Author Topic: The thread for info on churches voting to change affiliation & all follow-up.  (Read 866680 times)

Team Hesse

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4155 on: November 16, 2010, 09:48:47 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?

Uniquely? No.  Steadily and overbearingly so? Yes. One of my biggest disappointments being involved in Higgins road work was discovering the leadership there has less "on the ball" than in virtually any other venue in which I have participated. I was deeply disappointed in the lack of depth and the profundity of bland banality in the conversation which occurred.

Lou

JMerrell

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4156 on: November 16, 2010, 11:35:23 AM »
To get back on topic,  I was looking at the list that PTMcCain posted a few pages back.  I can't help but wonder if more of my brothers and sisters here in SC will jump ship after the next CWA.  As a synod, we did vote to memoralize the decisions, and I get the feeling people are trying to "play nice" until after the next CWA.  Could it be the case for other synods that have few churches to vote/leave so far?

A Catholic Lutheran

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4157 on: November 16, 2010, 11:36:48 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?

Uniquely? No.  Steadily and overbearingly so? Yes. One of my biggest disappointments being involved in Higgins road work was discovering the leadership there has less "on the ball" than in virtually any other venue in which I have participated. I was deeply disappointed in the lack of depth and the profundity of bland banality in the conversation which occurred.

Lou

On this, Lou and I agree 100%.

I have always been amazed at how insulated from the rest of the "real world" 8675 W. Higgins Rd. was.  I think has only gotten worse as the "siege mentality" has set in.  It is (to my thinking) striking like the parable where the man who has an abundant harvest has a conversation with himself, asking and answering questions like "Where shall I put my harvest?  I know, I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones.  Then I'll say to myself, 'Self, relax...'"

I'll always remember, as the first signs of impending disaster began to really show (in the days before CWA 2009 when the sag in attendance was just starting to really be worrying), how David Innskeep published a big (cover) story in The Lutheran which concluded that the "solution" to the issue wasn't that the ELCA was "too main-line" but that the ELCA actually needed to be more "main-line" in it's thinking and action.  Nevermind that all the old "mainline" denominations were suffering, at that point, worse dillemmas than us.  No, the profound wisdom of the chief ELCA statistician was not that we had tried something that had failed, it was that we were failing because we weren't enough like the Episcopalians, Presbyterians, UCC , and the like...

Oh well.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

Dan Fienen

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4158 on: November 16, 2010, 11:47:36 AM »
What is wrong with congregations calling for repeated votes until they get the desired results?  Isn't that ELCA tradition?  How many times did approval for ordination of individuals in PSALMSGR get voted on at CWAs before the way was finally cleared for its approval at CWA '09?  So what if it takes a congregation 2, 3, or 4 or more tries to get the 2/3s necessary for what the leaders want?

Dan
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A Catholic Lutheran

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4159 on: November 16, 2010, 11:49:54 AM »
What is wrong with congregations calling for repeated votes until they get the desired results?  Isn't that ELCA tradition?  How many times did approval for ordination of individuals in PSALMSGR get voted on at CWAs before the way was finally cleared for its approval at CWA '09?  So what if it takes a congregation 2, 3, or 4 or more tries to get the 2/3s necessary for what the leaders want?

Dan

 :o :o :o

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

G.Edward

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4160 on: November 16, 2010, 12:21:32 PM »
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 haven't yet served but a fraction of the time you have, Charles, and I know what "inactive" means.  Every synod office and bishop knows what "inactive" means, too.  When you play stupid it really demeans the insightful contributions you sometimes make.

Charles_Austin

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4161 on: November 16, 2010, 12:26:50 PM »
Pastor Fienen writes:
What is wrong with congregations calling for repeated votes until they get the desired results?  Isn't that ELCA tradition? 
I comment:
What is wrong is that our constitutions are not written that way.
We can vote on many things many times in Assemblies, but there is a process by which a congregation votes to leave the ELCA and the process is not: Just keep voting until you get enough votes.

G.Edward

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4162 on: November 16, 2010, 12:28:33 PM »
Pastor Fienen writes:
What is wrong with congregations calling for repeated votes until they get the desired results?  Isn't that ELCA tradition? 
I comment:
What is wrong is that our constitutions are not written that way.
We can vote on many things many times in Assemblies, but there is a process by which a congregation votes to leave the ELCA and the process is not: Just keep voting until you get enough votes.


What specifically prohibits such voting?  Is this another of your, "shut up and pay your benevolence" examples of nuanced pastoral care?

Charles_Austin

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4163 on: November 16, 2010, 12:36:08 PM »
No, it is my reminder that we have agreed-upon ways of enabling churches to sever their connections with the ELCA. Some of those ways, if not followed, involve potentially serious civil legal obligations. We should follow them.
Why does that bother you? How ironic - I say again - that suddenly the "traditionalists" believe that all rules and policies should be set aside so that they can do what they want. Codswallop.

ddrebes

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4164 on: November 16, 2010, 12:49:33 PM »
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?
Uniquely? No.  Steadily and overbearingly so? Yes. One of my biggest disappointments being involved in Higgins road work was discovering the leadership there has less "on the ball" than in virtually any other venue in which I have participated. I was deeply disappointed in the lack of depth and the profundity of bland banality in the conversation which occurred.
Lou
On this, Lou and I agree 100%.
I have always been amazed at how insulated from the rest of the "real world" 8675 W. Higgins Rd. was.  I think has only gotten worse as the "siege mentality" has set in.  It is (to my thinking) striking like the parable where the man who has an abundant harvest has a conversation with himself, asking and answering questions like "Where shall I put my harvest?  I know, I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones.  Then I'll say to myself, 'Self, relax...'"
I'll always remember, as the first signs of impending disaster began to really show (in the days before CWA 2009 when the sag in attendance was just starting to really be worrying), how David Innskeep published a big (cover) story in The Lutheran which concluded that the "solution" to the issue wasn't that the ELCA was "too main-line" but that the ELCA actually needed to be more "main-line" in it's thinking and action.  Nevermind that all the old "mainline" denominations were suffering, at that point, worse dillemmas than us.  No, the profound wisdom of the chief ELCA statistician was not that we had tried something that had failed, it was that we were failing because we weren't enough like the Episcopalians, Presbyterians, UCC , and the like...
Oh well.
Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

OK, I don't want to derail this thread so I won't post much more unless what I'm about to write touches a nerve--and you both refer to specific examples so it's not like you're just making stuff up for the sake of grumbling, I respect that.
But what I wanted to get at was if the ELCA is not unique in its problems of pomposity and hypo-criticism, I'm not sure what good it does to refer to it that way.
Furthermore, your answers both equate "the ELCA" in this case with Higgins Road. Even if that's the result of shorthand, language matters, and it's helpful to remember that the ELCA isn't in Chicago. Or, it isn't only in Chicago.

James_Gale

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4165 on: November 16, 2010, 01:14:26 PM »
What is wrong with congregations calling for repeated votes until they get the desired results?  Isn't that ELCA tradition?  How many times did approval for ordination of individuals in PSALMSGR get voted on at CWAs before the way was finally cleared for its approval at CWA '09?  So what if it takes a congregation 2, 3, or 4 or more tries to get the 2/3s necessary for what the leaders want?

Dan

Congregations can vote repeatedly.  The question in this part of the thread is whether Zion's second "second vote" was effective under the applicable rules.  If it was not, the right course for Zion was to take a new "first vote."  If that passed, then a "second vote" could be taken after the 90-day consultation period. 

Now, whether congregations or church bodies should take serial votes is another question altogether.

A Catholic Lutheran

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4166 on: November 16, 2010, 01:27:24 PM »
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?
Uniquely? No.  Steadily and overbearingly so? Yes. One of my biggest disappointments being involved in Higgins road work was discovering the leadership there has less "on the ball" than in virtually any other venue in which I have participated. I was deeply disappointed in the lack of depth and the profundity of bland banality in the conversation which occurred.
Lou
On this, Lou and I agree 100%.
I have always been amazed at how insulated from the rest of the "real world" 8675 W. Higgins Rd. was.  I think has only gotten worse as the "siege mentality" has set in.  It is (to my thinking) striking like the parable where the man who has an abundant harvest has a conversation with himself, asking and answering questions like "Where shall I put my harvest?  I know, I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones.  Then I'll say to myself, 'Self, relax...'"
I'll always remember, as the first signs of impending disaster began to really show (in the days before CWA 2009 when the sag in attendance was just starting to really be worrying), how David Innskeep published a big (cover) story in The Lutheran which concluded that the "solution" to the issue wasn't that the ELCA was "too main-line" but that the ELCA actually needed to be more "main-line" in it's thinking and action.  Nevermind that all the old "mainline" denominations were suffering, at that point, worse dillemmas than us.  No, the profound wisdom of the chief ELCA statistician was not that we had tried something that had failed, it was that we were failing because we weren't enough like the Episcopalians, Presbyterians, UCC , and the like...
Oh well.
Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

OK, I don't want to derail this thread so I won't post much more unless what I'm about to write touches a nerve--and you both refer to specific examples so it's not like you're just making stuff up for the sake of grumbling, I respect that.
But what I wanted to get at was if the ELCA is not unique in its problems of pomposity and hypo-criticism, I'm not sure what good it does to refer to it that way.
Furthermore, your answers both equate "the ELCA" in this case with Higgins Road. Even if that's the result of shorthand, language matters, and it's helpful to remember that the ELCA isn't in Chicago. Or, it isn't only in Chicago.

I agree with both your points, David, and your points are noted...

I do think that this is relevant to the discussion at hand, if for no other reason that the actions/reactions of the denominational leadership highlights the dis-juncture/disconnect that is felt by many of the congregations that are leaving.  Yes, the ELCA is not "Higgins Road," but what happens at the top of the denomination frequently either grabs the attention (as opposed to what occurs on the Synod and Parish levels) or sabotages the work of the Synod and Parish level.  So, for example, in the WV-WMD Synod, where things are pretty calm (for the moment), the work that the Synodical Bishop has done to listen and respond to congregations gets upstaged and undone by things out of Chicago which contradicts what he just did or said...  This is nothing particularly new, Bp. Skrenes (of the Northern Great Lakes Synod) pleaded at the 2007 CWA for the Assembly not to make him a "liar" (his words) by voting before the completion of the Social Statement.  My point is simply this: what comes out of Chicago and the CWA may not "be" the ELCA, but those actions seem so often to tear down whatever peace and concord is cultivated at the Synod and congregational levels.

The trouble is, from my perspective, that at precisely the moments the national leadership should be listening and connecting with the Synodical and congregational levels, they seem to "wall" themselves off into a small cadre of like-minded people who conduct conversations that occur only in the rarified air of the leadership.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
 

Michael Slusser

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4167 on: November 16, 2010, 01:40:43 PM »
 and it's helpful to remember that the ELCA isn't in Chicago. Or, it isn't only in Chicago.

I've heard that Chicago was chosen for two main reasons: (1) it wasn't the headquarters city for any predecessor church body, and (2) Chicago's ethnic and cultural diversity would help the new ELCA to move from a let's-preserve-our-heritage "maintenance" mode to a "mission" you-need-not-be Scandinavian-to worship-here mode. Also, it is central and has good transportation.

I always felt there was validity to the choice and those reasons, but I don't think the ELCA gave itself enough time to get comfortable in its new identity. The result was a level of distrust and instability that has hurt it in the 21st century. I am really very sorry for that, because this church has so much to give!

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Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
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Coach-Rev

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4168 on: November 16, 2010, 02:18:34 PM »
Pastor Fienen writes:
What is wrong with congregations calling for repeated votes until they get the desired results?  Isn't that ELCA tradition? 
I comment:
What is wrong is that our constitutions are not written that way.
We can vote on many things many times in Assemblies, but there is a process by which a congregation votes to leave the ELCA and the process is not: Just keep voting until you get enough votes.


come on, Charles, you can't have it both ways.  That is exactly what the ELCA did to pass the human sexuality garbage, in bringing it up repeatedly, over and over, and even changing the required 2/3 majority to a simple majority with respect to the social statement.  So yes, the ELCA has set a fine example for congregations to do just that.

Putting that aside for a moment, there is nothing in any constitution I'm aware of that says a congregation cannot continue to take a vote, especially in a congregation as clearly split as mine, where it is still, in essence, a 2/3 majority who want to leave.

perhaps I should take a page out of the ELCA play book then, and we'll enact legislation at our annual meeting, suspending the 2/3 majority for this particular vote.  I wonder how Higgins road will react to that?

You have an amazing knack for setting for yourself a double standard when it comes to issues within the ELCA.  You can't be critical of congregations that repeat their first vote, all the while defending the 2009 CWA actions on human sexuality.

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4169 on: November 16, 2010, 03:34:28 PM »
That is exactly what the ELCA did to pass the human sexuality garbage, in bringing it up repeatedly, over and over, and even changing the required 2/3 majority to a simple majority with respect to the social statement.


Agreeing with your main point, Pastor, but let's get this detail correct: the Social Statement required (and received) a 2/3rds votes.  No changes or manipulation in that.

It was the opening the rosters to those in or desiring particular sorts of same-sex relationships where the changes happened.  The original standards required only a simple majority of the Church Council to be adopted.  A simple majority of the Church Council could have changed them at any time.  Instead, they preferred that such changes be made by a Churchwide Assembly -- manipulating its recommendation to the 2005 CWA (wisely, I would assert) to require a 2/3rds vote for approval, then refusing to follow (or even acknowledge) its earlier precedent for the 2009 CWA enabling passage by a simple majority.

It is in getting these details correct that we see the prophetic nature of this sentence from the Sexuality Statement's second footnote:
Quote
Broken promises and betrayed trust through lies, exploitation, and manipulative behavior are exposed, not just as an individual failing, but as an attack on the foundations of our lives as social beings.
as applying to ELCA Churchwide leadership and those who support their decisions.

Christe eleison, Steven+.
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