Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Metro NY Synod, ELCA proceeds with Gay Advocacy in a big way (with a little help from their friends [Payne and Hanson?]

Shrimp here: Where to begin? Let's see. There is this today in their synod E-letter:

Synods co-sponsor consultation on sexuality at Yale Univ., Nov. 4-5
MNYS and the New England Synod will co-sponsor a consultation on the 2005 ELCA Churchwide Assembly actions focusing on sexuality, Nov. 4-5 at the Yale Divinity Lutheran Studies Program, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. The consultation is aimed at moving forward constructively as a church committed to unity. Issues of pastoral care, liturgy, ecclesiology and mission will be discussed. A panel of Yale Lutheran Studies students will address issues relating to the future of the church and, in particular, its ministry to young adults and adolescents. Among the 11 participants are Margaret G. Payne, Bishop of the New England Synod; Michael Merkel, senior pastor at Bethesda, New Haven; Karen Bloomquist, director of studies for the Lutheran World Federation; Martin Wells, Bishop of the Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod; and Anita Hill from Wingspan Ministry, the ministry of pastoral care, education, advocacy and support for gays, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people at St. Paul-Reformation, St. Paul, Minn. For more information contact: Paul Stuehrenberg at or 203-432-5292.

Let's see, that would be the Anita Hill, the woman who seems to have won the short straw to be the lead lesbian in the charge on the ELCA assembly (was it the 2001 assembly where she gave her most influential speech? and the Journey Together Unfaithfully forced march began...hup-two-three-four)

That would be the same person that Mark Hanson (as Mnpls bishop) put forward to the candidacy Committee and kept changing the people on the Candidacy Committee until
she was approved for ordination.

Yes, that would be the same Anita Hill who tried to speak at Orlando while Sould Force did their nonviolent protest.

That would be here sitting on the dias with Bp Payne.... are you getting this. OK, who else?

Karen Bloomquist! The same Karen Bloomquist who helped write the disastrous first draft of the ELCA position paper on human sexuality! Yikes! What's this, she is now director of studies for the Lutheran World Federation! Oh no! Hanson, did you appoint the most radical feminist theologian alive (in the ELCA that is--I've met her, she's very nice, of course, but she does not believe Jesus is God, "not like God you know" and now she is)director of studies at LWF. We are so screwed.

So what else? Well, Metro NY is having a little assembly where they are going to say "Screw you, Orlando." Take a look here at the resolutions the poor folk have to endure Saturday.

Here's one:

Whereas, The 2005 Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America urged our church “to concentrate on finding ways to live together faithfully in the midst our disagreements;” and
Whereas, The discussion of the 2005 Churchwide Assembly concerning the ministry of partnered gay and lesbian persons provided no resolution of the disagreements by the action of a substantial majority; and
Whereas, A significant minority demonstrated their dissatisfaction with the current policy and practice of the ELCA with regard to the service in rostered ministry of partnered gay and lesbian persons, though no proposals for exceptions to or alteration of current policy achieved a majority at the 2005 Churchwide Assembly; and
Whereas, It is clear that no resolution of this matter acceptable to all persons is possible at this time; and
Whereas, Service in the rostered ministry of the church is neither a right to be claimed nor a privilege bestowed, rather it is the duty and obligation of both candidates and the church to discern the calling of God for service in the rostered ministry in specific persons; and
Whereas, This vocation is confirmed by call of the church to a specific ministry; and
Whereas, There are many instances where the process of discernment has identified candidates and settings for rostered ministry where the only impediment to the call of the church is the preclusion to service by partnered gay and lesbian persons as defined in ELCA policy; and
Whereas, Many gay and lesbian persons, partnered and single already serve in the rostered ministry in congregations of this church; and
Whereas, There are many instances where congregations have expressed their willingness to receive the ministry of partnered gay and lesbian rostered leaders; and
Whereas, Rather than limiting ourselves to one resolution of our disagreements, we ought to “invest the talents” given us in those places where call is extended to and received by partnered gay and lesbian persons and discern the working of the Spirit through the lived experience of the God’s people; and
Whereas, The Rabbi Gamaliel convinced the Sanhedrin not to act against Peter and the apostles saying, “…[I]f this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them--in that case you may even be found fighting against God!” [Acts 5:38-39, NRSV]; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That in furtherance of the goal of “finding ways to live together faithfully in the midst of our disagreements” the Metropolitan New York Synod Assembly endorses, and calls for, restraint in the administration of those policies that address the full service of partnered gay and lesbian persons in rostered ministry, in order that the ministry of such persons to and with our congregations may be seen and we may discern whether God “prospers the work of their hands” [Ps. 90:17] and they may be “[known] by their fruits” [Mt. 7:16, 20]; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the MNYS requests other synods to join us in endorsing the practice of restraint in the administration of policies applicable only to gay and lesbian rostered persons as a part of the continuing discernment process of the ELCA so that a number of ministries across the church may be looked to as exemplars through which our synods and the ELCA may evaluate the spiritual health and welfare of congregations and communities served by openly partnered gay or lesbian rostered ministers; and
RESOLVED, that in this time of disagreement and discernment all members of the ELCA earnestly pray: “Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” [Morning and Evening Prayer, LBW Prayer (251)]

Submitted by
Pr. William Baum, Pr. Michael Church, Pr. Amandus Derr, Pr. Gerard Gaeta, Ms. Allison Guttu, Pr. James Klockau, Pr. James Krauser, Pr. Gary Mills, Pr. Annemarie Noto, Pr. Brooke Swertfager, Pr. Phil Trzynka,
Pr. Dennis Walker
Our SaviorÂ’s Atonement, Manhattan

As pointed out over at the ALPB blog by a metro ny pastor, that is half of the ny power players.

So my only question is do you think Hanson knew about this before Orlando, or did he plan it himself?

later edition: Hanson perhaps is only guilty in the way of unintended consequences. A friend said that Hanson was probably more angry than me when he heard about it. personally, I doubt it. But since he hasn't commented as to date (Jan 16) who cares? I hope the whole lot of them are replaced soon.


Anonymous said...

I just saw the Yale gathering on the Metro NY website. My jaw dropped. I went to YDS back when it had a tremendous Lutheran presence (Lindbeck, Holmer, and Outka and Pelikan "down the hill"). It pains me to see what that place has come to.
By the way, welcome back, Shrimp! We need you for the fight ahead!

Shrimp said...

Well, if you get mail from Yale Alumni, drop 'em a line.... And wherever you are, write your Bishop and say, "I told you..."

Wish I could say it's good to be back. However, it's good to hear it whenever anyone expresses the wish to fight for the truth.

All right, kids, let's all do our bit.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy to talk with you about our conference, and how it has attempted to find a way to talk beyond the polarizing debates in the ELCA. We asked Bill Rusch to speak, and he was not able to attend. We don't only have progressive voices, and have asked those speaking to address ways of moving forward, but also if we can move forward, faithfully.

Chris Scharen
Yale Divinity School

Shrimp said...

Hey Chris, what's you email? I'm glad that you are happy.

What do you mean you don't have any progressive voices? Bloomquist is what? Moderate?

What are we moving forward to?

I do thank you for responding?

BTW, you do know that Bloomquist authored a sexuality study that suggested pastors teach their confirmands about marturbation? You are up on this, right?
If you would like a conservative voice I could help you.

Chris Scharen said...

Dear Shrimp,
I meant: we don't only have progressive voices. I know Karen is viewed by many as a heretic, off the scale liberal, and you might view Anita Hill in the same way. Bishop Wells is a moderate from a conservative part of the country and will bring a different voice. And the student panel, moderated by Gene Outka (who is a member of Trinity, New Haven, where Henry Pawluk, STS, is pastor) will address reasons one might want to have a ? after the title of our conference: "still living together faithfully."
I find that one of the challenges in staying in this conversation is to find the best articulations of positions I don't agree with, like the article Recognition, Not Blessing by Paul Hinlicky on the ELCA's Journal of Lutheran Ethics website, and think through that argument. His article is a model of restraint and charity, even if he worries deeply about the direction of many voices within the ELCA.

Steve said...

Thank you for your comments. I couldn't agree more. As an active Word Alone member it is amazing to me that places like Metro NY pulls stuff like this all the time and yet WA is constantly labeled as the troublemakers of the ELCA.

cialis said...

Hello, I do not agree with the previous commentator - not so simple

The good ship ELCA...

The good ship ELCA...
Or the Shellfish blog...