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Messages - Dave Likeness

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Your Turn / Re: March Madness (Basketball, People!)
« on: March 16, 2012, 06:12:52 PM »
Rev. Gal. (Donna Smith).....Sorry to hear that you do
not cheer for the Iowa Hawkeyes who beat 4 top
20 teams this season...Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin
twice.  Our victory over Illinois in the Big Ten Tourney
helped us get an NIT bid.

I feel your pain for Bruce Weber who is wonderful human
being.  Unfortunately, college basketball is all about
Conference championships and NCAA tourney wins.
Nice to know that Bruce Weber is a Lutheran.

Your Turn / Re: March Madness (Basketball, People!)
« on: March 16, 2012, 04:27:51 PM »
Bryce Drew hit a 3 pointer that sent  Valpo into
the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tourney during his
Senior Year.   Bryce is currently the Head Coach
at Valpo.

Your Turn / Re: March Madness (Basketball, People!)
« on: March 16, 2012, 01:50:08 PM »
Erma,......In the second round  the Memphis versus
Michigan State will be a good game.  The same for
the Vanderbilt versus Wisconsin.  As a Big Ten fan
my Iowa Hawkeyes are in the NIT, so I pull for our
Conference.  Creighton and Iowa State are  ranked
in the Associated Press top 25 teams.  Of your four
favorite teams, Vanderbilt has the easiest path to
the Elite 8 and possibly the Final Four.

In the 21st century, a "traditional" Lutheran parish is
one which probably  has an average Sunday Worship
attendance of less than 100 people.  These parishes
are in a maintenance mode and struggle to survive
financially.  Some are rural and some are urban.
The real question is how can the Synod (ELCA) and
District (LCMS) assist them to maintain a vibrant
Word and Sacrament ministry.

Perhaps the Synod/District could adopt one of these
parishes as a  "Mission  Project".  There could be work-days
to send people to do landscape work on the outside
and painting on the inside.  There could be special offerings
taken throughout the  Synod/District for financial subsidy
on an annual basis.   The Bishop/District President could
be the guest preacher to simply encourage them to be
faithful as God's people in that particular place.  These would
be ways of letting these parishes feel the love of their
fellow Lutherans.

Amen and Amen to Pastor Weedon's comments.
Upstream I posted that the District President is to
be a Pastor to the Pastors in his District.   Until this
happens there will continue to be pastors who are
hurting professionally and spiritually and need
someone to talk to.  My expectations for a DP are
very high.  He should be theologian and not merely
a desk jockey who pushes papers.  He should be a
man of compassion and wisdom who listens with
Christ-like love to those under his care.

The District President is not merely the Sheriff and the
Lawman who deals with felony cases.  Those cases
are the exception rather than the norm.  By the grace
of God those situations are rare.

The District President should have as a priority to
build a genuine relationship with each of the pastors
in his District.   Word on the street around the Synod
is that this is not happening.  We not have  35 Bishop
Benkes who truly put in the time to know the pastors.
My point is clear, we need proactive DP's who are giving
pastoral care to the pastors in their District.

I maintain that the District President is to be a pastor
to the pastors in his geographical area.  The Synodical
President Matt Harrison needs to stress this fact to  the
COP.  By the grace of God it might solve some of our
problems between pastor and parish before they explode.

DP Benke.....It seems to me as a Circuit Counselor
for 13 years, that  the District President delegates
many of his responsibilities  to the pastors of the
District.  From a strictly financial point of view the
increases of District staffing in the last 30 years has
sucked the money from Synod to District.  When you
studied for the pastoral ministry at Milwaukee , Fort
Wayne and St. Louis, there was no graduating with
a personal debt due to a hefty Synodical subsidy.
I would like to see that Synodical  subsidy return
so that seminarians do not incur huge debts.

Dave Benke you might be the exception as far as
District Presidents.  How many are actually visiting
their pastors on an individual basis at least once
a year?.  How many make any planned visits at all?
How many District Presidents are mentoring the new
seminary graduates who come into their District?
It seems like there is a great difference from District
to District concerning Presidential duties.

The last LCMS National Convention downsized the
structure of our Synodical staff and boards  The purpose
was to streamline our operation and make it more
efficient as well as save some money.

The next logical step would be to evaluate the District
structure and staff.  Do we need 35 Districts with all
the staffing that goes with them?  Is there a more
efficient way to streamline and save money?

The average LCMS parish operates independently of
the District except when there is a pastoral vacancy.
Then that parish quickly realizes they need help to
call a pastor.  From my vantage point that is what
most parishes look for from the District.  Someone
to assist them in getting a pastor.  Do we need a full-
time District President to accomplish this?  Perhaps,
we need to reexamine the possibility of  District Presidents
serving a parish for their salary and only being responsible
for 50 to 75 parishes in their District.

Justified and Sinner....As a pastor and circuit counselor
I feel there is a need for mentoring the new seminary
graduates as they enter the pastoral ministry.  An older
and experienced pastor would be paired with the new
pastor.  Not necessarily from the same circuit but from
the district, this veteran pastor could be able to build
a relationship of trust so that there would be times of
confession and guidance for the new pastor.

It is impossible for St. Louis and Fort Wayne to ever
produce  a pastor who has no need for improvement
in either pastoral formation or educational formation.
The ground work for both should be done at the sem.
But it will a life long process to mature in Christ as
a shepherd of one of His flocks.  Obviously, the priority
must be on a strong spiritual life of the pastor and  a
close relationship with Jesus Christ, The Good Shepherd.

Justified and Sinner....Today,  Pastoral Formation is
the process of molding the spiritual life of a pastor
as he learns to have a rich devotional life of prayer
and meditation of  God's Word.  Our LCMS seminaries
provide Pastoral Formation for the seminarians.

Pastoral Education is the process of teaching the
seminarian Lutheran dogmatics and the Confessions,
Church History, Biblical Theology,, Exegetical work
in the Old and New Testaments (Hebrew & Greek)
and Pastoral Theology.   St.Louis and Fort Wayne
sems make this part of their curriculum.

Utimately the parish pastor needs both Pastoral  formation
and Pastoral education as he develops a personal
relationship with Christ and carries out his ministry.
The truth is he never stops growing in either area and
becomes a life-long learner and disciple of Christ.

Padre Dave....If our Lord could use some fishermen
who served a 3 year internship with him as apostles,
then he can certainly use you in the desert.

As the Book of Acts, says they were uneducated men,
but they had been with the Lord.  It seems like
Pastoral formation was important to Christ.

I am familiar with several churches in Tucson from our
vacations there,  Fountain of Life is the one I remember.

Your Turn / Re: Trove of relics discovered at Gettysburg seminary
« on: March 14, 2012, 11:01:07 AM »
I was in Gettysburg this past summer and enjoyed
the historic tour of all the Civil War sites.  To see the
cemetery where Lincoln gave his address was great
as well as the cannons on the campus of Gettysburg
Lutheran Seminary.  Also the prices were discounted
at the Sem bookstore where I bought some good books.

If you are in Gettysburg, then do not forget to take the
tour of the Eisenhower home.  This was a real treat for
this history buff.

Bishop "1957" Benke....In one LCMS District the
Brinks Truck has arrived for economically stressed
parishes.  They submit an application for financial
subsidy and are labeled a "Mission" Congregation.
Usually this is a three to five year deal with no
payback required by the parish.

After a recent conversation with a recent graduate
of an ELCA seminary, the following points were made.
1) The ELCA has 8 seminaries and 2 of them are on
a financial watch list.  They simply have too many
2) To supply 8 seminaries with 8 quality faculties
and have limited resources is hurting their academic
rigor.  At one sem they had a local Methodist pastor
teaching homiletics.

swbohler.....I know it,  you know it, and the Lutheran
Church Missouri Synod knows  it........Dr. J.A.O Preus
and his PhD. was a primary reason  for the call that
was issued to him to become Springfield's president.

Before Preus's arrival the Springfield seminary had
a credibility problem for their faculty and the quality
of their academic courses for their students.  Preus
definitely began to upgrade the faculty.  Many leaders
in the LCMS wanted respectability for Springfield.

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