Author Topic: Important announcement  (Read 6049 times)

Charles Austin

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Re: Important announcement
« Reply #30 on: December 27, 2020, 04:57:04 AM »
Only to note (to no one’s surprise, I am sure) that “polite” need not mean soft, gooey, sweet, and nicely “agreeable” (if nonetheless worrisome) to where serious matters are made the equivalent of a tea-time discussion ‘twist elderly Victorian grande dames who fret because cook has made the marmalade on the day’s scones a bit too tart.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, Nw York and New Jersey. LCA and LWF staff. Former journalist. Now retired, living in Minneapolis.


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Re: Important announcement
« Reply #31 on: December 30, 2020, 03:58:12 PM »
I have been on a break from the Forum but wish to join the chorus of grateful participants. Thank you.

Blessed 2021 to everyone!

Donna Smith
A pastor of the North American Lutheran Church.


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Re: Important announcement
« Reply #32 on: December 30, 2020, 09:56:04 PM »
There is an explanation for the gan ainm / main nag issue. It vicissitude, or negative serendipity. Well in the past I was a culprit for negative serendipity:

1. I visited a Lutheran church I didn't really like and usually didn't attend due to a circumstance beyond my control. (Also I had not the most restful sleep the previous night.)
2. There was a substitute pastor there that I recognized, but I did not expect
3. I uttered one line to him after the service in a polite and private manner which was critical in nature, but not unfounded.
4. He invited me into his car, parked somewhere and berated me for an hour. I repeatedly assured him that I was not going to write to Christian News about it. That didn't seem to satisfy him, he went and sent emails about me to other clergy. (One which later told me about it.)

Nothing good happened. I had negative serendipity, and so did he. In retrospect he may have thought it was a co-ordinated mobbing (it wasn't). After all, why did I even show up there?

That said, Rev. Engelbrecht's description of mobbing as partly consisting of weird petty comments circulated between a group is spot on. It really happens like that--a group keeps track of comments and incidents from the past and then tries to bring them up in a coordinated manner which only appears serendipitous.

But there are also occasions where it is bad luck / negative serendipity / vicissitude etc. It comes from the devil or demons, who probably think mobbing is a hoot and are willing to tempt people into saying things that wouldn't ordinarily drive someone wild, but due to unusual and unintended circumstances, do just that. This seems to be an uncommon occurrence to me: for someone who is being actively mobbed, I would expect that the majority of the bothering comes not from negative serendipity / vicissitude but instead from planned pettiness.

And yes, it goes both ways: I shouldn't have said it, and he was not right to take my comment the wrong way.

There is more than one way to get rid of negative serendipity. it is useful to turn to the Michaelmas section of the hymnal and sing the hymns, or better yet, memorize them. When you feel a stinging sensation the negative serendipity will go away, especially if you don't touch the sensation and let it go away on its own. If singing doesn't work, try something else, like repenting or getting enough sleep.

Job had a large negative serendipity problem; when he acknowledged God's greatness and humbled himself, the devil quit bothering him. Several things (besides his blameless life) could have attracted Satan to Job, including his governmental participation at the gate (Job 29:7), his bad wife, his sacrificing for his children, and his bad friends. These things did not pertain to Job's own guilt--he did not do any specific sin which merited his trials. Even just association with unclean things or evil people can sometimes lead to negative serendipity. It is an unavoidable part of life; scrupulosity doesn't make it go away. Rather, like Job, accept God's sovereignty and do what you can to set things straight again.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2020, 09:07:52 PM by Commencement2020 »


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Re: Important announcement
« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2021, 03:02:21 PM »
Just a note to lurkers or those hoping to become members. Please register a username that is recognizable as a name. We no longer allow anonymous posting. I realize anyone could be registering with a fake name, in which case we'd have to clear that up retroactively. But it is easiest to begin with something that at least sounds like a real name. Something like "Peter_Speckhard," not something like "Lutheranguy," or "SMYTHE"

D. Engebretson

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Re: Important announcement
« Reply #34 on: July 15, 2021, 11:58:27 AM »
I'm cross-posting this for those of you who only read "Your Turn."

Your moderators have been in conversation with the ALPB board about the nature and future of this Forum. We, and they, are concerned about the toxicity of much of the recent conversation. We have discussed various options for improving the quality of interactions. There may be more changes in the future, but for now the following changes will be made effective January 1:
(1) We will no longer permit anonymous posters. You may include your real name (first and last names, please) as your user name, or, if you prefer, you may include your real name as a signature. If the moderators suspect that the name you provide is a pseudonym, we will be contacting you directly to assure that you are who you say you are. If you are currently posting anonymously, please see that you correct that prior to January 1.
(2) We will ask that you restrict your posts to matters related in some way to the purpose and ministry of the church or the challenges of the Christian life. There are plenty of other places to discuss the world of politics. We will allow some latitude here; there are obviously areas where politics and faith intersect, and that intersection is not always entirely clear. But we will not allow political sniping.
(3) As a matter of fact, we will not allow sniping at all. We will be moderating more aggressively. Any post that makes personal attacks on others will be removed, or at least heavily edited; any post that is removed will also lead to the removal of all responses to that post. Persistent violations of this rule will lead to removal from the conversation. Robust discussion is good. Personal attacks are not.
That’s how things are going to go in the new year. With your help, we hope to get this train back on track.

And while I've said the effective date is January 1, in fact some of these things will be happening sooner. We need to practice a little before we go full bore into it.

This thread goes back to the beginning of the year, but I wanted to respond to it so that it again appeared in the day's posts.  I especially wanted to highlight the second point above.  There is always a temptation to stray into discussions of politics.  But I wanted to remind us all, even myself, that this is a restriction implemented by the ALPB Board and moderators. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI