Can you feel the “open communication”?

April 21st, 2011 Post by

In one of the many documents the Minnesota South District has posted, it claims to act in “the interest of open communication and transparency.” But when I emailed Dr. Peter Meier, Minnesota South’s mission exec, I received (20 hours later) a form letter response telling me “Please be assured that I have read and will share your concerns.”

Of course, I didn’t mention any concerns whatsoever in my email so that statement makes no sense. And then the form letter literally says:

“Please do not reply to this message as individual inquiries will not be addressed.”

So this would be what we call a press management #FAIL but it does tell us one thing. If we’ve gotten to the point where Meier is having to send out a form letter, people must be SERIOUSLY displeased with this action and letting Meier and other execs know.

Now, having been instructed not to reply to that PARTICULAR email, I will keep trying via new emails. Please let me know what questions you have for Dr. Meier. I’ll let you know when he responds to my request.






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  1. Rahn Hasbargen
    April 21st, 2011 at 16:28 | #1

    “So this would be what we call a press management #FAIL but it does tell us one thing. If we’ve gotten to the point where Meier is having to send out a form letter, people must be SERIOUSLY displeased with this action and letting Meier and other execs know.”

    I personally say “let ‘em have it” when it comes to letting the displeasure be known. This dispute between MNSD and ULC has been going on for 30 years, and it’s ABOUT TIME people who want the word of God taught in it’s REAL truth and PURITY get a chance to be heard on this matter. Given the nature of trying to handle disputes with fellow members of the body of Christ in private (and the sensitive nature of ULC being essentially under a mssion directive from the very district it has a dispute with), I think that when this matter finally sees “the light of day” many people who aren’t engaged day-to-day with this get caught off guard. PLEASE, PLEASE show proper respect for the leaders in our church at all levels, but make it ABSOLUTELY CLEAR in Christian love where you stand on this issue so there is NO DOUBT what you feel…..

  2. Ken H
    April 21st, 2011 at 16:47 | #2

    “Open communication and transparency”? If I may borrow a line from Inigo Montoya: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  3. Rev. Don Kirchner
    April 21st, 2011 at 16:55 | #3

    Thank you, Mollie, for continuing your work on this. U of M- Mpls is my undergrad alma mater, and I spent a lot of time in the Dinkytown area.

    http://www.dinkytownminneapolis.com/

    What better place to have a congregational Lutheran presence for students, nearly all who move as strangers to the area. My circuit counselor and friend, Pr. Allan Wierschke, probably would not be a pastor today except for University Lutheran Chapel and Rev. Pless. Rev Kind has continued that pastoral presence and the localized distribution of the means of grace.

    http://www.ulcmn.org/About/Our%20Pastor.html

    He was there when the I-35 bridge collapsed, two blocks from the church.

    http://www.lcms.org/pages/rpage.asp?NavID=12393

    The Issues Etc. archives has an interview about rendering pastoral care in the aftermath.

    http://www.issuesetcarchive.org/07aug.php

    The last time I was there was when Bishop Walter Obare made a stop and short presentation. Dinkytown and the U of M need more than memories of Bob Dylan’s hangouts. They need the life-giving University Lutheran Chapel.

  4. mames
    April 21st, 2011 at 18:31 | #4

    This kind of response is increasingly common among our leadership[on every level. Check the techniques mentioned in some of the CG methods where this behavior is excused in the bigger effort to GROW. It is a dishonest attitude in direct conflict with the very Lord they claim to be so concerned about sharing. It is also an old Alinsky tactic. We have met enough of these “holy” men to seriously question their salvation. Let them have it. As one who has I can tell you they can’t handle honest confrontation no matter how it is delivered.

  5. Dutch
    April 21st, 2011 at 18:36 | #5

    Mollie,
    Oh, I’m feelin’…., that “open & transparent” it ain’t, oxymoronic is more like it.
    Obviously, they either don’t know who you are or don’t care enough to have forethought of humility or the consquences…big mistake, huge, sending a reporter, a form letter, that doesn’t even begin to make sense, for starters.
    Can’t wait to see how this pans out for you. Me thinks an ounce of humility my be learned, will be had over there, whether or not it was requested or required. Keep us informed, thanks again.

    Blessed Easter to you & yours,
    Dutch

  6. Janet
    April 21st, 2011 at 20:19 | #6

    Interesting timing of this post! I just brought home from my church mailbox the latest “Michigan in Touch”, and our district president has a four-page article in it titled “Lent and Easter: Invitations to Honesty, Transparency, and Healing . . . . for ALL”. [I haven't read it yet, since I just got home.] This must be the latest emphasis by at least two DP’s now. Maybe they decided at a Council of Presidents meeting to push this in all their districts.

  7. Larry Kleinschmidt
    April 22nd, 2011 at 10:48 | #7

    How about sharing with us your original e-mail to Dr. Meier, Mollie?

  8. Mollie
    April 22nd, 2011 at 12:15 | #8

    Larry. It was pretty basic. the subject line was “interview request” and then I said I was working on a story about the sale of ULC and would love to discuss the matter with him. To please let me know when he might have a chance to chat. And then I signed off with my contact information.

  9. mames
    April 22nd, 2011 at 14:33 | #9

    @Janet #6 Oh yes. If our DP has an open door he sure has a effective manner of blowing folks off. They are open until you question their actions. Is it just me or are others out there finding it hard to find a Pastor willing to amid his failure and ask for forgiveness. Isn’t that the mark of a Christian? It SEEMS that Pastors as a group have a hard time of taking constructive criticism or any criticism for that mater. This make it very hard to be open with many of them.

  10. Jim
    April 23rd, 2011 at 06:13 | #10

    Since the topic of this thread involves events in Minnesota South, I was wondering if anyone has recommendations for a good confessional Lutheran church in the city of St. Paul. My family is currently involved in an evangelical/Calvinist/(kind of )Baptist church but finding our way back to good solid Lutheran theology and are looking for a church.

  11. Rev. Don Kirchner
    April 23rd, 2011 at 10:32 | #11

    St. James Lutheran Church, West St. Paul, Minnesota.

  12. Anon
    April 23rd, 2011 at 12:51 | #12

    Jim @#13…

    Another solid Lutheran church in St. Paul to consider visiting is:

    Bethlehem Lutheran Church
    655 Forest St
    Saint Paul, MN

  13. April 23rd, 2011 at 13:14 | #13

    ULC isn’t far from St. Paul…

  14. Oliver Young
    April 23rd, 2011 at 14:23 | #14

    @Jim #10
    Jim –

    Join us at ULC:

    1101 University Avenue SE
    Minneapolis, MN

    Holy Saturday Easter Vigil Service – 7:30 p.m.
    Easter Sunday – 10:00 a.m.

    We would love to have you and your family visit us at ULC. While we are the Campus Mission to the U of MN and other area universities and colleges, we have a diverse range of ages; from newborns to kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, high school, under-grad, graduate and beyond.

    When my family and I moved back to the Twin Cities in 1998, we searched for a church home (we were living in Maplewood) and after visiting a number of congregations, we joined ULC under the care of Pr Pless (it helped that ULC was recommended to us by Pr Matt Harrison, who was at Zion in Fort Wayne at the time). 12 years later we are still very active in the congregation and are truly blessed to be under the care of Pr David Kind.

    Do please consider visiting us to see how we proclaim the Word and administer the sacraments.

    Oliver Young
    Elder, ULC

  15. Redeemed
    April 25th, 2011 at 11:36 | #15

    Hey! Before I even read this post by Mollie, I typed out 20 letters to the So MN Board of directors (did some searching to find addresses), and am sending them snail-mail. Not as easy to delete.

  16. Darrell
    April 29th, 2011 at 01:43 | #16

    I can’t express in sad enough terms how tired I have become of the lack of churchmanship among many men in leadership positions in the LCMS. I have worked with many top level hospital administrators who showed more respect for mid-level managers and employees than MNS is showing Pr. Kind and ULC. Openness and transparency always begins with the leadership. These men are elected to serve, and this is not service. Reminds me too much of the federal government.

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