the Apostolic Succession.  This interaction between the Mission Province and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya was one of the most beautiful expressions of Christian unity.  It should be upheld as a model, where one church calls to another: “Come over and help us!” (cf. Acts 16:9)

Yet this wonderful expression of the una sancta is termed “inappropriate” by the LWF Executive Committee.  It is condemned because it supposedly violated “all regulations in the Church of Sweden.”  First, it must be said that whether or not it was actually a violation of the regulations of the Church of Sweden is a matter of debate and interpretation.    The interpretation forwarded by Bishop Olsson and the Mission Province argues quite cogently that the consecration did not take place outside of the church regulations.  But more importantly, should not the question the church be asking be: “Is what Bishop Obare did scriptural?  Is what Bishop Olsson did scriptural?  Is it in accordance with the way Lutherans understand the Christian faith found in the Lutheran Confessions?”  But these questions are deemed unimportant for investigation.  Rather, human rules and regulations are the basis for decision, even if these rules are not in accordance with Scripture and the historic understanding of the Christian faith.

Even more, the hypocrisy of the LWF Executive Committee is palpable.  The LWF is an organization which is largely dominated by Northern, rich, liberal churches.  That these dominant, powerful interests are now accusing a Southern bishop of “inappropriate interference in the life of a sister church” is hypocritical.  Before going on, I need to state how grateful we are in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya for the mission work that was done among us by the Swedish Lutherans who God used to found our church.  Their dedication and sacrifice is now bearing fruit – even thirty, sixty and one hundredfold – in that God is now using us to stand for the pure proclamation of the Gospel in Sweden and soon, hopefully, in other places around the world.

Even so, the Northern churches have a long, distinguished and ongoing tradition of “inappropriately interfering in the life of a sister church.”  This interference takes many forms, but largely it is through the manipulation of the purse strings / the giving of funds.  Money is to be had if you agree to the agenda set by liberal Northern churches.  I, myself, was offered various “partnerships” by LWF “sister churches” if I would not consecrate Bishop Olsson.  We have a word for this type of offer, a procedure that is, sadly, all too familiar to those of us in Kenya who have to combat the effects of graft daily.

Another type of interference is theological.  An example of this is the consecration of a divorced, practicing homosexual man as a bishop in the Episcopal Church in the USA which has had wide-ranging effects on all Christian denominations throughout the South, and I know for sure in Africa.  It has damaged the credibility of all Christians. The faith of new Christians or weak Christians has been badly shaken, and many have wondered if the Christian religion is the right one.  It has also aided the outreach of the Muslims who use it as an example of the corruptness of Christianity.  This is one theological example among many.  The practices of liberal Lutheran churches in ordaining women, blessing homosexual unions (like the one in which Archbishop Hammar was present), and perhaps eventually ordaining practicing homosexuals are also terrible interferences in the life of Southern Lutheran churches.  If this is not “inappropriate interference” that damages the body of Christ, I do not know what is.

Let me give you just one recent example of “inappropriate interference in the life of a sister church” from my own church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya (ELCK).  A little over a year ago, a missionary pastor from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) planned and deliberately caused a split in what is arguably the most important church in the ELCK – Uhuru Highway Lutheran Church, now called a Cathedral.  He officially tendered his resignation from the English service at the church two weeks before leaving.  The Sunday after he left, he started preaching and began a new congregation also in Nairobi in an LWF “sister church”, the Kenya Evangelical Lutheran Church (KELC).  Before he had officially resigned from Uhuru Highway, this ELCA missionary had organized a steering committee for the new church he intended to found.  He had started working on a new worship folder long before.  The goal was clearly not to stay within the ELCK but to cause a painful split in the church.  The official ELCA representative to East Africa was present at the steering committee meetings before the split occurred and helped to facilitate the split.  The bishop of KELC also aided the schism.  Over 6 months after the split occurred, the ELCA decided to contribute USD 370,000 (USD 185,000 over two years) to the new congregation thus cementing and guaranteeing that the split would remain permanent.

Yet I see Presiding Bishop Hanson of the ELCA as President of the LWF.  I see no charges of “inappropriate interference in the life of a sister church” being leveled against his church body.  I do not see Bishop Hanson’s position as President of the LWF in jeopardy.
My brothers and sisters, this is hypocrisy.  Northern churches regularly “interfere” in the lives of Southern churches.  This interference, like the discrimination of the Church of Sweden against her own members, passes by without comment because of the wealth and power of the churches.  Is this what the church is about?  Is this true Christian unity?

In the end, I do not accept that my own actions were “inappropriate interference” at all.  They were driven, first of all, by Christian love and well-founded in Scripture and the Confessions.  They were approved by my own church, the ELCK, in a resolution adopted at our annual general assembly.  When I presented my reasoning at a private conference of about 17 African Lutheran church leaders [bishops and presidents] held during the 2004 Council meeting, they all expressed their support for my and the ELCK’s decision.   We did not approach the Mission Province; they approached us and we were merely reacting to God’s leading through their call to us.  The Mission Province, unlike the ELCA missionary who split one of our congregations, repeatedly expressed its desire to remain within the church and not be schismatic.  And, as mentioned earlier, the situation in which the Mission Province found themselves necessitated, by divine right, that they ordain pastors which was accomplished in a very appropriate manner by following the Apostolic Succession.  This is not “inappropriate interference”.  It is rather the most appropriate “interference”, an “interference” fully in consonant with the commands of our Lord found in Scripture and explained in the Confessions.

I am sorry if my words have been harsh.  But the truth must be spoken, and if speaking what Scripture says and exercising obedience to the Word causes dissension, so be it.  As Jesus said: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth.  I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.  And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.  Whoever loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matt 10:34-39)


Find the whole thing at: http://www.missionsprovinsen.se/pdf/choose_life_lwf_jerusalem_2005.pdf
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Shrimp on August 04, 2007, 07:55:40 PM
Here's something else for delegates to consider:

4.2 The image of God and the pastoral responsibility of the church

The exchange of God for human images of God necessarily continues on all levels of churchly activity, beginning in the divine service, continuing in pastoral care and the content of proclamation and instruction, to questions of church government.

If one arrives at the conclusion that homosexuality is to be regarded as gift of the divine Creator, it is only consistent for the church to bless couples who so desire. Also the exclusion of practicing and confessing homosexuals from church work, especially from the pastoral office, then is simply impossible, especially when one holds to a mere functional understanding of the office.[150] In this sense, the demands of Homosexualität und Kirche and of those who demand a seemingly loving opening of the church for practicing homosexuals are only consistent. Yet this makes it all the more important to see that this cannot anymore be legitimized with Holy Scripture or the love of the gospel. A churchly blessing of a homosexual couple is therefore also no blessing bestowed by the triune God. Rather, here humans act on their own authority and in the name of their images of God. “As the church cannot invent sacraments which Christ has not instituted, so it also cannot bless what God has not blessed.”[151] Such an act is open rebellion against the First Commandment,[152] and it necessarily must have the effect of splitting the church.[153]

Directly connected to what takes place in the divine service is, also in this instance, the pastoral practice of the church. For it is evident that “a churchly recognition of homosexuality as an equally valid way of life weakens the will to change.”[154] “When the churches say: ‘gay is good,’ they take away much of the incentive necessary to begin the long and painful way of change. It is significantly easier to change churches than one’s own life. In many cases, the church deprives the homosexual person of the motivation to change. It may be that the Christian battling his homosexuality is surrounded by people who tell him that he should celebrate his homosexuality as a gift from God.”[155] In this context, the common practice in churchly counseling agencies or in the church’s youth work of confirming youth and those seeking advice in their homosexual orientation is a terrible thing.[156] Equally terrible is the “coming out” which is praised as the conclusion of self-realization. For this is nothing else than a public confession which, like every other confession, implies a condemnation of the opposite way. Where intimacy is abandoned in such an aggressive way,[157] a salutary pastoral practice is made extremely difficult. In view of the tragic nature of the life of many homosexual people, Christian pastoral care must try to assist them to lead a life beyond the forced public self-exposing and a retreat into hiding.[158] The intimacy or, respectively, confidentiality in pastoral care is absolutely necessary for this.[159] Such confidentiality is indeed the opposite of proud coming outs. Equally, offering a seemingly permanent – thus marriage-like – homosexual partnership as a way out is no solution.[160] Likewise, the general defamation of homosexuals in the open of the congregation is totally wrong. Instead, the important ethical distinction between person and work, also of homosexual inclination and practice, helps to bring about a pastoral encounter beyond rejection of the person and indifference toward their acts.[161] Here church and theology would gain spiritual authority, if they found again the courage to speak also in other areas about continence in various areas of life and about suffering for the sake of the gospel. Based on the New Testament, at any rate, Christians ethics know “also in other areas of life about the possibility of abstaining from sexual activity (e.g., in single life, in celibacy, etc.).”[162] Pastoral care here needs to distinguish between, on the one hand, therapies that are necessary and helpful in achieving a salutary use of one’s sexuality and, on the other hand, confession and absolution which also the person who is therapeutically “healed” continues to need.[163] The near-complete loss of confession and absolution in the realm of the churches has the necessary effect that church and theology have no spiritual authority anymore when it comes to dealing with serious disruptions of the relationship between God and man. This, in turn, has to do with the total elimination of the horizon of the final judgment. The responsibility before God and the standard of the external divine word, which judges and pardons the sinner, is replaced by an ultimately merely immanent self-mediation in relation to one’s own image of God, which, in turn, serves to confirm one’s own self-realization – man as sinner remains with himself, unable to open and give himself to his Creator and creature which is different from himself. In this way, it is subtly denied that also pastoral care is about the (necessary) conflict between God and the images of God, for man reaches the freedom of faith only when the lies of his feelings give way to the truth of faith.[164] Many reports of those affected show that such processes of healing and hallowing are possible as miracles of the Holy Spirit.[165] It is nothing but a denial of the power of the Holy Spirit active in the word and in the holy sacraments, beginning with baptism, when such healings are denied or explained away.

This is why basic decisions in churchly instruction and in proclamation are highly necessary either way. This is why the advocates for the equality of homosexuals try to start here.[166] This is why it is absolutely necessary for the church to proclaim the biblical view of man in an unadulterated manner as the foundation for a life that is blessed by God, and, where this is needed, to call sinners to repentance. It would be irreconcilable with the biblical view of man to admit practicing homosexuals to church work, especially to the pastoral office.[167] “Churchly teaching and instruction have to state clearly that homosexuality and even more so bisexuality … are by no means forms of sexuality that are equal to heterosexuality; and that it is therefore not a matter of indifference which shape sexuality takes on. Heterosexuality therefore has to be the unequivocal guiding ideal of all sexual education; and people who are still wavering in their sexual orientation should unequivocally be encouraged (e.g., by means of pastoral care and psychotherapy) toward heterosexuality. Thus, all possibilities should be exhausted, especially by way of prevention and therapy, to protect people from homosexual influences and lifestyles.”[168] One only needs to add here that it is primarily not about education against something, but, positively, about education for marriage and family, in the context of which also the charisma of celibacy should be addressed by the church more clearly as a genuine alternative. Honecker, referring to Luther’s explanation of the Sixth Commandment, reminds us what is, in this area of life, the most important duty of every Christian and his greatest joy in the faith, namely, to help preserve “somebody else’s chastity” “with word and deed.”[169]

Read the essay: http://saveelca.blogspot.com/2007/08/exchanges-theological-dimensions-of.html
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: ptmccain on August 04, 2007, 07:58:51 PM
Scott,

Thanks for posting that speech. It reveals the true reality that is the LWF today. And it is not a pretty picture.

Paul
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on August 04, 2007, 11:36:08 PM
Hmm.  We've come a long way for "welcome to Chicago." 

Frid och allt gott, Steven+
who has partaken at the Lord's Table
with ++Vanags in Winnipeg and Vadstena
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Pr. Jerry on August 05, 2007, 10:14:16 AM
Hmm.  We've come a long way for "welcome to Chicago." 

So it's probably time to turn our eyes back to Chi-town, where, as of the time of this post, the "Worship Jubilee" should be in high-gear and delegates ...oops, VOTING MEMBERS... will begin arriving in the next several hours.

I know Richard and Erma are on the ground there.  How're things going, I wonder?

Anyone... Anyone...  Buehler... Buehler.... ;)

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Maryland Brian on August 05, 2007, 10:25:38 AM
b.   In Presiding Bishop Hanson’s address to the LWF Council in September 2004, he discussed diversity within the church when he called for: “Expansion of our understanding of ‘differentiated consensus’ and ‘reconciled diversity’ as theological tools for deepening conversation will help us to grow in unity without demanding uniformity.”

While the theological and logical confusion behind such terms as “differentiated consensus” and “reconciled diversity” is evident,  Bishop Hanson’s stated hope would be that churches could allow for different opinions existing within them.  This is a very different goal than Paul’s “being of one mind”,  but let us look how this desire works out in practice to see if something more sinister is concealed behind these phrases.


Thank you for posting this.  I had not seen it.  A cogent, biblical and confessional response to so-called 1st world mainline theological spin.

Perhaps like the Anglican Communion, our own global realignment is not that far off either.  TEC's problems really came to the forefront with Robinson.  A change in V&E policy would, IMHO, likewise set off a similar reaction amid our brothers and sisters in the Global South.

Maryland Brian

Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 05, 2007, 10:53:59 AM
b. In Presiding Bishop Hanson’s address to the LWF Council in September 2004, he discussed diversity within the church when he called for: “Expansion of our understanding of ‘differentiated consensus’ and ‘reconciled diversity’ as theological tools for deepening conversation will help us to grow in unity without demanding uniformity.”

While the theological and logical confusion behind such terms as “differentiated consensus” and “reconciled diversity” is evident,   Bishop Hanson’s stated hope would be that churches could allow for different opinions existing within them.  This is a very different goal than Paul’s “being of one mind”,
But it is very much in line with Paul's different parts of the one body (1 Cor 12). Where Paul does talk about having one mind or the same mind, he uses phroneo, a word whose basic meaning is "thoughtful planning," i.e., be united in your planning and purpose (Phl 2:2, 5; 3:15; 4:2). It does not necessarily mean agreeing about everything. In fact, it is when differing thoughts and ideas are thrown into the planning pot that better plans can be made.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Maryland Brian on August 05, 2007, 05:31:27 PM

But it is very much in line with Paul's different parts of the one body (1 Cor 12). Where Paul does talk about having one mind or the same mind, he uses phroneo, a word whose basic meaning is "thoughtful planning," i.e., be united in your planning and purpose (Phl 2:2, 5; 3:15; 4:2). It does not necessarily mean agreeing about everything. In fact, it is when differing thoughts and ideas are thrown into the planning pot that better plans can be made.


 You're arguing with the wrong person.  I think listening to the insights of an African Lutheran theologian is the point.  The Global South isn't buying the offered insight from a declining mainline Global North.  Reread the entire article.  It is an amazing bit of faithfulness from another part of the Kingdom.

MD Brian
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Erma_S._Wolf on August 05, 2007, 06:55:43 PM
Hmm.  We've come a long way for "welcome to Chicago." 

So it's probably time to turn our eyes back to Chi-town, where, as of the time of this post, the "Worship Jubilee" should be in high-gear and delegates ...oops, VOTING MEMBERS... will begin arriving in the next several hours.

I know Richard and Erma are on the ground there.  How're things going, I wonder?

Anyone... Anyone...  Buehler... Buehler.... ;)

Well, Jerry, it is hot and very humid today, so anyone with any sense is staying in the air conditioning.  Right now I am trying to find out where one has to go to get registered, and when that opens.  With the hotel being at one space and the actual assembly being in another (a do-able mile and a half apart) there may be a few glitches.  I hope to check out the boat rides on Lake Michigan before this week is over, but will probably pass on the ferris wheel.   I've spotted Bishop Hanson (actually a lot of bishops; what is the name for a group of bishops?) and the hotel registration desk is definitely a place to steer clear of if one can.  And now I need to go find supper.

Keep those prayers coming.  They are most appreciated and I really think this assembly is going to need them.

Erma Wolf 
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: janielou13 on August 05, 2007, 07:31:59 PM
Bishops, like eagles, flock in convocations.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: scott3 on August 05, 2007, 07:51:59 PM
Perhaps a clutch (depending on how much they want to be re-elected)?  But a murder of bishops may work if they aren't too careful with how they approach theology.  I think that the most appropos would be a pride, though.

 ;) :D ;D
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: LutherMan on August 05, 2007, 08:02:36 PM
How about "The House of Bishops?"  Sounds verrry tony and high falutin' enough to impress, although I prefer gaggle.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: janielou13 on August 05, 2007, 08:30:58 PM
" But a murder of bishops may work if they aren't too careful with how they approach theology."

Murder most applies as to how one approaches kings, not God,,,,,,, as Becket, among others, found out.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Gladfelteri on August 05, 2007, 08:41:49 PM
Perhaps a clutch (depending on how much they want to be re-elected)?  But a murder of bishops may work if they aren't too careful with how they approach theology.  I think that the most appropos would be a pride, though.
Lets see:  A group of kangaroos is often  called a "mob".  How about a "mob" of bishops?   ::)
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: janielou13 on August 05, 2007, 08:52:36 PM
Irl,,,,,,,, that only applies to Naples and south, including Sicily.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Eric_Swensson on August 05, 2007, 09:39:29 PM
I'm not getting the extended joke, guys, and I'm sure visitors are not either. I think this thread is going to have plenty as it is one of the few places for news. Let's try and be presentable.

Our bishops are not to be spoken of in a jeering way. They are there in that office as God has allowed it. If they are under judgment, we are too.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Pr. Jerry on August 05, 2007, 10:01:05 PM
Keep those prayers coming.  They are most appreciated and I really think this assembly is going to need them.

No doubt it will...  I don't know about the spiritual climate there in Chicago, but in other quarters the proverbial weather is getting nasty...  Bp. Payne's decision to preside at the LC/NA's mass is sparking a furor in at least one group of which I am a part and I see nothing but darker clouds on the horizon.

The best thing any of us can do is pray.  And I shall.  Christ shall prevail!

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: scott3 on August 05, 2007, 11:22:07 PM
I'm not getting the extended joke, guys, and I'm sure visitors are not either. I think this thread is going to have plenty as it is one of the few places for news. Let's try and be presentable.

Our bishops are not to be spoken of in a jeering way. They are there in that office as God has allowed it. If they are under judgment, we are too.

Sorry.  Didn't mean to "jeer" but was attempting to have some light-hearted fun.  I've even added some emoticons to prove my point...
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: jrubyaz on August 06, 2007, 01:28:12 AM

Let's keep on praying. It will be interesting to see any COB reaction to Payne's decision. I don't see much happening. The reall issue is whether changing V and E for Mr. Schmelling  in this one case will allow things to change without officially changing V and E-if they vote on it and it passes, it is all over for any orthodox interpretation of scripture in ELCA.
Pr. Jeff Ruby

Keep those prayers coming.  They are most appreciated and I really think this assembly is going to need them.

No doubt it will...  I don't know about the spiritual climate there in Chicago, but in other quarters the proverbial weather is getting nasty...  Bp. Payne's decision to preside at the LC/NA's mass is sparking a furor in at least one group of which I am a part and I see nothing but darker clouds on the horizon.

The best thing any of us can do is pray.  And I shall.  Christ shall prevail!

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Eric_Swensson on August 06, 2007, 07:11:31 AM
I'm not getting the extended joke, guys, and I'm sure visitors are not either. I think this thread is going to have plenty as it is one of the few places for news. Let's try and be presentable.

Our bishops are not to be spoken of in a jeering way. They are there in that office as God has allowed it. If they are under judgment, we are too.

Sorry.  Didn't mean to "jeer" but was attempting to have some light-hearted fun.  I've even added some emoticons to prove my point...

It was getting to be a dog pile Scott, that's all. I'm leery of all sort of things which might skew anyone's understanding this week. The ELCA needs clarity.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Maryland Brian on August 06, 2007, 10:36:47 AM

  Here's something I just caught in the fine print from The Lutheran:

Metropolitan Washington, D.C., requested a rite for blessing same-gender unions and that the 2007 assembly reject "any therapy that seeks to change one's sexual orientation."

Pg. 36, The Lutheran, August 2007

Simply stunning.  I think I know what they mean ... or do I?  Does this mean we should not tamper with the sexual orientation of pedophiles?  How about Bigamists or the Manbla crowd?

To those who think the ELCA can be reformed toward an orthodox orientation ... it would seem some places are a lot further down the road than mere changes in V&E.  What difference will V&E mean, or this national assembly for that matter, when an entire synod rejects "therapy that seeks to change one's sexual orientation."  Images of OT prophets and judgment keep popping up before my eyes ...

MD Brian
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: janielou13 on August 06, 2007, 10:46:14 AM
What ever could a 'Manbla' be or do ?
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Rev. BT Ball on August 06, 2007, 10:51:21 AM
It is actually, Nambla - the North American Man Boy Love Association. 
Pr. Ben Ball+
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Maryland Brian on August 06, 2007, 11:36:55 AM
It is actually, Nambla - the North American Man Boy Love Association. 
Pr. Ben Ball+

Ben,

Thanks.  Yes - quick fingers before heading off to a meeting sometimes put M and N in the wrong place!   Even so, I have a sense The Lutheran writer quoted Metro DC's request for a reason: to be completely exact with the wording of the resolution.  It is either very poorly written or, as already mentioned, stunning in the breadth of implication.  Goes back to my earlier question concerning why LC/NA includes bisexuals in their calls for changing V&E policy.  What does a committed relationship mean for a bisexual?  And, if it is about a relationship between two people, one of whom is bisexual, then doesn't that infer that sexuality is a choice?  Or maybe that's not what LC/NA means at all.

BTW, you will find the same language on the front page of LYO's site - the "any sexual orientation" verbiage.  And they only want access to this church's youth...

Do assembly delegates really get what's at stake here?  They'll likely hear stories of oppressed sexual minorities and assume this is about recognizing relationships between individuals who are one part of committed couples.  Parsing the fine print, that's not what I'm reading.  I read Corinth.

MD Brian
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 06, 2007, 11:55:12 AM

Does this mean we should not tamper with the sexual orientation of pedophiles?  How about Bigamists or the Nambla crowd?
Those have not ever been defined as "sexual orientations" in our discussions. Sexual orientations are limited to adult-to-adult sexual attraction and desires. There are three sexual orientations: heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual. These are defined by one's sexual fantasies, dreams, desires towards an adult. Such desires may result in behaviors, but not necessarily. The ELCA does believe and expects that if not married, clergy will abstain from sexual behaviors whether they are self-defined as heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. Behaviors and desires are seen as separate things -- and both are likely to be sinful. Scriptures does define lust as sin.

Quote
Images of OT prophets and judgment keep popping up before my eyes ...
Ah, but, who is being prophetic? Did not the prophets rail against the majority opinion and beliefs and actions in church and society? What would you say is the majority opinion in the ELCA about homosexuals and clergy? I also note that the only "successful" OT prophet was Jonah -- and that book is different from the other prophetic books in other ways, too. Generally, whoever seeks to be prophetic should recognize that the odds of bringing about repentance and change is nearly zilch -- at least from the models we have in scriptures.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 06, 2007, 12:02:30 PM
What does a committed relationship mean for a bisexual?  And, if it is about a relationship between two people, one of whom is bisexual, then doesn't that infer that sexuality is a choice?
"Committed relationship" for bisexuals means the same thing for any sexual orientation. As a heterosexual, I am sexually attracted to (and even sexually desire) many different women since puberty. I have married one. I am in a committed relationship with one woman. My sexual behaviors have always been and remain limited to this one person. (Our 36 anniversary is tomorrow.)

The same is expected of bisexuals -- just that their attraction and desires are for people of both sexes. "Committed relationship," means entering into a mutual-loving, life-long relationship with one other person, and limiting sexual behaviors to that one person. Desires for other people are likely to remain -- lust is nearly impossible to get rid of -- but we do not have to act on it.

Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Maryland Brian on August 06, 2007, 12:02:42 PM

Does this mean we should not tamper with the sexual orientation of pedophiles?  How about Bigamists or the Nambla crowd?
Those have not ever been defined as "sexual orientations" in our discussions.

  ... and your point?  Metro DC could have defined what they meant.  They did not.  Why?

MD Brian
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 06, 2007, 12:05:47 PM
  ... and your point?  Metro DC could have defined what they meant.  They did not.  Why?
Except for a few people, like yourself, most of the U.S. and in 16 years of discussing this online, there is a common understanding of sexual orientation -- there are three of them. Homosexuality is not considered a disorder in the DSM-IV; pedophilia still is a disorder.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: scott3 on August 06, 2007, 12:32:27 PM
...pedophilia still is a disorder.

Give it time.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Deb_H. on August 06, 2007, 12:34:41 PM
Except for a few people, like yourself, most of the U.S. and in 16 years of discussing this online, there is a common understanding of sexual orientation -- there are three of them. Homosexuality is not considered a disorder in the DSM-IV; pedophilia still is a disorder.

What you're missing here, Brian, is that until the mid-70's there was only ONE sexual orientation -- everything else was considered a disorder along the lines of DSM-IV.  A close vote at the APA gave us three orientations today, but there is continuing discussion in the APA and elsewhere about the precise meaning of orientation.  As it was true of the homosexuals prior to the mid-70's, it is true of the folks of NAMBLA today, that they are lobbying for a change in society's perception toward them as people.  The APA is seriously considering how to define 'orientation.'  Perhaps 30 years from now (or next year) the APA will decide to be more inclusive in their definitions.  There are places where positive views of pedophilia are being shared today.  I could direct you to some references if you wish, but it may be dangerous for all of us to have it in our computers, that we 'visit such sites,' or read such material. 
I know that it's hard to believe, but 50 years ago it would have been hard to believe that positive views of homosexual practice would ever be possible. 
Are you open to change? 

Lou
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 06, 2007, 12:44:18 PM
I know that it's hard to believe, but 50 years ago it would have been hard to believe that positive views of homosexual practice would ever be possible.
And 50 years ago it would have been hard to believe that women would be ordained in the Lutheran church -- and who would have thought back then that a woman (or a black man) would be one of the front-runners for the President of the United States?

I'm not sure that 50 years ago anyone, except a very small minority, believed that same-sex relationships would last 50 years -- or even 50 days. I wonder if almost 20 years ago, when D&G were written, if "practicing homosexual" meant "promiscuous behaviors" in the minds of those who wrote it?
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: scott3 on August 06, 2007, 12:52:52 PM
I'm not sure that 50 years ago anyone, except a very small minority, believed that same-sex relationships would last 50 years -- or even 50 days. I wonder if almost 20 years ago, when D&G were written, if "practicing homosexual" meant "promiscuous behaviors" in the minds of those who wrote it?

Nice redirect.  So you're open to having pedophilia seen as a legitimate sexual orientation?
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Maryland Brian on August 06, 2007, 01:24:48 PM
I'm not sure that 50 years ago anyone, except a very small minority, believed that same-sex relationships would last 50 years -- or even 50 days. I wonder if almost 20 years ago, when D&G were written, if "practicing homosexual" meant "promiscuous behaviors" in the minds of those who wrote it?

  Back to the defining of terms.  It was the executive director of LC/NA who talked about not quiting until they prevailed.  Now we have another ambiguous resolution from one of our synods.  I would think the concern would be obvious.  What is mean by "to prevail" and what are the outer boundaries of that effort?  For those who come at this with an assumption that LC/NA is already outside the boundaries of what God has intended for the family, how am I supposed to know what they mean when writing, "any sexual orientation?"

Given how well organized and how words are parsed with exacting detail by the advocates, I am merely suggesting that I do not believe the ambiguous language is an accident.  I believe (and interpret) that more is meant, but that "more" has not been defined by those seeking the changes.  Metro DC's, memorial makes clear to me that some are already thinking way past V&E changes and are seeking to make language about "new life" and "a transformed heart" obsolete when it comes to "any sexual orientation."  In other words, it seems they wish to block people in the ELCA from interpreting any sexual behavior as sinful. NOTE:  I did not write the ambiguous memorial.  I simply find it difficult to believe that so many bright and educated people in our nation's Capitol would write such a poorly worded document because they were being sloppy.

 And given my previous experience with the gentle and loving ways of advocates, *IF* such an extreme position were to ever become policy in the ELCA (which btw, I highly doubt at this time),  I take it as a given the thought police would use it to silence their opponents.

MD Brian
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Bergs on August 06, 2007, 01:56:56 PM

  Here's something I just caught in the fine print from The Lutheran:

Metropolitan Washington, D.C., requested a rite for blessing same-gender unions and that the 2007 assembly reject "any therapy that seeks to change one's sexual orientation."

Pg. 36, The Lutheran, August 2007

Simply stunning.  I think I know what they mean ... or do I?  Does this mean we should not tamper with the sexual orientation of pedophiles?  How about Bigamists or the Manbla crowd?

To those who think the ELCA can be reformed toward an orthodox orientation ... it would seem some places are a lot further down the road than mere changes in V&E.  What difference will V&E mean, or this national assembly for that matter, when an entire synod rejects "therapy that seeks to change one's sexual orientation."  Images of OT prophets and judgment keep popping up before my eyes ...

MD Brian

If I understand this resolution correctly they are asking the ELCA to interfere in what should be a decision between an individual and their medical provider.   Given the fact that the Metro Washington Synod is quite a liberal group they would likely yell foul if the government got in the way of a decision to abort a fetus that was made between a woman and her medical provider.  Perhaps I am wrong but is my analogy correct?

Grace & Peace
Brian J. Bergs
Minneapolis, MN
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Pr. Jerry on August 06, 2007, 02:05:23 PM
What does a committed relationship mean for a bisexual?  And, if it is about a relationship between two people, one of whom is bisexual, then doesn't that infer that sexuality is a choice?
"Committed relationship" for bisexuals means the same thing for any sexual orientation. As a heterosexual, I am sexually attracted to (and even sexually desire) many different women since puberty. I have married one. I am in a committed relationship with one woman. My sexual behaviors have always been and remain limited to this one person. (Our 36 anniversary is tomorrow.)

The same is expected of bisexuals -- just that their attraction and desires are for people of both sexes. "Committed relationship," means entering into a mutual-loving, life-long relationship with one other person, and limiting sexual behaviors to that one person. Desires for other people are likely to remain -- lust is nearly impossible to get rid of -- but we do not have to act on it.

So say you.  I would be careful in assuming that others share the same definition of "committed relationship" that you put forth.  One of the problems in our current debate is that "committed relationship" is, as of yet, undefined (or more problematically individually defined).

A far more common definition of "committed relationship" could just as likely be "the person I am with until I am not with them any longer."  This is just as big an issue with heterosexuals who are "monogamous," but skip from partner to partner with no enduring sense of relationship.  Hence the discussion (in some circles) of changing marital vows from "Until death parts us..." to "...as long as love shall last..."   Both are "committed relationships," but are not equivalent committments.

So in speaking about "committed relationships," are we speaking of a life-long committment, or a committment that expires whenever it becomes inconvienent?  

So whatever we do regarding homosexual or bisexual relationships will have a profound impact on heterosexual relationships as well.  And vice-versa.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 06, 2007, 02:45:07 PM
Nice redirect.  So you're open to having pedophilia seen as a legitimate sexual orientation?
No. Never have been. Never will be. Actually, bringing in pedophilia is a redirect. No one in the ELCA has been arguing for it.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 06, 2007, 02:50:55 PM
So say you.  I would be careful in assuming that others share the same definition of "committed relationship" that you put forth.  One of the problems in our current debate is that "committed relationship" is, as of yet, undefined (or more problematically individually defined).
In the 16 or so years of discussing this online, we have come to a standard understanding of "committed relationship" for same-sex couples. It involves exactly the same expectations we have of married couples: monogamous, mutually loving, intended to be life-long.

Quote
So in speaking about "committed relationships," are we speaking of a life-long committment, or a committment that expires whenever it becomes inconvienent?

As with marriages, there are some who divorce whenever they run into irreconcilable differences. That's not the intention of the commitment, but it happens.

Quote
So whatever we do regarding homosexual or bisexual relationships will have a profound impact on heterosexual relationships as well.  And vice-versa.
Yup, and the expectations the ELCA revisionists have be presenting involve the same type of commitment we expect in a marriage relationship. Some of us have stated that the commitment, where possible, needs to be public and recognized by the state, e.g., California has a "registered domestic partner" law for same-sex couples (and for heterosexual couples if one is over 65-years-old). Where available, I would see such registration as a necessary part of making a relationship a committed one.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: MaddogLutheran on August 06, 2007, 03:09:02 PM
So say you.  I would be careful in assuming that others share the same definition of "committed relationship" that you put forth.  One of the problems in our current debate is that "committed relationship" is, as of yet, undefined (or more problematically individually defined).
In the 16 or so years of discussing this online, we have come to a standard understanding of "committed relationship" for same-sex couples. It involves exactly the same expectations we have of married couples: monogamous, mutually loving, intended to be life-long.
Sigh.  :-\ We have?  (And I do not mean myself exclusively or temporally.)  It seems below you rightly point out the difficulty in how anyone can recognize that such a relational state exists.  Yet you are advocating (in the abstract) for something which may be indistinguishable from non-monogamy.

...Yup, and the expectations the ELCA revisionists have be presenting involve the same type of commitment we expect in a marriage relationship. Some of us have stated that the commitment, where possible, needs to be public and recognized by the state, e.g., California has a "registered domestic partner" law for same-sex couples (and for heterosexual couples if one is over 65-years-old). Where available, I would see such registration as a necessary part of making a relationship a committed one.
Since when is the church required to recognize every civil arrangement?  Rome certainly has no trouble with not recognizing a divorce/re-marriage without an annulment (not that I'm advocating that style of discipline, per se).  We apparently also disagree as to the foundation for the church blessing marriages to begin with -- a biblical basis for it.  Despite the best efforts of some on the sexuality task force to come up with one for same-sex, committed relationships, one hasn't been identified.

Taking this a step further, to highlight the absurdity.  The biblical admonition for marriage is that is to be lifelong commitment, with divorce being an undesirable last resort.  Would civil domestic partnerships (be they homo or hetero) have the same high threshold for dissolution from a church perspective, even if the law made dissolution easy?    Do hetero partners become one flesh?  It seems, if the state for equal protection issues makes partnerships available to all without regard to sexual orientation, it almost forces the church to discriminate or else we effectively debase marriage.  We would be saying to the young hetero couple:  sure, live together as legal partners if it's allowed by law, it's okay even though you're not married.  Big-time loop hole.  It almost seems that the church would have to have develop a list of "approved" civil partnerships that met a certain standard of commitment, or attach additional restrictions on top.  Messy.

Brings me back to my original question:  what is the basis for what the church can bless?

Sterling Spatz
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Maryland Brian on August 06, 2007, 03:59:36 PM
No. Never have been. Never will be. Actually, bringing in pedophilia is a redirect. No one in the ELCA has been arguing for it.

  But at least one former ELCA pastor from your synod who was a strong supporter of LC/NA ended up in jail from his inappropriate contact with a young confirmation student.  He argued he was teaching the young man how to personally pleasure himself. The courts didn't buy it, but certainly this particular pastor believed it.  So ... at least one former LC/NA leader was arguing for it.

  Thus we are left with me still questioning what's on the hearts and minds of advocates when they use "any sexual orientation."  Anyway, because I don't trust LC/NA, I will not believe much of what they may publish or advocate.  And, by extension, I question why the Metro DC synod was not clearer in what they meant. 

MD Brian
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: ptmccain on August 06, 2007, 08:36:35 PM
Hey, somebody nudge Johnson and let him know his Assembly has begun. He can begin live blogging it now.

 :)

The audio on the live video feed is pretty poor. The Assembly began with the singing of "A Mighty Fortress" that is the good news, the bad news is that it is that dreadful isometric version.

The chairman is reading from teleprompters, which...may make for more accurate words, but has  sort of artificial feel to it, since he is reading text.

Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: scott3 on August 06, 2007, 09:23:45 PM
Hey, somebody nudge Johnson and let him know his Assembly has begun. He can begin live blogging it now.

 :)

Gee.  Having wasted part of my life watching this stuff, you may have to more than nudge him.  But in any case, so far Peter did much better.  But of course that's to be expected -- Peter is LCMS, after all.   ;D  8)
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: ptmccain on August 06, 2007, 09:34:38 PM
Interesting comparison of technical things.

They just amended their rule to limit speeches to TWO minutes instead of three minutes.

It is very hard to read the voting results and any text on the light background they are using. Not enough contrast. I'm surprised nobody has pointed out how displaying light text on light background makes it difficult for the visually impaired.

Sound system seems somewhat poor, lots of echo. I'm surprised the mikes do not cancel out the echo for the video when speakers are speaking.

The running closed captioning is terrific!

I notice this time they are not putting names of speakers on the screen as they did last time.

Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: scott3 on August 06, 2007, 09:39:50 PM
Interesting comparison of technical things.

They just amended their rule to limit speeches to TWO minutes instead of three minutes.

It is very hard to read the voting results and any text on the light background they are using. Not enough contrast. I'm surprised nobody has pointed out how displaying light text on light background makes it difficult for the visually impaired.

Sound system seems somewhat poor, lots of echo. I'm surprised the mikes do not cancel out the echo when speakers are speaking.

The running closed captioning is terrific!

I notice this time they are not putting names of speakers on the screen as they did last time.



I also noticed that the time delegates have to push a button is longer, too.  Probably good for Minnesotans who feel a bit sorrowful that they have to be so forceful in the assertion of their opinion, so it may be culturally appropriate.

[[Of course, us Slavs are quite used to "punching the button" on people, but I'd imagine that Roman Catholic conventions would allot barely enough time to take a breath, as Italians (especially Sicillians) seem to be quite eager to "punch the button" on other folks.]]
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: ptmccain on August 06, 2007, 09:41:36 PM
Seems a clunky way to elect bishop. Each Synod's bishop has to count their voting delegates. I don't understand why if they have certified they have a quarum. Anyone?
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: ptmccain on August 06, 2007, 09:44:05 PM
Is Richard''s computer kaput? Or did Peter do such an obsessive-compulsively good job live blogging it is unfair to make any comparisons?
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Maryland Brian on August 06, 2007, 09:44:39 PM

  BTW, watching with Flash and a DSL line, the video and sound are even better than last year's assembly.  Kudos.  Are you guys using the Windozzzzz .....  media player?

MD Brian
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Rev. BT Ball on August 06, 2007, 09:50:04 PM
Boring.  Boring.
Pr. Ben Ball+
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Maryland Brian on August 06, 2007, 09:51:45 PM


Gag - is that really in the new book? 

MD Brian
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Maryland Brian on August 06, 2007, 09:52:34 PM

  Oh Look!  We're on TV!!!!

  Gack

Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: ptmccain on August 06, 2007, 09:55:25 PM
Using a 5 megabit DSL [very fast] and a flash based window in Firefox.

The quality, to me, is not as good as the last convention I watched. Could be just my own connections, etc.

I'll try it on my PC downstairs some time.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: ptmccain on August 06, 2007, 09:58:05 PM
Flash is much better. I started up the Windows Media Player on my Mac and it is much poorer quality, and there is a lag, for I am now listening to things I just heard on the Flash. So, apparently now this is just nominating for the Bishop, no vote on that tonight apparently.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: ptmccain on August 06, 2007, 09:58:55 PM
I'm looking forward to an explanation of what surely seems like a clunky method for electing bishop. Why can't they just do it electronically?
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: scott3 on August 06, 2007, 10:00:23 PM
Yoohoo!  Richard?  I know that you can wittily comment on the situation, but where are you?

If I start live-blogging, will I get the per diem?
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: scott3 on August 06, 2007, 10:04:34 PM
What is coarsely translated as "Gracious Spirit, Heed Our Pleading" is a translation of the Swahili song we sang all the time in Kenya.  Wow.  Makes me feel nostalgic to sing: "Njoo, njoo, njoo Roho Mwema".
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: ptmccain on August 06, 2007, 10:05:49 PM
OK, admit it. We are weirdo convention-geeks. Two LCMS guys watching the ELCA convention and commenting on it.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 06, 2007, 10:05:56 PM
I'm using a high speed cable modem and Flash, and it seems pretty clear -- not as clear as two years ago -- but I was in Orlando, and saw and heard it live -- didn't even need a computer.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: ptmccain on August 06, 2007, 10:08:04 PM
Brian, why does the ELCA go through a paper ballot process for presiding bishop as opposed to the electronic voting system?
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: scott3 on August 06, 2007, 10:08:22 PM
OK, admit it. We are weirdo convention-geeks. Two LCMS guys watching the ELCA convention and commenting on it.

Hey, quit being so mean-spirited.  I'm just trying to raise the interest value like Peter did.  This is all part of my covert campaign to become the "Assistant to the Assistant Editor" of ALPB, so hush!
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: ptmccain on August 06, 2007, 10:10:09 PM
In that case, by all means carry on.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Kurt Strause on August 06, 2007, 10:12:10 PM
Brian, why does the ELCA go through a paper ballot process for presiding bishop as opposed to the electronic voting system?

I'm not Brian, but I attending four assemblies as a voting member. The first ballot is a nominating ballot. Any voting member may write down the name of any ordained ELCA member. Subsequent ballots will be electronic.

Kurt Strause

PS I assume you meant for Presiding Bishop.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: ptmccain on August 06, 2007, 10:13:55 PM
Interesting observation: it would appear that people of the ELCA pronounce "Evangelical" with a short "e" sound, while most people outside the ELCA pronounce it with a long "e."
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: scott3 on August 06, 2007, 10:17:59 PM
Interesting observation: it would appear that people of the ELCA pronounce "Evangelical" with a short "e" sound, while most people outside the ELCA pronounce it with a long "e."

Having lived 5 years in Minnesota while I was also a part of the ELCA, I can say with assurance that the pronunciation of "Evangelical" comes from the short "e" in the midst of the word "Lutefisk" of which even the Scandihoovians consider their hard-core American relations a bit over-zealous (but then again, from that perspective [especially as it was adopted by the American branch] pretty much anything mentioned more than in passing counts as outright dirty politics...).
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: ptmccain on August 06, 2007, 10:21:58 PM
Hanson does a magnificent job as chairman. One of the very best I've ever seen.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: scott3 on August 06, 2007, 10:24:38 PM
Hanson does a magnificent job as chairman. One of the very best I've ever seen.

Same thing I thought 3 years ago.  His silencing and brilliant reparte regarding the LC/NA // GoodSoil public tantrum was amazing in my book.  Truly deft (not "daft" for those who may be confused).
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 06, 2007, 10:28:42 PM
Same thing I thought 3 years ago.  His silencing and brilliant reparte regarding the LC/NA // GoodSoil public tantrum was amazing in my book.  Truly deft (not "daft" for those who may be confused).
You are probably thinking 2 years ago. We have our CWA every two years.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: scott3 on August 06, 2007, 10:32:26 PM
Same thing I thought 3 years ago.  His silencing and brilliant reparte regarding the LC/NA // GoodSoil public tantrum was amazing in my book.  Truly deft (not "daft" for those who may be confused).
You are probably thinking 2 years ago. We have our CWA every two years.

Well, it's so impactful on my life that the repurcussions reverberate to the point that it almost seems like a daily occurence to me.  Or perhaps I was wrong.  Take your pick...
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Richard Johnson on August 07, 2007, 01:24:00 AM
Well, see there's this logistical problem. This is a really stupid facility situation. The hotel is a twenty minute walk from convention center. The convention center doesn't have wireless access; the only internet access in the convention center is in the press room, which is like another universe. So the best I can do is write my impressions as we go along, and then post them at the end of the plenary session, or when there is a recess, or when there is something boring enough that I have time to see if I can find the press room again. It's a pain in the neck. The various "interest groups" have their meeting rooms in the hotel, so there's no place for a quick caucus. Dumb, dumb, dumb. I suppose I could give you a blow by blow if I sat in the press room and watched the video feed, but that would kind of defeat the purpose of being here, don't you think?

As for the election, yes, it's a clunky way to elect a bishop. If you would just read Forum Letter, you would know that we have made several suggestions for improvement, none of which have been taken.

I would like to make a humble suggestion, however. Perhaps you LCMS guys would be polite and refrain from rude remarks about how we do things, just as ELCA people generally did during the coverage of your convention. Ask questions, to be sure, but don't be smart alecks, or that other word either.

And now, to sleep, perchance to dream . . .
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: John_Hannah on August 07, 2007, 06:43:10 AM
Perhaps you LCMS guys would be polite and refrain from rude remarks about how we do things

OK, Richard. I will abide by that as long as I can still critique the LCMS occasionally.

Peace, JOHN HANNAH, LCMS Pastor
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: scott3 on August 07, 2007, 08:52:17 AM
I would like to make a humble suggestion, however. Perhaps you LCMS guys would be polite and refrain from rude remarks about how we do things, just as ELCA people generally did during the coverage of your convention. Ask questions, to be sure, but don't be smart alecks, or that other word either.

Are humble attempts at joviality (I would say "wittiness", but alas -- this seems to be dreaming the impossible dream) also out of bounds?
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Richard Johnson on August 07, 2007, 09:14:16 AM
I would like to make a humble suggestion, however. Perhaps you LCMS guys would be polite and refrain from rude remarks about how we do things, just as ELCA people generally did during the coverage of your convention. Ask questions, to be sure, but don't be smart alecks, or that other word either.

Are humble attempts at joviality (I would say "wittiness", but alas -- this seems to be dreaming the impossible dream) also out of bounds?

No, as long as they are successful. But it's day 2 of the assembly and my patience is running thin. I think Peter is on vacation this week, so you have to deal with me, and that makes me even testier.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: ptmccain on August 07, 2007, 09:18:00 AM
I think Richard means the word "clunky" is out and the bell is a lovely, lovely thing.

Seriously, I like the call to order via a bell and I like the lighting of a candle.

Also, so far, I appreciate that the worship appears to be actually following an order from a hymnal. Certain other recently concluded Lutheran conventions did not have a hymnal for each delegate to use.

There, is that nice, or what?

I also complimented the chairman.
Complimented the closed captioning.
Plus, Richard is the best moderator in the whole world, next to Peter.

There.
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Maryland Brian on August 07, 2007, 12:43:00 PM
I'm not sure that 50 years ago anyone, except a very small minority, believed that same-sex relationships would last 50 years -- or even 50 days. I wonder if almost 20 years ago, when D&G were written, if "practicing homosexual" meant "promiscuous behaviors" in the minds of those who wrote it?

In commenting on a recent decision of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, columnist George Will wrote in his June 25th column, (“When marriage became a ‘hate crime’”): “Marriage is the foundation of the natural family and sustains family values. That sentence is inflammatory, perhaps even a hate crime. At least it is in Oakland, Calif.”

The 9th Circuit Court – the most left-leaning and often-reversed appeals court in the land – upheld the decision of Oakland administrators to exclude pro-family speech as divisive and hateful.

In 2002, a group of African-American Christian Women working for Oakland’s city government requested permission to distribute a flyer, via the city’s e-mail system, noting that the “natural family” is the foundation of society.

Even though homosexual employees were allowed to use the system to promote a gay pride rally and similar events, administrators rejected the Christian flyer as “homophobic,” “disruptive,” and intended to “create a hostile environment.”

Moreover, their printed flyer was removed from a municipal bulletin board, with the warning that similar efforts to communicate these ideas could result in disciplinary action “up to and including termination.”

http://www.profam.org/press/wcf.pr.070629.htm

As mentioned, I don't trust those who tell me they will prevail and leave their goal ambiguous.  Where are they headed?  Are they ultimately being led to create an environment so anti-family that you could be fired at work for even bringing it up? 

Read the entire article.  Very current and rising up from the courts very near the core Good Soil leadership.

Maryland Brian

Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: scott3 on August 09, 2007, 04:33:10 PM
I wasn't sure where this observation would be appropriate, so I chose this thread.

Is it just me (I have watched almost the entirety of what has been webcast so far), but has there been very, very little floor debate or any input from the general delegation to this point (this point being prior to any debate re: sexuality) but rather a whole slew of speeches?
Title: Re: Welcome to Chicago
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 09, 2007, 05:16:54 PM
Is it just me (I have watched almost the entirety of what has been webcast so far), but has there been very, very little floor debate or any input from the general delegation to this point (this point being prior to any debate re: sexuality) but rather a whole slew of speeches?
I haven't watched all of the plenary sessions, but I know in Orlando, there seemed to be more "speeches" than honest debate. In fact, one speaker in 2005 said something like, "I wrote the speech about a year ago when I knew I going to be a voting member."