Author Topic: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation  (Read 101382 times)

Chuck Sampson

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #330 on: February 02, 2012, 11:36:20 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.
Of more than 20,000 posts this one may be the most incredible. 

Don Whitbeck

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #331 on: February 02, 2012, 11:39:48 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.

How petty of a response, Brian!  How sad, I never thought you would be a person without words!  I think Steven deserves better answer then this!
The Voice of God will NEVER Contradict the Word of God

Evangel

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #332 on: February 02, 2012, 11:43:42 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.

Oh boy ... of course the synod has the authority to list congregations on their roster.  That has nothing to do with congregations' right to join any other organizations.

LCMC also has the authority to list or not list a congregation that makes application to join.

Apples, oranges, etc.
Mark Schimmel, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church, LCMC
Priddy, TX
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ACXXIII, "Your majesty will graciously take into account the fact that, in these last times of which the Scriptures prophesy, the world is growing worse and men are becoming weaker and more infirm."

George Erdner

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #333 on: February 02, 2012, 11:44:19 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...

Stoffregen actually makes a good point, though it is against his argument. The fact that individual "voting members" rather than representative delegates elect bishops is further proof of the weakness of the relationship between congregations and the ELCA.
 

Erma S. Wolf

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #334 on: February 02, 2012, 12:03:29 PM »
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.

You are correct -- at least until your last sentence.  Actually, the question is whether it was the insistence by the churchwide office of the ELCA that LCMC was a denomination that caused LCMC to (to use your wording) "morph into a Lutheran denomination," or whether that "morphing" was already underway and the ELCA leadership was only naming what they saw occuring on the ground. 

Probably impossible to prove either way, at this point in time.  Future dissertation topic, definitely!

( I will attest, based on personal conversations with those in leadership roles in LCMC and Word Alone, that those who were instrumental in how LCMC worked during most of the previous decade never intended to form a seperate denomination, because they firmly believed that the time of denominations was ending and LCMC was "post-denominational." I think they would say, accurately or not, that it was the ELCA's insistence that LCMC was a separate denomination that caused LCMC to finally embrace the word, albeit with their own spin on how their particular denomination would or would not reflect traditional denominational structures and ways of governing.)

Team Hesse

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #335 on: February 02, 2012, 12:49:26 PM »
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.

You are correct -- at least until your last sentence.  Actually, the question is whether it was the insistence by the churchwide office of the ELCA that LCMC was a denomination that caused LCMC to (to use your wording) "morph into a Lutheran denomination," or whether that "morphing" was already underway and the ELCA leadership was only naming what they saw occuring on the ground. 

Probably impossible to prove either way, at this point in time.  Future dissertation topic, definitely!

( I will attest, based on personal conversations with those in leadership roles in LCMC and Word Alone, that those who were instrumental in how LCMC worked during most of the previous decade never intended to form a seperate denomination, because they firmly believed that the time of denominations was ending and LCMC was "post-denominational." I think they would say, accurately or not, that it was the ELCA's insistence that LCMC was a separate denomination that caused LCMC to finally embrace the word, albeit with their own spin on how their particular denomination would or would not reflect traditional denominational structures and ways of governing.)

Erma has this right. LCMC was originally cast as an alternative in a post-denominational world. Even (originally) to the extent of letting districts colloquy and roster pastors--LCMC would only maintain a "list". This went mostly by the wayside as time and certain disagreements evolved. Today LCMC maintains a clergy roster.

Lou

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #336 on: February 02, 2012, 01:04:00 PM »
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.

You are correct -- at least until your last sentence.  Actually, the question is whether it was the insistence by the churchwide office of the ELCA that LCMC was a denomination that caused LCMC to (to use your wording) "morph into a Lutheran denomination," or whether that "morphing" was already underway and the ELCA leadership was only naming what they saw occuring on the ground. 

Probably impossible to prove either way, at this point in time.  Future dissertation topic, definitely!

( I will attest, based on personal conversations with those in leadership roles in LCMC and Word Alone, that those who were instrumental in how LCMC worked during most of the previous decade never intended to form a seperate denomination, because they firmly believed that the time of denominations was ending and LCMC was "post-denominational." I think they would say, accurately or not, that it was the ELCA's insistence that LCMC was a separate denomination that caused LCMC to finally embrace the word, albeit with their own spin on how their particular denomination would or would not reflect traditional denominational structures and ways of governing.)

Erma has this right. LCMC was originally cast as an alternative in a post-denominational world. Even (originally) to the extent of letting districts colloquy and roster pastors--LCMC would only maintain a "list". This went mostly by the wayside as time and certain disagreements evolved. Today LCMC maintains a clergy roster.

Lou

True.  I'm not sure what the latest is, but I have heard that the bylaws committee is trying to arrest some of the "structure" that sort of took on a life of its own extra-constitutionally.  The rapid influx of congregations and pastors that came following CWA 09 drove some of the ad-hoc structure to deal with it, but it may or may not be long lasting.
Mark Schimmel, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church, LCMC
Priddy, TX
--
ACXXIII, "Your majesty will graciously take into account the fact that, in these last times of which the Scriptures prophesy, the world is growing worse and men are becoming weaker and more infirm."

George Erdner

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #337 on: February 02, 2012, 01:18:54 PM »
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.   >:(

Perhaps someone should point out that interdependent implies that neither party can survive without the other. When two entities have a mutually beneficial relationship that both one can survive quite nicely without, then the term interdependent does not accurately apply. There are plenty of Christian congregations that get along just fine with no affiliation with any denomination or church body. The fact of their existence proves that no congregation automatically requires denominational affiliation, except perhaps if it is too weak to survive without external support. Even then, such support can come from other sources than a denomination such as the ELCA.
 
The ELCA has lost or is losing around 675 congregations. Nevertheless, it survives. According to the sandcastle builder, the ELCA is still going strong. Therefore, it would appear that the ELCA doesn't depend on any individual congregations, making the claim of being interdependent hollow from that side as well.
 
There is often a huge difference between rhetoric and reality. One such situation is in how the ELCA describes itself in its own documents. The mere fact that the ELCA makes a rhetorical claim to the existence of an interdependent relationship between itself and the congregations affiliated with it does not make that claim accurate. Neither does claiming that congregations are members of the ELCA change the fact that they are in reality merely affilates, capable of changing their affiliation or acquiring additional affiliation as they see fit. There is nothing that the ELCA can do about such actions, other than withdrawing from the affiliation.
 
Even the one single piece of authority that the ELCA has for disciplining a congregation is presented in the ELCA's documentation in a less than accurate manner. The ELCA does not "expell" a congregation. The ELCA simply cuts the part of the (metaphorical) rope that ties the congregation to the ELCA at the ELCA's end of the rope. The ELCA doesn't kick out the congregation, the ELCA is the party that does the leaving. 

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #338 on: February 02, 2012, 03:26:45 PM »
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.

I was just trying to say red herring in a different way.
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Mel Harris

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #339 on: February 07, 2012, 04:09:18 AM »
A friend pointed me to these two new articles by Pastor Chris Conner.

http://tinyurl.com/6vxk3a6

and

http://tinyurl.com/7kzp5v2

     Mel Harris

Charles_Austin

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #340 on: February 07, 2012, 05:57:36 AM »
The links provided just upstream provide more information showing us how inappropriate it is for us to draw huge conclusions, make judgements, or attempt authoritative analysis of a parish situation from afar.
Hamlet advises his friend, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." (Act 1, Scene V) We might do well to remember that there are "more things in heaven and earth" than are concocted by our biases and assumptions.

Coach-Rev

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #341 on: February 07, 2012, 07:53:15 AM »
On the contrary, I thought the exposure of the many "facts" behind this whole mess quite illuminating, and I found the preponderance of those far outweighed any bias from the author. 

But I would expect no less of a statement from the ELCA's resident mouthpiece when confronted by such facts.

GalRev83

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #342 on: February 07, 2012, 08:09:53 AM »
A friend pointed me to these two new articles by Pastor Chris Conner.

http://tinyurl.com/6vxk3a6

and

http://tinyurl.com/7kzp5v2

     Mel Harris

Thanks for these citations. I admit I have not followed this story as closely as have some others. The situation is so disturbing, and sad. And the account of the Bishop's divorce just adds more --I dunno -- sadness, I guess -- to the whole situation. Thank you for the insights this writer provided.

Donna

Charles_Austin

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #343 on: February 07, 2012, 08:41:06 AM »
I was not, Pastor Cottingham, referring to what was in the particular articles. I was referring to the second- third- and four-guessing that goes on among those far away from the actual situation.

Coach-Rev

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #344 on: February 07, 2012, 09:35:17 AM »
And just why would that be, Charles?   What I saw in those articles has been reflected in many of the posts here - the devilish behavior on the part of a bishop who has stirred the pot several times, tossed live grenades into the room, and then stood back and absolved himself of all responsibility.

Those two articles have only affirmed the "second- third- and four-guessing" you rail against from those here, who actually know far more about the situation than you will ever admit. 

But as the ELCA's chief defender, it is no surprise that you continue defend your mother church, and you fail to see in the situation the harm being done to the body of Christ and just how appalling the entire mess is, largely at the responsibility of the synodical leadership there.