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Messages - RayToy

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Your Turn / Re: The Wording of Baptism: How Flexible?
« on: February 28, 2022, 10:37:07 AM »
Ray, since English is ambiguous in the second person, did you mean YOU singular or plural?  You all, and even Pittsburgese Younse, will be no help, either, neither.  It may depend on whether there were others nearby and whether the water splashed.  Scholasticism at its best!  But your point is valid in spite of my attempt at humor.

   I assumed I was addressing the infant.  And there was no outside splash because I used a tube of saline inside a neonatal crib.


Your Turn / Re: The Wording of Baptism: How Flexible?
« on: February 28, 2022, 09:51:03 AM »
   I remember back during discussions of communion that the words "for you" were considered the most important part of the distribution.  For that reason, when I did my one and only emergency baptism during CPE, I said "N.N.  YOU are baptized....."


Your Turn / Re: Lutheran Architecture
« on: January 17, 2022, 11:58:39 AM »
    As I watched this video, I was thinking that maybe some of this may be CoVid adjustment related.  For example, the celebrant did not go near the bread and wine during the verba.  I have otherwise never seen this style of presiding anywhere else.


Seeing several mentions of unusual stagings of communion, I offer this one which I randomly encountered this morning on Twitter, of an Episcopal church which seems similar:

Jump to 50 minutes for the start of communion.  The missal stand on the left end of the altar, celebrant standing there (liturgical north?) facing across the altar with the vessels in the center.  Perhaps he's facing compass east?  Sorry didn't take the time to investigate further.  Also interesting, but perhaps not surprising given it's an Episcopal church, the priests are not vested in albs but also then no chasuble.  It does seem rather Anglo-catholic but perhaps old school so (the celebrant kneeling for what I think is the second confiteor during the consecration).

I realize what is unusual for some may just be a lack of wider experience, but still an interesting conversation.

(As my senior pastor has an affinity for Anglican tradition, both our pastors wear the cassock/surplice/stole for any non-communion services.  Perhaps a bit unusual today as most Lutheran pastors now wear the alb all the time, which itself is a recent adoption as I recall otherwise from my childhood.)

Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: December 04, 2021, 10:37:44 AM »
  I recently viewed the following podcast, and I found it thought provoking.

     The interviewee, Peter Kingsnorth, posits that there exists a Hegelian struggle between a Thesis side (those in favor of mandates, lockdowns, and the like) and an Antithesis side (those against said measures), and that this struggle to find Synthesis has gone down the wrong path.  The struggle has become a faux battle of quoting duel experts, whose papers we really don't understand because most of us are not scientists.

    Instead, we need to examine our societal moral settings.  Here the podcast thought ends and my thoughts begin.

    There are two questions we need to ask ourselves.

1-Is there an ultimate good that must be pursued at all costs, or are there competing goods that need to be balanced against each other?

2-Is there an ultimate evil that must be avoided at all costs, or are there competing evils that must be balanced against each other?

    I originally had a third question, “Are there any mitigating factors?”, but that merely clarifies whether one is in the first part of the question, or the second part.

   Now, an accusation I hear both in the outside world as well as in this forum is the charge by the Thesis proponents that the Antithesis side does not take CoVid seriously.  I find this question problematic because “seriousness” seems to be defined as a binary condition (you are either serious or you are not) whereas I think that “seriousness” exists along a spectrum.  Of course, the fact that I see “seriousness” as a spectrum indicates that I am personally in the second half of the questions.

     Getting back to our settings, the most pro-Thesis side possible would answer the questions in this fashion.

1-The ultimate good is zero CoVid infection with zero CoVid spread.

2-The ultimate evil is CoVid infection.

     This particular formation has ramifications. Under this schema, death by any other means than CoVid is a preferable outcome to a non fatal CoVid infection. Going straight to Defcon 5, under these moral settings, it is morally defensible to automatically euthanize a non-vaccinated person who is hospitalized for CoVid. Now, I already hear the protests.  “That would never happen here! People would never go for that, and who would do the euthanizing?” To that I reply, there is an important distinction between not supporting genocide because it is wrong, and not supporting genocide because it is not practical. The former questions the moral settings, while the latter can change their mind if efficiency can be assured..

    So, what should our societal settings be?


Your Turn / Re: Lessons and Carols
« on: November 21, 2021, 10:35:40 AM »
    If you have Carols for Choirs edited and arranged by Reginald Jacques and David Willcocks, the service is in the back of the book.


Your Turn / Re: Listing Concerns about Those Other Lutherans
« on: November 04, 2021, 09:19:19 AM »
Pastor Charlton says  his ELCA:
- considers "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" to be an optional metaphor
- considers the Gospel to be synonymous with Social Justice
- considers sex outside of marriage to be acceptable for ordained ministers
- believes that Christ is one among many saviors

I comment:
-No. Our ELCA says God is “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”. And however we refer to God, that Holy Trinity is the God to whom we refer, no one else.
-Care for our neighbor, individually and collectively, and for justice for our neighbors  is a clear, un-disputed biblical mandate. It must exist with the proclamation of the Gospel. Only the weirdest “faith-is-me-and-my-God” heretic would argue with that.
-No. Full sexual intimacy belongs within a committed, public, life-long relationship.
-Show us where, in our statements of faith, our liturgical publications, our hymnals, the words of our key leaders, we say Christ is “one among many saviors”. If I thought the ELCA taught that, I would resign from it immediately. (There may be other saviors out there, but Jesus is the only one revealed to us as Christians and the only one we follow. We call everyone to Jesus, not to anyone else.)

You are describing an ELCA that once existed.  Time has passed you by. 
- The notion that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is a metaphor, but not God's name, has prevailed.  (See the installation of Bishop Rohrer.)
- The distinction between Law and Gospel, which would recognize the importance of preaching justice as Law, while still distinguishing it from the Gospel, strictly speaking, has been lost.  (See just about any pronouncement on justice that comes from the ELCA.)
- Being in a committed, public, life-long relationship is no longer the standard.  (See the installation of Nadia Bolz-Weber as public theologian.)
- It is no longer clear where the ELCA stands in regard to religious pluralism, and the necessity of Christ for salvation.  (See CWA 2019)

This is how the ELCA works.  First, the proponents of change establish facts on the ground, then they may or may not bother to change our governing documents to reflect those changes.  An appeal to what is in the ELCA constitution doesn't change facts on the ground. 

Whatever the ELCA constitution may say, students at ELCA seminaries have been taught that Father, Son and Holy Spirit is a replaceable metaphor for over 30 years.  The idea that social justice is the true Gospel, and that the distinction between Law and Gospel is the opiate of the masses, has likewise been taught for over 30 years.  ELCA bishops ordained people in same-sex relationship long before it was permitted.  And universalism has been alive and well in the ELCA from the beginning.  (And I'm not talking about Christocentric universalism.)

Yes, it is true that prominent theologians and professors, including Robert Jenson and Carl Braaten, resisted these trends.  Walter Bouman, at my seminary, did the same.  (Bouman may have supported ordaining pastors in committed, lifelong, same-sex relationships.)  They lost the battle.

    The center of gravity in the ELCA has definitely shifted.  Back when the Gay/Lesbian ordination question was being debated, there were four basic groups in existence.

Group 1-Opposed the question, and were willing to leave if the question went in favor.
Group 2-Opposed the question, but were willing to stay if the question went in favor.
Group 3-Supported the question, but were willing to stay if the question lost.
Group 4-Supported the question, and were willing to leave if the question lost.

    Of course, the question was approved by one vote, and the status quo changed.  When a motion to rescind the decision was ruled out of order, the groups were still in existence, but they became redefined with the new situation.

Group 1-Essentially left.
Group 2-Supports traditional sexuality mores, but recognizes that the advocacy train has left the station. This group for the most part stays silent on these kind of issues as long as the assumption of silence equates to ambiguity.
Group 3-Supports the expansion of sexual minorities into the pastoral ministry, but is willing to work with people in group 2.
Group 4-Supports the expansion of sexual minorities into the pastoral ministry, and wants group 2 to leave.
Group 5-Came into existence with "Naked and Unashamed." They believe that the entire notion of marriage and monogamy is intrinsically evil and morally bankrupt. NBW is a signatory.

     Many members of groups 2 and 3 (who were able to work with each other) are now retiring or otherwise leaving.  Many of the younger pastors coming up are in groups 4 and 5.  It will be interesting to see what happens.


Your Turn / Re: NY Atty General Looks To Dissolve NRA
« on: August 09, 2020, 10:19:40 PM »

Speaking of which Gov. Malley was the inspiration for the character I mentioned whose name escapes me at the moment.


Tommy Carcetti

Your Turn / Re: Discussing race productively in the church
« on: June 20, 2020, 06:27:20 PM »
This endeavor, specifically designed to address Lutherans, arrived just now:

Many involved are young pastors and leaders in the LCMS. 

Dave Benke

Is there a list of leaders or participants?  I couldn't find one on the web site.  But I may not be looking in the right place.

Matthew Ryan Gonzalez and Joshua Salzberg
Interesting title for a vicar ...

 The Rev. Sem. Erik Johnson — Vicar (Pastoral Intern)

    Just for the record, I remember when I was a student at Philadelphia 1989-1993, that titling would have been considered correct and completely unremarkable.


Your Turn / Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
« on: June 12, 2020, 07:27:25 AM »
One form of White Privilege that the ELCA has an urgent need to address is what I call "Woke Privilege."  This is when high status white people think that their "wokeness" gives them the right to tell people of color how to think and what to feel.  This "Woke Privilege" even gives high status white the idea that they can call people of color racist.  I have recently heard first person accounts of such outrageous behavior.

     Ah yes.  Thanks for the term. It's nice to have a name for something I have experienced.  This is the second time that I had to wait many years before a term was coined to describe a personal incident.  (The first was "virtue signalling.") Being lectured by a white woman as to why I really don't understand racism by a proverbial "Karen" (I am not White BTW) has always been an eye rolling experience.


Your Turn / Re: Easter at Upsala
« on: April 13, 2020, 11:17:03 AM »
I wonder why they decided to use the follow the bouncing chalice approach as opposed to simply communing in one kind.

Your Turn / Transferability
« on: January 19, 2020, 07:53:31 AM »
   I am curious about the issue of transferability.  With pastors, there is a very clear process of transferring within a church body and between church bodies.  I personally am curious about other folks' (deacons and deaconesses in particular) transferability.

     For example, as a member of the Order of St. Stephen Deacon (OSSD), I suspect that if I moved into one of the ELCA synods that used the Diakonia program, and I wanted to do something similar to what I am doing now, I could probably do so with minimal difficulty.  Likewise, if I moved into an ELCA synod that had their own synodical deacon program. I am not so sure about ELCA synods that do not have synodical deacons.

    So, expanding this concept, what would happen to an Atlantic District deacon who moved into another area within the Missouri Synod?  Could they exercise a public ministry and be recognized as such?

Just wondering

But why doesn't Elizabeth don a mitre like several synod bishops do? 

Photo from Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod

   The pastor of St. Peter's-Fredericksburg, VA was previously in Ohio, and knows Bp. Eaton.  Apparently she has said that although she understands and sympathizes with the idea, she is so short that when she wears a miter, she looks like a garden gnome.


Your Turn / Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« on: August 16, 2019, 10:44:53 PM »

I was wondering if they received it when they were installed as ELCA bishops; then took it to the NALC. However, it is true that the NALC could receive it from other Lutheran bodies who have it or from Episcopal priests. (Although, are they in full-communion with the Episcopal Church?)

The retired ELCA bishops who later joined the NALC were all installed prior to CCM.  Episcopal priests do not pass on Apostolic Succession via the Historic Episcopate.  The NALC doesn't have a full-communion agreement with TEC; perhaps you can imagine that the TEC's gay bishops, who also predate the NALC's formation, might be an impediment to that.  They do have a close relationship with the Anglican Church in North America, but there has been no declaration of full communion.  No ACNA Bishops, or Lutherans Bishops in Apostolic Succession, participated in the laying on of hands at +Spring's or (to the best of my knowlegde) +Bradosky's installations.  Of those laying hands on +Selbo, only Bishop Alex Mkumbo, of the Central Diocese in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, would be in succession.

Pax, Steven+

     My memory is hazy, but I believe one bishop from Tanzania laid hands on Bishop Spring.  I vaguely recall a conversation about the number of bishops in succession required for historic succession, and the answer was along the lines of three to guarantee, but technically, only one.


Your Turn / Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« on: July 08, 2019, 09:53:19 AM »

  1.  When I was an undergraduate one of my professors said that the instructors at the school where she did her graduate work never used "Dr." because it was assumed you had a doctorate and using he title was sort of braggadocio.

That's how it was at Yale Divinity School. Everyone was "Mr. so-and-so" (or, rarely in those days of the previous millennium, "Ms. so-and-so").

At UVA, it was just first names.

      The first names was the practice for the graduate school.  As an undergraduate, we addressed faculty as "Mr. so and so" or "Ms.  so and so."  Except for the two Jesuits on faculty who were usually addressed as Father Fogarty or Father Brown. TAs were usually addressed by their first names.


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