Author Topic: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation  (Read 96439 times)

DCharlton

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 7122
    • View Profile
Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #1035 on: April 29, 2013, 01:00:27 PM »

Ok, Charles. Let's have it this way. The elca must end this non-representative form of governance. If all areas are equal, then why are 4.something million members represented by a mere 1100, of which only 1/2 or 2/3 need to vote, independently of any wishes of the congregations or synod, to change doctrine as it is set down according to Scripture and the Confessions?

Well, Craig, in defense of the ELCA's form of governance, the 313 million people in the USA are represented by only 435 people. And congressional districts are specifically designed for provide "safe" seats for particular sorts of diversity, that is, racial and party.  Similarly for the 50 State legislatures.

The problem is not the ELCA's form of governance.  It is that the checks and balances in our form of governance are designed to be weak, which makes them easy to ignore in the face of raw power.  And raw power has been the major mode of operation in the ELCA for the last decade or so. Witness the post-2009 subjugation of synods by churchwide regarding the ministry, the redefinition of the ELCA as a "hierarchical church" in courts, the summary dismissals of rostered clergy, the sudden appearance of people at congregational meetings (that's actually an old one, and ring-leaders can be on both sides of the vote), the application/non-application of constitutional provisions by whim, etc.

Christe eleison, Steven+

Sure, but is this the way the Church is supposed to work?

I was responding to Charles' insistence that the 3 expressions are equal (like the Trinity even!). If they are equal, then why do congregations get very little say in the long term? Why are they not represented by people who are to represent them, but to vote according to their own "conscience?"

At least, in theory, those whom we elect to represent us in Washington or at the state level, are supposed to represent our desires. Granted, practice does not necessarily reflects the theory.

It seems that the disagreements centers on whether the weak checks and balances are part of the form of governance, or an accidental property of our form of government.  Not being a philosopher, I can't answer that.

However, I agree with Steven's suggestion that the ELCA is, through the raw assertion of power, morphing into something new, something other than what the ELCA was.  The ELCA is taking on a new form.  This transformation was made possible by the weak checks and balances but caused by the raw assertion of power.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 01:03:31 PM by DCharlton »
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

Steven Tibbetts

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10213
  • Big tents are for circuses.
    • View Profile
Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #1036 on: April 29, 2013, 01:27:10 PM »

Sure, but is this the way the Church is supposed to work?


I will observe here that Pope St. Gregory the Great's book Pastoral Care is actually entitled Liber Regulae Pastoralis, that is, The Book of the Pastoral Rule.  It was not an assigned reading for my "pastoral care" course at the GTU.

Pax, Zip+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 44902
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #1037 on: April 29, 2013, 02:40:50 PM »
Now Brian, there are many congregations full of well informed people.  Many congregations have studied and responded to the various issues that come before the Churchwide Assemblies.  Furthermore, to be fully informed one needs more than the discussion that takes place at the convention.  Because of time limits and logistics, the information given to voting members is often that which the organizers of the convention wanted them to have.  Information that might argue against proposals favored by the organizers is much more difficult to come by.  So a congregation that exists before and continues to exist after an assembly takes place has more time to become fully informed.


Yes, those well-informed people attend synod assemblies; get elected to churchwide assemblies, and they make well-informed decisions for the rest of the church. Even within congregations, it has always been a minority of members who make decisions for the whole. Congregations often have a quorum of 10% of voting members; or, in one congregation, the quorum was whoever showed up. Thus, 6% of the members can decide for entire congregation - and others seem quite happy with that. In fact, one assistant to a bishop stated that the worst thing that can happen at a congregational meeting is a full house, because that usually means there are big problems.


The CWA voting members I've known - and I will be one this year - get lots of materials before they gather together, so that they can read and be informed. I've been a visitor at three CWA, there was ample opportunities to receive information from advocacy groups that might support or oppose the resolutions that are before the assembly. WordAlone, SolidRock, Good Soil, Lutherans Alert/North America all have had people for hallway discussions and papers for distribution at the CWAs I was at. When CCM was up for vote: both sides had their own hotel room for presentations and strategy sessions.


More often than not, the complaint of voting members is over too much information - not about not having enough information. It is also within the power of the assembly to call for more time to discuss an issue if the allotted time is not enough. There is also a whole lot of discussion and fact-finding, as well as prayers for guidance, that takes place in the hallways, outside of the plenary sessions.
"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

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 44902
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #1038 on: April 29, 2013, 02:46:10 PM »

Ok, Charles. Let's have it this way. The elca must end this non-representative form of governance. If all areas are equal, then why are 4.something million members represented by a mere 1100, of which only 1/2 or 2/3 need to vote, independently of any wishes of the congregations or synod, to change doctrine as it is set down according to Scripture and the Confessions?

Well, Craig, in defense of the ELCA's form of governance, the 313 million people in the USA are represented by only 435 people. And congressional districts are specifically designed for provide "safe" seats for particular sorts of diversity, that is, racial and party.  Similarly for the 50 State legislatures.

The problem is not the ELCA's form of governance.  It is that the checks and balances in our form of governance are designed to be weak, which makes them easy to ignore in the face of raw power.  And raw power has been the major mode of operation in the ELCA for the last decade or so. Witness the post-2009 subjugation of synods by churchwide regarding the ministry, the redefinition of the ELCA as a "hierarchical church" in courts, the summary dismissals of rostered clergy, the sudden appearance of people at congregational meetings (that's actually an old one, and ring-leaders can be on both sides of the vote), the application/non-application of constitutional provisions by whim, etc.

Christe eleison, Steven+

Sure, but is this the way the Church is supposed to work?

I was responding to Charles' insistence that the 3 expressions are equal (like the Trinity even!). If they are equal, then why do congregations get very little say in the long term? Why are they not represented by people who are to represent them, but to vote according to their own "conscience?"

At least, in theory, those whom we elect to represent us in Washington or at the state level, are supposed to represent our desires. Granted, practice does not necessarily reflects the theory.


And how would/do representatives know what are our desires? A husband and wife I know both sent letters to their senator with opposing views on an issue. They both received exactly the same form letter back thanking them for their input.


I would not say, contrary to Charles, that the three expressions are "equal". The language we use is "interdependent". Each has their own areas of responsibility. We can't say, like we can with the Trinity that the Father, and the Son, and the Spirit are all the Creator. They are all our Savior. They are all present with us. The three expressions are different. They do not do the same things.
"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

  • Guest
Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #1039 on: April 29, 2013, 02:52:30 PM »

Ok, Charles. Let's have it this way. The elca must end this non-representative form of governance. If all areas are equal, then why are 4.something million members represented by a mere 1100, of which only 1/2 or 2/3 need to vote, independently of any wishes of the congregations or synod, to change doctrine as it is set down according to Scripture and the Confessions?

Well, Craig, in defense of the ELCA's form of governance, the 313 million people in the USA are represented by only 435 people. And congressional districts are specifically designed for provide "safe" seats for particular sorts of diversity, that is, racial and party.  Similarly for the 50 State legislatures.

The problem is not the ELCA's form of governance.  It is that the checks and balances in our form of governance are designed to be weak, which makes them easy to ignore in the face of raw power.  And raw power has been the major mode of operation in the ELCA for the last decade or so. Witness the post-2009 subjugation of synods by churchwide regarding the ministry, the redefinition of the ELCA as a "hierarchical church" in courts, the summary dismissals of rostered clergy, the sudden appearance of people at congregational meetings (that's actually an old one, and ring-leaders can be on both sides of the vote), the application/non-application of constitutional provisions by whim, etc.

Christe eleison, Steven+

Sure, but is this the way the Church is supposed to work?

I was responding to Charles' insistence that the 3 expressions are equal (like the Trinity even!). If they are equal, then why do congregations get very little say in the long term? Why are they not represented by people who are to represent them, but to vote according to their own "conscience?"

At least, in theory, those whom we elect to represent us in Washington or at the state level, are supposed to represent our desires. Granted, practice does not necessarily reflects the theory.


I'm sure those who have studied the matter in greater detail can provide more specific answers, but I think it all boils down to the fact that "Church" is supposed to work in such a manner that the Gospel ends up rightly preached, and the sacraments are properly administered. Details regarding structure and organization, governance procedures, etc., are pretty much open to whatever supports the church conducting its business so that those two critical conditions are met. In short, whatever system works, works. The means of evaluating how a church governs itself is in how well the church functions.


A dysfunctional national church body, like the ELCA, clearly isn't being governed properly. Whether that is the result of the structure and procedures or the result of the wrong people selected to positions of authority isn't as important as recognizing that the system just isn't working as it should. I would submit that either changing the system or changing the people would have equal chances of success at fixing what's wrong with the ELCA.


I have little optimism that either thing will be changed. The ELCA will continue on the path it is on.


God help us!

Charles_Austin

  • Guest
Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #1040 on: April 29, 2013, 04:58:41 PM »
Pastor Nehring writes:
Ok, Charles. Let's have it this way. The elca must end this non-representative form of governance. If all areas are equal, then why are 4.something million members represented by a mere 1100, of which only 1/2 or 2/3 need to vote, independently of any wishes of the congregations or synod, to change doctrine as it is set down according to Scripture and the Confessions? If the synod and/national "expression" of the elca decides on something, then why not let the congregations also have a voice?

I respond:
I have answered this question so many times. Let me back into it just for the sake of going a different way. Why can't states have three senators instead of two? Why can't all laws require ratification by the states? Here's why, Pastor Nehring and others: BECAUSE THAT IS NOT THE PROCESS WE PUT IN PLACE WHEN WE ESTABLISHED OUR FORM OF GOVERNMENT. WE COULD HAVE DONE IT THAT WAY, BUT WE DECIDED TO DO IT A DIFFERENT WAY.
    Pastor Stoffregen offers a good corrective. Congregation, synod and churchwide organization, while all necessary for the ELCA to be "church," are equal in that definition, but not equal in authority. The interdependence is the key word, each needs and respects the other.
   If, Pastor Nehring, you thought certain things should have to be ratified by congregations, there is a place to have that discussion. There is still a place to have that discussion, if anyone in the ELCA wants to get the ball rolling. But you can no longer pitch that ball.

Pastor Nehring writes:
And don't tell me that they have their "chance" to elect representatives for the larger "expressions." The elca must follow a secular idea of diversity in who votes on these issues, and those elected are told that they represent, not the synods or the congregations they come from, but themselves for the sake of the "churchwide."
I comment:
I wasn't going to tell you that.
(We might say that the idea of "diversity" in our decision-making is more "churchy" than secular, because I don't think American political entities can require quotas, but that's another discussion.)
   The voting members of synod and churchwide assemblies are not "delegates" from congregations or synods because - wait for it, yet again - THAT IS NOT THE WAY WE CONSTITUTED THE ELCA.
    You don't like it, try to change it. Or, as I guess you have done, seek a church body that makes decisions the way you like decisions made.
    I'm not entirely satisfied with our decision-making processes; but I'm not so honked off about them that I'll look for another church body with a different process; it's not a matter of Gospel.
    Enjoy having nice theoretical discussions about what a "church" should be or how a "church" should make decisions. I can't think of any time in history when everything was put out for a vote among the congregations; lay people have more input into the ELCA than ever before; and one of my criticisms is that the representation of clergy and bishop should be greater than it is now.
   But we have the process we have. Smart people will learn how to work within that process to get the changes they desire, even things that will change the process. (I'd bet the price of three lambs for a stew that we change how we formulate and approve social statements.)
    Not so smart people will whine and complain about the process and get out-maneuvered by the others. Those who can't stand the process or hate the decisions it reaches may end up running off and starting their own church bodies.   

racin_jason

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1177
    • View Profile
Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #1041 on: April 30, 2013, 10:20:06 AM »
This entire incident does highlight weaknesses in our system.

First, a synod council is, at least on paper, a representative body. Pastors and lay people are elected from various conferences. Yet across the entire ELCA rarely in the last 25 years have synod councils contradicted their bishop. So synod councils do operate in something of a vacuum, subject to group think, with conflict and dissent frowned upon. Synod council meetings have full agendas, with little time to get embroiled in dissent. The operating assumption is often "In order to get along you have to go along", support the bishop and stay out of the way. If anyone has a different perspective on synod councils, by all means share that with us.

Now we've witnessed synod councils preventing churches from the ELCA, but my recollection is that they generally happen in the east, historically LCA sections of the country, Metro-NY and Florida-Bahamas Synod. I can't recall any synod west of the Mississippi River challenging in court a church attempting to leave the ELCA. 

In this case, however, Eau Claire is in the midwest, where historically the de-facto ecclesiology does skew toward the congregation . One would think such a naked grab for money and power would be frowned upon. 

But there is no Bishop in this synod. None. As in not even an interim Bishop. I don't know why, or even how that is constitutionally valid. If someone here can shed light on this it would be helpful.  From the outside this too doesn't seem right. Sheep need a shepherd. Someone needs to be held accountable and be on hand to explain the actions of the synod and get feedback from area pastors and leaders. This is part of the checks and balances, having leadership available to interpret and explain mission. 

Otherwise we risk the perception that the lawyers are running the show with the rest of the synod and council operating as little more than spectators.   
Recipient of the official Forum Online Get Us Back on Topic Award

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 44902
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #1042 on: April 30, 2013, 10:34:45 AM »
This entire incident does highlight weaknesses in our system.

First, a synod council is, at least on paper, a representative body. Pastors and lay people are elected from various conferences. Yet across the entire ELCA rarely in the last 25 years have synod councils contradicted their bishop. So synod councils do operate in something of a vacuum, subject to group think, with conflict and dissent frowned upon. Synod council meetings have full agendas, with little time to get embroiled in dissent. The operating assumption is often "In order to get along you have to go along", support the bishop and stay out of the way. If anyone has a different perspective on synod councils, by all means share that with us.


Have you forgotten that, I believe the first Chicago Area Synod Council opposed the bishop's choice for an assistant?


I've sat in Sierra Pacific Synod Council meetings. They have a time keeper and every 20 minutes (or 30 minutes - I don't remember the exact interval) they stopped whatever they were discussion for a period of silent prayer and meditation. Their meetings were not "all business".



Quote
But there is no Bishop in this synod. None. As in not even an interim Bishop. I don't know why, or even how that is constitutionally valid. If someone here can shed light on this it would be helpful.  From the outside this too doesn't seem right. Sheep need a shepherd. Someone needs to be held accountable and be on hand to explain the actions of the synod and get feedback from area pastors and leaders. This is part of the checks and balances, having leadership available to interpret and explain mission. 


Remember, the bishop does not chair the synod council meetings.

Quote
Otherwise we risk the perception that the lawyers are running the show with the rest of the synod and council operating as little more than spectators.


With the filing of lawsuits, lawyers are running the show. A judge - not a bishop nor synod council - will make the final decisions.
"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]

Coach-Rev

  • Guest
Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #1043 on: April 30, 2013, 11:06:37 AM »
I can't recall any synod west of the Mississippi River challenging in court a church attempting to leave the ELCA. 


It's been mentioned here several times:  A similar (but not the same) situation in Holdrege Nebraska. 

With the filing of lawsuits, lawyers are running the show. A judge - not a bishop nor synod council - will make the final decisions.

You are right, when it should be resolved amongst ourselves.  So do you agree with your statement, i.e. that this is the way it should be handled?
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 09:00:19 AM by Coach-Rev »

cnehring

  • Guest
Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #1044 on: April 30, 2013, 12:47:19 PM »
    You don't like it, try to change it. Or, as I guess you have done, seek a church body that makes decisions the way you like decisions made.
    I'm not entirely satisfied with our decision-making processes; but I'm not so honked off about them that I'll look for another church body with a different process; it's not a matter of Gospel.
           Not so smart people will whine and complain about the process and get out-maneuvered by the others. Those who can't stand the process or hate the decisions it reaches may end up running off and starting their own church bodies.

No, it's not that I sought "a church body that makes decisions the way you like decisions made." It's that I sought a church body that understood itself to be a creation of the Word, and thus must abide by its work and control over us, instead of believing that you have the right and power to make changes that you like, b/c that is what the world believes to be "right."

Sure, I'll proudly to be considered "not so smart" if I will only know of Christ and Him crucified. But if you desire after the knowledge and wisdom of this world (as what passes as "smart" according to which), then go ahead and knock yourself out

Charles_Austin

  • Guest
Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #1045 on: April 30, 2013, 01:25:12 PM »
Pastor Nehring writes:
No, it's not that I sought "a church body that makes decisions the way you like decisions made." It's that I sought a church body that understood itself to be a creation of the Word, and thus must abide by its work and control over us, instead of believing that you have the right and power to make changes that you like, b/c that is what the world believes to be "right."

I comment:
Well, you have the last part of that statement wrong; but I'm not surprised. You bristle if I say you are only seeking a political structure and decision-making process that "you like." But you went and created a church body which has that, and whose decision-making process is still government by human rules.
Yet you accuse me of seeking to make changes in the Word, according to "what the world believes to be right." I say again; that is nonsense. But you will keep saying it anyway.

Pastor Nehring:
Sure, I'll proudly to be considered "not so smart" if I will only know of Christ and Him crucified. But if you desire after the knowledge and wisdom of this world (as what passes as "smart" according to which), then go ahead and knock yourself out
Me (fully conscious):
That is just more vapid spiritualizing and pompous posturing. Of course you know more than "Christ and Him crucified". You would be a fool if you didn't. You incorporate boatloads of "knowledge and wisdom of this world" into your life and into your faith; so it won't do to hide behind pious slogans.
But those slogans make for nice put-downs and ways to avoid serious dialogue, don't they?

George Erdner

  • Guest
Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #1046 on: April 30, 2013, 01:30:56 PM »
    You don't like it, try to change it. Or, as I guess you have done, seek a church body that makes decisions the way you like decisions made.
    I'm not entirely satisfied with our decision-making processes; but I'm not so honked off about them that I'll look for another church body with a different process; it's not a matter of Gospel.
           Not so smart people will whine and complain about the process and get out-maneuvered by the others. Those who can't stand the process or hate the decisions it reaches may end up running off and starting their own church bodies.

No, it's not that I sought "a church body that makes decisions the way you like decisions made." It's that I sought a church body that understood itself to be a creation of the Word, and thus must abide by its work and control over us, instead of believing that you have the right and power to make changes that you like, b/c that is what the world believes to be "right."

Sure, I'll proudly to be considered "not so smart" if I will only know of Christ and Him crucified. But if you desire after the knowledge and wisdom of this world (as what passes as "smart" according to which), then go ahead and knock yourself out


You're right. A church body must understand things as you have described them. Part of that understanding is to govern itself in a wise and prudent manner to make straying from God's will as difficult as possible.


Church governance is a means to an end, but that doesn't mean one should look for a church body whose method of governance is best suited to achieving God's ends. Any process which has been demonstrated to facilitate straying from God's will is a process that should be rejected as ineffective.

cnehring

  • Guest
Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #1047 on: April 30, 2013, 01:44:51 PM »
Pastor Nehring writes:
No, it's not that I sought "a church body that makes decisions the way you like decisions made." It's that I sought a church body that understood itself to be a creation of the Word, and thus must abide by its work and control over us, instead of believing that you have the right and power to make changes that you like, b/c that is what the world believes to be "right."

I comment:
Well, you have the last part of that statement wrong; but I'm not surprised. You bristle if I say you are only seeking a political structure and decision-making process that "you like." But you went and created a church body which has that, and whose decision-making process is still government by human rules.
Yet you accuse me of seeking to make changes in the Word, according to "what the world believes to be right." I say again; that is nonsense. But you will keep saying it anyway.

Pastor Nehring:
Sure, I'll proudly to be considered "not so smart" if I will only know of Christ and Him crucified. But if you desire after the knowledge and wisdom of this world (as what passes as "smart" according to which), then go ahead and knock yourself out
Me (fully conscious):
That is just more vapid spiritualizing and pompous posturing. Of course you know more than "Christ and Him crucified". You would be a fool if you didn't. You incorporate boatloads of "knowledge and wisdom of this world" into your life and into your faith; so it won't do to hide behind pious slogans.
But those slogans make for nice put-downs and ways to avoid serious dialogue, don't they?

Ah, you miss the point. At least in the NALC, the congregations and the members do have a greater sense of balance-so that what is done at national level cannot be placed upon the local without a review and agreement. elca was and is too afraid to try this.

So, using Paul's words is pious slogans? I was responding to your suggestion that us who cannot abide by apostasy are "not so smart". So be it-I will consider myself dumb by the "enlightened world" when it comes to what I believe and trust God to have said and desires, since I will seek to hold to the Scriptures alone for theology.

Laugher of the day-we avoid serious discussions? Good one!

Steven Tibbetts

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10213
  • Big tents are for circuses.
    • View Profile
Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #1048 on: April 30, 2013, 03:35:40 PM »

First, a synod council is, at least on paper, a representative body. Pastors and lay people are elected from various conferences. Yet across the entire ELCA rarely in the last 25 years have synod councils contradicted their bishop. So synod councils do operate in something of a vacuum, subject to group think, with conflict and dissent frowned upon. Synod council meetings have full agendas, with little time to get embroiled in dissent. The operating assumption is often "In order to get along you have to go along", support the bishop and stay out of the way. If anyone has a different perspective on synod councils, by all means share that with us.


That fits with my experience serving, under 2 very different Bishops, on the Central/Southern Illinois Synod Council for 5 years as a Conference Dean.

The place for discussion of matters was usually within the Executive Committee, which I was not a part of.  Most decisions, even potentially controversial ones, were pretty well established before the matters came up on the Council's agenda.  While the Vice-President is chairman, the Bishops clearly controlled matters, especially the information presented (or sometimes not presented) to the Council, which generally then acted as a rubber stamp.  On the rare occasions something might not go as the Bishops desired, the matter was quickly referred back to an appropriate committee. 

Regarding property/departure matters, the stronger indicator is not so much geography as it is which PCB is dominant.  Synods with at stronger ALC heritage are likely to let congregations depart.  Synods with stronger LCA roots -- and Nebraska is one of those -- are more likely to desire a congregation to remain. 

I am not sure which is stronger in NW Wisconsin, but the congregation is acting in accordance with her (and her pastors') ALC roots, while the Synod is acting as if it finds that way of thinking repugnant. Not quite in an LCA manner, though.  This church's eagerness to speak of "schismatic" activities with regard to other Lutherans, all of whom our Constitution both declares and presumes we are in fellowship, started to make sense to me once I recalled that the current ELCA Secretary (and a very high proportion of the Conference of Bishops) is rooted, via the AELC, in the LCMS.

As for "lawyers running the show," when our Bishop resigned early and an Interim Bishop was appointed (by the Presiding Bishop with approval of the Synod Council), with regard to those speaking or working with non-ELCA Lutherans, the Interim Bishop acted completely in accord with his instructions from the ELCA Secretary and Presiding Bishop, i.e, even harsher than our just-resigned Bishop.  And, alas, it did (and does) no good to quote the Constitution, because it means what the Secretary says it means, regardless of what it says.

Kyrie eleison, Steven+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

Coach-Rev

  • Guest
Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #1049 on: May 01, 2013, 10:30:53 AM »
       If you have half an hour, and are interested in the topic of this thread, you may want to watch this video.

Well spoken and articulated in this  half hour segment.  I found the last 10 minutes to be the most pointed and direct about the actual situation.

I also found this quote to be rather illuminating of the situation in general from Pastor Nestingen:  "If this is social justice, I don't want much more of it.  If this is inclusivity and tolerance, I wonder what it would be like if they were exclusive and intolerant?"