Author Topic: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?  (Read 74171 times)

Charles_Austin

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #210 on: August 15, 2007, 02:06:54 PM »
J. Ruby writes:
No, they just had their OWN Eucharist, called the Goodsoil Eucharist. Talk about heresy.

I comment:
Explain to me how this gathering of Lutherans celebrating the sacrament, led by a bishop in good standing, is heresy. What name they call it means nothing.

frluther1517

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #211 on: August 15, 2007, 03:33:32 PM »
Apparently Charles you didn't read the "creed" and the "Lord's prayer," which Richard posted, that was used at this Eucharist service.  Those are clearly out of bounds, so to speak with the catholic faith.  I agree with you that her presidency over a Eucharist is not by itself heretical, schismatic, but not heretical.  However the liturgy which she presided over clearly was. 

jrubyaz

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #212 on: August 15, 2007, 03:37:13 PM »
I wasn't aware the Eucharist was up for naming rights and a domain. Maybe we should have the Jeff Eucharist, Charles Eucharist, and others next.

Also, the BIshop in question should be gently reprimanded by her colleagues-for a sitting Bishop of the church to openly defy policy is wrong. The church I grew up in, you closed ranks after a decision was made and supported it. Not so anymore.

"And they each did what was right in their own eyes". I have heard that somewhere before.... ;)
   
J. Ruby writes:
No, they just had their OWN Eucharist, called the Goodsoil Eucharist. Talk about heresy.

I comment:
Explain to me how this gathering of Lutherans celebrating the sacrament, led by a bishop in good standing, is heresy. What name they call it means nothing.

Richard Johnson

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #213 on: August 15, 2007, 06:17:49 PM »
Here's the official intepretation, in Bp. Hanson's summary of Assembly actions:

It is important that we accurately describe the assembly's various decisions regarding our current studies on sexuality and standards for rostered ministries. It is significant that the tone of our discussions was thoughtful and respectful, reflecting the commitment made by the 2005 Churchwide Assembly that we "concentrate on finding ways to live together faithfully in the midst of disagreements ..." The following summary may inform your discussions:

The ELCA Churchwide Assembly rejected resolutions that would have changed ELCA policy and practice to permit persons in same-gender relationships to serve as rostered leaders.
The assembly affirmed the study process that will lead to the development of a social statement on human sexuality, voted to share with the study's task force the synod memorials on this matter, and directed the task force to address current policies precluding "practicing homosexual persons" from serving as pastors or rostered leaders as part of the recommendations it will bring to the 2009 Churchwide Assembly.
While voting on several occasions not to change the ELCA's constitution, bylaws, or policies, the assembly did take action to pray, urge, and encourage the leadership of the ELCA to "refrain from or demonstrate restraint in disciplining" pastors and other rostered leaders who are "in a mutual, chaste, and faithful committed same-gender relationship" and are currently serving in this church, as well as congregations that call such otherwise qualified candidates.
Let me underscore that this third action is not a change in the official documents or policies of the ELCA. Attempts to make such changes were rejected by the assembly.

However, the assembly offered the advice and counsel described above to bishops and others in positions of authority as they make pastoral decisions on matters relating to discipline as issues of human sexuality are being studied throughout the church prior to action by the 2009 Churchwide Assembly. The third action does not bind bishops to follow this requested course; rather, it expresses the sense of the assembly to encourage restraint in discipline during this time of deliberation.

As we prepare for a social statement on human sexuality in 2009, it is essential that leaders of this church invite ELCA members to participate in the current phase of the ELCA Studies on Sexuality. The development of social statements is participatory in nature. Responses to the third study are welcome until November 1, 2007. Watch for the first draft of the social statement in March 2008. Please encourage thoughtful response to it. You will find more information at www.elca.org/faithfuljourney .

On an afternoon in the middle of the assembly, voting members participated in a "committee of the whole" discussion. I want to share with you the compelling image of that discussion from Bishop Peter Rogness of the Saint Paul Area Synod. He described the long lines of people at every microphone and then wrote, "Since [assembly] rules indicate we alternate speaking pro- and con-, a set of two microphones stands at each station -- one green, one red. I looked at the microphones closest to me and saw Saint Paul Area Synod voting members standing in both lines. I was proud of that. We've been together enough to enjoy and respect each other, and we went to different lines. And then we worshiped together, ate together, did other work together. This synod -- and this church -- is not simply a red line synod or a green line synod. We are church together. We can commit ourselves to living together, faithfully."
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jrubyaz

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #214 on: August 15, 2007, 10:30:43 PM »
The Rogness letter was quoted to us in our Synod also, but the reality is BIshop Rogness is in favor of change, and so I think both he and Hanson are minimizing this...after all , if the policy is not going to change, why call for restraint?

Yes, we are one body, with different opinions. We could live with that (at least I could), but the matter of fact issue is that it is not just a difference, but an attempted change at 20 years of Lutheran tradition and many more before that in the ALC, LCA, and AELC. At least be honest about that.

Jeff Ruby

Here's the official intepretation, in Bp. Hanson's summary of Assembly actions:

It is important that we accurately describe the assembly's various decisions regarding our current studies on sexuality and standards for rostered ministries. It is significant that the tone of our discussions was thoughtful and respectful, reflecting the commitment made by the 2005 Churchwide Assembly that we "concentrate on finding ways to live together faithfully in the midst of disagreements ..." The following summary may inform your discussions:

The ELCA Churchwide Assembly rejected resolutions that would have changed ELCA policy and practice to permit persons in same-gender relationships to serve as rostered leaders.
The assembly affirmed the study process that will lead to the development of a social statement on human sexuality, voted to share with the study's task force the synod memorials on this matter, and directed the task force to address current policies precluding "practicing homosexual persons" from serving as pastors or rostered leaders as part of the recommendations it will bring to the 2009 Churchwide Assembly.
While voting on several occasions not to change the ELCA's constitution, bylaws, or policies, the assembly did take action to pray, urge, and encourage the leadership of the ELCA to "refrain from or demonstrate restraint in disciplining" pastors and other rostered leaders who are "in a mutual, chaste, and faithful committed same-gender relationship" and are currently serving in this church, as well as congregations that call such otherwise qualified candidates.
Let me underscore that this third action is not a change in the official documents or policies of the ELCA. Attempts to make such changes were rejected by the assembly.

However, the assembly offered the advice and counsel described above to bishops and others in positions of authority as they make pastoral decisions on matters relating to discipline as issues of human sexuality are being studied throughout the church prior to action by the 2009 Churchwide Assembly. The third action does not bind bishops to follow this requested course; rather, it expresses the sense of the assembly to encourage restraint in discipline during this time of deliberation.

As we prepare for a social statement on human sexuality in 2009, it is essential that leaders of this church invite ELCA members to participate in the current phase of the ELCA Studies on Sexuality. The development of social statements is participatory in nature. Responses to the third study are welcome until November 1, 2007. Watch for the first draft of the social statement in March 2008. Please encourage thoughtful response to it. You will find more information at www.elca.org/faithfuljourney .

On an afternoon in the middle of the assembly, voting members participated in a "committee of the whole" discussion. I want to share with you the compelling image of that discussion from Bishop Peter Rogness of the Saint Paul Area Synod. He described the long lines of people at every microphone and then wrote, "Since [assembly] rules indicate we alternate speaking pro- and con-, a set of two microphones stands at each station -- one green, one red. I looked at the microphones closest to me and saw Saint Paul Area Synod voting members standing in both lines. I was proud of that. We've been together enough to enjoy and respect each other, and we went to different lines. And then we worshiped together, ate together, did other work together. This synod -- and this church -- is not simply a red line synod or a green line synod. We are church together. We can commit ourselves to living together, faithfully."
[/color]





ptmccain

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #215 on: August 15, 2007, 10:35:31 PM »
I'm trying to understand what comfort there is to be found in the fact that no policies were changed, when the CWA urged its Bishops to refrain from disciplining anyone violating those policies when it comes to homosexual relationships.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #216 on: August 16, 2007, 12:14:15 AM »
I'm trying to understand what comfort there is to be found in the fact that no policies were changed, when the CWA urged its Bishops to refrain from disciplining anyone violating those policies when it comes to homosexual relationships.
Essentially, the CWA put their "stamp of approval," on what some bishops have been doing for the past decade or more. They believe, and now, rightly so, that they were acting within the policies and procedures of the ELCA.
"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]

Richard Johnson

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #217 on: August 16, 2007, 12:21:33 AM »
I'm trying to understand what comfort there is to be found in the fact that no policies were changed, when the CWA urged its Bishops to refrain from disciplining anyone violating those policies when it comes to homosexual relationships.
Essentially, the CWA put their "stamp of approval," on what some bishops have been doing for the past decade or more. They believe, and now, rightly so, that they were acting within the policies and procedures of the ELCA.

Oh, I think not. In what possible sense can you say they were "acting within the policies and procedures of the ELCA?" The CWA motion did not change the "policies and procedures of the ELCA," and CERTAINLY it didn't change them retroactively. Even Hanson's e-mail says this was really a sense of the house resolution, and that nothing has changed in terms of policy.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #218 on: August 16, 2007, 12:25:31 AM »
Oh, I think not. In what possible sense can you say they were "acting within the policies and procedures of the ELCA?" The CWA motion did not change the "policies and procedures of the ELCA," and CERTAINLY it didn't change them retroactively. Even Hanson's e-mail says this was really a sense of the house resolution, and that nothing has changed in terms of policy.
The Constitution and Bylaws concerning discipline uses "may" language. A bishop "may" impose discipline. A bishop "may" recommend removal of a congregation. This is interpreted (at least by some) that a bishop also has the choice of "may not" -- or in terms of the resolution, may refrain from disciplining.

I agree that they do not change any disciplinary actions that happened in the past. Specifically, Brad Schmelling is still removed from the ELCA clergy roster.
"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]

revjagow

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #219 on: August 16, 2007, 12:17:26 PM »
I'm trying to understand what comfort there is to be found in the fact that no policies were changed, when the CWA urged its Bishops to refrain from disciplining anyone violating those policies when it comes to homosexual relationships.

Me too.  Bottom line: I have happily served in many contexts with my fellow clergy from the ELCA.  We have a lot of shared ministries such as camps, schools, and human care institutions.  My family is a Lutheran mix and I like to think that my relations with fellow clergy and joint ministries reflects that, currently.  However, this action by the convention severely limits me and my participation in many cooperative endeavors. 

For instance, I would not send my youth to a camp that had an ELCA minister who is in an open, homosexual relationship.  Nor would I send my children to a school that a had a rostered worker in an open, homosexual relationship.  Can you see this from my point of view?  At my church, we are teaching what we believe is God's Word when it comes to our sexual behavior, and I will not put the children of my congregation in a position where that is being contradicted by other Lutheran clergy.  These are not theological differences that we can gloss over and still decide that we can work together. 

From where I sit, the situation is bad.  This past convention made it worse.  I am begging whoever has any voice in this study over the next three years to avert what I think will be the most profound split in Lutheranism.  This is my extended family and I can't tell you how much this tears me apart, personally.  I take no comfort in the posts on this thread that have been all "no, no - nothing happened, its all O.K."  Its not O.K. until the study in 2009 concludes that Lutherans are sticking with the church catholic when it teaches sexuality.  Period.   
Soli Deo Gloria!

Eric_Swensson

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #220 on: August 16, 2007, 05:34:54 PM »
I'm trying to understand what comfort there is to be found in the fact that no policies were changed, when the CWA urged its Bishops to refrain from disciplining anyone violating those policies when it comes to homosexual relationships.

Me too. Bottom line: I have happily served in many contexts with my fellow clergy from the ELCA. We have a lot of shared ministries such as camps, schools, and human care institutions. My family is a Lutheran mix and I like to think that my relations with fellow clergy and joint ministries reflects that, currently. However, this action by the convention severely limits me and my participation in many cooperative endeavors.

For instance, I would not send my youth to a camp that had an ELCA minister who is in an open, homosexual relationship. Nor would I send my children to a school that a had a rostered worker in an open, homosexual relationship. Can you see this from my point of view? At my church, we are teaching what we believe is God's Word when it comes to our sexual behavior, and I will not put the children of my congregation in a position where that is being contradicted by other Lutheran clergy. These are not theological differences that we can gloss over and still decide that we can work together.

From where I sit, the situation is bad. This past convention made it worse. I am begging whoever has any voice in this study over the next three years to avert what I think will be the most profound split in Lutheranism. This is my extended family and I can't tell you how much this tears me apart, personally. I take no comfort in the posts on this thread that have been all "no, no - nothing happened, its all O.K." Its not O.K. until the study in 2009 concludes that Lutherans are sticking with the church catholic when it teaches sexuality. Period.

Thanks, Pr Jagow. You are right, it is very bad. Pretty bad too when a pastor in the ELCA wouldn't want to send his son to a ELCA camp.

I think the exchange between Brian S. and Richard is pretty telling too of the deep mess we are in. Talk about contextualism. One farily intelligent clergy says "Gives rubber stamp to what bishops have been doing all along" and another who has all the same information in from of him says "Rubbish".

I suppose this is the "unity" we voted on in Orlando?

Charles_Austin

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #221 on: August 16, 2007, 05:44:09 PM »
Eric writes:

I suppose this is the "unity" we voted on in Orlando?

I comment:
Depends upon what you call "unity," doesn't it? Unity on issues relating to homosexuality? No. We do not have unity on that. But we do have unity on a lot of other things, and the spirit at Chicago was quite peaceful and congenial. Later, I heard some of the gay and lesbian folk say they felt betrayed by the bishops who did not speak out very forcefully for the memorials passed by their synodical conventions. But there can be the desire to work together in this church, I think. But that will take some work. And obviously some don't have that desire.

BTW, I know some LC-MSers who wouldn't send their kids to an LC-MS camp either; and I don't think that's the sign of an apocalyptic collapse of the LC-MS.




Eric_Swensson

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #222 on: August 16, 2007, 07:02:30 PM »
What "work" do you refer to Charles?

Charles_Austin

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #223 on: August 16, 2007, 07:08:13 PM »
Eric asks:
What "work" do you refer to Charles?

I respond:
The "work" that will be necessary to learn how to understand, get along with and minister alongside of people with whom we disagree, with people who believe in salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ - the Lutheran essential - but may have different views of certain Bible passages about creation, marriage, divorce, circumcision or kosher food (should any of those other issues arise.) Those who are for a complete change in our policies might have to take some workshops or retreats out to the prairies of the Dakotas, and those who oppose any change might have to pay a visit to New York, Atlanta or New Jersey. That's the "work" I mean. And if folks aren't willing to do that, we may be in for some tough times.

Eric_Swensson

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #224 on: August 16, 2007, 07:22:47 PM »
Eric asks:
What "work" do you refer to Charles?

I respond:
The "work" that will be necessary to learn how to understand, get along with and minister alongside of people with whom we disagree, with people who believe in salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ - the Lutheran essential - but may have different views of certain Bible passages about creation, marriage, divorce, circumcision or kosher food (should any of those other issues arise.) Those who are for a complete change in our policies might have to take some workshops or retreats out to the prairies of the Dakotas, and those who oppose any change might have to pay a visit to New York, Atlanta or New Jersey. That's the "work" I mean. And if folks aren't willing to do that, we may be in for some tough times.

Oh, you are in for some for some rough times, don't worry. In the meantime, I don't believe anyone here in this board believes that this is all about disagreeing over a few verses of Scripture, and that has to include you.

I expected that what you meant by "work" was the idea from politics that everyone has to be flexible and give something, and that is what you said, right?