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Topics - RayToy

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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

Your Turn / ELCA Candidacy Question
« on: May 10, 2012, 11:56:12 PM »
   I have some questions regarding candidacy.  In these two examples, I am curious if there is a single policy, or if the situation depends on the Synod.

Situation A

     A candidate for ministry decides not to pursue a call for ordained ministry at the time he graduated from an ELCA seminary with an M. Div.  Several years later, he decides to pursue parish ministry and goes to his candidacy committee.  What happens?  (Choose as many as needed.)

a) He enrolls in an STM program
b) He does another unit of CPE
c) He does another parish internship
d) He does an additional year of study at a seminary.
e) He enrolls in classes for a second M. Div.

Situation B

      A candidate for ordained ministry decides not to pursue ordained ministry after graduating from an ELCA seminary with an M. Div.   Several years later, she decides that she wants to become a deaconess.  What happens? 

a) She enrolls in an STM program.
b) She returns to seminary for an MAR degree.  Although she has taken most, if not all the classes, she takes them again for the second degree.
c) She does another unit of CPE
d) She does an internship with the Deaconess Community.
e) other

       I really am curious to know what happens.


Your Turn / ELW Hymnody: What's the point?
« on: April 30, 2011, 12:39:24 AM »
   I recently saw this performance on you tube.

    This Carrie Underwood/Vince Gill  performance of "How Great Thou Art" sort of encapsulated a growing pet peeve I have had with LBW, and perhaps even more with ELW.  It's a small thing, but it was a tipping point.  She uses the lyrics "rolling thunder" as opposed to the original lyrics now in the ELW "mighty thunder."  I understand that George Beverly Shea was the first to use the phrase "rolling thunder" in a Billy Graham crusade, and that later Elvis Presley used that same phrase.  The fact that the original lyrics are in the hymnal does not change the fact that the popular culture uses different words.

    Many threads ago, we discussed the change in lyrics of "All Creatures of our God and King" to "All Creatures worship God most high."  I understand that linguistically, the second hymn is actually a more accurate translation of the source language text of the first.  No matter, as an English speaker who has experience singing in multiple languages, I still think of the second hymn as a different hymn using the same tune.  For me, (and I am not alone), "All Creatures of Our God and King" was taken out of ELW.

    Now, to forestall the notion that I am bashing the ELW just because I am resistant to change, I want to point out that LBW had similar issues, specifically in the Christmas section.  I understand that the powers that be did not want to alienate women by all of the masculine language.  The problem is that the only place I hear the inclusive language versions of familiar Christmas hymns is in mainline churches.  Whether it's Christmas concerts, or the radio, or television, the fact is that I never hear these new formulations.

     Now, to sort of hypothesize the rationale, I suspect that planners of these hymnals genuinely wanted to be inclusive.  Use of masculine pronouns or masculine images found in such words as "king", or "lord", or "soldier" may indeed be sufficiently offensive to women that droves of them may have never entered churches because of their use.  At the same time, if the point is to be inclusive, is it really inclusive to be singing songs that nobody else is singing?


Your Turn / Easter Vigil Questions
« on: April 03, 2010, 01:07:07 AM »


      For those of you who do the Easter Vigil, I am wondering two things.

1) What is your starting time?

2) Of the possible 12 lessons, how many do you actually use?


Your Turn / Indiana Logistics
« on: August 26, 2009, 12:31:51 AM »

Hello Everybody,

     I have filled out my registration form, made my airline reservations, and made my hotel reservations for the Lutheran CORE gathering in Indiana.  The materials suggest carpooling since there are only 300 parking spots available.  In that spirit, I was wondering about getting four rides.  I will need to ride:

From the Indianapolis airport to the Church

From the Church to the Super 8 Hotel (#3 on the list)

From the Super 8 Hotel to the Church on Saturday morning

And finally, from the church to the airport.

     Anybody available?


Your Turn / Degrees of Disagreement
« on: August 11, 2007, 10:14:42 PM »
    As I think about the main controversies in the Church of our Day, I am wondering where some of these disagreements fit in the big picture.   For the sake of discussion, here are some categories.

1) A particular practice is not Christian.  Even under a Two Kingdoms rubric, it cannot be justified as a societal good.  Thus, one who actively pursues such a position is definitely in spiritual danger, or worse, may be actively in league with the forces of darkness.

2) A particular practice is heretical.  Although it may use the language of Christianity, it actually goes against the Church.  Persons pursuing this course may be in spiritual danger, but they are probably sincere.

3) A particular practice is in doctrinal disagreement.  This is a serious, but not fatal area of disagreement.  It is sufficiently serious that altar fellowship should be avoided, but there is a sufficent biblical witness to this position that opposing parties might be able to laugh about it later on the other side of the heavenly divide.

4) A particular practice is a matter of personal preference.  Salvation nor altar fellowship are not in question.

      Now with respect to the sexuality debate.  Where is it happening?  What assumptions are in play before we actually get there?  On this particular forum, the sexuality question is tied in to the question of biblical inerrancy.  Where does THAT question fit on the scale?  And does answering that particular question actually help in figuring out where to go next?

      For example, I lurk on a yahoogroup (Apostasy) that deals with these questions on the Anglican side of the Church.  There are a few individuals who make the following proposiition.  The gay ordination issue can be traced to three events; the abandoning of the King James Bible, the abandoning of the 1929 Prayer Book, and the ordination of women.  These proponents argue that although the development of new Bible translations may have been presented as category 4 issues, the people in charge of such things were really in category 2.  Since Elizabethan English is fixed, interpretation of the King James text and the 1929 Prayer book text is also fixed.  However, since contemporary English is by definition still in a stage of flux, ambigious meanings can be purposely crafted.  This development allowed for women's ordination, which by their definition of things was a category 1 controversy.  With that hurdle crossed, the level of disagreement on the gay ordination issue was to some extent moot.

     Now this analysis is interesting, but there seems to be a huge hole in this summary.  Namely, that there are significant numbers of Anglo-Catholic parishes that use the King James Bible, use the 1929 Prayer Book, are vehemently anti-Women's ordination, and are nevertheless pro-gay ordination.

     As Lutheran Christians, we have different dynamics at work.  Although some folks have posited that the question stems from Biblical inerrancy, and that one's stance on Women's ordination is a good predictor of one's predeliction for the pro-gay question, I am not so sure about that proposition.  One monlkey wrench in this discussion is our vision of what constitutes the Holy Ministry.  Although there are Evangelical Catholics who hold to a three -fold division of minstry, for the most part, Lutherans have tended to view the office of Ministry as a unitary office.

      When looking at the issue of women in minstry, one thing that seems clear to me is that regardless of which side of the debate you are on, the concept of women as deacons is a much more Biblically defensible concept than women as elders or bishops.  If one has a unitary vision for the office of minstry, where does one fall on the question?  And even if that practice was adopted (ordaining women as deacons, but not elders or bishops), how would that work in the job market?  Even if a woman preferred to be a deacon or deaconess, she might not be considered for employment by a congregation.  When congregations are looking to hire another staff person, an "Associate in Ministry" might have an appropriate skill set for the present, but a pastor with the same skill set has more flexibility for the future.

      I should add that this idea of ordaining women to the diaconate, but not to the presbyterate or episcopate seems to have worked in the Pentecostal world if we define successs as not needing to deal with the pro-gay ordination question.   I don't know if this is a good thing or not, but it seems worth reflectiing.  Of course, that leads to the question of where would THAT issue be on the scale that I outlined above.

      I may not have any answers to these questions, but I do enjoy asking them.  I hope some of this made some sense.


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