Author Topic: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation  (Read 101576 times)

Charles_Austin

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #315 on: February 02, 2012, 03:39:01 AM »
Mr.Erdner writes:
The denominations are a collection of congregations. The congregations are the church, the denominations are artificial, man-made establishments that are supposed to facilitate the functioning of the congregations, but the denomination is not an authority over the congregations. That's why the only course of discipline available to the denomination regarding a congregation is to sever the affiliation between the denomination and the congregation.
I comment:
And here we go again with the willful ignorance and persistent refusal to understand. In the ELCA, congregations, synods and the national "expression" of the ELCA are all church and are interdependent. That is, one does not exist without the other. The ELCA as "denomination," and as synod does indeed have authority over congregations, and congregations accept that authority by being part of the ELCA.
In one sense, even congregations are "man-made establishments," are they not?

Mr. Erdner writes:
The denomination serves the congregation by providing resources, maintaining a certain degree of good order, facilitating cooperative action to accomplish broader ranges of missions, and other things like maintaining seminaries and a publishing service to make available educational and worship materials. It also handles the training, ordination, and certification of clergy.
I comment:
That is neither the sole, nor is it the main function of the "denomination" in the ELCA. And since Mr. Erdner refuses to recognize the "degree of good order" established by synods and ELCA Assemblies, he is not even consistent with his own warped view of what the ELCA or any denomination is.

Mr. Erdner writes;
If being affiliated with one organization that provides those benefits is good, then being affiliated with two such organizations would surely be better. The only issue would be if the mutually agreed upon standards that define each of two different denominations are at variance with each other to the point of being mutually exclusive.
I comment:
Hogwash. Mr. Erdner continues to describe a "church" and the relationships between congregations, synods and the ELCA concocted only from his own fanciful musings and without any understanding of reality. Even ELCA "traditionalists" here ought to be offended.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 03:41:35 AM by Charles_Austin »

Coach-Rev

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #316 on: February 02, 2012, 08:17:07 AM »
And here we go again with the willful ignorance and persistent refusal to understand. In the ELCA, congregations, synods and the national "expression" of the ELCA are all church and are interdependent. That is, one does not exist without the other. The ELCA as "denomination," and as synod does indeed have authority over congregations, and congregations accept that authority by being part of the ELCA.


and here we go again with your willful veiled insults and persistent ad hominem attacks.  Until you recognize the equality among this official proclamation of interdependency, it is pointless to even debate with you, since anyone who disagrees with you will be called willfully ignorant or worse.   >:(

Charles_Austin

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #317 on: February 02, 2012, 08:34:20 AM »
Do you admit, Pastor Cottingham, that a congregation cannot leave the ELCA without proper procedure or - in some circumstances - without the approval of the synod council? Do you admit that a synod and the ELCA may determine that "dual rostering" violates our agreement?
And do you subscribe to Mr. Erdner's quirky, independent, non-theological, non-structural, what-I-think view of the church?
The insult, Pastor Cottingham, comes from those like Mr. Erdner. One may certainly criticize the ELCA and advocate for changes in what it does. But to do so, you damn well better understand what it is you are criticizing and how it works. Otherwise, you are not a helpful critic, but simply a pain in the posterior.
Such people are like a fool who would go around whining "Awww! Geee! I think each state should have three senators, not two. Why don't they? Nobody asked me! So why don't they just change? After all, a state is just yada yada yada and the senate is yada yada yada (insert unique and inaccurate statements about states and the senate), so why not do it my way?"
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 08:46:08 AM by Charles_Austin »

Team Hesse

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #318 on: February 02, 2012, 09:03:39 AM »
Time to let this one go.....
Once again, hyperbole and ad hominem rule the day. So be it. Cowardly and duplicitous indeed....

Lou

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #319 on: February 02, 2012, 09:13:36 AM »
Mr.Erdner writes:
The denominations are a collection of congregations. The congregations are the church, the denominations are artificial, man-made establishments that are supposed to facilitate the functioning of the congregations, but the denomination is not an authority over the congregations. That's why the only course of discipline available to the denomination regarding a congregation is to sever the affiliation between the denomination and the congregation.
I comment:
And here we go again with the willful ignorance and persistent refusal to understand. In the ELCA, congregations, synods and the national "expression" of the ELCA are all church and are interdependent. That is, one does not exist without the other. The ELCA as "denomination," and as synod does indeed have authority over congregations, and congregations accept that authority by being part of the ELCA.
In one sense, even congregations are "man-made establishments," are they not?
Your continuing jihad against George and your descent into semantics with "man-made establishments" aside, I'd suggest that you ought to rethink your hypothesis above that "one does not exist without the other".  My heritage is LCA as well, and I'm no raging congregationalists, but even I recognize that the congregation can and does exist without higher levels of hierarchy.  If the geography/population of a jurisdiction is large enough to allow for multiple congregations, then such human ordered institutions to provide the biblical mandate of supervision are proper.  I believe you are confusing the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, which any congregation does belong to in some mystical way, with the human institutions of denomination.  Synods and churchwide assemblies do not regularly gather for word and sacrament to qualify as such (though they are church when they do so).  If they did, they would effectively be cathedral congregations.  The local assembled congregation is foundational, and everything else springs from it.  It's only when you have 2 or more of them, do you have the possibility of interdependent hierarchy.  UPDATE:  If tomorrow the ELCA decided to dissolve itself (through constitutional processes), the congregations which compose it would not cease to exist.  But the synod and national church offices would.  The two upper "expressions", however, have no power to dissolve a healthy congregation; they both exist only as long as their constituent congregation do.  The deference to outside authority which congregations place in their constitutions does not mean their continuance is dependent on that outside authority.

George (and Lou) are not wrong here; you're apparently just determined to say they are in defense of your (well, our) institution's inconsistent actions.

Sterling Spatz
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 10:31:19 AM by MaddogLutheran »
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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #320 on: February 02, 2012, 09:17:55 AM »
Time to let this one go.....
Once again, hyperbole and ad hominem rule the day. So be it. Cowardly and duplicitous indeed....

Lou

This is another one they could close!  :(
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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #321 on: February 02, 2012, 11:01:18 AM »
How can a congregation or pastor be adequately devoted to more than one denomination?

That a rather curious turn of phrase. 

As for me and my house, the object of this pastor's and congregation's devotion is the Lord. 
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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #322 on: February 02, 2012, 11:03:11 AM »

As far as I know, no congregations had unilaterally decided to become dual rostered under Sec. Alman's watch. He did not have to rule on the issue of a congregation taking steps to join another Lutheran denomination while remaining ELCA.

Several dozen ELCA congregations joined LCMC, without leaving the ELCA, under Secretary Almen's watch.
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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #323 on: February 02, 2012, 11:08:12 AM »

The governing documents do not give an ELCA congregation the power or authority to join another denomination.

They do not need to.  From a legal and constitutional perspective, it is the congregation -- already constituted as an organization that has its own powers and authority -- that joins the ELCA, not the ELCA that creates the congregation.  None of the power or authority of an ELCA congregation is granted by the ELCA's governing documents.
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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #324 on: February 02, 2012, 11:11:46 AM »
A congregation cannot vote to elect the bishop of their synod. Even if they follow all the rules of a proper congregational meeting, such an election would be out of order because they do not have the authority to elect a bishop.

Talk about mixing apples and pears and oranges and bananas, then you start throwing in carburetors and bifocal lenses...
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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #325 on: February 02, 2012, 11:15:29 AM »
As far as I know, no congregations had unilaterally decided to become dual rostered under Sec. Alman's watch. He did not have to rule on the issue of a congregation taking steps to join another Lutheran denomination while remaining ELCA.

I don't believe this to be true.
Early in the formation of LCMC there were more than a few congregations who unilaterally decided to dual roster. Sec Almen never ruled on that to my knowledge--and "never ruling" gave the impression to many of us that that was an acceptable avenue to approach the uncertainty of the times in which we were living. Congregations wished to keep their options open and send a message that the ELCA was "skating on thin ice".

Lou

You are of course correct Lou.  Brian's statement is demonstrably false ... there were several (perhaps dozens) {edit: a quick check of the internet archive site looking at the November 2006 update of the LCMC.net site shows 44 member congregations as ELCA members} of congregations that have been listed on the LCMC list of congregations as also being ELCA members that go back into the time when Sec. Almen was in office.

Brian's continued insistence that congregations are unable to affiliate with another denomination has also motivated me to actually open the ELCA constitution and look up the section that recognizes that they are allowed to enter such arrangements.

Take a look at Chapter 9, titled "Congregations", under section 9.30. "Reservation of Authority" you will find the following:

9.31. Congregations of this church shall have authority in all matters that are not assigned by the constitution and bylaws of this church to synods and the churchwide organization.

 
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 11:38:04 AM by Evangel »
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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #326 on: February 02, 2012, 11:26:59 AM »
As far as I know, no congregations had unilaterally decided to become dual rostered under Sec. Alman's watch. He did not have to rule on the issue of a congregation taking steps to join another Lutheran denomination while remaining ELCA.

I don't believe this to be true.
Early in the formation of LCMC there were more than a few congregations who unilaterally decided to dual roster. Sec Almen never ruled on that to my knowledge--and "never ruling" gave the impression to many of us that that was an acceptable avenue to approach the uncertainty of the times in which we were living. Congregations wished to keep their options open and send a message that the ELCA was "skating on thin ice".


The LCMC began as a network of congregations and purposely did not seek to become a "denomination". As such it was not too different from RIC or LC/NA. However, it morphed into a Lutheran denomination.
"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

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #327 on: February 02, 2012, 11:30:52 AM »
How can a congregation or pastor be adequately devoted to more than one denomination?

That a rather curious turn of phrase. 

As for me and my house, the object of this pastor's and congregation's devotion is the Lord.


Spoken by a single pastor who doesn't fall under Paul's critique of the necessity of sharing devotion with a spouse.
"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

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #328 on: February 02, 2012, 11:33:47 AM »
A congregation cannot vote to elect the bishop of their synod. Even if they follow all the rules of a proper congregational meeting, such an election would be out of order because they do not have the authority to elect a bishop.

Talk about mixing apples and pears and oranges and bananas, then you start throwing in carburetors and bifocal lenses...


I'm not clear from your answer. Are you agreeing with me that their constitutions do not give congregations the authority to elect a bishop even at a duly called congregational meeting? Or, in more general terms, that  the constitutions do not give congregations all authority.
"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

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #329 on: February 02, 2012, 11:35:26 AM »

9.31. Congregations of this church shall have authority in all matters that are not assigned by the constitution and bylaws of this church to synods and the churchwide organization.


The rostering of clergy and of congregations falls under the authority of the synods, thus it has been assigned and not under the congregation's authority.
"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]