Author Topic: A bishop "deeply disappointed"  (Read 8105 times)

Charles_Austin

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Re: A bishop "deeply disappointed"
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2009, 08:43:20 AM »
There is, I believe, no possibility for "substitutions" and "amendments" to the social statement. I do not think that has ever been done or can be done, except by a subsequent process to replace the statement.

And it might be good to look at these words, which the bishop sent to his synod (I have added an emphasis for those eager to miss the point):
"Now a pastoral word of counsel for you all:  If you are pleased by these changes in ministry policies, please be mindful of others in your circle of friendship who may not share your joy.  If you are troubled by these actions, please respond in a calm and measured manner.  Avoid hasty reactions, seek out accurate information, listen widely, pray deeply.  I am available and members of the synod staff are willing to meet with rostered leaders and congregational lay leaders, at your invitation. 

"Let us all ask God to walk with our church as we ponder and live into the implications of these actions of our Churchwide Assembly.  Although, like many of you, I was not in favor of changing our ministry policies, I am willing to abide by the decisions of the Churchwide Assembly and to continue to lead our synod forward into Godís future.   God is with us, and God will see us through this chapter in our life together."

I would say: Way to go, bishop!


« Last Edit: September 20, 2009, 08:57:51 AM by Charles_Austin »

jramnes

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Re: A bishop "deeply disappointed"
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2009, 09:18:34 AM »
There is, I believe, no possibility for "substitutions" and "amendments" to the social statement. I do not think that has ever been done or can be done, except by a subsequent process to replace the statement.

And it might be good to look at these words, which the bishop sent to his synod (I have added an emphasis for those eager to miss the point):
"Now a pastoral word of counsel for you all:  If you are pleased by these changes in ministry policies, please be mindful of others in your circle of friendship who may not share your joy.  If you are troubled by these actions, please respond in a calm and measured manner.  Avoid hasty reactions, seek out accurate information, listen widely, pray deeply.  I am available and members of the synod staff are willing to meet with rostered leaders and congregational lay leaders, at your invitation. 

"Let us all ask God to walk with our church as we ponder and live into the implications of these actions of our Churchwide Assembly.  Although, like many of you, I was not in favor of changing our ministry policies, I am willing to abide by the decisions of the Churchwide Assembly and to continue to lead our synod forward into Godís future.   God is with us, and God will see us through this chapter in our life together."

I would say: Way to go, bishop!


Having attended one of the forums that the Bishop presented following the CWA, I have to say that there are a lot of members and pastors in the synod that do not agree with his willingness to abide by the decisions. Although there were people representing both views in attendance, my estimate is that the traditionalists outnumbered the revisionsists by about 3 to 1.

We will see how this plays out in the synod.

Erme Wolf

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Re: A bishop "deeply disappointed"
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2009, 09:43:47 AM »
   Sadly, the bishops seem to be convinced that taking the line that they must work for unity above all, and abide by the decisions of the CWA even if they disagree with them on theological grounds, will best serve both the ELCA and the Church.

   If a handfull of the synod bishops would lead by saying that these decisions were in error, even if that error was only in the way in which they were made, such that now the ELCA is fragmenting with some congregations in many synods in open revolt, and that this must be addressed with something more than Band-aids and bromides, that might actually HELP this church body to deal with this mess in a healthy way. 

   I fear that will not happen.  I respect my bishop, and Bishop Wohlrabe, and appreciate the very difficult position they and most of the bishops are in.  I pray for them daily.  But they have a shrinking window of opportunity to take hold and lead. 

    And yes, whoever tries to do this will be in for a very rough time, especially from others in the conference of bishops and at churchwide.  But that is one of the reason the symbol of the office is the shepherd's crook.  The bishops are on the front line, defending the faith and teachings of the apostles handed down to them, so that the sheep don't scatter.  I keep praying that a few will decide to lead rather than manage. 

   But so far, all I'm hearing is that old song: "We're waist deep in the Big Muddy; and the big fool says to push on."

jrubyaz

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Re: A bishop "deeply disappointed"
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2009, 10:00:11 AM »

Erma,

Great post.  What I have shared with many is that even if Bishops supported the resolutions, take a stand and lead, don't cower under the mantle of "we have to pastor everyone and can't take a stand" or "we have to remain neutral".

I have more resects for Bishops on either side of this issue who have shared where they are, rather than trying to play it down the middle. When you lead from the middle, you get squeezed from all sides.......................


   Sadly, the bishops seem to be convinced that taking the line that they must work for unity above all, and abide by the decisions of the CWA even if they disagree with them on theological grounds, will best serve both the ELCA and the Church.

   If a handfull of the synod bishops would lead by saying that these decisions were in error, even if that error was only in the way in which they were made, such that now the ELCA is fragmenting with some congregations in many synods in open revolt, and that this must be addressed with something more than Band-aids and bromides, that might actually HELP this church body to deal with this mess in a healthy way. 

   I fear that will not happen.  I respect my bishop, and Bishop Wohlrabe, and appreciate the very difficult position they and most of the bishops are in.  I pray for them daily.  But they have a shrinking window of opportunity to take hold and lead. 

    And yes, whoever tries to do this will be in for a very rough time, especially from others in the conference of bishops and at churchwide.  But that is one of the reason the symbol of the office is the shepherd's crook.  The bishops are on the front line, defending the faith and teachings of the apostles handed down to them, so that the sheep don't scatter.  I keep praying that a few will decide to lead rather than manage. 

   But so far, all I'm hearing is that old song: "We're waist deep in the Big Muddy; and the big fool says to push on."

Paul L. Knudson

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Re: A bishop "deeply disappointed"
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2009, 12:02:02 PM »
Erma and others, I am afraid the lack of willingness of a minority of bishops to go public in their willingness to stand with us in some shape or form is showing that their window of opportunity is passing.  The messages of the bishops in lock step pushing for unity is just not helping their cause of holding this broken family together.  Even in marriage counseling it would seem there has to be willingness to face the breakdown in all its dimensions more seriously.  If there is fault on all sides, as there is, it does not help when the bishops can do no better than ask us to hang in there.  If we were hearing even six of them, one in ten, speaking up collectively acknowledging the concerns we have and promising to work with us to address these very serious problems, we might have more of us saying we better slow down and give this church some more years to alter its course.

Instead we are simply called to find unity in diversity.  If we thought the diversity was of little consequence, we would not be where we are at going to Fishers.  I respect Bishop Wohlrabe and believe what he wrote is commendable.  I am waiting for a group of our bishops to step up together and address the broad range of theological and missional concerns we are addressing.

G.Edward

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Re: A bishop "deeply disappointed"
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2009, 10:41:57 PM »
It is deeply disappointing that no bishops seem to be willing to step forward and say publicly that the decision was wrong.  Their silence leaves traditional confessional Lutherans no option but to leave the ELCA.  The message I hear in all this is, "We don't care enough about you to respect your bound conscience.  If we ignore you long enough while we institute these changes, maybe you'll get the message and go away on your own.  Meanwhile, we don't want to push you out and loose your $$$ so we'll keep saying "peace, peace" when there is no peace."  By the time most of the ELCA figures out the emperor has no clothes the bishops who participated in this tragedy will be retired and drawing their ELCA pension for life.

Charles_Austin

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Re: A bishop "deeply disappointed"
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2009, 06:44:11 AM »
Go to the ELCA website and read the comments of all the ELCA bishops who have posted on the subject. Let someone create a chart:
Bishops for the statement -
Bishops against the statement -
Bishops who (nuance the subject any way you wish) -

GoCubsGo

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Re: A bishop "deeply disappointed"
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2009, 11:13:04 AM »
Go to the ELCA website and read the comments of all the ELCA bishops who have posted on the subject. Let someone create a chart:
Bishops for the statement -
Bishops against the statement -
Bishops who (nuance the subject any way you wish) -

Great idea Charles, you should do that!

Pr. Jerry Kliner

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Re: A bishop "deeply disappointed"
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2009, 11:40:54 AM »
Go to the ELCA website and read the comments of all the ELCA bishops who have posted on the subject. Let someone create a chart:
Bishops for the statement -
Bishops against the statement -
Bishops who (nuance the subject any way you wish) -

Actually, there are a number of Bishops who have publicly declared themselves in "favor" of the Statement and implementing resolutions.  They are not secret nor subtle.  They include (just off the top of my head):
Bishop Margaret Payne, NE Synod
Bishop Robert Rimbo, Metro NY Synod
Bishop Peter Rogness, St. Paul Area Synod
Bishop Craig Johnson, Minneapolis Area Synod
Bishop Mark Holmerud, Sierra Pacific Synod
Bishop Michael Burke, SE Iowa Synod
Bishop Wayne Miller, Metro Chicago Synod

Many more of them have hade some sort of more tepid response along the lines of "Well, I'm glad we've finally done this even if I wasn't fully in favor of it..." 

Only a couple have said, mostly in private or less-than-public contexts, anything resembling: "It was a mistake, I didn't vote for it..."  This includes, to my personal knowledge:
Bishop Callon Halloway, Southern Ohio Synod
Bishop Ralph Dunkin, West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod
Bishop Kurt Kusserow, Southwestern Penn Synod

...though it is interesting to note that, to my knowledge, all three of these Bishops plan on abiding with the "ELCA"'s decisions and enforcing the revised standards.

Only one Bishop has resigned recently, Bishop Paul Stumme-Diers (Milwaukee Area Synod).  He announced his resignation just prior to the CWA, and I have wondered if he didn't see the direction things were moving and made a decision to get off the train before it left the station...  I don't know that for sure, but still I wonder...

Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS


Kurt Weinelt

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Re: A bishop "deeply disappointed"
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2009, 11:52:24 AM »
...Only a couple have said, mostly in private or less-than-public contexts, anything resembling: "It was a mistake, I didn't vote for it..."  This includes, to my personal knowledge:
Bishop Callon Halloway, Southern Ohio Synod
Bishop Ralph Dunkin, West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod
Bishop Kurt Kusserow, Southwestern Penn Synod
...though it is interesting to note that, to my knowledge, all three of these Bishops plan on abiding with the "ELCA"'s decisions and enforcing the revised standards.....
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

Add Bp. Ray Tiemann, Southwestern Texas Synod to this list.
http://images.acswebnetworks.com/1/498/BishopsLetter.pdf
Kurt
"Learning about history is an antidote to the hubris of the present, the idea that everything in OUR lives is the ultimate." David McCullough

Charles_Austin

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Re: A bishop "deeply disappointed"
« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2009, 12:01:02 PM »
I note that Bishop Tieman wrote:
"I believe that the theological underpinnings have not yet been clearly delineated, thereby creating a stronger consensus before such a momentous decision is made."
that suggests that he believes a stronger case could be made and that his opposition was at least partially based on the fact that there is not a greater consensus.
I also note that he said he would abide by the Assembly decisions.



James_Gale

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Re: A bishop "deeply disappointed"
« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2009, 12:19:01 PM »
Go to the ELCA website and read the comments of all the ELCA bishops who have posted on the subject. Let someone create a chart:
Bishops for the statement -
Bishops against the statement -
Bishops who (nuance the subject any way you wish) -

Actually, there are a number of Bishops who have publicly declared themselves in "favor" of the Statement and implementing resolutions.  They are not secret nor subtle.  They include (just off the top of my head):
Bishop Margaret Payne, NE Synod
Bishop Robert Rimbo, Metro NY Synod
Bishop Peter Rogness, St. Paul Area Synod
Bishop Craig Johnson, Minneapolis Area Synod
Bishop Mark Holmerud, Sierra Pacific Synod
Bishop Michael Burke, SE Iowa Synod
Bishop Wayne Miller, Metro Chicago Synod

Many more of them have hade some sort of more tepid response along the lines of "Well, I'm glad we've finally done this even if I wasn't fully in favor of it..." 

Only a couple have said, mostly in private or less-than-public contexts, anything resembling: "It was a mistake, I didn't vote for it..."  This includes, to my personal knowledge:
Bishop Callon Halloway, Southern Ohio Synod
Bishop Ralph Dunkin, West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod
Bishop Kurt Kusserow, Southwestern Penn Synod

...though it is interesting to note that, to my knowledge, all three of these Bishops plan on abiding with the "ELCA"'s decisions and enforcing the revised standards.

Only one Bishop has resigned recently, Bishop Paul Stumme-Diers (Milwaukee Area Synod).  He announced his resignation just prior to the CWA, and I have wondered if he didn't see the direction things were moving and made a decision to get off the train before it left the station...  I don't know that for sure, but still I wonder...

Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS


Bishop Jerry Knoche of Maryland-Delaware is retiring effective October 31 for health reasons.

Kurt Weinelt

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Re: A bishop "deeply disappointed"
« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2009, 12:36:58 PM »
Quote
I note that Bishop Tieman wrote:
"I believe that the theological underpinnings have not yet been clearly delineated, thereby creating a stronger consensus before such a momentous decision is made."
that suggests that he believes a stronger case could be made and that his opposition was at least partially based on the fact that there is not a greater consensus.
I also note that he said he would abide by the Assembly decisions.

You are absolutely correct, and most of us outside the Austin TX area wish he had come out against those resolutions more forcefully BEFORE the CWA.  To his credit, at least he did forward the Declaration Regarding Rostered Ministry immediately after the Sept. 1 meeting to all SWT congregations.  I presented it to my congregation council, who in turn unanimously approved it and forwarded it to the congregation at a special meeting.  After that meeting, we can discard "The Issue" and can concentrate fully again on our ministry in the community.

BTW, I would not read anything into Bp. Tiemann's statement that he would not sign on to it in part because there was not a "greater consensus."  There IS however an overwhelming consensus AGAINST the resolutions in this synod (outside of a few Austin TX congregations), so that was just one argument among many he used to explain his vote.
Kurt
« Last Edit: September 21, 2009, 12:41:09 PM by Kurt Weinelt »
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Ann

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Re: A bishop "deeply disappointed"
« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2009, 04:21:09 AM »
Oh, Please, don't forget our RIC pushing, nothing has really changed, b Brauer-Rieke of Oregon.  Some of his sappy comments in a letter to the congregations:
B-R's words in quotes,  some individual quotes within my own personal comments, are also set off with quotation marks.

"First of all my assurance that these decisions are not designed to coerce or require anything new or different from you or your congregation"......(REALLY !!).....
"Congregations have always had, and will continue to have, the authority to call or not call pastors as they feel led." (That is really nice, instead of the cwa saying GLBT pastors are equal to "hetero" pastors, all congregations will have to fight it out at the local level-gay or not gay...who decides, congregation, church council?  If it is such a great step forward, why allow some to opt out (or possibly only for a little while since b BR thinks it may be unworkable).

"Secondly, while the ELCA has now embarked upon a new journey we will take it step by step.  There is much work to be done before any specific new policies or practices are adopted."  (Do you mean that the cart has been purchased and now we must find a suitable horse, barn, feed, driver and put in the fencing....oh, dear, maybe we should have thought of the fencing before the cart decision?)  "Undoubtedly there will be some interim agreements while everything is sorted out, but the Oregon synod will not race ahead of the process."  (No, the cwa already took care of the racing ahead.)  "We will continue to work, pray and discern our way forward with the church as a whole." (Or, I say, whatever fragments are left of congregations.)

"Nobody knows exactly what "safety nets" might be put in place for those who are uncomfortable with these decisions, or what new requirements or privileges might be given to bishops or synods.  It is our commitment as a church, through, to work with questions of this nature."  (Well, so far, my Nephew, on the Church Council, who brought up the actions of the cwa, thinking that the congregation should be informed, has been ridiculed, scolded by the Pastor, and of course, told that it would not make any difference in our church, as we would not have to have "one" if we did not want to.  Then the sermon three days later concerned lack of love and mentioned the council meeting, also, don't let sin win.....so much for speaking out concering the changing of scripture and historic Lutheran tradition.  So much for bound conscience and respecting diversity of opinion.  Several other instances with our call committee, traditional members called "looney" and other vitrolic comments emailed to them...they are VERY polite ladies who were targeted and were certainly taken aback and very saddened by this attack .It was from a call committee member who, it turned out, has a son in a "committed relationship" and had an undisclosed interest in a "gay friendly Pastor".  Which they all had been, by the way, they were just continuing the search.  I would say that this is a foretaste of the persecution to come.  Inclusive seems to be a one way street, tolerance may be a closed street. Lots of other junk going on, none from the traditional side.  There seems to be a lot of boldness on the part of those who are going to "straighten out" any dissenting voices.  The motto must be "Agree, or we will drive you out".  It's working!

Oh, yes, I was mailed from the church office, a four page "ad type" publication from the synod office extolling the virtues of the cwa and how WONDERFUL the event was, from ten of the voting members from Oregon.  I and my grieving "bound conscience" certainly felt better after reading that..lots of unity and love and let's be in conversation etc.  We would like to say, been there, done that over and over again.  Why do they want to talk to us now and have a lot of unity?  No one seemed to care before !!  I think it was sent to me, as I had talked to our interim pastor about some of my reservations.  Got the same old crock, "It won't affect us.....etc.".

jramnes

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Re: A bishop "deeply disappointed"
« Reply #29 on: September 22, 2009, 08:17:58 AM »
Go to the ELCA website and read the comments of all the ELCA bishops who have posted on the subject. Let someone create a chart:
Bishops for the statement -
Bishops against the statement -
Bishops who (nuance the subject any way you wish) -
Why? What difference does that make?