Author Topic: The ELCA Requires Nothing  (Read 47047 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #435 on: January 13, 2013, 04:55:52 PM »
QED, Bob.  The pastor is not an independent actor in regards to officiating at such public rites.  He or she is the pastor of a particular congregation solely due to the fact that he is under call to that congregation and he is therefore always a public face or ambassador of the congregation.  The congregation makes it clear by a bylaw or continuing resolution that their expectations and policies are for said pastor not to sully the reputation of the congregation by such participation, and that any such violation of the congregation's policies will be interpreted as an immediate and unconditional resignation of call.


I, as well as the IRS, believe that the pastor is an independent contrator when officiating at weddings (or funerals); unless it is the congregation who pays him to do the weddings/funerals. I've done a few weddings with folks who had no connection with my congregation. Usually, they were personal friends, and the services were not in the church building. In fact, I have one in the works now. It's out of town. It's will not be held at a church. The bride's family are friends. I will inform our council that I will be gone for this wedding. They aren't given a choice about saying yea or nay to it.
"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: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #436 on: January 13, 2013, 05:02:33 PM »
Would it be acceptable for a congregation to ask a pastor before extending a call if he or she would be open to performing same-sex ceremonies?


I had call committees ask me what I thought of the CCM agreement with the Episcopal Church. They can ask whatever they want. They may or may not like our answers.
"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]

Johan Bergfest

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #437 on: January 13, 2013, 05:34:59 PM »
Would it be acceptable for a congregation to ask a pastor before extending a call if he or she would be open to performing same-sex ceremonies?


I had call committees ask me what I thought of the CCM agreement with the Episcopal Church. They can ask whatever they want. They may or may not like our answers.

If the congregation has serious concerns on specific matters, wouldn't it be the best practice for the congregation to communicate that information to the Bishop/District President and for the Bishop/DP to take that information into consideration prior to vetting a short list of candidates for the congregation to consider?  I would think that "deal breakers" ought to be exposed before you ever get invited for an interview.

Pastor Ted Crandall

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #438 on: January 13, 2013, 06:31:25 PM »
Suffice it to say that the organized church, in which my spiritual roots were initially nourished and in which they are still deeply rooted, no longer exists.

Doesn't it still exist in the ELCA? 

George Erdner

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #439 on: January 13, 2013, 06:50:51 PM »
Suffice it to say that the organized church, in which my spiritual roots were initially nourished and in which they are still deeply rooted, no longer exists.

Doesn't it still exist in the ELCA?


You are joking, right? Those who are members of ELCA congregations usually have their spiritual roots nourished because of the work of individual pastors at that "expression" of church. But there is very little spiritual nourishment filtering down to the local congregation from Higgins Road or the Synod offices, beyond the publications of AF (which either is or isn't considered an ELCA venture, depending on whether or not it's convenient to see it as such), and the educations that older pastors received from the seminaries if they went there before recent times.


So, perhaps the most accurate answer to your question would be, "It exists in the ELCA, but not because of the ELCA." Those who find themselves in former ELCA congregations that are now affiliated with different Lutheran bodies still receive the same spiritual nourishment at their local congregations that they formerly received.


vicarbob

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #440 on: January 13, 2013, 07:08:10 PM »
QED, Bob.  The pastor is not an independent actor in regards to officiating at such public rites.  He or she is the pastor of a particular congregation solely due to the fact that he is under call to that congregation and he is therefore always a public face or ambassador of the congregation.  The congregation makes it clear by a bylaw or continuing resolution that their expectations and policies are for said pastor not to sully the reputation of the congregation by such participation, and that any such violation of the congregation's policies will be interpreted as an immediate and unconditional resignation of call.


I, as well as the IRS, believe that the pastor is an independent contrator when officiating at weddings (or funerals); unless it is the congregation who pays him to do the weddings/funerals. I've done a few weddings with folks who had no connection with my congregation. Usually, they were personal friends, and the services were not in the church building. In fact, I have one in the works now. It's out of town. It's will not be held at a church. The bride's family are friends. I will inform our council that I will be gone for this wedding. They aren't given a choice about saying yea or nay to it.

That is how I understand it also. I am not an employee of a congregation but its called and ordained pastor. I am ordained as a presbyter/minister/priest/pastor in the OHCA Church and rostered in the ELCA.
I got my answer, thank you
pax
Bob+

Johan Bergfest

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #441 on: January 13, 2013, 07:28:38 PM »
Suffice it to say that the organized church, in which my spiritual roots were initially nourished and in which they are still deeply rooted, no longer exists.

Doesn't it still exist in the ELCA?

Pr. Crandall - The LCMS today is not the same organized church that it was when I spoke my confirmation vows.  Certainly there are individual congregations and pastors that are still more like the LCMS was prior to Seminex.  Folks like you are constantly on the lookout for those so that you can add them to the "admonition" and demand that they either leave are capitulate to the confessional understanding of what it means to be Lutheran.  That was not appropriate behavior in the LCMS in which my roots were nourished.

I like George's answer to your question. 

Every Lutheran Church body confesses Scripture as God's Inspired Word and the Lutheran Confession as a correct expression of God's Word.  In my opinion, that confession is correctly held by the Evangelical Lutheran Church.  Every Lutheran Church body, in practice, adds to and, thereby, subtracts from the confession of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.  Every Lutheran Church body is a human institution and, in some respects, each functions like most other secular organizations.  For those reasons, I think that every Lutheran Church body is - to use a word from your vocabulary - heterodox.  That includes LCMS. 

I assume that every member of every Lutheran Church body (actually, every Christian denomination) is my sister/brother in Christ.  I believe that most are and I will leave it to God to sort out the tares.  I believe that you are my brother in Christ and I would prefer to relate with you on that basis.  Frankly, I am not convinced that you accept me are your brother in Christ.

There are flaws in every Lutheran body and there are flaws in every Lutheran congregation.  I believe that my roots could be nourished in most, although I also am aware that I would not be welcome in some.  I have been an active church member most of my adult life and I will continue to be so for the rest of my life.

Coach-Rev

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #442 on: January 13, 2013, 07:51:13 PM »
What we agree on in the ELCA is our statement of faith and we have voluntarily agreed to conduct ourselves according to our governing documents. And one is required to be on board with regard to those things.

Charles, this is blatantly untrue, and you know it.  Examples have been given time and again of churches that are failing to abide by the official "statement of faith" and nothing is done about it.  NOTHING. NOTHING. Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.   Does "Herchurch" ring a bell?  or a "Lutheran" article from approx 2 years ago about the value of praying to "sophia" during a stewardship campaign? 
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 07:54:42 PM by Coach-Rev »

Dadoo

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #443 on: January 13, 2013, 07:53:25 PM »
QED, Bob.  The pastor is not an independent actor in regards to officiating at such public rites.  He or she is the pastor of a particular congregation solely due to the fact that he is under call to that congregation and he is therefore always a public face or ambassador of the congregation.  The congregation makes it clear by a bylaw or continuing resolution that their expectations and policies are for said pastor not to sully the reputation of the congregation by such participation, and that any such violation of the congregation's policies will be interpreted as an immediate and unconditional resignation of call.


I, as well as the IRS, believe that the pastor is an independent contrator when officiating at weddings (or funerals); unless it is the congregation who pays him to do the weddings/funerals. I've done a few weddings with folks who had no connection with my congregation. Usually, they were personal friends, and the services were not in the church building. In fact, I have one in the works now. It's out of town. It's will not be held at a church. The bride's family are friends. I will inform our council that I will be gone for this wedding. They aren't given a choice about saying yea or nay to it.

That is how I understand it also. I am not an employee of a congregation but its called and ordained pastor. I am ordained as a presbyter/minister/priest/pastor in the OHCA Church and rostered in the ELCA.
I got my answer, thank you
pax
Bob+

According to the tangle of constitutional writ in ELCA, you would both be incorrect. The call to a pastor is to preach the word and administer the sacraments and advocate for the faith. Marriage is NOT a sacrament in Lutheranism. It is a function that a pastor is performing within the congregation akin to visiting the members when they are sick. The rite of marriage is a worship service and while the pastor is expected to preside over the service the worship life is under the authority of the council. No matter where you perform the marriage service, if you enter it into the records of the congregation, it is their service.

Can you "do weddings" outside your usual gig? Yes, but on the basis of the authority vested in you by the state of Upper Southern West Central Carolina or whatnot, not on the basis of your call as pastor to St. Mickey's by the gas station or your rostering in the ELCA, or Lutheranism- ism- mism, or the OHCA (unless you claim marriage a sacrament in which case you are on the wrong denomination's roster). You are basically a JoP. You lack ecclesial - theological authority; though you have that letter from the secretary of state, so its all nice and legal in the eyes of the law but not necessarily blessed by your church.

The constitution can also have continuing resolutions attached to it concerning who you can and cain't marry and the congregation can write a clause into the letter of call on the matter which would mean they would have to offer you a new call before the matter can be changed.

The IRS . . . ahhh, yes. Again, that designation is merely a legal designation that was convenient to the Department of the Treasury. It has been challenged by various municipalities since no withholdings are made of each paycheck and they do not like it when everyone is not paying right away. It could be challenged or changed at will in the next revision of the tax code. If so, it will be by sweeping change, accident or oversight but not for reasons of recognizing the ordained ministry as those set aside to do Holy Ministry in the OHCA. It will be for totally non theological reasons and ecclesiology will not be considered in the change. THe IRS designation as contractor is not relevant to the ecclesiology of the matter but: You better report the income from the wedding on your taxes, since you promised that you would lead a life of holy living in you r ordination and paying your dues would be part of fulfilling all righteousness in this matter.
Peter Kruse

Diversity and tolerance are very complex concepts. Rigid conformity is needed to ensure their full realization. - Mike Adams

Dadoo

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #444 on: January 13, 2013, 08:22:08 PM »
Pastor Kruse writes:
 I have no idea why Lehmann published it without at least making a disclaimer which as the ELCA magazine would have been right meet and just plain a good idea. 

I comment:
That column is and always has been personal opinion. "Personal opinion." Personal opinion. Personal opinion.
It says "My View." "My View," the "my" referring to the writer of the article. Why is that so hard to understand?

Because the author is a former synod employee, a former Bishop's assistant, whose former position was in the by line and whose former call will be seen as a sign that he is someone who is supposed to know. Therefore the column is misleading about an ELCA matter about which it is purely wrong and as the ELCA magazine it was pretty much the duty of the editor to correct  Pr. Christian's statement. As "our" magazine, it has our name, ELCA, on it, he cannot just hide behind the "my View" title or "accepted editorial practice."

Why is that so hard to understand.  :)

Quote

Agreed that social statements become the background for some of our concerns as expressed legislatively. So what? You don't have to agree with that either.


That is a bit more complicated, but for some, maybe even many, things will be said on behalf of the ELCA. Things will be lobbied for in the name of ELCA. If one was to be a faithful member of ELCA and one sharply disagreed one's name would still be attached to the press release. That maybe offensive. There are a number of sport shooters in our church and I would bet we have a good number of members with concealed carry permits. Might they be miffed that the ELCA has signed its name to a petition to apply greater restrictions to gun ownership? (we did, BTW, about 2 years ago even before the current uproar, based on one of our social statements)

Quote

What we agree on in the ELCA is our statement of faith and we have voluntarily agreed to conduct ourselves according to our governing documents. And one is required to be on board with regard to those things.


As pastors, we did more than voluntarily agree. We vowed before God at ordination to do so. The lay folk agreed by virtue of membership and are much lighter bound. I realize I am a stickler and a bit severe with the matter of vows.

Quote

If one cannot do that for the sake of one's conscience; or if one concludes that an ELCA decision, for example, to let non-ordained persons preside at the Eucharist, is an offense of deal-breaking magnitude, then - as I have said a hundred times - one has a decision to make.

Actually, I would think you are nowhere close to 100 times on this. 30 maybe, 45 at the outside, but 100, no.  :)

BTW, the matter of lay presidency has not driven away congregations or pastors to my knowledge though at least LCMC has no problem with the practice. It has been criticized here because the practice is seen by quite a few as an add on to the confessions, see the above thing of agreement and vows, which say one should be ordained to preside. The point made is that the creation of separate rosters is a grave confusion and that the matter would have ben better served by straight ordination. A move to do exactly that is in progress in a number of synods.

Quote

Some people have alleged that the decisions of 2009 were the deal-breakers. The writer of the "My View" article thinks a bunch of stuff was going on in the minds of people who left; those who left did make their decision based on their own reasons. Some were noble reasons; some, I suspect, were not. Why is it so terrible to recognize that?


Because the article was published in 2012 - almost 2013 - after everyone has been told so many times that " the church has moved on." I think you have used words with that sentiment yourself right here. It seems to me the NALC has "moved on" more than Pr. Christian or the editor who chose his piece to publish. On top of that, the column used language that really does not muster up under the 8th commandment.

Why is it so hard to recognize that?   :)
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 08:24:49 PM by Dadoo »
Peter Kruse

Diversity and tolerance are very complex concepts. Rigid conformity is needed to ensure their full realization. - Mike Adams

Pastor Ted Crandall

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #445 on: January 13, 2013, 08:26:49 PM »
Frankly, I am not convinced that you accept me are your brother in Christ.

I accept you personally as my brother in Christ much like I accept my brothers and sisters in Christ who have chosen to belong to the Roman Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, the ELCA, etc.  Is it necessary that I also accept you as a fellow Lutheran in order for you to become convinced that I accept you as my brother in Christ? 

Johan Bergfest

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #446 on: January 13, 2013, 11:27:45 PM »
I accept you personally as my brother in Christ much like I accept my brothers and sisters in Christ who have chosen to belong to the Roman Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, the ELCA, etc.

Thank you for saying that, Pr. Crandall.

Is it necessary that I also accept you as a fellow Lutheran in order for you to become convinced that I accept you as my brother in Christ?

Of course it isn't.  However, the way you and other confessionals sometimes talk about other Christians, I sometimes get that impression that some confessionals think that way.

DCharlton

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #447 on: January 14, 2013, 12:00:46 AM »
Help me out here, how does a congregation go about forbidding its pastor from officiating at same sex marriages......while the congregation can state that it is polity of that congregation not to same sex nuptials in the church, they can not tell a pastor , apart from use of the facility, not to officiate. Or am I missing something???
pax
Bob+

Bob,

I you go back a few pages, you can find the policy that my congregation adopted as a continuing resolution.  It was adopted first by the council and affirmed at an annual meeting of the congregation, with the approval and encouragement of the synod. 

The wording actually does not forbid the pastor from doing anything.  It says that such weddings and/or blessings will not be held in church facilities, nor will the congregation sponsor such ceremonies. 

On the other hand, HSGT has put shut policy decisions in the hands of each and every congregation.  The ELCA has no policy on such matters, but offered several positions that are considered acceptable.  Which one of the positions will be enacted has been made the decision of the congregation.

I'm sure there are congregations who will only call a pastor who supports same sex unions, teaches that they fulfill the will of God, and is willing to perform same sex marriages.

David

« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 12:25:37 AM by DCharlton »
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

DCharlton

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #448 on: January 14, 2013, 12:03:44 AM »
Would it be acceptable for a congregation to ask a pastor before extending a call if he or she would be open to performing same-sex ceremonies?


I had call committees ask me what I thought of the CCM agreement with the Episcopal Church. They can ask whatever they want. They may or may not like our answers.

If the congregation has serious concerns on specific matters, wouldn't it be the best practice for the congregation to communicate that information to the Bishop/District President and for the Bishop/DP to take that information into consideration prior to vetting a short list of candidates for the congregation to consider?  I would think that "deal breakers" ought to be exposed before you ever get invited for an interview.

Congregations in my synod have been told that such concerns can and should be communicated to synod staff when the congregation develops its "profile".  They have been assured that their preferences will be respected and that the interview and call process will not be abused to foist a candidate upon the congregation against their will.
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

George Erdner

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #449 on: January 14, 2013, 12:07:35 AM »
Can anyone honestly state that if a pastor does something so egregious that the majority of the council and congregation want him gone that they cannot take steps to end his call at their congregation? If a pastor did something that caused a significant number of the congregation to leave in protest, would the local bishop just sit on his hands and do nothing, especially if asked to step in by the congregation's council?