Author Topic: The thread for info on churches voting to change affiliation & all follow-up.  (Read 792132 times)

George Erdner

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6240 on: April 03, 2011, 08:13:47 AM »

So, how many SUV's, rowboats, and helicopters are you going to ignore while waiting for God to rescue you?


God has rescued me already, with a cross.  It is enough.

Sounds like you're stripping away some things that are pretty significant. If all that mattered was that God rescued us from sin, then the only logical thing to do is commit suicide so that we can return to the Lord right away. Ultimately, being rescued by the cross is the most important thing, but while we live on this earth awaiting His second coming and the end of the time God allotted for us here on earth, we shouldn't just sit back and do nothing, should we? Our efforts do not earn our salvation for us, only God's grace redeems us. But is that an excuse for living a life of disconnected laziness?

Erma S. Wolf

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6241 on: April 03, 2011, 08:50:28 AM »
   George, I don't have to get rescued from the ELCA, or from anything else.  In short, what God did/does through the cross sets me free to either leave or stay.  My ultimate salvation doesn't depend upon my getting it right.  I'm just coming from a different place with this; I know what I write here will in some way be offensive to you, and it will get beaten into the ground.  I'm not responding, because I have a long Sunday ahead of me. 

   Prayers with all those voting today; may God's will be done.  Peace be upon Israel.

   

George Erdner

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6242 on: April 03, 2011, 09:05:25 AM »
   George, I don't have to get rescued from the ELCA, or from anything else.  In short, what God did/does through the cross sets me free to either leave or stay.  My ultimate salvation doesn't depend upon my getting it right.  I'm just coming from a different place with this; I know what I write here will in some way be offensive to you, and it will get beaten into the ground.  I'm not responding, because I have a long Sunday ahead of me. 

   Prayers with all those voting today; may God's will be done.  Peace be upon Israel.

   

Three things.

(1) Just because it isn't about your own, personal "ultimate salvation" doesn't mean it's irrelevant. It could be about your call to have an impact on other peoples' ultimate salvation.
(2) Just because someone disagrees with you does not mean that you have offended them. 
(3) Being disagreed with is not being "beaten into the ground".


Team Hesse

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6243 on: April 03, 2011, 10:20:24 AM »

2. First Lutheran Church, Baker City, OR **


Lord be with you and your congregation today, Pastor Mel!

Lou

Norsk

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6244 on: April 03, 2011, 10:22:45 AM »
And prayers for all who continue to wrestle with the challenges in Lutheranism in our time, whether the call they sense is to stay within their current denominational body or to move to another mission field.

Ryan Schwarz
NALC

Mel Harris

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6245 on: April 03, 2011, 06:01:01 PM »

A man has to know when to let go...

Lou



Nine days ago, when I read what Pastor Hesse posted in another thread here (above), this got stuck in my head,

     You gotta know when to hold ‘em,
      know when to fold ‘em,
      know when to walk away,
      know when to run.
     You never count your money
      when you’re sitting at the table.
     There’ll be time enough for counting
      when the dealing’s done.

(transcription taken from)  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBCxcEkkXFo

It seems to me that Lou’s words and those lyrics are appropriate to this thread.  We have all been dealt somewhat different hands to play.  For various reasons, some of us are holding our cards closer to the vest than others.  I think it will be many years before we will be able to see how this will all play out.  In the mean time, we are all seeking to faithfully do the best we can with what we have been given.

Today, First Lutheran Church of Baker City, Oregon had a unanimous second vote to leave the ELCA and voted to apply to be a congregation of the NALC.  Letters are being sent.  Now we wait to see if the NALC will accept the congregation and me.  I do not see any grounds for the Oregon Synod to challenge the congregation keeping its property.

Mel Harris
« Last Edit: April 03, 2011, 06:10:04 PM by Mel Harris »

CSLewis2

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6246 on: April 03, 2011, 08:47:26 PM »
From Pastor Barnhart's blog:

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


Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

SmithL

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6247 on: April 03, 2011, 08:50:26 PM »
Grace Lutheran, Eau Claire, failed by 52 votes to pass their first vote.
http://www.wqow.com/Global/story.asp?S=14374373

Erma S. Wolf

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6248 on: April 03, 2011, 09:06:50 PM »
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

Mike Bennett

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6249 on: April 03, 2011, 09:25:35 PM »

So, how many SUV's, rowboats, and helicopters are you going to ignore while waiting for God to rescue you?


God has rescued me already, with a cross.  It is enough.

Sounds like you're stripping away some things that are pretty significant. If all that mattered was that God rescued us from sin, then the only logical thing to do is commit suicide so that we can return to the Lord right away. Ultimately, being rescued by the cross is the most important thing, but while we live on this earth awaiting His second coming and the end of the time God allotted for us here on earth, we shouldn't just sit back and do nothing, should we? Our efforts do not earn our salvation for us, only God's grace redeems us. But is that an excuse for living a life of disconnected laziness?

Erma  does not live a life of disconnected laziness.

Mike Bennett
“What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?”  2 Kings 9:22

George Erdner

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6250 on: April 03, 2011, 10:31:09 PM »
From Pastor Barnhart's blog:

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


Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

I wonder if Baker City will soon have a new ELCA start-up congregation.

Grace Lutheran, Eau Claire, failed by 52 votes to pass their first vote.
http://www.wqow.com/Global/story.asp?S=14374373

Eau Claire already has a new LCMC start-up congregation, Faith Lutheran Church Mission Church.

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

Looks like Sioux Falls will soon have a new LCMC or NALC start-up congregation.

There are also no surprises in the newsletter. Almost every person I've talked to who has been through this process reports the same thing. Those who are the most active in the church, those who serve on council or donate their time tend to be those who take things more seriously, and who have the most problem abiding the decisions of the 2009 CWA. Please note, a tendency is not an absolute condition. There are exceptions. But more often than not, that observation I noted is repeated.

One thing I am sure of. If there's a new LCMC or NALC start-up congregation in Sioux Falls, it won't be a secret. If there's a new ELCA start-up in Baker City, I wonder if there will be much public announcement about it.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2011, 10:50:07 PM by George Erdner »

djbaer

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6251 on: April 03, 2011, 11:03:33 PM »
A significant portion of the majority from Hope in Sioux Falls that voted to leave the ELCA have formed a new congregation.  I think they have been worshiping together for a few weeks now.  I don't know if they've organized yet.  I think they're looking at affiliating with both NALC and LCMC.

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 they could have had a successful second vote and kept some of those who wanted to remain in the ELCA.  But I admire their love for those they shared their previous congregation with who wanted to remain in the ELCA in decided to move on for the sake of honoring their relationships with others in that congregation. 

In the midst of a very sad (even tragic) situation, they made a loving choice.






Paul L. Knudson

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6252 on: April 03, 2011, 11:16:52 PM »
Those who started Word Alone ten years ago or so did not see the central issues causing them concern to be focused on matters of sexuality.  It seems, however, that in the last five years this has ended up being the focal point of the masses.  It would seem to me that this has almost inevitably thrust the whole matter of what ails us into the cultural wars within the country at large.

There are warriors on both ends of that spectrum in our nation, but many within the Church choose not to see our witness in that polarized state.  In many ways I would agree with that position.  I believe our nation needs leaders drawing us together to solve problems, not to beat on each other endlessly.

I simply believe, however, that there are many fronts on which the ELCA is losing its way.  An argument can be made for staying.  An argument can be made for leaving.  Those I respect making these arguments I do not see blindly adding to the polarization.  They rather have come to different conclusions as to where God is calling them to live our faithful and effective witness.

What I have trouble with are those who truly see no problems of importance within the ELCA leadership and educational institutions.  I am saddened that folk I love and respect give little evidence that they recognize how far down the road of liberal protestantism we have gone.  I am also saddened that communities like Sioux Falls with large churches with rich histories are experiencing a level of tension that is intense.  I can understand, however, knowing this community and its churches that it would not be easy to win a vote to leave.  The same is true in Eau Claire.  Grace is a large and long standing downtown church.  Hope Lutheran in Sioux Falls was the most likely candidate to leave.  The bishop is probably feeling pretty good if that vote would not be to leave.

Indeed it will take some years for the dust to settle, and we will all need to plead for the Lord's mercy and guidance as we go forward as his people, whether in the ELCA or in some new body.  Thanks David for your report.  It is good to see that spirit at work.

George Erdner

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6253 on: April 03, 2011, 11:27:27 PM »
Recently, an earthquake in Japan left 21,000 people dead, and millions without food or water. Nuclear power plants are breaching, and workers attempting to repair them in order to prevent even more deaths are doing so risking almost certain death from radiation poisoning. In the long haul, the death toll could rise to triple the current tally, and the devastation and misery of the survivors might last for years.

Last year, an earthquake hit Haiti and killed even more people. Over a year later, people in Haiti are dying from the consequences of that earthquake.

Those events were tragedies.

Even when only a few people are involved, when someone dies in a car accident, that's a tragedy. When someone dies from a disease, that's a tragedy. When someone is injured so badly that they can no longer lead a normal life, that's a tragedy.

Referring to a vote to change denominational affiliations from one Lutheran church body to another, with the possibility that some people might end up joining a different congregation a "tragedy" is a gross exaggeration and misuse of the word. Calling something as minor as a vote to change denominational affiliations a "tragedy" cheapens the meaning of the word. It's a gross insult to the people in the world who have experienced a real, bona-fide tragedy.

Get some perspective, people. If you're going to wail and lament and rend your garments and gnash your teeth over something as comparatively minor as a vote to change denominational affiliation, what are you going to do when a real tragedy comes along?

vicarbob

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #6254 on: April 03, 2011, 11:55:52 PM »
I hear you George, appreciate your concern, but disagree. What is happening in the ELCA is indeed tragic and the Church is once again experiencing fracture. When a body suffers the loss of a limb or any part of the body, it has tragic consequences. We are diminished in our collective witness to the Gospel of Christ. And when the very authority of Holy Scriptrure is cited as the reason for this dis-memberment, a tragedy has happened. For all concerned.
pax
Bob