Author Topic: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck  (Read 11440 times)

Richard Johnson

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Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
« on: July 24, 2007, 04:32:07 PM »
The ELCA Churchwide Assembly Memorials Committee has attempted to forestall a trainwreck at the Chicago assembly next month by recommending that all memorials and resolutions related to sexuality--both those urging a change in Vision and Expections and those opposing such a change, and those urging development of a rite for same-sex blessings--be referred to the Task Force on Sexuality. This proposal, if adopted, would essentially put off any substantive change in either area until 2009.

It presumably won't prevent discussion this year, however; the recommendation also asks that a verbatim transcript of the CWA's discussion be provided to the Task Force for their edification.

Sounds like a good plan to me. Maybe someone will have the decency to move the previous question before the verbatim transcript gets too long (longer than a paragraph or so, let's say). Only downside is that it keeps all these issues alive for another biennium, but then that would no doubt be the case anyway.

Then there were the resolutions asking bishops to refrain from disciplining pastors in same sex relationships. That one, ilf the Memorials Committee has its way, will be referred to the Council of Bishops as part of an "en bloc" motion. Not a bad idea either, though I must admit I think it would be better to substitute a resolution asking bishops to fulfill their constitutional duties for a change.

All in all, it sounds like there may some interest in allowing plenty of time for the election of a presiding bishop and secretary. If we can put off the sexuality trainwreck another two years, that would probably be a salutary thing.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Charles_Austin

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Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2007, 05:10:11 PM »
Our esteemed moderator writes:
If we can put off the sexuality trainwreck another two years, that would probably be a salutary thing.

I comment:
There is no certainty that it will be a "trainwreck," either this year or two years from now.

Maryland Brian

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Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2007, 05:20:01 PM »
I comment:
There is no certainty that it will be a "trainwreck," either this year or two years from now.

True enough.  It might be possible to take the same path as TEC and PCUSA and UCC and not lose congregations, financial support, and ecumenical contacts outside US based mainlines.  Indeed, we could drive this train just like these other denominations and not find ourselves hurtling into the trees.  It could happen.  It could. ...  now, if I can only find a start to wish upon ...

Maryland Brian

Charles_Austin

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Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2007, 05:25:24 PM »
Ah, the ever-positive and hopeful Maryland Brian! The man with the crystal ball. The one who writes off ELCA in evangelism, ethics, parish structure, and leadership. We won't need "wishing on a star," we will need people willing to work and pray and worship and serve together through our disagreements with a sense of hope (even when the situation looks hopeless) and a commitment to be together in the body of Christ, rather than having the arm hacking away at the leg.

Maryland Brian

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Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2007, 05:34:34 PM »
Ah, the ever-positive and hopeful Maryland Brian! The man with the crystal ball.

  There's a great book you might want to add to your reading list for the summer.  I was fortunate to meet the author (Dr. Henry Cloud) at a retreat last fall.  He's also written a number of great books about boundaries, but his latest is, "Integrity, the Courage to Face Reality."

Sounds like the memorials committee might have read it too.

Maryland Brian

EENGELBRECHT

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Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2007, 05:41:56 PM »
This proposal, if adopted, would essentially put off any substantive change in either area until 2009.

Is prolonging the angst a good thing?

In Christ,
EE

FrostyPastor

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Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2007, 10:54:21 AM »
Among the suggestions coming out of Lutheran CORE prior to this spring/summer round of synod assemblies was the reccommendation to wait for 2009 and the hopefully completed social statement on human sexuality believing that, perhaps, there maybe some foundational basis there for deciding these questions, again, if we weren't done with them in 2005.

Curiously, here in Northeastern Penn, the synod assembly approved, barely - a low 50's majority, the first "Good Soil" resolution but also approved, significantly - nearly two-thirds - the Lutheran CORE "wait" resolution.

I'm hopeful that the two additonal years might be a good thing.

Mike Frost
Zion's Stone Church,
Schuylkill County, PA

Maryland Brian

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Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2007, 01:11:22 PM »

I'm hopeful that the two additonal years might be a good thing.

Mike Frost
Zion's Stone Church,
Schuylkill County, PA

 I'm not sure two years will reframe the issues any more clearly or keep us from leaving the same rails of just about all the other mainlines (train wreck reference), but if it can happen, it will allow us two more years of ministry and mission before the "decision" must be made.  Sometimes buying time can be helpful.  I see the memorial committee's actions - as reported by Richard Johnson - to fully understand what's at risk right now in our life together.

Maryland Brian

Dave_Poedel

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Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2007, 05:04:19 PM »
I searched the website of the CWA in vain for a list of resolutions to be presented to the Assembly.  I received an email from the ELCA News about it, but found only the resolutions forwarded by the Synod Assemblies.

Is the  final edition of the resolutions completed and available yet?  I hope to follow the CWA as many from the ELCA folk on this board followed the LCMS one...on streaming video.

Actually, Charles, I pray for the ELCA on a very regular basis....we share a name, and many of my in-laws are members of ELCA congregations, and I meet with an ELCA Pastor each week for prayer.  I pray that the ELCA turns ever so slightly (OK, more than that) to the right...towards the middle.....and together may we meet at the Cross!

Dave

mchristi

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Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2007, 06:29:08 PM »
Dave (and any others) the report of the Memorials Committee can be found, as a PDF, at http://www.elca.org/assembly/votingmatters/ReportoftheMemorialsCommittee.pdf.  Some background on the process can be seen at http://www.elca.org/assembly/votingmatters/Memorials&Resolutions.html.

There are a few other items that come from ELCA leadership under "Recomendations" on http://www.elca.org/assembly/votingmatters/

Hope that helps.

Mark C.

Dave_Poedel

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Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2007, 09:41:45 PM »
Thanks, Mark.  I found that one, but I guess I need to read it again.  Do the "model resolutions" get presented to the voters?  Do Floor Committees percolate them into those presented?  I need to do some reading to understand the process in the ELCA.  Thanks again.

Dave

mchristi

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Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2007, 11:32:28 AM »
Thanks, Mark.  I found that one, but I guess I need to read it again.  Do the "model resolutions" get presented to the voters?  Do Floor Committees percolate them into those presented?  I need to do some reading to understand the process in the ELCA.  Thanks again.

The memorials passed by synod assemblies are categorized into that Memorials Committee Report.  The recommendations of that committee are what is on the floor, although those can be amended, substituted, and so forth.  When numerous versions of a resolution arrive, they present a "model" and indicate its variations, as you have no doubt seen.

Voting members also have the opportunity at the assembly to present resolutions on items not already on the agenda.  They need a certain number of signatures to present the resolution.  There is a reference and council committee that will deal with them.  I'm not entirely sure what you mean by a "Floor Committee."  There are no topical committees like one finds in legislatures that deal with resolutions before going to the assembly floor.

Does that help?  I try to understand the process through reading and observation, but I've never been directly involved with it as a voting member.  Maybe someone who has can add (or subtract) something here.

Mark C.

Charles_Austin

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Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2007, 11:35:21 AM »
Were I a gambling man, I would bet a dinner at a Chicago steakhouse that there is a strong effort to bring those memorials to the floor of the Assembly.

BeornBjornson

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Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2007, 06:31:51 PM »
Not that much of a gamble actually.  It can be pretty well expected that GoodSoil/LCNA voting members will make the attempt.  THe question will be how the "muddled middle" (folks who are neither GoodSoil/LCNA leaning nor Lutheran CORE/WordAlone leaning) interpret the effort to bring these before the CWA.  They may see such action as "divisive" and (depending on the emotion level of the GoodSoil supporters) see it as "not nice."  They may catch the nervous anxiety of the ELCA's leadership and seize the opportunity to move the issue down the road and let the Sexuality Studies Task Force and the 2009 CWA deal with it.   Or they may "cry havoc and let loose the dogs of church conflict" setting synod against synod and division within synods and the ELCA's financial and numerical shrinkage will take a critical turn for the worse.  It won't be Ragnarok yet or dissolution of the ELCA but it will prompt a sharp backlash in and from conservative synods like Northeast Iowa and the ELCA's Churchwide pocketbook will take a very sharp hit.
Ken Kimball

Charles_Austin

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Re: Memorials Committee Tries to Avoid Trainwreck
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2007, 11:05:39 PM »
It's "cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war." from Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare.

CMA
Once an English major, always an English major.