Friday, August 27, 2010

Live from the NALC Convening Convention

The church's server won't let me go to my blog to post so I've relocated over lunch to send this out...

Remarks of Pastor Larry Lindstrom, LCMC Board Chairman

We know what it's like to be accused of tearing the church apart.
We need people who are willing to stand up and be counted for Scripture and the gospel. We've been where you are - we were here first. :) We hope to share some things, experiences with you, lessons learned, etc. Let's share our experiences together.

Leadership of LCMC and NALC have already met together. First meeting was in January in TC.

Let's pray together and for each other as siblings who love each other.

For congregations that want to make a stand, there are now 2 very good options.

Sees congregations joining both LCMC and NALC.

Cooperative ventures are ahead.

Both bodies have creative DNA to make the road ahead very exciting.

Elections Report
772 cast for CORE steering committee
Top 4, 2 year term; next 4 to 1 year term. Minutes will be published.
Also CORE newsletter.

Unanimous ballot for officers: passed. declared elected.
Bishop Paull Spring elected bishop
Exec Counsel (see below)
Court of Ajudication (see below)

Brief remarks by Pastor Paul Ulring (who now replaces Mark Chavez as Moderator of CORE.)

Roy Harrisville, Jr., acknowledged for early leadership in Solid Rock.

Most of the people we're familiar with are stepping back. New leadership.

Remarks by Bishop Paull Spring - "Why would I do this? Because I'm committed to what we're after."
The office of the NALC is the spare bedroom at the home of Bishop Paul Spring.

There is a certain sense of remorse that we all share, but a sense of hope and optimism and excitement.

Elected as Lutheran CORE Moderator: Pastor Paul T. Ulring
Secretary: Pastor W. Stevens Shipman
Treasurer: Ralph Wittenburg
Steering Committee: Challa G. Baro, Pastor Eddy Perez, Pastor Karl Andrew Johnsen, Captain Raymond J. Brown, for 2 year terms; John Pleuss, Lynn Kickingbird, Pastor Tom Brandt, Mathison for 1 year term.

NALC Leadership
Bishop, Bishop Paull Spring
Executive Counsel: (Lay) James Hansen, Carol Lattier, Ryan M. Schwartz, Kay Johnson Weaver; (clergy) Pastor Donald Allman, Pastor N. Amanda Grimmer, Pastor Victor Langford III, Pastor Jim Lehmann.

NALC Court of Adjudication
Richard F. Currey
Jon E. Evans
James Gale
Rev. Dr. Jeffray Greene
Pastor Ralph Kempski
Carolyn Nestingen
Rev. Dr. Ronald Warren went live yesterday

Ministry Policies Working Group Report by Bishop Paull Spring

There are policies established for approving seminarians, rostering clergy, call process and mobility.
There are policies yet to be developed that included the ministry of lay people, deacons/deaconesses, etc.

Constitution of the NALC.
Includes a couple interesting items:
a.) apportionment. All churches should, in theory, shoulder an equal share of the national church budget. Does this mean there will be a required percentage paid to the national body? This is unclear at this time.

b. membership in secret societies prohibited. This was surprisingly a lively debate. The constitution prohibits membership. A movement to amend this part was suggested.

In support of amending above - the LCA was anti- masonic, LCMS anti-masonic; could be used against STS or other church societies in the future.
Could be used as a witch hunt in the future. The Holy Spirit will protect us.

In support of keeping the wording: Spiritual warfare - spirits let into a church body - protective to church body
In essence it's to prevent people from keeping secrets that would destroy the church.

Amendment was defeated soundly.

One speaker, in an emotional speech, said she could not support the new constitution . The ELCA had committed a schismatic act in Minneapolis last August. And you can't fight a schismatic act with a schismatic act. She asked that we pray for us who are called to stay and be a faithful remnant.

Another speaker pointed out that the constitution says the bishop is in charge of ecumenical conversations. With the future surely involving working together with other Lutheran groups, this will occupy an ever increasing amount of time. In an amendment referred to the executive council, it was suggested that former bishops in the NALC should become a counsel of bishops (for life) and handle such things for the "presiding" bishop. Referred to executive council.

Point of interest: all future changes to constitution must be approved not only by a vote of a convention, but also by a majority vote of individual congregations. This is similar to LCMC's procedure and guarantees that there will be no repeat of the ELCA's actions in August 2009. What generated a great deal of conversation, however, was a clause that states that after 12 months of inactivity, a congregation's vote is considered to be in favor. In other words, if the congregation doesn't vote, in a year, they are listed as having automatically voted in favor of the resolution. There was much talk about how, after so many congregations had "no idea" about what the ELCA was doing, this could be good practice. So, there are things still to be ironed out.

Several other items that popped up and were referred to the Executive Council for consideration:
can a pastor join NALC without a congregation? In other words, if the pastor wants to leave the ELCA but the congregation is too deeply divided, can the pastor join NALC and stay at the ELCA congregation? (It was brought to everyone's attention that the ELCA probably wouldn't stand for this anyway).
can an individual person join NALC? For instance, if you belong to an ELCA congregation that stays, can you yourself join NALC?
Should the "other" Lutheran Confessional writings be given the same weight in the constitution as Augsburg?

The session ended with the passing of the provisional constitution. We sang the doxology and prayed for guidance. A new denomination is born.

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