Author Topic: The thread for info on churches voting to change affiliation & all follow-up.  (Read 792917 times)

Paul L. Knudson

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6255 on: April 03, 2011, 11:59:14 PM »
George, there is no law that a layperson cannot have pastoral sensitivities.  You probably think you are the leader of reality, but sometimes in what you are so sure is accurate analysis you just go goofy.

David Baer and I have a long pastoral history in South Dakota, and we have major league concern for folk on all sides of these matters.  The same must be said for Erma.  You sit and lob pot shots that are nothing short of ridiculous sometimes.

George Erdner

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6256 on: April 04, 2011, 12:09:38 AM »
George, there is no law that a layperson cannot have pastoral sensitivities.  You probably think you are the leader of reality, but sometimes in what you are so sure is accurate analysis you just go goofy.

David Baer and I have a long pastoral history in South Dakota, and we have major league concern for folk on all sides of these matters.  The same must be said for Erma.  You sit and lob pot shots that are nothing short of ridiculous sometimes.

Those are not "pot shots". I genuinely and truly believe (as I have expressed before) that people generally make a choice to look at events optimistically or pessimistically. I'm not saying that having concern is bad or counterproductive. I'm only saying that hyper-exagerating any somewhat sad event into a tragedy is unproductive, unhelpful, and probably counterproductive. As I said, if someone, anyone, blows relatively small stuff out of proportion, what do they do when a real tragedy strikes?

Watch a loved one gradually waste away and die from cancer, and then deal with having to transfer to a different Lutheran congregation. You tell me how the latter is anywhere close to being as bad as the former.

I'm not saying you don't have concern, but please. Is anyone dying as a result of the fallout from the ELCA's 2009 CWA? Are mothers losing their children, never to see them again until the second coming? Or are you saying that concern is something that only has an on-off switch, and not a volume control?

amos

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6257 on: April 04, 2011, 12:45:05 AM »
George there is a different perspective.  Having first hand experience with a church that split and another that lost 20 some families I do know the the deep hurts and damage a split can do within families.  In both of these cases it was caused by the outside influence of another Lutheran body and (for the record) I am not talking about LCMS.

Here is my point --- The damage done by these fractures impact family relationships, between grandparents and grandchildren, parents and children, even brothers and sisters.   Yes we all know we are supposed to forgive, but hurt, especially hurt within a family goes very deep.

I am not talking here about the theology issues, I am talking about the emotional damage done to families.  I will never forget an 80 year old woman crying because her grandson told her she was going to hell because she belonged to "_____" Church.   And the grandson was just repeating what he had heard his parents say. In rural areas many congregations, even miles apart, are interrelated.  The first church was over 20 years ago and several family members have since died without healing to that family ever taking place.

Leaving a denomination with a huge majority working together is one thing, but a split in a congregation can be devastating to families. Do a few funerals with these families and you will see exactly what I mean.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 12:56:17 AM by amos »

George Erdner

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6258 on: April 04, 2011, 12:54:46 AM »
George there is a different perspective.  Having first hand experience with a church that split and another that lost 20 some families I do know the the deep hurts and damage a split can do within families.

Here is my point --- The damage done by these fractures impact family relationships, between grandparents and grandchildren, parents and children, even brothers and sisters.   Yes we all know we are supposed to forgive, but hurt, especially hurt within a family goes very deep.

I am not talking here about the theology issues, I am talking about the emotional damage done to families.  I will never forget an 80 year old woman crying because her grandson told her she was going to hell because she belonged to "_____" Church.   And the grandson was just repeating what he had heard his parents say. In rural areas many congregations, even miles apart, are interrelated.  The first church was over 20 years ago and several family members have since died without healing to that family ever taking place.

Leaving a denomination with a huge majority working together is one thing, but a split in a congregation can be devastating to families. Do a few funerals within these families and you will see exactly what I mean.

I'm not referring to people who note that a certain, specific situation has an above average or unusually severe impact. I'm referring to those who automatically assume that every vote to change affiliations, regardless of the details, is always a tragedy on the scale of a Russian novel. That one time a grandson made such a rude and erroneous statement to his grandmother was no doubt a major trauma for her. But single incidents like that don't prove that every vote to change affiliations is automatically equally as traumatic for all concerned.

And, from what I've noticed of people, the most common emotional reaction to situations like this tends to be confusion. People caught in what is, for them, an unprecedented situation, often aren't sure what to think or feel. They look to people that they respect to see how they react, and then copy the response. If they see their pastor and other pastors treating votes to change affiliation as a minor pothole on the road of life, then they take the event in stride. If they see the clergy acting like it's the end of the world, then they react that way, too.

Anyone who has been called to wear the collar is called to keep the sheep calm and unafraid, not to inspire them to wallow in misery.

Coach-Rev

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6259 on: April 04, 2011, 08:25:25 AM »
There was talk of moving ahead with a second vote to leave the ELCA since they were so close to the two-thirds majority.  But my understanding of the situation is that a significant number of the congregation's (now former) leaders thought that a move toward a second vote would be harmful to relationships with those in the congregation.  They decided the best thing for them was to move on to form a new congregation.

I think a second "first" vote is a good thing, in general.  While we thought here we had done our homework and gotten the issues out in the forefront so that people were educated, we later discovered that we were wrong for two reasons:

1:  We simply had not done the job we thought in educating the membership.  Part of that was in our approach, and part of that was the result of the terminal apathy of the majority of the congregational membership.

2:  Several of our "fab four" had done an outstanding job of spreading intentional misinformation, that caused many people the first time around to vote to stay.  "we would lose the building" if we left the ELCA, "the pastor would have to resign and leave" if we left the ELCA, and so on.

And so, over the ensuing 5 months, we worked to try to counter and correct #2, and to do better on #1.  The result was a 25% shift in our vote, from 64% failed vote to an 89% passed vote.

Of course, those who either want to live with blinders on to the reality of the situation, or those who actually agree with the direction the ELCA has been going for these many years (a way smaller percentage than Brian would claim) would continue to have failed votes.

In the end, however, this whole mess is one in which no one wins, ultimately. 

Paul L. Knudson

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6260 on: April 04, 2011, 08:58:19 AM »
I am not going to get into a back and forth with you, George.  With your nearly 7,000 posts that would prove to be a never ending situation.  I will only try one more time.  You seem to think that it's only a matter of switching congregations and human organizations with no big deal.  It's like companies break up or are bought up etc. 

This year my college alma mater celebrates its 150 year anniversary.  All across the board there are long histories of allignment with meaningful institutions that have been very important to generations of folk.  This also happens with mission endeavors.  The ELCA has had a relationship with the Mekane Jesus Church for many years.  There is now a rift.  Others of us in LCMC and NALC will seek to come along side of this suffering Church.  The Malagasy Lutheran Church is just experiencing the last ELCA missionary personnel leaving.  The Lutheran missionary presence there began with Norwegians back in the 1860s.  This national church body does not need the level of foreign persnnel help it once did, but big changes are disruptive in ways that have significant impact.  Again some of us are seeking to step in and help these brothers and sisters in Christ.

What is happening has effects that are gut wrenching on many fronts, including impacts on families as noted above.  Of course we are called upon to lead in ways that, as the family system folk say, provides a "non-anxious presence."  But that does not minimize the hurt and challenges.  Your analogies may  work for you, but I am afraid to others of us fall short.  Now it is off to do a little work in the Kingdom.

CSLewis2

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6261 on: April 04, 2011, 09:57:36 AM »
More from David Barnhart's Blog:

1. FIRST LUTHERAN CHURCH, BAKER CITY, OR passed second voted to leave the ELCA and voted to join NALC.

2. ST MATTHEW LUTHERAN CHURCH, (Fernando) STEWART, MN passed second vote to leave the ELCA 76%-24%.

3. GRACE LUTHERAN CHURCH, EAU CLAIRE, WI failed to pass first vote to leave ELCA, 288 in favor of leaving - 225 to stay with ELCA.

4. ST THOMAS LUTHERAN CHURCH, HOOVERSVILLE, PA passed first vote (second attempt) 96-18 to leave the ELCA and join NALC.


Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

CSLewis2

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6262 on: April 04, 2011, 10:01:01 AM »
One more congregation to add. According to my mother, who is a member of Advent Lutheran Church in Boca Raton, FL., the congregation has taken its second vote to leave the ELCA, and it was successful. However she tells me that they have not yet decided upon the association that will be in fellowship with. So they are "independent Lutheran" at this time.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

GalRev83

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6263 on: April 04, 2011, 10:16:35 AM »
Hope Lutheran in Sioux Falls, SD had a previously reported vote to leave the ELCA which did not attain the 2/3rds necessary to do so.  Here is a link to the April newsletter of that congregation.  It begins with a letter from the new congregation president, and contains the farewell letter from Hope's (now previous) pastor and the complete minutes of the most recent Council meeting.  This gives all of us a picture of what is happening in one congregation, after a vote that is split.

http://www.hopesf.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/2011-04-April.pdf

This was heartbreaking to read. May God bless and preserve those in this congregation and may the Kingdom advance in the work of all who have  been part of the congregation -- those who stay and those who have left alike.

Pilgrim

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6264 on: April 04, 2011, 10:26:31 AM »
IThis year my college alma mater celebrates its 150 year anniversary.

Tim asks: Luther College? If so, what year?
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

Team Hesse

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6265 on: April 04, 2011, 10:27:50 AM »
I am not going to get into a back and forth with you, George.  With your nearly 7,000 posts that would prove to be a never ending situation.  I will only try one more time.  You seem to think that it's only a matter of switching congregations and human organizations with no big deal.  It's like companies break up or are bought up etc. 

This year my college alma mater celebrates its 150 year anniversary.  All across the board there are long histories of allignment with meaningful institutions that have been very important to generations of folk.  This also happens with mission endeavors.  The ELCA has had a relationship with the Mekane Jesus Church for many years.  There is now a rift.  Others of us in LCMC and NALC will seek to come along side of this suffering Church.  The Malagasy Lutheran Church is just experiencing the last ELCA missionary personnel leaving.  The Lutheran missionary presence there began with Norwegians back in the 1860s.  This national church body does not need the level of foreign persnnel help it once did, but big changes are disruptive in ways that have significant impact.  Again some of us are seeking to step in and help these brothers and sisters in Christ.

What is happening has effects that are gut wrenching on many fronts, including impacts on families as noted above.  Of course we are called upon to lead in ways that, as the family system folk say, provides a "non-anxious presence."  But that does not minimize the hurt and challenges.  Your analogies may  work for you, but I am afraid to others of us fall short.  Now it is off to do a little work in the Kingdom.

Gut-wrenching, painful, hurtful division--it's all true; but it does get better. We have been "out" for over four years and what a joy it has become to go to church and be the church for the gifts of God and for each other (blessed to be a blessing) rather the imperatives of obligation. We are actually able to pray for those who were among the hurtful four years ago. We're not going back, but anyone is free to come and join in the fun. We may have to think about finding a larger room! I'm beginning to understand how those Chilean miners must have felt when they re-emerged into the sun after being trapped underground.

Lou

Charles_Austin

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6266 on: April 04, 2011, 10:42:02 AM »
Sorry again, Lou, but this just reads "I thank God that I am not like...."

Pilgrim

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6267 on: April 04, 2011, 10:54:05 AM »
Tim notes: Sorry also for you, Charles, but we've got a word for folk with your persistent attitude here in Texas. It's a Biblical word but discretion suggests not using it on a public forum.  :-[
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6268 on: April 04, 2011, 11:23:28 AM »
Far too often, from every direction, people accuse others of having an attitude of "I thank God am not like..." which is ironic because the very act of accusing someone else of having that attitude exhibits that attitude. "I thank God I am not like those people who thank God they are not like me," and so forth.

dkeener

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6269 on: April 04, 2011, 11:55:41 AM »
Sorry again, Lou, but this just reads "I thank God that I am not like...."


Lets put that quote into context - The Pharisee thanked God that he was not like other men -"Robbers, evildoers, adulterers - or even like this tax collector."  He self-righteously believed that he had no sin to confess. In the context of the debate between the ELCA, and every other alphabet soup Lutheran denomination, on the issue of sexually active homosexual clergy - who is it exactly that is saying there is no sin to confess?