Author Topic: The thread for info on churches voting to change affiliation & all follow-up.  (Read 866681 times)

Evangel

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 780
  • Rev. Mark Schimmel
    • View Profile
Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4140 on: November 15, 2010, 08:28:39 PM »
The Barhart blog is perhaps the best source.  The LCMC website lists congregations that have joined LCMC - not the same thing as leaving the ELCA.  Many congregations join LCMC (or perhaps NALC?) at the same time they take their first vote to leave the ELCA.  The other thing that tends to "inflate" the LCMC numbers compared to the congregations leaving the ELCA is the starting of mission congregations.  There have been dozens of congregations that have formed by what we have euphemistically called "losing majorities" ... in other words, a large percentage of a congregation votes to leave, does not make the 2/3 majority required then leaves the ELCA congregation to form a new LCMC congregation which may consist of most or all of the council, sunday school teachers, musicians, etc.
Mark Schimmel, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church, LCMC
Priddy, TX
--
ACXXIII, "Your majesty will graciously take into account the fact that, in these last times of which the Scriptures prophesy, the world is growing worse and men are becoming weaker and more infirm."

jrubyaz

  • Guest
Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4141 on: November 15, 2010, 08:30:52 PM »
James,

It was good process. One thing that I have a problem with is leaders and congregations who keep "retaking" votes.

It seems to me if the congregation meets the constitutional criteria and holds two successive votes that meet the threshold, then of course they have duly conducted a legal process. But if one or the other fails, I don't understand the "retaking" of votes.

Granted, Clear Lake is an exception with the contested votes, but we had made the determination if a vote failed we would not retake it. The people speak, to keep pushing is not right, unless there were some sort of hijinks in the voting process, or unconstitutional synodical interference.

Jeff Ruby

Back on topic: anyone know more about the vote at Clear Lake yesterday that passed 85% to leave the ELCA? Supposedly they said this is their last vote and they are out.

We talked about it ever so briefly upstream (or somewhere else on this forum).

I personally think that Zion is taking a risk that it could and should avoid.  As you probably know, after a successful "first vote" and the passage of the consultation, the "second vote" failed by the slimmest of margins.  As I understand it, Zion is claiming that this is simply a second shot at a second vote.  Bp. Ullestad has argued that you don't get multiple chances at a second vote.  Instead, if a second vote fails, a congregation wishing to leave the ELCA must start again with a first vote.  I've criticized Bp. Ullestad's handling of the Zion situation.  However, he has a strong argument to support his position on this matter.  Zion has an argument as well.  But the ELCA will continue to view Zion as an ELCA congregation.  Moreover, dissenting members could sue the congregation's leadership personally for acting outside the bounds of the congregation's governing documents.

Is this likely?  Probably not.  The NE Iowa Synod at some point will likely use the disciplinary rules to expel Zion.

But why go through all that?  Zion now seems to have the votes in hand to leave the ELCA.  In my view, the best move for all involved would be for Zion to take a new first vote, wait 90 days, and then take a second vote.  At that point, everything would be done well and by the book.

Happily based on what I read, your congregation and synod handled your congregation's process very well.  Congratulations and blessings to you and your flock.

Christopher Miller

  • Guest
Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4142 on: November 15, 2010, 09:12:53 PM »
At this point, I can add something to the discussion.

My wife and I were married by Pastor Hess at Zion. He preached at her ordination. That congregation is the reason my wife is a Lutheran. My mother-in-law still lives in the area. There is a sizeable anti-Hess contingent at Zion who maintained their membership sheerly for the opportunity to get rid of Hess at some point. They were rallied for the second vote by those who wanted to stay in the ELCA. This was witnessed by my MIL. The falling short on the second vote was merely because of the bad blood that a number of people, who are no longer fully active in the congregation, have toward Rev. Hess.

So many issues get caught up in these things, it's tough to sort it all out.

ptmccain

  • Guest
Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4143 on: November 15, 2010, 09:16:22 PM »
Having read through about half of the post in this thread I would like to ask a simple question. I may have missed the answer some where but I have not found it.   I would like a reasonable accurate list (actually numbers is more what I am looking for) nationwide of those churches that have voted to leave the ELCA in the past 36 months.   Nor am I looking for specific reasons they voted to leave.  The ElCA information seems to down play the numbers and other groups seem (at least in some situations seem to inflate the numbers.)  Can anyone give me a reasonable source for this information? Thank you.  Granted there is no way to account for individual members who for any number of reasons may have left congregations. 


Amos, the answer is a tad elusive because of the number of ELCA congregations that have joined the LCMC association of congregations, while retaining their membership in the ELCA. I suspect that this situation won't be allowed to continue indefinitely. So, as best as I can tell, several hundred ELCA congregations have actually left, in the sense of voting to leave the ELCA, but there are well over 500 member congregations of the LCMC and while they may not have literally "left" it appears they have "left" in another sense.

As always, it's all quite messy.

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43496
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4144 on: November 15, 2010, 09:17:12 PM »
As mentioned elsewhere, the next twenty years will highlight who has actually won this conflict.

Satan?
"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]

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43496
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4145 on: November 15, 2010, 09:22:27 PM »
I think it is helpful information.

(1) It's information that we already know.
(2) What do you think was helpful about posting it?
"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

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10213
  • Big tents are for circuses.
    • View Profile
Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4146 on: November 15, 2010, 09:44:00 PM »
I think it is helpful information.

(1) It's information that we already know.
(2) What do you think was helpful about posting it?

Oh, this is just too funny!
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43496
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4147 on: November 15, 2010, 09:54:08 PM »
I think it is helpful information.

(1) It's information that we already know.
(2) What do you think was helpful about posting it?

Oh, this is just too funny!

I thought so, too.
"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]

Team Hesse

  • Guest
Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4148 on: November 15, 2010, 11:07:44 PM »
James,

It was good process. One thing that I have a problem with is leaders and congregations who keep "retaking" votes.

It seems to me if the congregation meets the constitutional criteria and holds two successive votes that meet the threshold, then of course they have duly conducted a legal process. But if one or the other fails, I don't understand the "retaking" of votes.

Granted, Clear Lake is an exception with the contested votes, but we had made the determination if a vote failed we would not retake it. The people speak, to keep pushing is not right, unless there were some sort of hijinks in the voting process, or unconstitutional synodical interference.

Jeff Ruby



I'm also uncomfortable with multiple votes. Our former ELCA congregation had a failed first vote after a good education and discussion process. I was on the losing side of that vote that was manipulated in the congregation by other leaders who, at the last minute, instituted a furious phone campaign among the inactives. The vote failed, but the climate was so untrusting and suspicious that we (and many others)  left anyway. I felt betrayed and sick at the time but now I can see the Lord's hand in what happened-- I might not be an ordained pastor if things had gone differently. Trust the Lord!

Lou

Charles_Austin

  • Guest
Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4149 on: November 16, 2010, 04:17:49 AM »
Lou writes:
Our former ELCA congregation had a failed first vote after a good education and discussion process. I was on the losing side of that vote that was manipulated in the congregation by other leaders who, at the last minute, instituted a furious phone campaign among the inactives.

I comment:
"Inactives"? Or less than active? Or not in the ruling clique? Or undesirables? If these people were eligible to vote, what is wrong with urging them to do so?
What one person calls "manipulation," another might see as responsible church fellowship. I guess it depends upon who "wins".

jrubyaz

  • Guest
Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4150 on: November 16, 2010, 08:26:58 AM »

Pastor Austin,

 Just remember it cuts both ways. A congregation in the synod I was formerly a part of had a "pro-ELCA" faction that CALLED for a vote to leave the ELCA because they had enough votes to block the 2/3. In the end, they lost, because the pro ELCA folks left and are a meeting in a school while the almost 2/3 remain on the property and have joined another church body.

Manipulation is something that anyone is capable of , not just those on one side of this issue.

Jeff Ruby

Lou writes:
Our former ELCA congregation had a failed first vote after a good education and discussion process. I was on the losing side of that vote that was manipulated in the congregation by other leaders who, at the last minute, instituted a furious phone campaign among the inactives.

I comment:
"Inactives"? Or less than active? Or not in the ruling clique? Or undesirables? If these people were eligible to vote, what is wrong with urging them to do so?
What one person calls "manipulation," another might see as responsible church fellowship. I guess it depends upon who "wins".

Jim Lehmann

  • Guest
Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4151 on: November 16, 2010, 08:29:06 AM »
Lou writes:
Our former ELCA congregation had a failed first vote after a good education and discussion process. I was on the losing side of that vote that was manipulated in the congregation by other leaders who, at the last minute, instituted a furious phone campaign among the inactives.

I comment:
"Inactives"? Or less than active? Or not in the ruling clique? Or undesirables? If these people were eligible to vote, what is wrong with urging them to do so?
What one person calls "manipulation," another might see as responsible church fellowship. I guess it depends upon who "wins".

I guess I have never heard "church fellowship" defined as getting inactives to vote.  Is it church fellowship or raw community organizing?

Team Hesse

  • Guest
Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4152 on: November 16, 2010, 08:38:50 AM »
Lou writes:
Our former ELCA congregation had a failed first vote after a good education and discussion process. I was on the losing side of that vote that was manipulated in the congregation by other leaders who, at the last minute, instituted a furious phone campaign among the inactives.

I comment:
"Inactives"? Or less than active? Or not in the ruling clique? Or undesirables? If these people were eligible to vote, what is wrong with urging them to do so?
What one person calls "manipulation," another might see as responsible church fellowship. I guess it depends upon who "wins".

Ah the joys of ambiguity and skepticism. You weren't involved, you have no idea, and you feel fully vested to stand in judgment of my "spin". Boy, am I glad to be done with the ELCA and its pompous hypocrisy.

Lou

Charles_Austin

  • Guest
Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4153 on: November 16, 2010, 09:24:00 AM »
Lou, I make no "judgment" at all on your "spin." (And "spin" is your word, not mine.) I simply noted a plain fact.
And lest we think that "community-organizing" is somehow a horror and anathema in churches, have a conversation with any pastor who ever wanted to start a building program. Good grief.

ddrebes

  • Guest
Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4154 on: November 16, 2010, 09:27:43 AM »
Lou writes:
Our former ELCA congregation had a failed first vote after a good education and discussion process. I was on the losing side of that vote that was manipulated in the congregation by other leaders who, at the last minute, instituted a furious phone campaign among the inactives.

I comment:
"Inactives"? Or less than active? Or not in the ruling clique? Or undesirables? If these people were eligible to vote, what is wrong with urging them to do so?
What one person calls "manipulation," another might see as responsible church fellowship. I guess it depends upon who "wins".

Ah the joys of ambiguity and skepticism. You weren't involved, you have no idea, and you feel fully vested to stand in judgment of my "spin". Boy, am I glad to be done with the ELCA and its pompous hypocrisy.

Lou

Do you mean to suggest the ELCA is uniquely pompous and hypocritical?