Author Topic: Thursday morning plenary part 2  (Read 5526 times)

Coach-Rev

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Re: Thursday morning plenary part 2
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2011, 08:31:47 AM »
In a nice touch, we sang “God Who Stretched the Spangled Heavens” (“We, your children in your likeness, share inventive powers with you; great Creator, still creating, show us what we yet may do”)

Yep, in a few more years, we won't need God at all.  In fact, scientists have already approached God and informed him that humankind has already figured out how to create life out of nothing more than  a lump of dirt, just as God had done at the beginning.  Therefore, humanity no longer needed God.  So God said, "fine, show me."  So the scientists go over and scoop up a handful of dirt to form some clay, and God stopped them and said, "WAIT!!!  You make your own dirt!"

I just love how we self-righteously elevate ourselves to the same level as God.  Dr. Gerhard Forde was right in his book, "Where God Meets Man," in laying claim to the fall in the garden as an "upward fall."  We didn't fall to some lower level, rather, it was all about attempting to be on equal footing with God.  And now we sing about it.

PTMcCain

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Re: Thursday morning plenary part 2
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2011, 08:35:29 AM »
Does an ELCA social statement on genetics actually directly and tangibly impact anything going on in the ELCA, as a church? Do ELCA congregations engage in genetic engineering or experimentation? I'm trying to understand why or how a social statement on genetics will actually have any meaningful impact on the average, typical, day-to-day function of a congregation. Can somebody explain or give me a perspective on this?

Richard Johnson

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Re: Thursday morning plenary part 2
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2011, 08:35:37 AM »
I think it is unfortunate that Dr. Mueller was not invited to speak, and my understanding that this was essentially reciprocity for David Swartling not being invited to speak at the LCMS convention last year.

On the other hand, very few ecumenical guests here were invited to speak or bring greetings: the AMEZion bishop, the ELCIC bishop, and then a couple of international guests.

But on still another hand, it is telling, I think, that there was also no official greeting, even by video, from the Roman Catholic Church--and you will recall that the video greeting from them last year included some criticism about the sexuality (at that time) proposals, which, while gentler than Dr. Kieschnick's remarks, nonetheless caused considerable consternation. The back story there was that the powers that be tried to axe that video greeting, and it was only strenuous objection from Don McCoid that prevented it from being dropped. So one can understand the perception that the ELCA doesn't want to hear greetings from anyone who won't be politely discreet and avoid mentioning the elephant in the room.

I think it is quite likely that Dr. Mueller's not knowing ahead of time was a miscommunication, and that is unfortunate. It is possible that it was a last-minute decision, but that is not my impression from my conversations.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Charles_Austin

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Re: Thursday morning plenary part 2
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2011, 08:42:54 AM »
Pastor Cottingham writes:
Oh, it speaks volumes - but Charles will still dismiss it in cavalier fashion.  I find the statement, "it really doesn't matter much" to be the most arrogant, condescending thing yet from your fingers, Charles.  It says more about your loathing and hatred for all things LCMS, and it also speaks to the general attitude amongst those like him in the ELCA, "we tolerate all things, as long as you agree with us."

I comment:
You are wrong and you are over-reacting...again.

Charles_Austin

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Re: Thursday morning plenary part 2
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2011, 08:46:37 AM »
Someone explain to Paul T. McCain that scientists and researchers - some of them present at this Assembly - are members of the ELCA and are involved in genetic research. Furthermore, as the issue surfaces in various ways in public, a teaching document from the church just might be helpful.

PTMcCain

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Re: Thursday morning plenary part 2
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2011, 09:11:47 AM »
I'm hearing from LCMS folks that it was thought more than a little odd, and not a little discourteous, that the LCMS rep was never informed he would not be given any time to bring a few words of greetings, but that ELCA leadeship found time to give a Muslim time to address the assembly.

FWIW.

Richard Johnson

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Re: Thursday morning plenary part 2
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2011, 09:19:22 AM »
And it's not worth much.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Chuck Sampson

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Re: Thursday morning plenary part 2
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2011, 09:27:44 AM »
I do not know that they didn't. Might it be possible that the word was not passed on to your guy or that he misunderstood? It really doesn't matter much.

Oh, it speaks volumes - but Charles will still dismiss it in cavalier fashion.  I find the statement, "it really doesn't matter much" to be the most arrogant, condescending thing yet from your fingers, Charles.  It says more about your loathing and hatred for all things LCMS, and it also speaks to the general attitude amongst those like him in the ELCA, "we tolerate all things, as long as you agree with us."  ::)
As Frank Senn once wrote in the margin of one of my papers, "This is a bold statement--NEEDS AMPLIFICATION"  . . . ;D 8)

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Thursday morning plenary part 2
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2011, 11:45:52 AM »
I'm trying to understand why or how a social statement on genetics will actually have any meaningful impact on the average, typical, day-to-day function of a congregation.

A shorter, readable document could be usable in offering pastoral counsel to, say, farmers, parents trying to conceive, etc.  It could be useful as we discuss the morality or ethics of emerging science and technologies related to genetics.  It could be useful in the colleges and universities of the church as part of their ethical teaching and learning.

That is the sort of "meaningful impact" for which social statements were created in the 1960s.  Each of the statements produced by the LCA throughout her history could easily fit in a congregation's tract rack -- in fact, they were published in such a form.

Pax, Seven+
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Thursday morning plenary part 2
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2011, 12:06:20 PM »
Someone explain to Paul T. McCain that scientists and researchers - some of them present at this Assembly - are members of the ELCA and are involved in genetic research. Furthermore, as the issue surfaces in various ways in public, a teaching document from the church just might be helpful.


And that many in the ELCA are involved in agriculture and ranching where genetic research is having practical applications.
"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]

Charles_Austin

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Re: Thursday morning plenary part 2
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2011, 01:12:22 PM »
Pastor Stoffregen is right. Several farmers spoke at the Assembly about how the statement might help them. And, as is usual with social statements, other materials will be devised from the statement to help people understand and interpret it.

Dan Fienen

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Re: Thursday morning plenary part 2
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2011, 06:04:29 PM »
Members of the ELCA as citizens of the USA have the right to be a part of the national debate on policies for genetic research, engineering, and the use of these technologies.  The more informed they are and the more insight they may have in the ethical aspects of this technology (even if they do not deal with it in their day to day lives) the better they may participate in the national debate and do their part in helping our nation, governmental, industrial, and academic set good standards, rules and policies.  A good social statement on the subject can be a great blessing in assisting the members of the ELCA, and anyone else who reads it, form and voice good opinions.

Can the social statement on genetics be useful?  Yes!

Dan
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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Birkholz

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Re: Thursday morning plenary part 2
« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2011, 09:40:48 PM »
I think it is unfortunate that Dr. Mueller was not invited to speak, and my understanding that this was essentially reciprocity for David Swartling not being invited to speak at the LCMS convention last year.

Pastor Mueller has posted his reactions to the convention here:
http://www.wmltblog.org/2011/08/observations-on-the-elca-churchwide-assembly/
Pastor Mark Birkholz
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Oak Lawn, IL
www.faithoaklawn.org

iowakatie1981

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Re: Thursday morning plenary part 2
« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2011, 09:20:14 AM »
I'm trying to understand why or how a social statement on genetics will actually have any meaningful impact on the average, typical, day-to-day function of a congregation.

A shorter, readable document could be usable in offering pastoral counsel to, say, farmers, parents trying to conceive, etc.  It could be useful as we discuss the morality or ethics of emerging science and technologies related to genetics.  It could be useful in the colleges and universities of the church as part of their ethical teaching and learning.

That is the sort of "meaningful impact" for which social statements were created in the 1960s.  Each of the statements produced by the LCA throughout her history could easily fit in a congregation's tract rack -- in fact, they were published in such a form.

Pax, Seven+

This.

Most of the farmers I know are too busy um, well, planting and harvesting and calving and all manner of things to find the time to sit down with a 60+ page document that essentially tells them to be thoughtful and respectful of God's creation.  (Hint: they already know that, and do it better than most so-called "environmentalists" I know.) 

Most couples struggling to conceive, or dealing with a prenatal (or postnatal) diagnosis of genetic anomalies, are probably not interested in wading through 60+ pages of information on genetically modified corn to find out that "this is a really tough issue and we need to be respectful of human life and God's creation as we make good decisions for our family", which is basically what I read the document as saying.

To adapt the old cliche - if you can't say something useful, don't say anything at all.

Team Hesse

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Re: Thursday morning plenary part 2
« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2011, 10:42:01 AM »
I'm trying to understand why or how a social statement on genetics will actually have any meaningful impact on the average, typical, day-to-day function of a congregation.

A shorter, readable document could be usable in offering pastoral counsel to, say, farmers, parents trying to conceive, etc.  It could be useful as we discuss the morality or ethics of emerging science and technologies related to genetics.  It could be useful in the colleges and universities of the church as part of their ethical teaching and learning.

That is the sort of "meaningful impact" for which social statements were created in the 1960s.  Each of the statements produced by the LCA throughout her history could easily fit in a congregation's tract rack -- in fact, they were published in such a form.

Pax, Seven+

This.

Most of the farmers I know are too busy um, well, planting and harvesting and calving and all manner of things to find the time to sit down with a 60+ page document that essentially tells them to be thoughtful and respectful of God's creation.  (Hint: they already know that, and do it better than most so-called "environmentalists" I know.) 

Most couples struggling to conceive, or dealing with a prenatal (or postnatal) diagnosis of genetic anomalies, are probably not interested in wading through 60+ pages of information on genetically modified corn to find out that "this is a really tough issue and we need to be respectful of human life and God's creation as we make good decisions for our family", which is basically what I read the document as saying.

To adapt the old cliche - if you can't say something useful, don't say anything at all.

Q and I are on the same page here. People with issues in these areas are going to be way more informed than anything that can be summarized in a 60 page document. More often than not these things are for busy-bodies with too much time on their hands.

Lou