Author Topic: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule  (Read 51273 times)

Brian Hughes

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #390 on: November 21, 2007, 08:46:04 AM »

If that is the case (that some seminaries are positioning themselves to help ECP/ELM candidates), why don't PLTS and Trinity also have such a position? 

PLTS already has contextual education director.  PLTS has been coordinating ECP candidates' teaching parish and internships for awhile.  Candidacy is a different word with a different meaning.  Perhaps LSTC wants to beat everyone to the trendy side while they can.  I really don't know.  Hence my original question.

Brian

Charles_Austin

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #391 on: November 21, 2007, 08:46:30 AM »
Seems to me a lot could be cleared up for those who are spooky-dooky about this just by asking some people at the seminary what it is about. If it is true that they have had little to do with "candidacy" in the past (and I"m not sure that's true), what is changing now and why? Anyone dare to ask them?

Erma_S._Wolf

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #392 on: November 21, 2007, 08:57:01 AM »
The word "challenge" (an unfortunate choice of words) appears three times on the entire website, although two of those times are duplicates of the same sentence. I believe that all three refer to Pastor Rude.


ELM's press release announcing the extra-ordinary ordination begins:

For the fourth time in 13 months a Lutheran congregation will directly challenge the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) policy requiring lifelong celibacy of gay and lesbian clergy. On October 28, Jen Rude was called to ministry by Resurrection Lutheran Church in Chicago.   On November 17, Rude will become the first pastor to be ordained in the newly formed Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM) and the first official challenge to the new ELCA policy of “Refrain and Restraint” that was passed at its biennial assembly August 6-11 in Chicago.

ELM's headline for its release on the ordination itself is: Jen Rude's Ordination Only the First Test of the ELCA's "Refrain or Restraint" and it begins:

On November 17, 2007, The Rev. Jen Rude was set aside for Word and Sacrament ministry by laying on of hands. Pastor Rude’s ordination is the fourth time in 13 months that a Lutheran congregation has directly challenged the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) policy requiring lifelong celibacy of gay and lesbian clergy.


Dave had hoped Jen Rude's extra-ordinary ordination (the presiding minister was the Rev. Erik Christensen, Co-Chair of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries) would be something other than what ELM is trumpeting.  I'm glad, John, that you find ELM's phrasing "unfortunate."  Nevertheless, they have chosen to highlight it.

Pax, Steven+

I for one am grateful that ELM is as blunt and forthright as they have been.  They are absolutely serious about their mission and their intentions.  While I disagree with them, I find their honesty and lack of guile refreshing. 

They are also quite honest on their website regarding their vision and their theology.  In fact, they are grounding their right to conduct these "extraordinary ordinations" in the Confessions and the writings of Luther.  They have posted their vision statement and a "Theological Statement Supporting the ELM Vision Statement"  that lays out quite clearly their plans for the foreseeable future.  It is quite the constitutional "challenge" (my word) to the ELCA.

Erma Wolf
« Last Edit: November 21, 2007, 08:58:52 AM by Erma_S._Wolf »

Pr. Jerry

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #393 on: November 21, 2007, 10:04:48 AM »
The "conspiracy theory" of church life survives! And thrives! It seems that everything is done with a nefarious hidden agenda.

 This all started when I asked about a "coordinator of candidacy" position at LSTC.  Either the reporter didn't understand her source (but since candidacy is such a specific word used in our process I find that reason a little thin) or LSTC is up to something else.  Candidacy happens within a committee process that's tied to the synod of origin for a candidate.  From a larger perspective, candidacy is a church wide process delegated to synods by the Department for Candidacy.  Seminaries have no coordinative role in the process except the faculty reviews that are part of endorsement and approval.  Therefore a "Coordinator of Candidacy" for a seminary has no meaning.  Unless it is to coordinate the candidacy of non-ELCA students.

Breaking my self-imposed silence for a moment...

Brian, while I personally don't trust (retired) Bishop Landahl a single bit, and while I am deeply troubled by LSTC's direction and actions over the past several years, and so I wouldn't put "anything" beyond them, the position of a "candidacy co-ordinator" (or some such title) in itself is not a terrible thing on a Seminary faculty.  When I attended Wartburg, the Assistant to the President of the Seminary who oversaw admissions was the "Candidacy Co-ordinator."  It may actually be a bit of a relief that position now resides with the Dean of Students, a fully fledged faculty member.  What the co-ordinator does (at least a the 'Burg) is liase between the Synod candidacy committee and the Seminary faculty so that things like interviews get conducted (faculty, after all, sit on these things along the way...  They need to be assigned and arrainged, etc...), concerns from the Candidacy Committee are shared with the faculty and vice-versa (after all students (like myself) occassionally get into and out of accademic trouble, and Synodical committees sometimes have concerns about a candidate's theology or accademic skills...), and the like. 

So a "Candidacy Co-ordinator" may be the title for the person who is the "touch-point" between the Synod (which, as you note, is responsible for the candidate) and the Seminary (which is entrusted to educate that same candidate).  The question then becomes, is Bp. Landahl a person who is worthy of that task, or will he use that position for a different agenda.  And that is a valid concern.

Back to listening...

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
« Last Edit: November 21, 2007, 10:08:42 AM by Pr. Jerry »

John Dornheim

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #394 on: November 21, 2007, 10:46:03 AM »
So, Jerry, I guess that your time of service under Bp Landahl was less than satisfying?
John Dornheim

Brian Hughes

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #395 on: November 21, 2007, 11:12:07 AM »

So a "Candidacy Co-ordinator" may be the title for the person who is the "touch-point" between the Synod (which, as you note, is responsible for the candidate) and the Seminary (which is entrusted to educate that same candidate).  The question then becomes, is Bp. Landahl a person who is worthy of that task, or will he use that position for a different agenda.  And that is a valid concern.


Jerry,

OK, perhaps the issue is the use of language.  In my last position I was the guy in the synod office who had candidacy in his portfolio.  We called the seminary "touch point" person a liaison.  Coordinative authority has certain understandings in management language that are different than liaison.  The over-all coordinator for the candidacy process when I was involved resided in the office of the Region Coordinator.  Most people, because of how the process is usually implemented, assume the local synodical committee coordinates the process (with either direct leadership from the bishop's office or through a person elected to that work from within the synod), but the real authority in the room is vested in the Region Coordinator.  At least that was the case five years ago.  Perhaps it changed with the restructure.

In another conversation we can talk about delegated authority and how that works in any particular region, but that's beyond what I found interesting in the article.  Given Bishop's Landahl's history and the current stance of LSTC, it's probably not a seminary I'd recommend for an orthodox student.  But that's just me.

Brian
« Last Edit: November 21, 2007, 11:26:09 AM by Brian Hughes »

frluther1517

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #396 on: November 21, 2007, 11:15:58 AM »

In another conversation we can talk about delegated authority and how that works in any particular region, but that's beyond what I found interesting in the article.  Given Bishop's Landahl's history and the current stance of LSTC, it's probably not a seminary I'd recommend for an orthodox student.  But that's just me.

Brian

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Mike Bennett

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #397 on: November 21, 2007, 12:42:18 PM »


Reminds me of a time when a subscriber was asked if he could be wrong about The Issue.  Why of course! he admitted - in fact I used to be wrong about it, but now I'm right! True account.   :D

Mike Bennett

I am not quite sure if that is what I said when I was asked that question. I have said that I grew up with the understanding that gay people were to be avoided, that they were icky, that they were going to hell, etc. Over the years, I have studied The Issue and changed my position. I do not know if I will learn in this life if I am right. I think that I am on the right side now and was not before. I might be wrong. Only God knows.

John Dornheim

Well, if you were the person I was thinking of  ;D , I hadn't remembered the last two sentences of the reply, nor the lack of complete certainty in the preceding two sentences. Perhaps I'd read too hastily.

Mike Bennett
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Richard Johnson

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #398 on: November 21, 2007, 03:45:59 PM »
Someone needs to take a PR course.


Oh, I think it is safe to say that "someone" is quite sophisticated at PR, and that what the newsletter and website say is precisely what they want them to say.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

formerlutheran

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #399 on: November 21, 2007, 03:47:30 PM »

I know a physician who had a committed gay couple in the apartment above him (this was in the 50s in NYC way prior to HIV).  One of the couple ended up dying because of the terrible destruction of his anus and colon through repeated acts of sodomy with his committed partner.  They had turned to this doctor for help (he was a surgeon) but there was not enogh left with which to work.
Now- I realize this is anecdotal evidence and not statistical.  But, as my P&S prof taught me as an undergrad- statistics are what you get when you add up the anecdotes.  And maybe the stats we see are just that.
So- every time someone on the floor of my Synod assembly brings up the wonderful homosexual couple they know, can I stand up & share this story?

I know a woman whose body was physically damaged due repeated violent sexual acts by her husband.  Should I bring that up each time someone speaks about the importance of traditional marriage and family?  I'm sure there are other similar instances within "traditional" marriages.

Former Lutheran

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #400 on: November 21, 2007, 04:01:09 PM »
Is it not the task of the seminary to educate pastors, and does that task not include helping them interact with candidacy committees?

Charles, I only view this from the eyes of one who went through the "candidacy" process in the ELCA, having begun in the LCA's "professional preparation" process, and who has conversed with some who've gone through it (or who have attempted to go through it) since.  In my day (1988-92) the ELCA's candidacy process was changing every 3-4 months, but by the end things had pretty much settled down to where they are today.  

I'm not sure about your experience with such committees, but the idea of the seminary helping to "interact with a candidacy committee" is a most bizarre concept, since it is the Committee's job to get people through the process (which includes seminary itself).  Looking at LSTC's description for its Field Education and Candidacy Office, where "the Office of Candidacy will work with and guide students through the steps of Entrance, Endorsement, Approval and on into First Call Assignment," I'm wondering why the Seminary is doing something that each of the Synods are supposed to do.  

All of this, of course, has little to do whatsoever with the main theme of this thread, which is that an ELCA congregation has called as pastor someone who has chosen to not meet the standards of the ELCA for ordained ministers, but who chose instead an outside "candidacy committee" with no accountability to anyone except itself for her "certification."  Then again, the person designated by the seminary to assist studnts through the process is the very same person prominently mentioned as one who endorses as a pastor for an ELCA congregation someone who avoided going through the ELCA's processes precisely because she was unwilling to do so.

It all sounds like way too much disfunction to be good for the mission and ministry of this church that you and I serve in.

Pax, spt+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #401 on: November 21, 2007, 04:05:17 PM »
If that is the case (that some seminaries are positioning themselves to help ECP/ELM candidates), why don't PLTS and Trinity also have such a position?  As I understand it, they (along with Chicago?) are two of the most liberal seminaries.


PLTS and Philadelphia have had an official relationship with ELM's predecessor, the Extraordinary Candidacy Project, for several years now.  I know that at PLTS, the ECP committee was treated as if it were an ELCA Synod's committee.  In addition, a faculty member at Luther serves on ELM's midwest candidacy panel.

spt+
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Brian Hughes

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #402 on: November 21, 2007, 04:13:28 PM »

I know a woman whose body was physically damaged due repeated violent sexual acts by her husband.  Should I bring that up each time someone speaks about the importance of traditional marriage and family?  I'm sure there are other similar instances within "traditional" marriages.


You probably should.  Then we can be reminded that sexual violence, no matter the context of the relationship, is never appropriate.  That your example came from an abusive and violent heterosexual relationship and the prior example simply highlighted what happens as part of a normal homosexual one is also congruent with the point made by the previous commentator.

Brian
« Last Edit: November 21, 2007, 04:16:26 PM by Brian Hughes »

John Dornheim

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #403 on: November 21, 2007, 04:49:31 PM »
Someone needs to take a PR course.


Oh, I think it is safe to say that "someone" is quite sophisticated at PR, and that what the newsletter and website say is precisely what they want them to say.

It might be saying what they want to say but it could also be said in ways that were more subtle.

John Dornheim

MMH

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #404 on: November 21, 2007, 05:33:58 PM »
I know a woman whose body was physically damaged due repeated violent sexual acts by her husband.  Should I bring that up each time someone speaks about the importance of traditional marriage and family?  I'm sure there are other similar instances within "traditional" marriages.

Former Lutheran

Oh Please- your argument does not even rise to risible

But if you insist-

1) the situation I stated was "normal" for that couple and the way they expressed all that good mutual, chaste & faithful love.

2) the situation you posited was an aberration from the norm of heterosexual relationships, no matter what Dworkin et.al, state.

So- unless you are equating "normal" homosexual behavior with aberrational heterosexual  behavior, your comparison does not stand.

Unless you want to discuss the fact that studies seem to indicate that the percentage of partner abuse stair steps up from hetero married couples to hetero co-habiting to lesbian couples to gay couples.

As a pastor (back to anecdotal) the only two cases of beaten bloody and/or broken by a partner  incidents that I have had to deal with were both from gay couples.  Not to say that there hasn't been other incidents, but this is what I have witnessed.