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Your Turn / Re: Rebranding Lutherans
March 09, 2024, 01:51:09 PM
Quote from: Jim Butler on March 09, 2024, 01:41:07 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on March 09, 2024, 01:35:47 PMBack when the ELCA was being created, I suggested a name to a member of the committee:

Catholic Church - Martinized.

I don't know if he brought it to the committee.

IIRC, there were four names that were put out for consideration. I believe one of them was "Catholic Church--Lutheran." Mr. Austin may remember better than I.

One of my seminary profs liked to wag that in light of the ALC and the LCA, they should have just gone with the "American Lutheran Church in America."
Your Turn / Re: Annoint my head with oil
November 24, 2023, 11:04:41 AM
Quote from: Richard Johnson on November 23, 2023, 07:19:52 AM
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on November 22, 2023, 09:39:12 PMIn my study of the psalm, the first part describes David's shepherd experience. The second part describes David's experience as a shepherd-king over Israel. The part about his head being anointed appears in the shepherd-king portion. So I wouldn't take the anointing as an anointing for sheep.

Olive oil functions like lotion, soothing skin and promoting healing. You can take the olive oil out of your cabinet and apply it directly to your skin. Rub it in. It'll be good for you.

Off topic and odd, but we heard (and have proven to our satisfaction) that one of the best natural healing elements for skin owies is Vitamin E. You take a gel caps of it, puncture with a pin, and squeeze a little out, apply it to the injured skin, cover with bandaid. Burns and abrasions heal very quickly. It's quite remarkable.
After a major surgery, the wound care folks advised me to apply a small drop to the scar each day once the incision healed. It made a huge difference. Even places like Target carry little 3oz bottles of it--enough to last a very long time.
Your Turn / Re: Football
September 27, 2023, 11:33:22 AM
Quote from: peter_speckhard on September 27, 2023, 11:15:59 AMCubs fan know better than to assume a 6-0 lead in the late innings translates to a win.

Washington State Cougars football fans understand this phenomenon painfully well. We never doubt that a mighty lead can/will be made forfeit in the 4th quarter for no explicable reason. It's (affectionately?) known as "Coug-ing it up."
Your Turn / Re: Are we back?
September 05, 2023, 10:49:09 AM
I'm thinking the issue may have something to do with internet routing bug (something of which I have little knowledge).

If you go to, no problem logging-in (or staying logged-in, if you already have).

Leave off the "www" and you'll get various errors and/or will not be logged-in.  I've tried this on multiple devices/browsers with the same result. I edited my bookmark to add the triple-dub and it's been fine.

edit: also, the first 115 pages of posts are pinned, so that makes finding things interesting unless you're using the "unread posts" function.

Your Turn / Re: Earned or Honorary?
July 13, 2023, 05:19:07 PM
Quote from: The Yak on July 13, 2023, 03:02:48 PM
Quote from: Richard Johnson on July 13, 2023, 12:36:08 PM
When my wife calls me "pastor" at home, I know I'm in trouble.  ;D

I keep going for "Reverend Doctor," but no dice.
Yeah, my daughters won't go for "Reverend Father" either. Unless they are up to no good...
Quote from: Dave Benke on June 06, 2023, 12:48:27 PM
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 06, 2023, 12:32:37 PM
The book has good contributors: Ray Hartwig, for example, on the resolutions.

Did CHI open sealed archival materials for this research? That would be a good reason for releasing a new publication on the topic.

As I look at the series publications, I wonder if they plan to publish on Americanization of the synod. I would think that would be another important topic though not as popular, I would guess.

"Sealed Archival Materials."  There's a bylaw for that.  I asked one time for access to the archival materials pertaining to me, and learned of the archival access bylaw provisions.  From the 2019 Handbook, under Bylaw (g) All Dispute Resolution Panel, Appeal Panel, or Review Panel records of disputes in which a final decision has been rendered by the Dispute Resolution Panel, Appeal Panel, or Review Panel shall be placed in the custody of Concordia Historical Institute. All such records shall be
sealed and shall be opened only for good cause shown and only after permission has been granted by a Dispute Resolution Panel, selected by blind draw for that purpose.

My idea about a "good cause" was the same as when you ask the FBI for your files.  This is about me - I have a right to see it. 

In terms of Seminex, is there anyone still around/alive who might ask that those files remain sealed?  A small group, to be sure.

Dave Benke
In the ELCA, a file is held by the synod for each pastor or deacon on the roster. It moves when the pastor moves and then is transmitted to Higgins Road upon retirement/resignation/removal. Eventually it ends up in the archives in the Chicago 'burbs with a fifty-year seal (I believe).

The person to whom the file is connected has no access whatsoever to it. "This is not a personnel file, it is the property of the synod. You have no right of inspection. I may or may not let you peek into it, and if I choose to do so, you will not get to see all of it." I have been told by more than one bishop that the synod and Churchwide organization will go to the wall to maintain this status.

Quote from: Donald_Kirchner on April 27, 2023, 02:56:40 PM
I know of no one who has suggested that we "go around correcting people who pray that when their last hour comes, God gives them a blessed end and take them from this valley of sorrows to Himself in heaven."

One of the issues, however, is how often funerals do not point toward the last day and the resurrection of the body. Often, the emphasis is that the deceased is in heaven with Jesus or even that they are now an angel in heaven. And that's it. They got to heaven. Das ende. The physical resurrection is never mentioned.

Gibbs gave an account of standing at the casket along with the daughter of a deceased parishioner.  [Paraphrased] She stated, "Pastor, I am just happy that my father is in heaven with Jesus." Gibbs replied, "I am too. And I am also happy that, on The Last Day, your father will be physically raised and will live forever." Daughter's response, "Oh, yeah, that too."

Having been taught by Gibbs, I made sure that at every funeral over which I presided, I pointed to the casket and explicitly talked about that body being physically resurrected on The Last Day to eternal life.

I assigned his article "Five Things You Should Not Say at Funerals" to the students of a preaching class I taught this fall. I think it was printed in Concordia Journal sometime in 2003.
Quote from: Jim Butler on January 04, 2023, 10:26:38 AM
I've never "charged an honorarium" for a wedding or a funeral. I make that clear to the people. If they wish to give me anything, that's fine, but I have no fee. We do charge fees for others--the organist, janitor, etc.--but I don't have one. And yes, I have been given less than the janitor at times. But it's my job to serve the families, not make money off of them.
I have a similar conversation with young couples in our congregation: no honorarium is required, I'm your pastor. But then I suggest that a five-kid minimum would certainly be appropriate.  ;)
Your Turn / Re: Christ's Mass?
December 15, 2022, 01:45:57 PM
We have Christmas Eve candlelight worship with Communion at 6pm and then Christmas Day worship with Communion at 9:30am. Prior to my arrival, I believe both days were sans the Sacrament, but there was no objection to my making the change. The old tradition here (in the good old days of scores of children) was to have the Sunday School Christmas Program at 7pm and then an 11pm Candlelight Service of some sort led entirely by the Luther League, both on Christmas Eve. There remained some vestiges of that into the 2000s. Christmas Day at 9:30 has been a thing since time immemorial, part of the Germans-from-Russia and Iowa Synod lineage of the place.

I believe the Methodists and Baptists in town still have their Sunday School program on Christmas Eve as the sum total of gathering over those two days. The Reformed (RCUS--if you've not heard of them, they are an interesting bunch) have some sort of a hymn sing on the 24th but nothing on the 25th. The Roman Catholic parish is four congregations served by two priests covering about a 60 mile radius, so things with them vary widely from year to year--particularly with the weather we often get around that time in December and the miles of open prairie that must be crossed to get here from either of the rectories.
Quote from: Matt Hummel on August 10, 2022, 06:32:15 PM
A serious question re: "Land Acknowledgement:"

Whose land?/Which tribe? AN unsettlingly large portion of CONUS is comprised of territories that one tribe/nation lived in right up to the moment some other tribe/nation pushed them out. Granted they didn't use gunpowder and/or smallpox, but how far back does one have to go?
A most valid question. To even pose it is verboten and will elicit condemnation of the highest order. I've witnessed it with my own eyes/ears. On multiple occasions.

Your Turn / Re: Update On Vacant LCMS Parishes
August 01, 2022, 10:46:29 PM
Quote from: Terry W Culler on August 01, 2022, 07:53:08 PM
Quote from: Dan Fienen on August 01, 2022, 03:11:34 PM
One portion of the mission that God has given churches that has hardly been mentioned so far is Seelsorge. Community outreach, community service, mission mindedness, are all important and should not be neglected. But care for those who are already part of the household of faith should not be neglected, nor should it be seen as selfishness or merely being the clan chaplain.

It has, on occasion, been remarked that pastors need to exercise a certain amount of self-care if they are to continue to be effective in ministry. This includes such things as adequate rest and exercise, time off for recreation and recuperation, adequate remuneration, and the like. Churches also need to exercise a certain amount of self-care as the Body of Christ. That means caring for members in need of spiritual care, the grieving, the ill, shut-ins, the troubled. While this care does not often show up on congregational statistics it also is a vital element of congregational and pastoral ministry. We could get so wrapped up in seeking the lost that we fail to care for those already among us.

But this is not just because if members' needs are neglected, they can easily become inactive any more than outreach is important because churches need more members to pay the bills and boost statistics.

This is an important point.  It is well addressed in Gerberding's The Lutheran Pastor (if you've never read this you should try to get a copy somewhere) I took it from to ask people directly how things were with their souls.  They often don't understand but it leads to deeper conversations.  I also recommend Richard Baxter's The Reformed Pastor in which he talks about his visits with everyone in his parish each year to catechize them.  Unfortunately I was never able to bring that one off.

I believe that the Gerberding book is digitized and available on Google Books. I know I have a PDF of it, pretty sure it came from there.

Quote from: Coach-Rev on July 23, 2022, 09:41:38 AM
Quote from: Dan Fienen on July 21, 2022, 12:48:28 PM

Are you opposed to mandatory gun training or not? Apparently, some states require training others do not. I do not propose that all states must impose additional training to what they already require but that states who do not require training should require it.

My understanding is that in EVERY state, for a concealed handgun permit, there is mandatory coursework and training.  Obviously it will vary from state to state, but there is no state in the union where you can simply go in and get a CHP without taking the required course first.  Here in Nebraska, it is 8 hours in the class and 2 hours at the range, with the requirement of passing a range safety and shooting test, along with a written test first.  Nebraska, I've been told by a certified state police instructor, has some of the more lax requirements for the CHP.
In South Dakota, a permit is not required to carry concealed. There is a two-tiered permit system for those who wish to have one for reciprocity purposes in other states. The upper-tier permit requires a class and range time in addition to a fingerprint card and background check. There is no charge for either permit.

In Washington state (in recent years not gun-friendly at all), a permit requires being 21, having a fingerprint background check, and paying the fee. Barring a legal impairment, the county sheriff or city chief of police "shall issue" a permit within 30 days for a resident and 90 days for a non-resident. It is likely to stay that way (much to the chagrin of those currently in charge) unless the state constitution is amended. The drafters back in 1889 chose to make the state's equivalent of the Second Amendment a bit more linguistically clear:

SECTION 24 RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.

Quote from: James_Gale on June 10, 2022, 10:21:10 AM
Quote from: Dave Benke on June 10, 2022, 08:39:24 AM
Quote from: James_Gale on June 10, 2022, 12:15:15 AM
Quote from: Michael Slusser on June 09, 2022, 11:50:59 PM
Quote from: James_Gale on June 09, 2022, 10:52:15 PM
Quote from: Michael Slusser on June 09, 2022, 09:53:06 PM
How united are Lutherans in Sweden? Will Archbishop Modéus serve them all, or are there Lutherans who do not recognize him?
Over half the population still belongs formally to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden, which was the established state church until about 20 years ago. A very small number of Lutherans have broken away. The biggest challenge facing the old state church comes not from other Lutheran bodies but from those falling into agnosticism and secularism. Many maintain formal membership in honor of tradition and to gain access to church weddings, funerals, and burial.
Is there a split like the one in Finland, where the Lutheran churches don't seem to recognize each other much if at all? We had a thread here not so long ago about religious freedom in Finland where the difference was a factor.


It's not the same dynamic in Sweden. The former state church has no major divisions and there are very very few Lutherans outside the old state church.

How many Lutherans outside the old state church are there in Finland, Norway and, if it applies, Denmark?  I am remembering the accession of non-state Lutheran groups in those countries at LCMS conventions, but with very small numbers.  The SELK in Germany is roughly the size of a smaller district or ELCA synod, but is - again in memory - far larger than the Scandinavian outliers from the former state churches.

Dave Benke

Dave Benke

There are very few Nordic Lutherans outside the old established churches.  In each of Norway, Denmark, and Finland, between 55% and 70+% of the population belong to the old established church.  Only a smattering of self-identified Lutherans exist outside these bodies.

The real story, though, is that only about a quarter to a third of the populations of those countries say that they believe in God.  Membership in the old established church remains high because the church still plays a valued role in marriages, funerals, and burials.  (A Swedish pastor I know told me that you can't be buried in a church-owned cemetery unless you are a church member.)

The mission of these ancient church bodies can't help but be influenced by the fact that very few church members believe the church's historic teachings, let alone practice according to those teachings.
This sounds quite similar to the overall situation in Germany, as I understand it. A neighboring parish was served for a few years by a young Lutheran pastor ordained in the EKD. He had previously served as what we would call an associate pastor in a congregation where the membership roster numbered around 5000. Other than Christmas/Easter/the occasional festival, worship attendance was usually around 100. But lots and lots of funerals. Weddings, funerals, and baptisms (which still hold some cultural importance) were why people chose to designate that their "church tax" go to the parish so they could be on the roster. That and a general appreciation for the 450 year old church building.

Incidentally, he was quite pleased to discover that the amount of paperwork he had to fill out routinely at home was greatly reduced in the US . They have a form for everything there. He quipped that if you're being buried by the church, you're not completely dead until the pfarrer signs the form and returns it. Be late in filling out your annual report to the bishop and you will be getting talking to.

His colleagues were amazed that he would choose to come over here and forego the generous pay and benefits (and the social standing still somewhat attached to being a pastor) to come and serve a two-point on the prairie. He has since returned to his homeland.

Quote from: on June 03, 2022, 04:48:45 PM
Didn't FBI Director Comey say the same thing re: Secretary Clinton's semi-guilt?

Peter (Damned by faint damnation) Garrison
There is a definite parallel there...RPG+
FWIW, I thought that PB Eaton's impromptu brief statement in the first session was fairly well-delivered, considering the circumstances. She basically said "it was my decision to make, the Listening Team's job was to report to me confidentially. The bar to remove or discipline should be high, and I didn't think I could reach it." And she did it without throwing her "listening team" under the bus for their public statement contradicting her--which I thought was pretty remarkable, considering the damage it may end up doing to the organization (not to mention relationships within it).

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