Monday, June 18, 2012

A hollow victory that leaves ruin in its wake...

Thankfully the district board’s resolution, 5-01, did not pass. 5-01 was a tragedy and would have only given ULC $250,000 and more importantly it would have probably put ULC under church discipline as it said that ULC had violated the 9th commandment among other lies and half truths. When 5-01 was presented to the floor for discussion a Pastor called for a substitute motion. The substitute was excellent as it directed MNS Board of Directors to withdraw from the sale of ULC and deed the property to ULC. President Seitz ruled the motion out of order and then someone challenged the ruling of the chair. The discussion, on the ruling, was great and gave a lot of good reasons why the sale was unethical. I argued that this would have never happened if the district leadership had listened that to the many people telling them this was wrong including the joint MNN and MNS Pastoral conference which voted overwhelmingly that this matter should be decided by the district convention and not the board. After the lengthy discussion the vote to overrule the chair failed 158-216. Then we were back to 5-01 and someone offered another substitute motion, this one directed 2 million dollars from the sale to go directly to ULC to continue its ministry. An amendment to change the 2 million to $500,000 was offered and then rejected by a vote of 142-228. The discussion on this was interrupted a couple times by orders of the day and then taken up again after a couple hours. The final vote of the motion to give ULC was yes-181 no-165. Which is a very hollow victory as the beautiful ULC will be destroyed by a wrecking ball. I pray that ULC will find a new home and continue with its confessional ministry at the U of M.

That is the report from the MNS District Convention.... So we sell and demolish a church building right next to campus, housing a very successful and faithful Campus Ministry and congregation.... and in the end we give nearly all the money back to the congregation to help them relocate... to a property further from the focus of their mission...

What was it Jesus said about the sons of darkness being shrewder than the sons of Light????


Anonymous said...

You have not presented "the" report but "a" report. This report does not mention that President Seitz was fair to all in presiding over this debate. You did not mention that no accusations were leveled by the floor committee, district officers, members of the Board of Directors or speakers in favor of the sale. It was Pastor Kind who came to the microphone to claim he was "attacked" by a speaker who related an historical event.

I was also at that all-state Pastor's conference and this report mis-characterizes the resolution of the pastors there. That resolution was to refer the matter to the Minnesota South District Convention, as is noted. However, the previous decision implies that it made a judgment that the sale was "wrong." Non-sequitor.

Moreover, this "report" doesn't reflect the confusion caused by "The Benken Rule", including the speaker who thought that defeat of the $2 million ammendment would have brought the original motion back to the floor.

Yes, this is crazy and nobody wins. But even more sad than having the building destroyed while receiving $2 million is that the original purpose was to use the proceeds to serve the other campuses in the state, including Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter, MN - a bastion of the ELCA where there is no true Lutheran congregation or voice in town. ULC will have a home for a few handfuls of students (most of their members and protestors at the convention were adults), but hundreds or thousands of others will have nothing.

From where I sit as a Pastor of the LCMS in out-state Minnesota South, one man successfully led a campaign to take $2 million of District assets and have it given to his own congregation. He sold his pastor's stole for a payout. Yes, everybody lost.

John said...

I was an alternate lay delegate to the convention. I attended the session re: the amendment to the BOD resolution that $250,000.00 be given to ULC. The amendment, giving $2,000,000.00 to ULC was NOT presented by either Rev. Kind, or ULC. I was not in attendance when the vote was taken.

I fail to understand why one viable congregation should be sacrificed in order for others to 'succeed'.

We were told, at convention that ULC has sent 14 men into the LCMS pastoral ministry. One wonders how many other congregations in MN South District have done so.

One wonders how many pastors and congregations would have responded with such grace and class as have Rev. Kind and ULC in like circumstances.

John said...

By the way, Anonymous - I have always been under the impression that a shepherd served the flock to which he has been called, and nobody else.

Anonymous said...

To the first anonymous... what might have happened if the District had approached ULC in good faith asking them to purchase the property at a reasonable and fair price (or even discounted) and offered to shoulder the loan for them over say 20 years? Would the District then have the $$ to put a mission in St. Peter (a small town of less than 10K already served by several ELCA and one WELS congregation plus services on Sunday in the Gustavus Christ Chapel)????

Rev. Weinkauf said...

Anonymous, as a pastor in the LCMS as you note, you should be ashamed to speak unnamed. Be a man of courage, integrity, of your convictions. Speaking from my experience and others who previously where anony. on various sites, people do comment differently when hiding behind another name.

And your cry of the poor souls at St. Peter? Is this the St. Peter that is a whole FOUR MILES from Mankato? ONLY 8 LCMS churches within 10 miles, only 17 within 20 miles. Yes, the people who decades ago gave money to have a church and property by UM understand.

David Gray said...

My understanding is the building was originally provided by both Minnesota South and Minnesota North. That seems to be forgotten at times.

Anonymous said...

We are witnessing a shameless example of the great lengths some LCMS pastors will go through to force Willow Creek and Saddleback Church theology on the rest of us. Have the "Missionals" no shame? The destruction of a viable campus ministry should never be forgotten. Shout it from the housetops!

Anonymous #1:

I do not live in MN; however, I have learned as a result of this incident NEVER to trust district officials.

Your testimony has validated my decision to ensure that my offering money will always remain within my local LCMS congregation via designated gifts. I would rather leave the LCMS than to see a single penny of my income get sent to my district. I will encourage everyone I know to vote with their wallets, ELCA-style.

Anonymous said...

what do you mean ULC has sent 14 men to the pastoral ministry?

ULC has sent 26 men to seminary over the tenure of Pastors Pless and Kind. She has also had students become deaconesses, Lutheran school teachers, LC-MS camp directors, missionaries, etc.