Author Topic: The ELCA Requires Nothing  (Read 46969 times)

DCharlton

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #450 on: January 14, 2013, 12:17:23 AM »
Pastor Schimmel is correct.
A congregation might say it will not allow its pastor to perform same-sex unions or use the church for such. I believe that is within our proper procedures and policies. Then a pastor would have to decide whether he or she accepts the call with that restriction on the ministry. I wouldn't, not necessarily for the sake of same-sex unions, but for the principle.
On some things given to the ordained, the congregation may not place restrictions, although some may try to do so or think they have already done so. I think any pastor who accepts a call to a congregation that tries to legislate or by-law the way he or she ministers is in for trouble.

I don't see how congregations can avoid doing the very they that you find so objectionable.  In the past, a pastor who followed ELCA policies would be justified in refusing to accept additional restrictions imposed by the congregation.  The ELCA at one time had uniform policies regarding a whole host of matters. 

For instance, in the past I would have considered it inappropriate for a congregation to refuse to consider a candidate who was approved for ordination in the ELCA.  Today, as a result of HSGT, we have no single policy governing expectations for rostered leaders.  The ELCA did not decide on a single policy, but approved as many as four policies related to the matter of same sex relationships.

By reassuring those who opposed the rostering of those in same-sex relationships that, "No congregation can or will be forced to call such a person as pastor," the ELCA placed the burden for setting policy on the congregation.  Likewise, when it comes to same-sex marriages, the ELCA neither forbids nor endorses them.  It, therefore, is up to the congregation to set the policy that the national church has refused to set.

Congregations have been consistently reassured that no one is going to force them to do what they don't want to do.  However, if each pastor was free to do as he/she chose, the congregation would have no say.  The reassurance from the ELCA contradicts your understanding of the minister's prerogative.

One of the reasons that HSGT was opposed was that it created an impossible situation, where there was not a clear policy and each individual congregation and each individual pastor had to contend for their own interpretation.  There is no single standard for rostered leaders.  There is no single policy on same-sex unions.  There is not clear statement about "what this church teaches" about marriage. 

Congregations have to choose what their policy will be.

« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 12:20:10 AM by DCharlton »
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Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #451 on: January 14, 2013, 01:35:09 AM »
The IRS . . . ahhh, yes. 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.


Even if the congregation withholds taxes, income from weddings and funerals is reported on Schedule C - the form for self-employed contractors. A pastor's expenses for weddings and funerals can be deducted on that Schedule.


When I began my ministry, the congregation issued a 1099 form with what they had paid me, and all my pastoral income was reported on Schedule C, as well as business related expenses. Generally, the IRS considers pastors employees of the congregation and they issue a W-2 and the salary is reported on the 1040 form; except for weddings, funerals, and payments for other pastoral acts.
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #452 on: January 14, 2013, 01:50:43 AM »
Pastor Schimmel is correct.
A congregation might say it will not allow its pastor to perform same-sex unions or use the church for such. I believe that is within our proper procedures and policies. Then a pastor would have to decide whether he or she accepts the call with that restriction on the ministry. I wouldn't, not necessarily for the sake of same-sex unions, but for the principle.
On some things given to the ordained, the congregation may not place restrictions, although some may try to do so or think they have already done so. I think any pastor who accepts a call to a congregation that tries to legislate or by-law the way he or she ministers is in for trouble.

I don't see how congregations can avoid doing the very they that you find so objectionable.  In the past, a pastor who followed ELCA policies would be justified in refusing to accept additional restrictions imposed by the congregation.  The ELCA at one time had uniform policies regarding a whole host of matters. 

For instance, in the past I would have considered it inappropriate for a congregation to refuse to consider a candidate who was approved for ordination in the ELCA.  Today, as a result of HSGT, we have no single policy governing expectations for rostered leaders.  The ELCA did not decide on a single policy, but approved as many as four policies related to the matter of same sex relationships.

By reassuring those who opposed the rostering of those in same-sex relationships that, "No congregation can or will be forced to call such a person as pastor," the ELCA placed the burden for setting policy on the congregation.  Likewise, when it comes to same-sex marriages, the ELCA neither forbids nor endorses them.  It, therefore, is up to the congregation to set the policy that the national church has refused to set.

Congregations have been consistently reassured that no one is going to force them to do what they don't want to do.  However, if each pastor was free to do as he/she chose, the congregation would have no say.  The reassurance from the ELCA contradicts your understanding of the minister's prerogative.

One of the reasons that HSGT was opposed was that it created an impossible situation, where there was not a clear policy and each individual congregation and each individual pastor had to contend for their own interpretation.  There is no single standard for rostered leaders.  There is no single policy on same-sex unions.  There is not clear statement about "what this church teaches" about marriage. 

Congregations have to choose what their policy will be.


Successful calls happen when there is a good match between the pastor and the congregation. Good pastors and good congregations when not well matched up create misery for both.
"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]

Charles_Austin

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #453 on: January 14, 2013, 03:23:30 AM »
Mr. Erdner writes:
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?

I comment:
Active ELCA members, especially those who have been on Congregation Councils, know that there is a process whereby a congregation can ask the synod to step in when a pastor is in trouble or if the synod thinks the mission of the congregation is in peril.
Such procedures are usually clearly spelled out - as anyone who has been on a congregation council knows - in congregation constitutions and synod policies.
That information should be familiar to all council members and is available in the model constitutions on the ELCA website.
So it would seem "pedantic"  ::) ::) ::) for me to explain here what responsible council members should know and what is easily found online.
Someone please inform Mr. Erdner.

Charles_Austin

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #454 on: January 14, 2013, 03:35:10 AM »
Yes, it would seem that congregations can stipulate which of the approaches to same-sex unions will be used in that congregation. Should not everyone in this particular forum (except perhaps this humble correspondent) be happy about that?
But the relationship between the pastor and council and congregation should not be based solely on constitution and by-laws, but first of all on trust between both parties.
Many things are explored in the call process.
I informed congregations that if they didn't have a weekly celebration of the sacrament, they would have six months after I arrived.
Congregations asked me if - since my children are grown and gone - I thought I could "handle" young children and teens.
I told congregations I would be encouraging them to increase members' giving to the congregation and the congregation's mission support to the synod.
A council asked me if I would keep "regular" office hours (this seemed weirdly important to one person).
In my current interim, the council asked me why I would not agree to take the interim call full-time at full pay.
Pastors and call committees and councils need to listen to each other and trust each other. There should be relatively few "surprises" once the call is issued.


DCharlton

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #455 on: January 14, 2013, 07:45:04 AM »
Quote
Yes, it would seem that congregations can stipulate which of the approaches to same-sex unions will be used in that congregation. Should not everyone in this particular forum (except perhaps this humble correspondent) be happy about that?

All things considered, should we be happy with it?  Yes.  I prefer that the ELCA have a uniform policy, so that we don't have each congregation defining it's own policy, that all pastors aren't treated equally, etc...  In fact, I think the ELCA should move to rectify that ASAP. 
     
Quote
But the relationship between the pastor and council and congregation should not be based solely on constitution and by-laws, but first of all on trust between both parties.
Many things are explored in the call process.
I informed congregations that if they didn't have a weekly celebration of the sacrament, they would have six months after I arrived.
Congregations asked me if - since my children are grown and gone - I thought I could "handle" young children and teens.
I told congregations I would be encouraging them to increase members' giving to the congregation and the congregation's mission support to the synod.
A council asked me if I would keep "regular" office hours (this seemed weirdly important to one person).
In my current interim, the council asked me why I would not agree to take the interim call full-time at full pay.
Pastors and call committees and councils need to listen to each other and trust each other. There should be relatively few "surprises" once the call is issued.

Agreed.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 08:04:46 AM by DCharlton »
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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #456 on: January 14, 2013, 09:00:39 AM »
Yes, it would seem that congregations can stipulate which of the approaches to same-sex unions will be used in that congregation. Should not everyone in this particular forum (except perhaps this humble correspondent) be happy about that?
But the relationship between the pastor and council and congregation should not be based solely on constitution and by-laws, but first of all on trust between both parties.
Many things are explored in the call process.
I informed congregations that if they didn't have a weekly celebration of the sacrament, they would have six months after I arrived.
Congregations asked me if - since my children are grown and gone - I thought I could "handle" young children and teens.
I told congregations I would be encouraging them to increase members' giving to the congregation and the congregation's mission support to the synod.
A council asked me if I would keep "regular" office hours (this seemed weirdly important to one person).
In my current interim, the council asked me why I would not agree to take the interim call full-time at full pay.
Pastors and call committees and councils need to listen to each other and trust each other. There should be relatively few "surprises" once the call is issued.

Charles,

Yes, a trust issue lurks beneath all of the mess. When I said to my congregation that I was going to move towards weekly communion, I did that based on several consecutive statements by my church which had unified behind the idea that it should be that way and that the congregation was to move toward that practice. The ELCA, and the LCA before, had made those statements based on historical practice and confessional writing as well as theological and biblical scholarship that had all been laid out in a fairly comprehensive statement. I was taught the theology of that statement and urged to gently move my congregation toward that goal by my seminary profs. They in turn believed that the denomination ought to be unified in this. I remember Bauman saying things like: "You are not out there to do your own thing. We are sending you out there to do the Church's Thing." 

On the other hand, other teachers were into "prophetic ministry" and "transformation." Liberation of the minority was usually strong and under the table one got urged to "move the church" along the HSGT trail - sometimes not so much under the table. President Meuser's favorite line was:
'As the seminary goes, so goes the church." THat is of course a self fulfilling prophecy. If you control what future pastors think and teach and to what they will be sympathetic, yes, you do control the future of the church. I remember that HS1 was overwhelmingly rejected by the people; to the tune of 80% against. Yet, at that time already 35% of the clergy approved. If you read HS1 today you would think that it had been adopted since it saw HSGT as a waypoint one the road to full unified acceptance within the ELCA. And even after HS1 was denounced and thrown back at the drafters the seminaries did not change their minds neither did they listen to the voice of the faithful  while, ironically, at the same time talking glowingly of the "priesthood of all believers" and the wisdom of the pew, and how pastors needed to listen to their people.

I think that there is where the trust issue comes in. In the denomination ought the seminaries of that denomination be innovation engines or ought they be fairly laid back and cautious about change? Further, within a denomination there ought to be a fair amount of uniformity, otherwise there really is no reason to be in the denomination, since in America, six dozen others denomination and multiple independent churches will certainly be happy to have a theology that fits the individual who think the church should think more like him. Those who worked diligently to change ELCA policy seem to think that the church, this church, ought to think like they do. So even they believe that the church ought to be of one mind, but, along with many conservatives who stayed, they settled for an attempt to hold the denomination together and make peace.

If one was to be a congregational leader in ELCA would one wonder what comes next and what the pastor was taught and what views pastor finally arrived on, or whose voices he is listening and whether he will be one who can be swayed? Would call interviews be a place of trust in the denomination in that culture? And in that culture, every congregation and maybe every person and therefor every pastor is held to the standard that there are four ideas out there. So what does the seminary teach and how will they deal with candidates who believe what the professors don't? Can they entrust their members to those professors? They already have shown that they are on their own page. They showed in the aftermath of HS1 that they were not interested what the pews thought. In the matter of weekly communion they had the weight of history behind them. In the sexuality matter the roots went no deeper than the sexual revolution of the 60's. What will they do next? Can trust be built on that history?

Congregations are the church and the church has the duty to pass along to the next generations the faith delivered to it, not just the "things we agree on" but the totality of it. We have become a bit reductionistic about what we consider vital or defining. And with HSGT we enshrined a culture where the pastor is not predictable any longer and he has the policy of the ELCA behind that says he need not be.

Trust in that environment will be slow to return if ever. In the interim, if one was a congregation and one cared, a continuing resolution or a line in the letter of call might just be a good idea.
Peter Kruse

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Charles_Austin

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #457 on: January 14, 2013, 09:35:11 AM »
Pastor Kruse writes:
Yes, a trust issue lurks beneath all of the mess.
I comment:
That prickly issue of "unity" or being "unified" rises up again. I don't believe it is necessary for all congregations to do everything the same for the sake of "unity." First, it ain't gonna happen. Then the boundaries of "unity" are notoriously fuzzy.

Pastor Kruse writes (re seminary profs): 
'As the seminary goes, so goes the church." THat is of course a self fulfilling prophecy. If you control what future pastors think and teach and to what they will be sympathetic, yes, you do control the future of the church.
I comment:
If so, do you wish to change this? And how would you do that?

Pastor Kruse:
And even after HS1 was denounced and thrown back at the drafters the seminaries did not change their minds neither did they listen to the voice of the faithful  while, ironically, at the same time talking glowingly of the "priesthood of all believers" and the wisdom of the pew, and how pastors needed to listen to their people.
Me:
We have been down this road before. Just because they did not do everything "the people" supposedly said does not mean they did not "listen" to the people. It meant they did not agree. The first draft was revised, but not in the way that everyone wanted.
Time was when "the people" would support all manner of things we would find abhorrent today. And, as noted often, "the people," through Synod assemblies and elsewhere still had their say.

Pastor Kruse:
I think that there is where the trust issue comes in. In the denomination ought the seminaries of that denomination be innovation engines or ought they be fairly laid back and cautious about change? Further, within a denomination there ought to be a fair amount of uniformity,.....
Me:
I doubt that one will ever be able to get seminaries to be "fairly laid back" and never be engines of change. How would you bring this about? And again, what constitutes a "fair amount of uniformity"?

Pastor Kruse:
Those who worked diligently to change ELCA policy seem to think that the church, this church, ought to think like they do. So even they believe that the church ought to be of one mind, but, along with many conservatives who stayed, they settled for an attempt to hold the denomination together and make peace.
Me:
Those who opposed those changes seem to think that the church, this church ought to think like they do. And was the desire really to "hold the denomination together"? (I thought people didn't give a tinker's dam for denominations today.) Or was the desire to find ways to accommodate various views, even on big-ticket issues?

Pastor Kruse:
If one was to be a congregational leader in ELCA would one wonder what comes next and what the pastor was taught and what views pastor finally arrived on, or whose voices he is listening and whether he will be one who can be swayed? Would call interviews be a place of trust in the denomination in that culture?
Me:
We shall see. Pastor Kruse implies that congregations should be automatically suspicious of "what kind of training" their next pastor received. That is an unfortunate predominance of suspicion that I find unhealthy. Furthermore, every question in every congregation does not revolve around sexuality. Can you possibly fathom the idea that it is possible in a congregation to have people who approve of same-sex unions, people who disapprove, and still have congregational peace and unity and mission? It is possible.
Everyone here writes as if a single aspect of the sexuality debate is all that matters.
It isn't.

 

George Erdner

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #458 on: January 14, 2013, 09:42:06 AM »
On the other hand, other teachers were into "prophetic ministry" and "transformation." Liberation of the minority was usually strong and under the table one got urged to "move the church" along the HSGT trail - sometimes not so much under the table. President Meuser's favorite line was:
'As the seminary goes, so goes the church." THat is of course a self fulfilling prophecy. If you control what future pastors think and teach and to what they will be sympathetic, yes, you do control the future of the church. I remember that HS1 was overwhelmingly rejected by the people; to the tune of 80% against. Yet, at that time already 35% of the clergy approved. If you read HS1 today you would think that it had been adopted since it saw HSGT as a waypoint one the road to full unified acceptance within the ELCA. And even after HS1 was denounced and thrown back at the drafters the seminaries did not change their minds neither did they listen to the voice of the faithful  while, ironically, at the same time talking glowingly of the "priesthood of all believers" and the wisdom of the pew, and how pastors needed to listen to their people.



You can add another factor into that mix. Given the control the ELCA has, through the bishops, over whose names are submitted for calls and whose names are not, those pastors who are not on board with the revisionist agenda can be easily marginalized and effectively cast aside. I doubt if that's what the ELCA's governing documents say is how things should be managed, but based on what has been posted in this forum, it truly does happen out there.


Which raises a question. Is something that isn't formally written down, and is actually contrary to what is written down, a "requirement" if there apparently are consequences for not meeting that unspoken requirement, such as being on-board with the entire revisionist agenda.


Charles_Austin

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #459 on: January 14, 2013, 09:53:02 AM »
Mr. Erdner writes:
Given the control the ELCA has, through the bishops, over whose names are submitted for calls and whose names are not, those pastors who are not on board with the revisionist agenda can be easily marginalized and effectively cast aside.

I muse (sarcasm alert! Whimsey ahead! Don't read it if you are thin of skin!:
Doggone it! He figured it out. All 65 bishops are quietly refusing calls to anyone not on board with the "revisionist" agenda. (We have so many extra pastors, you know.) Meanwhile, revisionistas are being foisted on congregations and promoted to levels of authority.
Could that happen?
Really? Gee whiz that would be terrible!
It would be as if a "traditionalist" faction gained control of a denomination, drove out pastors and congregations that were too "moderate," disciplined (or threatened discipline) to all those not on board with a staunchly conservative agenda, took great pains to insure that seminary profs weren't closet moderates; and put only the strictest of conservative loyalists in synod - oops! I mean - denominational positions.
No, that could never happen.  ;D ;D

Norman Teigen

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #460 on: January 14, 2013, 10:04:10 AM »
I see another conspiracy here.  Everyone watch out.
Norman Teigen

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #461 on: January 14, 2013, 10:21:21 AM »
Pastor Kruse writes:
Yes, a trust issue lurks beneath all of the mess.
I comment:
That prickly issue of "unity" or being "unified" rises up again. I don't believe it is necessary for all congregations to do everything the same for the sake of "unity." First, it ain't gonna happen. Then the boundaries of "unity" are notoriously fuzzy.


I was actually talking about trust and the post in its entirety was about trust between congregation vs structure. Unity is the result of trust. THere will be no unity in its absence.

Quote

Pastor Kruse writes (re seminary profs): 
'As the seminary goes, so goes the church." THat is of course a self fulfilling prophecy. If you control what future pastors think and teach and to what they will be sympathetic, yes, you do control the future of the church.
I comment:
If so, do you wish to change this? And how would you do that?


Olson, a bishop's assistant for Rocky Mountain and publisher of Glimpse of God Newsletter as well as a few books thought back in the 90's that the solution was to maintain fewer seminaries and to make one of the remaining ones a school of theology so the denomination could train a fair amount of its own PhD. I am not sure that is still a solution. I can think of many worse solutions though . . . .

Quote

Pastor Kruse:
And even after HS1 was denounced and thrown back at the drafters the seminaries did not change their minds neither did they listen to the voice of the faithful  while, ironically, at the same time talking glowingly of the "priesthood of all believers" and the wisdom of the pew, and how pastors needed to listen to their people.
Me:
We have been down this road before. Just because they did not do everything "the people" supposedly said does not mean they did not "listen" to the people. It meant they did not agree. The first draft was revised, but not in the way that everyone wanted.
Time was when "the people" would support all manner of things we would find abhorrent today. And, as noted often, "the people," through Synod assemblies and elsewhere still had their say.

There was a HS2 that was also rejected because, even though it attempted to do so, could not reproduce the position that the people could recognize as their own, a deathblow in intellectual discourse. I also note that the interview that the writer of HS1 gave to Minnesota Sunday Morning - PBS Minneapolis, on Reformation Sunday 1993 could have been replayed in 2008 and no one would have noticed that it was 15 years old. That is being dug in. That is not listening. 

Quote

Pastor Kruse:
I think that there is where the trust issue comes in. In the denomination ought the seminaries of that denomination be innovation engines or ought they be fairly laid back and cautious about change? Further, within a denomination there ought to be a fair amount of uniformity,.....
Me:
I doubt that one will ever be able to get seminaries to be "fairly laid back" and never be engines of change. How would you bring this about? And again, what constitutes a "fair amount of uniformity"?


We shall see. Minimum uniformity is not serving UCC terribly well and at the same time uniformity only at home in the presence of "vibrant, transforming, passionate ministries" is serving the independents fairly well though it is reported that the financial scheme behind the independent church is faulty.

Quote


Pastor Kruse:
Those who worked diligently to change ELCA policy seem to think that the church, this church, ought to think like they do. So even they believe that the church ought to be of one mind, but, along with many conservatives who stayed, they settled for an attempt to hold the denomination together and make peace.
Me:
Those who opposed those changes seem to think that the church, this church ought to think like they do. And was the desire really to "hold the denomination together"? (I thought people didn't give a tinker's dam for denominations today.) Or was the desire to find ways to accommodate various views, even on big-ticket issues?


Both sides share a devotion to the denomination and both sides believe they are right. No doubt about it. THose who were lesser bound left and formed their own denomination. Those who do not care about denomination left us years ago, more recently they made a non denomination denomination called LCMC.

If no one cared about the denomination then we would have simply parted ways and we could have done so admirably I am sure. No, Both sides wanted ELCA to be a certain place. It is kind of weird if you think about it. There are Catholics and LCMS walkouts in ELCA pews who still pine for the pope to teach or act different or the LCMS to change this way or that. As Lutheran we have a certain affinity to denomination in general and the denomination that raised us.

I am confused by the way. Was this a big ticket issue or was it just outer circle but not defining an issue? You suggested in the past that sexuality was not a defining issue. WHat gives?

And "holding the denomination together" is the issue in Pr. Christian's article. just noting.

One might in that respect wonder: Why, if your denomination does not think the way you accept, do you not start your own? Why take the denomination for a ride? One side had a reason to take ELCA for a ride. They can state that reason though people did leave because they had found UCC very sympathetic to them and good for them and UCC. Some found reasons to start their own in response to unacceptable teaching. Good for them? I guess that is something to argue about. Maybe here: http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=4742.msg285076#new

Quote

Pastor Kruse:
If one was to be a congregational leader in ELCA would one wonder what comes next and what the pastor was taught and what views pastor finally arrived on, or whose voices he is listening and whether he will be one who can be swayed? Would call interviews be a place of trust in the denomination in that culture?
Me:
We shall see. Pastor Kruse implies that congregations should be automatically suspicious of "what kind of training" their next pastor received. That is an unfortunate predominance of suspicion that I find unhealthy. Furthermore, every question in every congregation does not revolve around sexuality. Can you possibly fathom the idea that it is possible in a congregation to have people who approve of same-sex unions, people who disapprove, and still have congregational peace and unity and mission? It is possible.
Everyone here writes as if a single aspect of the sexuality debate is all that matters.
It isn't.


Pr. Austin here implies that what the personal relationships and ties that exist in a congregation are transferable to the whole denomination. I respond: some things do not scale up. But pastor Austin is correct: A lot of congregations have much better things to do then to tear themselves asunder of human sexuality issues. I would bet that those who have peace in this respect have arrived at that peace organically and not programatically. They did it because, and this ties again into my first reply, because they trusted the other whom they could and did see every week if not more. Yet, that peace was none the less disturbed and challenged by HSGT. At least that is my personal experience.

BTW, Charles, I dislike the habit of responding to me in  sentence structure that suggests you are talking about me and not to me. I reproduced that method in this last section. I find it annoying. I hope you do too and we can discontinue it.
Peter Kruse

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

Charles_Austin

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #462 on: January 14, 2013, 10:29:57 AM »
It is an online dilemma, Pastor Kruse. Do we speak first person or third person? I tend to think that the third person makes it less likely that remarks will be construed as so "personal" as to cross some line (which no one seems to know where it is).
That third person form seems to me to be a bit more formal, but that's just the view of this humble correspondent.


DCharlton

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #463 on: January 14, 2013, 10:48:11 AM »
I have found that addressing Charles in the third person makes it less likely that he'll get his knickers in a twist and start hurling insults.  On the second half of this thread I tried not responding to him directly and it worked well. 

Pretend that Charles is an anonymous poster and that you don't know his name. 
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 10:52:30 AM by DCharlton »
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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #464 on: January 14, 2013, 11:56:39 AM »
You can add another factor into that mix. Given the control the ELCA has, through the bishops, over whose names are submitted for calls and whose names are not, those pastors who are not on board with the revisionist agenda can be easily marginalized and effectively cast aside. I doubt if that's what the ELCA's governing documents say is how things should be managed, but based on what has been posted in this forum, it truly does happen out there.


Of course bishops give names to congregations who are bad matches, so that the congregations will keep asking for more and more names; and when they call someone who is a poor match, the bishop will have to spend time dealing with conflicts in the congregations. I'm sure that's what our bishops do -- give themselves more problems to deal with in congregations. (Lest anyone be mistaken - I am speaking ironically.) Numerous bishops that I know personally work hard at trying to give congregations good matches because it makes the bishops' lives much easier in the long run.
"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]