Author Topic: ELCA Considering New Procedures for Congregations Considering Leaving the ELCA  (Read 29737 times)

James_Gale

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David, thanks for the response.  Since I wrote my post I spent a half hour going back over Tickle's book.  I have literally read it several times.  Paul Rohde wanted me to read it.  I have massive parts of it underlined.  It is hard to imagine what a bubble Tickle and those she is sucking in are living in.  She contends that the Emergent Church, spiritually led by the Jesus Seminar crew and responsive to the notion that particularity and exclusive truth claims are foolhardy today, is growing "exponentially."  I would like to see where this is happening.  In the face of severe persecution upwards of 100 million Christians are now in China.  South Korea in a relatively short period of time has risen to a very large portion of its population being Christian.  You could go on to Africa and you would be hard pressed to defend any notion that growth in these places grows out of a live and let live walking away from conversion of the lost so that we can all live together in peace.

Tickle speaks of the "hegemony" (the pride of place, the power) that fossilized reformation era protestants still want to believe is theirs to have.  Now pride of place is emerging in this new expression.  It is theologically bankrupt. It is really something that Zellmer would be enamored by it.  And bishops are to be guardians of the faith?  Better find a new era of a ministerium that can discern truth from nonsense.  When will we all see that power, hegemony, is made perfect in weakness.  Strength is in God alone

Thanks for your leadership in the reconfigurataion of Lutheranism.  Your journalistic gifts are helpful to say the least.

As the Good Book says, "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun."  Generation after generation, Satan plants in our midst the same heresies and the same worldly idols to worship. 

I am saddened to see Lutheran leaders pushing this, uh, stuff.

dkeener

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I ask (in utter amazement):
Say what? I say I hope he finds a place to minister in the ELCA and you call it "patronizing"! On what grounds? What is wrong with you people? Are we yet again in one of those full-moon cycles where something is automatically wrong, mean, un-yada yada yada simply because I or Pastor Stoffregen say it?
Good grief!!!

I will give you the benefit of the doubt, but the difficulty for many of us, who have read your posts over the years, is that we know that you are very careful in choosing your words. You did not say that you simply hoped pastor Orovitz would find a place to minister in the ELCA. What you said is that you hoped that he could find a place where he could serve "appropriately and responsibly". This might make people draw the conclusion that you were implying that there are places in the ELCA where it would be inappropriate and irresponsible for him to serve given his "traditionalist leanings."
« Last Edit: December 02, 2010, 12:10:59 AM by dkeener »

Erma S. Wolf

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    To be fair to Bishop Zellmer, here is the portion of his email communication to the synod that speaks of Tickle's book:

"My sabbatical was filled with travel, conversations with old friends and new, some time for play and some work. My favorite book during my sabbatical was, The Great Emergence, by Dr Phyllis Tickle. Very thought provoking and I recommend to all of you."

    
    I have never read this book and am not at all familiar with it.  I really can't tell from this letter why this book was his favorite during his sabbatical.  (I have read some other things by her and so I am concerned, but I'm not sure I can find all that others are finding in these three short sentences.)  Maybe in the near future I will learn more about what my bishop is finding so thought provoking in this book, and why.  

Charles_Austin

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Pastor Keener writes (emphasis added):
I will give you the benefit of the doubt, but the difficulty for many of us, who have read your posts over the years, is that we know that you are very careful in choosing your words. You did not say that you simply hoped pastor Orovitz would find a place to minister in the ELCA. What you said is that you hoped that he could find a place where he could serve "appropriately and responsibly". This might make people draw the conclusion that you were implying that there are places in the ELCA where it would be inappropriate and irresponsible for him to serve given his "traditionalist leanings."

I comment:
Well, Duh! There are places in the ELCA where it would be inappropriate and irresponsible for me (or you, or anyone else on this discussion board) to minister "appropriately and responsibly". That might be because of "traditionalist leanings" or it might be because of a gazillion-dozen other reasons. The last time I thought I should be looking for a call, a bishop would tell me, "well, we have some open parishes, but I'm not sure any are appropriate for you." O.k. No big deal.
So: Yes, I hope that pastors looking for a call, an interim, a Sunday morning supply assignment, or a nearby Starbucks find a place where they can minister "appropriately and responsibly." Good grief!
« Last Edit: December 02, 2010, 04:03:35 AM by Charles_Austin »

Maryland Brian

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Say what? I say I hope he finds a place to minister in the ELCA and you call it "patronizing"! On what grounds? What is wrong with you people?

Perhaps this might help focus the conversation:

http://www.noogenesis.com/game_theory/johari/johari_window.html

The subtext for this forum is the perception of not being heard, but rather being talked at with increasing volume.  To answer your questions, study the blind window.



dkeener

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Pastor Keener writes (emphasis added):
I will give you the benefit of the doubt, but the difficulty for many of us, who have read your posts over the years, is that we know that you are very careful in choosing your words. You did not say that you simply hoped pastor Orovitz would find a place to minister in the ELCA. What you said is that you hoped that he could find a place where he could serve "appropriately and responsibly". This might make people draw the conclusion that you were implying that there are places in the ELCA where it would be inappropriate and irresponsible for him to serve given his "traditionalist leanings."

I comment:
Well, Duh! There are places in the ELCA where it would be inappropriate and irresponsible for me (or you, or anyone else on this discussion board) to minister "appropriately and responsibly". That might be because of "traditionalist leanings" or it might be because of a gazillion-dozen other reasons. The last time I thought I should be looking for a call, a bishop would tell me, "well, we have some open parishes, but I'm not sure any are appropriate for you." O.k. No big deal.
So: Yes, I hope that pastors looking for a call, an interim, a Sunday morning supply assignment, or a nearby Starbucks find a place where they can minister "appropriately and responsibly." Good grief!

Quite honestly, I was sincere when I said that I gave you the benefit of the doubt.  I was simply pointing out why some probably would not. Many of your posts are sarcastic, condescending and have a mean spirited edge to them. For instance, I began my post with, "I will give you the benefit of the doubt," you began your reply with, "Well Duh!" You remind me of the guy who stands in the fellowship hall with arms crossed, scowling at everyone and then complains that the church isn't friendly when no one talks to him. Anyway, all I'm saying is that there are reasons beyond content for why people react to you the way they do. You may want to consider a style change.

Coach-Rev

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Re: ELCA Considering New Procedures for Congregations Considering Leaving the EL
« Reply #216 on: December 02, 2010, 08:08:56 AM »
If this means that they can no longer respect our leaders (even when they disagree), provide their fair share of support to our common mission, or otherwise take part responsibly in the ELCA, then to follow their consciences and convictions, they should leave.

No, I do not wish for people to leave and have said so many times.

The utter contradiction and hypocrisy in your statements continues to astound me. 
« Last Edit: December 02, 2010, 08:10:30 AM by Coach-Rev »

Charles_Austin

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Once again. Read very s-l-o-w-l-y.
I do not wish for people to leave. I understand why some do. I do not understand why some do not.

Admissions from this humble correspondent:
Occasional sarcasm.
Occasional satire.
Frequent frustration.
At times anger.

Non-admissions:
Being a hypocrite
Being mean-spirited

BTW I have passels of friends and colleagues who seek me out, laugh at my jokes, share most of my concerns, read what I write and think that I'm a reasonable decent guy. I believe that I speak, act and write the same among them as I do online.
It is only here - in this forum - that a few people (usually those who disagree with me) seem to see me as a scary creature they would meet in a Star Wars bar on a distant planet.

Now I shall try to go back to my usual policy of not responding to anonymous posters.

Chuck Sampson

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Pastor Keener writes (emphasis added):
I will give you the benefit of the doubt, but the difficulty for many of us, who have read your posts over the years, is that we know that you are very careful in choosing your words. You did not say that you simply hoped pastor Orovitz would find a place to minister in the ELCA. What you said is that you hoped that he could find a place where he could serve "appropriately and responsibly". This might make people draw the conclusion that you were implying that there are places in the ELCA where it would be inappropriate and irresponsible for him to serve given his "traditionalist leanings."

I comment:
Well, Duh! There are places in the ELCA where it would be inappropriate and irresponsible for me (or you, or anyone else on this discussion board) to minister "appropriately and responsibly". That might be because of "traditionalist leanings" or it might be because of a gazillion-dozen other reasons. The last time I thought I should be looking for a call, a bishop would tell me, "well, we have some open parishes, but I'm not sure any are appropriate for you." O.k. No big deal.
So: Yes, I hope that pastors looking for a call, an interim, a Sunday morning supply assignment, or a nearby Starbucks find a place where they can minister "appropriately and responsibly." Good grief!

Quite honestly, I was sincere when I said that I gave you the benefit of the doubt.  I was simply pointing out why some probably would not. Many of your posts are sarcastic, condescending and have a mean spirited edge to them. For instance, I began my post with, "I will give you the benefit of the doubt," you began your reply with, "Well Duh!" You remind me of the guy who stands in the fellowship hall with arms crossed, scowling at everyone and then complains that the church isn't friendly when no one talks to him. Anyway, all I'm saying is that there are reasons beyond content for why people react to you the way they do. You may want to consider a style change.

Co-sign.

Maryland Brian

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BTW I have passels of friends and colleagues who seek me out, laugh at my jokes, share most of my concerns, read what I write and think that I'm a reasonable decent guy.

  Then how do you account for the fact that a large passel of folks here have very different opinions, other than the "What's wrong with you people?" approach to self examination?

   IMHO, this is all of a piece with this particular topic/forum.  The original results of the study process made clear the church did not want (or were not ready for, depending on your orientation) to make changes that were being suggested.  When the changes happened anyway, a large percentage of the ELCA believed themselves not heard.  The distrust is still fairly deep and, IMHO, the only reason things are not as bad as they could be (and they are already pretty bad) is that pastors are doing all they can to limit the damage this is doing to their own congregations.

 As your posts continue to make clear you are a supporter of the ELCA and the changes, what does it mean so many here receive you the same way; dismissive and "unhearing?"  

DCharlton

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Somebody (to distinguish him from Charles Austin's manifold "someone") responds to my non-anonymous post:  

Someone writes (re my recent comments):
And on the other hand, he calls most of us here disingenuous and cowards.

I comment:
Totally, completely, absolutely untrue. Most of the people here are definitely not those things. You, "someone," are way too loose with your language.

I reply:
Dear Somebody,

You are rather loose with your language.  To begin with, you know quite well who wrote those words.  Secondly, you are the one who has been throwing around the terms sleazy politician, disingenuous, coward, etc...  But I admit you are good at what you do.  With your passive agression you succeed quite well in baiting other members of this forum.  

David Charlton
 
 
« Last Edit: December 02, 2010, 10:01:47 AM by DCharlton »
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

Steven Tibbetts

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BTW I have passels of friends and colleagues who seek me out, laugh at my jokes, share most of my concerns, read what I write and think that I'm a reasonable decent guy. I believe that I speak, act and write the same among them as I do online.
It is only here - in this forum - that a few people (usually those who disagree with me) seem to see me as a scary creature they would meet in a Star Wars bar on a distant planet.

Now I shall try to go back to my usual policy of not responding to anonymous posters.

FWIW, Charles -- and I've observed this on the forum a few times over the years -- you describe well the Charles Austin I knew for years on LutherLink and the Charles Austin I've conversed with at Churchwide Assemblies -- including the last one.  The Charles Austin who has been posting on this forum the last five years or so?  Not so much.

Pax, Steven+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

Charles_Austin

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Steven's comments might make me look back at some postings and consider whether I was clear enough or stylish enough. We shall see.
Meanwhile, my basic position has not changed: the ELCA is a church body in which the gospel is preached and the sacraments administered and those who have the privilege of being its "public ministers," whether ordained or rostered as lay people, should fairly and adequately support it. If their conscience or allegiance to a higher power is so much in conflict with that privilege that they cannot live up to their obligations, they have some serious decisions to make.

Paul L. Knudson

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Erma, I would commend your reading the book.  Yes, it is very possible to over react to a simple statement in Zellmer's word to synod pastors and others.  I would be surprised, however, if after reading this book you found it innocuous.  I believe we need discernment among our bishops and recommending this book would be good if there was a clear caveat that this is highly suspect on numerous fronts.  Don't have time here and now to enumerate them.  Off to work for the morning.

A Catholic Lutheran

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Yes, this goes to Steven's point, but my extended point is that if PB Hanson called some of those congregations who were taking votes, it might actually hurt more than less.  


Well, let me confess here that the goal for further listening and talking would be to 1) for the Presiding Bishop (and synodical Bishops) to acknowledge his culpability (yes, mea maxima culpa) and 2) repent himself and lead the appropriate expressions of the ELCA into repentance with even more determination than he lead us into error.  Or if he is still unable or unwilling to do so, at the very least he could be convinced that peaceful accomodation is preferable to Swartling's Jacobin hardball.

kyrie eleison, spt+

I know Steven, and I would have the same perspective (re:listening).

My parents asked me after one of the recent exchanges I had with my ex-wife, where she for the umpteenth time went over the long litany of my errors while conceding none of her own, why I didn't ask why she didn't ask for my forgiveness after I had, for the umpteenth time, confessed my sins and asked for hers.  My response is that (I think) from her perspective she does not have any sense that she sinned, and hence she doesn't feel that there is anything to be forgiven.

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.  The closest that we get to a shared admission of sin is "Well, we're sorry you're offended and that you might feel the need to go somewhere else..."

I just don't have a feeling that anyone on the "pro-change" party really has a sense that a sin has been committed, and hence needs to be repented of.  Remember, contrition is a key part of confession and lack of contrition is valid grounds for the witholding of absolution.

Anyway, I agree with you...  I just don't have a sense that is possible at this moment....  Maybe in time.  Maybe in time.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS