Author Topic: ELCA Considering New Procedures for Congregations Considering Leaving the ELCA  (Read 29744 times)

ptmccain

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Brian, you are spot-on.That's why I urge everyone simply to ignore the one making these comments. Responding is only facilitating more of the same. Sometimes the best way to deal with a child having a temper-tantrum is to let them cry it out and ignore them. The same principle applies here.

Michael Slusser

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 A few months back John Ortberg posted on his blog that speakers at a recent church planter conference said no one is talking about the Emerging Church movement.  As a church expansion effort it is viewed as dead by those who are effetively growing congregations with younger generations.  Agree or disagree with him, Ortberg represents a stream of the prevailing church within Presybeterian circles.

That tip by itself was worth logging on for today. Thanks!

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

ptmccain

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Oh, rats, as usual, The LCMS is hitching itself up to a movement already fading into memory. Oh, well.

Pilgrim

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The official way we determine what the "wider church" wishes is through votes at churchwide assemblies. If there was such a majority of folks out there who opposed those decisions, why weren't they voting members?

Tim notes: After I got through laughing, I only had one question, "How long have you been involved in life on this planet and in the church?"  :D
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

Maryland Brian

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That tip by itself was worth logging on for today. Thanks!

Peace,
Michael

Here's a link to his comments.  

http://johnortberg.com/?p=149


hillwilliam

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I may have not spoken quite as clearly as I should have.  Phyllis Tickle speaks very favorably of the impact of folks like Dominic Crossan, Marcus Borg and others within the Jesus Seminar.  You are right, Gary, that it is very hard to pin down what marks the Emergent Church movement.  I have read mostly McLaren, and he surely is charting a most unusual course for the Church's future.

Tickle wrestles with the question of authority, which all have to face.  She goes with the usual critique of those who speak of the Word's authority.  Ten interpreters all see a passage differently.  The only conclusion is that this blows holes in any notion of the authority of Scriptures.

As I said, I was shocked by her notion that the Emergent Church in its multiple forms was clearly the wave of the future and that it was growing "exponentially" in numbers and its pride of place.  If anyone can verify that assertion, please let me know, and I will stand corrected.

I may have to spend my hard earned money to buy a copy of Tickle's book just to understand where Bishop X, Y, or Z is coming from.

What I see in the emergent church (and some mainline churches) is indeed something new. It is a church that claims to be the future of religion because it can be coherent within secular society. This new spirit may be ascendant within the our culture (dominated by the politically correct ideology of middle/upper class liberal professionals) where free will is over-valued. However, being dominant and having the faith handed down by the Apostles isn't the same thing and doesn't make it Christian. If someone is more concern about retaining their property than they are about defending the faith then the suggested changes to procedures for leaving the ELCA may keep some (uninformed) congregations in the ELCA. OTOH, it may motivate some congregations to shake the the dust from their sandals.



Charles_Austin

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So I am supposed to be more caring, kind, understanding, pastoral or whatever to people here, but ptmccain gets to say that others in this discussion should be ignored or are children having tempter tantrums. And he says he ignores the posts of certain people, but wait! that is only true except when he wants tell others how awful those people are. What's up with that?

Pastor Hughes writes (re my comments:)
One hallmark of his posts is a near complete lack of biblical or theological support for his assertions. They are mostly personal opinions bluntly and sarcastically authored and sent.

I muse:
And give yourself the pleasure of scrolling back through the last 100 posts of Pastor Hughes. See how much "biblical or theological support for his assertions" you find there. You will find mostly one-liners, sometimes just an emoticon, sneering at the comments of others. Or "personal opinions" fed by some management guru fad or who knows what. 

« Last Edit: December 02, 2010, 04:26:45 PM by Charles_Austin »

Maryland Brian

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.

I muse:
And give yourself the pleasure of scrolling back through the last 100 posts of Pastor Hughes. See how much "biblical or theological support for his assertions" you find there. You will find mostly one-liners, sometimes just an emoticon, sneering at the comments of others. Or "personal opinions" fed by some management guru fad or who knows what. 



   Yeah, but most of the people here like me ...   :P

Brian Stoffregen

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Brian, you are spot-on.That's why I urge everyone simply to ignore the one making these comments. Responding is only facilitating more of the same. Sometimes the best way to deal with a child having a temper-tantrum is to let them cry it out and ignore them. The same principle applies here.

That's exactly the principle presiding bishop Hanson asked the CWA to use during the demonstration in Orlando -- and many criticized him for doing it.
"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]

Brian Stoffregen

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The official way we determine what the "wider church" wishes is through votes at churchwide assemblies. If there was such a majority of folks out there who opposed those decisions, why weren't they voting members?

Tim notes: After I got through laughing, I only had one question, "How long have you been involved in life on this planet and in the church?"  :D

I believe that my answer to both is "longer than you."
"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]

Cnehring

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The official way we determine what the "wider church" wishes is through votes at churchwide assemblies. If there was such a majority of folks out there who opposed those decisions, why weren't they voting members?

Tim notes: After I got through laughing, I only had one question, "How long have you been involved in life on this planet and in the church?"  :D

I believe that my answer to both is "longer than you."

As I asked the bishop when he was at the congregations I serve, "what about the communion of saints" in his response that what the CWA decreed, so it was the "church" speaking, so Brian, here, once again states the interesting definition of the wider church-as though the ELCA "speaks" for the Church catholic.

Papster

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It was true with CCM and with the sexuality stuff: there are those who believe, no matter what others might say, that if the church doesn't agree with them, then they were not heard. As one writer told me, "If you really heard me and understood my argument, you would have to agree with me."

Tim wonders: Is this how you account for the ELCA's decision to move forward towards CWA '09 in spite of the viewpoint of the whole church on more than one occasion? The quoted you use, modified slightly, "If the traditionalists really heard us and understood our arguments, they would have to agree with us."

But of course, maybe the wider church "did" hear. They just said "no". And now we are where we are.

The official way we determine what the "wider church" wishes is through votes at churchwide assemblies. If there was such a majority of folks out there who opposed those decisions, why weren't they voting members? Every synod I've been in, any member of any congregation has the right to try and be a voting member to the churchwide assembly.

A pastor at my home church shared that some of the older members were complaining about all the young, new members who were serving on council. The pastor asked if they would be willing to serve. "No, I don't want be on council, but I don't like the church being run by all those new folks."

Quote
It may be true that Biblically, prophets are usually the minority, but there is ample evidence that even "prophets" can get it woefully wrong if they are "listening" to the wrong source.

And how do you tell if a prophet got it wrong; or if you have it wrong?

Brian, you raised the CWA voting member defense in an earlier post. I do not aggree that Voting Members at a CWA really represent the whole church when they are really determined by "quotas" and "politics." I made a response to that issue in your earlier post and it went as follows:

"But who are these voting members? In the six parishes that I served in my full time ministry it was always like pulling teeth to get delegates (voting members) to attend a Synod Assembly. A lot of times it ended up being my wife. Then who gets elected to be voting members to the CWA from the synod assemblies? People who are anxious to attend synod assemblies and then be elected to be a voting member of the CWA who are there because they want to be there, and they probably have an agenda to push. So what gets passed by the CWA probably does not in the end reflect the feelings of the church-at-large. It is my suspicion that RIC congregations and those friendly to LCNA and the "Good Soil" groups were disproportionately represented at the CWA and voting for the sexuality proposals."




Steven Tibbetts

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I think that there is a similar condition present within the ELCA.  We (the traditionalists) are asked over and over again to confess our sins (and we ought to rightly confess when and where we have sinned) but the "other side" sees no sins on their part to confess.  We saw that played out in the "Confession" rite used in the reception ceremony in the SP Synod, I hear it in the discourse on this forum.


Actually, if I'm reading those, uh, confession (?) rites rightly, they are confessing (what they believe to be) our sins.  Though I suppose a possible intent is to confess in solidarity with us -- should we happen to show up.

Christe eleison, Steven+
« Last Edit: December 02, 2010, 07:39:35 PM by The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS »
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Steven Tibbetts

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BTW, Can anyone affirm the changes proposed in this thread are anything beyond hearsay? I didn't see anything in the ELCA news-service.

The proposal has been confirmed by the official observer of Lutheran CORE to the last ELCA Church Council meeting.

Pax, Steven+
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Brian Stoffregen

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It was true with CCM and with the sexuality stuff: there are those who believe, no matter what others might say, that if the church doesn't agree with them, then they were not heard. As one writer told me, "If you really heard me and understood my argument, you would have to agree with me."

Tim wonders: Is this how you account for the ELCA's decision to move forward towards CWA '09 in spite of the viewpoint of the whole church on more than one occasion? The quoted you use, modified slightly, "If the traditionalists really heard us and understood our arguments, they would have to agree with us."

But of course, maybe the wider church "did" hear. They just said "no". And now we are where we are.

The official way we determine what the "wider church" wishes is through votes at churchwide assemblies. If there was such a majority of folks out there who opposed those decisions, why weren't they voting members? Every synod I've been in, any member of any congregation has the right to try and be a voting member to the churchwide assembly.

A pastor at my home church shared that some of the older members were complaining about all the young, new members who were serving on council. The pastor asked if they would be willing to serve. "No, I don't want be on council, but I don't like the church being run by all those new folks."

Quote
It may be true that Biblically, prophets are usually the minority, but there is ample evidence that even "prophets" can get it woefully wrong if they are "listening" to the wrong source.

And how do you tell if a prophet got it wrong; or if you have it wrong?

Brian, you raised the CWA voting member defense in an earlier post. I do not aggree that Voting Members at a CWA really represent the whole church when they are really determined by "quotas" and "politics." I made a response to that issue in your earlier post and it went as follows:

"But who are these voting members? In the six parishes that I served in my full time ministry it was always like pulling teeth to get delegates (voting members) to attend a Synod Assembly. A lot of times it ended up being my wife. Then who gets elected to be voting members to the CWA from the synod assemblies? People who are anxious to attend synod assemblies and then be elected to be a voting member of the CWA who are there because they want to be there, and they probably have an agenda to push. So what gets passed by the CWA probably does not in the end reflect the feelings of the church-at-large. It is my suspicion that RIC congregations and those friendly to LCNA and the "Good Soil" groups were disproportionately represented at the CWA and voting for the sexuality proposals."

There have been many years where I've been the only one from a congregation to attend a synod assembly -- especially when the congregation was not willing to pay for anyone to attend. However, except for their time, the ELCA pays for the voting members to travel and attend the churchwide assembly.

It is not fair to blame the people who are committed enough (or have a particular agenda) so that they will attend synod and churchwide assemblies as voting members. I have told people directly who complain about what the voting members did to make themselves available to be a voting member at the next CWA.  I don't know of anyone who has taken up that challenge. If "traditionalists" are not willing to use the process we have in place, they shouldn't blame those who do use it.
"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]