Author Topic: The thread for info on churches voting to change affiliation & all follow-up.  (Read 866388 times)

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4320 on: November 23, 2010, 03:55:56 PM »

In how many of those "other times and places" was it possible for same-gender couples to legally marry?

Ah, the seeds of a play: No Sex Please, We're a Same-Gender Couple.

 ::)
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gausmann

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4321 on: November 23, 2010, 05:15:08 PM »
Read a report that both  Shepherd of the Hills, Fountain Hills and St. Peter, Mesa in Arizona are in the process of voting to leave the ELCA .

It is interesting to see that in some congregations the issue of splitting is a an issue in and of itself, while in other ones a split is something that may or may not occur but is not as much of a concern. Is it possible that in some places a concern over splitting may only aggrevate the situation more, certainly it is a concern but sometimes when you try to maintain peace all you get is more conflict. Often I think a straw poll may be good but that depends on whether the congregation is informed of the issues or not. Could it be that most of the churches that have left easily have either  done so or were just waiting for NALC to form. Certianly the economy and the shrinking size of congregations in a secular society would seem to work against more cautious folks leaving. Still the abyssmal figures from much of the ELCA of its rapid decline might seem to suggest the ship is sinking and perhaps if one is going to leave now is the time. In any case both LCMC and NALC are on their ways to becoming real niitonal church bodies and who knows what the presence of local congregaitons of those denominations will in thr short and or long run say to those who think they must stay in the ELCA because they do not yet know otherwise.

jrubyaz

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4322 on: November 23, 2010, 05:28:56 PM »

Being in the same area as both these congregations, the situations are very different.

St. Peter's took their first vote and there seems to be overwhelming support, as there was in our parish, to leave the ELCA. At SOH, the pro-ELCA folks forced a vote (knowing they had enough to block it from passing) , whereupon the 64%  who voted to leave voted to join LCMC.

The pro-ELCA folks have left , and are worshipping elsewhere. It is my understanding the ELCA is pushing SOH to take a formal vote to leave, but the pastor is wisely refusing. Why? Because the pro-ELCA folks are still on the roster, and since the other worshipping community is not yet an "official" ELCA church, they could come back and vote "no".

So now they may be disciplined for dual rostering. I am sure they are quaking in their shoes...... ::)

Such is the legacy of CWA 2009...

Jeff Ruby
Read a report that both  Shepherd of the Hills, Fountain Hills and St. Peter, Mesa in Arizona are in the process of voting to leave the ELCA .

It is interesting to see that in some congregations the issue of splitting is a an issue in and of itself, while in other ones a split is something that may or may not occur but is not as much of a concern. Is it possible that in some places a concern over splitting may only aggrevate the situation more, certainly it is a concern but sometimes when you try to maintain peace all you get is more conflict. Often I think a straw poll may be good but that depends on whether the congregation is informed of the issues or not. Could it be that most of the churches that have left easily have either  done so or were just waiting for NALC to form. Certianly the economy and the shrinking size of congregations in a secular society would seem to work against more cautious folks leaving. Still the abyssmal figures from much of the ELCA of its rapid decline might seem to suggest the ship is sinking and perhaps if one is going to leave now is the time. In any case both LCMC and NALC are on their ways to becoming real niitonal church bodies and who knows what the presence of local congregaitons of those denominations will in thr short and or long run say to those who think they must stay in the ELCA because they do not yet know otherwise.

dkeener

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4323 on: November 23, 2010, 07:58:07 PM »
Read a report that both  Shepherd of the Hills, Fountain Hills and St. Peter, Mesa in Arizona are in the process of voting to leave the ELCA .

It is interesting to see that in some congregations the issue of splitting is a an issue in and of itself, while in other ones a split is something that may or may not occur but is not as much of a concern. Is it possible that in some places a concern over splitting may only aggrevate the situation more, certainly it is a concern but sometimes when you try to maintain peace all you get is more conflict. Often I think a straw poll may be good but that depends on whether the congregation is informed of the issues or not. Could it be that most of the churches that have left easily have either  done so or were just waiting for NALC to form. Certianly the economy and the shrinking size of congregations in a secular society would seem to work against more cautious folks leaving. Still the abyssmal figures from much of the ELCA of its rapid decline might seem to suggest the ship is sinking and perhaps if one is going to leave now is the time. In any case both LCMC and NALC are on their ways to becoming real niitonal church bodies and who knows what the presence of local congregaitons of those denominations will in thr short and or long run say to those who think they must stay in the ELCA because they do not yet know otherwise.

It would be interesting to know what percentage of the congregations that "easily left" were already members of CORE. In my congregation being a member of CORE made things much easier.  Since we adopted the "Common Confession" two years before the CWA it allowed us to deal with the theological and biblical issues surrounding the sexuality study without the threat of splitting the congregation. After the the 09 Assembly we were asking very different questions since we had already become members of CORE. The questions became, "What denomination best reflects our current statement of faith?" and "Where can we be most effective in mission?" I am really wondering if the best first step for a congregation, that doesn't have a clear majority to leave, might be to join CORE and put the leaving the ELCA issue on the shelf for a while. I also believe that if the ELCA was smart, and serious about this bound conscious thing, it would embrace CORE rather than treat them like the enemy. I truly believe that CORE may in fact be their best bet for healing, and stemming the tide of congregations leaving or splitting.

Pilgrim

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4324 on: November 23, 2010, 09:44:34 PM »
FYI: On Christ The King Sunday (and that Feast Day not accidental) - Joy, Richmond, TX held it's first vote to leave the ELCA. It passed with 90.8% affirming the resolution.
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4325 on: November 23, 2010, 09:54:23 PM »
Excuse me if this has already been posted, but I just got it today.  Reported in the November CORE Newsletter is a proposal from the ELCA Council to substantially change the process for congregations to leave them.  It can be found here:  http://www.lutherancore.org/pdf/Connection-Nov-10.pdf. It would appear that someone is getting somewhat nervous.
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Pilgrim

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4326 on: November 23, 2010, 10:19:22 PM »
Tim notes: I received a copy of the proposed changes late this afternoon from a colleague. If anyone would like a copy, email me privately at pastor@joyrichmond.org.
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

Christopher Miller

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4327 on: November 23, 2010, 10:28:31 PM »
Much like anything coming out of the ELCA these days, there are only two words to describe the proposed changes:

EPIC FAIL

I'm very thankful that I begin my new call in the LCMC at the first of the year.

gausmann

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4328 on: November 23, 2010, 10:36:32 PM »
I think Dave makes a good point about congregations joining CORE as a first step but given the changes being proposed to the constitution they better move fast if they are even thinking of leaving. For our congregation it was simply a matter of connecting the dots, sexuality was only one of thei issues. Of course any attempts at tightening the requirements for leaving may backfire, many congregations already resent synods for any number of reasons some justifiable some not. From speaking with colleagues who are in conservative congregations which are not planning to leave many of them are already cutting benevolence drastically in protest or because their own budgets our shrinking or a combination of both. By the way LCMC will be training pastors at its next leadership conference on how to conduct informational meetings on its mission and ministry.

iowakatie1981

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4329 on: November 23, 2010, 11:23:56 PM »
So if CWA'11 adopts these changes (I think that's what I read in the newsletter...?), then do they automatically apply to all congregations, or do the individual congregations have to go through the "amendment process" with regard to their own individual constitutions?

Norsk

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4330 on: November 24, 2010, 12:03:50 AM »
In short, yes by any logical legal reasoning, a congregation would have to adopt these amendments to its own constitution before they would be in effect for that congregation.  The ELCA Model Constitution and instructions make clear that congregations are NOT required to adopt the model constitution, but that if they choose otherwise to amend their constitutions, then they must at the same time bring them into compliance with the model.  And a congregation cannot be made to violate its own governing documents as then in effect, and no congregational leadership should do so else they run serious risk of having violated their fiduciary duties to the congregation (all the more so if the congregation is separately incorporated).

However, Sec. Swartling has been taking the position recently that all of the above is wrong -- that the ELCA constitution trumps congregational constitutions.  This is nonsense, of course, since it would eviscerate the congregation's right to choose not to adopt the model constitution by not amending its existing constitution.  And his position would require congregations to violate their own governing documents.  As a matter of law and legal reasoning, it makes no sense.  But the same can be said for his position that the ELCA constitution somehow magically contains in its "penumbras and emanations" a prohibition on dual membership by congregations.

SmithL

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4331 on: November 24, 2010, 12:38:22 AM »
Excuse me if this has already been posted, but I just got it today.  Reported in the November CORE Newsletter is a proposal from the ELCA Council to substantially change the process for congregations to leave them.  It can be found here:  http://www.lutherancore.org/pdf/Connection-Nov-10.pdf. It would appear that someone is getting somewhat nervous.

The Zion, Clear Lake model is becoming more attractive.  Join NALC or LCMC and ignore the Bishop.

gausmann

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4332 on: November 24, 2010, 06:51:20 AM »
Rev. Barnhardt posts the following and congregations voting on leaving
November 28
St. John Lutheran Church, Statesville NC **
St. Mark Lutheran Church, Ft. Wayne, IN *

December 4
Lakeside Lutheran Church, Littleton, NC *

December 5
Reformation Lutheran Church, Culpeper, VA **
St. Paul Lutheran Church, Middlebury, IN *
Lake Wylie Lutheran Church, Fort Mill, SC **
December 12
Zion Lutheran Church, (Brentwood) Pittsburgh, PA **
St. Paul Lutheran Church, Metropolis, IL **
Grace Lutheran Church, Thornville, OH *

December 19
Christ the King Lutheran Church, New Castle, WY **
Zion Lutheran Church, Seven Valleys, PA **

December 26
St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Portland, TX **

David M. Frye, OblSB

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4333 on: November 24, 2010, 06:52:22 AM »
The individual who serves as the legal advisor to the Nebraska Synod Council reviews congregation's constitutions and recommends the synod council approve (or not) the amendments. This past January, the congregation where I serve as interim pastor passed a by-law (not an amendment) embedding the pre-CWA Vision and Expectations in that by-law as a standard for conduct, preaching, and teaching by its pastor. According to the congregation's constitution, the secretary informed the synod of this new by-law (which an assistant to the bishop had recommended as a reasonable approach to the situation). The advisor said that the synod council would need to review the whole constitution, because the by-law changed the constitution, changes are amendments, and amendments need review. And in the process, the council would also assure that the congregation's constitution was consistent with the current model constitution, including any recently adopted provisions. We respectfully disagreed.

It seems that the argument that all changes are amendments and thus need synod council approval would mean that one could argue as well that all continuing resolutions would need synod council review. And that the passage of any change of any form would subject the whole constitution to being brought into line with the provisions of the current model constitution. Is this really a path that a synod council would want to travel along? It seems to me that it might encourage congregations to manage their affairs with congregational common law rather than with constitutional provisions.

In short, yes by any logical legal reasoning, a congregation would have to adopt these amendments to its own constitution before they would be in effect for that congregation.  The ELCA Model Constitution and instructions make clear that congregations are NOT required to adopt the model constitution, but that if they choose otherwise to amend their constitutions, then they must at the same time bring them into compliance with the model.  And a congregation cannot be made to violate its own governing documents as then in effect, and no congregational leadership should do so else they run serious risk of having violated their fiduciary duties to the congregation (all the more so if the congregation is separately incorporated).

However, Sec. Swartling has been taking the position recently that all of the above is wrong -- that the ELCA constitution trumps congregational constitutions.  This is nonsense, of course, since it would eviscerate the congregation's right to choose not to adopt the model constitution by not amending its existing constitution.  And his position would require congregations to violate their own governing documents.  As a matter of law and legal reasoning, it makes no sense.  But the same can be said for his position that the ELCA constitution somehow magically contains in its "penumbras and emanations" a prohibition on dual membership by congregations.
David M. Frye, OblSB

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Charles_Austin

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4334 on: November 24, 2010, 08:22:28 AM »
At the beginning of the ELCA, congregations were mandated to bring their constitutions in line with the model constitution, not in every single paragraph, but in certain things which assemblies had determined were required for ELCA congregations. Some congregations did not do so.
     Then, I have heard from some synods, the synod councils decided that when those congregations who did not properly amend their constitutions earlier made changes, that was the time to do the review that should have been done years before.
     Therefore, submitting changes put the whole constitution up for approval to see that it was in line with what we had agreed upon years before.
     Thus it is possible that when a congregation submits a constitution seeking approval on paragraph 23.4.5.6.7, an approval that might be readily granted, it might be noted that other required paragraphs are not in line with what we had agreed upon years before. So the changes are not approved because the constitution is not in order on those other key paragraphs.
     Blame irresponsible pastors who said "I don't need those idiots to approve my constitution," or who thought "well, that's just synod stuff and we don't care about that."
     Some things, improperly ignored, can come back to chomp on your rump.