Author Topic: The crowds gather  (Read 1408 times)

Richard Johnson

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The crowds gather
« on: August 05, 2019, 01:29:39 PM »
I arrived in Milwaukee very late last night after a somewhat harrowing (though not unusual) travel experience. Just as I was leaving for the airport, I was notified that my flight from Sacramento to Phoenix was delayed 20 minutes . . . which would give me exactly 12 minutes to make the connection to Milwaukee (and they close the doors ten minutes before departure). Oh well . . . The did make up a little bit of time en route, and of course the connecting gate was about ten miles away. Luckily I'm in reasonable shape and so i jogged, with suitcase behind me, and got there two minutes before "door closing"--which, of course, was delayed about 20 minutes as they waited for other passengers, so I could have strolled. Could have even gone to the bathroom. But you never know. Anyway, got to the hotel about 1:30 a.m. I happened to sit on the shuttle from the airport next to the only person on my synod's delegation that I actually know (besides the bishop). That's how out of the loop I am.

There's a walkway between the Hyatt and the convention center so one could go all week without ever going outside. That means you have to eat the hotel or convention center food, of course, which will not be good for the ALPB budget so I'm looking for other options.

The voting members are registering this morning, so there's quite a crowd over there. It is a typically ELCA looking crowd, which is to say a few pastors in clerics, a lot of pastors in polo shirts, and twice as many lay people, evenly divided between men and women (we're still so binary, you know). Lots of smiling faces. ELCA Lutherans are generally nice, even if they aren't from Minnesota.

There is only one table this year for media. "Not expecting much coverage?" I asked the media staff person. She assured me there would be lots of coverage, but many of the outlets are just watching the live stream. That would be cheaper, I guess, but you don't get the color and the sense of things. She said Religion News Service would be here two days, and maybe a couple of local outlets. Other than that, I guess I'll be sitting with ELCA News Service  and Living Lutheran staff. I'll miss Charles, both singing next to him and sharing disrespectful comments about what's happening.Time was, back when sexuality was still controversial, there was so much media coverage that there was a separate room where you would check in, where you could go to write stories, where they would schedule and announce press conferences etc. Today I just texted the media staff person and she met me at the top of the escalator to hand me my credential. We're not that interesting, I guess, when we're finished with sex.

Meanwhile, I was watching a discussion on the ELCA Clergy Facebook page about the debate over what we do with deacons, and how we install them. It was just appalling the level of ignorance displayed. There was one whole line of argument about how deacons (or, more formally, "Ministers of Word and Service") and pastors (or, more formally, "Ministers of Word and Sacrament") really aren't that different except for the task of "distributing the sacraments." Good grief. Then I learn this morning from a colleague that the about to be announced new professor of liturgy at United Lutheran Seminary (the old Philadelphia/Gettysburg) is a laywoman. She'll be teaching seminarians all about "distributing the sacraments," I guess, and I'm sure it will be just fine. What could go wrong?

Enough for now. Opening worship is at 3 p.m., the first plenary at 6:30. I'm going out to see if I can find a cheaper food option.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

DCharlton

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Re: The crowds gather
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2019, 02:19:50 PM »
I hope you're right about sex, but there is a from the Northwest Washington Synod about revising HSGT, if I understand correctly, and one on Gender Identity.  There will also be a report on the revision of Trustworthy Servants.  My guess is that those who are managing the assembly will be working hard to make sure that nothing newsworthy arises.  In regard to the memorial from Northwest Washington Synod, the Memorial Committee includes the following in its recommendation:

To authorize a social statement editorial reconsideration of Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust to reflect changes since 2009 in laws and language regarding marriage and the wide variety of family structures in relation to sexual orientation in accordance with “Policies and Procedures of the ELCA for Addressing Social Concerns” (2018). While wording would be reviewed throughout, it would not affect the substance of the
statement, the sections for close edit would include:
• “Lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships” section, p.18f.
• “Loving families: ground and source for social trust” section, p.21f.


Its not clear who would be doing the editorial reconsideration, but it would not be this CWA.  I would expect the real fireworks when the process of editorial reconsideration ends and the proposed changes are published.  Those changes will proposed changes will probably reflect whatever changes to V&E are finally accepted.  Unless the sex-positive-polyamory movement creates a disturbance, I don't expect anything very newsworthy. 
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

Richard Johnson

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Re: The crowds gather
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2019, 03:31:58 PM »
I just had an email a couple days ago that there will be a “listening session” here about the proposed revision. I know we’re not done with sex, but we’re no longer newsworthy. Though I did see an item today about the new Metro DC synod bishop saying she’s OK with polygamy (though I think she meant polyamory).
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

mj4

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Re: The crowds gather
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2019, 03:59:25 PM »
I'm going out to see if I can find a cheaper food option.

Surely you can find some good beer and brats in Milwaukee.

I would expect the real fireworks when the process of editorial reconsideration ends and the proposed changes are published.  Those changes will proposed changes will probably reflect whatever changes to V&E are finally accepted.  Unless the sex-positive-polyamory movement creates a disturbance, I don't expect anything very newsworthy. 

I just don't think there are enough people who support traditional Christian teaching on sex left in the ELCA to oppose further innovation.

DCharlton

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Re: The crowds gather
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2019, 06:17:49 PM »
I just had an email a couple days ago that there will be a “listening session” here about the proposed revision. I know we’re not done with sex, but we’re no longer newsworthy. Though I did see an item today about the new Metro DC synod bishop saying she’s OK with polygamy (though I think she meant polyamory).

I heard about that too but didn't want to mention it. 
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Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

DCharlton

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Re: The crowds gather
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2019, 06:31:17 PM »
I would expect the real fireworks when the process of editorial reconsideration ends and the proposed changes are published.  Those changes will proposed changes will probably reflect whatever changes to V&E are finally accepted.  Unless the sex-positive-polyamory movement creates a disturbance, I don't expect anything very newsworthy. 

I just don't think there are enough people who support traditional Christian teaching on sex left in the ELCA to oppose further innovation.

I agree in part.  Today's battle lines are between the neo-traditionalists who favor same-sex marriage and the those who reject marriage as patriarchal.   Or should I say, those who want to introduce the notion of sex-positivity an polyamory slowly an those who want it now. 
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Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

Charles Austin

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Re: The crowds gather
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2019, 06:52:25 PM »
Having had nearly six decades of experience establishing, building, and maintaining one marital relationship, I cannot imagine the mindset of those who think there could be multiple  intimate relationships at the same time. That, in my not so humble opinion, would be totally nuts. Dirt there of them
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Just finished six great days in a beach house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, with a bunch of friends and relatives. About 18 of us, and the young folks did all the cooking.

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: The crowds gather
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2019, 08:30:20 PM »
I would expect the real fireworks when the process of editorial reconsideration ends and the proposed changes are published.  Those changes will proposed changes will probably reflect whatever changes to V&E are finally accepted.  Unless the sex-positive-polyamory movement creates a disturbance, I don't expect anything very newsworthy. 

I just don't think there are enough people who support traditional Christian teaching on sex left in the ELCA to oppose further innovation.

I agree in part.  Today's battle lines are between the neo-traditionalists who favor same-sex marriage and the those who reject marriage as patriarchal.   Or should I say, those who want to introduce the notion of sex-positivity an polyamory slowly an those who want it now.

Why doesn't she just don a burka?
Greek Orthodox-Ecumenical Patriarchate

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

Chrismated Antiochian Orthodox, eve of Mary of Egypt Sunday, A.D. 2015