Author Topic: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA  (Read 12203 times)

GalRev83

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #90 on: January 20, 2011, 09:24:18 PM »
The blog page from CORE which reported the original incident has been removed. Does anyone know what is up?

Erma S. Wolf

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #91 on: January 20, 2011, 09:56:57 PM »
The blog page from CORE which reported the original incident has been removed. Does anyone know what is up?

Donna, I don't have a clue.  This is getting curiouser and curiouser.

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #92 on: January 20, 2011, 10:02:48 PM »
Voting members of the ELCA Churchwide Assembly are elected by Synod Assemblies. All congregations have lay representation at Synod Assemblies, and all clergy are voting members of Synod Assemblies.

Well, that's actually not true, either. All clergy under call are voting members of the Synod Assembly in the synod in which they are rostered. As for others (on leave from call, retired, etc.), there are some provisions that a synod may adopt to give them the right to vote, but not every synod has done so.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #93 on: January 21, 2011, 10:08:37 AM »
Nothing reaches a churchwide assembly as a "done deal." Despite what you and others say.

Consider the Concordat, failed to achieve 2/3 majority by six votes, if I remember right. After, what, 30 years of discussing and planning with the Episcopal Church, it was not a "done deal" when it reached the voting members.

The problem with that is that the assembly that turned it down never saw each other again in toto. They dispersed and no memory, other than the minutes from 4 or 6 years earlier remained. The debate on the floor was forgotten and as the matter again hit the floor, it was debated as if it was a completely new thing. That is  the problem of the polity we have created. One can make the claim, and I have heard it made in clergy meetings I have attended, that this fosters the attitude to vote on matters like this until one gets what one wants. Yes, the agreement was revised but essentially it was the very thing that its opponents opposed in the first edition. The result was Word Alone's decision to give birth to the LCMC, now 600 congregations strong and growing from ELCA departures. What do we say? Well done?

The point I would make is that once a matter is turned down, it should go away. The obverse is attested to. Once a decision is made, everyone is asked with various tact and kindness or lack thereof to get with the decision because the matter has been settled by assembly vote. Only, it hasn't. When the assembly says "no" the matter seems to just come back.

Essentially, according to Robert's Rules, any decision-making body that meets less than four times a year -- like national assemblies that meet every two or three years; is mostly disconnected from previous meetings. For instance, if at one CWA a motion is tabled or postponed, if it is not taken up again by the end of that CWA, it dies. It cannot be taken off the table at the next CWA.  Such tabling or postponing is a technique that is used to kill a motion without voting on it. There is also no "old" business (or Robert's preferred term, "unfinished" business) in groups that meet less than four times a year. All business is "new".

Yes, motions can keep coming back. Even within an assembly, there can be a motion to reconsider an action that has already been voted on -- and such a motion to reconsider takes only a majority vote -- even if the original motion required 2/3 to pass. However, if the motion to reconsider a particular action is defeated, it cannot be brought up again. (However, when a motion to reconsider the Concordat, which had been defeated by six votes, was made, it was defeated. In the wisdom of that CWA, a decision had been made (narrowly) and they did not want to address it again.)
"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]

Dadoo

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #94 on: January 21, 2011, 10:27:58 AM »
Nothing reaches a churchwide assembly as a "done deal." Despite what you and others say.

Consider the Concordat, failed to achieve 2/3 majority by six votes, if I remember right. After, what, 30 years of discussing and planning with the Episcopal Church, it was not a "done deal" when it reached the voting members.

The problem with that is that the assembly that turned it down never saw each other again in toto. They dispersed and no memory, other than the minutes from 4 or 6 years earlier remained. The debate on the floor was forgotten and as the matter again hit the floor, it was debated as if it was a completely new thing. That is  the problem of the polity we have created. One can make the claim, and I have heard it made in clergy meetings I have attended, that this fosters the attitude to vote on matters like this until one gets what one wants. Yes, the agreement was revised but essentially it was the very thing that its opponents opposed in the first edition. The result was Word Alone's decision to give birth to the LCMC, now 600 congregations strong and growing from ELCA departures. What do we say? Well done?

The point I would make is that once a matter is turned down, it should go away. The obverse is attested to. Once a decision is made, everyone is asked with various tact and kindness or lack thereof to get with the decision because the matter has been settled by assembly vote. Only, it hasn't. When the assembly says "no" the matter seems to just come back.

Essentially, according to Robert's Rules, any decision-making body that meets less than four times a year -- like national assemblies that meet every two or three years; is mostly disconnected from previous meetings. For instance, if at one CWA a motion is tabled or postponed, if it is not taken up again by the end of that CWA, it dies. It cannot be taken off the table at the next CWA.  Such tabling or postponing is a technique that is used to kill a motion without voting on it. There is also no "old" business (or Robert's preferred term, "unfinished" business) in groups that meet less than four times a year. All business is "new".

Yes, motions can keep coming back. Even within an assembly, there can be a motion to reconsider an action that has already been voted on -- and such a motion to reconsider takes only a majority vote -- even if the original motion required 2/3 to pass. However, if the motion to reconsider a particular action is defeated, it cannot be brought up again. (However, when a motion to reconsider the Concordat, which had been defeated by six votes, was made, it was defeated. In the wisdom of that CWA, a decision had been made (narrowly) and they did not want to address it again.)
 

You are talking past me here. Yes, the assembly, in an attempt by someone to reconsider a close vote wanted the assembly to revisit its decision. I think FL described the motion as a matter of: "we voted for your's (Formula of Agreement) now vote for our's" The assembly said no. Now note, the assembly said "no" twice. That should have been it, should it not. No. It was not. the matter was brought back in modified form even though there was clear and outspoken opposition to the original and the followup for the same reasons. Once the altered version, CCM, was passed suddenly we were celebrating our new found unity and told everyone that the church was moving on and that the matter was settled and that is was time to come along. So when is the matter settled in the eyes of the ones with the microphone and bully pulpit? When it is voted on? Or when it is accepted?

The fact that according to Robert's in your reading an assembly is basically disconnected from its predecessor should alert the church that perhaps Robert's is not serving her well and that continuing resolutions or the adoption of different rules might need to be considered. Since we are now in the habit of voting on matters of theology at these assemblies not assuring continuity is foolishness since the faith is presumably the faith until and only until the next assembly.
Peter Kruse

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MaddogLutheran

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #95 on: January 21, 2011, 10:36:01 AM »
Nothing reaches a churchwide assembly as a "done deal." Despite what you and others say.

Consider the Concordat, failed to achieve 2/3 majority by six votes, if I remember right. After, what, 30 years of discussing and planning with the Episcopal Church, it was not a "done deal" when it reached the voting members.

The problem with that is that the assembly that turned it down never saw each other again in toto. They dispersed and no memory, other than the minutes from 4 or 6 years earlier remained. The debate on the floor was forgotten and as the matter again hit the floor, it was debated as if it was a completely new thing. That is  the problem of the polity we have created. One can make the claim, and I have heard it made in clergy meetings I have attended, that this fosters the attitude to vote on matters like this until one gets what one wants. Yes, the agreement was revised but essentially it was the very thing that its opponents opposed in the first edition. The result was Word Alone's decision to give birth to the LCMC, now 600 congregations strong and growing from ELCA departures. What do we say? Well done?

The point I would make is that once a matter is turned down, it should go away. The obverse is attested to. Once a decision is made, everyone is asked with various tact and kindness or lack thereof to get with the decision because the matter has been settled by assembly vote. Only, it hasn't. When the assembly says "no" the matter seems to just come back.

Essentially, according to Robert's Rules, any decision-making body that meets less than four times a year -- like national assemblies that meet every two or three years; is mostly disconnected from previous meetings. For instance, if at one CWA a motion is tabled or postponed, if it is not taken up again by the end of that CWA, it dies. It cannot be taken off the table at the next CWA.  Such tabling or postponing is a technique that is used to kill a motion without voting on it. There is also no "old" business (or Robert's preferred term, "unfinished" business) in groups that meet less than four times a year. All business is "new".

Yes, motions can keep coming back. Even within an assembly, there can be a motion to reconsider an action that has already been voted on -- and such a motion to reconsider takes only a majority vote -- even if the original motion required 2/3 to pass. However, if the motion to reconsider a particular action is defeated, it cannot be brought up again. (However, when a motion to reconsider the Concordat, which had been defeated by six votes, was made, it was defeated. In the wisdom of that CWA, a decision had been made (narrowly) and they did not want to address it again.)
What you say is certainly true.  However, such a goal could be achieved by placing such restrictions in the constitution (probably not the by-laws, since they are easier to amend.)  But much like how the filibuster in the U.S. Senate is viewed, it all depends on which party is in power.    For traditionalists before CWA09, it would have been great to prevent such revisiting; after CWA09, it would be welcomed.  I see that Pastor Kruse has addressed the substance of this in his follow-up reply.  It's really about politics and consensus, not rules.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 10:37:32 AM by MaddogLutheran »
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DeHall

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #96 on: January 21, 2011, 10:44:06 AM »
The blog page from CORE which reported the original incident has been removed. Does anyone know what is up?


From http://commonconfession.blogspot.com :

"Earlier this week we posted a story about challenges facing certain Oromo Evangelical Lutheran congregations, based on information provided by those involved.

We continue to believe in the accuracy of what was described in the story. But, at the subsequent request of some of those involved, we have now removed the story to provide "breathing space" for private deliberations and discussions by African immigrant congregations and their leaders."

Coach-Rev

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #97 on: January 21, 2011, 10:59:59 AM »
Essentially, according to Robert's Rules, any decision-making body that meets less than four times a year -- like national assemblies that meet every two or three years; is mostly disconnected from previous meetings. For instance, if at one CWA a motion is tabled or postponed, if it is not taken up again by the end of that CWA, it dies. It cannot be taken off the table at the next CWA.  Such tabling or postponing is a technique that is used to kill a motion without voting on it. There is also no "old" business (or Robert's preferred term, "unfinished" business) in groups that meet less than four times a year. All business is "new".

Yes, motions can keep coming back. Even within an assembly, there can be a motion to reconsider an action that has already been voted on -- and such a motion to reconsider takes only a majority vote -- even if the original motion required 2/3 to pass. However, if the motion to reconsider a particular action is defeated, it cannot be brought up again. (However, when a motion to reconsider the Concordat, which had been defeated by six votes, was made, it was defeated. In the wisdom of that CWA, a decision had been made (narrowly) and they did not want to address it again.)

But therein lies the problem, inherent within the system.  In the grand picture, that completely wipes out ANY and ALL historic witness, as it has all been forgotten.  This is a huge problem not only with the voting bodies in the ELCA, but in the Protestant church in general.  We have forgotten (forsaken?) our roots.   The prevailing attitude today is that yesterday doesn't matter. 

Marshall_Hahn

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #98 on: January 21, 2011, 11:03:26 AM »
Can anyone access the January newsletter of the Oromo churches referenced in the CORE article?  Pastor Wolf mentioned that it was to be put up on the Oromo website, but I still do not see it there.

Marshall Hahn

Charles_Austin

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #99 on: January 21, 2011, 11:11:23 AM »
Maybe, rather than having their situation used as political fodder by CORE and others, those directly involved decided to deal fraternally with each other in their dispute. Rare. But a good ideal.

Mike Bennett

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #100 on: January 21, 2011, 11:32:09 AM »
Maybe, rather than having their situation used as political fodder by CORE and others, those directly involved decided to deal fraternally with each other in their dispute. Rare. But a good ideal.

Two African congregations are summarily thrown out of their worship space, for the stated reason that ELCA finds they disagree with a CWA-approved social statement.  We'd been ureged by ELCA to respect one anothers' bound consciences regarding the matters in that social statement.  And those who would publicly protest the unChristian act are accused of using it for political fodder.  Cute.  Not surprising, but cute. 

Your approval of what you speculate might be a silencing of this news is very comparable to Chinese radio coverage of President Hu's visit to the U.S. this week literally going silent when he was asked about human rights in China.  Chinese listeners weren't even permitted to hear the question, let alone Hu's answer.  Journalist Austin believes this sort of thing to be "a good idea."

My remaining in ELCA has been instructed by David Yeago's application of Luther's commentary on Galatians 6:1-3.  This week's vicious actions in Texas and Colorado have moved the ELCA one step further toward being a place where I can't remain. 

You can find David Yeago's comments at http://lutheranspersisting.wordpress.com/david-yeago-in-the-aftermath/

Mike Bennett
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Marshall_Hahn

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #101 on: January 21, 2011, 11:37:03 AM »
Maybe, rather than having their situation used as political fodder by CORE and others, those directly involved decided to deal fraternally with each other in their dispute. Rare. But a good ideal.
And maybe rather than an attempt to use the situation as political fodder, CORE's intention all along was to encourage an amicable solution of the situation by bringing it to the light of day.

Marshall Hahn

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #102 on: January 21, 2011, 12:07:05 PM »
Nothing reaches a churchwide assembly as a "done deal." Despite what you and others say.

Consider the Concordat, failed to achieve 2/3 majority by six votes, if I remember right. After, what, 30 years of discussing and planning with the Episcopal Church, it was not a "done deal" when it reached the voting members.

The problem with that is that the assembly that turned it down never saw each other again in toto. They dispersed and no memory, other than the minutes from 4 or 6 years earlier remained. The debate on the floor was forgotten and as the matter again hit the floor, it was debated as if it was a completely new thing. That is  the problem of the polity we have created. One can make the claim, and I have heard it made in clergy meetings I have attended, that this fosters the attitude to vote on matters like this until one gets what one wants. Yes, the agreement was revised but essentially it was the very thing that its opponents opposed in the first edition. The result was Word Alone's decision to give birth to the LCMC, now 600 congregations strong and growing from ELCA departures. What do we say? Well done?

The point I would make is that once a matter is turned down, it should go away. The obverse is attested to. Once a decision is made, everyone is asked with various tact and kindness or lack thereof to get with the decision because the matter has been settled by assembly vote. Only, it hasn't. When the assembly says "no" the matter seems to just come back.

Essentially, according to Robert's Rules, any decision-making body that meets less than four times a year -- like national assemblies that meet every two or three years; is mostly disconnected from previous meetings. For instance, if at one CWA a motion is tabled or postponed, if it is not taken up again by the end of that CWA, it dies. It cannot be taken off the table at the next CWA.  Such tabling or postponing is a technique that is used to kill a motion without voting on it. There is also no "old" business (or Robert's preferred term, "unfinished" business) in groups that meet less than four times a year. All business is "new".

Yes, motions can keep coming back. Even within an assembly, there can be a motion to reconsider an action that has already been voted on -- and such a motion to reconsider takes only a majority vote -- even if the original motion required 2/3 to pass. However, if the motion to reconsider a particular action is defeated, it cannot be brought up again. (However, when a motion to reconsider the Concordat, which had been defeated by six votes, was made, it was defeated. In the wisdom of that CWA, a decision had been made (narrowly) and they did not want to address it again.)
 

You are talking past me here. Yes, the assembly, in an attempt by someone to reconsider a close vote wanted the assembly to revisit its decision. I think FL described the motion as a matter of: "we voted for your's (Formula of Agreement) now vote for our's" The assembly said no. Now note, the assembly said "no" twice. That should have been it, should it not. No. It was not. the matter was brought back in modified form even though there was clear and outspoken opposition to the original and the followup for the same reasons.

Not quite. After the motion to reconsider was defeated, there was a motion (I believe two related motions) to send the Concordat back to committee for revisions -- taking into account reasons for the opposition -- to be brought back to the next CWA. Thus a new proposal called Called to Common Mission was created, which had to be approved by The Episcopal Church (which had already approved the Concordat), and the ELCA. Those motions were adopted.

So, even though that CWA defeated the Concordat, it was still their desire to have a full-communion agreement with the Episcopals, but not that one.


Quote
The fact that according to Robert's in your reading an assembly is basically disconnected from its predecessor should alert the church that perhaps Robert's is not serving her well and that continuing resolutions or the adoption of different rules might need to be considered. Since we are now in the habit of voting on matters of theology at these assemblies not assuring continuity is foolishness since the faith is presumably the faith until and only until the next assembly.

Something like 1/3 of the voting members have been to a previous CWA. Most of the bishops are returnees. I have seen bishops gather the voting members of their synod together to discuss issues that will be before the assembly. (Not so that the bishop tells them how to vote, but for discussion over the issues, and prayer for the assembly and the ELCA.) So there is some continuity from one assembly to the next.

Note: the same disconnectness of assemblies also applies to synod assemblies -- and most congregational meetings (if they are less than quarterly). There is no "old" or "unfinished" business. All decisions are on new resolutions/motions.
"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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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #103 on: January 21, 2011, 12:24:09 PM »
Essentially, according to Robert's Rules, any decision-making body that meets less than four times a year -- like national assemblies that meet every two or three years; is mostly disconnected from previous meetings. For instance, if at one CWA a motion is tabled or postponed, if it is not taken up again by the end of that CWA, it dies. It cannot be taken off the table at the next CWA.  Such tabling or postponing is a technique that is used to kill a motion without voting on it. There is also no "old" business (or Robert's preferred term, "unfinished" business) in groups that meet less than four times a year. All business is "new".

Yes, motions can keep coming back. Even within an assembly, there can be a motion to reconsider an action that has already been voted on -- and such a motion to reconsider takes only a majority vote -- even if the original motion required 2/3 to pass. However, if the motion to reconsider a particular action is defeated, it cannot be brought up again. (However, when a motion to reconsider the Concordat, which had been defeated by six votes, was made, it was defeated. In the wisdom of that CWA, a decision had been made (narrowly) and they did not want to address it again.)

But therein lies the problem, inherent within the system.  In the grand picture, that completely wipes out ANY and ALL historic witness, as it has all been forgotten.  This is a huge problem not only with the voting bodies in the ELCA, but in the Protestant church in general.  We have forgotten (forsaken?) our roots.   The prevailing attitude today is that yesterday doesn't matter. 

No. There is a historic witness that is part of the discussion -- sometimes even included in the resolution; but history doesn't determine the decision. "Traditionalist" seem to forget that the whole sexuality/homosexual study came from the voting members and was opposed by the presiding bishop at the time. It wasn't a top-down mandate, but came from the bottom-up -- albeit from one (or maybe a few more) synods. As I noted in a post about the CWA that defeated the Concordat, (I was a visitor at that assembly,) it was not the wish of the voting members to refrain from any agreement with the Episcopalians, just opposed the Concordat -- but wanted something different for the next CWA.

There have also been folks who mistaken believe that CWA09 said that we now ordain homosexuals. Those who better know our history, know that we have always allowed homosexuals to be ordained, if they promised to abstain from sexual relationships. It is also historical that CWAs prior to '09 have been "gay-friendly" by approving these resolutions:

“To affirm that gay and lesbian people, as individuals created by God, are welcome to participate fully in the life of the congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. (1991)

To affirm the prior action of the 1991 Churchwide Assembly, “gay and lesbian people, as individuals created by God, are welcome to participate fully in the life of the congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America…” (1995)

To encourage discerning conversation about homosexuality and the inclusion of gay and lesbian persons “in our common life and mission.” (1999)



"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]

George Erdner

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #104 on: January 21, 2011, 12:29:11 PM »
No. There is a historic witness that is part of the discussion -- sometimes even included in the resolution; but history doesn't determine the decision. "Traditionalist" seem to forget that the whole sexuality/homosexual study came from the voting members and was opposed by the presiding bishop at the time. It wasn't a top-down mandate, but came from the bottom-up -- albeit from one (or maybe a few more) synods.

It came from a small but well funded (Thank you, ARCOS Foundation) group of activists who knew how to organize themselves and to twist the system to their own advantage. If the initiative for the Social Statements truly was a bottom up groundswell of popular support, the result wouldn't have been to watch hundreds of congregations and hundreds of thousands of individual leave the ELCA.