Author Topic: Bergendorf Quote  (Read 10443 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #45 on: July 19, 2007, 08:27:42 PM »


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.
If they did, they weren't reading the materials well. From the very beginning, congregations were given five years to conform to the ELCA's Model Constitution for Congregations.


I do not think that this is correct.  As I recall, former ALC congregations were encouraged to bring their constitutions into conformity with the constitution of the ELCA within so many years, but were not required to do so.
I think that the language was stronger than "encouraged," but there was no disciplinary actions for those who did not conform. Someone else stated that even if congregations have not revised their Constitutions, the provisions in the Model concerning withdrawal, clergy issues, etc., still apply to them. For example, a congregation wishing to leave the ELCA, would have to follow the procedures in the Model, even if their own constitution listed a different procedure.
"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 #46 on: July 19, 2007, 08:39:22 PM »
So where does the confession of faith state "NO DUAL ROSTER FOR CONGREGATIONS" or negate section 9.31?

The Confession of Faith is Chapter 2 of the ELCA's Constitution, Chapter 4 of the Model Constitution for Synods, and Chapter 2 of the Model Constitution for Congregations. The content is the same in each.

There is nothing in the Constitution about dual rosters for congregations. However, I could interpret 9.21.f. agree to support the life and work of this church, as saying, joining another church body is an act of non-support towards the ELCA. It could be similar to a husband telling his wife, "I've found another woman I want to marry, but I want to stay married to you, too."

Quote
Does that confession of faith declare the use of higher criticism?  Ordaining gay ministers or same sex unions?  So who then would be that is creating "a different confession of faith"?
You can read chapter 2. That is the ELCA's confession of faith. I think that it's a very good confession. If you don't have it, I can send it to you. I use it in every new member class.
"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]

ROB_MOSKOWITZ

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #47 on: July 19, 2007, 08:47:29 PM »
So where does the confession of faith state "NO DUAL ROSTER FOR CONGREGATIONS" or negate section 9.31?

The Confession of Faith is Chapter 2 of the ELCA's Constitution, Chapter 4 of the Model Constitution for Synods, and Chapter 2 of the Model Constitution for Congregations. The content is the same in each.

There is nothing in the Constitution about dual rosters for congregations.
Thank you.  Thus section 9.31 applies

Quote
However, I could interpret 9.21.f. agree to support the life and work of this church, as saying, joining another church body is an act of non-support towards the ELCA. It could be similar to a husband telling his wife, "I've found another woman I want to marry, but I want to stay married to you, too."

Which means nothing!   See above.

Quote
Does that confession of faith declare the use of higher criticism?  Ordaining gay ministers or same sex unions?  So who then would be that is creating "a different confession of faith"?
You can read chapter 2. That is the ELCA's confession of faith. I think that it's a very good confession. If you don't have it, I can send it to you. I use it in every new member class.
Quote
I have read it many times so you have to do so and show "the use of higher criticism?  Ordaining gay ministers or same sex unions?" or your declaration about people making thier own confession of faith becomes suspect? 

Rob Moskowitz

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #48 on: July 19, 2007, 11:39:45 PM »
I have read it many times so you have to do so and show "the use of higher criticism?  Ordaining gay ministers or same sex unions?" or your declaration about people making thier own confession of faith becomes suspect? 
Congregations who wish to be part of the ELCA are to use the ELCA's Confession of Faith. It has nothing to do with higher criticism or who can be ordained.
"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]

jrstacy98

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #49 on: July 20, 2007, 12:25:29 AM »
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 :)).

But isn't this just another double standard, a few years ago there were churches that were both elca and LCMS.  They had affiliated with AELC but stayed as part of the LCMS.  When LCMS told them to make a decision I've seen elca comments about how mean and unfair that is.  Now according to you it should have been the elca that through them out when it started.

And to the point of MBrian, she's talking about unity after doing everything she can to cause division.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #50 on: July 20, 2007, 02:03:20 AM »
But isn't this just another double standard, a few years ago there were churches that were both elca and LCMS.  They had affiliated with AELC but stayed as part of the LCMS.  When LCMS told them to make a decision I've seen elca comments about how mean and unfair that is.  Now according to you it should have been the elca that through them out when it started.
The two churches that continue to relate to the ELCA and LCMS (in Paradise, CA, and Arcata, CA,) do not have "dual" membership in the two denominations, but are composed of two congregations sharing a pastor, building, joint council, etc. One congregation is ELCA and the other is LCMS.

The ELCA Constitution does allow for Federated or Union Congregations, but it's at the discretion of the synod bishop and is limited to denominations with whom we have full communion agreements (9.90.-9.91.).
"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]

Dennis

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #51 on: July 20, 2007, 09:04:31 AM »
For what its worth, and at a very late point in this thread, the man being quoted is

Conrad Bergendoff, not Bergendorf.

Conrad Bergendoff was a giant in mid 20th century Lutheranism, and recognized as such.  He lived to be over 100 years old.

His quote is valuable because it reminds Missouri that we come to the table as equals, not as one group having to answer to another.  His comments could equally apply to the recent statements coming out of Rome.

James S. Rustad

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #52 on: July 20, 2007, 05:44:30 PM »
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. The council just honestly declares what is: such people are no longer active members of the congregation. I think the "get along" approach means that those congregations and clergy are free to have their conservative views within the ELCA, but when they join another Lutheran body, they have removed themselves from the ELCA.

Without facts that are not in evidence, we can't conclude that it's "like removing inactive members from the congregation."  It's quite possible that the congregations that have been given this choice ARE still active in their synods and the ELCA.

I think a more accurate comparison (without knowing more) would be to members that have membership in two congregations -- one as a member, one as an associate member.  Just which body is the associate membership would be a good question, though.

Another fair comparison might be to my own situation -- my wife and I attend one congregation while sunday school is in session and another on other sundays.  The one congregation has a sunday school that fits my son's needs better.  We are active in both congregations.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2007, 05:53:30 PM by James S. Rustad »

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #53 on: July 20, 2007, 06:20:55 PM »
Without facts that are not in evidence, we can't conclude that it's "like removing inactive members from the congregation."  It's quite possible that the congregations that have been given this choice ARE still active in their synods and the ELCA.
The comparison was not about one's activity per se, but that one's actions cause the so-called "booting out". In my example, it is the inactivity of members that cause them to be removed from membership by the council. In the case under discussion, it was the congregation's actions (joining another Lutheran body) that caused them to be faced with a choice of picking one or the other. Their choice resulted in removal from the ELCA's roster.

It's like the occasions when I have received a ticket for speeding. Should I put all the blame on the police officers who gave me the ticket; or should I accept responsibility for my own actions that resulted in the ticket? In rare cases, I might argue that I didn't know the speed limit. The rules weren't posted. (I think this is part of the argument under discussion.) In that case, police officers will state that the drivers' handbook we all had to study in order to get our license, lists the general speed limits on different type roads when they are not posted. (The congregation under discussion argues that the rule that they were punished under is not posted anywhere -- and they are right, in so far as I cannot find any rules that talk about dual rostered congregations.) However, if after a first offense, the police officer tells me what the rule is, and lets me go without a ticket, and I continue to drive too fast on that road, I should expect a ticket have to pay the consequences on subsequent infractions. I can no longer claim ignorance of the rule. (I may not agree with the rule, but I can't claim ignorance of it.)

When clergy and congregations have been informed that they cannot have dual membership in the ELCA and LCMC, and they persist in continuing their dual membership, they should expect to pay the consequences.

That is the usual case in regards to inactive members. When they fail to meet the expectations of membership (expectations that they may not be aware of,) they are to be informed of the rules, and that they have failed to meet them, and then be encouraged to follow the rules and become active members. If they persist in their inactivity, they are removed. After being removed, should they blame the council for "booting them out" or accept responsibility for failing to abide by the rules?
« Last Edit: July 20, 2007, 06:31:50 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
"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]

ROB_MOSKOWITZ

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #54 on: July 20, 2007, 08:03:29 PM »

When clergy and congregations have been informed that they cannot have dual membership in the ELCA and LCMC, and they persist in continuing their dual membership, they should expect to pay the consequences.


When as you have admitted "There is nothing in the Constitution about dual rosters for congregations" and thus section 9.31 declares congregations have "Authority in all matters that are not assigned" thus followed thier constitutions, who ? "should expect to pay the consequences".

I think congregations are realizing the consequences of staying in the ELCA.   Your logic only drives that home.

Rob Moskowitz
« Last Edit: July 20, 2007, 08:12:41 PM by ROB_MOSKOWITZ »

pilgrimpriest

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #55 on: July 20, 2007, 08:58:38 PM »

When clergy and congregations have been informed that they cannot have dual membership in the ELCA and LCMC, and they persist in continuing their dual membership, they should expect to pay the consequences.


When as you have admitted "There is nothing in the Constitution about dual rosters for congregations" and thus section 9.31 declares congregations have "Authority in all matters that are not assigned" thus followed thier constitutions, who ? "should expect to pay the consequences".

I think congregations are realizing the consequences of staying in the ELCA.   Your logic only drives that home.

Rob Moskowitz

The worst consequences I've seen so far is that disobedient congregations (as in the GLBT "extraordinary" ordination parishes) are denied the vote at the Synod Assembly and their benevolence is refused... and the downside of that is what?

Priest Robert

ROB_MOSKOWITZ

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #56 on: July 20, 2007, 10:12:48 PM »

The worst consequences I've seen so far is that disobedient congregations (as in the GLBT "extraordinary" ordination parishes) are denied the vote at the Synod Assembly and their benevolence is refused... and the downside of that is what?

Priest Robert

So you would consider this situation healthy and desireable for those living thier faith?     Besides ofcourse any future questions of constitutions, clergy and property.

Pastor Rob Moskowitz
« Last Edit: July 20, 2007, 10:16:16 PM by ROB_MOSKOWITZ »

pilgrimpriest

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #57 on: July 20, 2007, 10:34:15 PM »

The worst consequences I've seen so far is that disobedient congregations (as in the GLBT "extraordinary" ordination parishes) are denied the vote at the Synod Assembly and their benevolence is refused... and the downside of that is what?

Priest Robert

So you would consider this situation healthy and desireable for those living thier faith?     Besides ofcourse any future questions of constitutions, clergy and property.

Pastor Rob Moskowitz

Well, Rob, you caught me without my smiley face icon :)!  I was, of course, being facetious. Indeed that particular situation is unhealthy but sets some interesting precedents for how a Synod might have its hands tied to do anything against an ELCA congregation that chooses to ordain without a bishop or maintain a membership in LCMC.  IOW, its own tepid actions on the former congregations may provide justification for the latter to remain in good standing.

Fr. Bob

ROB_MOSKOWITZ

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #58 on: July 20, 2007, 10:39:53 PM »

The worst consequences I've seen so far is that disobedient congregations (as in the GLBT "extraordinary" ordination parishes) are denied the vote at the Synod Assembly and their benevolence is refused... and the downside of that is what?

Priest Robert

So you would consider this situation healthy and desireable for those living thier faith?     Besides ofcourse any future questions of constitutions, clergy and property.

Pastor Rob Moskowitz

Well, Rob, you caught me without my smiley face icon :)!  I was, of course, being facetious. Indeed that particular situation is unhealthy but sets some interesting precedents for how a Synod might have its hands tied to do anything against an ELCA congregation that chooses to ordain without a bishop or maintain a membership in LCMC.  IOW, its own tepid actions on the former congregations may provide justification for the latter to remain in good standing.

Fr. Bob

Ah yes the smiley factor clears the situations up.   I think you would agree that conservitves are less likly to want to be such president setters in such a way.

Yours In Christ
Rob Moskowitz

James S. Rustad

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #59 on: July 23, 2007, 10:39:49 AM »
It's like the occasions when I have received a ticket for speeding. Should I put all the blame on the police officers who gave me the ticket; or should I accept responsibility for my own actions that resulted in the ticket? In rare cases, I might argue that I didn't know the speed limit. The rules weren't posted. (I think this is part of the argument under discussion.) In that case, police officers will state that the drivers' handbook we all had to study in order to get our license, lists the general speed limits on different type roads when they are not posted. (The congregation under discussion argues that the rule that they were punished under is not posted anywhere -- and they are right, in so far as I cannot find any rules that talk about dual rostered congregations.) However, if after a first offense, the police officer tells me what the rule is, and lets me go without a ticket, and I continue to drive too fast on that road, I should expect a ticket have to pay the consequences on subsequent infractions. I can no longer claim ignorance of the rule. (I may not agree with the rule, but I can't claim ignorance of it.)

When clergy and congregations have been informed that they cannot have dual membership in the ELCA and LCMC, and they persist in continuing their dual membership, they should expect to pay the consequences.

Except that it's more like the officer telling you that the speed limit is something other than what the law actually says.  In that case, the officer may issue you the ticket, but it's going to be thrown out of court if you contest it.

Which brings us back to the original question -- why does the bishop think that ELCA congregations cannot affiliate with LCMC?  If it's just because the ELCA secretary says so, maybe the questions should be "Why does the ELCA secretary think that ELCA congregations cannot be affiliated with LCMC, given that the ELCA's governing documents don't seem to rule it out?" and "How does this get cleared up?"