Author Topic: Tuesday morning: LIFT recommendations  (Read 3945 times)

Richard Johnson

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Tuesday morning: LIFT recommendations
« on: August 16, 2011, 10:27:09 AM »
Assembly took up Reference and Counsel recommendations on proposed amendments to LIFT proposals. Motion to defer action on “implementing resolution 10” (the one on bringing no further social statements until a review of process) to Thursday, after discussion of genetics social statement. This was proposed by Bp. Boerger, who explained his reasoning—but it doesn’t make much sense to me. The LIFT proposal exempts the genetics statement from this deferral. At any rate, motion was approved.

Implementing resolution 2 “To support and strengthen synods so that they become catalysts for mission planning.” Motion by Bp. Keys to add “in an intentional way with congregation mission plans through consultation, coaching on implementation and provide criteria/methods to evaluate implementations and effectiveness of the congregation’s mission plan.” R&C moves to refer this to Congregational and Synodical mission unit (their point is that the original recommendation is intended to be broader than this kind of specific language). In other words, vaguer is better. Motion to refer adopted.

Another proposed amendment adding a new paragraph: “To make support for the work of parish pastors one of the highest priorities of this church. To request congregations, in collaboration with synods, to include in their unique mission plans specific provisions designed to provide for the ongoing professional development of and regular formative feedback for rostered clergy serving in ELCA.”  Reference & Counsel believes existing provisions address this, so recommend referral to Congregational and Synodical mission unit. Proposer of amendment, James Pence, spoke against referral. Considerable and confused debate (people keep trying to debate the substance of the proposal, rather than the motion to refer), but in the end the motionto refer was adopted.

Next was a proposed amendment to implementing resolution 8: To support and utilize networking as an organizing principle and practice that embodies interdependence values the abundant human resources found in the congregations, synods, the churchwide expression and institutions of this church and enhances collaboration and connections for missional purposes across this church.

Motion from R&C is to refer to Church Council. [Note: the person from R&C who is presenting these recommendations is absolutely deadly, and makes one wonder whether we’re ever going to get through these.]

Orders of the day suspended discussion, which means that they’ll really be confused when it comes back.

After the singing of hymn so badly changed in ELW that I couldn’t sing it from memory <g>, Secretary Swartling introduced the LIFT recommendations regarding program committees. There were no proposed amendments, so the recommendations of the LIFT task force are before the assembly. The proposal essentially abolishes program committees and reassigns their responsibilities to a committee of the Church Council.

There was a motion to refer this matter to the Church Council, with instruction to bring it back to the next churchwide assembly (essentially to defer action until next assembly). Ruling was that this is an amendment which did not meet the deadline for submission.

All kinds of reasons put forth for the recommendations, but nobody says the bottom line: we can’t afford these committees any more. Nobody really spoke “against,” but a coupe of peope raised “concerns” about the recommendation.

Motion to abolish program committees was approved by the requisite 2/3 vote (because these are constitutional amendments) 890-69.

After announcements, adjournment to worship.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 01:24:43 PM by Richard Johnson »
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Scott6

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Re: Tuesday morning: LIFT recommendations
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2011, 10:31:51 AM »
[Note: the person from R&C who is presenting these recommendations is absolutely deadly, and makes one wonder whether we’re ever going to get through these.]


A black belt?  Holding a gun?  How is that person "deadly"?
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 01:25:13 PM by Richard Johnson »

Norsk

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Re: Tuesday morning: LIFT recommendations
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2011, 11:11:47 AM »
I can't remember the entire sequence of upcoming social statements, but it seems to this outside observer that the statement on Justice for Women, called for by the last CWA, would have the highest potential for highly controversial content of those upcoming.  Between the shifting of CWAs to every three years and the proposed temporary moratorium on social statements, perhaps one objective is to delay the Justice for Women statement well down the road...
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 01:25:28 PM by Richard Johnson »

Erma S. Wolf

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Re: Tuesday morning: LIFT recommendations
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2011, 11:21:16 AM »
The matter of the proposed "Justice for Women" social statement being indefinitely delayed if the LIFT proposal is adopted is what makes me worry.  I think, after the past few statements, we really need a time out.  But the social statement on human sexuality is what gave (and continues to give) cover and "approval" for the ministry standard changes, as well as the claim (which actually is not supported by the statement, but then again it is so long who reads it?) that the CWA approved not only same-gender blessings but same gender marriage services (or at least so touts LCNA GoodSoil in their handouts at this assembly).  I won't be surprised if an attempt to defeat, or at least defer and delay, that LIFT proposal isn't mounted, and by folks that know how to push all the right buttons with both the assembly and the churchwide leadership. 

Folks like me who want the delay in social statements in order to reflect and possibly change the way they are worked on and adopted, we're just seen as wallowing in sour grapes and engaging in punitive rear-guard actions.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 02:03:52 PM by Erma S. Wolf »

DCharlton

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Re: Tuesday morning: LIFT recommendations
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2011, 01:00:35 PM »
After the singing of hymn so badly changed in ELW that I couldn’t sing it from memory ,

Wouldn't this have been a good time to sing "Up! Up With People!"?
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 01:25:48 PM by Richard Johnson »
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Richard Johnson

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Re: Tuesday morning: LIFT recommendations
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2011, 01:04:17 PM »
[Note: the person from R&C who is presenting these recommendations is absolutely deadly, and makes one wonder whether we’re ever going to get through these.]


A black belt?  Holding a gun?  How is that person "deadly"?


His bludgeon is a slow monotone and virtually incomprehensible words. Austin's aside is that he must be a constitutional lawyer.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 01:26:03 PM by Richard Johnson »
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Richard Johnson

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Re: Tuesday morning: LIFT recommendations
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2011, 01:05:50 PM »
There is never a good time to sing "Up! Up with people!"  >:(
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 01:26:13 PM by Richard Johnson »
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Re: Tuesday morning: LIFT recommendations
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2011, 01:25:42 PM »
There is never a good time to sing "Up! Up with people!"  >:(


True. We need to pound them down with the hammer of God. :)
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 01:26:21 PM by Richard Johnson »
"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]

Steverem

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Re: Tuesday morning: LIFT recommendations
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2011, 01:37:36 PM »
Perhaps a more appropriate musical interlude for the CWA would be performed by Hooray for Everything

"Ladies and gentlemen, `Hooray for Everything' invites you to join them in a salute to the greatest denomination on earth, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America!  The dancingest denomination of all!"

iowakatie1981

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Re: Tuesday morning: LIFT recommendations
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2011, 01:51:36 PM »
The matter of the proposed "Justice for Women" social statement being indefinitely delayed if the LIFT proposal is adopted is what makes me worry.

You'll know if I still belong to the ELCA when this statement comes out, because wherever you live in the country, you'll be able to hear me scream. 

Also, on a somewhat different topic - if someone could tell me what, precisely, I'm supposed to be being "missional" about, it would help me out a lot.  I keep trying out different things (Jesus, forgiveness of sins, new life in Christ, sure and certain hope of the resurrection) and none of them ever seem to be right, so if somebody could let me know so that I can get to it, that would be great. 

DCharlton

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Re: Tuesday morning: LIFT recommendations
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2011, 02:00:25 PM »
There is never a good time to sing "Up! Up with people!"  >:(

Even if it was revised so that it said "Lift! Lift with people!"? :'(
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Re: Tuesday morning: LIFT recommendations
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2011, 02:27:00 PM »
This LIFT situation is a mess.

Something needs to be done. The present system isn't working.

Yet to change anything is going to affect a constituency, allowing someone to plead being the victim. And we in the ELCA don't want to hurt anybody's feelings or cause someone to feel oppressed.

The language is so general as to seem innocuous, when in reality the proposal is one big fat blank check for the ELCA leadership to write in whatever they please.

From my vantage, I don't know who I pity more: The leadership who is saddled with trying to fix a broken system or the assembly, who's job it is to make sense of what is being proposed. 
 
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pearson

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Re: Tuesday morning: LIFT recommendations
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2011, 09:52:28 PM »

This LIFT situation is a mess.

The language is so general as to seem innocuous, when in reality the proposal is one big fat blank check for the ELCA leadership to write in whatever they please.


Well, I suppose that is one possible "reality."  But as presented here, I read the LIFT proposals somewhat differently.

The LIFT recommendations are explicit that, with program committees abolished and churchwide units trimmed back, responsibility for mission and program will move to synods and congregations.  So there is a structural decentralization envisioned by the LIFT folks.  However, oversight for all of this will then rest with the Church Council.  More than ever, they will be the policy setting unit between CWAs.  But without infrastructure staff support in Chicago, the Church Council will be overwhelmed with administrative responsibility, and they will not have the time, energy or resources to engage in micromanaging what synods and congregations do.  So in the long run, the de jure decentralization is likely to become a de facto decentralization.

The Great Unknown, of course, is who is going to pay for the expected increase in program and mission activity on the part of synods and congregations.  But my best guess is that the vagaries in the language of the LIFT proposals is intentional, and anticipate a period of evolving structure and function for the ELCA.  But again: where will the resources to manage the transition come from?

Tom Pearson


DCharlton

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Re: Tuesday morning: LIFT recommendations
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2011, 02:40:10 PM »
So there is a structural decentralization envisioned by the LIFT folks.  However, oversight for all of this will then rest with the Church Council. 
  Yikes!   :o

Quote
The Great Unknown, of course, is who is going to pay for the expected increase in program and mission activity on the part of synods and congregations. 

Sell the Chicago offices and put the PB in a double wide.  Might help outreach to poor whites. ;D
« Last Edit: August 17, 2011, 02:42:18 PM by DCharlton »
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Re: Tuesday morning: LIFT recommendations
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2011, 02:47:30 PM »
His bludgeon is a slow monotone and virtually incomprehensible words. Austin's aside is that he must be a constitutional lawyer.


I don't understand how the first and second sentences could possibly go together.   :o