Author Topic: Bergendorf Quote  (Read 10076 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2007, 11:44:18 AM »
As Rob said, they are still Lutheran!
And so is St. Francis Lutheran Church in San Francisco, but that doesn't mean that they are rosterred in the ELCA.
"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]

MaddogLutheran

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2007, 11:46:01 AM »
Sterling, that same analysis of the two types of [TEC] revisionist groups was offered here after the April 2006 [ELCA] Council meeting by Pr Kimball. He attended the whole meeting and said it was the same. He used different terms, but it is significant that the two denoms are led by the same dynamic.
Which forces me to agree with the prevailing wisdom at the now occurring LCMS National Convention that it is the ELCA which is moving further away from Missouri.  Wish it were not so.  Following the coverage here, much of their leadership (and not just on the podium) seems focused on evangelism and outreach, despite whatever institutional politics is going on (mostly about particular methods, not so much doctrine and theology).  It is regrettable that it seems likely at the CWA that even though it is not on the formal agenda, the sexuality/LCNA issues will swamp everything else (acknowledging that their are synod memorials on the issue).

Something I found particularly interesting in Sarah Hey's article is her analysis of the size of the population that might be attracted both to the diversity/inclusiveness gospel and liturgical worship which TEC progressive are proclaiming.  It's an awfully small slice of the American demographic.  She makes the cogent point that LGBT and diversity advocates are much more likely to be staunch atheist or agnostics, affirmatively hostile to organized religion (not just ambivalent), so trying to reach out to them is no recipe for growth, and is in fact a formula for decline by the alienation of the existing membership (as witness the TEC parish departures and general numbers and giving declines).  I feel like I'm channeling MD Brian here  ;D ... you are getting through to at least one person, Pastor!  (And you, too, Pr. Swensson.)

Sterling Spatz
« Last Edit: July 19, 2007, 11:55:24 AM by MaddogLutheran »
Sterling Spatz
ELCA pew-sitter

Eric_Swensson

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2007, 11:48:38 AM »
OK, so what makes them Lutheran is they left the belief system of Lutherans. You miss the point that individuals and groups can and do change their beliefs. I would wager Rob's church still believes what they have, yet St Francis has progressed on from the beliefs of the people who built that church.

Maryland Brian

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2007, 11:55:21 AM »
It's like removing inactive members from the congregation. While it may seem like the congregation council "boots" them out of the church, in reality, it was the members' own actions (or lack of actions) by which they removed themselves.

Brian,

You're more insightful than that.  As you know, how you enter a system makes a statement about how you will lead in the system. 

MD BRian

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2007, 11:59:38 AM »
OK, so what makes them Lutheran is they left the belief system of Lutherans. You miss the point that individuals and groups can and do change their beliefs. I would wager Rob's church still believes what they have, yet St Francis has progressed on from the beliefs of the people who built that church.
Y'mean like worshiping in English now.
"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: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2007, 12:09:03 PM »
You're more insightful than that.  As you know, how you enter a system makes a statement about how you will lead in the system. 
Yes, some congregations came kicking and screaming into the ELCA. Some congregations voted "no" on the new church, but became part of it in spite of their vote. My own congregation had a faction that refused to become ELCA so they left and formed another church in 1987 so that they wouldn't have to. Some of those rebellious congregations were never really in the "system," except by name only. (Just as some members of congregations are members in name only -- and offer little or no support of the congregation and little or no participation in congregational activities.) A key clue about a person's participation in a larger system, or a congregation's participation in a churchwide expression is whether or not their language is about unity "we" and "us" and "our" that includes the larger system, e.g., "our synod" or "our ELCA"; or language of division, "us and them," "ours and theirs," e.g., "those people in Chicago".
"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]

Eric_Swensson

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2007, 12:16:38 PM »
OK, so what makes them Lutheran is they left the belief system of Lutherans. You miss the point that individuals and groups can and do change their beliefs. I would wager Rob's church still believes what they have, yet St Francis has progressed on from the beliefs of the people who built that church.
Y'mean like worshiping in English now.

This time you really are going to have to explain what you mean. I take it this is humor? Did they recently switch. Is there any point. Be fair, Brian. We are busy.

Maryland Brian

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2007, 01:15:31 PM »
Yes, some congregations came kicking and screaming into the ELCA.

Clever.  As you know my confusion was centered around seemingly mixed messages from this newly elected Bishop.  That's why I asked about those and quoted her.  Perhaps I'm misreading what she is communicating.  Perhaps she inherited someone else's problem child.  The newly elected Bishop of the Atlanta area certainly has, but in that case, there are obvious policy and procedure determinations that have been made outside of his future actions, whatever they may be.

So back to the question I asked, "Is the inability to hold membership in LCMC and the ELCA now a voted upon policy, has it been recommended to the newly elected bishops or is this one bishop making her own decision in the opening moments of her new ministry?"  OR ... I'll grant one more possibility, "Did she inherit a removal process and simply carried it out soon after her election?"  But even that begs the first question.

Like I said, how an INDIVIDUAL enters a system often makes a statement about how that person will lead in the system.  So in this case, which will it be; boot or "let's all get along."

MD Brian

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2007, 01:32:06 PM »
So back to the question I asked, "Is the inability to hold membership in LCMC and the ELCA now a voted upon policy, has it been recommended to the newly elected bishops or is this one bishop making her own decision in the opening moments of her new ministry?"  OR ... I'll grant one more possibility, "Did she inherit a removal process and simply carried it out soon after her election?"  But even that begs the first question.

I believe that Lowell Almen has made the decision that LCMC is a competing church body and that dual membership is not allowed. Whether or not a bishop follows through is up to the bishop.

It may also be true in this case that the newly elected bishop wanted to make it clear that "a new sheriff is in town" -- one who will follow the rules. (Or at least some of the rules :)).
"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]

mchristi

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2007, 01:35:54 PM »
OK, so what makes them Lutheran is they left the belief system of Lutherans. You miss the point that individuals and groups can and do change their beliefs. I would wager Rob's church still believes what they have, yet St Francis has progressed on from the beliefs of the people who built that church.

This seems very confused.  I think the point that Brian was making is that one can be Lutheran, and retain a Lutheran faith, and not be a congregation of the ELCA.  Or have we come to the point that to be defined as "Lutheran" a congregation or individual must have a particular understanding of the topic of homosexuality?  Can we not see that this is a topic on which faithful Christians, including faithful Lutherans, may disagree?

Mark C. Christianson

Maryland Brian

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2007, 01:43:43 PM »

I believe that Lowell Almen has made the decision that LCMC is a competing church body and that dual membership is not allowed. Whether or not a bishop follows through is up to the bishop.



Therefore it is your belief that the policy was not voted upon by any legislative agency of the ELCA, but a determination was made by the Secretary of the church.  That suggests to me that the Secretary of the ELCA has the authority to make such a determination.  Would the Secretary have the ability to likewise decide what is not a competing church body?  I wouldn't think so.  In other words, LCNA seems like a competing body to me.  They even have their own candidacy process for ordained clergy, congregations are calling people from that list, said congregations are not being disciplined in some of our syonds and yet LCNA is on a different list than LCMC.

Like I said, which is it;  boot or let's all get along?  We know what's happening in TEC.  Looks very similar here to me.

MD Brian

Richard Johnson

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #26 on: July 19, 2007, 02:06:12 PM »
Would the Secretary have the ability to likewise decide what is not a competing church body?  I wouldn't think so.  In other words, LCNA seems like a competing body to me.  They even have their own candidacy process for ordained clergy, congregations are calling people from that list, said congregations are not being disciplined in some of our syonds and yet LCNA is on a different list than LCMC.

Now there's a fascinating idea. Of course the immediate philosophical problem is that LCNA's members are individuals, not congregations; congregations may join the RIC program, but that less clearly has the institutional trappings that might argue for it to be a "church body."

Interesting, by the way, that LCNA has been utterly silent about the LCMS convention, where there was a resolution opposing placement of adoptive children with gay couples. They claim to be "pan-Lutheran," but of course I guess there are limits.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

ROB_MOSKOWITZ

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #27 on: July 19, 2007, 02:09:54 PM »

Like I said, how an INDIVIDUAL enters a system often makes a statement about how that person will lead in the system.  So in this case, which will it be; boot or "let's all get along."

MD Brian

Indeed a congregation may have entered the system believing that they had the capacity to read and apply their constitutions as they had always done.   They could have read section 9.31 and understood that they had "Authority in all matters" if it was not assigned in the constitutions.    Thus if these understandings have now been unilaterally interpreted and congregational authority seemingly redefined then the system /relationship seems to have been changed and not by East Union Lutheran as some here have suggested.

Like wise East Union understands it continues in the faith of its fore fathers of near 200 years ago.  Now perhaps they find once again to have had understandings (this time of faith) been interpreted to the contrary of their understandings.    The G/L/B/T question has for them and so many brought this to light.

The key is the use and method of interpretation that seems to be being applied to both scripture and governing documents and the application there of.    If its about unity it is definitely a specific unity.

Not a lawyer.  But if people/congregations now need one to read thier governing documents isnt there a problem?

Yours In Christ
Rob Moskowitz
« Last Edit: July 19, 2007, 02:42:02 PM by ROB_MOSKOWITZ »

ROB_MOSKOWITZ

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #28 on: July 19, 2007, 02:18:33 PM »
Would the Secretary have the ability to likewise decide what is not a competing church body?  I wouldn't think so.  In other words, LCNA seems like a competing body to me.  They even have their own candidacy process for ordained clergy, congregations are calling people from that list, said congregations are not being disciplined in some of our syonds and yet LCNA is on a different list than LCMC.

Now there's a fascinating idea. Of course the immediate philosophical problem is that LCNA's members are individuals, not congregations; congregations may join the RIC program, but that less clearly has the institutional trappings that might argue for it to be a "church body."

Interesting, by the way, that LCNA has been utterly silent about the LCMS convention, where there was a resolution opposing placement of adoptive children with gay couples. They claim to be "pan-Lutheran," but of course I guess there are limits.

Thus it is interesting how the concept of "Church body" rather than common faith is of prime importance.   

Yours In Christ
Rob Moskowitz

Maryland Brian

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2007, 02:24:02 PM »
Now there's a fascinating idea. Of course the immediate philosophical problem is that LCNA's members are individuals, not congregations; congregations may join the RIC program, but that less clearly has the institutional trappings that might argue for it to be a "church body."

 OTOH, and this is why this determination is confusing to me, congregations are the ones calling individuals from the ECP process.  That tells me this alternate candidacy process is acceptable to the majority as evidenced by their voting at a constitutionally appropriate congregation meeting.  The congregations are calling people outside the ELCA roster and the congregations are allowed to do so in some synods.  Are the newly elected Bishops being told this is not acceptable within the ELCA and they should do something about it?

The congregation in question for this little conversation seems to have been led by a pastor called from the roster, serving a congregation within the ELCA, and yet he is booted and the congregation is now threatened with removal ... considering, from what I've read, LCMC does not understand itself as a competing denomination/entity.

Double standard comes to mind.  Confusion comes to mind.  But I still haven't had my core question answered and perhaps that's because no one knows; "Has the latest crop of newly elected Bishops been told that LCMC membership is not allowed for ELCA congregations, that they should start doing something about it and what process in the ELCA made that determination?"

I carry no water for LCMC and have no current interest in joining.  It's the actions and rhetoric of a newly elected Bishop that I find confusing.  Where did she learn this was something she should do?

MD Brian