Author Topic: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?  (Read 8817 times)

amos

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Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
« Reply #90 on: November 08, 2010, 08:56:04 PM »
Charles, the two are not one and the same. Preaching and teaching in accordance with the Word of God and administering the Sacraments accordingly is critical.  However,  the duty to support our colleagues, our synod and our church body may be someting else altoghter.  For example, Johann Eck clearly supported his colleagues and the church body but he was dead wrong when it comes to the gospel.   I fully believe Jesus meant what he said. Therefore, I will not worship the risen christ Spohia, I will not use goddess beads.  I do not believe in universal salvation. All paths, do not lead to God. Yet the ELCA accepts and apparently encourages that kind of thinking. Bringing up again ideas and concepts as that were rejected time and again by the church in the first five centuries.    

You claim that in some synods, "liberal" pastors felt the same way and were treated the same way, unfortunately, you have not proven that. When, where, give us names, locations, dates, witnesses and verification.   I agree with you, "The church has survived worse and it will survive this."  I am sure the ELCA will survive. But what will it be?   A Christian body that believes in the authority of scripture and following the mandate of Matthew 28.  Or will it be some kind of highly social political activist group.

I do not hate the ELCA and I know there are many very good pastors and good congregations here. I do find it troubling that many (not all) of those who were arround at the founding the ELCA and are still in positions of leadership are some of the same people kicked out (or walked out) of the LCMC back in the 60"s.  I wonder, is what we are seeing today, in part, the direct result of that same kind of theology that cause such bitter issues back then?  
« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 09:03:57 PM by amos »

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Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
« Reply #91 on: November 08, 2010, 10:20:27 PM »

If the standards were enforced using the criteria highlighted above, how would the ELCA be able to function after losing so many bishops?

Probably better than it functions now. Depending, of course, on which bishops we lost. But the odds are pretty good.
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Charles_Austin

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Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
« Reply #92 on: November 08, 2010, 10:32:33 PM »
"Amos" writes:
Charles, the two are not one and the same. Preaching and teaching in accordance with the Word of God and administering the Sacraments accordingly is critical.  However,  the duty to support our colleagues, our synod and our church body may be someting else altoghter.
I respond:
Yes, that is "something else." But in the real world, how well we fulfill our obligations to our colleagues, our synods and our church body can validly be used to determine our fitness for ministry.

"Amos" writes:
 For example, Johann Eck clearly supported his colleagues and the church body but he was dead wrong when it comes to the gospel.
I comment:
We are not talking about people who are "dead wrong when it comes to the gospel." We are talking about people who are right about the gospel, but wrong about their civil and churchly responsibilities.

"Amos" writes:
I fully believe Jesus meant what he said. Therefore, I will not worship the risen christ Spohia (sic), I will not use goddess beads.  I do not believe in universal salvation.
I comment:
No one is asking you to do those things or to believe that.

"Amos" writes:
All paths, do not lead to God. Yet the ELCA accepts and apparently encourages that kind of thinking. Bringing up again ideas and concepts as that were rejected time and again by the church in the first five centuries.
I comment:
We disagree on that; but then I don't really know which "ideas and concepts" you have in mind. Donatism? Pelagianism? Modalism? A single nature for Christ? The primacy of the papal office?

"Amos" writes:  
You claim that in some synods, "liberal" pastors felt the same way and were treated the same way, unfortunately, you have not proven that. When, where, give us names, locations, dates, witnesses and verification.
I respond:
Me. Iowa. 1969. And many others. But no matter. The LCA and ELCA offered me many opportunities to serve over the last four decades, even though a few back then would have thrown me out.

"Amos":
I agree with you, "The church has survived worse and it will survive this."  I am sure the ELCA will survive. But what will it be?   A Christian body that believes in the authority of scripture and following the mandate of Matthew 28.  Or will it be some kind of highly social political activist group.
Me:
Actually, the ELCA is a Christian body that believes in the authority of scripture. And it engages in social activism, which is quite different from being a "political" activist group. The LCMS also engages in social activism.

"Amos"
I do not hate the ELCA and I know there are many very good pastors and good congregations here. I do find it troubling that many (not all) of those who were arround at the founding the ELCA and are still in positions of leadership are some of the same people kicked out (or walked out) of the LCMC back in the 60"s.
Me:
Actually, the AELC was in general, more theologically and ecclesially conservative than either the ALC or LCA.

"Amos":
I wonder, is what we are seeing today, in part, the direct result of that same kind of theology that cause such bitter issues back then?  
Me:
Many will be eager to say "yes" to that. I'm not.

totaliter vivens

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Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
« Reply #93 on: November 08, 2010, 10:37:05 PM »
On September 15, 2009 at the headquarters of Indiana-Kentucky Synod I was told by the Assistant to the Bishop, Rudy Mueller that I would not be preaching or teaching in the Synod for Bishop Stuck. I asked why.  He was very clear that it was because I spoke at the Synod Assembly asking Kelly Fryer's presentations to be struck from the agenda.

I met with the Bishop within the next two weeks.  I posted both my initial reaction, my hopes, and the resolution of the matter somewhere in this ALPB bulletin board.  He had added that part of the reason I was intially blacklisted (not a word he used) was that I directly disobeyed him.  I had given him a heads up about the parliamentary motion I was bringing and he asked me not to do it.  I told him that I still was going to do it, and I did.  In the later conversation he said that this meant he could not trust me to speak on his behalf in congregations.  I raised this as an issue of conscience.  Bishop Stuck told me that mine was a faithful voice and that he wanted to use me as an interim.  

I asked about a particular post to a newly vacant conservative congregation.  No I was told.  He was desiring to place a particular person there (who happened to be a liberal lesbian).  Yet he assured me there was a place for me, and he desired to use me.  In fact no future full time posts were offered.  One part time post was offered some months later after I had secured my own part time work and then withdrawn a week later when I had made the necessary arrangements for it to work (I was told by Rudy Mueller that he had given it to someone else because he hadn't really expected me to say yes).

On September 1, 2010 Bishop Stuck removed me from the ELCA roster, because I had rostered with LCMC.  Funny how the ECP rostered folk can remain dual rostered, isn't it?

Wow.  The more stories I hear, the more I wonder why this is apparently so easy in the case of pastors who disagree with homosexual behavior.

Perhaps Steve Sabin could weigh in here, because I believe that in his case, it took somewhat more than a bishop's decision to remove him from the roster.

Why is it easy to remove "traditionalist" pastors as compared to others?

Fair question, Scott, but I'm not sure I have the complete answer. I long ago gave up thinking that the ELCA would act with consistency or rationality. That being said, I'll offer what experience and guesses I can.

The first thing to remember is that when it comes to discipline by bishops, the constitution and procedural rules contain more "may" clauses than "shall" clauses. The bishop has wide discretion. Second, pastors who are without calls or under call to agencies or as interim pastors have far fewer protections than pastors under call to congregations. When one is on leave from call all the bishop need due is wait 3 years and you fall off the roster automatically.

As to the ELM issue, few ELCA pastors were on the ELM roster. For the few who were, I do not know the specifics of how their dual rostering worked. ELM was always explicit that they were not a "church" but that may also be the case with LCMC.

The short of it is that the advice I always gave to clergy coming out was: NEVER resign, NEVER go on leave from call, and NEVER work under a special call from the synod council or the ELCA, if you do, they will have you off the roster faster than you can blink.

SPS

Coach-Rev

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Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
« Reply #94 on: November 09, 2010, 07:52:04 AM »
Quote from: link=topic=3429.msg187673#msg187673 date=1289263204
Coach-Rev, STS writes:
What I think should happen is that a pastor should be evaluated first and foremost on the merits of whether or not he lives up to the basic ordination vows of preaching and teaching in accordance with the Word of God and administering the Sacraments accordingly.  But that never seems to enter into the discussion much anymore.

Someone comments:
"First and foremost," yes, certainly. But as has been said many times here, our responsibilities are many and varied and our obligations include the duty to support our colleagues, our synod and our church body. One can preach and teach just fine and still fall short in some other areas of ministry and the obligations attendant upon ELCA pastors.
And I knew one man some years ago who could be a fine preacher and a decent teacher, but had absolutely none of the other skills needed to be a pastor.
So your "first and foremost," while valid, is not the whole deal.

And yet if we evaluate a pastor on everything they SHOULD be doing, none of us, in the end, will measure up to some sort of absurd, ridiculous extreme ideal.  There is no Arian race of pastors, after all.  I stand by my assertion, that what makes or breaks a pastor is their ability to do the aforementioned preaching, teaching, and administering the sacraments, according to CA 5 and 7.  I've heard many a pastor over the years who, in fact, CANNOT do that.  Oddly enough, its usually at synodical gatherings in the ELCA.

Coach-Rev, STS

Team Hesse

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Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
« Reply #95 on: November 09, 2010, 08:13:14 AM »

So your "first and foremost," while valid, is not the whole deal.

And therein resides most of the Christian world's problems, we simply cannot keep the main thing the main thing. Fortunately we have a forgiving God. Come Lord Jesus!

Lou

iowakatie1981

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Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
« Reply #96 on: November 09, 2010, 08:45:31 AM »
Quote
There is no Arian race of pastors, after all.

I should hope not.   :o 

We do still require our pastors to affirm the Creeds, no?

 ;)


(Sorry, needed to jump on a moment of levity - it's that kind of week.)

Richard Johnson

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Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
« Reply #97 on: November 09, 2010, 09:46:01 AM »


And yet if we evaluate a pastor on everything they SHOULD be doing, none of us, in the end, will measure up to some sort of absurd, ridiculous extreme ideal.  There is no Arian race of pastors, after all. 

Ah, but there are plenty of pastors who, alas, are Arians, or close to it.

But you probably meant "Aryan."  ;D
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
« Reply #98 on: November 09, 2010, 09:48:37 AM »


And yet if we evaluate a pastor on everything they SHOULD be doing, none of us, in the end, will measure up to some sort of absurd, ridiculous extreme ideal.  There is no Arian race of pastors, after all. 

Ah, but there are plenty of pastors who, alas, are Arians, or close to it.

But you probably meant "Aryan."  ;D

Hmmm, I just noticed that there is only one letter difference between Arian and Brian -- or even with the alternate spelling: Aryan and Bryan. Probably just a coincidence.
"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]

Dan Fienen

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Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
« Reply #99 on: November 09, 2010, 09:50:49 AM »


And yet if we evaluate a pastor on everything they SHOULD be doing, none of us, in the end, will measure up to some sort of absurd, ridiculous extreme ideal.  There is no Arian race of pastors, after all. 

Ah, but there are plenty of pastors who, alas, are Arians, or close to it.

But you probably meant "Aryan."  ;D

Hmmm, I just noticed that there is only one letter difference between Arian and Brian -- or even with the alternate spelling: Aryan and Bryan. Probably just a coincidence.
So close but not quite on the mark.

Dan
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Cathy Ammlung

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Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
« Reply #100 on: November 09, 2010, 10:35:43 AM »
Quote
The short of it is that the advice I always gave to clergy coming out was: NEVER resign, NEVER go on leave from call, and NEVER work under a special call from the synod council or the ELCA, if you do, they will have you off the roster faster than you can blink.

Rev. Sabin, I wholeheartedly agree with your counsel. It was given, I know, to gay and lesbian pastors at a time and in situations where your advice would have been especially apropos; but it is good advice in general.

I have repeatedly listened to clergy who are in interim calls, on leave from call, or are in some other "special circumstance." I think they are nervous about their continued status as clergy - not necessarily (though sometimes) because of their supposed stance on "The Issue Du Jour," but as a general state of affairs. It can feel like one is always checking the clock.

I personally HATE the "3-year clock" application. Yes I understand some of the logic, but, having been an interim pastor and (currently) an associate pastor whose call is coterminous with the senior pastor's (which will cause me to go on leave from call at some point after his retirement), AND having been on a synodical rostering committee (NES, in the early '90's) I have seen how  unevenly rostering criteria are applied. It gets especially dicey when personal animus or political and theological sparring and disagreements occur.

And sadly, it can become tempting for a bishop or synod council to argue that it would be so much easier to get rid of "problem clergy", once they're on leave from call, by simply dragging feet, not recommending them for assignments, saying that there simply are no suitable calls available, or not signing letters of call should a congregation flout the synod's recommendation and call the person (even to an interim assignment). Once the clock has suitably run down, they can simply inform the pastor that he or she is de-rostered. No fuss, no muss, no nasty disciplinary hearing; just letting time do its inevitable work.

Maybe that's a passive-aggressive way of dealing with the problem. In any case, it IS happening. It HAS happened, as Rev. Sabin has already pointed out. It will CONTINUE to happen because we're all a bunch of sinful humanoid life forms, and we're too often tempted to avoid unpleasantness instead of speaking truth in love to one another.

In any case, I am cautiously not opposed to the idea of a nationalized data base for mobility papers, etc. It seems logical in this information age; and it might actually give some clergy who might otherwise not be given a call or a pass-through from their current bishop, to seek a call in another synod. Plus it may give congregations more information in the call process. IF, however, there is any move to "appoint" clergy across the board, I suspect there would be a major revolt from all parts of the theological and ecclesial spectrum of the ELCA!

Coach-Rev

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Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
« Reply #101 on: November 09, 2010, 01:00:50 PM »


And yet if we evaluate a pastor on everything they SHOULD be doing, none of us, in the end, will measure up to some sort of absurd, ridiculous extreme ideal.  There is no Arian race of pastors, after all.

Ah, but there are plenty of pastors who, alas, are Arians, or close to it.

But you probably meant "Aryan."  ;D

oops, sorry.  Yeah, I sometimes get my heresies and my ethnic purities confused  :-\

Coach-Rev

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Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
« Reply #102 on: November 09, 2010, 01:07:30 PM »


And yet if we evaluate a pastor on everything they SHOULD be doing, none of us, in the end, will measure up to some sort of absurd, ridiculous extreme ideal.  There is no Arian race of pastors, after all.

Ah, but there are plenty of pastors who, alas, are Arians, or close to it.

But you probably meant "Aryan."  ;D

And yes, just go to the ELCA website, search for "virgin birth" and read what it says.  Arius would be proud.

Hmm, interesting.  I went to pull up the link in order to post it here, only to find that it has been removed, under their "dig deeper" section.  anyone interested, email me and I'll give you a copy of what USED to be up there as late as last week.

Coach-Rev

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Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
« Reply #103 on: November 09, 2010, 05:16:05 PM »
Fascinating:  What had been on their website for well over two years, even after I made a comment to them about some rather heretical postings, has finally been removed with this note on the "dig deeper" section of the ELCA site:

"The Dig Deeper section of ELCA.org was created to invite fresh explorations of Christian faith for people new or returning to church life. The pages in this section have been removed while they undergo a comprehensive review to improve their usefulness as a resource for study and discussion with others."

Now that many, including Dr. Braaten, are accusing them of universalist Gnostic antinomianism, what is the real purpose behind their sudden disappearance and demise? 

Coach-Rev, STS

Dan Fienen

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Re: "parish arrangement" as future policy of the ELCA?
« Reply #104 on: November 09, 2010, 05:18:47 PM »
Perhaps they have served their purpose in the present (or recently past) form and it is time to look at them afresh and do some editing to make them better and more useful?

Dan
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