Sunday, June 28, 2015
The season of my discontent. . .
So whatever business is held on Sunday morning of the District Convention schedule will be done without me in attendance. I will drive the four hours back home on Saturday night so that I will be in the pulpit and at the altar with my people on Sunday morning. Probably not very many folks in the parish have any appreciation for my little rebellious act but that does not matter. No church meeting is so important it should be scheduled over a Sunday morning and take the majority of pastors away from their place among their people to sit around tables. The truth is that too much of what happens at church conventions is less business than it is cheerleading time. I am not opposed to rallying people for the cause but whatever time we have allotted the convention we will fill -- even if some of it is fluff and it consumes time we should be using to debate the serious business of the Kingdom.
So, on this Sunday, while most of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod pastors of my district are in Memphis, I will be back in Clarksville. . . my own little protest. One day by sheer force of character, we shall prevail. . . at least that is my hope!
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Why can't the pastors all collectively protest by contacting the Synod to object to Sunday morning conventions?
The scheduling says much about the importance that the LCMS attaches to the role of the Pastor in his parish. If he can be arbitrarily called out for a meeting such as this, why be surprised when the folks in the pew say that they have to go to their son's athletic events, their daughters dance recital, etc?
I have to say, I am surprised at this. To call all the Pastors out of their parishes is to simply make them all vacant for a Sunday. The damage done should be evident.
Continuing Anglican Priest
I'm curious how many districts practice this sort of scheduling. None of the three that met at Concordia University in Ann Arbor recently--the English, Ohio, and Michigan Districts--included a Sunday morning conflict, nor did the Northern Illinois District when I served there some years ago.
Whatever the case, rebellion against such scheduling is quite appropriate. May your tribe grow and prosper.
Pr. John Rutz
The Northwest District meets Thursday through Saturday.
When I was in the ELCA we regularly protested the synod from having it's assemblies over a Sunday. We also protested by fulfilling our call. One year I wrote a resolution to change the practice. I was accused of being against "lay preachers" (It was a correct accusation)...and the time given for my resolution, yes, you guessed it: Sunday morning. The only time I was at a synod assembly on Sunday. "Never on a Sunday..."
CNH just voted this spring to stop meeting over Sundays effective in three years. :)
One such resolution (to keep Sunday holy in the Mid-South, died in committee three years ago.
John Rutz, the Northern Illinois District met on Sundays for many years, the last time being 2006. In part, they were able to stop meeting on Sundays by reducing a 3-day meeting into 2 days, mainly by using electronic balloting and trimming the number of elected boards and committees. But the delegates had debated for many a previous convention before finally agreeing to stop meeting on Sundays. If you want change in this area, be prepared to work a decade or two to get it.
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