Author Topic: The thread for info on churches voting to change affiliation & all follow-up.  (Read 842024 times)

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3825 on: November 08, 2010, 11:41:41 AM »
Is it possible, Steven, that the overwhelming majority of ELCA Lutherans do not believe that their leadership has betrayed them?

For a long time, the overwhelming majority of Americans didn't believe President Nixon betrayed us.  

Is it possible that the overwhelming majority of ELCA Lutherans do not oppose the August decisions?

It is possible.  The ELCA's own studies and surveys indicate otherwise, though.

Is it possible that the overwhelming majority of ELCA Lutherans (including people who disagree with those August decisions) still believe that this is a church worthy of their full support and participation?

If you are going to respond to me, respond to me, Charles.


I do not oppose the ELCA.  I support her Statement of Faith, her purpose, her mission.  My desire is that her leadership would do the same.


Or is it only those who do oppose the August decisions who have the real deal, when it comes to being Christian, Lutheran or ELCA?

Again, Charles, respond to me when you "respond" to me.

Pax, Steven+
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David Norland

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3826 on: November 08, 2010, 11:42:21 AM »
Is it that the congregation has left the ELCA, joined LCMC, and thus the pastors are to be removed immediately from the roster (which then the follow-up becomes James' questions about whether or not policies and procedures can trump the constitution [I'm with him - they can't]) or is it that the 2nd attempt at a 2nd vote was invalid and thus the congregation has not left the ELCA, and they need to start the voting procedures all over again?

James Gale and Keith Falk are raising an important issue about the provisions of the Manual of Policies and Procedures for Management of the Rosters of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.   Page 15 of the Manual lists four bases for removal of clergy from the ordained roster: death, resignation, end of “on leave” status, and discipline. The first two are obvious. The last two are provided for in detail in the ELCA Constitution and Bylaws.

Page 45 of the Manual introduces a fifth method for removal from the roster by which a bishop removes an ordained minister from the roster either because he or she “either leaves the work of the ordained ministry or engages in another occupation without consent of the bishop of the synod” or “enters the ordained ministry of another church body, or who joins a religious group or congregation of another church body (except as provided in 7.41.17.), or who serves a group schismatic from this church or from a congregation thereof.”

I don’t find anything in the Constitution or Bylaws which gives a bishop this power, so the sole authorization for this method of removal is the adoption of the Manual by the Church Council. But where does the Church Council derive the authority to grant this power?  In fact, the Constitution seems to deny this authority to the Church Council. Article 7.23 states: “The standards for acceptance and continuance of pastors in the ordained ministry of this church shall be set forth in the bylaws.” Only the Churchwide Assembly can adopt bylaws.

I’m only a humble parliamentarian and not an attorney, but is seems to me the Church Council exceeded its authority.

Wayne, is this a matter the legal counsel for the ELCA has addressed?

Pilgrim

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3827 on: November 08, 2010, 11:43:03 AM »
Yes, we need to look at the fruit since Aug 2009 -- but we should also look at the fruit our congregations were producing with homosexual folks prior to 2009. How much did our position contribute to suicides of homosexual youth? How much did our position push homosexuals away from the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ?

This is the easiest question I've seen in a long time.  Our positions prior to 2009 did NOT contribute to any suicides.  Our positions prior to 2009 did NOT push anyone away from the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Tim notes: Amen, Scotty. Last time I checked, AC IV is still definitive when it comes to "Who does what"!!! An ongoing parish study here of the Book of Concord has been spinning worlds open for folks in terms of putting a context into CWA 2009 and the whole cultural scyncretisim that is finally nothing more complicated than another version of "self-justification". Failure to properly distinguish between Law and Promise (both gracious gifts of God) apparently continues to plague many who consider them "Lutherans".
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

George Erdner

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3828 on: November 08, 2010, 11:45:04 AM »
Page 45 of the Manual has been quoted a couple of times as the basis for the bishop's actions against a clergy who “enters the ordained ministry of another church body, or who joins a religious group or congregation of another church body (except as provided in 7.41.17.), or who serves a group schismatic from this church or from a congregation thereof.”

Had these pastors joined an LCMC congregation -- a congregation of another church body?

When you searched through the LCMC governing documents I posted links to earlier, where did you find any specific language that said that the called minister of an LCMC congregation was required to be an individual member of the LCMC? The ELCA does have such specific language in its governing documents. Where does the LCMC have similar language?

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3829 on: November 08, 2010, 11:47:22 AM »
Page 45 of the Manual has been quoted a couple of times as the basis for the bishop's actions against a clergy who “enters the ordained ministry of another church body, or who joins a religious group or congregation of another church body (except as provided in 7.41.17.), or who serves a group schismatic from this church or from a congregation thereof.”

Had these pastors joined an LCMC congregation -- a congregation of another church body?

When you searched through the LCMC governing documents I posted links to earlier, where did you find any specific language that said that the called minister of an LCMC congregation was required to be an individual member of the LCMC? The ELCA does have such specific language in its governing documents. Where does the LCMC have similar language?

Were the pastors members of an LCMC congregation? Where the pastors serving an LCMC congregation? When the congregation joined LCMC, all their members, including the pastors, also became members of the LCMC. Probably if the pastors had resigned their membership from Zion and their calls to the congregation, they would remain on the ELCA clergy roster.
"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 #3830 on: November 08, 2010, 11:48:56 AM »
All things are possible, but the JTFII survey results and a scientifically valid poll

I don't recall that there was any "scientifically valid poll" taken. Having been a psychology major, there are very stringent requirements for a poll to be scientifically valid.


And yet a member of the group that commissioned the poll does recall it.  

Not sure what psychology majors automatically know about the statistical validity of polls and surveys.  
« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 11:52:17 AM by The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS »
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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 #3831 on: November 08, 2010, 11:55:08 AM »
Not sure what psychology majors automatically know about the statistical validity of polls and surveys. 

Tim notes: Oh, Steven...now, now. Brian "knows" and "argues" everything. You "know" that!!!  ;)
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

David Norland

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3832 on: November 08, 2010, 11:56:18 AM »
Brian, you have said repeatedly now that it is not a matter of discipliine, this removing of clergy from the ELCA roster because they have joined LCMC.

Then why did I recieve a certified letter informing me of my removal as a matter of discipline, citing my joining LCMC?

Why can't we call things what they are?  A bishop removed me.  As an act of discipline.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3833 on: November 08, 2010, 11:57:09 AM »
All things are possible, but the JTFII survey results and a scientifically valid poll

I don't recall that there was any "scientifically valid poll" taken. Having been a psychology major, there are very stringent requirements for a poll to be scientifically valid.


And yet a member of the group that commissioned the poll does recall it.  

Not sure what psychology majors automatically know about the statistical validity of polls and surveys.  

Because part of our training was to understand proper studies of groups of people. Courses in statistics and probability were required courses. We had to conduct experiments -- and if using a "random sample," we had to follow the rules for a valid "random sample."
"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]

hillwilliam

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3834 on: November 08, 2010, 11:57:32 AM »
I have read with great interest about the plight of Zion Lutheran Church in Clear Lake and their pastors in Christ. I have read all the correspondence posted from Bishop Ullestad of the Northeastern Iowa Synod and the congregation. I have followed all the posts since the initial report. When viewing all this, one scripture verse keeps coming to my mind; "You will know them by their fruits." Matt. 7:16a, and 7:20 Actually one should read the verse in its entire context in the Sermon on the Mount, Matt. 7:15-20. I believe they are Jesus' words, even in the judgement of the Jesus Seminar people.

What are the fruits that we are seeing as a consequence of the '09 CWA actions? Are they good fruits or are they another kind of fruit? What kind of fruits are we seeing in ELCA churchwide leadership and synodical bishops? What kind of fruits are we seeing in congregational life? For those on either side of the issue I think it is a bitter fruit, because neither side is happy. And in the meantime, the church, "this church," the ELCA suffers. Can any good come of this?

Another book keeps coming to mind in all of this, C.S. Lewis' "Screwtape Letters." It was hypothetical fiction, but does it say anything now about what is happening in "this church?"

Anyone wishing to dialogue on these questions?    

The question is, who caused the schism that produced the bitter fruit? Obviously, the ELCA believes it is fine to be a member of LCNA or RIC and still be a member of the ELCA. Yet the actions of the CWA, under the influence of those organizations, have clearly divided the denomination. The Bishops didn't seem to have a problem with ELCA congregations calling non-rostered Pastors and so the RIC congregations weren't forced to accept a traditional Pastor even though they were clearly in violation of the Constitution and Bylaws. So why has a Bishop in the ELCA decided that the LCMC is a schismatic association? At least that is my understanding since none of the other criteria for removal from the roster seem to apply. If the association with LCMC is schismatic, why hasn't the congregation been remove from the ELCA's membership? So much for honoring the bound conscience of all four positions.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3835 on: November 08, 2010, 12:01:03 PM »
Brian, you have said repeatedly now that it is not a matter of discipliine, this removing of clergy from the ELCA roster because they have joined LCMC.

Then why did I recieve a certified letter informing me of my removal as a matter of discipline, citing my joining LCMC?

Why can't we call things what they are?  A bishop removed me.  As an act of discipline.

Yes, we need to call things what they are. You acted contrary to our rules and suffered the consequences of your actions.

If a parent tells a child, "if you don't stop doing what you're doing or you'll be spanked," and the child doesn't stop and gets spanked, is that act of discipline the fault of the parent or the child?

It would be more correct to say that the disciplinary process spelled out in those bylaws do not relate to the discipline defined in the manual.
"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 #3836 on: November 08, 2010, 12:02:19 PM »

It's not a matter of discipline. It's stating what ELCA clergy are not allowed to do, and the consequences of it.

Ah, the zebra crossing yet again.

If we're not allow to do it, then it's a matter of discipline.

Even a psychology major should be able to see logic.

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Cathy Ammlung

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3837 on: November 08, 2010, 12:03:02 PM »
Quote
Had these pastors joined an LCMC congregation -- a congregation of another church body?

If the Bishop declares the very vote to do so, "null and void," then  how on God's green earth can he then say that they ARE an LCMC congregation? If a vote to leave the ELCA fails, then they are still an ELCA congregation. If that is the case, AND if the Bishop has declared their vote to join LCMC null and void, then they are schismatic exactly...how? In which case, their pastor ought to be removed from the roster without due process...why?

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3838 on: November 08, 2010, 12:04:10 PM »

It's not a matter of discipline. It's stating what ELCA clergy are not allowed to do, and the consequences of it.

Ah, the zebra crossing yet again.

If we're not allow to do it, then it's a matter of discipline.

Even a psychology major should be able to see logic.

Not all matters of discipline are required to following the disciplinary process of chapter 20 in the ELCA constitution and bylaws. Even an accounting major should be able to understand that.
"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 #3839 on: November 08, 2010, 12:04:46 PM »

If a parent tells a child, "if you don't stop doing what you're doing or you'll be spanked," and the child doesn't stop and gets spanked, is that act of discipline the fault of the parent or the child?


"Oh, but my child is not allowed to do.  Therefore, she's not my child."

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