Author Topic: Seminex in Print  (Read 4172 times)

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #90 on: December 21, 2021, 10:48:18 AM »
But then the call is only between a person and a God. Is that a good idea? Seems to me that could lead to all kinds of difficulties. Is not a call to Word and Sacrament ministry connected to and mediated through the church?
I know we’ve been through this discussion before, but in the LCA and ELCA we are called to the public ministry of the denomination, and that call and connection continues even if one does not have a juridical call to a particular congregation. When I was in secular work, I was still a pastor of the LCA and ELCA, Able to do pastoral work as the occasion and/or need arose.

No, the call is not just "between a person and God".  In our understanding, God calls the man through the agency of the congregation (which is the Church in THAT place).  So, the call involves:
 a) God,
 b) the man being called, and
 c) the Church (which is represented by the congregation).

Steve,

Note that Charles' comment was about the call being "between a person and a God." [emphasis added]   :o
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #91 on: December 21, 2021, 10:50:46 AM »
But then the call is only between a person and a God. Is that a good idea? Seems to me that could lead to all kinds of difficulties. Is not a call to Word and Sacrament ministry connected to and mediated through the church?
I know we’ve been through this discussion before, but in the LCA and ELCA we are called to the public ministry of the denomination, and that call and connection continues even if one does not have a juridical call to a particular congregation. When I was in secular work, I was still a pastor of the LCA and ELCA, Able to do pastoral work as the occasion and/or need arose.

No, the call is not just "between a person and God".  In our understanding, God calls the man through the agency of the congregation (which is the Church in THAT place).  So, the call involves:
 a) God,
 b) the man being called, and
 c) the Church (which is represented by the congregation).


The ELCA has three interdependent expressions of "church": the congregation, the synod, and the churchwide expression. Any one of those can be called "church." Thus, when the synod is in assembly, it is church. When we talk about the call being through the agency of the church, it involves all three expressions. As an ordained pastor in the ELCA (meaning: I'm on its roster of ministers of word and sacrament,) I can preach and preside at any ELCA congregation (at their invitation, or at the request of a synod bishop) and at any congregation of our full partner church bodies (at their invitation). It is our synods who are responsible for the rostering. The synod council can remove pastors from the roster. Pastors' synodical membership gets transferred when they move to a new synod.
"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]

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #92 on: December 21, 2021, 10:56:02 AM »
But then the call is only between a person and a God. Is that a good idea? Seems to me that could lead to all kinds of difficulties. Is not a call to Word and Sacrament ministry connected to and mediated through the church?
I know we’ve been through this discussion before, but in the LCA and ELCA we are called to the public ministry of the denomination, and that call and connection continues even if one does not have a juridical call to a particular congregation. When I was in secular work, I was still a pastor of the LCA and ELCA, Able to do pastoral work as the occasion and/or need arose.

In my case, Charles, God called me to and through a specific congregation: Emmanuel. That call was facilitated through the LCMS Ohio District President. So the call was never something only between God and me. It was always by and for God's Church as embodied in this local congregation.

For whatever reason, leaders in the LCMS have retained me on their roles. I suppose they could let me go. But if process was followed, they would have to have a cause they could explain to others in the church. They've never had a cause since I have dutifully followed their requests and processes. They know I believe fully in the public doctrine and practice of my church body while rejecting the political baloney, which upsets the politicians. They could not report, "We got rid of Engelbrecht because he wouldn't go along with our unofficial practices." That would undermine trust throughout the church. So here I serve, faith unshaken. God be praised, politics be damned.
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Steven W Bohler

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Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #93 on: December 21, 2021, 11:14:22 AM »
But then the call is only between a person and a God. Is that a good idea? Seems to me that could lead to all kinds of difficulties. Is not a call to Word and Sacrament ministry connected to and mediated through the church?
I know we’ve been through this discussion before, but in the LCA and ELCA we are called to the public ministry of the denomination, and that call and connection continues even if one does not have a juridical call to a particular congregation. When I was in secular work, I was still a pastor of the LCA and ELCA, Able to do pastoral work as the occasion and/or need arose.

No, the call is not just "between a person and God".  In our understanding, God calls the man through the agency of the congregation (which is the Church in THAT place).  So, the call involves:
 a) God,
 b) the man being called, and
 c) the Church (which is represented by the congregation).

Steve,

Note that Charles' comment was about the call being "between a person and a God." [emphasis added]   :o

I had not noticed that!  Perhaps Rev. Austin could explain what he meant by that.

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #94 on: December 21, 2021, 11:15:38 AM »
But then the call is only between a person and a God. Is that a good idea? Seems to me that could lead to all kinds of difficulties. Is not a call to Word and Sacrament ministry connected to and mediated through the church?
I know we’ve been through this discussion before, but in the LCA and ELCA we are called to the public ministry of the denomination, and that call and connection continues even if one does not have a juridical call to a particular congregation. When I was in secular work, I was still a pastor of the LCA and ELCA, Able to do pastoral work as the occasion and/or need arose.

No, the call is not just "between a person and God".  In our understanding, God calls the man through the agency of the congregation (which is the Church in THAT place).  So, the call involves:
 a) God,
 b) the man being called, and
 c) the Church (which is represented by the congregation).


The ELCA has three interdependent expressions of "church": the congregation, the synod, and the churchwide expression. Any one of those can be called "church." Thus, when the synod is in assembly, it is church. When we talk about the call being through the agency of the church, it involves all three expressions. As an ordained pastor in the ELCA (meaning: I'm on its roster of ministers of word and sacrament,) I can preach and preside at any ELCA congregation (at their invitation, or at the request of a synod bishop) and at any congregation of our full partner church bodies (at their invitation). It is our synods who are responsible for the rostering. The synod council can remove pastors from the roster. Pastors' synodical membership gets transferred when they move to a new synod.

Yes, I understand that the ELCA has a different understanding than does the LCMS.  I was merely answering Rev. Austin's questions about the LCMS understanding.

Dave Benke

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Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #95 on: December 21, 2021, 11:43:39 AM »
The ELCA has three interdependent expressions of "church": the congregation, the synod, and the churchwide expression. Any one of those can be called "church." Thus, when the synod is in assembly, it is church. When we talk about the call being through the agency of the church, it involves all three expressions. As an ordained pastor in the ELCA (meaning: I'm on its roster of ministers of word and sacrament,) I can preach and preside at any ELCA congregation (at their invitation, or at the request of a synod bishop) and at any congregation of our full partner church bodies (at their invitation). It is our synods who are responsible for the rostering. The synod council can remove pastors from the roster. Pastors' synodical membership gets transferred when they move to a new synod.

The bolded portion is new to me, Brian.  My understanding has been that the local bishop would do the removing.  But that then seems to be a decision ratified/finalized by the Synod council, which is made up of both clergy and laity.  This seems (I am not secure in this designation but will make it anyway) like the old consistory model in Germany, where the town council would make the decisions on church matters including clergy movement.

In the Missouri Synod, with its more localized polity in many ways, clergy rostering decisions are designated exclusively to the clergy.  A local congregation can call or cease paying a pastor at the discretion of their assembly, but the rostering of workers is not their option.  In many ways this is to protect the worker.  At least in my experience, workers who ran into a congregational buzzsaw would have been Walmart greeters if it were up to the church leadership, and doing that greeting in a Walmart far away.  The middle person, the District President/Bishop, is perpetually negotiating among worst case scenarios with folks in conflict.  And sometimes the worker/pastor is the culpable party but in no way admitting that culpability.  Jim knows a lot about this not from personal experience but from being in a district role for nearly three decades.

Dave Benke
« Last Edit: December 21, 2021, 12:20:59 PM by Dave Benke »

Charles Austin

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Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #96 on: December 21, 2021, 11:48:35 AM »
OK the “a” was typographical error, but not inappropriate. I suppose we do care that the “God“ who calls someone is indeed the God whose revelation we preach.
I’m not sure I ever felt that God called me “personally” to ordained ministry. My sense of call was mediated through the Church - Sunday School Luther League, church camp, choir singing, acolyte service, attendance at worship, guidance from pastors and others who said I had the. “skills” necessary for public ministry. I was “academically” inclined, could speak well in public, was a competent volunteer in church and other places. All those things, plus prayer and study led to my sense of call. Then the synod “took over” my formation through the church vocations committee and  bishop. I am especially grateful for the guidance from Dr. Alfred Biel, Iowa synod President, who got me started, and Bishop Dr Raynold Lingwall, formerly of the Augustana Lutheran Church, who ordained me. Plus three parish pastors, fine models - Ray Tiemeyer (who almost didn’t confirm me), Stan Ecklund (who talked to me a lot about preaching) and Russell Olson, (Pastor of the young woman I would marry, who taught me about social involvement).
My call came though those activities, those people.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Former national staff Lutheran Church in America And the Lutheran world Federation, Geneva. Former journalist. Now retired and living in Minneapolis.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #97 on: December 21, 2021, 12:06:04 PM »
The ELCA has three interdependent expressions of "church": the congregation, the synod, and the churchwide expression. Any one of those can be called "church." Thus, when the synod is in assembly, it is church. When we talk about the call being through the agency of the church, it involves all three expressions. As an ordained pastor in the ELCA (meaning: I'm on its roster of ministers of word and sacrament,) I can preach and preside at any ELCA congregation (at their invitation, or at the request of a synod bishop) and at any congregation of our full partner church bodies (at their invitation). It is our synods who are responsible for the rostering. The synod council can remove pastors from the roster. Pastors' synodical membership gets transferred when they move to a new synod.

The bolded portion is new to me, Brian.  My understanding has been that the local bishop would do the removing.  But that then seems to be a decision ratified/finalized by the Synod council, which is made up of both clergy and laity.  This seems (I am not secure in this designation but will make it anyway) like the old consistory model in Germany, where the town council would make the decisions on church matters including clergy movement.

In the Missouri Synod, with its more localized polity in many ways, clergy rostering decisions are designated exclusively to the clergy.  A local congregation can call or cease paying a pastor at the discretion of their assembly, but the rostering of workers is not their option.  In many ways this is to protect the worker.  At least in my experience, workers who ran into a congregational buzzsaw would have been Walmart greeters if it were up to the church leadership, and doing that greeting in a Walmart far away.  The middle person, the District President/Bishop, is perpetually negotiating among worst case scenarios with folks in conflict.  And sometimes the worker/pastor is the culpable party but in no way admitting that culpability.  Jim knows a lot about this.


The bylaws are ambiguous. They state:

20.22.02. The disciplinary actions which may be imposed are:
a. private censure and admonition by the bishop of the synod;
b. suspension from the office and functions of the ministry of Word and Sacrament in this church for a designated period or until there is satisfactory evidence of repentance and amendment; or
c. removal from the ministry of Word and Sacrament of this church.


It's not stated who does the suspension or removal. It is clear that the bishop does the private censure and admonition. When there is an accusation that requires disciplinary action, the bishop can threaten things, but for further disciplinary actions, it gets turned over to the synod discipline hearing committee. The bishop can also call on a consultation panel or an advisory panel to consult/advise if further disciplinary actions should be taken (which would mean turning it over the discipline hearing committee) or some other form of resolution, e.g., the pastor agrees to therapy.

I know that clergy who are on leave from call for the extended period are voted off the roster by the synod council. This happened to a friend who had been doing interim ministry for three years, but without a Call.

Perhaps another difference is that the synod council (since the synod is "church") can extend calls. Some synods do this for interim ministers. Some do not.
"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: Seminex in Print
« Reply #98 on: December 21, 2021, 05:35:26 PM »
Their pastors and laity attended conference and synod events. The synod assemblies often began with a motion to give their voting members voice and vote, which was approved.

Nope. Voice only.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

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Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #99 on: December 21, 2021, 05:42:38 PM »
The ELCA has three interdependent expressions of "church": the congregation, the synod, and the churchwide expression. Any one of those can be called "church." Thus, when the synod is in assembly, it is church. When we talk about the call being through the agency of the church, it involves all three expressions. As an ordained pastor in the ELCA (meaning: I'm on its roster of ministers of word and sacrament,) I can preach and preside at any ELCA congregation (at their invitation, or at the request of a synod bishop) and at any congregation of our full partner church bodies (at their invitation). It is our synods who are responsible for the rostering. The synod council can remove pastors from the roster. Pastors' synodical membership gets transferred when they move to a new synod.

The bolded portion is new to me, Brian. 

New to me, too. Can you cite the constitutional provision that allows this?
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Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #100 on: December 21, 2021, 05:46:37 PM »
The ELCA has three interdependent expressions of "church": the congregation, the synod, and the churchwide expression. Any one of those can be called "church." Thus, when the synod is in assembly, it is church. When we talk about the call being through the agency of the church, it involves all three expressions. As an ordained pastor in the ELCA (meaning: I'm on its roster of ministers of word and sacrament,) I can preach and preside at any ELCA congregation (at their invitation, or at the request of a synod bishop) and at any congregation of our full partner church bodies (at their invitation). It is our synods who are responsible for the rostering. The synod council can remove pastors from the roster. Pastors' synodical membership gets transferred when they move to a new synod.

The bolded portion is new to me, Brian. 

New to me, too. Can you cite the constitutional provision that allows this?
I don’t think Dave Benke said that. The quote feature must be messed up.

Dave Benke

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Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #101 on: December 21, 2021, 05:55:33 PM »
The ELCA has three interdependent expressions of "church": the congregation, the synod, and the churchwide expression. Any one of those can be called "church." Thus, when the synod is in assembly, it is church. When we talk about the call being through the agency of the church, it involves all three expressions. As an ordained pastor in the ELCA (meaning: I'm on its roster of ministers of word and sacrament,) I can preach and preside at any ELCA congregation (at their invitation, or at the request of a synod bishop) and at any congregation of our full partner church bodies (at their invitation). It is our synods who are responsible for the rostering. The synod council can remove pastors from the roster. Pastors' synodical membership gets transferred when they move to a new synod.

The bolded portion is new to me, Brian. 

New to me, too. Can you cite the constitutional provision that allows this?
I don’t think Dave Benke said that. The quote feature must be messed up.

Correct.  What I did was to excise, copy and paste that part of Brian's post, which then, apparently, makes it mine.  Does this mean I'm now rostered in the ELCA?  Or have I been rostered and removed already?  Very confusing.  But I'm always ready to serve.

Dave Benke

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #102 on: December 21, 2021, 07:36:44 PM »
The ELCA has three interdependent expressions of "church": the congregation, the synod, and the churchwide expression. Any one of those can be called "church." Thus, when the synod is in assembly, it is church. When we talk about the call being through the agency of the church, it involves all three expressions. As an ordained pastor in the ELCA (meaning: I'm on its roster of ministers of word and sacrament,) I can preach and preside at any ELCA congregation (at their invitation, or at the request of a synod bishop) and at any congregation of our full partner church bodies (at their invitation). It is our synods who are responsible for the rostering. The synod council can remove pastors from the roster. Pastors' synodical membership gets transferred when they move to a new synod.

The bolded portion is new to me, Brian. 

New to me, too. Can you cite the constitutional provision that allows this?


The particular circumstances that were in my memory were pastors who were "on leave from call" 7.31.07.


In researching this, there's also 7.43.01 when a pastor under call from the Synod Council is no longer in that Call.
"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]

Chuck

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Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #103 on: December 21, 2021, 09:45:29 PM »
The ELCA has three interdependent expressions of "church": the congregation, the synod, and the churchwide expression. Any one of those can be called "church." Thus, when the synod is in assembly, it is church. When we talk about the call being through the agency of the church, it involves all three expressions. As an ordained pastor in the ELCA (meaning: I'm on its roster of ministers of word and sacrament,) I can preach and preside at any ELCA congregation (at their invitation, or at the request of a synod bishop) and at any congregation of our full partner church bodies (at their invitation). It is our synods who are responsible for the rostering. The synod council can remove pastors from the roster. Pastors' synodical membership gets transferred when they move to a new synod.

The bolded portion is new to me, Brian. 

New to me, too. Can you cite the constitutional provision that allows this?


The particular circumstances that were in my memory were pastors who were "on leave from call" 7.31.07.


In researching this, there's also 7.43.01 when a pastor under call from the Synod Council is no longer in that Call.


I think we have a semantic problem here. A pastor may only be placed "on leave from call" on the recommendation of the bishop and approval of the synod council. So, a pastor is not "removed" by the synod council, but simply not approved for that status.
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Dave Benke

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Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #104 on: December 21, 2021, 09:53:09 PM »
Sounds as though we need a copy of the ELCA and Synod bylaws.  Nothing better for a cold winter's night than a cup of kindness and a copy of denominational bylaws.

Dave Benke