Author Topic: The thread for info on churches voting to change affiliation & all follow-up.  (Read 841465 times)

jrubyaz

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4185 on: November 16, 2010, 05:37:18 PM »
Well, I was a voting member and that isn't what happened.

There was no mention of a vote after dinner. Everyone ASSUMED it would be after dinner. The debate was VERY long, and going into late afternoon. Everyone was tired. At some point, the questions was called, and many people had chosen to use the restroom and or get a refreshment. At that point, the chair (PB Hanson) SHOULD have simply  asked for a one or two minute grace so that people could return. He did not . That was his choice.

While he was correct, by RR of Order, he was wrong for the sake of fairness and appearance. Given the vote passed by EXACTLY the 66.67 needed, having most people in their seats may or may not have made a difference.

Unlike Pastor Austin, I don't attribute absence to people doing personal business or being dim-witted. You do have to pee occasionally.

Pastor Jeff Ruby

Jim Scott writes:
HOWEVER.....  the debate had gone long past its scheduled time, and many members had left the floor to go to dinner when the vote was called for.  

I comment:
This is not how I remember it and seems quite out of whack. Where did you get this information? I cannot imagine that voting members of the Assembly would leave before a vote on the social statement was taken, but I admit there are idiots in the world even among ELCA Assemblies. The vote was 676-338. That's 1,014 voting members. I think there were a total of 1,040 voting members in all. Anyone else?

Actually, Charles, I was at CWA too, and it is exactly what I remember.  We were told at some point that the vote would come later, after dinner.  

Yours in Christ,
Paula Murray
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 05:39:34 PM by jrubyaz »

Coach-Rev

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4186 on: November 16, 2010, 06:06:56 PM »
Pastor Kliner writes:
Oh, and Charles, the reason why I am "howling" is (1) this is a route almost unheard of when ELCA congregations defied the ELCA constitution by "calling" non-celibate gay and lesbian persons to serve,

I respond:
Untrue, actually. Congregations were suspended and pastors were removed from the roster or denied admission to the roster.

Charles (if that is your real name), what you say is patently untrue.  Yes, the ELCA suspended 2 congregations in SF initially and denied rostered status to 3 individuals, but there are many more examples where a blind eye was turned, with a wink and a nudge, and many more were shuffled into other positions.  5 years for the two SF congregations to "repent" or be removed?  And then in a blinding flash following 2009 CWA, they, along with all of those removed or denied rostered status have just that. 

That, coupled with the non-Christian-but-ELCA-affiliated "herchurch" which has received not a single slap or warning for its pagan rituals, messages, and worship, and we see that the suspensions or denials of rostering were the exception, rather than the rule.

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4187 on: November 16, 2010, 06:14:29 PM »
I've heard that Chicago was chosen for two main reasons: (1) it wasn't the headquarters city for any predecessor church body, and (2) Chicago's ethnic and cultural diversity would help the new ELCA to move from a let's-preserve-our-heritage "maintenance" mode to a "mission" you-need-not-be Scandinavian-to worship-here mode. Also, it is central and has good transportation.

There was actually a very convoluted and controversiall process here. As I read the history, I think the transportation angle, along with the rather elitist view that Chicago was a "world class city," won the day. With some of the proposed locations, there was concern about attracting staff willing to live there. The initial process whittled it down to Chicago, Kansas City, Minneapolis, or Philadelphia. The committee of CNLC considering it initially chose Chicago. Then, after considering a cost analysis, they chose Minneapolis. When CNLC took it up, they voted instead for Milwaukee (which, you note, wasn't even on the list). This caused such a firestorm in some quarters that they eventually went back to recommending Chicago. When it came to the ratifying conventions of the three bodies, there was a choice to be made between Chicago and Milwaukee (not clear to me if they CNLC brought that choice, or if there was a motion to change the Chicago recommendation). LCA and AELC fovted for Chicago. ALC voted for Milwaukee. There were actually more total votes for Milwaukee, but by the odd rules adopted, Chicago was the choice.

IMO, a classic example of spending lots and lots of time, money and energy on something that doesn't make a bit of difference.

But this was played out elsewhere. In Sierra Pacific, the choice was between four cities. They chose Oakland on the basis of "being in the city as a witness." Then they secured office space out in an industrial park--some witness, huh? Now, 25 years later, they've abandoned the site and moved to Sacramento, with sattelite offices in two other cities.

I'm not a fan of Herb Chilstrom, but he did make one memorable comment during this degate. Someone was arguing for New York because of its ethnic diversity. He noted that the LCA had been in New York for 25 years, and still didn't have any black bishops, so maybe the site of national offices wasn't really all that important with regard to that issue.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4188 on: November 16, 2010, 06:22:24 PM »
Charles (if that is your real name), what you say is patently untrue.  Yes, the ELCA suspended 2 congregations in SF initially and denied rostered status to 3 individuals, but there are many more examples where a blind eye was turned, with a wink and a nudge, and many more were shuffled into other positions.  5 years for the two SF congregations to "repent" or be removed?  And then in a blinding flash following 2009 CWA, they, along with all of those removed or denied rostered status have just that.
 

Yes, in 1990, two congregations came under discipline for ordaining three candidates who had not been certified. However, there have been many other candidates since then who have been denied endorsement for ordination by their candidacy committees. In some cases, they were compliant with V&E, but refused to agree to always stay compliant. In other cases, they were not compliant. There have also been three gay pastors removed from the ELCA roster through the disciplinary process. (One who posts occasionally on ALPB Forum.) All three continued to serve ELCA congregations.

The ELCA Constitution & Bylaws uses a lot of "may" language in terms of disciplinary actions. For example, the article about removing congregation that has called an unrostered pastor reads (with boldface added):

9.23. In accord with constitutional provision 9.21.d. and bylaw 9.21.01. and without invoking the provisions of Chapter 20, a congregation that maintains as its pastor an ordained minister who has resigned or been removed from this church’s roster of ordained ministers or that calls as its pastor one who has not been approved for the roster of ordained ministers may be removed from the roster of congregations of this church by the Synod Council upon recommendation of the synodical bishop.

While you may disagree with a bishop's decision, no bishop is required to remove a congregation who has called a non-rostered pastor. The three bishops I knew in Sierra Pacific Synod did not see fit to use their power to remove the congregations being served by non-rostered pastors.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4189 on: November 16, 2010, 06:27:32 PM »
I've heard that Chicago was chosen for two main reasons: (1) it wasn't the headquarters city for any predecessor church body, and (2) Chicago's ethnic and cultural diversity would help the new ELCA to move from a let's-preserve-our-heritage "maintenance" mode to a "mission" you-need-not-be Scandinavian-to worship-here mode. Also, it is central and has good transportation.

There was actually a very convoluted and controversiall process here. As I read the history, I think the transportation angle, along with the rather elitist view that Chicago was a "world class city," won the day. With some of the proposed locations, there was concern about attracting staff willing to live there. The initial process whittled it down to Chicago, Kansas City, Minneapolis, or Philadelphia. The committee of CNLC considering it initially chose Chicago. Then, after considering a cost analysis, they chose Minneapolis. When CNLC took it up, they voted instead for Milwaukee (which, you note, wasn't even on the list). This caused such a firestorm in some quarters that they eventually went back to recommending Chicago. When it came to the ratifying conventions of the three bodies, there was a choice to be made between Chicago and Milwaukee (not clear to me if they CNLC brought that choice, or if there was a motion to change the Chicago recommendation). LCA and AELC fovted for Chicago. ALC voted for Milwaukee. There were actually more total votes for Milwaukee, but by the odd rules adopted, Chicago was the choice.

IMO, a classic example of spending lots and lots of time, money and energy on something that doesn't make a bit of difference.

But this was played out elsewhere. In Sierra Pacific, the choice was between four cities. They chose Oakland on the basis of "being in the city as a witness." Then they secured office space out in an industrial park--some witness, huh? Now, 25 years later, they've abandoned the site and moved to Sacramento, with sattelite offices in two other cities.

I'm not a fan of Herb Chilstrom, but he did make one memorable comment during this degate. Someone was arguing for New York because of its ethnic diversity. He noted that the LCA had been in New York for 25 years, and still didn't have any black bishops, so maybe the site of national offices wasn't really all that important with regard to that issue.

That's pretty close to what I remember. I was in Kansas City area at the time, and a close neighbor was on the CNLC. In his opinion, some created the criteria in such a way that Chicago was the only city that met them. Many of us thought that Kansas City was a better choice, especially if the Church wanted to bigger presence in the west and south. It is more in those directions than Chicago -- and it was cheaper to live there. (However, the group trying to sell CNLC on KC had a poor presentation.)
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4190 on: November 16, 2010, 06:29:12 PM »
One more vote against would have sunk HSGT.  HOWEVER.....  the debate had gone long past its scheduled time, and many members had left the floor to go to dinner when the vote was called for.


I was there.  Not so. 

I'd have to look at the minutes to recall exactly what happened, but some sort of decision had just been made (several people attempted improperly to use privilege to stop debate, and this may have been one of these times) and there seemed to be a feeling on the floor that there would be enough time for a personal bathroom break as the long lines of voting members at their microphones continued the debate until the upcoming recess. 

Then a voting member, when it was indeed his proper turn, called the question (I think it was all matters before the house), and the appropriate votes happened in in the proper, orderly manner -- and, yes, about 2 dozen voting members were still in (or en route to/from) the restrooms too far away to return in time to vote  That is always a risk when a voting member/delegate steps away from the floor at some time other than a formal recess.

There were 1045 voting members registered.  1014 of them (97.03%) cast this particular vote.  The 31 voting members who did not vote chose of their own free will and volition the wrong time to absent themselves.  The Presiding Bishop acted precisely as he should have.

Pax, Steven+
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jrubyaz

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4191 on: November 16, 2010, 07:07:05 PM »
Pastor,

Not PRECISELY as he COULD have. As I stated earlier, RR allowed him to proceed, he could have used a priv. motion of the chair and asked for an announcement to get others into their seats. The chair has a lot of leeway according to RR. He could have used it, and saved the second guessing. He could have called for a very brief recess, or simply asked for consent of the house.

One possibility was to use a two minute rule. Some may not returned, but others could have. On one of the most important votes in ELCA history, he might have used the chair in this way.

I remember sitting in my seat thinking "privilege of the chair! "



One more vote against would have sunk HSGT.  HOWEVER.....  the debate had gone long past its scheduled time, and many members had left the floor to go to dinner when the vote was called for.


I was there.  Not so.  

I'd have to look at the minutes to recall exactly what happened, but some sort of decision had just been made (several people attempted improperly to use privilege to stop debate, and this may have been one of these times) and there seemed to be a feeling on the floor that there would be enough time for a personal bathroom break as the long lines of voting members at their microphones continued the debate until the upcoming recess.  

Then a voting member, when it was indeed his proper turn, called the question (I think it was all matters before the house), and the appropriate votes happened in in the proper, orderly manner -- and, yes, about 2 dozen voting members were still in (or en route to/from) the restrooms too far away to return in time to vote  That is always a risk when a voting member/delegate steps away from the floor at some time other than a formal recess.

There were 1045 voting members registered.  1014 of them (97.03%) cast this particular vote.  The 31 voting members who did not vote chose of their own free will and volition the wrong time to absent themselves.  The Presiding Bishop acted precisely as he should have.

Pax, Steven+
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 07:09:21 PM by jrubyaz »

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4192 on: November 16, 2010, 07:32:44 PM »

I remember sitting in my seat thinking "privilege of the chair! "


And if the vote had been as close, some on the non-prevailing side would be accusing the Presiding Bishop of abusing his authority.

Sorry, Jeff, but the primary job of a Voting Member is to show up and vote.  There is no way that each of the 31 who didn't vote just had to pee at that very moment rather than wait, what, 15 more minutes until the dinner recess.  He did his job.  They didn't.

spt+
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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4193 on: November 16, 2010, 07:36:18 PM »

Congregations were suspended and pastors were removed from the roster or denied admission to the roster.

Some of you will recall that last March I participated on a panel discussion at LSTC.  I'm not finding via the "search" function the comments I made here on ALPB Forum Online, though I'm pretty certain I wrote something.  On my blog, though...

Quote
The first was an interim pastorate that the then-Bishop of the Metro Chicago Synod wanted her [editorial insertion: that is, Pastor Michelle Miller, once Associate Director for the ELCA's Commission for Women] to serve, a parish in a town well-known nationally for being a home to conservative evangelicalism -- where he specifically wanted her, a (then-closeted) lesbian in a committed relationship, to lead the congregation through its discernment in becoming a "Reconciling in Christ" congregation. The second was her current call, where the parish told the Bishop that they were interested only in calling a gay or lesbian pastor. A request he granted by offering them several choices to consider. Long before Vision and Expectations was to be amended.

Then there were the Synodical Bishops -- note the plural -- who stood before the 2007 CWA on Chicago's Navy Pier who insisted that if they were forced to discipline all the pastors in G/L relationships, it would "decimate" their synods' clergy roster.  I could go on, but I've done so countless times on this forum already.

So your mentioning of the discipline cases -- most of which were publicly reported only after they were lifted, the remainder of which can be counted on the fingers of one hand -- qualifies as a empty gesture in my book.  Once again, "gift and trust."
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
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jrubyaz

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4194 on: November 16, 2010, 08:21:27 PM »

I don't disagree some were flaking out. I am saying he could have (and i have seen it done many times at synod assemblies and other meetings using RR)  and should have used other options.

But just as well, it made things very clear what the agenda was ...push through at all costs.

Jeff Ruby 


I remember sitting in my seat thinking "privilege of the chair! "


And if the vote had been as close, some on the non-prevailing side would be accusing the Presiding Bishop of abusing his authority.

Sorry, Jeff, but the primary job of a Voting Member is to show up and vote.  There is no way that each of the 31 who didn't vote just had to pee at that very moment rather than wait, what, 15 more minutes until the dinner recess.  He did his job.  They didn't.

spt+

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4195 on: November 16, 2010, 08:39:04 PM »

I don't disagree some were flaking out. I am saying he could have (and i have seen it done many times at synod assemblies and other meetings using RR)  and should have used other options.

But just as well, it made things very clear what the agenda was ...push through at all costs.

Steven may know better than I, but in three CWA I've attended, there has never been a vote where all the voting members voted. If the chair waited till every one came back and was ready to vote, nothing would happen.

I've also never seen a chair at a synod assembly do what you're asking. I'm in my fourth synod since the ELCA began. They follow the orders of the day. If someone wants to change them or delay a vote, they have the right to make that motion.

Considering your actions after the votes, I seriously doubt that you can offer an unbiased opinion about the vote or the process. Thus I would better trust the opinions of Steven and Richard.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 08:42:52 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Revbert

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4196 on: November 16, 2010, 09:09:13 PM »

I don't disagree some were flaking out. I am saying he could have (and i have seen it done many times at synod assemblies and other meetings using RR)  and should have used other options.

But just as well, it made things very clear what the agenda was ...push through at all costs.

Steven may know better than I, but in three CWA I've attended, there has never been a vote where all the voting members voted. If the chair waited till every one came back and was ready to vote, nothing would happen.

Maybe, like gridlock in Congress, that wouldn't always be a bad thing...

Quote
I've also never seen a chair at a synod assembly do what you're asking. I'm in my fourth synod since the ELCA began. They follow the orders of the day. If someone wants to change them or delay a vote, they have the right to make that motion.

Then, no doubt, it never can happen anywhere.... Thanks for making that clear to us.

Quote

Considering your actions after the votes, I seriously doubt that you can offer an unbiased opinion about the vote or the process. Thus I would better trust the opinions of Steven and Richard.

Ah, so someone who disagrees with your POV and whose congregation takes actions with which you disagree is unable to provide unbiased opinions.  That's a fine example of "most charitable view," Brian.  I'm disappointed, but, unfortunately, not surprised.

jeffcrowl

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4197 on: November 16, 2010, 09:31:46 PM »
What is wrong with congregations calling for repeated votes until they get the desired results?  Isn't that ELCA tradition?  How many times did approval for ordination of individuals in PSALMSGR get voted on at CWAs before the way was finally cleared for its approval at CWA '09?  So what if it takes a congregation 2, 3, or 4 or more tries to get the 2/3s necessary for what the leaders want?

Dan

Congregations can vote repeatedly.  The question in this part of the thread is whether Zion's second "second vote" was effective under the applicable rules.  If it was not, the right course for Zion was to take a new "first vote."  If that passed, then a "second vote" could be taken after the 90-day consultation period. 

Now, whether congregations or church bodies should take serial votes is another question altogether.

This is my first post here although I have been a long time lurker.

I am the congregation president at St. Martin Lutheran Church in Malvern, OH.  Our second vote to leave the ELCA fell short by a few votes.  44 to leave and 23 to stay.  It has been suggested we take more votes, start the process over.

I disagree.  Had the vote passed, would the supermajority allowed repeated votes to stay?  I remember the joy of those who wished to stay when the results were read.  Do we have the right to try to change that.

If the vote was the will of God and I believe it was, what do the results mean?  Am I obligated now to stay against my personal convictions.  Am I free to join with another congregation?

Our congregation is now experiencing a separation.  Some from St. Martins, including myself, and some from neighboring ELCA congregations are setting up a satelite congregation and will receive services from a LCMS congregation 25 miles away.

We ask for your prayers.

Jeff

Charles_Austin

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4198 on: November 16, 2010, 09:44:19 PM »
Thank you, Steven; as that is how I mostly remember it. And you are most correct: it is the job of the voting member to vote and to know when he or she needs to be there to vote. I still suspect that some of the less than 3 percent not voting might have been people who left the assembly completely to attend to personal or congregational business.

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4199 on: November 16, 2010, 09:59:59 PM »
.... Some from St. Martins, including myself, and some from neighboring ELCA congregations are setting up a satelite congregation and will receive services from a LCMS congregation 25 miles away.

We ask for your prayers.

Jeff

In our prayers, and we are thankful you have been able to find support. Walk where God is going and avoid going where He would not have you go, and it has been my experience that works pretty well, even in trial.

Gen 46: 2 And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, “Jacob! Jacob! ... 3 I am God, the God of your father, ... Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. 4 I will go down to Egypt with you, ...

TV
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 10:02:56 PM by TVerinus »
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