Author Topic: Conventions  (Read 3825 times)

Dave Benke

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Re: Conventions
« Reply #30 on: June 29, 2021, 11:07:59 AM »
I don't care about this as much as I used to, and probably not as much as I should.  It's a late-game add-on to the bylaws.  There must be some historical context, and maybe it's Matt Becker.

 In most situations, and I think Rev. Dr. Harrison has brought this out, the bylaw should not be utilized, and the decision of the local supervisor should be upheld.  Any conversation then afterward would be between Rev. Dr. Harrison and the local ecclesiastical supervisor - "tell me why you made that decision, President Don Fondow, so I can be of best help in your supervision of Pastor X or St. John Gaspump."

As it turns out, a lot of people do jump up the ladder when they don't like the answer they're getting.  So periodically I'd get a call from Herb (+) in the latter days after Harrison was in, and he'd do exactly that - "who is Betty Murdoch and what has gotten her so worked up?"  And we'd talk and, two heads being better than one in many instances, usually figure out some approach that would lead to less mail at the International Center and cleanup on aisle seven for me.

When it's inter-district tattle-taling, the stakes go up a bit quicker because the way those who are offended work it, they involve both district presidents and the national president, creating that wonderful thing called a quintangulation.  I had a case involving a pastor who was just fine in his own congregation, but there was a demon in him when it came to the typewriter, where he'd just launch into newsletter topics that went off on a tangent.   So somebody from somebody else's district got a copy of the newsletter, wrote in stentorian tones that the doctrine of die Beliebte Synode was at stake, and the other two guys eventually - thankfully - left it to me to fix.  Which I did.  But all the intercommunication - level up, level down, level over there -  actually got in the way.

All in the rearview mirror now. 

Dave Benke

Yes, it is indeed in your rear-view window.  I hope the mail and phone calls have slowed down for you.  And that current and future district presidents and synod presidents work together

The key person is/was nationally the First Vice-President, and that, in my opinion, is a helpful thought on the regional/district level as well.  I don't know how it works in Minnesota North, but on the East Coast the district president put(s) significant trust in the district's regional vice-presidents.  Closer to the scene, works with the circuit visitors - in other words I think the healthiest models are those that de-centralize the processes of intervention and assessment.  Not that the elected ecclesiastical supervisor gets a pass - not in the least. 

I get almost no mail at all, and haven't for a long time, but who does?  Texts mostly, email somewhat.  I do get the NY Times delivered to the door, and receive the LCMS Reporter in the mail.  And of course, Lutheran Forum, which no one should be without.

Dave Benke

While I really have no idea how it works in Minnesota North (I am about as far away from knowing what goes on at the district office as is humanly possible), I assume that the DP puts great trust in his Vice Presidents.  And while I agree that decentralized is better than centralized in general, it is also true that decentralized to the point of eliminating the synod president from being able to carry out his constitutionally given duties ("supervision regarding the doctrine and the administration of....all district presidents" -- from Article XI.B. of the synodical constitution) is a bad thing.  This bylaw makes clear what is implied in the synodical constitution.

I think it's too bad that you're out of the loop at the district level.  I don't know why, but I had a recollection of you being a circuit visitor.  I guess that was off the mark.  Of this I am sure - Don Fondow is a Packer Backer.

At the far end of the comment, if I were a voter and the overture from a district reached the floor tossing the bylaw out, I'd vote for that.  But unless something really weird happens and they offer me the opportunity to bring a Bible Study to the convention on the topic of Urban Ministry in Word and Deed - I think this is doubtful - and that means I might as well put in to be the voting delegate - and this is more doubtful - I will not be in attendance at the 2023 Synodical Convention.

I may, however, journey to St. Louis next spring for my 50th graduation anniversary from that illustrious institution, to join the gathered group of oldsters in celebration.  Unless Missouri, an outlier in vaccination percentage, gets whacked with the new strain and is on lockdown.  Who can say?

Finally, on a different topic, the closing Eucharist at Concordia, Bronxville will be held next Friday July 9.  The saving grace - for me at least - is the eschatological reality of the Foretaste of the Feast to Come, because the current reality is very, very sad.

Dave Benke

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Steven W Bohler

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Re: Conventions
« Reply #31 on: June 29, 2021, 11:15:18 AM »
I don't care about this as much as I used to, and probably not as much as I should.  It's a late-game add-on to the bylaws.  There must be some historical context, and maybe it's Matt Becker.

 In most situations, and I think Rev. Dr. Harrison has brought this out, the bylaw should not be utilized, and the decision of the local supervisor should be upheld.  Any conversation then afterward would be between Rev. Dr. Harrison and the local ecclesiastical supervisor - "tell me why you made that decision, President Don Fondow, so I can be of best help in your supervision of Pastor X or St. John Gaspump."

As it turns out, a lot of people do jump up the ladder when they don't like the answer they're getting.  So periodically I'd get a call from Herb (+) in the latter days after Harrison was in, and he'd do exactly that - "who is Betty Murdoch and what has gotten her so worked up?"  And we'd talk and, two heads being better than one in many instances, usually figure out some approach that would lead to less mail at the International Center and cleanup on aisle seven for me.

When it's inter-district tattle-taling, the stakes go up a bit quicker because the way those who are offended work it, they involve both district presidents and the national president, creating that wonderful thing called a quintangulation.  I had a case involving a pastor who was just fine in his own congregation, but there was a demon in him when it came to the typewriter, where he'd just launch into newsletter topics that went off on a tangent.   So somebody from somebody else's district got a copy of the newsletter, wrote in stentorian tones that the doctrine of die Beliebte Synode was at stake, and the other two guys eventually - thankfully - left it to me to fix.  Which I did.  But all the intercommunication - level up, level down, level over there -  actually got in the way.

All in the rearview mirror now. 

Dave Benke

Yes, it is indeed in your rear-view window.  I hope the mail and phone calls have slowed down for you.  And that current and future district presidents and synod presidents work together

The key person is/was nationally the First Vice-President, and that, in my opinion, is a helpful thought on the regional/district level as well.  I don't know how it works in Minnesota North, but on the East Coast the district president put(s) significant trust in the district's regional vice-presidents.  Closer to the scene, works with the circuit visitors - in other words I think the healthiest models are those that de-centralize the processes of intervention and assessment.  Not that the elected ecclesiastical supervisor gets a pass - not in the least. 

I get almost no mail at all, and haven't for a long time, but who does?  Texts mostly, email somewhat.  I do get the NY Times delivered to the door, and receive the LCMS Reporter in the mail.  And of course, Lutheran Forum, which no one should be without.

Dave Benke

While I really have no idea how it works in Minnesota North (I am about as far away from knowing what goes on at the district office as is humanly possible), I assume that the DP puts great trust in his Vice Presidents.  And while I agree that decentralized is better than centralized in general, it is also true that decentralized to the point of eliminating the synod president from being able to carry out his constitutionally given duties ("supervision regarding the doctrine and the administration of....all district presidents" -- from Article XI.B. of the synodical constitution) is a bad thing.  This bylaw makes clear what is implied in the synodical constitution.

I think it's too bad that you're out of the loop at the district level.  I don't know why, but I had a recollection of you being a circuit visitor.  I guess that was off the mark.  Of this I am sure - Don Fondow is a Packer Backer.

At the far end of the comment, if I were a voter and the overture from a district reached the floor tossing the bylaw out, I'd vote for that.  But unless something really weird happens and they offer me the opportunity to bring a Bible Study to the convention on the topic of Urban Ministry in Word and Deed - I think this is doubtful - and that means I might as well put in to be the voting delegate - and this is more doubtful - I will not be in attendance at the 2023 Synodical Convention.

I may, however, journey to St. Louis next spring for my 50th graduation anniversary from that illustrious institution, to join the gathered group of oldsters in celebration.  Unless Missouri, an outlier in vaccination percentage, gets whacked with the new strain and is on lockdown.  Who can say?

Finally, on a different topic, the closing Eucharist at Concordia, Bronxville will be held next Friday July 9.  The saving grace - for me at least - is the eschatological reality of the Foretaste of the Feast to Come, because the current reality is very, very sad.

Dave Benke

I was a circuit visitor at one time, but that was some years back.  I think we have had 3 others since my time.

Charles Austin

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Re: Conventions
« Reply #32 on: June 29, 2021, 12:04:14 PM »
Pastor Bohler:
While I really have no idea how it works in Minnesota North (I am about as far away from knowing what goes on at the district office as is humanly possible),

Me:
How is it “walking together“ as a synodif the pastor consciously and intentionally distances himself from the district and from the Synod? Why would a pastor not want to be involved in the district and have his people involved in the district and in the church’s life outside the congregation?
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, New York and New Jersey. LCA/LWF staff. Former journalist. When the nation is troubled, the patriot depends on the Constitution. The opportunistic traitor tries to dump or ignore the Constitution.

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Conventions
« Reply #33 on: June 29, 2021, 12:08:06 PM »
Pastor Bohler:
While I really have no idea how it works in Minnesota North (I am about as far away from knowing what goes on at the district office as is humanly possible),

Me:
How is it “walking together“ as a synodif the pastor consciously and intentionally distances himself from the district and from the Synod? Why would a pastor not want to be involved in the district and have his people involved in the district and in the church’s life outside the congregation?

Who says that I have intentionally distanced myself from the district and synod?  I just am not very involved.  There is more than enough for me to do here, with two churches and a parochial school.  We used to have a full time parish worker and a vicar, then two pastors, and now it is just me.  I do not have the time or energy for extra-congregational things as I used to have.

Dave Benke

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Re: Conventions
« Reply #34 on: June 29, 2021, 06:36:58 PM »
My recollection is that the Minnesota North District Office is in Brainerd, which must be a couple hundred miles from Fargo/Moorehead/Crookston, no?  When we hosted the Wyoming District back in the day, it was amazing to us in NY to know that 2/3 (probably more by now) of the congregations were dual/triple parishes.  Is that the case in Minnesota North as well?  Lakes, farms, fields, more lakes, Duluth - the Big Lake.

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Steven W Bohler

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Re: Conventions
« Reply #35 on: June 29, 2021, 08:11:40 PM »
My recollection is that the Minnesota North District Office is in Brainerd, which must be a couple hundred miles from Fargo/Moorehead/Crookston, no?  When we hosted the Wyoming District back in the day, it was amazing to us in NY to know that 2/3 (probably more by now) of the congregations were dual/triple parishes.  Is that the case in Minnesota North as well?  Lakes, farms, fields, more lakes, Duluth - the Big Lake.

Dave Benke

Yes, Brainerd is almost 200 miles from Crookston.  All the pastors in the Crookston Circuit (except one) serve dual parishes.  At one time, Minnesota North was considered the "most rural" of all LCMS districts (meaning we had a higher percentage of our congregations in rural areas as opposed to towns), so I would assume that we might lead the synod in multi-point parish percentage too.  However, driving distance between those points might not be so bad as in other districts -- I currently serve two congregations that are about 12 miles apart; my first (and only other call) was a dual-point parish that was about 30 miles apart.  But that is/was all pretty much open road, highway driving.  I start a pipe when I leave home on Sunday morning, pick it up and smoke it again on the ride down to Eldred, resume it on the ride back to Crookston, and finish it on the way home.  One pipe lasts me 6+ hours! 

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Conventions
« Reply #36 on: June 29, 2021, 08:26:29 PM »
Lakes, farms, fields, more lakes, Duluth - the Big Lake.

Dave Benke

Or, as Comrade Walz would say, rocks and cows.
Don Kirchner

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