Author Topic: Bishop Payne Comes Out in Support of Change  (Read 8496 times)

frluther1517

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Re: Bishop Payne Comes Out in Support of Change
« Reply #30 on: July 27, 2007, 04:21:24 PM »
What sacres me most about this is the clear appearance of schism.  I am sure some could argue that Bp. Payne's presiding at this eucharist is not a sign of schism, but not very well.  It seems to me that for a bishop of the Church to preside at a service where a defrocked (for lack of a better term) pastor will be preaching is an "ecclesiastical middle finger" to the Discipline Committee's verdict and the Appeals Committee's decision.  I would argue that him preaching alone is a schismatic move.  For all intents and purposes the ELCA has stripped him of the office to preach the word and administer the sacraments.  Now LC/NA has restored that office to preach with the oversight of an ELCA bishop.   This just reeks of schism.  

What scares me the most especially about LC/NA is the further and further we move along the more and more they are beginning to look like their own non-geographical synod.  This has been done mostly through RIC, which I found out recently is a branch of LC/NA.  The RIC movement has done this the most in their recruitment of RIC congregations, RIC campus ministries (which I would guess a majority of them are RIC), to RIC synods, and the latest rumor is RIC seminaries.  LC/NA is already putting in place an extraordinary candidacy process for GLBT candidates to be ordained through networking congregations.  I mean if it looks like a duck, and smells like a duck, ya know it probably is a duck?  I do fear for the lack of true unity that still remains with in the ELCA, especially in light of LC/NA and now Bp. Payne's schismatic move to celebrate at their altar.

I do pray for all of those at the Churchwide Assembly and for the unity of the ELCA.  Lord have mercy!  

The. Rev. Ian J. Wolfe

James S. Rustad

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Re: Bishop Payne Comes Out in Support of Change
« Reply #31 on: July 27, 2007, 04:59:04 PM »
Well, Charles, in the Society of the Holy Trinity and in the Via de Cristo, we have not celebrated the Eucharist apart from a congregation-sponsored service without first seeking and receiving written permission from the local Bishop.  The Bishops -- and the ones I've dealt with on this all had ALC roots -- have not replied, "It's not necessary," but, "Here's your letter."  That's a rather curious response if the classical Lutheran position on celebrations of Holy Communion had been "jettisoned."

I've heard differing opinions on this -- and in contexts other than this.  I've heard from some that the authorization of the local synod Bishop is a requirement for any communion celebration (including those on the property of an ELCA congregation -- that one argued that the Bishop authorized those celebrations when the pastor was installed).  I've heard from others that the Bishop does not have this authority.

I have my own opinions on this but I'm seeking guidance as to the official ELCA policy.  Anyone know of any ELCA document that spells out who can celebrate communion, when, where and who needs to authorize it?


Charles_Austin

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Re: Bishop Payne Comes Out in Support of Change
« Reply #32 on: July 27, 2007, 05:04:38 PM »
From our statement on sacramental practices, "The Use of the Means of Grace"
The gathered people of God celebrate the sacrament. Holy Communion, usually celebrated within a congregation, also may be celebrated in synodical, churchwide, and other settings where the baptized gather.

Note the words "usually," and the reference to "other settings where the baptized gather."

ptmccain

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Re: Bishop Payne Comes Out in Support of Change
« Reply #33 on: July 27, 2007, 08:07:16 PM »
Looks like another one of your bishops has come out on the issue as well.

http://www.advocate.com/news_detail_ektid47702.asp

Deb_H.

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Re: Bishop Payne Comes Out in Support of Change
« Reply #34 on: July 27, 2007, 09:21:59 PM »
Wasn't Bishop Hanson himself very much supportive of the gay-rights movement agenda in the ELCA when he was a Synod bishop in MN, or am I confusing him with another ELCA bishop?

Since nobody has answered this and you asked it twice, I'll give it a shot, based mostly on what I've read.
Mark Hanson is in favor of changes, but he's willing to take it more slowly than many are now trying to get it done.  When Anita Hill was ordained in St Paul Synod of MN, then-bishop Hanson said it was an invalid ordination.  I believe he disciplined the congregation via censure, because those were the rules, but it only lasted for a year.  Peter Rogness (who succeeded Bp. Hanson as bishop there) reinstated them because they had continued to be 'faithful members' of the ELCA during the censure (the cynical part of me reads: they kept sending us money). 

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1058/is_16_118/ai_75197290.
http://www.concordtx.org/wrldnews/elcahom6.htm
http://www.thisobedience.com/liftsanctions.html

Anita Hill continues to serve as a pastor at St.Paul Reformation Lutheran and they have full voting status as a congregation at churchwide assemblies, unlike a couple of congregations in California that did basically the same thing years earlier and were removed from the ELCA as congregations for doing so.

http://www.st-francis-lutheran.org/nyt_900719.html
http://www.st-francis-lutheran.org/960101ch.html

Debbie Hesse

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Re: Bishop Payne Comes Out in Support of Change
« Reply #35 on: July 27, 2007, 10:51:35 PM »
If this time it is in the hotel, that makes it an even greater ecclesial provocation.


And, given that Holy Communion is being celebrated every day of the CWA as a part of the CWA, what possible statement can be made by celebrating Holy Communion separately, in the CWA headquarters hotel?   I don't see how this event can fail to be devisive, in intent as well as in effect.  Can somebody, anybody, please suggest a non-divisive motive for this event - a motive other than "making a statement" or "being in solidarity with" the former pastor from Atlanta?  Holy Communion isn't celebrated to make statements or expressing solidarity, unless I misunderstand badly the reasons for celebrating Holy Communion.

Mike Bennett
“What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?”  2 Kings 9:22

Charles_Austin

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Re: Bishop Payne Comes Out in Support of Change
« Reply #36 on: July 27, 2007, 10:53:44 PM »
Pastor McCain writes:
Looks like another one of your bishops has come out on the issue as well.

I comment:
Well, the link didn't work for me; but I'm not surprised. So Pastor McCain gets another jolt of glee by citing yet another example of how awful the ELCA is.
Why don't we, for the sake of dialog (if that is ever possible again) stipulate: some of our bishops favor change in our policies on sexuality, some of our pastors are living in committed same sex relationships, some of our churches want to call such people and have done so, and some of our bishops will let it happen in their synods. Agreed? So it is not necessary to post every example of how awful someone in the LC-MS thinks we are. By the way, we ordain women, too, so I guess that's an orthodoxy-breaker that happened before the discussion on this aspect of sexuality came on the scene.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Bishop Payne Comes Out in Support of Change
« Reply #37 on: July 27, 2007, 11:21:49 PM »
Mark Hanson is in favor of changes, but he's willing to take it more slowly than many are now trying to get it done.  When Anita Hill was ordained in St Paul Synod of MN, then-bishop Hanson said it was an invalid ordination.  I believe he disciplined the congregation via censure, because those were the rules, but it only lasted for a year.  Peter Rogness (who succeeded Bp. Hanson as bishop there) reinstated them because they had continued to be 'faithful members' of the ELCA during the censure (the cynical part of me reads: they kept sending us money).
My recollection is slightly different. I believe the discipline Bishop Hanson imposed included sanctions, (something stronger than censure). Bishop Rogness removed the sanctions, because he believed (rightly so, I think,) that it was not within a bishop's power and authority to impose them.

It's a bit like what the Appeals Committee did with the Discipline Hearing Committee in the Schmeling case. They determined, (rightly so, I think,) that the Discipline Hearing Committee went beyond their authority when making their statement and delaying the implementation of the discipline.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2007, 12:35:53 AM by Brian Stoffregen »
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Richard Johnson

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Re: Bishop Payne Comes Out in Support of Change
« Reply #38 on: July 28, 2007, 12:04:22 AM »
I think Brian speaks the truth here.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Bishop Payne Comes Out in Support of Change
« Reply #39 on: July 28, 2007, 12:45:15 AM »
I think Brian speaks the truth here.
Thank you, but this "truth" doesn't really answer the original question of whether or not Bishop Hanson supported the homosexual issues or not as a synod bishop. He imposed more discipline than he, as a bishop, should have; but he didn't bring charges or seek the removal of the congregation who had called a non-ELCA clergy, which he could have done as a bishop. In fact, I don't believe any bishop has brought charges against a non-compliant congregation since St. Francis and First United were removed in the early 1990s.
"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]

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Bishop Payne Comes Out in Support of Change
« Reply #40 on: July 28, 2007, 06:25:42 PM »
Wasn't Bishop Hanson himself very much supportive of the gay-rights movement agenda in the ELCA when he was a Synod bishop in MN, or am I confusing him with another ELCA bishop?

Bishop Hanson has spoken of his support for gay and lesbian members of the church while a parish pastor, including bringing favorable "Reconciled in Christ" votes in his congregations.

When Anita Hill was in the Candidacy Process, the Synodical Candidacy Committee sought every possible way it could to approve her candidacy.  They appealed to the Div for Ministry, the Conference of Bishops, ELCA Church Council, etc. for recision of Vision and Expectations or for her to be granted an exemption.  Bishop Hanson carried those appeals on their behalf.  However, one will not find any public statements from him that he actually supported their requests.  On the other hand, he annually renewed Ms. Hill's "license" to preach and celebrate Holy Communion at St. Paul-Reformation Church throughout her years there as a lay "pastoral associate."   

After Ms. Hill's illicit ordination, Bishop Hanson's sanctions against St. Paul-Reformation were timed to begin immediately following the Churchwide Assembly, several weeks after the ordination and his announcement of such sanction.  In this way, "Pastor" Anita Hill, always attired in clerical collar, was able to attend the CWA as a lay voting member from the St. Paul Area Synod, whose delegation was led by its Bishop, Mark Hanson.


When he spoke at the Hein-Fry Lectures last year at LSTC, Presiding Bishop Hanson stated with absolute clarity his conviction that gay and lesbian persons in relationships should not, on that basis, be barred from the Holy Ministry and that, sooner or later, the ELCA will permit it -- but enough of this church is not there yet.  Until then his supporters could always claim (as some did at the 2001 CWA which elected him Presiding Bishop) that he was merely carrying forward the requests of his constituency. 

pax, spt+
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ptmccain

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Re: Bishop Payne Comes Out in Support of Change
« Reply #41 on: July 28, 2007, 06:38:39 PM »
Thanks for the information Pr. Tibbetts. Wow, your evidence is along the lines of "case closed, end of story."

I thought this was the case, but my memory was hazy on it.

It's rather depressing.

janielou13

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Re: Bishop Payne Comes Out in Support of Change
« Reply #42 on: July 28, 2007, 09:00:39 PM »
Not depressing, just downright Jesuitical.

navyman

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Re: Bishop Payne Comes Out in Support of Change
« Reply #43 on: July 30, 2007, 01:39:10 PM »
Neither her supporting a change in ELCA ordination policy publicly or her presiding at a worship service sponsered by Lutheran Concern/North America would constitute a violation subject to discipline.

First, Mark, that should be "neither, nor."  :-)

Secondly, Bishop Payne, as an ELCA pastor, is not a "free agent" when it comes to presiding at a worship service.  Furthermore, Lutherans Concerned is not a congregation or "synodically authorized worshiping community", so their "sponsoring" a public celebration of the Eucharist is problematic.

The solutions to those problems is that the LC/NA service is likely being held under the auspices of a local congregation and the Metro Chicago Synod Bishop has authorized Bishop Payne to preside at a Eucharist in his Synod. 

However, I suspect that those bases have been covered.  Which would then make your statement true.

Nonetheless, I think concern should be raised regarding these lines in the Model Constitution for Synods governing the office of Bishop:

     "S8.12.h Practice leadership in strengthening the unity of the Church and in so doing: ...
                  2) Be responsible for administering the constitutionally established processes for the resolution of controversies. . .
                  4) Consult regularly with other synodical bishops and the Conference of Bishops;. . . (and)
               i. 3) Ensure that the constitution and bylaws of the synod and of the churchwide organization are duly observed within this synod, and that the actions of the synod in conformity therewith are carried into effect; . . ."

     I believe that there is a strong argument that Bishop Payne is planning to take an action that would not strengthen the unity of the ELCA, but in fact would lead to its increased likelyhood to fracture; also, the case can be made regarding whether or not she consulted with the Bishop of the Southeastern Synod when she decided to preside at a worship service at which a pastor who has been removed from the roster in that synod will be the preacher (and star).   She hasn't done this yet, and so cannot be brought up on charges, but there is still time to appeal to her (by other bishops and by Hanson, if he so chooses) to not undertake this action because of the unsettled state of affairs in the ELCA regarding these matters. 

     And if anyone reading this is in the ELCA, I urge you to contact your bishop, and anyone else you think either Mark Hanson or Margaret Payne might listen to. 

Erma Wolf

Like talking to a brick wall!  I always thought that a bishop was to stand on the Scripture!  Seems, this is not the case within the ELCA today!  Sorry, there is no one within the ELCA who wants to hear about it!  Except pew members and some pastors, who are just as pissed about the whole mess, and the continued GLBT issue that seems to perminate with in the halls of power!

I think she is right, they'll fight until they win!  Unless the ELCA comes out once and for all and states that it stands on Scripture Alone, just like the PC-USA did!  Its not compatible with the teachings of Scripture period!

Don Whitbeck

James S. Rustad

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Re: Bishop Payne Comes Out in Support of Change
« Reply #44 on: July 30, 2007, 02:20:49 PM »
From our statement on sacramental practices, "The Use of the Means of Grace"
The gathered people of God celebrate the sacrament. Holy Communion, usually celebrated within a congregation, also may be celebrated in synodical, churchwide, and other settings where the baptized gather.

Note the words "usually," and the reference to "other settings where the baptized gather."

Thanks for the information.

The "Application" paragraphs related to principle 39 (quoted by you above) would not seem to apply to LC/NA holding a communion service at the hotel -- they don't match up too well.  I guess that's another example of the impossibility of anticipating everything.