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Messages - GalRevRedux

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46
Your Turn / Re: Prayer Requests
« on: February 25, 2020, 07:25:38 PM »
Eileen Bentz Smith just informed me that her husband, Joe, died suddenly this morning. While she has great comfort in the Resurrection promise, she covets your  prayers for her and the family. May God bless our dear sister in this time of loss.

Donna

Donna, do you know any details about funeral arrangements?

Peace, JOHN

Sorry, John, I was away from the board for a bit. I see another poster found the obituary.

Donna

47
Your Turn / Re: Prayer Requests
« on: February 22, 2020, 09:25:51 PM »
Eileen Bentz Smith just informed me that her husband, Joe, died suddenly this morning. While she has great comfort in the Resurrection promise, she covets your  prayers for her and the family. May God bless our dear sister in this time of loss.

Donna

48
Your Turn / Re: Prayer Requests
« on: February 08, 2020, 07:40:00 PM »
Praying for strength and healing for your daughter-in-law Laurel.  Praying also for God to surround Laurel and her family with loving support.  My daughter-in-law just went through chemo, surgery and radiation for breast cancer last year.  Every time God brings you and Laurel to my mind I will be praying.

Linda
Thank you so much, Linda!

49
Your Turn / Re: Prayer Requests
« on: February 08, 2020, 05:51:15 PM »
I implore you all to please pray for my dear daughter-in-law, Laurel. She is the mother of three young children, and now is diagnosed with breast cancer. Pray wisdom for the medical team as treatment is plotted out, and strength and comfort for her, my son and all the family. Having had breast cancer myself, my heart is simply aching for her in so many ways.

Thank you

Donna

50
Your Turn / "The Idiosyncratic Pope Francis"
« on: November 25, 2019, 10:50:57 AM »
Thanks to a recent post on this board by Dave Benke, I have been reading "The Catholic Thing." It is a daily mailing of provocative essays and blog posts which I have, so far, found stimulating. Today's entry is relevant, I think, to us as Lutherans also.

https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2019/11/25/the-idiosyncratic-pope-francis/

I would quote a couple of the early paragraphs in the article to allow you to see if you fund it intriguing:

"What do we make, then, of Pope Francisís constant insistence, recently repeated here, and in his conversation with the bishops of Japan this past Saturday that in an evangelical encounter with those who do not know Christ we must witness to Christ but ďnot with convictions, not to convince [or persuade], [and] not to proselytize.

I have always found this claim idiosyncratic, not to say inconsistent with the Catholic traditionís emphasis on the interdependency of faith and reason (from Leo XIIIís 1879 encyclical Aeterni Patris to John Paul IIís 1998 encyclical Fides et Ratio). Inexplicably, Francis thinks that evangelical witness excludes not only the power of persuasion, reason, and arguments, but also claiming that one asserts, affirms, and holds certain beliefs to be true."

I am still chewing on the content but, as I feel so many here to be my intellectual superiors, I would be interested in reactions from other readers.

Donna


51
Your Turn / Re: "Blue" Christmas Service resources?
« on: November 23, 2019, 07:39:16 PM »
I have conducted these Blue Christmas services at two congregations I have served. We held the services in the mid to late afternoon on the third or fourth Sunday of Advent. The gatherings are intimate and have been very meaningful.

I know some of you will not like the name of the page this is from -  but it is a nice framework for a Blue Christmas worship. https://youngclergywomen.org/blue-christmas-service-when-christmas-hurts/

I know it is hypocritical, but I donít think I am able to conduct a Blue Christmas service myself this year as I am still dealing with my own grief. I might attend such a service but donít feel capable of being the leader this time. I would encourage any pastor to offer this worship opportunity.

Thank you for thinking of the hurting folks at this time of the year.

Donna

52
Your Turn / Re: The Differences Between Lutherans Today
« on: November 03, 2019, 07:54:16 AM »
Comparing notes with Bishop Benke:

Our graduating class from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis had 142 seminarians receive their first call.
Another 36 in our class went on to do Graduate Study, either at the seminary or elsewhere.
I am not aware of any of my classmates who were told they would not be certified for ordination.
However, three members of my class came back from their vicarage and had bad experiences with
their supervisor and decided to drop out of the seminary.

Yes, Dave - one of the main "tools" of evaluation back in the day and until this very day in the Missouri Synod system was the vicarage/internship experience and evaluation.  The uncomfy part of that has to do with the supervisor.  If that person took a dim view of the vicar then the vicar was in for a rough ride.  One young man from out East was told by the supervisor that he could only serve as an assistant pastor, and therefore needed to be removed from the program.  The young man had specifically requested that he was best suited for an assistant/associate position doing visitation, etc.  Which he was totally suited for.  But - he was shown the gate.  I put in a lot of hours arguing that, but it wasn't to be.  So in my own estimation the vicarage experience should not be the only or prime determinant in suitability for parish pastor ministry.

Dave Benke
My guess is the reasoning behind the intransigence had to with the nature of certification. They probably would have been happy to certify him to be a deacon. But certification is to the pastoral ministry, full stop. You canít limit ordination to a particular context. At least, the certification committee couldnít.

Thatís the same issue people had with SMP. Yes, we have promises, common sense, etc. But the certification committee certifies pastors. To certify someone for ordination with the caveat that they are really only qualified to be an assistant would like awarding an M.D. to graduates of a PA program.

Iíve worked with three or four guys who variously struggled with pre-sem interviews, vicarage, the academics, and so forth. On the personal side it is hard; you know the guy and can picture exactly where he would excel. But in all the working through things, we had to be clear that we werenít blaming the committee for doing its job. We wanted the candidate to pass, but not merely because the committee gave up in the standards. The committee members werenít working for us, they were working for every other congregation out there.

Sure.  I don't think a pastor should self-pigeonhole as assistant/associate or anything else.  But say this particular man completed, was certified, and was serving as an assistant/associate for six years.  That additional seasoning might/probably would make it possible for him to serve in sole pastoral setting.  Hey has taken positions of board authority at various levels of wider church service through the years.  So I felt the committee took the short view and missed an opportunity to bring a person into ordained service.

As to SMP, my perspective is that the opportunity to become "fully" ordered in our denomination by completing various additional courses is at present the only way out of a system that does not take us on the correct path.  The DELTO, EIIT and Center for Hispanic Studies pastors are eligible to serve anywhere.  And DELTO is the mother of daughter SMP.  This to me was, relatively speaking, a political game engineered to satisfy the electorate, because the SMP graduates are pigeonholed, even though they are confessionally subscribed through the level of the Book of Concord and are evaluated all along the way.

Dave Benke

Serving in Candidacy for 9 years+, I frequently encountered committees saying a candidate was ok to ordain, but first call should be as an associate or assistant pastor. This was troubling to me (and if you know me, you know that I said so!) because ordination is ordination. Associate/assistant positions are not remedial, they are collegial staff positions. It was often frustrating.

Donna

53
Pastor Fienen writes:
Let's not forget that until the night of November 8, 2019 just about everyone figured that Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in for the next president. It was so certain that she didn't bother to campaign much in several of the meaningless Midwest states that would have little or no effect on the election anyway. There was absolutely no way that buffoon Donald Trump could possibly win. Politics is unpredictable.
I comment:
The concern was not the candidate. Almost everyone knew he was an immoral, lying fool. Even many of those who voted for him knew that.
But we underestimated the hatred some have for the Clintons and/or ďliberals.Ē
We who were disappointed Nov. 8 also over-estimated the common sense, intelligence and decency of the general population, and the power of a shameless demagogue to affect that population. We did not think we were 1930s Germans, falling victim to the blandishments of someone telling them how miserable they were, how bad their country was and picking someone to blame. Then there was the racism and sexism too.
But that was long ago.

When the Forum was being upgraded I took it as a sign that I needed a mental health break, quite honestly from this topic.  When someone told me it was back up resolved not look at this topic but in a weak moment I did.

Pastor Austin, this post is, for me, as unacceptable as Sam Donaldson's remarks citing that the 30% of Americans who backed Trump are ignorant.  According to Donaldson, they don't know or understand or even want to know the issues.   This is what the progressive edge of the Democratic party needs to understand:   they not any more intelligent than the rest of the country.   They're elitists who seem to think they're right and not only is everyone who disagrees wrong, but they're ignorant. 

We need a new ism in our vocabulary.   We need an ism to define those who are, perhaps, uneducated, who work in a blue collar job, who work in a mine, who enjoy all sorts of sports, who cling to guns and religion, who speak with a twang, who don't have the gift of living on one of the elite coasts of this country.  If among primarily conservative Republicans we have misogynism, racism, and the host of other isms, we need one to define progressive Democrats who seem to hold contempt for those who them deem inferior in intelligence.   

We also need an ism for what I see as hypocrisy of the left.  Hillary Clinton didn't win the election and the analysis of the left holds that while sexism apparently must have played a role so did the hatred of the Clintons. No!  It was Hillary who did this to herself.  A lackluster candidate who went in knowing this was her entitlement.  It was her casting aside the basket of deplorables.  It was her policies (or lack thereof).  It was her purely amoral character, the sense that she can do anything and get away with it.   Yet when we say that those who resist Trump hate Trump (and practically cite the same rationale) well, no, they simply see the light -- his policies, all that he's taken away from us, his brashness, his business dealings.  But no hate there.

I did vote for Trump in 2016 (and Iím not ignorant).  After the final debate I could not have cast a vote for Clinton.  About a year ago I told my husband that even thought I agreed with some of Trumpís policies I couldn't vote for him again in 2020.  Then came the field of Democratic hopefuls.  Once again, unless this changes, I will be voting for Trump.  I will, as my husband said in 2016, hold my nose and cast that vote.

This country and our legislators have spent almost four years doing absolutely nothing but hating Trump and resisting him.  In church terms it is extraordinarily poor stewardship of time and talents.  People weren't served.  Issues that needed addressing went by the wayside as the resist movement took hold of the House. 

Quite a few posts back we were derailed and moved back to issues of sexuality.  Pastor Austin you reminded us of the title of the thread and wrote "Focus!"  I'd say that was focused. Trump isn't going to undermine this country nor the fabric of our society.  The fate of our nation doesnít lie in Trumpís hands. Nor will the right nor will the left.  We stand on our morality.   A society that turns its back on babies being aborted, that teaches children from pre-K on up the LBGTQ+ agenda as acceptable even holding up a transgendered child star as an icon of acceptance, that puts assigned gender aside to the point of allowing a child to take hormones to become the gender they wish, that seeks to undermine the role of parent in these issues, that has so little regard for marriage that the divorce rate is over 50%, where sexual immorality is portrayed in all forms of media as acceptable behavior so that we become inured to it -- that is where the fate of our  nation lies.  That is where we are unraveling.  Trump?   He'll be a figure in history some day just as other presidents and leaders are today - some of whom we thought would tear about our country and destroy it -- both on the right or the left.    We change our language to make life palatable in our never ending enforcement of politically correct speech and yet we cannot honor one anotherís differences when they are in opposition of the progressive agenda.  A supporter of Trump may go against all that progressives hold dear, but that person is equally integral to the fabric of our society and the opinions of each of us holds worth and merit.

Eileen, I would like to sign up for your newsletter!

Donna

54
Your Turn / Re: A New Route to Ordained Ministry-ELCA
« on: October 24, 2019, 01:19:20 PM »
The North American Lutheran Seminary ( seminary of the NALC) has entered into agreements with several colleges for a similar program. Among them are Concordia College New York, Concordia University in Minnesota and Grandview  University, Des Moines. More info here: https://www.thenals.org/index.php/partnerships/

Donna

55
Your Turn / Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« on: August 17, 2019, 08:08:04 AM »
Could someone please simplify this for an ordinary layman? Is it accurate to say that the NALC regards consecrating or installing a Bishop as not requiring the laying on of hands of a Bishop in the historic apostolic succession, but if it happens, that's OK?
George, I would say that is correct.

Kind of makes debating about it moot then, doesn't it?

Hi George,
Well, we would sure lose a lot of discussions around here if we omitted moot points, donít you think?
 ;)
Donna

56
Your Turn / Re: Hymns and poetry
« on: July 12, 2019, 10:38:15 AM »
Lord Thee I Love with all My Heart, most especially verse 3...

Lord, let at last Thine angels come,
To Abram's bosom bear me home,
That I may die unfearing;
And in its narrow chamber keep
My body safe in peaceful sleep
Until Thy reappearing.
And then from death awaken me
That these mine eyes with joy may see,
O Son of God, Thy glorious face,
My Savior and my Fount of grace,
Lord Jesus Christ,
My prayer attend, my prayer attend,
And I will praise Thee without end.

I have designated this for my funeral. The Paul Manz setting reduces me to tears.

While they are rather pedestrian choices, I also favor
I Want To Walk As A Child of the Light
Will You Come and follow Me
Thine the Amen
Of the Fathers Love begotten


I will cut myself off here... I could go on and on...

Donna

57
Your Turn / Re: Looming Shortage of Pastors - Worse Than We Realized?
« on: July 02, 2019, 03:48:18 PM »


My best friend these days is my former parish worker who was widowed long before I knew her. We have a comfortable friendship. Just last Sunday I told her that the hardest thing for me right now is the sense that nobody really needs me anymore. My interim is over, my step kids are grown and quite independent, etc. I do think this feeling is born of grief, and will eventually dissolve into some new purpose. I am relearning how to lean into Godís unfailing strength and guidance. Right now, though, I feel like I am in free fall. This thread has been helpful, because I do not feel quite so isolated in some of my feelings.

Saying that I feel unneeded felt almost blasphemous. God will show me the needs.

Donna

Donna, trust the Lord who brought you this far. I retired four years ago. I was weary of the abuse I received from a small number of people. I was tired of cleaning floors and fixing plumbing when no one would do it. I hung on as long as I did because I was afraid to live without the vocation that had given me an identity for 39 years. I have been amazed in retirement how often people from local congregations to the bishop call on me to exercise my vocation still. To my surprise I preach frequently, I've even done Easter and Christmas services and funerals. I've know you for a long time, and I'm sure God isn't finished with you yet.
[/quote]

Thanks for your wise and loving counsel, Wayne! I do appreciate it.
Donna

58
Your Turn / Re: Looming Shortage of Pastors - Worse Than We Realized?
« on: July 01, 2019, 10:50:20 PM »
Donna the loss of a spouse is the most serious change we ever have to make. And I hope I donít have to make it. Blessings to you as you adjust.
As for retirement, I donít think it is the work I miss, but I think I miss being the person who does that work. Writing. Covering the news. Preaching. Presiding. Caring for a congregation. Iím not the person who does that anymore.

My best friend these days is my former parish worker who was widowed long before I knew her. We have a comfortable friendship. Just last Sunday I told her that the hardest thing for me right now is the sense that nobody really needs me anymore. My interim is over, my step kids are grown and quite independent, etc. I do think this feeling is born of grief, and will eventually dissolve into some new purpose. I am relearning how to lean into Godís unfailing strength and guidance. Right now, though, I feel like I am in free fall. This thread has been helpful, because I do not feel quite so isolated in some of my feelings.

Saying that I feel unneeded felt almost blasphemous. God will show me the needs.

Donna

59
Your Turn / Re: Looming Shortage of Pastors - Worse Than We Realized?
« on: July 01, 2019, 12:33:42 PM »
This was posted over in that other thread, but it really belongs here:
I believe that everyone should consider whether or not, after a certain number of years, they have done their work, maybe they are no longer able to do the work as well as It should be done. They can do it ďgood enough,Ē but someone else could do it better.
Then there is the issue - is it a ďmoralĒ one? - of making way for new leadership.
How many pastors continue for the sake of ego or the fear of losing income or because they donít know what they would do in retirement.
This humble correspondent misses - sometimes deep and painfully - the weekly and daily excitement of both my professions and my old haunts and the house I enjoyed for 38 years, but I am finding some real pleasure and comfort as I learn how to ďreposition.Ē
P.S. It is hard, sometimes harder, for Beloved Spouse, too.

I am currently ďrepositioningĒ also. Interim has ended. Husband has introduced me to widowhood. Preparing for Medicare years...re-learning to live alone...figuring out if I want to be really ďretiredĒ or continue on leave from call...and more. Like you, Charles, I am acutely sensing the aspects of an active call that I am missing most intensely. Seeking what those new joys might be. Trying to find my place in the grand scheme. Praying more intensely than ever.

Appreciated your honest words, Charles.

Donna

60
Your Turn / Re: Methodists in the thick of it
« on: February 27, 2019, 08:56:24 PM »
I hesitated posting Presiding Bishop Eaton's response to the decision, but I feel somewhat confident that it will find its way to this thread.  I find it so very sad that we have witnessed over the pst few weeks some horrendous legislative actions that affect pre-born children and, at the same time, some states (including my own) are debating legalizing physician assisted suicide.  Yet not a word from our Presiding Bishop on these matters.  Yet she has been motivated to write a pastoral letter on the decisions of the UMC.  I find this sad not only in what seems to be the priorities of the voice of the ELCA but, perhaps more especially, as I respect her and do believe she has tried to be fair and pastoral to those not following the path of the ELCA statements and prospective statements on sexuality.

https://www.elca.org/News-and-Events/7960

Eileen, it makes me sick. That grand litany of all the joys that came with the 2009 decision may ring true for some, but as a voting member my memories are of bullying, gloating and bitter disappointment.  And I also wonder about this selective witness by a bishop I generally respect.

Donna

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