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Topics - Evangel

So it's about a week away now ... any other ALPB'ers heading to Denver for the 12th annual LCMC gathering/convention?

I'm going and bringing my two High School aged daughters this time.

Planning on attending worship Sunday morning at Pr. Clyde Awtrey's congregation.
Your Turn / Lectionaries and such
November 17, 2011, 01:51:53 PM
Got an interesting message from Steve King at Sola Publishing a few days ago.  Seems that Sola - which is a relatively new publishing house that is catering to LCMC, NALC, CALC, and Lutheran CORE congregations - has come out with a recommendation for congregations to use the 3 year lectionary from the LCMS' LSB.

Sola is publishing a bulletin insert based on this lectionary including the readings (from the ESV), the pointed Psalm (from the LBW/Book of Common Prayer Psalms), and a prayer of the day "translated from the traditional/historical sources."  Those inserts will be provided as pdf files to subscribers to print their own - cost is $20/quarter.

More at Sola's news blog linked here.

From that blog post:

In consultation with leaders of NALC, LCMC, CALC, and Lutheran CORE, Sola is recommending the use of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod version of the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL), as found in the Lutheran Service Book (LSB), from Concordia Publishing House. Used with Permission.  Lectionary inserts and other worship-support products produced by Sola Publishing will be based on this version of the RCL, rather than the ELCA version.

There is also a link to a sample bulletin insert (the one for November 27) on that news blog page.

We will be making the shift from the RCL to the LSB lectionary with the start of the new church year.
Your Turn / Carolinas Reformation Service LCMC/NALC
October 24, 2011, 08:20:49 PM
This Saturday, October 29 at 1:30PM, we will have a service at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Blythewood SC (just North of Columbia).  This is a joint LCMC/NALC event - I don't have all the participants ... however yours truly will be presiding at communion and ... most importantly ... Gemechis Buba will be preaching. 

I'm excited because Dr. Buba's keynote/sermon was one of the highlights of the LCMC National Gathering.  He is a fantastic preacher.  If you can make it to this event I would highly encourage it.  All are welcome to attend, you don't need to be LCMC or NALC.

PM me for more details.
Your Turn / Totally new LCMC website
August 30, 2011, 10:36:26 PM
Just heard about this today:

Same URL, new website design.

Looks like they added a forum to the site as well.

There is a link to ALPB on the sit too!
Each year for the past few years I've posted the question: "Is anyone coming?"  For most of the time I've been on this board I've been the token LCMC guy ... but I know I'm not alone out here anymore.  So far I think my total of ALPB folks that I have met who have attended (or at least showed up as it was in the neighborhood ... Hi Erma!) an Annual Gathering or Leadership Conference is around 5 or 6 in total over those years.

With the big influx of congregations I'm wondering how many more of you will be there this year?

So post up ... who's coming to Des Moines?
A Message from the Board and Staff of WordAlone

Times of difficulty and crisis are ones that often call us to hard decisions.  For people of faith, this makes it even more critical that we seek to live in trust and obedience.  Such is the case facing WordAlone as an organization at this time.

As servants of Christ, we are called by our Lord to be faithful managers and stewards of all that he has entrusted to us - not only in terms of our material resources, but even more importantly, in his Word as "stewards of the mysteries of God" (1 Corinthians 4:1).  Jesus explained the kind of planning and foresight that he requires of his stewards.  He said:

Which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.' Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.  (Luke 14:28-32 ESV)

For many years, WordAlone has sought to serve as a faithful gathering of disciples and workers in God's kingdom.  Often with very limited resources, WordAlone has engaged in the battle for truth again and again, and has never shied away from taking a stand for the sake of God's Word.  Over the years of its history, WordAlone has also laid a foundation and built many strong and significant ministries that continue to serve the larger fellowship of orthodox Lutherans.  The Lord has used WordAlone to provide for the future of fellow-believers in this new Lutheran landscape.  The faithful stewardship of WordAlone has born fruit in many ways among us.

Yet, with all that it has been able to accomplish, WordAlone has never forgotten that it is accountable in its stewardship to Christ himself.  Throughout our history, we have prayed that when the time came for us to pass that stewardship on to those who follow, we would graciously commend the resources that God has given us as a legacy to the continuing ministry of Christ's Church.  That day has now come.

For several months, WordAlone's resources for ministry have slowly been shrinking.  While we maintain a high level of trust and appreciation from our constituencies, many WordAlone folks have naturally started investing their support into building for the future with new congregations and mission opportunities.  This is as it should be.  But this shift in focus has meant that there is less and less money available for WordAlone itself to continue our "transitional support" ministry.  To put it frankly, after several months of cutting salaries and expenses, our funding has finally been depleted and WordAlone cannot continue in its present form.

The Board of Directors, as stewards of WordAlone's resources, has concluded that the time has come to limit WordAlone's continuing ministry to the one area where we can best be of service to our fellow disciples, Sola Publishing.

Sola Publishing is a growing and thriving ministry that has emerged out of WordAlone's commitment to solid Biblical and confessional preaching and teaching, and it has become increasingly obvious that this much needed ministry is the best gift we have to serve the broad constituency of our friends in faith, including LCMC, NALC, CALC, CORE, and other faithful Christians who want to stay grounded in God's Word.  With an eye to the future, WordAlone will be investing all its resources and energy into building Sola Publishing into a full-service publisher, able to meet the needs of our expanding fellowship of congregations. We hope that you will continue your support of this essential ministry, which focuses on the best gifts that God has given us.

At the same time, the Board has expressed its intention that WordAlone should not continue to operate under a deficit or incur additional debt, nor should the larger organization continue to be subsidized by Sola Publishing, which needs support for its own development.  The Board has therefore decided:

1) The executive positions of President and Vice President of WordAlone must regrettably be eliminated.  Support staff will be reallocated where possible.
2) WordAlone's existing auxiliary ministries will be bequeathed to our partner ministries where they might best be used to serve our larger constituency.
3) WordAlone will work to fulfill, in good faith, the financial commitments incurred over the past few months, and back-compensation of its employees.
4) WordAlone will continue to exist, exclusively doing business as Sola Publishing.

While these hard decisions are not made easily, we acknowledge that the command of Christ to serve the ministry of faithful stewardship is not optional. Our Lord expects us to use wisdom and responsibility in seeking to serve him daily in a faithful and effective manner.

As WordAlone moves forward as Sola Publishing, we ask for your financial support in this transition.  We ask for your prayers and encouragement, as we continue to minister in the legacy of our namesake - Sola Scriptura - God's Word alone.

Yours in Christ,
The WordAlone Board and Staff  
Your Turn / Constitutions and votes
June 08, 2011, 05:48:41 PM
No, not one of those kinds of votes ... one that as the potential to do much more damage!   :o

We had a vote this past weekend to relocate.

The congregation has been in a storefront since its inception 8 years ago.  There is a ton of history here - but the congregation was founded by the SC Synod who pulled the plug on them after about 3 years when the pastor developer had to leave for family reasons.  The synod took back the property that they had purchased just a couple blocks from the strip mall we are currently in and they fully expected the folks in the congregation to rejoin the larger ELCA congregation a few miles away.

The folks here said "no thank you" and managed to keep the place going as an independent congregation with supply pastors for a time - they finally called a pastor who got them connected to LCMC and I came along about 3 years ago.

The rent here at the beach is astronomical.  For this reason the storefront is a really bad idea and bad stewardship.  We had an opportunity present itself last month to share time and space with another church with an actual church building.

The vote was taken and passed - but the question came up - "why do we not allow proxy votes?"  I honestly didn't have a good answer for that question.  A lot of the language in our constitution is pulled from the ELCA model - but we are not bound to keep any of the required language as an ELCA congregation would be.

I can see that it is desirable to have people participate in the debate on topics before voting ... but we have a population of folks where many of them work in the local service economy ... many of the most active members can only get to church once or twice a month.

They stay on top of the discussion and would really like to have a voice in the vote - even if they are scheduled to work on the day we have a congregational meeting.

Can anyone enlighten me as to why changing our constitution to permit proxy votes in a case like this would be a bad idea?
Your Turn / Relief Fund established to help Ethiopia
March 28, 2011, 10:20:41 AM
Just Received this from the LCMC Announcements Email listserve:

At our 2010 Annual meeting in Golden Valley, Minnesota, Dr. Gemechis Buba approached the Board of Trustees representing the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) and invited representatives of LCMC to attend their first ever national gathering.  He also hoped that we could develop an on-going relationship with them as well.  The Board brought a resolution to the gathering that we unanimously approved:  We authorize the LCMC Board of Trustees, along with other interested parties, to explore and develop a relationship with the Mekane Jesus Church of Ethiopia and its sister churches present in the United States.

Three of us attended representing the Board of Trustees, and there were many other LCMC pastors and leaders attending as well.  That was just a few weeks ago.  Since then, we have learned of the recent persecution that has come against the church there, since we have returned.

The Rev. Dr. Wakseyoum Idossa, President of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (the Lutheran church in Ethiopia), has reported that 57 churches and 45 individual homes have been destroyed. More than 3,600 people have been displaced from their homes and some have been badly beaten and killed.

The Rev. Dr. Gemechis D. Buba, Missions Director for the North American Lutheran Church and a native of Ethiopia, reported that these brutal acts are not the first of their kind. Three years ago Muslim fundamentalists burned down several churches, killed evangelists, pastors and lay leaders. They are now repeating the same attacks. Today thousands have lost their homes, churches, family members and their rights to safely worship and conduct their ministries.

Persecution is not new to Lutherans in Ethiopia. "However, every time it happens it opens up old wounds and breaks the hearts of many. In the middle of all this our brothers and sisters are walking into this holy Lenten season not with ashes on their forehead but carrying the cross of Christ and confessing their faith in the words of Psalm 23:1, 'The Lord is my shepherd!'" Dr. Buba said.

Two weeks ago we called for a day of prayer, and continued prayer for our brothers and sisters who have suffered for the faith.  Now we are also offering a chance to contribute financially to help those affected recover.

An Ethiopia Relief Fund has been established to help Christians in Ethiopia who have recently experienced persecution by Islamic radicals. The Ethiopian Church Relief Fund is a joint effort by Lutheran CORE, Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC), and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC).

Please send gifts to Ethiopian Church Relief Fund; 2299 Palmer Drive, Suite 220; New Brighton, MN 55112. Please make checks payable to Ethiopia Relief Fund. All funds received will be forwarded to the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus.

You may also give online by clicking on the following link:

We are reminded by the apostle that it has been granted to us on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, since we are going through the same struggle we see (Philippians 1:29-30).

"I would like to thank God for God's protection and the grace and courage that God is giving his chosen people to suffer for the sake of Christ! There is hope for them and for all of us. Christ is alive and will always remain Emmanuel for us in times of our joys and difficulties.  We highly appreciate your concerns and prayers in such a difficult situation. It is our sincere hope that you will continue to pray and accompany us. May the almighty God bless you all!"  EECMY President Idossa.
Got this email from LCMC Service Coordinator Mark Vander Tuig forwarding an email he received from  Rev. Dr. Gemechis D. Buba about persecution of the Mekane Yesus Church in Ethiopia currently going on.

Date: March 9, 2011 9:13:32 PM CST
Subject: urgent call to pray


What follows is an email from our brother in Christ, Gemechis Buba.  This is an urgent call to pray for our brothers and sisters in Ethiopia who are once again experiencing persecution, this time at the hands of Muslim extremists.  I would ask that we in LCMC dedicate this Friday as a day of prayer for them, and that this weekend in our worship services we would remember them in the prayers of the church.  As I we get more information, we will share it across LCMC and anyone else who might be willing to lift up our Ethiopian family in prayer and support.

And as Gemechis has suggested, I will let them know that the members of our association will be in prayer for them all.

Mark Vander Tuig

Begin forwarded message:

From: Gemechis Buba
Date: March 9, 2011 8:44:02 PM CST
Subject: Prayer Call from Mekane Yesus Church in Ethiopia

Dearly beloved,

Grace and peace to you,

I am sure by now you have all come back to your normal routines and back to the family and ministry you love. Thanks be to God for the privilege of having most you in Ethiopia on those historic few days in Addis Ababa.

I am writing this email to share with a prayer call I am asked to pass on to you by the President of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, the Rev. Dr. Wakseyoum Idossa.

In the last few days over 41 churches and several evangelical mission stations or mission congregations were burned down. There are thousands of people expelled from their homes and some who are even badly beaten and killed. The perpetrators are Radical Islamist and Jihadist elements who are now operating in the western and south western parts of Ethiopia. I have spoken with Rev. Wakseyoum as he was visiting Mekane Yesus Churches and Synods close to the border of Sudan. The Voice of America (VOA) called, got in touch with him and interviewed him today and he spoke to the world from that remote spot through this international VOA radio streamed out of Washington DC.

On that interview given in Amharic he stated that, the Mekane Yesus have intentionally worked hard to establish good relationships with Muslim Ethiopians and that work have resulted in so much good and positive relationship. However he is shocked and saddened by this outbreak lashing out in heartbreaking atrocities. This brutal act is not the first of its kind. Three years ago Muslim fundamentalists have burned down several churches, killed evangelists, pastors and lay leaders. They are now repeating the same attacks. Today thousands have lost their homes, churches, family members and their rights to safely worship and conduct their ministries.

The Ethiopian government officials and security forces have intervened. The out come of their work is yet to be known. Some leaders from the central office of the Mekane Yesus Church in Addis Ababa have traveled to the area today to start getting help to the victims. There are many people who are now waiting to get some emergency aid in a camp. President Idossa is going to release another statement in the next few days as the investigation continues and as the government tries to bring these acts under control and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Please pray about this!!
I also suggest that we send letters carrying words of encouragement and stating our commitment to pray for them. In order to do this in a coherent form I suggest that these letters come from;

Lutheran Church - Canada; Rev. Robert Bugbee or Rev. Dr. Leonardo Netzel
Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ LCMC; Rev. Mark Vander Tuig
North American Lutheran Church; Bishop Paull Spring

Persecution is not new to our church, however every time it happens it opens up old wounds and breaks the heart of many. In the middle all these our brothers and sisters are walking into this holy Lenten season not with ashes on their forehead but carrying the cross of Christ and confessing their faith in the words of Psalm 23:1, "The Lord is my shepherd!"

May God renew our world in this Lenten season through the Holy Word of God and through power grace of God through Christ, Amen!!

Peace and Blessings,

The Rev. Dr. Gemechis D. Buba

Living in God's Amazing Grace

ELCA's Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod Bishop Michael Rinehart makes an interesting comment:

"If someone doesn't like this or that decision, they form their own church. The line between a small denomination and cult is becoming too thin for my taste."

One of the critical marks of a cult (as opposed to the marks of the church) is the use of orthodox religious language and concepts but applying new meanings to them.
Your Turn / What is a Denomination?
September 17, 2010, 12:07:34 PM
This interesting section appeared on the LCMC website in the last day or two.  Some have pointed out that LCMC has held it is NOT a denomination - this statement seems to backpedal on that stand a little bit - seemingly for practical reasons.  It's really never mattered one way or the other to me.

QuoteSome have said, "LCMC is a vibrant and faithful association of congregations, rather than a denominational church body."

LCMC has referred to itself as "a post-denominational association of congregations," as a way of acknowledging that its horizontal structure is different than the more vertical structure of many classic denominations.

But having said that, LCMC is recognized as a church body (denomination) by the IRS, by the ELCA, and by other denominations. LCMC does have structure that is defined in its Constitution and bylaws. LCMC has member congregations, association-wide meetings, a clergy List (roster), a retirement and health plan, and regional and otherwise configured Districts for congregational support. LCMC does endorse chaplains for the military and its pensions and health plans transfer. Seminary students have a candidacy process and clergy a certification process.

While we understand our association to be post-denominational, we are a denomination by most societal definitions.

The freedom we enjoy allows us a variety of ways of saying who we are. We are primarily Lutheran congregations in mission for Christ.
Your Turn / LCMC annual gathering October 3-6
September 02, 2010, 10:47:29 PM
There has rightfully been a lot of attention on the NALC events in the past few weeks.  The 10th annual LCMC gathering/convention is about a month away and is being held in the Twin Cities (Golden Vally).

Who's coming this year?  Have you been to an LCMC event before or is this your first time?
Your Turn / Hey Texas!
August 04, 2010, 02:49:02 PM
"For Such A Time As This...

2nd ANNUAL Convention
at St. Paul Lutheran Church
181 S. Santa Clara
New Braunfels, Texas 78130
8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Registration fee of $15.00
Covers lunch and all supplies

Dr. Charles Oestreich, Former President of Texas LutheranUniversity

Reverend Henry Schulte, Jr.,  Former Bishop of the Southwestern Texas Synod

Reverend Corky Spitler, Mission Developer and Pastor from Dripping Springs

Music, discussion breakouts, and worship with communion give us the opportunity to grow together in Mission for Christ! ALL are invited!

For a descriptive brochure and registration form go to the LCMC Texas District web site http.// 

Speaking of turning the responsibilities of the office of bishop on its head:

Quote... This redefinition of the bishops as officers of the national church has been reinforced by the bishops' own circling of the wagons. According to several estimates, they spend one-third of their time away from their synods, working together for the "churchwide." A series of decisions has put them at the front line in the challenges that have faced the clergy and the congregations. Under such pressure, they have learned to rely on one another, developing strong friendships in the process. Mutual reliance and loyalty have forged the bishops together in a powerful bond. Keeping in regular touch through a private internet sight, their first reference is to the presiding bishop and one another. Several of the bishops have spoken directly of their fear of risking their standing with the others. ...

And a summary:

Quote... you have to expect that no matter what your previous relationship, the bishop regards you as a problem to be solved and will use the office accordingly.
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