The thread for info on churches voting to change affiliation & all follow-up.

Started by George Erdner, January 25, 2010, 01:06:24 PM

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Matthew Voyer STS



GregoryLJackson


Premarital sects. WELS endorses that.


Greg Jackson

Quote from: Rev. J. Thomas Shelley, STS on May 24, 2012, 02:03:29 PM
Quote from: Q on May 24, 2012, 01:10:34 PM
Quote from: Matthew Voyer STS on May 24, 2012, 11:51:31 AM
On internship I had a detached site. However I wasn't given license to preside at the sacraments. This raised the ire more of my supervisor and congregation than it did me, because as one with EC tendencies I understood and agreed with the decision. Until I found out the bishop in question uses SAMs quite a bit. As a seminary intern I wasn't quite lay and not ordained so in my role as detached intern I was refuse the authority that was being given to lay people all over the Synod, how silly is that. The truth is that there is a rite for given lay people the authority to presdide it's called ordination.

Detached-site interns, unite!  (I, however, had the bishop's go-ahead for the Sacraments.  Given my own EC tendencies, I wasn't sure how I felt about it, but I finally settled on "God called me here, in this time and place, for these people and for me, and this goes along with it, so here we go.")  That does sound silly, though.   ::)

In the UMC I was Ordained a Deacon after completing my second year of Seminary.  Upon graduation I was appointed Pastor-in-charge of three congregations, knowing that at the completion of the second "in-service" year I would receive Ordination as a Presbyter.

My way around the problem was two fold:  First, whenever possible, to have a willing retired Pastor preside over the Eucharist (just 6 or so times a year); or, in the case of weekday festivals shared with the local LCA and UCC, have one of my colleagues preside.

The second work-around was to use the Eucharistic canon of the Didache, into which the Verba was added--with everyone in the congregation speaking those Words along with me.  In other words, we would sin boldly (or, at the very least, breach good order) boldly and together.

Why this scrupulosity?  In no small part because I had spoken to too many older Seminarians and soon-to-be-Elders who had said that "this Ordination doesn't really mean anything because I've been doing everything that a Pastor does for the past  #----  years anyway."

Celebration before Ordination struck me as being akin to premarital sex.

Scotty8284

Quote from: Lutheranistic on May 26, 2012, 07:12:19 PM
More from the trenches in Iowa: http://thegazette.com/2012/05/25/largest-u-s-lutheran-group-removes-marion-church-from-roster/

The oddest paragraph in the article was this one:

QuoteWithout the ELCA affiliation, St. Mark's loses the resources and benefits associated with belonging to the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States, including world outreach, youth programs and international ministries and missions. The ELCA has just about 10,500 congregations in the U.S., while the LCMC has just 500.

Who provided that misinformation (lie) and why didn't the reporter fact check it?  LCMC & NALC congregations have access to world outreach, youth programs and international ministries and missions.  If it was Bishop Burke who said this, shame on him. 
Jim Scott
NALC Layman
Wittenberg '78

jeric

Quote from: Scotty8284 on May 27, 2012, 07:17:45 AM
Quote from: Lutheranistic on May 26, 2012, 07:12:19 PM
More from the trenches in Iowa: http://thegazette.com/2012/05/25/largest-u-s-lutheran-group-removes-marion-church-from-roster/

The oddest paragraph in the article was this one:

QuoteWithout the ELCA affiliation, St. Mark's loses the resources and benefits associated with belonging to the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States, including world outreach, youth programs and international ministries and missions. The ELCA has just about 10,500 congregations in the U.S., while the LCMC has just 500.

Who provided that misinformation (lie) and why didn't the reporter fact check it?  LCMC & NALC congregations have access to world outreach, youth programs and international ministries and missions.  If it was Bishop Burke who said this, shame on him.


I think we have to note that, in the article, that info is clearly not attributed to Bishop Burk.   However, a quotation from him is reported: "There is not one congregation in the ELCA that dual rosters with the goal of staying in the ELCA."   He also is reported as openly commenting that this action was not an easy decision.  -  In spite of our deep concerns, we should keep the emotional level within the bounds of the realities.

John Ericksen

Scotty8284

Quote from: jeric on May 27, 2012, 12:15:50 PM
Quote from: Scotty8284 on May 27, 2012, 07:17:45 AM
Quote from: Lutheranistic on May 26, 2012, 07:12:19 PM
More from the trenches in Iowa: http://thegazette.com/2012/05/25/largest-u-s-lutheran-group-removes-marion-church-from-roster/

The oddest paragraph in the article was this one:

QuoteWithout the ELCA affiliation, St. Mark's loses the resources and benefits associated with belonging to the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States, including world outreach, youth programs and international ministries and missions. The ELCA has just about 10,500 congregations in the U.S., while the LCMC has just 500.

Who provided that misinformation (lie) and why didn't the reporter fact check it?  LCMC & NALC congregations have access to world outreach, youth programs and international ministries and missions.  If it was Bishop Burke who said this, shame on him.


I think we have to note that, in the article, that info is clearly not attributed to Bishop Burk.   However, a quotation from him is reported: "There is not one congregation in the ELCA that dual rosters with the goal of staying in the ELCA."   He also is reported as openly commenting that this action was not an easy decision.  -  In spite of our deep concerns, we should keep the emotional level within the bounds of the realities.

John Ericksen

That is why I referred to it as such an odd paragraph.  While the information in that paragraph is not clearly attributed to him, it does sound like an ELCA press release, and no other ELCA source is cited in the article.

However, the Bishop did make one misstatement. 

Quote"There is not one congregation in the ELCA that dual rosters with the goal of staying in the ELCA."

St. Mark's, Marion is at least one congregation that did do such a thing.
Jim Scott
NALC Layman
Wittenberg '78

Brian Stoffregen

I'm not sure of the best site for posting this. Contrary to the contentiousness that some have expressed about synods and bishops, we had the election of our bishop yesterday. 175 votes (75%) were needed on the first ballot (the blank one for write-in names) and Bishop Talmage received 229 votes. The second place received 4 or 5 votes. This synod was and is very supportive of our bishop.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Charles_Austin

 From "The Lutheran" this month:
As of the beginning of April, 915 congregations had taken first votes to leave the ELCA, with 684 passing and 231 failing. On the second vote (required to officially withdraw from the ELCA), 25 failed and 631 passed. Of those, 621 have been officially removed from the ELCA roster.

States most impacted by congregations voting twice to leave were Minnesota at 70 (6 percent of all ELCA churches there); Ohio, 53 (9 percent); Iowa, 53 (11 percent); Texas, 48 (13 percent); Pennsylvania, 40 (3 percent). Such votes peaked between January 2010 and April 2011, drifting downward since.

Those departing represented 7 percent of ELCA congregations; 7 percent of baptized membership; 8 percent of worship attendees; 8 percent of total giving; and 5 percent of mission support. Where did those congregations go? Withdrawing congregations must join another church body. Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ received 54 percent of the congregations while the North American Lutheran Church got 40 percent.

Synods least impacted by congregations voting to leave (zero or one) were Alaska; Arkansas-Oklahoma; Caribbean; Metropolitan Washington, D.C., New England, New Jersey, and Slovak Zion. With roughly 200 new starts over the past few years, the ELCA today claims about 9,800 congregations and 4.2 million members.

J. Thomas Shelley

Quote from: Charles_Austin on June 01, 2012, 03:54:11 AM
[With roughly 200 new starts over the past few years, the ELCA today claims about 9,800 congregations and 4.2 million members.

With a net loss (departures exceeding new starts) of over 400 congregations the
psychological threshold of having less than 10,000 congregations has been crossed.

Simply noting, neither commenting nor rejoicing.
Greek Orthodox Deacon - Ecumenical Patriarchate
Ordained to the Holy Diaconate Mary of Egypt Sunday A.D. 2022

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

Charles_Austin

And why is 10,000 congregations a "psychological threshold"? The average ELCA person doesn't think much about that. Why 10,000?

George Erdner

Quote from: Rev. J. Thomas Shelley, STS on June 01, 2012, 08:27:34 AM
Quote from: Charles_Austin on June 01, 2012, 03:54:11 AM
[With roughly 200 new starts over the past few years, the ELCA today claims about 9,800 congregations and 4.2 million members.

With a net loss (departures exceeding new starts) of over 400 congregations the
psychological threshold of having less than 10,000 congregations has been crossed.

Simply noting, neither commenting nor rejoicing.

I would be interested in seeing an updated breakdown of the new starts in the ELCA. Not all new starts are created equal. The ELCA has some history of starting many "niche" congregations to minister to minorities who speak a language other than English. While that is a worthy and laudable action, it is also misleading if those numbers are presented as some sort of implied counter-balance to the congregations that transferred to other Lutheran denominations.

Dadoo

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on June 01, 2012, 12:02:20 AM
I'm not sure of the best site for posting this. Contrary to the contentiousness that some have expressed about synods and bishops, we had the election of our bishop yesterday. 175 votes (75%) were needed on the first ballot (the blank one for write-in names) and Bishop Talmage received 229 votes. The second place received 4 or 5 votes. This synod was and is very supportive of our bishop.

Quote from: Charles_Austin on June 01, 2012, 03:54:11 AM
From "The Lutheran" this month:
As of the beginning of April, 915 congregations had taken first votes to leave the ELCA, with 684 passing and 231 failing. On the second vote (required to officially withdraw from the ELCA), 25 failed and 631 passed. Of those, 621 have been officially removed from the ELCA roster.

States most impacted by congregations voting twice to leave were Minnesota at 70 (6 percent of all ELCA churches there); Ohio, 53 (9 percent); Iowa, 53 (11 percent); Texas, 48 (13 percent); Pennsylvania, 40 (3 percent). Such votes peaked between January 2010 and April 2011, drifting downward since.

Those departing represented 7 percent of ELCA congregations; 7 percent of baptized membership; 8 percent of worship attendees; 8 percent of total giving; and 5 percent of mission support. Where did those congregations go? Withdrawing congregations must join another church body. Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ received 54 percent of the congregations while the North American Lutheran Church got 40 percent.

Synods least impacted by congregations voting to leave (zero or one) were Alaska; Arkansas-Oklahoma; Caribbean; Metropolitan Washington, D.C., New England, New Jersey, and Slovak Zion. With roughly 200 new starts over the past few years, the ELCA today claims about 9,800 congregations and 4.2 million members.

Brain,

Charles,

I noticed a statistical tidbit in the Lutheran Article when it came to me. New Jersey, home of Carles_Austin, lost 1 congregation. In my neck of the woods we lost 53. I know probably half of them and know about half the pastors involved personally. Southern Ohio lost in the neighborhood of 20 out of 200 congregations. If only a few congregations leave one can put it down to malcontent pastors or difficult congregations. Eventually that excuse runs out when known and respected congregations and pastors depart. Similar things can be said in Iowa where the active posters here were among the 53 there who left. In other places the percentages where not as significant as to be reported but participants here have reported them. The losses seem to be regionally significant though in some cases in otherwise calm synods some peculiar pastors and congregations choose to depart even though the synod was otherwise calm.

I live in a place where the sitting bishop was elected 17 years ago by a slim margin (30) and re elected in two subsequent elections by 60 and 90 votes of 700+ on 5th ballot. In both the last elections, the last challenger standing was perceived a clearly a more liberal candidate, especially on the 09 issue. Whether one makes of this a referendum on the current bishop or a longing to install a more liberal one is really up to the eyes of the beholder. On beholder, Bishop Hanson, commented on our last contentious election and went on to point out that we had let diversity become a source of division. His actual words were that we needed to see the battle not through the lens of division but diversity. How that helps I am not sure, but since he offered crisis intervention, I am thinking is was merely an invitation to think about what we were doing to ourselves.

The congregations that left took their money along. The 5 % is not too bad if it wasn't for the losses from a poor economy that made the whole thing much worse. Our mission support from congregations is sometimes reported to be down in the 40% range but we will only have accurate numbers after the assembly next week. Rumors continue to circulate that synods will be merged because they are not economically sustainable. We shall see. It seems to be happening with the Methodists where I live if that is an indicator of the state of church in the heartland - specifically in Ohio. ANd, regrettably, yes, I know unhappy Methodists who see the writing on the wall concerning their latest dustup over the same issue that we tried to twist out off in 09. They wonder if a split is not in the future for them.

I see your posts, gentlemen, and I am suggesting to you that ELCA is a highly diverse place. The place where you live is not like mine. If I was in NJ I would probably look around and conclude that there was nothing to see here. But I do not live in NJ and there are now NALC and LCMC churches in a landscape that once was overwhelmingly ELCA in my neighborhood. I know of synods that reelect their bishops, either because they are beloved or because they have done no damage and are at arms length for all intents or purposes anyhow. I live a different reality. If I am skeptical concerning "diversity" in church expression and theology it is because I have seen the division it has led to in my synod and its bishop's elections seem to bear it out.
Peter Kruse

Diversity and tolerance are very complex concepts. Rigid conformity is needed to ensure their full realization. - Mike Adams

George Erdner

It would seem to me that in any synod where there was a significant exodus of congregations, then it only makes sense that the people who remain would be those most likely to support continuing the status quo. Those most likely to favor a change in leadership are, quite likely, the same people who are no longer affiliated with the ELCA.

By way of example, I know of several congregations in which the "losing matjority" on a disaffiliation vote left and started new congregations with different affiliations. Does anyone really think that those on the winning minority side who remain in the ELCA are likely to pick voting members for their synod assemblies who are likely to support change?

Make the consideration even simpler. If 10% of a congregation was dissident traditionalists, and they quietly left for new church homes, how likely is it that their former congregations will select other dissident traditionalists to go to their synod assemblies?

Don Whitbeck

Just think if the ELCA Leadership had listen to the people in the pews from the start, we wouldn't even have to think about all of these members leaving, as well as congregations there after.
The Voice of God will NEVER Contradict the Word of God

Erma S. Wolf

Quote from: Confessional Lutheran on June 01, 2012, 12:13:35 PM
Just think if the ELCA Leadership had listen to the people in the pews from the start, we wouldn't even have to think about all of these members leaving, as well as congregations there after.

It was never that simple.  Take it from one who was there for much of it. 

And by the way, whether I agree with what happened in 09 or not, the people who worked for 20+ years for those changes are "the people in the pews" also, as much as those who disagree.  Fewer in number, perhaps.  But I never thought the church should be run like a pure democracy, and that means (among many other things) that having more people in the pews on your side isn't what should determine how a church body determines doctrine and action, any more than majority rule in an assembly vote should.

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