Author Topic: Friday afternoon part 2  (Read 1496 times)

Richard Johnson

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Friday afternoon part 2
« on: August 09, 2019, 09:45:15 PM »
[Sorry this got a little confused; I tried uploading the Friday afternoon report and it didn't work because it was too long, so I've broken it in half, and I hope nothing got left out!]

Report of the memorials committee. There are a half dozen things still to come from this committee. The one that was already in progress comes first, which is C1, the church and state proposed social statement. Member offers substitute motion: It would basically authorize the social statement on church and state, but also "urgently request the council" to authorize a social message dealing with these issues as part of the development of a social statement.
Speaking in favor of the motion. Substitute motion adopted, 689-118. Now on the main motion: member from Nebraska synod speaks against, again wants only a message, not a statement, because she wants something before November 2020. Motion to end debate passes 827-21, main motion as substituted approved 782-82. So the social statement is authorized, and a social message is urged.

Category D1, encouraging congregations and synods to commemorate 50th anniversary of women's ordination. Approved 800-19

Memorial category C3 on migrants, reaffirming commitment of ELCA to migrants and refugees. Member moves an amendment to add authorization for "an ELCA social statement on migrants and refugees." We have many excellent statements and actions, but we need a social statement--a concerted theological discussion not just for now but the future. PB calls on treasurer to report on financial implications: We are budgeted for one; social statement costs about $100,000 per year. Church council member opposes, suggests this is an issue that might well come under purview of the social statement on church and state. More speaking in favor. Treasurer corrects her previous statement: past social statements about $300,000 total, but staffing situation at the moment would make it necessary to hire additional staff, which would bring the total to closer than $500,000. [I volunteer to write it for $20,000 total, plus travel] More speaking for and against.

Aside: I've noticed a lot of the younger members here are guilty of high rising terminal (upspeak) when they speak. It is annoying.

Member asks difference between different kinds of documents. Willer responds: social statements are one thing; social messages (there is one on immigration already); social policy resolutions which are focused on action (example: we have a social policy resolution putting us on record in support of the dreamers act). Wyvetta Bullock: ELCA social message on migration was reviewed and updated in 2018.

Motion to end debate on the amendment: Approved 820 to 21. Vote on amendment to authorize social statement on migration: Yes 256, no 600+ (they are way too quick taking the vote totals down from the screen!). Vote on memorials committee recommendation: Yes 811, no 44.

Now Memorial A6 Poor Peoples Campaign Affirms Church Council action recognizing importance of Poor People's Campaign etc." Amendment from member: to add "that the ELCA endorse the Poor People's Campaign." He reads list of religious organizations that have endorsed the PPC. Willer asked to explain technical meaning of endorsement: in this case, it is sort of an all or nothing situation. We've had conversation with them. The PPC has a set of demands which are very specific. To endorse is to endorse all the demands, not just the vision or general idea. Member of the memorials committee explains there are a number of issues where the ELCA does not have clear positions or clarity. The committee has listed several of these, including "free tuition at public colleges and universities," "statehood for Washington DC," "single payer universal health care," etc. (The recommendation as presented refers to supporting "vision and goals . . . that are in alignment with this church's social teachings") More speaking for and against. Bp. Anderson moves to close debate on the amendment. 792-63 On the amendment to add "endorsement": Yes 319, no 541. [another note of sanity!] Now on the original recommendation: Yes 804, no 65.

Now C5, recommendation regarding amendment of sexuality statement. This is complex. It requests some revisions of the 2009 statement reflecting new legal realities. Motion to lay on the table until a time uncertain, with the explanation that the LGBTQ+ community believes that there are more important things to debate than this at the moment. Secretary explains that her motion actually kills the recommendation; if she wants it brought back, it must be referred to some other group. Motion to postpone indefinitely is approved, 440-400.

Memorial D7 on health care benefits for churchwide employees. Bp. Dunlop moves substitute to direct church council and council of bishops to restore churchwide rostered leaders to the Gold+ coverage for 2020, pay for the coverage of spouses and dependents, etc. Apparently the church council reduced health care coverage under portico for 2020. Dunlop admits this will cost a million dollars, but thinks it's doable. Treasurer Fenyk reports on what has happened, and why decisions have been made. Decision to move from Gold to Silver was not taken lightly; it was determined this was best for long term sustainability of the ELCA. There were mitigating offers to help cover the cost disparity. Church council member: you should see the tears we shed over this decision. It was not a decision made easily. But the tradeoff that you don't realize is that this represents 15 to 20 positions that won't have to be eliminated. You elected a church council to make best financial decisions we can. Please trust us. Another church council member supports the substitute motion. I and my wife are both pastors. If the church won't support our health benefits, there's no other employer to do so. The church has promised us that our pension and health care benefits would be higher than in private sector in part to compensate us for lower salaries than private sector. This sets a terrible precedent for other expressions of the church. Another church council member speaks on the other side, against the substitute motion.

A member: the substitute allows council and Portico some time to make a better and more equitable decision. We need to model to the world how to care for one another. Another member: Bp. Dunlop's claim that we have plenty of money because we're ahead in income; that's all because of investment income, which is volatile.

Orders of the day. Time for announcements and then reception and banquet.

But before that, an apology. At worship yesterday, and those darn things they were projecting behind the altar, there was apparently a graphic that showed or at least suggested a group of minstrels (I did not see this, so I can't be more specific). It was offensive to African Americans (or I guess the accepted phrase these days is "persons of African descent"). It was mentioned in the sermon this morning. So at the end of the session, Kevin Strickland, who has been the ELCA worship guy but just elected bishop of Southeastern Synod, delivered a heartfelt apology with full mea maxima culpa for not having realized that the image was offensive, followed by a similar apology by Bp. Eaton.

The banquet celebrating 50 years of ordination of women was, as you might expect, festive and enthusiastic. All the materials and speaking tied together "50 years of women's ordination," "40 years since the first ordination of a woman of color," and "10 years since the authorization of LGBTQ+". It almost makes one think there might be something to the common LCMS accusation that women's ordination necessarily leads to ordination of lesbians and gays (and all those other folks too, apparently, though we've never actually decided that). There were several speakers, the most interesting of whom was Elizabeth Platz, the first woman ordained in the LCA. Then there was some singing--one song having to be pulled because it was new words set to the tune of "Go Down, Moses," and I guess that was offensive cultural appropriation as well. Sometimes you just can't get it right.




The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

scott9

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Re: Friday afternoon part 2
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2019, 12:23:34 PM »
Aside: I've noticed a lot of the younger members here are guilty of high rising terminal (upspeak) when they speak. It is annoying.

How about vocal fry?

James_Gale

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Re: Friday afternoon part 2
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2019, 12:44:08 PM »
Aside: I've noticed a lot of the younger members here are guilty of high rising terminal (upspeak) when they speak. It is annoying.

How about vocal fry?


I found both to be distractingly annoying.  Maybe that just means that I'm getting older. 

Richard Johnson

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Re: Friday afternoon part 2
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2019, 05:18:40 PM »
There are some verbal tics that I'm finding increasingly annoying, particularly the millennial tendency to start every sentence with "I mean . . . " Of course you mean it, why would you be talking otherwise? "So" is another one. And when it is "So, I mean, . . ." I just don't listen any more.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Charles Austin

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Re: Friday afternoon part 2
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2019, 05:24:09 PM »
Airline flight attendant,  after the plane has landed:
“we would like to welcome you to Chicago…”
Me:
Well, go ahead, do it, who is stopping you?
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: Friday afternoon part 2
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2019, 06:48:25 PM »
Airline flight attendant,  after the plane has landed:
“we would like to welcome you to Chicago…”
Me:
Well, go ahead, do it, who is stopping you?

Kinda like the faux humility of folksy evangelical-ese prayers that begin every sentence

"Father God, we just want to....."
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