Author Topic: LCMS restructuring  (Read 2080 times)

Matt

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Re: LCMS restructuring
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2010, 03:02:53 PM »
When cuts were made at KFUO, the criticism was laid at his feet. 

Your use of the passive tense conveniently masks who made the cuts and why.

David Strand unilaterally terminated Pr. Todd Wilken and Jeff Schwarz for "business and programmatic reasons." President Kieschnick did nothing to reverse or repent for this action though it was in his power to do so. No one in the synod expressed the slightest bit of regret or concern for these men and their families.

President Harrison regretfully implemented the decision of a convention that he publically opposed.

There is no comparison here.

Birkholz

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Re: LCMS restructuring
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2010, 03:23:11 PM »
Dear 2010 Mission Partners’ Conference Registrants,
 I write you today to alert you to the cancellation of the 2010 Mission Partners’ Conference, Nov. 17 to 19 in Nashville, Tenn., in light of recent changes at the International Center of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in St. Louis.


Yesterday, my husband received the above email from St. Louis. I suspect he is not the only one who, in an attempt to save the district money, made plane reservations at the lowest fare.  You know, the kind that are non-refundable. 

In this case districts will have to foot the bill for pre-conference expenses that cannot be fully recovered. Might it not have been wiser to proceed with the scheduled gathering of persons from each district currently involved in local and international missions and seek their advice in how to proceed with changes that may be necessary. They are the men "on the field," many of whom have valuable experience.

It seems as if changes taking place in St. Louis are being made rather quickly, possibly without thought of the implications.  Will   LCMS mission efforts, local and international, be reshuffled/dismantled midstream without consulting the men most directly involved?

Marie Mayer

Dear Marie,

Was there any more to the e-mail besides the portion you quoted above?  Just curious.

Thanks,
Mark
Pastor Mark Birkholz
Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church
Oak Lawn, IL
www.faithoaklawn.org

mariemeyer

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Re: LCMS restructuring
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2010, 03:48:29 PM »
I have posted the entire email.  The synod is refunding registration fees. Districts will have to absorb all other losses due to the late change. I have no idea what will be done with all the work that was done by persons who organized and planned the conference agenda or what arrangements will be made with conference speakers/preachers.  Several of the persons whose positions will be eliminated on 12/1 worked on the planning and implementation of the conference.  Marie


Dear 2010 Mission Partners’ Conference Registrants,
 
I write you today to alert you to the cancellation of the 2010 Mission Partners’ Conference, Nov. 17 to 19 in Nashville, Tenn., in light of recent changes at the International Center of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in St. Louis.
 
On Friday, October 29, the Office of the President announced position eliminations at the headquarters of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.  The following is an excerpt from that October 29 letter by President Harrison:  “Since the convention, my staff and I have been working thoughtfully and prayerfully with Synod leadership to develop a plan for reorganization that fulfills the requirements of Resolution 8-08A and addresses the associated financial concerns our Synod must attend to...It is with deep sadness that I must announce that 12 positions here at the International Center will be eliminated effective December 1.”
Five ministry units based at the LCMS International Center are affected by these decisions, including the following five positions from LCMS World Mission:
 
•   Bonnie Green, assistant to associate executive director of National Mission
•   Sandi Green, assistant, Mission Education/New Mission Fields Development
•   Rev. Jotham Johann, consultant to National Mission (contracted)
•   Rev. Dr. Daniel Mattson, associate executive director, Missional Education
•   Rev. Dr. Yohannes Mengsteab, national director, New Mission Fields Development
Because these staff positions were eliminated, LCMS World Mission’s National Mission team overseeing Synod-wide initiatives and programs at the national level has essentially been eliminated.
 
LCMS World Mission’s decision to cancel the conference was made in consultation with the Office of the President. The Office of the President recommended the cancellation of the 2010 Mission Partners’ Conference.
 
We understand that conference registration fees have already been paid, and we will immediately begin the process of refunding the conference registration fees.
We also understand that many of you will need to rearrange your housing and travel reservations. We sincerely apologize for burdening you with this necessity at such short notice.
 
If you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to call LCMS World Mission’s National Mission team. Contact Bonnie Green at Bonnie.Green@lcms.org or 1-800-433-3954, ext. 1348. As appropriate, Bonnie can also serve to connect you with Rev. Jotham Johann, LCMS World Mission’s consultant for National Mission.
 
Obviously, these staffing changes affect more than the Mission Partners’ Conference. Please pray with us for the individuals and their families impacted by these decisions. Pray that God would continue to use them, as He always has, for His ministry of reconciling the world unto Himself through Christ Jesus. Pray also for God’s guidance, wisdom and discernment in managing all the programs and ministries impacted by these decisions.
 
Your co-worker in the fields,

Kurt Buchholz
Interim Executive Director
LCMS World Mission
 


Birkholz

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Re: LCMS restructuring
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2010, 03:53:51 PM »
I have posted the entire email.  The synod is refunding registration fees. Districts will have to absorb all other losses due to the late change. I have no idea what will be done with all the work that was done by persons who organized and planned the conference agenda or what arrangements will be made with conference speakers/preachers.  Several of the persons whose positions will be eliminated on 12/1 worked on the planning and implementation of the conference.  Marie


Dear 2010 Mission Partners’ Conference Registrants,
 
I write you today to alert you to the cancellation of the 2010 Mission Partners’ Conference, Nov. 17 to 19 in Nashville, Tenn., in light of recent changes at the International Center of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in St. Louis.
 
On Friday, October 29, the Office of the President announced position eliminations at the headquarters of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.  The following is an excerpt from that October 29 letter by President Harrison:  “Since the convention, my staff and I have been working thoughtfully and prayerfully with Synod leadership to develop a plan for reorganization that fulfills the requirements of Resolution 8-08A and addresses the associated financial concerns our Synod must attend to...It is with deep sadness that I must announce that 12 positions here at the International Center will be eliminated effective December 1.”
Five ministry units based at the LCMS International Center are affected by these decisions, including the following five positions from LCMS World Mission:
 
•   Bonnie Green, assistant to associate executive director of National Mission
•   Sandi Green, assistant, Mission Education/New Mission Fields Development
•   Rev. Jotham Johann, consultant to National Mission (contracted)
•   Rev. Dr. Daniel Mattson, associate executive director, Missional Education
•   Rev. Dr. Yohannes Mengsteab, national director, New Mission Fields Development
Because these staff positions were eliminated, LCMS World Mission’s National Mission team overseeing Synod-wide initiatives and programs at the national level has essentially been eliminated.
 
LCMS World Mission’s decision to cancel the conference was made in consultation with the Office of the President. The Office of the President recommended the cancellation of the 2010 Mission Partners’ Conference.
 
We understand that conference registration fees have already been paid, and we will immediately begin the process of refunding the conference registration fees.
We also understand that many of you will need to rearrange your housing and travel reservations. We sincerely apologize for burdening you with this necessity at such short notice.
 
If you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to call LCMS World Mission’s National Mission team. Contact Bonnie Green at Bonnie.Green@lcms.org or 1-800-433-3954 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1-800-433-3954      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, ext. 1348. As appropriate, Bonnie can also serve to connect you with Rev. Jotham Johann, LCMS World Mission’s consultant for National Mission.
 
Obviously, these staffing changes affect more than the Mission Partners’ Conference. Please pray with us for the individuals and their families impacted by these decisions. Pray that God would continue to use them, as He always has, for His ministry of reconciling the world unto Himself through Christ Jesus. Pray also for God’s guidance, wisdom and discernment in managing all the programs and ministries impacted by these decisions.
 
Your co-worker in the fields,

Kurt Buchholz
Interim Executive Director
LCMS World Mission
 



Thank you.
Pastor Mark Birkholz
Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church
Oak Lawn, IL
www.faithoaklawn.org

ptmccain

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Re: LCMS restructuring
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2010, 03:54:49 PM »
I am glad those that did not vote for Rev. Harrison have not imitated past reactions.

Right. Sure, no hint of that in any of the comments posted here.

 ::)

LutherMan

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Re: LCMS restructuring
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2010, 06:00:59 PM »
I thought Synod, in convention officially adopted !ABLAZE!
Does the SP have the power to end it now?

LCMS87

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Re: LCMS restructuring
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2010, 06:28:45 PM »
I thought Synod, in convention officially adopted !ABLAZE!
Does the SP have the power to end it now?

No, the President of the Synod has to abide by the decisions of the convention.  Thus the personnel cuts announced yesterday.  Depending on the wording of the resolution in question, of course, the president may have some flexibility in implementing structural changes or Ablaze!(tm) or whatever else the convention has adopted.  Once a resolution has been enacted, however, the president cannot simply say, "I'm not going to do it."   

LutherMan

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Re: LCMS restructuring
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2010, 06:30:46 PM »
Exactly as I thought.

ptmccain

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Re: LCMS restructuring
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2010, 07:13:22 PM »
The Synod in convention voted to continue to conclusion the "Fan the Flame!" fundraiser, which I think is being wrapped up this Fall, if I'm not mistaken. The Synodical president is under no obligation to continue the whole "Ablaze!" emphasis. He has his new emphasis going: Witness-Mercy-Life Together. Pres. Kieschnick similarly pursued his own initiative when he was elected Synod president in 2001.

In spite of the Synod in convention at the 1998 having formally adopted the "Tell the Good News about Jesus" ten-year effort, Pres. Kieschnick started the Ablaze! effort, an effort that was launched after a very large amount of money spent on an outside consultant to help develop this theme.

Interestingly, the consultant hired had most recently worked for a large Pentecostal church body to help them launch a new emphasis, and then, he came to work for The LCMS and encouraged the Synod to pursue "Ablaze!" (no coincidence that it sounds like something a Pentecostal church would go for) -- and now you know the rest of the story.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2010, 07:26:13 PM by ptmccain »

LutherMan

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Re: LCMS restructuring
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2010, 07:23:41 PM »
Thanks, Pr. McCain.  I loathe this whole Ablaze-Fan into Flame mess.

mariemeyer

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Re: LCMS restructuring
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2010, 05:59:39 PM »
I think it is important to recognize that two separate but related decisions were made last week by LCMS leaders. The first, termination of mission staff and other personal, is directly related to the structural changes adopted at the recent synodical convention. I suspect it will soon be announced that Human Care and World Relief staff positions have also be eliminated. (If that has happened, I missed the announcement.) In any event, I am among those who thought that the staffing in several departments had become excessive, so I have no issue with the fact that restructuring would involve a cut back in positions..

The timing of the cut backs and the late cancellation of the Mission Partners Conference is another matter. It is not a question of whose ox is being gored, but one of how the latter decision impacts upon a significant number of mission partners. Partners included in the conference came from all districts, Latin America churches and numerous recognized mission agencies such as the Lutheran Medical Mission Society, Lutheran Bible Translators, the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League and others. The Conference is held at the same time the Council of Presidents meets and the Board of Directors. (At its first meeting the BOD decided they would attend this conference, but would not attend in the future.)  As I recall both the COP and the BOD, in addition to their regular business attended some of the mission conference everts.  I know that one DP conducted a workshop I attended. 

IOW, this gathering involved LCMS leaders in what is at the heart of why there is a Lutheran Church Missouri Synod - reaching those who do not know Christ. I admit to being perplexed by the late decision, one that may in the long run cost as much as if the conference had taken place, not in terms of money, but the possible impact upon partners other than district staff. What message was sent?

Was it decided that the program was poorly planned and therefore not worth pursuing? Would it have been emotionally difficult for mission staff to proceed knowing that they could not in any way implement what was being presented?  Was the program not consistent with the future direction the LCMS mission efforts will take?     

 Marie Meyer


Daniel L. Gard

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Re: LCMS restructuring
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2010, 06:19:38 PM »
I think it is important to recognize that two separate but related decisions were made last week by LCMS leaders. The first, termination of mission staff and other personal, is directly related to the structural changes adopted at the recent synodical convention. I suspect it will soon be announced that Human Care and World Relief staff positions have also be eliminated. (If that has happened, I missed the announcement.) In any event, I am among those who thought that the staffing in several departments had become excessive, so I have no issue with the fact that restructuring would involve a cut back in positions..

The timing of the cut backs and the late cancellation of the Mission Partners Conference is another matter. It is not a question of whose ox is being gored, but one of how the latter decision impacts upon a significant number of mission partners. Partners included in the conference came from all districts, Latin America churches and numerous recognized mission agencies such as the Lutheran Medical Mission Society, Lutheran Bible Translators, the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League and others. The Conference is held at the same time the Council of Presidents meets and the Board of Directors. (At its first meeting the BOD decided they would attend this conference, but would not attend in the future.)  As I recall both the COP and the BOD, in addition to their regular business attended some of the mission conference everts.  I know that one DP conducted a workshop I attended. 

IOW, this gathering involved LCMS leaders in what is at the heart of why there is a Lutheran Church Missouri Synod - reaching those who do not know Christ. I admit to being perplexed by the late decision, one that may in the long run cost as much as if the conference had taken place, not in terms of money, but the possible impact upon partners other than district staff. What message was sent?

Was it decided that the program was poorly planned and therefore not worth pursuing? Would it have been emotionally difficult for mission staff to proceed knowing that they could not in any way implement what was being presented?  Was the program not consistent with the future direction the LCMS mission efforts will take?     

 Marie Meyer



Mrs. Meyer,

These are good questions but I doubt anyone on this forum has the answers. You may want to address these questions to President Harrison and his staff. I'm sure he would be pleased to hear from you and answer your questions.