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Messages - Eileen Smith

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Your Turn / Re: why we came this way...
« on: August 13, 2010, 08:39:50 AM »
I am a child of the 50's and 60's.  My parents took me to Sunday school and church each Sunday and I attended Lutheran elementary school and high school.  For 12 years I attended daily chapel.  I came to love the Scriptures, the liturgy, and the hymns of the church.  I do have friends who seem to recall this is an oppressive time, "you must believe as we instruct you."  Honestly, I don't recall that at all.  I remember being enveloped in love of those who taught me.

The past few months have been a struggle.  On April 30th, I lost my job after 21 years.  In July a mass was discovered under my liver.  It was removed - margins are clean - markers came out well.  All seemed good.  Now a follow up path report is stating that this is not the primary site; however, this is an "indolent" cancer, very non-aggressive.  I'm not sure what I'm facing.  I'm waiting to see a medical oncologist.

Why am I sharing this news within this thread?  Just this morning (so ironic this topic was posted), I sat awake in bed thinking of those who taught me the faith:  my parents, Pastor Giese, Pastor B. Von Schenck, Pastor J. Von Schenck, Darlene Kirchoff Quiram (our deaconness), Clifford Koening and so many other teachers I had over twelve years, Dr. Benke in Diakonia -- I thought of them with much thanksgiving to God for their presence in my life and for their unequivocal teaching of faith - Scripture - Law and Gospel - for now, that is really the only constant I have in my life - the only thing that now brings me peace.  

We are all, in various ways, charged with teaching the faith - to our young people, to one another.  I pray that we might follow some of those who taught back then - what might have seemed oppressive to some seems better than the proverbial smorgasbord our young people are offered by some in our ?enlightened? day.

I had the privilege of meeting Bishop Munib several years ago when he visited the U.S. - and cover his visit for the ELCA in press releases.   It was truly a moving experience to meet this humble leader who serves our Lord in the most difficult of circumstances.  What an excellent choice LWF has made. 

I've been a member of the ELCA for about 15 years, prior to that I was in the LCMS.  As one pastor once said, the LCMS is always in your heart.  So, I hope you won't mind a quick reflection here as I wasn't sure where else to share it.  Several days after 9/11, President Kieshnick joined with Bishop Anderson, Bishop Bouman and President Benke in New York.  They went down to Ground Zero - still smoldering - still looking for survivors and one could see how deeply he was moved - how this visit impacted him.  We all joined in a church in upper Manhattan and President Kieschnick brought comfort to all who were gathered. We prayed and we sang. We were all well beyond judicatories in our grief - simply there to comfort and be comforted.  I am grateful for the ministry of President Kieschnik that day as well as the other leaders who were with us and I pray that as he now is called to serve in a new way, God will grant him healing so that he might continue to be a blessing to others. 

Thank you very much for the commentary, Scott. You are doing a great job of giving us a glimpse into the happenings in Houston. 

LCMS Convention 2010 / Re: Dr. Benke
« on: July 12, 2010, 09:02:31 PM »
My deepest sympathy to you, Judy and your family, Dr. B.  May God grant you His peace in these difficult days.  Eileen

is there a reason one can't preach the Gospel and commemorate the tenth anniversary of September 11?  

We have a commemoration every year on the Sunday closest to the 11th.  

Your Turn / Re: WordAlone-The End of Loyal Opposition
« on: June 28, 2010, 07:29:21 AM »
George, the apathy is nothing new out here and both clergy and laity suffer from it.  A number of lay people, going back to 1998, tried (without success) to convince some of the more "middle-of-the-road" pastors that there was an agenda with the benign resolutions being brought to the floor - the "gosh, let's just one one another and attach 'RIC' to our door."  Until this August 09 we still had some say, "oh there's no agenda" - even though a highly respected pastor kept giving this message.  In a number of congregations in MNYS (still keep in touch) some clergy have chosen not to discuss the August decisions at all our how it might impact.  Same goes for my own congregation.   Some lay people have expressed displeasure, but, of course, it won't affect us!  A woman went to her nephew's confirmation in another ELCA congregation in NJ.  The pastor announced he was gay (this in way of welcoming visitors), the organist was gay - and apparently it was a "gay" congregation.   Our member returned stating that could never happen in our congregation.  Think again.... A long way to say, George, YES, put me in the column of those for whom apathy is very distressing.   One last note - to be fair - there are some who valiantly spoke out against all that's happened.  They are silent now - not from apathy, just completely discouraged. 

Your Turn / Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« on: June 28, 2010, 07:13:19 AM »
I agree - pew sitters are savvy and we have much information at our fingertips.  It's too hard to say, "What happens in Minneapolis stays in Minneapolis" as some pastors out here (NY/NJ) have chosen to do.  We can hit the internet and read of the celebration to take place in two weeks as part of LCNA's assembly - but once you bring in ELCA staff to preach, well - it does become a bit more of an official ELCA event.  Just browsing the internet allows the many pride celebrations in Lutheran churches this weekend.  Both NY and NJ saw yet more resolutions on sexuality - to "enhance" (for lack of better word) the August decisions. 

For some of us who were very disappointed in the August decisions yet have chosen to remain quiet in the congregation so that ministry can come first, who have chosen not to withhold offerings so that ministry can come first - it seems a bit like salt in the wound.  As well, many of us - pew sitters and clergy alike - are really growing weary of what, at times, appears to be a one-agenda church. 

Forum Blogs / Re: Storm in Minneapolis
« on: June 27, 2010, 07:34:02 AM »
This article and the actions leading up to it are simply immoral and unethical.  Now that this has gone beyond a magazine into the press - one has to wonder, is there even one person out there who needs help - alcohol, drugs - whatever - who would now think twice given confidentiality issues.  I do not now the Pastor - or anything about him - but will certainly for him. 

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