Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Seismo-theological alert

Scallop checking in from the Monitoring and Emergency Preparedness Center of the Institute For Seismo-Theology (IFS-T):

The IFS-T student body and faculty here just read the following ELCA newsblast and are calling for an all-out response in preparation for the discussions announced below:

May 4, 2010

ELCA Leaders to Respond to Actions, Comments by Lutherans in Africa

CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will discuss concerns about the actions of the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly on human sexuality with Lutheran church partners from Ethiopia and Tanzania in private meetings to be held in Chicago during the next two weeks.
The Rev. Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop, said he will meet with the Rev. Wakseyoum Idosa, president of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) in Chicago on May 10. Hanson also said he will meet with the Rev. Alex Malasusa, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) May 18. Malasusa will be in Chicago for a companion synod consultation with ELCA Global Mission staff.
Last month leaders of the two African churches expressed deep concern over decisions of the 2009 assembly and, separately, the Church of Sweden, on sexuality matters. The two African churches focused their public comments on opposition to same-sex or same-gender marriages.
The Church of Sweden, the ELCT, the EECMY and the ELCA are the four largest churches in the Lutheran World Federation, (LWF), a global communion of churches.
Hanson said he expects to have "honest and open conversations" with both leaders, and added that it is his practice to communicate directly with leaders in companion churches. The ELCA presiding bishop said he plans to share with both leaders "the ELCA's shared commitment with partner churches to be engaged in God's mission for the sake of the world."
Since the churchwide assembly, ELCA Global Mission staff has been communicating with companion churches "our intent to continue to be respectful of local policies and practices in the assignment of mission personnel and the development of shared ministries," said the Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla, executive director, ELCA Global Mission.
At the Africa LWF Pre-assembly and Church Leadership Consultation held in March in Nigeria, Malpica Padilla said the ELCA is "deeply grateful" for the companionship of the African churches.
"For many decades our churches have walked together, sharing their gifts and talents for the proclamation of the gospel of salvation and hope in Jesus Christ. This companionship in the gospel has strengthened the bonds of sisterhood and brotherhood between our peoples." Malpica Padilla added that these relationships are "historical and deeply rooted."

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Here at IFS-T (that's the Institute for Seismo-Theology), an interdisciplinary response in anticipation of the private meetings between Hanson and Idosa (May 10) and Malasusa (May 18) is being mobilized. Early reports from various student organizations and faculty groups:

· The IFS-T Prayer Network is calling for an all-out, hit-the-ground-on-your-knees prayer vigil during the days leading up to the meetings, and 'round the clock/'round the world on May 10 and May 18. Lots to pray for -- the partner churches and their leaders are in Ethiopia and Tanzania are shaking things up with their willingness to make the good confession. Kneel with them.

· The social-networking set is reminding everyone who’s participating in the Prayer Network’s vigil to let your prayers be known. Post your prayers here ... or on your favorite blog. Do be respectful and intentional in your prayers and in any messages reporting same.

· Several graduate assistants are setting up a monitoring study – their hypothesis is that "knees hitting the ground can be detected by seismological monitors being adapting for this purpose." Seismological reporting stations, take note.

· The journalism faculty’s contribution: To call for “honest and open reporting” of the hoped-for “honest and open conversations” on May 10 and 18. They really hope against hope for open meetings in a disclosed location. Please pray for their intentions.

· Historians would like to conduct pre- and post- interviews of the three church leaders. They also are calculating odds on what the first question from the African leaders to their ELCA counterpart will be. “Do you repent?” is an odds-on favorite.

So much for now.

Scallop out.


TeeJay said...

May the Holy Spirit reign in the conversations. But I fear that the "closed door" scenario that ELCA Chicago plans for them will attempt at hiding a lack of repentance. It seems that our African guests come as prophet Amos to the king, but the "ELCAking" progressive agenda operates with closed eyes, ears and mind.

Scallop @ Institute for Seismo-theology said...

Limited news out of the 'quake zone: through the ELCA Presiding Bishop's Office.

Item: Private discussions took place in Chicago last week with four of the ELCA's global partners --leaders of of the ELCA's partners, churches in Ethopia, Tanzania, Sierra Leone and China Christian Council

Item: PB Hanson told the ELCA News Service that he and the leaders from Ethopia and Tanzania agreed to keep the content of their ongoing conversations (regarding the African churches' "deep concerns" about ELCA sexuality-related decisions and directions "confidential." Hanson: ial. "We believe that concerns are best worked out through church-to-church relationships rather than through public statements," he said.

Item: No such "confidentiality" needed on discussions with Sierra Leone and CCC.

Read it all, such as it is, at .

To follow the news of the partner churches directly, add and to your favorites.

The good ship ELCA...

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