Author Topic: Women's History Month  (Read 10720 times)

John_Hannah

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #135 on: March 21, 2021, 03:04:34 PM »
Back to the story and history of Lutheran women:

The late Jean Garton was a woman who promoted the LCMS pro-life stance within and beyond the synod.  Jean was a gifted writer, Who Broke the Baby and an outstanding public speaker.  She was also a woman who, when prepared to resume her teaching career, became pregnant.  It was not a planned pregnancy.  In her distress she considered an abortion.  Hers was the story only a woman could tell.

Jean Garton became a highly sought after speaker within the LCMS.  Requests came to speak at LCMS Youth Gatherings that included a worship element.  She was also asked to speak to students at Concordia College at daily chapel.  Pastors invited her to have a dialog question and answer message with the pastor during worship. 

There were critics who questioned whether Jean was "speaking" or "preaching."

Thirty years ago Jean led a retreat for Atlantic District pastor's wives. Late one evening, she and I had a private chat about when LCMS women could in good conscience "speak" in public, including a worship service.  At the time I was part of the LCMS Human Care and World Relief "Speakers Bureau."  Pastor's invited me to "speak" to their congregation on Sunday morning on how Christian families can respond to world hunger.  When a daughter was a student at Concordia Bronxville, the college president asked me to speak to the students in chapel on how they could respond to world hunger.  When my message was printed in the Concordia Bronxville newsletter, a brother in Christ called to say I had sinned.

Until the time of her death Jean, when invited, continued to "speak"a biblical pro life message during a worship service. She would speak from the lectern in her Sunday dress.  Like Jean, I accepted invitations from LCMS pastors to tell the story of LCMS Human Care and World Relief.  It was my practice to relate a biblical passage to how families, particularly the moms, can respond to our Lord's command to feed the hungry. Like Jean, I spoke from the lectern in my Sunday dress

Are LCMS pastors misguided/sinning when they invited a woman to "speak" during a worship service about an area of the Christian life from her perspective as a woman?   

Marie Meyer



     


 

Thanks for remembering Jean Garton (+) in Women's History Month, Marie.  The daughter of an NYPD detective from Maspeth, Queens, Jean brought such incredible passion and purpose to the cause of Life.  I met Henry Hyde at an event some years ago, and his first question was to ask how Jean was doing.  He called her the brightest Lutheran light in the Pro-Life firmament.  Jean often met resistance within the re-pristinating element in the LCMS, even as she served on the CTCR and the Synod's Board of Directors.  She kept on keeping on through it all.  She could and did speak, eloquently, on matters practical, moral and theological. 

Dave Benke

She once told me that I was a very good writer. I consider it one of the best compliments I ever received.   ;D

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Dave Benke

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #136 on: March 21, 2021, 03:13:47 PM »
Back to the story and history of Lutheran women:

The late Jean Garton was a woman who promoted the LCMS pro-life stance within and beyond the synod.  Jean was a gifted writer, Who Broke the Baby and an outstanding public speaker.  She was also a woman who, when prepared to resume her teaching career, became pregnant.  It was not a planned pregnancy.  In her distress she considered an abortion.  Hers was the story only a woman could tell.

Jean Garton became a highly sought after speaker within the LCMS.  Requests came to speak at LCMS Youth Gatherings that included a worship element.  She was also asked to speak to students at Concordia College at daily chapel.  Pastors invited her to have a dialog question and answer message with the pastor during worship. 

There were critics who questioned whether Jean was "speaking" or "preaching."

Thirty years ago Jean led a retreat for Atlantic District pastor's wives. Late one evening, she and I had a private chat about when LCMS women could in good conscience "speak" in public, including a worship service.  At the time I was part of the LCMS Human Care and World Relief "Speakers Bureau."  Pastor's invited me to "speak" to their congregation on Sunday morning on how Christian families can respond to world hunger.  When a daughter was a student at Concordia Bronxville, the college president asked me to speak to the students in chapel on how they could respond to world hunger.  When my message was printed in the Concordia Bronxville newsletter, a brother in Christ called to say I had sinned.

Until the time of her death Jean, when invited, continued to "speak"a biblical pro life message during a worship service. She would speak from the lectern in her Sunday dress.  Like Jean, I accepted invitations from LCMS pastors to tell the story of LCMS Human Care and World Relief.  It was my practice to relate a biblical passage to how families, particularly the moms, can respond to our Lord's command to feed the hungry. Like Jean, I spoke from the lectern in my Sunday dress

Are LCMS pastors misguided/sinning when they invited a woman to "speak" during a worship service about an area of the Christian life from her perspective as a woman?   

Marie Meyer



     


 

Thanks for remembering Jean Garton (+) in Women's History Month, Marie.  The daughter of an NYPD detective from Maspeth, Queens, Jean brought such incredible passion and purpose to the cause of Life.  I met Henry Hyde at an event some years ago, and his first question was to ask how Jean was doing.  He called her the brightest Lutheran light in the Pro-Life firmament.  Jean often met resistance within the re-pristinating element in the LCMS, even as she served on the CTCR and the Synod's Board of Directors.  She kept on keeping on through it all.  She could and did speak, eloquently, on matters practical, moral and theological. 

Dave Benke

I'll tag on to this post.

Because it comes up from time to time, it should be stated that women are not forbidden from speaking during worship in the Missouri Synod.  In other areas, women, as laypersons, can and do serve in congregational leadership posts at the level of committee and board heads, congregational president and vice-president.  And they may speak then at some point in or after the worship service on matters in the area of their congregational service.  So there's that.

But further, women are not forbidden from reading Scripture lessons in the congregations of the Missouri Synod.  As lay persons  they are not forbidden from reading Scripture lessons in the congregations of the Missouri Synod.  In such capacity they are speaking directly from the Word of God.  If you would like to see several women reading lessons in a Missouri Synod congregation, you can go to St. Peter's Lutheran Brooklyn on Facebook and watch today's Divine Service.

In some congregations, there are other portions of the service during which women as lay persons may offer a prayer petition, bring a testimony of what God has done in their lives, offer an invitation to various congregational ministries, or present a children's message.  This morning a woman lay person who had received her second vaccination offered a testimony and a word of encouragement to others of the blessing received in the vaccination and the process of getting to be vaccinated.

These are all areas of permissible service in which women lay persons are speaking in the sanctuary.  I will double check, but I'm pretty sure Jean, Ruth Koch, and Betty Duda, to mention three LCMS women, spoke to us after the sermon (offered by yours truly), during the Divine Service to bring encouragement from a lay person's perspective. 

I don't have to add this, because it's a tautology, but I used the tautology throughout this post -  all women in the LCMS are lay persons. 
Which goes to this final point.  All LCMS women are lay persons - some are on the Synod's roster but in positions auxiliary to the pastoral office - because the studies undertaken by the LCMS throughout the years leading to votes at various national conventions prohibit women from being ordained into the Office of the Holy Ministry, Pastoral.  This does not prohibit women lay persons from speaking during the Divine Service under pastoral supervision.

Dave Benke

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #137 on: March 21, 2021, 03:52:31 PM »
Can I assume that nothing much has changed about the basic arguments presented concerning women in ordained ministry?

What arguments?  Nothing has changed since the Apostle Paul provided instruction, as found in his various letters in the New Testament.


Much has changed since the first century. Women are no longer required to cover their heads to give one example. I note some changes off the top of my head in the 20th century: women were given the right to vote; a wife could charge her husband with rape; women could get their own credit cards and establish their own credit separate from their husbands. Women are serving in many positions that had been "men-only," e.g., senators, representatives, vice-president, doctors, lawyers, engineers, truck drivers. Conversely, there are male nurses and secretaries and home-makers; roles that had been limited to women.


I also note, as I posted in another discussion, that the Roman Catholic argument for male-only clergy does not rest on Paul's instructions.

Note that your response is not related to the question, to wit, "Can I assume that nothing much has changed about the basic arguments presented concerning women in ordained ministry?  You addressed secular issues, not ordained ministry.


I addressed cultural issues. The cultural issues that led Paul to write what he did about women, i.e., hair length, head coverings, silence, authority, back in the first century have changed a lot.
"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]

jebutler

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #138 on: March 21, 2021, 04:03:01 PM »
Jebutler writes:
But thanks for admitting that you are sure you are right and not at all tolerant of other opinions. Just like you often accuse the LCMS of being!
I comment:
Nice try. But you overstate. No, in the ELCA, we are not very "tolerant" of those who say women should never be ordained. (But unlike you, we probably do not hound them out of the church body or bring them up on heresy charges.) 

I remember how you like to define words. In this case "probably do not hound them out" = tell them, "Get out and don't let the door hit you on the way out." (And yeah, you'll bring them up on heresy charges as well.)

Unlike you, I've interviewed five men from the ELCA who have sought to join Missouri. One was a seminarian at LSTP who was told that if he didn't believe that women should be ordained, and if he wasn't willing to be taught by the other voices around him, he needed to leave. He lost an entire year's worth of credits, but eventually graduated CSL. Another was an unordained seminary graduate (LSTP/Yale) who was told by Bishop Eaton that she would make sure he never entered the ministry. The other three were ELCA pastors who came in via colloquy and were told by various the New England Synod bishop that they would need to find another church body due to their narrow minded ways (this was the same bishop who told me that Lutheran Forum was edited, and featured writing, by fundamentalists).

That's five I know in this hot bed of Lutheranism known as New England. Then there was guy who transferred to CSL from Trinity my last year in seminary; he and his wife lived across the hall from us. I'm sure there are plenty of others who have had the same happen to them.

So please don't try to tell me what the ELCA would "probably" do. I've met guys who've told me exactly what they actually do.

I get it. The ELCA believes women should be pastors. As such, it makes no sense to have pastors who reject that position and the ELCA will remove pastors who teach in opposition of its official positions. That makes perfect sense to me. I just don't get why you don't think Missouri should do the same.
The truth we preach is not an abstract thing. The truth is a Person. The goodness we preach is not an ideal quality. The goodness is Someone who is good. The love we preach is God himself in Christ. --H. Grady Davis

Dan Fienen

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #139 on: March 21, 2021, 04:14:09 PM »
A couple of random comments.


The question was raised of whether there were any more recent articles defending the ban on ordaining women. Has there been any recent articles raising new theological (rather than sociological or political) arguments in favor of the ordination of women or refuting past theological arguments against? My impression, tucked away as I am, semi-retired, and out of the mainstream of Missouri angst, is that women's ordination is just not that "hot" of a topic being generally considered a settled question. What new insights need to be examined that had not been raised before the turning of the millennium?


Talking about Women's History Month as pertains to Lutheranism, it should be apparent that various women who were not ordained have lived exemplary Christian lives and made numerous significant contributions to Christendom and Lutheranism. This idea that one must be ordained to follow God's calling to His children or to be recognized as doing so seems out of place.
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Dan Fienen

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #140 on: March 21, 2021, 04:40:17 PM »
I'm not sure that this has any place in a Women's History Month thread, but here goes. Consider my father. He was never ordained, never graduated from seminary or even college (one year, then he dropped out and went to work). He was a life long Lutheran and throughout the vast majority of his adult life he served in various church offices and on various boards and committees almost continuously. He raised a family of devout Lutherans including a Lutheran pastor and a Lutheran church musician/Lutheran college professor. My father throughout much of his life was not one of those who received great honors for his service or even much notice, but he was one of those who were instrumental in keeping the church functioning. In retirement he along with a group of other lay people founded a mission congregation with the held of his district. There he typically served as an elder and for stretches of time when they did not have a pastor of their own would work with an area pastor to keep services going and shepherding the flock. Many Sundays he would have taken a sermon from Concordia Pulpit edit it for length and vocabulary and deliver it so that they could have a worship service. He, as much as anyone else, kept that small congregation going. All this without ordination, just doing what he could and what he was called upon to do to serve his Lord and his church.


My point is that lay people are often very important in the Kingdom. That applies to lay women also. Rosa Young was never ordained but a hero of the faith. As a young woman she pioneered education among the Blacks of central Alabama. Around 1914 the area was devastated by the Mexican Boll Weevil that destroyed much of the cotton crop upon which the local economy depended. Seeking support for the school where she taught she applied to many place for help. Finally applying to the Tuskegee Institute who suggest that she contact the LCMS. They supplied funds and a missionary pastor. Over the next years Rosa worked with the Rev. Nils J. Baake and established several schools and planted a number of churches. https://www.lcms.org/thefirstrosa   Honoring her for her service is not dependent on her being ordained. 

Women's ordination is a topic that can well be discussed, but recognizing the service of women is not dependent on that.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2021, 04:42:05 PM by Dan Fienen »
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Steven W Bohler

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #141 on: March 21, 2021, 05:48:47 PM »
I fixed the one citation, Peter. The second one is definitely yours. And I should not of responded to someone who is still an anonymous poster. And you should’ve noticed that there was still an anonymous poster.

I am waiting for Moderator Johnson to say something about Rev. Austin obsessing over the moderating of the forum, or telling him that he is free to leave, as he does when I comment on the moderating here.  But I think I will be a LONG time waiting.  Rev. Austin gets a free pass.  Again.

Charles Austin

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #142 on: March 21, 2021, 05:59:36 PM »
Agreed that certain men who cannot accept the full ministry of their colleagues, should probably not be pastors in the ELCA. Agreed those who approach the Scriptures from a fundamentalist perspective would probably feel very uncomfortable in the ELCA and because of those views on scripture might not be very effective as leaders.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #143 on: March 21, 2021, 06:23:12 PM »
Agreed that certain men who cannot accept the full ministry of their colleagues, should probably not be pastors in the ELCA. Agreed those who approach the Scriptures from a fundamentalist perspective would probably feel very uncomfortable in the ELCA and because of those views on scripture might not be very effective as leaders.

Agreed that those who cannot accept the words of Scripture should probably not be pastors in the LCMS.  Agreed that those who approach Scripture as merely "containing" the Word of God (and so each reader/interpreter is free to pick and choose what he/she "feels" is really God's Word) would probably feel uncomfortable in the LCMS and not be very effective as pastors/leaders in the Church.

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #144 on: March 21, 2021, 06:39:32 PM »
I personally have interacted with women who were pastors over the years and I rarely had any trouble dealing with them politely, professionally, and respectfully.

I, too, have always interacted well with the women pastors in the communities where I've served. How do I address them? Pastor ....

Back in about 1999, I took a post-M.Div course at Luther Seminary in St. Paul. Confession class with Jim Nestingen. Fantastic class! This was before they booted Jim.

Anyway, once the younger students, men and women, heard that I was an LCMS pastor, they refused to even speak to me much less be friendly. Already, they were all so woke and canceled me, the sectarian guy. A woman pastor, probably late 30s, befriended me. I always sat next to her, and we had great conversations before class. I had great respect for her.
Don Kirchner

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Charles Austin

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #145 on: March 21, 2021, 06:42:02 PM »
Make that “as pastors/leaders in the Church” read “as pastors/leaders in our church” and we sort of agree.
But suppose God were to call me into your church body (it’s possible) and while in there I would advocate for a change in your policy?
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

D. Engebretson

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #146 on: March 21, 2021, 07:02:51 PM »
I personally have interacted with women who were pastors over the years and I rarely had any trouble dealing with them politely, professionally, and respectfully.

I, too, have always interacted well with the women pastors in the communities where I've served. How do I address them? Pastor ....

Back in about 1999, I took a post-M.Div course at Luther Seminary in St. Paul. Confession class with Jim Nestingen. Fantastic class! This was before they booted Jim.

Anyway, once the younger students, men and women, heard that I was an LCMS pastor, they refused to even speak to me much less be friendly. Already, they were all so woke and canceled me, the sectarian guy. A woman pastor, probably late 30s, befriended me. I always sat next to her, and we had great conversations before class. I had great respect for her.

I had interactions with female clergy during my graduate studies at Nashotah House, an Anglican seminary with the TEC.  I was fortunate that many had little experience, it seems, with LCMS clergy, so I was treated much better than Pr. Kirchner was at Luther Sem. I saw myself as a guest in the midst of the Anglicans and was simply there to study, so issues of women's ordination was not a part of discussions of which I was a part, nor did they come up in any of my classes.  I certainly didn't initiate anything.  My classes were substantive and not antagonistic to my own faith and I felt quite comfortable studying there.  Admittedly, Nashotah was Anglo-Catholic and much more conservative than the TEC is generally. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Dan Fienen

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #147 on: March 21, 2021, 07:08:39 PM »
Make that “as pastors/leaders in the Church” read “as pastors/leaders in our church” and we sort of agree.
But suppose God were to call me into your church body (it’s possible) and while in there I would advocate for a change in your policy?
In the LCMS as in the ELCA it takes more than just someone stepping up and proclaiming that they had perceived that God had called them into the pastoral ministry in the church body. Pr. Stoffregen gave what I think is a good summary of how in the ELCA that calling from God is examined and certified. https://alpb.org/Forum/index.php?topic=7769.msg498963#msg498963

If God called you into the LCMS (you see that as possible) you would need to satisfy the colloquy committee that you are qualified for the pastoral ministry in the LCMS and your theology is compatible with ours. I agree with what you posted earlier:

Agreed that certain men who cannot accept the full ministry of their colleagues, should probably not be pastors in the ELCA. Agreed those who approach the Scriptures from a fundamentalist perspective would probably feel very uncomfortable in the ELCA and because of those views on scripture might not be very effective as leaders.

That those whose understanding of the ministry and approach to Scripture differs significantly from the church body in which they seek to be a pastor that would likely not be a good fit and they might be advised to serve elsewhere.

But if you had accepted a call to pastor an LCMS church (and recognize that there is a rule that LCMS churches may only call rostered LCMS pastors unless the District President gives them permission to go outside the roster for some extraordinary reason {isn't that basically the same in the ELCA? I believe that there are rules prohibiting, for example, NALC pastors from serving ELCA churches}) and wished to dissent from the standard LCMS teaching on women's ordination, there are procedures for making and expressing that dissent. So, within limits, you could advocate to change that position.

LCMS Handbook, November, 2021 edition, page 35
Quote
1.8 Dissent
1.8.1 While retaining the right of brotherly dissent, members of the Synod are
expected as part of the life together within the fellowship of the Synod to
honor and uphold the resolutions of the Synod.
1.8.2 Dissent from the doctrinal position of the Synod as expressed in its
resolutions and doctrinal statements is to be expressed first within the
fellowship of peers (that is, with those who are competent to evaluate the
issue critically) and then brought to the attention of the Commission on
Theology and Church Relations before finding expression as an overture to
the Synod in convention calling for revision or rescission. The discussion
among the fellowship of peers is to be conducted privately and
confidentially among those who are competent rather than in a public
forum. While the conscience of the dissenter shall be respected, the
consciences of others, as well as the collective will of the Synod, shall also
be respected.
1.8.3 This right of brotherly dissent does not allow a member of the Synod
publicly to teach or practice contrary to the established doctrinal position
of the Synod. Any such public teaching shall place in jeopardy membership
in the Synod.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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Dave Benke

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #148 on: March 21, 2021, 07:52:04 PM »
Make that “as pastors/leaders in the Church” read “as pastors/leaders in our church” and we sort of agree.
But suppose God were to call me into your church body (it’s possible) and while in there I would advocate for a change in your policy?

Let me put on my ecclesiastical supervisor hat on that one, Charles, for a moment - your pathway to the Missouri Synod would be through the Colloquy process. 
As part of that process, you would send in your CV to the President of the District in which you reside (or, I think, one of the non-geographical district presidents), and a couple interviews would be arranged.  There's a part of that process where people can add a word of encouragement or warning for whatever reason they think important. The district would have its president and/or committee working with you to determine whether you were good to go to the colloquy interview itself. 

 At the interview, you would be questioned at length about all kinds of doctrinal positions and it would be important for you to know in advance the doctrinal positions of the LCMS.  Most importantly, you would have to state that the positions of the LCMS are basically yours and that if there are any differences, you would not publicly teach differently from the doctrinal positions of Synod but would avail yourself of the dissent process as outlined in the Synod Handbook where there are any differences.

You would have to come up with a way to swim through those waters prior to roster admission.  The Colloquy Committee, chaired by the First Vice President of the LCMS, has a subgroup that would meet with you, have a colloquium, so to speak, and then get back to you and the district president as to your admission or your need to take care of x or y. 

I'll just say that under almost all circumstances, I didn't want to waste the colloquy committee's time nationally with somebody who wasn't suitable, so we worked hard at the district level to both ascertain suitability and prepare people for the interview. 

Let's say you got through and were rostered LCMS.  You could then converse with your peers in ministry at the local or regional level about your concerns with regard to limiting the ordained office to men, and bat it around at that level.  But you could not teach that publicly to your people, assuming you had a congregation.

I think all of that aspect is somewhat odd because it was designed pre-internet.  So you'd type out a paper on your Hermes typewriter, run 10 copies through your Gestetner and share them only with the peers in your area, because of the cost of postage and mailing.  Today you could reach 5000 people with one punch of a button, but somehow if you did it correctly it would not be "public teaching" and if you did it incorrectly it would be public teaching.  There's theory on that.

"Let's say you got through and were rostered LCMS."  One day prior to your rostering, it's highly possible that the eschaton might occur.

Dave Benke


Charles Austin

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Re: Women's History Month
« Reply #149 on: March 21, 2021, 08:00:21 PM »
To the always delightful, well-informed, pastoral guy and staunch, life-long LC-MSer who has been Bishop, Pastor, and defendant...😺😸😺
And I guess you should shred that CV and request for colloquy letter.  😈
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.