Author Topic: “United Lutheran Mission Association” Wha?  (Read 4232 times)

Dave Benke

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Re: “United Lutheran Mission Association” Wha?
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2019, 09:31:07 AM »

This is the association of three congregations, two from Central Illinois and one from Michigan, that houses the once and always Jack Cascione.  His congregation left the Missouri Synod and ended up in the ULMA.  So the missions they've started are as follows:  (fill in the blank, because it's empty space right now).


They have a mission in Southern California.

spt+

Okeydokey - from 3 to 4 - 25% growth!

Dave Benke

How many mission churches has the Atlantic District started lately?

a) everything I know about the ULMA has been learned in the last two or three days. 
b) On their website, they list 2004 as the year of initiation
c) on their website they list it as an association designed to resource missions
d) on their website, there is one mission congregation listed
e) on their website, that congregation joined in 2009
f) on their website, there are no other missions listed

So that's 15 years for an organization called a mission association, with one mission which came in 10 years ago.  To me, that's on the skinny side in terms of actualizing the organization's goals, no?

As for the Atlantic District, I'm not in on the "lately" portion in an organic way, now four years out from my official role.  We do have two new preaching stations operating out of our congregation that have come into being in the last several years, thanks be to God.

Dave Benke

Steven W Bohler

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Re: “United Lutheran Mission Association” Wha?
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2019, 10:25:43 AM »

This is the association of three congregations, two from Central Illinois and one from Michigan, that houses the once and always Jack Cascione.  His congregation left the Missouri Synod and ended up in the ULMA.  So the missions they've started are as follows:  (fill in the blank, because it's empty space right now).


They have a mission in Southern California.

spt+

Okeydokey - from 3 to 4 - 25% growth!

Dave Benke

How many mission churches has the Atlantic District started lately?

a) everything I know about the ULMA has been learned in the last two or three days. 
b) On their website, they list 2004 as the year of initiation
c) on their website they list it as an association designed to resource missions
d) on their website, there is one mission congregation listed
e) on their website, that congregation joined in 2009
f) on their website, there are no other missions listed

So that's 15 years for an organization called a mission association, with one mission which came in 10 years ago.  To me, that's on the skinny side in terms of actualizing the organization's goals, no?

As for the Atlantic District, I'm not in on the "lately" portion in an organic way, now four years out from my official role.  We do have two new preaching stations operating out of our congregation that have come into being in the last several years, thanks be to God.

Dave Benke

1. You mistakenly (and derisively) said they had NO mission starts.  Then, when it was shown that they have indeed started at least one mission church, not only did you refuse to apologize for your error or attitude, you pooh-poohed their work.  Pretty sad for a guy who claims to be all about missions.

2. One mission start -- in California -- for three congregations in the Midwest -- sounds pretty good to me.  The two congregations I serve have a hard enough time supporting themselves, our day school, and our district/synod missions.

3. OK, so you are 4 years out of the district presidency.  How many mission churches were started by the Atlantic District in the 15 years or so that you WERE district president?  And how many congregations were there involved in their starts?

Charles Austin

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Re: “United Lutheran Mission Association” Wha?
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2019, 11:21:01 AM »
Can’t speak for anyone in the Missouri Synod, Pastor Bohler, but knowing the New York area, I dare to say that starting “new mission churches” probably isn’t the way to do mission there.
Retired ELCA Pastor. You can say liberal Christians are wrong. You can say that you disagree with our interpretation of faith. But when you say we are driven by “culture” or “trendiness,” you prove that you do not listen to us. Luther fared better with Rome.

Steven W Bohler

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Re: “United Lutheran Mission Association” Wha?
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2019, 11:58:31 AM »
Can’t speak for anyone in the Missouri Synod, Pastor Bohler, but knowing the New York area, I dare to say that starting “new mission churches” probably isn’t the way to do mission there.

1. Then what IS the way to do mission there?
2. If starting mission churches is not the way to do missions there, why would Dr. Benke criticize others for not starting mission churches at a more frequent pace?

Charles Austin

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Re: “United Lutheran Mission Association” Wha?
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2019, 12:07:42 PM »
Are you always looking for some kind of fight, Pastor Bohler? Especially with anybody from the east?
I’m not going to try and instruct you about life in the Big Apple.
Retired ELCA Pastor. You can say liberal Christians are wrong. You can say that you disagree with our interpretation of faith. But when you say we are driven by “culture” or “trendiness,” you prove that you do not listen to us. Luther fared better with Rome.

Steven W Bohler

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Re: “United Lutheran Mission Association” Wha?
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2019, 12:41:31 PM »
Are you always looking for some kind of fight, Pastor Bohler? Especially with anybody from the east?
I’m not going to try and instruct you about life in the Big Apple.

1. Look, I asked Dr. Benke some questions -- YOU put yourself into the conversation.  So, don't try to play the victim card (as you so frequently accuse others of doing).

2. The last I heard, you lived right here in Minnesota.  Where I live.  And, as I understand it, you were born and raised in Iowa, which is no further east than Minnesota.

3. If you don't want to instruct me about life in the Big Apple, then don't jump into the conversation and pretend to have answers. 

Dave Benke

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Re: “United Lutheran Mission Association” Wha?
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2019, 06:14:48 PM »
A mission organization of three congregations with one start in fifteen years has had "skinny" results.  That's all that can be said and needs to be said.   

What interests me is the larger picture.  The ELCA has been until recently a merger-oriented enterprise.  Losing a big bundle of members and congregations to a split-off is a new phenomenon. 
The question is how those who left are doing?  Is the prognosis healthy?  What I receive from the NALC is, relatively speaking, healthy news in terms of education, formation and a sense of identity that will last.  So it's a split with a future, with hope.

The LCMS has always been involved more in splitting than merging.  Our ten years with the ALC was a rare merge decision, and it lasted, well, ten years.

Most often we've been involved with splits and splinters and universally (excepting the ALC if you want to count that in) these splits have come from the more doctrinally conservative side.  The old Synodical Conference split was authored by those who could no longer call us orthodox partners.  A multiplicity of micro groupings have had it with the lax and heterodox Missouri Synod and gone off on their own with anything from two or three to a dozen to twenty or thirty congregations and their workers.  The ACELC, an ecclesiola, a church within a church organization, has its 30 or so congregations but remain an inside split.  Are these operations healthy?  Is there a future for them?

It doesn't really appear so to me, but I don't pretend to have all the details.   They have not, significantly, headed to WELS or ELS on the more conservative side, electing to go it on their own.  Maybe they're happy this way.  I don't really understand the future, though - there's unity in the micro management, I'm sure.  But not much recruitment or growth. 

Some of them, and Jack is a good example, carry on the mission of Hector Otten, as he was called back in his Bronxville days.   That mission is to continue to push against what is viewed as heterodox or improper in the Missouri Synod.  Even though the push-againster is not in the Missouri Synod.  Missouri is still mother in that endeavor.

I've followed the short v. long ending of Mark dialog a bit lately.  To me, even though the evidence strongly suggests that the short ending is authentic, I continue to preach and teach from the longer ending in the way that might be done from the Apocrypha.  It's really a catechetical chapter, isn't it, especially with that abrupt ending at verse 9.
From a mission perspective, vs. 15 and 16 are wonderful eventual outcomes, once fear is overcome - preach the Gospel to all creation with the result of both belief and baptism.  Not so much into the snake handling in Brooklyn. 

Dave Benke

Steven W Bohler

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Re: “United Lutheran Mission Association” Wha?
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2019, 06:17:38 PM »
A mission organization of three congregations with one start in fifteen years has had "skinny" results.  That's all that can be said and needs to be said.   

What interests me is the larger picture.  The ELCA has been until recently a merger-oriented enterprise.  Losing a big bundle of members and congregations to a split-off is a new phenomenon. 
The question is how those who left are doing?  Is the prognosis healthy?  What I receive from the NALC is, relatively speaking, healthy news in terms of education, formation and a sense of identity that will last.  So it's a split with a future, with hope.

The LCMS has always been involved more in splitting than merging.  Our ten years with the ALC was a rare merge decision, and it lasted, well, ten years.

Most often we've been involved with splits and splinters and universally (excepting the ALC if you want to count that in) these splits have come from the more doctrinally conservative side.  The old Synodical Conference split was authored by those who could no longer call us orthodox partners.  A multiplicity of micro groupings have had it with the lax and heterodox Missouri Synod and gone off on their own with anything from two or three to a dozen to twenty or thirty congregations and their workers.  The ACELC, an ecclesiola, a church within a church organization, has its 30 or so congregations but remain an inside split.  Are these operations healthy?  Is there a future for them?

It doesn't really appear so to me, but I don't pretend to have all the details.   They have not, significantly, headed to WELS or ELS on the more conservative side, electing to go it on their own.  Maybe they're happy this way.  I don't really understand the future, though - there's unity in the micro management, I'm sure.  But not much recruitment or growth. 

Some of them, and Jack is a good example, carry on the mission of Hector Otten, as he was called back in his Bronxville days.   That mission is to continue to push against what is viewed as heterodox or improper in the Missouri Synod.  Even though the push-againster is not in the Missouri Synod.  Missouri is still mother in that endeavor.

I've followed the short v. long ending of Mark dialog a bit lately.  To me, even though the evidence strongly suggests that the short ending is authentic, I continue to preach and teach from the longer ending in the way that might be done from the Apocrypha.  It's really a catechetical chapter, isn't it, especially with that abrupt ending at verse 9.
From a mission perspective, vs. 15 and 16 are wonderful eventual outcomes, once fear is overcome - preach the Gospel to all creation with the result of both belief and baptism.  Not so much into the snake handling in Brooklyn. 

Dave Benke

You answered NONE of my questions.  Thank you.

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Re: “United Lutheran Mission Association” Wha?
« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2019, 11:31:39 PM »
Can’t speak for anyone in the Missouri Synod, Pastor Bohler, but knowing the New York area, I dare to say that starting “new mission churches” probably isn’t the way to do mission there.

Someone should probably tell Tim Keller.

Dave Benke

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Re: “United Lutheran Mission Association” Wha?
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2019, 08:29:57 AM »
Can’t speak for anyone in the Missouri Synod, Pastor Bohler, but knowing the New York area, I dare to say that starting “new mission churches” probably isn’t the way to do mission there.

Someone should probably tell Tim Keller.

There are a ton of ways new churches are being started in NYC; one is to use the major figure to head to new areas/neigbhorhoods, which is what Keller's group has done.  Another is the covenant model congregation, which doesn't need or often use a sanctuary, but meets in family groupings in homes which have covenanted to be a living faith community.  There is or can be an overseer, but not a lot of overhead involved.  Another is re-purposing a site or a congregation to a different outreach - in many cases the original group represents what was going on 50 years ago, and the neighborhood has become a whole other thing, so a collaboration is formed to assist in making that necessary change.   Another is the mega-church, and we have a bunch of them in NYC, which draw to a more event-based and even celebrity-based experience.  Mike Bloomberg made his apology for stop and frisk in East New York, Brooklyn, at the Christian Cultural Center, which is a very large mega-church (40,000 or more members) under pastor A. R. Bernard.  There are also the more avant garde methods that have church at 3 AM after the young adults come out of the clubs, etc., or that reach out to people traditionally on the outs with Christianity.  And there are a lot of what used to be called Pentecostal churches, now probably somewhat less of the overt pentecostal signs and more toward contemporary praise music and prayer. 

Dave Benke

Dave Likeness

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Re: “United Lutheran Mission Association” Wha?
« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2019, 05:42:51 PM »
Willie Sutton was a famous bank robber during the 1920's and 1930's.   A reporter once
asked Willie why he robbed banks.   Willie replied:  "Because that is where the money is."
Although Willie Sutton spent half of his life in prison, he still managed to rob about $ 2 million.

During the 1960's and the 1970's many Christian denominations planted new churches
in the suburbs of America. Why? To paraphrase Willie Sutton:  "Because that is where the
people are."   Mission work in the suburbs was a great  way to proclaim the Good News
of Jesus Christ to   unchurched young families. Not all suburbanites were unchurched
and they helped to provide the nucleus of a growing mission congregation.

Bottom Line:  I enjoyed my 35 years as a pastor of a suburban parish.  We started out as a
mission project of the LCMS and went off subsidy in 5 years.   The Lord blessed us with growth
as we went through building a new sanctuary and fellowship hall. then we added staff and a
Preschool.
 
« Last Edit: December 22, 2019, 05:45:48 PM by Dave Likeness »

peter_speckhard

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Re: “United Lutheran Mission Association” Wha?
« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2019, 06:04:20 PM »
The suburbs are not where the people are. The suburbs are, though, where the mission church prospects are/were. It’s been a priority getting my flock to the problems with that distinction even as it played an important role in the history of our congregation.

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: “United Lutheran Mission Association” Wha?
« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2019, 08:58:52 PM »
I don't think there's anything bad about planting churches in suburbs. If there's a settling of Lutherans in an area (any area, urban, suburban, rural), it's wise to start a congregation, otherwise you risk losing people from their heritage church.

Our congregation "lost" a lot of people who moved to the suburbs. Although they did not stay with Emmanuel, they often settled in new Lutheran congregations. That's a good outcome, I think.
I serve as administrator for www.churchhistoryreview.org.

Dave Benke

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Re: “United Lutheran Mission Association” Wha?
« Reply #28 on: December 24, 2019, 01:31:05 PM »
The suburbs are not where the people are. The suburbs are, though, where the mission church prospects are/were. It’s been a priority getting my flock to the problems with that distinction even as it played an important role in the history of our congregation.

The language switch is from latin to Greek.  Urbs/urbis up against polis.  So the urbs give birth to their underlings, the suburbs, or their far-flung, the exurbs and so on out to the barbarians hordes, who were ensconced in Germany and such northern zones.  In Greek, its the polis, with its encompassing concept of the metropolis.  Which is a more inclusive and less segmented way to see it; also churchly, as the early bishops had the title "Metropolitan."

The thing that's hard to process, especially for the older folks, is that the people who left the city at certain times left because "urbs"/city was considered bad, crime-ridden, too diverse, etc.  So the sub-urbs were considered better.  In a lot of big cities today, the children and grandchildren raised in suburban settings are fleeing TO the city for the sake of diversity, common values, and not in the least because it's not nearly as crime-ridden (NYC for the most part).  Areas of Brownsville and East New York, Brooklyn are now being gentrified.  Absolutely unthinkable even five years ago.  But they're handy to transit/train, and cheaper locations, and they tend to get more services as the gentrifiers arrive (which is nice but also leaves a lot of questions for those who've been there for 30 years). 

Anyway, the concept of metropolitan allows for the distinct nature of neighborhoods or communities in the middle or on the edge of the metropolis, and links people rather than exiling them.

Dave Benke

peter_speckhard

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Re: “United Lutheran Mission Association” Wha?
« Reply #29 on: December 24, 2019, 02:05:01 PM »
The suburbs are not where the people are. The suburbs are, though, where the mission church prospects are/were. It’s been a priority getting my flock to the problems with that distinction even as it played an important role in the history of our congregation.

The language switch is from latin to Greek.  Urbs/urbis up against polis.  So the urbs give birth to their underlings, the suburbs, or their far-flung, the exurbs and so on out to the barbarians hordes, who were ensconced in Germany and such northern zones.  In Greek, its the polis, with its encompassing concept of the metropolis.  Which is a more inclusive and less segmented way to see it; also churchly, as the early bishops had the title "Metropolitan."

The thing that's hard to process, especially for the older folks, is that the people who left the city at certain times left because "urbs"/city was considered bad, crime-ridden, too diverse, etc.  So the sub-urbs were considered better.  In a lot of big cities today, the children and grandchildren raised in suburban settings are fleeing TO the city for the sake of diversity, common values, and not in the least because it's not nearly as crime-ridden (NYC for the most part).  Areas of Brownsville and East New York, Brooklyn are now being gentrified.  Absolutely unthinkable even five years ago.  But they're handy to transit/train, and cheaper locations, and they tend to get more services as the gentrifiers arrive (which is nice but also leaves a lot of questions for those who've been there for 30 years). 

Anyway, the concept of metropolitan allows for the distinct nature of neighborhoods or communities in the middle or on the edge of the metropolis, and links people rather than exiling them.

Dave Benke
It is easy to think of advent of modern suburbs as fear of the "others" in the urbs, but a more charitable (and in many cases more accurate) explanation is that unprecedented general affluence gave regular workers the ability to own their own homes in the suburbs instead of living in an apartment in the city. The ethnic groups (with the exception of African-Americans, initially, due to racism) mixed and blended in the suburbs, whereas in the urbs they tended to clump into distinct neighborhoods. The two neighboring houses that share a back yard border with my suburban home are immigrants from Poland and Mexico, but my neighborhood is not Polish, Mexican, or any other designation, not even just "white."