Author Topic: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold  (Read 77956 times)

Weedon

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Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
« Reply #300 on: September 22, 2011, 01:17:51 PM »
Sigh.  I'm not sure the vocation conversation is honestly worth continuing.  I could say:  "You're wrong, Marcus" and you could say:  "No, you're wrong, Will."  I don't think that would bear any worthwhile fruit.  My last word on the topic:  all of life is meant to be a sacrament; and joy can meet us at every opportunity when we do not confine the living out of our faith to what folks consider "religious" activities. 

mqll

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Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
« Reply #301 on: September 22, 2011, 01:23:34 PM »
Let's clear this vocation thing up:

A student is no different from a person with a job. A person with a job works at her job, does her best, gets paid.

The same is exactly true with a student: they work at studying. They don't get paid, but get deferred payment.

A student is no different from a parent who is not working, but raising his kids. He does not get paid, but it is still a good work.

So, anything you would ask a person who works — "please vote", "please coach youth soccer", "please volunteer for Habitat for Humanity", "please teach Sunday School", "please stay home with the baby, so I can go out with my friends","please stay late and help me out of this bind" — it is all exactly the same.

In the many vocations, we have many demands upon our time. People all want us to help them. Some people will pay for this help, some people will just want the help given voluntarily.

That's it. That is what vocation is all about. How does a person decide what to do and what not to do? They make a decision. They stick with it. That is how you live out your life. That is exactly what stewardship is.

It is not EASY, but the concept is not hard.

So stop all the foolishness about college students having some vocation that excuses them from other vocations. They don't. They simply don't.

If you want to say "You ought not to be made to feel guilty for not doing what a vocation demands" well, you know, some people feel guilty over those things, others don't. Part of maturing is learning to say no. Setting boundaries. Once again, being a good steward.

That's it.

So, please, stop all this nonsense about vocation. Is it legitimate to ask a _________ (fill in the blank: Retired person, elementary school student, mother, US Senator, college student, my cat) to ___________? (Fill in the blank with most anything that is legal)

Yes.

mqll

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Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
« Reply #302 on: September 22, 2011, 01:30:33 PM »
Sigh.  I'm not sure the vocation conversation is honestly worth continuing.  I could say:  "You're wrong, Marcus" and you could say:  "No, you're wrong, Will."  I don't think that would bear any worthwhile fruit.  My last word on the topic:  all of life is meant to be a sacrament; and joy can meet us at every opportunity when we do not confine the living out of our faith to what folks consider "religious" activities.

Just because we each say that the other is wrong, does not mean that there is not truth when it comes to this issue. People disagree about a lot of the teachings of Scripture. But there is still a truth.

My arguments are out there. They match up with what those who have written on vocation say about vocation. Time will tell whether my words are taken to be truth or not.

I disagree completely that the issue is one of "Are religious activities better than secular?" That has NEVER been the issue at hand. I have instead disagreed with your position of a primacy of a certain vocation over other vocations (while agreeing that certain vocations take longer to participate in than other vocations). I have disagreed with your position that the church ought not to infringe upon people's commitments to their vocation—we infringe just as must as any other vocation. Because ours is also important, and worthy.

I disagree entirely with the idea that asking college students to be more than college students is somehow a rejection of vocation. It is rather a simple illustration of vocation.

George Erdner

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Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
« Reply #303 on: September 22, 2011, 01:36:22 PM »
Marcus,

My primary vocation at the moment - the one that requires the most time and attention - is that of pastor.  Even though I am also husband and father (and impatiently waiting to be grandfather!), my relationship to my children and wife has always also included that component.  I'm not only their dad.  I'm their pastor.  At least for the time being.

College students are obviously under no divine law about continuing in college; I'm not sure how you'd get that I'd even think that.  But when a student heads off to college they are doing something that requires them to prioritize their time towards its demands - and that is learning.  As Fr. Michael said well, don't burden them with the task of missionary.  They are not being called to that by being sent to college.  When they study, when they write well, when they master a topic - they are doing a good and godly work all in itself.  And there should be no sense of it being "secular" or anything less than a true good work that is God pleasing.  Look, it's the same as when the frazzled mom who is busy taking care of her children, is made to feel guilty because she's not volunteering for some churchy duty.  Pity sakes, she's tending at that moment to her primary vocation.  It's full time and more.  It doesn't need to have something churchy attached to it to make is holy and a good work. 

Let the students study, for pity sake, and don't lay a guilt trip on them for focusing on that.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. A student who devotes his every waking hour to nothing but academic study stands a very good chance of being very poorly educated. He ends up with a head full of facts, and little or no wisdom to accompany them. Even the most diligent student must break from his academic efforts for a while to engage in other activities to keep himself grounded and well-rounded. That's why hobbies and extra-curricular activities exist. Those are as important to a student as classroom lectures and independent study.
 
Asking a student to take up as a "hobby" or extra-curricular activity something that benefits God's people is not the least bit unreasonable. For example, if a college student were to tutor high school students, that would be a beneficial ministry that helps both the college student and the high school student. Or, a if a college student studying accounting were to donate some time to helping a struggling non-profit organization with their bookkeeping, that would be a similar mutually beneficial ministry. The only limit to coming up with additional examples would be the imagination of the person attempting to think of such examples.
 

peter_speckhard

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Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
« Reply #304 on: September 22, 2011, 01:38:37 PM »
Mark, the fact remains that saying students can me missionaries is no different than saying truck drivers should be missionaries-- it isn't Word and Sacrament ministry we're talking about. The fact that it is a university church merely explains why it needs some subsidy. Students can't give much money. In every other respect it is just a congregation. And since there is no mad rush to close our congregations, sell our buildings, and use the money to equip the various nurses and teachers and factory workers in our congregations to be peer ministers, why is that considered the way to go for this church? Why not do it with every church?

mmeyer

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Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
« Reply #305 on: September 22, 2011, 01:42:36 PM »
I actually understand where Pr Weedon is coming from - I think.  CRU and IV recruit students to go on these mission events and make it sound like their faith is not complete - or that they are not serving God enough - unless they become a professional at it - or do it full time.  I don't buy that - nor am I trying to push that in any fashion.

I'm giving students who take time off from school to be a peer volunteer the opportunity to work with a dynamic, fast growing - mission oriented campus ministry - and experience many opportunities to share the faith with their contemporaries - help lead bible classes - and lead our students to become even more invitational to our worship opportunities at the CLC (Whatever room that may be in the Student Union).  In that year - we will have quarterly retreats with guest speakers from CSP and other places - to teach theology - outreach - etc.  It will be a unique and wonderful experience for those who are interested. 

I know how to do these things.  It will work.  IT's not an experiment.  It's being done by the RC's right now - and they are making a HUGE difference on campus.  They went from 40 a sunday to 300 in about 2 yrs.  Right now I get about 115 students per week - not quite 1% of the campus population.  There are so many students who have disconnected themselves from the faith and most likely WON'T come back.  But we've proved time and time again that student invitations to worship are helpful in outreach.  When friends bring friends to worship - the HS has an opportunity to work in their lives through Word and Sacrament. 

This is not experimental.  This is how the life of the church works - as people invite their friends to come and see...

JMK

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Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
« Reply #306 on: September 22, 2011, 01:45:35 PM »
Quote
I looked up the map of the university in question. It covers a lot of territory. A location just outside of the moat that surrounds the campus could actually be closer to many points on the campus than an on-campus location at the far edge of the campus.


That is a good point. I think what you are trying to say is that there is no magical vortex that necessitates a chapel be situated on the corner of 11th Ave and University Ave in Minneapolis. A campus chapel could be built in any number of places - where students could have easy access.

What is most important is that ULC keep focusing on their God given task to maintain a presence in the campus community with the old ways - the ancient ways of worshiping God. The ULC now needs to work at finding a new place (with the money generated from the John the Steadfast fund raiser) that can be set up with kneelers, icons, candles and all the other aspects of the evangelical catholic heritage. With help from other churches and individuals the ULC can focus on creating what they can do best – i.e. create a new sanctuary with the ambience being reflective of the ancient ways of experiencing God in a holy place that is conducive to experiencing both the transcendence and immanence of God through Word and Sacrament.

There is a place for supporting a non-liturgical rock em, sock em ministry like the Alley in the LCMS. Indeed, soon the non-liturgical churches in the LCMS (if not already) will be the biggest and largest churches - and will also be the financial backbone of Synod. If good will is created now, than the less traditional folks will have it in their hearts to help fund and support smaller venues that cater to the more reclusive type of individuals. There is a place for supporting a quiet liturgical contemplative side of the faith to be practiced like the ULC.

It was pointed out earlier, in the scathing critique by Matthew Jamison, how the LCMS churches in New York look just like they did in 1990 - only smaller. He wrote how the LCMS is in deep, deep decline in New York. However, he also pointed out that Redeemer Presbyterian alone has planted 75 new congregations in the city since its founding in 1989. While he did not exactly come to this conclusion himself, it appears to me that the most logical inference is that the churches that are thriving and growing are precisely because they are both less traditional and more innovative than the typical LCMS church. Now does that mean that there is no room for a high church type ministry? I would argue, no. But those types of high church ministries that cater to that smaller niche of the population are not going to be survive financially without the less traditional churches being supported now - so that down the road high church worship styles can be subsidized by the less traditional churches. Think of children supporting parents in their old age and you can get the picture.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2011, 02:01:50 PM by Johannes Andreas Quenstedt »

JMK

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Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
« Reply #307 on: September 22, 2011, 01:54:16 PM »
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I'm giving students who take time off from school to be a peer volunteer the opportunity to work with a dynamic, fast growing - mission oriented campus ministry - and experience many opportunities to share the faith with their contemporaries - help lead bible classes…It's being done by the RC's right now - and they are making a HUGE difference on campus.  They went from 40 a sunday to 300 in about 2 yrs.
The problem is, that for the so-called confessionals, they view lay led Bible studies as forms of conventicles that are to be forbidden by orthodox Lutherans. Until you get over that hurdle, your plan will never fly. Advocating the concept that students should teach and lead Bible studies is the kiss of death in any new campus plan that you want the so-called confessionals to buy into. 

mqll

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Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
« Reply #308 on: September 22, 2011, 02:36:10 PM »
Peter,

Mark, the fact remains that saying students can me missionaries is no different than saying truck drivers should be missionaries

Exactamundo. I think rather, this is what the entire issue boils down to—is it legit to say that a truck driver is a missionary? Do Christians have a call, a vocation, to share their faith with others—to see themselves as sent ones, going out and bringing Christ to others.

Or, is that only the work of the pastor? Does the college student/truck driver have a vocation to be seeking to share their faith—or, is it really not their vocation, and their call is merely one of passive response—if someone asks them about what they believe, then they share. Otherwise, that is not their vocation.

So yes, Peter, this is absolutely-dutely correct.

The fact that it is a university church merely explains why it needs some subsidy. Students can't give much money.

Well #1: I knew a guy in my brother's grade and I asked hm about his giving to church and he said he tithed what his scholarship was. He gave 10% of what his scholarship was to the church.

Kids can't give much money—but how much are fraternity dues? Sorority dues? How much money do they spend eating, drinking out?

Most of the kids have jobs too, don't they?

No, they can give money. Mostly they chose not to.

I understand that college kids tend to be wealthy (in terms of stuff) and cash poor. But we do a dis-service by letting them off the hook, as though the vocation of college student was an excuse to not give to the church.

Story: when I was in college, I worked as a waiter. I had a big table that drank a lot and gave me a poor tip, and wrote on the ticket "Sorry, we are poor graduate students."  A fellow waiter said "Well, then buy your beer and drink at home." That has stuck with me.

#2: This is why most University Churches are being closed and they have become town & gown congregations. Isn't ULC described as such? I think in one of my previous districts, both University chapels were being flipped to town & gown congregations.

It is the first step...

In every other respect it is just a congregation. And since there is no mad rush to close our congregations, sell our buildings, and use the money to equip the various nurses and teachers and factory workers in our congregations to be peer ministers, why is that considered the way to go for this church? Why not do it with every church?

Because districts don't own the buildings of the other churches. If they did...

Look Peter, I'm not trying to defend what the district is doing. I'm not saying that peer ministry is a good idea.

I am saying that trying to use the argument "Well, college students have a vocation" is wrong.

And, as well, I'm saying that saying "College students and truck drivers are not missionaries; only pastors are missionaries" is not helpful either.

George Erdner

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Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
« Reply #309 on: September 22, 2011, 02:49:48 PM »
Quote
I looked up the map of the university in question. It covers a lot of territory. A location just outside of the moat that surrounds the campus could actually be closer to many points on the campus than an on-campus location at the far edge of the campus.


That is a good point. I think what you are trying to say is that there is no magical vortex that necessitates a chapel be situated on the corner of 11th Ave and University Ave in Minneapolis. A campus chapel could be built in any number of places - where students could have easy access.


Likewise, it could also be integrated into an existing congregation that's in close proximity to the campus, where students would have easy access and integration into a full, diverse congregation rather than a specialized little academic microcosm.
 
As I see it, the issue boils down to whether or not students need to be segregated away from other people or if it is good that students be accepted as simply human beings in need of Law and Gospel, no different from other people of different ages or careers. I accept that students might have particular needs that are different from their chronological peers who are working in blue collar jobs, or who are students at any of the other institutions of higher learning in the Twin Cities.
 
I did a search for colleges in Minneapolis, MN and got 351 hits. In that regard, it would appear that the Twin Cities are not that much different from other metropolitan areas, in that there are more institutions of higher learning than just the University of Minnesota. So, what of the needs of students at those other schools? Below are just a few I pulled off of the first few pages from the on-line Yellow Pages of colleges and community colleges in the Twin Cities.
 
      Century College  Chad College  Chopper College  College Arch & Landscape Arch  Community School of Excellence  Dunwoody College of Technology  Hamline University  Inver Hills Community College  Kaplan Professional Schools  MacAlester College  Mc Nally Smith College-Music  Metropolitan State University  Minneapolis College of Art and Design  Minneapolis Community and Technical College  National American University  Normandale Community College  North Central University  North Hennepin Community College  St Paul Center-Inver Hills Community College  St Paul College  University of Phoenix  University of St Thomas  Vesper College
 
That's only a few of the other institutions of higher learning. What about their students? What are they? Chopped liver? Don't they need some sort of "campus" ministry? Are their needs unimportant? Is it that students who have to get their educations from places like the University of Phoenix don't deserve the same ministry outreach as students at a university with a big-time football team?
 
 
 

Dave Benke

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Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
« Reply #310 on: September 22, 2011, 02:50:52 PM »
Quote
I'm giving students who take time off from school to be a peer volunteer the opportunity to work with a dynamic, fast growing - mission oriented campus ministry - and experience many opportunities to share the faith with their contemporaries - help lead bible classes…It's being done by the RC's right now - and they are making a HUGE difference on campus.  They went from 40 a sunday to 300 in about 2 yrs.
The problem is, that for the so-called confessionals, they view lay led Bible studies as forms of conventicles that are to be forbidden by orthodox Lutherans. Until you get over that hurdle, your plan will never fly. Advocating the concept that students should teach and lead Bible studies is the kiss of death in any new campus plan that you want the so-called confessionals to buy into.

Is this true?  I don't know that this is true.  Are there people whom you identify as confessional who view lay-led Bible studies to be forbidden?
If so, why?  I would say the Pastor/pastoral office is the called teaching office, so any teaching ministry is under my (the pastor's) supervision.  And where there have been lay-led classes in my experience, they are supervised by the Pastor.  But the pastor does not have to teach all of the classes.  How would Sunday School be held then?

Dave Benke

George Erdner

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Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
« Reply #311 on: September 22, 2011, 02:53:56 PM »
Peter,

Mark, the fact remains that saying students can me missionaries is no different than saying truck drivers should be missionaries

Exactamundo. I think rather, this is what the entire issue boils down to—is it legit to say that a truck driver is a missionary? Do Christians have a call, a vocation, to share their faith with others—to see themselves as sent ones, going out and bringing Christ to others.

Or, is that only the work of the pastor? Does the college student/truck driver have a vocation to be seeking to share their faith—or, is it really not their vocation, and their call is merely one of passive response—if someone asks them about what they believe, then they share. Otherwise, that is not their vocation.

So yes, Peter, this is absolutely-dutely correct.


I wonder why no one ever posts anything like that when I suggest that evangelism outreach should be deliberate and proactive, and I get jumped on by pastors who insist that all evangelism comes from their parishioners living their lives in Christian example and witness.
 
I wonder if any of the pastors who raked me over the coals for not agreeing that it's enough that their congregation members are inspired to spread the word and no other evangelism is needed or even a good idea will jump in and disagree with what you wrote. (That's a rhetorical statement. I'm confident that they won't.)
 
 

Mike Gehlhausen

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Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
« Reply #312 on: September 22, 2011, 03:52:04 PM »
Has there been any further word from President Seitz or the Board that sheds light on their decision? President Seitz is not known to take action without careful consideration of various alternatives nor is he known to be partisan. In the past the same was true for the MNS Board.

Marie Meyer

Every news report I've seen indicates something like this:  There was no response to a phone call and email to the board. 

I don't know President Seitz or any of the district executives, but the lack of any response from an MNS spokesman to requests for comment from the news media doesn't reflect well on the district.  Indeed, I can't understand why they wouldn't at least have prepared talking points a spokesman could repeat ad nausium.  As Dr. Gard notes, the MNS district is coming across in a very negative light.

Has there been any comment from President Harrison on this?

One blessing, perhaps small as it may be, has been a lack of implication that such actions flow all the way up to an agenda of the synodical administration.  If Dr. Kieschnick were still SP, then I have little doubt we would have seen such implications made.

Mike

mmeyer

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Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
« Reply #313 on: September 22, 2011, 03:58:55 PM »
Peter,

Mark, the fact remains that saying students can me missionaries is no different than saying truck drivers should be missionaries

Exactamundo. I think rather, this is what the entire issue boils down to—is it legit to say that a truck driver is a missionary? Do Christians have a call, a vocation, to share their faith with others—to see themselves as sent ones, going out and bringing Christ to others.

Or, is that only the work of the pastor? Does the college student/truck driver have a vocation to be seeking to share their faith—or, is it really not their vocation, and their call is merely one of passive response—if someone asks them about what they believe, then they share. Otherwise, that is not their vocation.

So yes, Peter, this is absolutely-dutely correct.


I wonder why no one ever posts anything like that when I suggest that evangelism outreach should be deliberate and proactive, and I get jumped on by pastors who insist that all evangelism comes from their parishioners living their lives in Christian example and witness.
 
I wonder if any of the pastors who raked me over the coals for not agreeing that it's enough that their congregation members are inspired to spread the word and no other evangelism is needed or even a good idea will jump in and disagree with what you wrote. (That's a rhetorical statement. I'm confident that they won't.)

Well - I would like to comment.  IN my 24+ years as an LCMS pastor, I have noticed one common thread - many, maybe even a majority, of Lutherans are AFRAID to give testimony to the hope we have in Jesus Christ for fear that THEY WILL SAY SOMETHING WRONG.  We have become so clergy-centric and scared that we don't put together the exact doctrinal formula that we seem to all but shut people down. 

One of the things I've learned is that it's good to give people the permission to speak about the hope they have in Jesus Christ - yes, to even PRACTICE it out loud - so they get comfortable.  They get used to speaking with their voice what they carry in their soul/heart.

One of the most rewarding groups on campus is our prayer team.  We practice a version of the Lectio Divina - where we read a section of scripture, talk about it for a bit - then re-read it two verses at a time, then pray after each reading.  We take turns praying outloud - either reflecting on what was said in Scripture or adding whatever else may be on our hearts.  It has been such a great experience for our students to learn not only about THE Faith - but to practice praying and talking THE Faith. 

Creating a climate where we can freely, openly and excitedly talk about the hope we have in Jesus Christ is the best evangelism program one can have - in my opinion.  As the Gospel is shared, the Holy Spirit works on hearts - how cool is that? 

Robert Johnson

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Re: University Lutheran Chapel (University of Minnesota) to be sold
« Reply #314 on: September 22, 2011, 04:01:48 PM »
Quote
I looked up the map of the university in question. It covers a lot of territory. A location just outside of the moat that surrounds the campus could actually be closer to many points on the campus than an on-campus location at the far edge of the campus.


That is a good point. I think what you are trying to say is that there is no magical vortex that necessitates a chapel be situated on the corner of 11th Ave and University Ave in Minneapolis. A campus chapel could be built in any number of places - where students could have easy access.


Likewise, it could also be integrated into an existing congregation that's in close proximity to the campus, where students would have easy access and integration into a full, diverse congregation rather than a specialized little academic microcosm.
 

Every Lutheran congregation I've belonged to (including a couple next door to universities) was family-focused.  Unmarried young people were invisible.   Basically none of the non-worship activities were relevant to college age singles. 

Perhaps my experience is unusual, but I tend to doubt it.