Author Topic: The thread for info on churches voting to change affiliation & all follow-up.  (Read 980151 times)

SmithL

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2550 on: August 17, 2010, 10:34:02 PM »
It only takes a majority vote to join LCMC, NALC, or another church body.  If the ELCA doesn't kick them out, it just shows that the ELCA is willing to break its own rules when it suits them.

Glenn Ryder

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2551 on: August 17, 2010, 11:04:05 PM »
I wonder how many congregations are waiting until after the Summer season, when congregational meetings are difficult to schedule, and after the NALC's official launch this weekend to get started.


George-
My congregation is one.


Glenn

Dadoo

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2552 on: August 18, 2010, 09:12:26 AM »
It only takes a majority vote to join LCMC, NALC, or another church body.  If the ELCA doesn't kick them out, it just shows that the ELCA is willing to break its own rules when it suits them.

Larry,

I am aware that many folks want to leave ELCA. I am wondering whether just joining another denomination is really a good and honest way of doing this. All of us know the constitution. Most of us have read the opinion by the secretary. One might not really like his interpretation but he happens to be right. To be honest, it actually makes sense that a congregation should make up its mind which denomination it is affiliated with.  We all  know that it takes a 2/3 vote to leave and that joining just joining NALC or LCMC without a vote to leave is a anti constitutional. It would seem to me that if one was to wish to leave for righteousness sake one would do so humbly and not give unnecessary offense.

I also question the wisdom of it. If one cannot get a 2/3 majority then, pastorally, this is a solution - how? We want to  maneuver the bishop whom the minority supports to come in and be the bad guy just show them? We want to maneuver the secretary into pressuring a bishop into enforcing the ruling? Is this a maneuver to make the bishop disclose whose side he is on?   

These are the tactics of the enemy. They were the tactics of the enemy when LCNA and ECP/EPL used them. THey remain so. I rejected the tactic of just calling uncertified pastors to make a point when it arose. I rejected the idea that bishops gave wink and nod to violations of V&E apparently without question from Secretary Almen.  I rejected the vilification of Bishop Warren when he enforced the expectations we have of our pastors. These things were wrong then and they remain so now.

These days I would insist require that those who deeply and passionately object to CWA 09 act 100% above board.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 09:21:45 AM by Dadoo »
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SmithL

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2553 on: August 18, 2010, 11:11:00 AM »
You've offered some good points, Peter.  In general, I agree with you.  Requiring a 2/3 majority to actually leave doesn't seem unreasonable.  But I'm fine with a majority of a congregation deciding to alter their relationship with the ELCA, including withholding funds and removing the logo from signs, stationary, and websites. 

However, in the case of St. Peter's, I think the congregation took the correct action.  They did pass both votes with 2/3 majorities, but the synod decided to block it.  So technically, they are still on the ELCA rolls, and the Bishops can pretend to speak on their behalf when they make social statements.

Charles_Austin

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2554 on: August 18, 2010, 11:46:55 AM »
Larry writes:
So technically, they are still on the ELCA rolls, and the Bishops can pretend to speak on their behalf when they make social statements.

I comment:
Bishops do not make "social statements" in ELCA structures. And when bishops speak, they do not always intend to speak in the name of their congregations.

George Erdner

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2555 on: August 18, 2010, 11:58:36 AM »
It only takes a majority vote to join LCMC, NALC, or another church body.  If the ELCA doesn't kick them out, it just shows that the ELCA is willing to break its own rules when it suits them.

Larry,

I am aware that many folks want to leave ELCA. I am wondering whether just joining another denomination is really a good and honest way of doing this. All of us know the constitution. Most of us have read the opinion by the secretary. One might not really like his interpretation but he happens to be right. To be honest, it actually makes sense that a congregation should make up its mind which denomination it is affiliated with.  We all  know that it takes a 2/3 vote to leave and that joining just joining NALC or LCMC without a vote to leave is a anti constitutional. It would seem to me that if one was to wish to leave for righteousness sake one would do so humbly and not give unnecessary offense.

I also question the wisdom of it. If one cannot get a 2/3 majority then, pastorally, this is a solution - how? We want to  maneuver the bishop whom the minority supports to come in and be the bad guy just show them? We want to maneuver the secretary into pressuring a bishop into enforcing the ruling? Is this a maneuver to make the bishop disclose whose side he is on?   

These are the tactics of the enemy. They were the tactics of the enemy when LCNA and ECP/EPL used them. THey remain so. I rejected the tactic of just calling uncertified pastors to make a point when it arose. I rejected the idea that bishops gave wink and nod to violations of V&E apparently without question from Secretary Almen.  I rejected the vilification of Bishop Warren when he enforced the expectations we have of our pastors. These things were wrong then and they remain so now.

These days I would insist require that those who deeply and passionately object to CWA 09 act 100% above board.

Ultimately, the vote that really matters most regarding denominational affiliation is the one that the members cast with their feet. If there is not enough support within a congregation to muster a 2/3rds majority but there is a simple majority, using that simple majority to enter into a dual-roster situation as a trick to get out of the ELCA will only result in the loss of much of the membership. On the other hand, if a congregation has a near unanimous agreement that moving to the NALC or LCMC is the ultimate right thing to do, and the congregation is without pastoral leadership and wants to call a permanent, full-time pastor who is on-board with the congregation's desire to re-affiliate, then joining another church body as a dual-rostered congregation so that they can call an LCMC or NALC pastor who will support their long-range intentions seems the right and proper thing to do.

I made a list of congregations in the SWPA Synod located within just the southern suburbs of Pittsburgh who haven't had a permanent pastor for as long as five years. It's a long list. If dual-rostering with another Lutheran body enables them to call a permanent pastor, how are they worse off if the ELCA kicks them out than they are as members of the ELCA?

In situations where there are multiple ELCA congregations, a handful of them are being supported with assistance in finding a pastor and growing, while others appear to be left to whither on the vine. I have no way of knowing if this is because of a deliberate plan or if it is just working out that way. Whether it is a coincidence or a deliberate plan doesn't matter. If a congregation cannot find a pastor willing to accept a call from the roster of ELCA pastors, then it strikes me that the congregation should not be condemned for doing whatever it needs to do in order to fill its pulpit.

Charles_Austin

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2556 on: August 18, 2010, 01:01:31 PM »
And there may be reasons why some congregations are not able to get a pastor. Pastors are getting smarter, I hope, about not putting themselves and families into physical and psychological, not to mention financial danger.

George Erdner

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2557 on: August 18, 2010, 02:34:04 PM »
And there may be reasons why some congregations are not able to get a pastor. Pastors are getting smarter, I hope, about not putting themselves and families into physical and psychological, not to mention financial danger.

Yes, there may be other reasons. Given that I used to live near the congregations I was referring to, and was often assigned to pulpit supply for them, and held conversations with their lay leadership, and you would have to look them up to even know the names of the congregations, I suspect that my first hand knowledge might be a little bit greater concerning the specific situation I described.

peter_speckhard

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2558 on: August 18, 2010, 03:07:23 PM »
And there may be reasons why some congregations are not able to get a pastor. Pastors are getting smarter, I hope, about not putting themselves and families into physical and psychological, not to mention financial danger.
There should be no Word and Sacrament ministry in poor, distressing, or dangerous places?

SmithL

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2559 on: August 18, 2010, 03:44:01 PM »
In June, Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Ramsey held a vote to disassociate from the ELCA. 310 voted for and 255 voted against, so it failed to achieve the 2/3 required majority.  Pastor Steve Perkins and others left Lord of Life, and seem to have formed a new church in Ramsey, Northgate Church.  If Northgate considers itself Lutheran, there is no evidence on their website: http://www.ngatechurch.org/

Charles_Austin

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2560 on: August 18, 2010, 04:02:52 PM »
Peter writes (re my comment about why some congregations may not be able to get a pastor):
There should be no Word and Sacrament ministry in poor, distressing, or dangerous places?

I respond (since directly addressed):
You know, of course, that this is not what I meant. I am referring to those tiny congregations who want a hired hand pastor who will work for an inadequate salary and who won't ask them to move or reshape their mission or - if he or she does - they will kick the crap out of him, and make life so miserable for him and his family that their health is affected.
And if you or anyone else does not think such places exist, you don't get around enough.
I was once asked to do an interim in such a place.
I said to the bishop's assistant, "There? Do you know how they beat up on pastors in that congregation?"
"Yes, of course I know. But you're tough enough to take it."
I guess that was a compliment, but my response was "But why should I?"


dschoelles

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2561 on: August 18, 2010, 04:15:40 PM »
Went to a pericope study with a ELCA cluster of pastors. my first time in nearly a year.

They rejoiced that a group of Lutherans had left a congregation heading to the LCMC and started their own congregation.
They rejoiced about another group they thought was going to splinter a church in another location.

I just throw that out there because I have read criticisms of forum participants who were encouraging orthodox Lutherans to leave their ELCA congregations.

Richard Johnson

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2562 on: August 18, 2010, 04:42:20 PM »
I was once asked to do an interim in such a place.
I said to the bishop's assistant, "There? Do you know how they beat up on pastors in that congregation?"
"Yes, of course I know. But you're tough enough to take it."

Reminds me of a story told years ago by a Methodist pastor. First appointment out of seminary, bishop said to him, "I'm sending you to this two point parish, Wahoo and Yippee. Wahoo, the only good thing I can say about that place is there's a paved sidewalk in front of the church. Yippee, I can't even say that much. But here's why I'm sending you there . . ." The pastor later reflected, "Best ministry I ever had was in Wahoo and Yippee."
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2563 on: August 18, 2010, 07:51:35 PM »
If Northgate considers itself Lutheran, there is no evidence on their website: http://www.ngatechurch.org/

Well, there is a "confirmation ceremony" on October 31.  OTOH, looking at Lord of Life's site, you've got to look really hard to discover that it is a Lutheran Church, too.  Which has me pondering...

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ptmccain

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2564 on: August 18, 2010, 07:58:29 PM »
Well, unfortunately, we have a few of those kinds of congregations in The LCMS.

 :-[ >:( :'(