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Topics - FrPeters

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Your Turn / So sorry. . .
« on: July 24, 2018, 08:47:49 AM »
From the NY Post:

The embattled rector of Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan saw his pay cut — barely — as controversy swirled over his leadership.

The Rev. James Cooper’s salary dropped to $339,469 in 2012 down from $352,663 a year earlier when he also got a $25,000 bonus, according to new tax filings.

Cooper’s 2012 total compensation reached $1.2 million with benefits factored in. Those perks included his residence in a church-owned Soho town house, now valued by the city at $8.2 million, and a $118,675 housing allowance for his Florida condo.

Cooper came under fire from members of Trinity’s governing board angry that not enough of the wealthy church’s resources were going to philanthropy and that Cooper was too focused on grandiose development projects. By March 2012, almost half of the board had been forced out or quit.

Cooper had contemplated resigning in the midst of the controversy, but only if Trinity could meet his demands, which included burial in the historic church graveyard where Alexander Hamilton was laid to rest.

A Trinity spokesman declined to comment on salaries for Cooper or Lupfer.

Your Turn / 62 Scholars Call Pope to Account for Heretical Teaching
« on: September 25, 2017, 09:23:50 AM »

Take a gander. . . and note that the Pope is accused of being "Lutheran" with respect to marriage. . . Interesting!!

Your Turn / Harrison Family Loses Home to Fire
« on: July 30, 2015, 07:55:24 AM »
On the last day of his vacation, Pres. Harrison and his family suffered a house fire.  It appears that the family is okay, a dog hurt, but the house is a total loss.  They are staying in a hotel.  Please let your prayers rise for them in their loss and for God's abundant grace to be their support.

Almighty God, merciful Father, Your thoughts are not our thoughts, Your ways are not our ways. In Your wisdom You have permitted fire to destroy the home of the Harrison family. We implore You, let not the hearts of Your people despair nor their faith fail them, but sustain and comfort both President Harrison and his family in their hour of need. Direct all efforts to attend to them, supplying all their needs in Christ Jesus. All this we ask for your mercy's sake.  Amen.

Mid-South District voted to end all deacons (10 currently) doing Word and Sacrament ministry by July 16, 2016, and to fund those who wish to become SMP pastors in the cost of that program.  It also petitioned the Districts of Synod where deacons are doing Word and Sacrament ministry to follow this example.

Your Turn / Institute on Liturgy, Preaching, & Worship
« on: March 13, 2014, 09:39:50 AM »
About the Institute

Like earlier conferences, the 2014 Institute on Liturgy, Preaching and Church Music is designed for pastors, musicians and laity who assist in worship or simply are passionate about it. The institute consists of four main types of events:

Register Now

    Worship — Anchored by the Divine Service at either end and filled with the Church’s daily prayer services, worship forms the heart and center of our gathering. Christ assembles His people to give out to them His gifts!
    Keynotes — Five extraordinary speakers will invite us in four keynote addresses to ponder the theme of comfort and its impact upon the worship life of Christ’s Church. Our Lutheran Confessions teach us: “Everything, therefore, in the Christian Church is ordered toward this goal: we shall daily receive in the Church nothing but the forgiveness of sin through the Word and signs, to comfort and encourage our consciences as long as we live here” (LC II 55).
    Seminars and Workshops — Covering a wide variety of topics and aimed at pastors, musicians and interested lay people, various teachers and pastors share their insights to strengthen and deepen the Church’s worship life.
    Extra Goodies — Conversation with LCMS President Matthew Harrison, visiting with the “Issues, Etc.” team, free time, organ recitals, a hymn festival, an ice cream social, A Taste of Nebraska Picnic and more.

     Presenters include Dr. John Kleinig, Dr. Robin Leaver, Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller and so many others!

Put all that together, and this promises to be one stunning event that you will NOT want to miss. Hosted on the beautiful campus of Concordia University, Nebraska, Seward, Neb., July 28–31, join us as we are strengthened together in the comfort of Christ.
Institute Information

Your Turn / Lenoir Rhyne and Lutheran Southern Seminary Merger
« on: March 27, 2012, 06:19:05 PM »

March 27, 2012 

Lenoir-Rhyne University, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary to merge

     CHICAGO (ELCA) - At a March 26 signing ceremony, representatives of
Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C., and Lutheran Theological
Southern Seminary in Columbia, S.C., celebrated the decision to merge the
two institutions, effective July 1. The merger is the first such
combination of an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) seminary
and university since the founding of this church in 1987. The ceremony
took place at the Martin Luther Statue on Shaw Plaza in Hickory.
     With the merger, Lenoir-Rhyne University is establishing a school of
theology which will include an ELCA seminary -- Lutheran Theological
Southern Seminary. The seminary will retain its own name and identity
while integrating with the larger university system.
     The ELCA has eight seminaries and 26 colleges and universities.
     The merger illustrates "the kind of trust that developed among the
leaders of each institution," said the Rev. Marcus J. Miller in a Lenoir-
Rhyne news release. "Before, we had compatible missions. Going forward we
have the promise of a vibrant, singular mission. That's powerful," said
Miller, who will retire as president of the seminary this summer.
     Dr. Wayne B. Powell, president of Lenoir-Rhyne, called the merger
a "win-win" for both institutions. "As one university, we will be both
broader and deeper, and that makes it a win for students, faculty and
     "Both institutions will be enriched with a greater diversity and an
increased capacity to serve both church and society," said ELCA Presiding
Bishop Mark S. Hanson.
     In 2011 the boards of Lenoir-Rhyne and Lutheran Theological Southern
Seminary recommended that the institutions enter into a formal
collaborative partnership leading to a merger. The recommendation came as
a result of a feasibility study initiated when it became clear between
the boards and institutions that each had similar goals and strong
     "There was a time and place decades ago when seminaries were
integral units of colleges and universities," according to the Rev. Mark
N. Wilhelm, who overseas the mission leadership of ELCA schools, colleges
and universities.
     Wilhelm said the merger "is the first for the ELCA. It's somewhat
a 'back to the future' movement."
     Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary was founded in 1830 and has
been located at its current campus in Columbia since 1911. Lenoir-Rhyne
was founded in 1891 by four Lutheran pastors.

What does this mean about campuses?

Your Turn / Christmas Day is the best!
« on: December 25, 2011, 02:43:43 PM »
I don't know about you, but Christmas Eve is for the masses but I would hold Christmas Day service if it was only for me and my family... What a wonderful day!!

Your Turn / Paying Pastors to Make Outreach Calls
« on: June 22, 2011, 02:12:32 PM »
I just got an email from our District Office telling me about a new plan to pay Pastors up $500 to make outreach calls.

30-15-5 Challenge
Need Extra Cash?
How About $500.00?

That's what you will receive when you participate in the 30-15-5 challenge.

Our visibility in the community is one of the most effective ways to increase worship attendance. The 30-15-5 challenge encourages pastors to model this for their church.

To receive the $500, pastors will, over a six-month period

Make 30 new contacts in the community 
Get the contact information from 15 new people 
Pray for at least 5 of those people to be in church
For more information, send me an email with the subject line "30-15-5, More Info." 

Are you a deacon serving a congregation? Would like to participate? Send me an email and we'll see what we can work out

This is the embarrassment some of us in the LCMS have to deal with...


Richard Johnson writes eloquently but, not persuasively to me, about the need for consultation with the Bishop, "cooling off periods," timetables for votes, and property issues if the ELCA congregation does not join another Lutheran body.  To all of this, I wonder "What is the big deal if a congregation leaves?"

It would seem to me that the Synod, District, or whatever has little stake in this if a two-thirds majority or even simple majority believe that they need to leave ELCA or LCMS.  They have no investment in that congregation -- benevolence or financial support having paid off whatever cost most of these congregations cost the church body to plant.  If a majority (yes, even simple majority) vote to leave, let them leave.  If people disagree with the vote, they can find another ELCA or LCMS or whatever church body and switch their membership.  Synodical affiliation is the congregation's business and not so much the business of the rest of the congregations in that church body or its regional or national leadership.

If the Bishop ascertains they want to leave, even if they cannot muster the 2/3 vote, that Bishop/DP knows that the money ain't gonna be pouring in from this discontent congregation.  So why attempt to prevent this parish from leaving (either by rules or heavy handed persuasion)?  Consult in the sense of seeing if that desire to leave clearly reflects the majority and wave good bye.

As far as timetables, I think that holding a congregation hostage to a timetable dictated by the Synod or District or national body will only do more to raise the number of votes to leave.  By the time it gets to this point, the pressure to leave is almost unstoppable.  Congregations are bastions of inertia so when a movement gets to the point of scheduling a vote to leave, it represents a strong movement that has not only an issue but a deep seated momentum behind it.

I really do not get the fuss.  Of course, I am in Missouri which is, inherently, a more congregational body than the ELCA but I think it would play into the hands of those who wished to leave to try and use maneuvering or posturing or arbitrary rules from on high to prevent the will of even a simple majority.

People vote with their feet all the time.  It is, after all, the American way.  They join other congregations, they start new congregations, so what is the difference here.  Congregations vote with the wallet just like people and in this way vote with their feet just like the people in the pew.  I am not saying this is great but that is the reality of it all, isn't it?

Am I really the odd one out when it comes to looking at those leaving in this way?

Your Turn / Who may preach?
« on: February 23, 2011, 05:10:50 PM »
Recently I was shown Roman Catholic rules which prohibit a layperson from preaching in the course of the Mass (Divine Service).  Here is the document in question:

.  Redemptionis Sacramentum from the CDWDS says:

    [64.] The homily, which is given in the course of the celebration of Holy Mass and is a part of the Liturgy itself, “should ordinarily be given by the Priest celebrant himself. He may entrust it to a concelebrating Priest or occasionally, according to circumstances, to a Deacon, but never to a layperson. In particular cases and for a just cause, the homily may even be given by a Bishop or a Priest who is present at the celebration but cannot concelebrate”.

So what think you?  Can a lay person properly preach in the Lutheran Divine Service or not?

Do we have virtually the same prohibition in Augustana XIV?

Your Turn / TCN Loses Its Cash
« on: December 01, 2010, 03:01:25 PM »
From an email this morning from Terry Tieman, Executive Director of the Transforming Churches Network:

“On October 29, the LCMS Office of the President announced that…as a result of financial issues and the Synod-mandated restructuring of ministries,” the North America Missions Department would be closed, effective December 1, 2010.1  Since we have been funded through this department, unless something changes, it appears that this action will result in a loss of $200,000 a year in funding to TCN..."

It appears that this fallout from the restructuring resolutions was not foreseen by some of the TCN folks who supported such change...

Your Turn / Jesus First #10
« on: July 01, 2010, 02:47:48 PM »
If you did not get the latest from Jesus First, you can click here:

I found it very interesting that JK deserves re-election based on performance which satisfies 80% of the clergy and 99% of the lay.  By what measures should we judge JK or any incumbent President of the Synod?

Growth?   Either in numbers or in missions?  Our numbers have continued the decline throughout his 9 years and I can find no record of mission starts, new mission fields, or other barometers (other than financial) to judge mission growth...

Harmony?    Obviously Synod is not harmonious -- has it ever been?  I am not sure whether this would be a fair standard to use or not but clearly we have had a very contentious 9 years....

Clarity?    It would be wonderful if we as a Synod had a clearer sense of who we are, what we confess, and how we practice it but such clarity is not evident.  I am not sure that it is fair to use this standard or not but clearly there is greater diversity of identity and practice than ever before...

Esteem of Peers?   At one point in time I heard that 80-90% of the DPs supported JK and now I hear that it is down to 50% or so.  How would you judge it and are the people you are asking truthful or not?

Faithfulness?    From every vantage point it is clear that JK loves his job and works hard at it but it seems that faithfulness is at the heart of every issue that is raised against him -- from close(d) communion to doctrinal stance...  We hear more about Synodical resolution than we do actual Confessional articles or Scriptural passages (take a look at the book he sent out detailing what we believe -- what authority is cited more in that document -- resolution, Confession, or Scripture?  Some believe he is very faithful and others believe he has been unfaithful...

My point in all of this is to ask a basic question.  Why does JK deserve re-election?  We have a broad brush painted about feelings, image, troubled times, etc... but nothing really solid to go on...

Not before anyone says I am being unfair, I might make some of the same comments if it were claimed that MH deserves to elected President of Synod...

It just strikes me as more words without much substance behind them... and that is not what we need to help us find our way...

Your Turn / Forum Letter on Candidates for LCMS President
« on: March 04, 2010, 05:16:59 PM »
Having read both Weedon and Poedel, I am still mystified why so many prefer someone who pretty much stands against everything you stand for but who might leave you alone while fearing one who is much more idenfied with the evangelical and catholic perspective of the Confession and liturgy yet might agitate for congregations to actually use the LSB and look like Lutherans on Sunday morning...

Personally, my worst fear as a Lutheran Pastor is that when I leave a parish after working so hard to promote a catholic identity in confession and liturgy, I will be replaced by someone completely opposite who will force the people in the pew to choose between my memory and his leadership and end up dividing the congregation.  The fellow who followed me in my first parish is nice enough but he is no friend to the liturgy and has tried to undo the weekly Eucharist that I worked to instll and the rich music life of many choirs, instrumental groups, etc.

This is much more likely to happen under the Synodical leadership of a man like Kieschnick than Harrison... it is not a political statement but the truth of both their statements and perspectives...

Your Turn / Policy Based Governance
« on: June 29, 2009, 11:28:37 PM »
Having come from a District Convention where by-laws were altered to be in line with Policy Based Governance (a la Carver)... I ask what people think of this... is it benign or is it a cancer on the life of the Church?  I am suspicious but not informed enough to know how it actually works out... escept that it does away with most board/committee structures and allows the staff to structure however they believe is needed to fulfill the task...

I did find it interesting that in a google search of this, 90% of the hits for religous organizations were either LCMS or Unitarian... to me not a good sign....

So please weigh on this both in terms of congregational and larger church structure...  I can understand the struggles faced by those who try to get good people in the right elected positions but am not ready to say that this will help...

Your Turn / Obama and Notre Dame... or Georgetown
« on: April 16, 2009, 08:50:51 PM »
Listening to the radio on the way home, I heard where the White House required that Georgetown University cover up the IHS symbol on the back of the stage where the President was to speak...  and in the RC blogs of friends I hear over and over again of the controversy created by Fr Jenkins invitation to the President to speak and his offer of an honorary degree...

What think you about the request to cover up the religious symbol?  What think you about the invitation of the most pro-choice President so far to a school which one would expect to be known for its pro-life stance -- and the degree added in?

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