Author Topic: Reflections on ELCA Predecessor Church Bodies  (Read 12695 times)

SmithL

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Re: Reflections on ELCA Predecessor Church Bodies
« Reply #60 on: March 03, 2014, 11:56:19 PM »
We were in the SF Bay Area when our long-time ELCA pastor retired.  We were given one name by the Synod and were told that another name would not be provided for a very long time.  So we called him, and he did an incredible amount of damage to the congregation in those couple of years before he resigned.  The next time around, we were given several names, but we were a much smaller congregation with fewer resources by then.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Reflections on ELCA Predecessor Church Bodies
« Reply #61 on: March 04, 2014, 01:32:47 AM »
We were in the SF Bay Area when our long-time ELCA pastor retired.  We were given one name by the Synod and were told that another name would not be provided for a very long time.  So we called him, and he did an incredible amount of damage to the congregation in those couple of years before he resigned.  The next time around, we were given several names, but we were a much smaller congregation with fewer resources by then.


We have not yet found a perfect system for matching clergy and congregations. At a clergy lunch today, we heard that a Methodist had just been reassigned to a different congregation. He knew the pastor there was retiring after 32 years, and was kind of wondering about going to that congregation, but he told no one; and yet the powers that be gave him that assignment. Their system is much different than ours.
"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]

John_Hannah

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Re: Reflections on ELCA Predecessor Church Bodies
« Reply #62 on: March 04, 2014, 06:00:51 AM »
Actually, there were no large group of Swedes in either the LCA (1962) nor any Norwegians in the ALC (1930, comprised of the Ohio, Iowa, and Buffalo Synods--all German in background).

Peace, JOHN

I see you've gotten it right in the more recent post, but I think you misspoke in this earlier one. You meant to say there were no large group of Swedes in the ULCA. The LCA merger (1962), of course, included the Augustana Synod.

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MJohn4

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Re: Reflections on ELCA Predecessor Church Bodies
« Reply #63 on: March 04, 2014, 09:47:09 AM »
Regarding the Augustana Synod, a relatively new book is available (AugsgurgFortress, 2008), The Augustana Story, by Maria Erling and Mark Granquist. It covers much of the territory discussed here.

A couple of other points/questions:
1. At the time of their formation many in the Evangelical Covenant/Mission Friends considered themselves Lutheran. So there were other options for Swedish Lutherans. In Sweden they are in full communion with the Church of Sweden, and even share the same publishing house.
2. It is my understanding that Rome has never formally condemned Swedish orders as they have Anglican orders. Is this correct?

Mark


John_Hannah

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Re: Reflections on ELCA Predecessor Church Bodies
« Reply #64 on: March 04, 2014, 10:21:34 AM »
Regarding the Augustana Synod, a relatively new book is available (AugsgurgFortress, 2008), The Augustana Story, by Maria Erling and Mark Granquist. It covers much of the territory discussed here.

A couple of other points/questions:
1. At the time of their formation many in the Evangelical Covenant/Mission Friends considered themselves Lutheran. So there were other options for Swedish Lutherans. In Sweden they are in full communion with the Church of Sweden, and even share the same publishing house.
2. It is my understanding that Rome has never formally condemned Swedish orders as they have Anglican orders. Is this correct?

Mark

I think so. It is however, a moot point.

o   Not condemned because no Swede ever asked formally as the Anglicans did.
o   It remains true that Rome accepts no church in the West that does not acknowledge the papacy, so the Swedes and Anglicans are equal.

Peace, JOHN
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Rev. Spaceman

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Re: Reflections on ELCA Predecessor Church Bodies
« Reply #65 on: March 04, 2014, 11:58:11 AM »
Regarding the Augustana Synod, a relatively new book is available (AugsgurgFortress, 2008), The Augustana Story, by Maria Erling and Mark Granquist. It covers much of the territory discussed here.

A couple of other points/questions:
1. At the time of their formation many in the Evangelical Covenant/Mission Friends considered themselves Lutheran. So there were other options for Swedish Lutherans. In Sweden they are in full communion with the Church of Sweden, and even share the same publishing house.
2. It is my understanding that Rome has never formally condemned Swedish orders as they have Anglican orders. Is this correct?

Mark

Yes, the Granquist and Erling book is good, probably the first American Lutheran denominational history written in 40 years or so.  And it approaches things from a much different perspective than previous works, whose goal was to preserve the identity of their particular group when mergers were impending.  Mark Granquist is actually my doctoral adviser.

Regarding the Swedish Mission Covenant, it is true that many members of it at the outset probably still considered themselves Lutheran, but in time it was understood to be a departure from the Lutheran tradition (as in no acceptance of the Augsburg Confession), though in some places Lutheran elements are retained, as in Luther's Small Catechism.  If I remember correctly, the main issue leading to the departure of the Mission Covenant in the US was a dispute about the nature of the atonement, centering around the theology of a man named Waldenstrom, who interpreted it in a more subjective manner.
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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Reflections on ELCA Predecessor Church Bodies
« Reply #66 on: March 04, 2014, 10:54:42 PM »

I don't know if it was true throughout the church bodies, but in Ohio:
the ALC congregations got multiple names, e.g., 10 candidates where I interned.
in the LCA congregations got one name from the bishop, if they decided "no," they got a second name.


Also, ALC pastors could have their names in more than one congregation at a time.
LCA pastors could not.

As one who grew from childhood into adult lay leadership in the Pacific Southwest Synod, LCA, I know first-hand the above representations about the LCA were not standard practice in the PSW. 

Call Committees generally received 3 names from the Synod President/Bishop and would interview all three in the same time frame before making any decisions to recommend a call or to seek additional names.  Also there was nothing remarkable about a pastor being in formal conversation with 2 or more congregational Call Committees -- either within the Synod or including other LCA synods.  In either case, PSW was not unique in the LCA.

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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Reflections on ELCA Predecessor Church Bodies
« Reply #67 on: March 04, 2014, 11:29:51 PM »

I don't know if it was true throughout the church bodies, but in Ohio:
the ALC congregations got multiple names, e.g., 10 candidates where I interned.
in the LCA congregations got one name from the bishop, if they decided "no," they got a second name.


Also, ALC pastors could have their names in more than one congregation at a time.
LCA pastors could not.

As one who grew from childhood into adult lay leadership in the Pacific Southwest Synod, LCA, I know first-hand the above representations about the LCA were not standard practice in the PSW. 

Call Committees generally received 3 names from the Synod President/Bishop and would interview all three in the same time frame before making any decisions to recommend a call or to seek additional names.  Also there was nothing remarkable about a pastor being in formal conversation with 2 or more congregational Call Committees -- either within the Synod or including other LCA synods.  In either case, PSW was not unique in the LCA.


Even now, it differs within the ELCA. I was in conversation with a bishop in Pennsylvania who offered to place my name in a two-point parish. He gives one name. 80% of the time the congregations call the person he recommends. I declined to have my name submitted. I had an interview in Metro NY Synod. The congregation was given one name. They decided "no."
"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: Reflections on ELCA Predecessor Church Bodies
« Reply #68 on: March 05, 2014, 01:35:49 AM »

Even now, it differs within the ELCA.

Not only are the policies/practices different across the ELCA synods, but if my synod is any indication, the policies/practices are subject to change at least as often as a new Bishop is elected. Four Bishops; four different sets of practices.  Curiously, it's the 2 Bishops who came out of (T)ALC who insited on exercising the most personal control of the process...

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Dave Likeness

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Re: Reflections on ELCA Predecessor Church Bodies
« Reply #69 on: March 05, 2014, 09:41:05 AM »
There is no question about it, the Bishops in
ELCA Synods tightly control the call process
for new pastors.  Their one and done procedure
limits the calling parish and gives the Bishop
more power to manipulate his candidate.

In the LCMS, the District President usually will
provide 4 or 5 names of pastors who might be
called to a vacant parish.  It is not an atmosphere
of his way or the highway.

Dan Fienen

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Re: Reflections on ELCA Predecessor Church Bodies
« Reply #70 on: March 05, 2014, 09:54:00 AM »
There is no question about it, the Bishops in
ELCA Synods tightly control the call process
for new pastors.  Their one and done procedure
limits the calling parish and gives the Bishop
more power to manipulate his candidate.

In the LCMS, the District President usually will
provide 4 or 5 names of pastors who might be
called to a vacant parish.  It is not an atmosphere
of his way or the highway.
Let's not forget that the congregation may also suggest names that they submit to the DP to get his papers.  The DP can suggest that a submitted pastor may not be appropriate but unless he is under discipline I don't think that he can refuse to allow the submitted pastor to be considered.

Dan
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LutherMan

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Re: Reflections on ELCA Predecessor Church Bodies
« Reply #71 on: March 05, 2014, 09:58:46 AM »
When did the AELC ordain/call their first woman after the split from Missouri?

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Reflections on ELCA Predecessor Church Bodies
« Reply #72 on: March 05, 2014, 11:27:29 AM »

Even now, it differs within the ELCA.

Not only are the policies/practices different across the ELCA synods, but if my synod is any indication, the policies/practices are subject to change at least as often as a new Bishop is elected. Four Bishops; four different sets of practices.  Curiously, it's the 2 Bishops who came out of (T)ALC who insited on exercising the most personal control of the process...


I visited with April Larson when she was bishop - our families lived together at Wartburg's Denver House of Studies - and she said that the reason she is personally involved in all the Calls is because she has to deal with the problems when they occur. She'd rather be involved in the process at the beginning to try and avoid future problems that could develop. It can be a matter of priorities for the bishops. When my intern supervisor took a call, it was the District President (Ohio District) who met with Call committee. I believe that all the calls I've been involved in, it has been an assistant to the bishop who was responsible for calls.
"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]

Paul L. Knudson

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Re: Reflections on ELCA Predecessor Church Bodies
« Reply #73 on: March 05, 2014, 09:35:00 PM »
This is an observation or maybe a mistaken impression.  It seems to me that in the ethnic experience of the Swedes that for varied reasons one time Lutherans became Swedish Covenant or Swedish Baptists.  It seems in the Norwegian experience there were those  who were more Baptist and Covenant than Lutheran but stayed Lutheran in name.  Yes, the Evangelical Free Church, I believe, has Lutheran roots, but Norwegians seemed to want to keep the Lutheran name even as they were pretty loose or varied in their theology, piety, and ecclesiology.  That seems to account in part for some of us insisting on freedom in terms of the just mentioned three factors within a Lutheran body.

I served a Norwegian and a Swedish congregation in inner city Chicago.  The Swedes were used to much more top down ways.

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Reflections on ELCA Predecessor Church Bodies
« Reply #74 on: March 06, 2014, 12:28:00 AM »
This is an observation or maybe a mistaken impression.  It seems to me that in the ethnic experience of the Swedes that for varied reasons one time Lutherans became Swedish Covenant or Swedish Baptists.  It seems in the Norwegian experience there were those  who were more Baptist and Covenant than Lutheran but stayed Lutheran in name. 


That would be similar to my observations, too, Paul.  My recollection is that those who study the demographics note that only about 1/3rd of the Swedish immigrants to the US remained with Lutheran churches.

While the Swedish Baptist and the various Swedish Covenant churches are rather easy to identify because, like the Augustana Synod, they emphasized their Swedish ethnicity, one should note Swedish-American Methodists were particularly adept at meeting new immigrants upon their arrival to the US.

Pax, Steven+
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