Author Topic: Wednesday afternoon plenary part 2  (Read 10540 times)

Richard Johnson

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Wednesday afternoon plenary part 2
« on: August 17, 2011, 05:56:46 PM »
Wednesday afternoon part 2

Now back to the remaining LIFT recommendations, specifically one which would place the chair of the Conference of Bishops as a voting member of the Church Council, and would authorize the Church Council to propose up to 12 additional members of the Council. Several questions were asked and answered, and some odd arguments were made. The recommendations regarding Church Council and Conference of Bishops were approved. 757-223

Various ELCA college presidents were introduced, and then the corporation meetings for Dana, Luther, St. Olaf, and Wartburg were held. (These colleges have in their articles of incorporation certain matters that must be officially acted upon by the Churchwide Assembly, acting as the corporations of the colleges. Generally matters include election of Board of Trustees members, and changes to governing documents.) Everyone always loves taking time to do this.

Video greetings were received from Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service, Lutheran Services in America, and Lutheran World Relief.

Plenary session extended to 6 p.m. Remember how we spent all afternoon and evening yesterday not doing plenary business?

Now more LIFT recommendations. Proposed amendment adds “institutions” as partners and collaborators in ministry. R&C recommends that CWA decline this, since these are constitutional amendments, and changing them at this point would require that the amendment not be approved until the next churchwide assembly. The proposer tried to make another motion that would be non-constitutional. Hopeless confusion. At length the assembly voted on the LIFT proposal, and it was approved. This just tweaks provisions for interrelationships and networks.

Then we turn to the Memorials Committee. The first to be taken up has to do with “Expanding Multicultural Ministry.” Coming from the North Carolina Synod, the memorial asks that CWA “prayerfully encourage all ELCA congregations to expand the multicultural emphasis of their ministries, becoming more reflective and inclusive of the cultures in their communities.” The Memorials Committee changed this a bit:
To receive with gratitude the memorial of the North Carolina Synod encouraging increased multicultural ministry within the ELCA;
To acknowledge with hope the modest increases in the diversity of ELCA congregations and the
percentages of ELCA members who are people of color, but to acknowledge with deep concern that the goal established by the ELCA in 1987 that “it shall be a goal of this church that within 10 years of its establishment the membership shall include at least 10 percent people of color and/or primary language other than English” has not yet been achieved; and
To encourage congregations and synods to incorporate ministry with and to diverse populations in the mission planning advocated by the Living into the Future Together Task Force report.


The motion was adopted, 917-29.

Next, in response to memorials from several synods, the committee moves:
To receive with gratitude the memorials of the Central/Southern Illinois, Northeastern Ohio,
Southeastern Pennsylvania, and Virginia synods related to the International Year for People of African Descent;
To affirm these memorials and request that the presiding bishop of this church issue a statement acknowledging the International Year for People of African Descent and encouraging congregations to participate through prayer, ministry, forums, and presentations, as well as artistic, cultural, and worship expressions that affirm the gifts of people of African Descent;
To ask that the director for racial justice collaborate with the ELCA Church Council, congregations, synod anti-racism teams, strategy teams, ethnic associations, ELCA colleges and
universities, and ELCA seminaries to deepen efforts to eradicate racism by examining the factors that inhibit people of color and/or whose primary language is other than English from experiencing the fullness of leadership and inclusion in this church;
To request the Global Mission and Congregational and Synodical Mission units to recognize this
International Year in upcoming events; and
To anticipate that the director for racial justice and the staff of the Lutheran Office for World Community at the United Nations will monitor the events of the International Year for People of African Descent and provide current information for the ELCA website.

There was no discussion, and the motion was approved 899-55.

Next came a recommendation on the much ballyhooed bullying resolution:

To receive with gratitude the memorials of the Alaska, Eastern Washington-Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountain, Eastern North Dakota, Northwestern Minnesota, Northeastern Minnesota, Southwestern Minnesota, Minneapolis Area, Saint Paul Area, Southeastern Minnesota, Central States, Arkansas-Oklahoma, Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast, Metropolitan Chicago, Northern Illinois, Central/Southern Illinois, Southeastern Iowa,
Northeastern Iowa, Northern Great Lakes, Greater Milwaukee Area, South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, Southern Ohio, New Jersey, New England, Metropolitan New York, Upstate New York, Northeastern Pennsylvania, Southeastern Pennsylvania, Southwestern Pennsylvania, Allegheny, Metropolitan Washington, D.C., North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida-Bahamas synods related to bullying, harassment, and related violence;

To encourage new partnerships among the churchwide organization, synods, congregations, campus and outdoor ministries, Lutheran School Associations, Lutherans Concerned/North America, Lutheran Social Services organizations, public schools, counseling centers, and other governmental organizations in order to support the prevention of bullying, harassment, and other related violence;

To encourage these partnerships to create or join with existing preventative programs that:
a.   utilize positive, inclusive, empowering and developmentally appropriate materials;
b.   raise participants’ awareness about the issue;
c.   focus on prevention;
d.   seek to change bystander behavior into ally behavior;
e.   created partnerships between youth and adults; and
f.   address the use and abuse of social media and technology as they are used to bully and harass others;

To encourage these partnerships to seek funding for these efforts from existing and/or new funding sources not otherwise accessible individually, such as foundation grants, synod and other Lutheran organizational grants, and private and governmental funding sources;

To refer these memorials to the Congregational and Synodical Mission unit in order to facilitate and communicate these efforts in collaboration with the Office of the Presiding Bishop, Women of the ELCA, Lutheran Men in Mission, and Lutheran Services in America, with the request that ELCA-related educational, social service and youth and young adult networks continue to expand their ministries in support of new partnerships to prevent bullying, harassment, and related forms of violence and to support and publicize such efforts throughout this church as financial and staff resources permit; and

To request that the Congregational and synodical Mission unit report to the ELCA Church Council at its November 2012 meeting.


Speaking all in favor, of course, with lots of stories. Who could speak against bullying? After four or so speeches, someone mercifully moved the previous question, which would prevent the dozen or more people lined up at green mics from speaking. The motion to close debate was approved. The recommendation was approved, 932-23.

The interesting thing, of course, is that most of the synodical resolutions contained specific reference to sexual orientation, while the final recommendation does not.

A motion was made that the reading of recommendations from Memorials Committee in the future be dispensed with, reference simply being made to page number and item number. Motion approved.

Announcements, and then recess until tomorrow.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

PTMcCain

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Re: Wednesday afternoon plenary part 2
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2011, 06:23:05 PM »
Is preaching from an ELCA pulpit that homosexual activities are intrinsically sinful and contrary to God's will considered, under this resolution, "bullying" or "harassment"?


Chuck Sampson

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Re: Wednesday afternoon plenary part 2
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2011, 07:24:08 PM »
Is preaching from an ELCA pulpit that homosexual activities are intrinsically sinful and contrary to God's will considered, under this resolution, "bullying" or "harassment"?
That would probably be classified as "Preaching at the intersection of oppressions" . . . 8) 

PTMcCain

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Re: Wednesday afternoon plenary part 2
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2011, 07:45:17 PM »
So, if I preached that message in the ELCA I could regard myself as a persecuted victim, one to be cherished and protected by the love of God Godself?

;)

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Wednesday afternoon plenary part 2
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2011, 08:27:06 PM »
One minor, but possibly interesting, detail on the bullying memorials.  The one Dick posted here includes Lutheran Concerned/North America among the agencies named.  In the memorial approved by the Central/Southern Illinois Synod, LC/NA was not mentioned at all. 

And in looking at the Memorials Report, that was the case for several other synods.  In my first (and only) look through that part of the report I counted LC/NA mentions in less than half of the submitted memorials, though I might have missed some of them.

spt+
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PTMcCain

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Re: Wednesday afternoon plenary part 2
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2011, 08:28:50 PM »
Shows who is driving the agenda in the ELCA and the complicity of the ELCA leadership in allowing it.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Wednesday afternoon plenary part 2
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2011, 08:38:36 PM »
Shows who is driving the agenda in the ELCA and the complicity of the ELCA leadership in allowing it.


I think you're reading Steven's post incorrectly. The boilerplate resolution that GoodSoil sent out had LC/NA in the resolution. More then half of the synods removed 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]

PTMcCain

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Re: Wednesday afternoon plenary part 2
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2011, 08:39:19 PM »
And under half included it....small comfort.

Richard Johnson

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Re: Wednesday afternoon plenary part 2
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2011, 08:45:24 PM »
I understand that LC/NA representatives met with the Memorials Committee to hammer out the way the final language would read, and my guess is that they were insistent on it. But on the other hand, I think the removal of any specific reference to bullying because of sexual orientation is a very good thing, and probably not what they wanted.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

PTMcCain

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Re: Wednesday afternoon plenary part 2
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2011, 08:47:08 PM »
Wow...they were allowed to meet with a convention commmittee to draft the language?

That's very telling.

DCharlton

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Re: Wednesday afternoon plenary part 2
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2011, 08:48:37 PM »
One minor, but possibly interesting, detail on the bullying memorials.  The one Dick posted here includes Lutheran Concerned/North America among the agencies named.  In the memorial approved by the Central/Southern Illinois Synod, LC/NA was not mentioned at all. 

And in looking at the Memorials Report, that was the case for several other synods.  In my first (and only) look through that part of the report I counted LC/NA mentions in less than half of the submitted memorials, though I might have missed some of them.

spt+

LC/NA was not mentioned in the resolution from the Florida-Bahamas Synod either. 
David Charlton  

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Dan Fienen

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Re: Wednesday afternoon plenary part 2
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2011, 08:50:57 PM »
Wow...they were allowed to meet with a convention commmittee to draft the language?

That's very telling.
They were the ones to suggest it originally and were a force in getting it adopted by so many Synods.  Why should they not be consulted as the original authors?

Dan
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DCharlton

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Re: Wednesday afternoon plenary part 2
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2011, 08:53:05 PM »
I understand that LC/NA representatives met with the Memorials Committee to hammer out the way the final language would read, and my guess is that they were insistent on it. But on the other hand, I think the removal of any specific reference to bullying because of sexual orientation is a very good thing, and probably not what they wanted.

It seems to me that the LC/NA is being given veto power over what synod assemblies decide. It also gives the official go ahead for LC/NA to become a permanent part of ELCA ministries at every level.  And the removal of reference to sexual oreintation will make little difference if LC/NA will be an official partner in developing anti-bullying resources and initiatives. 
« Last Edit: August 17, 2011, 09:20:00 PM by DCharlton »
David Charlton  

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DCharlton

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Re: Wednesday afternoon plenary part 2
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2011, 08:54:45 PM »
Wow...they were allowed to meet with a convention commmittee to draft the language?

That's very telling.
They were the ones to suggest it originally and were a force in getting it adopted by so many Synods.  Why should they not be consulted as the original authors?

Dan

In part because LC/NA is being given more of a voice than synods and congregations have.  This is the typical slight of hand where the final wording presented to the CWA differs in small but significant ways from the resolutions adopted by synod assemblies. 
« Last Edit: August 17, 2011, 09:08:04 PM by DCharlton »
David Charlton  

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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Wednesday afternoon plenary part 2
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2011, 01:11:57 AM »
Wow...they were allowed to meet with a convention commmittee to draft the language?

That's very telling.
They were the ones to suggest it originally and were a force in getting it adopted by so many Synods.  Why should they not be consulted as the original authors?


Of course the Committee could just bully the original framers of the resolution to accept the committee's wording.
"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]