Immediate Action Required – Get Your E-mails/Phone Calls In to Synod!

It has been brought to our attention that the Board of Directors meets this week (Feb. 19-20), and the Council of Presidents meets this weekend. Let them know of your displeasure with the way the Board of Directors is wasting synodical money and time wrangling for the Issues, Etc. trademark. Get your emails sent to your District President and the members of the BOD  ASAP! Click on those links to get contact information from

Talking points might include:

  • Why does the LCMS want the trademark for Issues, Etc. when they have already canceled the show for economic reasons?
  • How much money is being spent on this? It is clear that law firm partners are working on this which means large billings to the LCMS. Do you as a BOD member/District President   know how much is being spent?
  • Does this seem like a good thing to spend money on when our ordained missionary pool is being cut?
  • Does this seem like godly action – to harm the livelihood of men who produce a show that has done so much to bring so many people to the truth of Lutheranism and to build up those who are already Lutheran?

Read the last few days posts and comments on this and add to the list.

There are also sample emails and other information available on the LCMSpolitics site.

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord,, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at


Immediate Action Required – Get Your E-mails/Phone Calls In to Synod! — 13 Comments

  1. Thanks for the heads up.
    I sent my email, and immediately got my ‘personal’ auto-reply that my email was important, but probably wasn’t going to be replied to promptly. Apparently GK is getting quite a lot of email. (Or maybe he always handles it this way.)

  2. at the risk of sacrificing a few trees, I would suggest faxing a note also. E-mails may or may not be read, can be easily deleted, etc.
    A fax on a piece of paper is harder to ignore and might make a more lasting impression (anyone remember “Mr Smith Goes to Washington”?)

    Synod’s fax # is 314-996-1016

  3. Sent… as suggested by #1 Jen:

    To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], ,

    CC: “Issues, Etc.” , ,

    Dear Sirs,

    Please drop your pursuit of the Issues Etc. trademark. You have cancelled the show for your own “financial” reasons and have not replaced it with anything meaningful or utilized the name. You have fired the two individuals responsible for the show and said you hold no malice to them. You claim to be in financial shortfalls in many areas including missions forcing the recall of ministers from remote locations. YET you squander the resources of Synod on this frivilous trademark pursuit without reasonable justification. You threaten harm to the two individuals you fired in the pursuit of their vocation and their correct and courageous proclaimation of Christ’s Gospel.

    Again I request that you cease this meaningless and pointless pursuit. Consider how ridiculous you appear. If nothing else – shine daylight on your reasoning for this action so that we may know why you take such pointless actions.

    In Christ,


  4. A better list of email addresses for this is at,, and I’ve put it below – Thanks Scott.

    Email addresses for the LCMS Board of Directors:

    Rev. Victor Belton: [email protected]
    Mr. Walter Brantz: [email protected]
    Mr. Kermit A. Brashear: [email protected]
    Dr. William Diekelman: [email protected]
    Dr. Betty Duda: [email protected]
    Dr. Gloria Edwards: [email protected]
    Rev. Raymond Hartwig: [email protected]
    Mr. Tom Kuchta: [email protected]
    Dr. Robert Kuhn: [email protected]
    Chaplain Donald Muchow: [email protected]
    Mr. David Piehler: [email protected]
    Mr. Curtis Pohl: [email protected]
    Mr. Roy Schmidt: [email protected]
    Rev. Jeff Schrank: [email protected]
    Dr. Kurt Senske: [email protected]
    Mr. Walter Tesch: [email protected]
    Mr. Ron Schultz, Chief Administrative Officer: [email protected]

  5. I’m going to be a wet blanket here, I just know it and will probably sound like some sort of curmudgeon. Oh, wait I already sound line one! Oh well, here goes.

    You request your readers, including me, to email the BoD of the CoPs in regard to our displeasure regarding the Synod’s threatening folk in regard to Issues, Etc.

    Why? What part of this Synodical bullying can a reasonably intelligent person NOT understand and object to? Why to they need our voices – they should be in the forefront of objectors. It is right before their eyes. Their ears have heard and their eyes seen the evil and lies that have been perpetuated against you folk. They, were among the first that were informed. They were the ones that an explanation was given first. They had all of the documentation that has been spoon fed to us later.

  6. Sorry, I hit the wrong button, I was not done with my rant. Also, sorry forthe typos, I didn’t get a chance to correct them.

    Let me draw it to a close here by simply saying regardless of one’s political/theological bent in this matter it is unconscionable to not already to have prepared for these two meeting (CoP and BoD) a resolution, rebuke, etc. regarding the Synod’s legal team and PoTS as it attempts to threaten and bully the Issues, Etc. folk.

    An email or a phone or fax seems reasonable, but it is not. If they will not listen to their consciences they will not listen to 10,000 folk who object.

    I predict! I predict they will obfuscate the issue of Issues, Etc. Make it your fault and proceed with their threat and not a voice in the BoD or the CoP will object publically. After all one must protect the institution above all else the truth, integrity and the Gospel be “darned.”

  7. Do we know for sure that LCMS is actually paying Thompson Coburn for this action rather than them doing it pro bono?

    If there’s a chance that LCMS can easily dismiss the charge that they’re wasting money on this, then it may be better to focus our objection on moral and ethical grounds.

  8. Elnathan,

    You ask, why contact the BoD of the CoP?

    Because, in the case of the BoD, they are counting on your silence.

    Because, in the case of the CoP, most of the District Presidents and the Presidium are insulated, and don’t even know anything is happening.

    And mostly because this kind of thing happens to unknown pastors in the LCMS all the time, at the District level. But in those cases, the targets don’t have a radio show or a large following. They are at the mercy (!) of their DPs, who operate behind a veil of secrecy and silence.

  9. My note to the Indiana District President Daniel May:

    Why is LCMS threatening legal action against the now independent Issues Etc radio program over a trademark for a program that they canceled a year ago? What is the Indiana District doing about this situation at the synod level? I believe there is a right and wrong action to be taken here! The wrong action would be to say nothing and to let this threat of legal action continue. The right thing to do would be to stop wasting synod funds on such a trivial lawsuit.

    And Pastor May’s response this morning:

    Greetings in Christ Bill,
    Thank you for the note, but I am not aware of the lawsuit which you mention. Where did you hear about this? While I would discourage such a suit, I am not aware of one that is pending. In Christ, President May

    My response to the President:

    Additional information, including several source documents involved in this dispute can be found here:

    1. Pastor Wilken’s summary and response of the situation (web extra open mics on trademark dispute and legal threat from LCMS):
    2. Many links to source documents and commentary can be found here:

    Thanks again for your time!


  10. The following is a response I received to my email in #4 above:

    Dear Paul:

    Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, through whom alone we have forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation!

    President Kieschnick has received your email and has asked me to respond in his behalf.

    President Kieschnick has neither initiated a lawsuit against anyone connected with the radio show “Issues, Etc.,” nor has he threatened or encouraged a lawsuit or any other type of legal action. Any allegations to the contrary are simply untrue. The President of the Synod has neither the authority nor the desire to initiate legal action on behalf of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. That authority is vested solely with the Board of Directors of the Synod.

    In his role as a member of the Synod’s Board of Directors, President Kieschnick is not aware of any lawsuit or threat of any lawsuit against Rev. Todd Wilken or Jeff Schwarz. By means of a copy of this email, Mr. Ron Schultz, Chief Administrative Officer of the Synod, is being requested to further respond on behalf of the Board of Directors.

    President Kieschnick desires a speedy and God-pleasing resolution to matters connected with the proposed transfer of the trademark in accordance with the Board’s previous action and prays that those involved are working together to conclude the matter.

    Thank you for the opportunity to clarify any misinformation that may exist regarding this issue. Peace be with you.

    Jon Braunersreuther
    Rev. Jon Braunersreuther
    Senior Assistant to the President
    The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
    1333 S. Kirkwood Road
    St. Louis, MO 63122
    Tel: 314-996-1424
    Fax: 314-996-1119
    Run in such a way as to get the prize. I Corinthians 9:24

  11. To the response above I sent the following with the pdf file of the Wilken letter attached (thanks LCMSpolitics).

    Ok Pastor Braunersreuther,

    Please explain the attached then. Please review, in particular, the section quoted in my first email.

    I have been in discussions with President Kieschnick and President Mirly concerning some other items and have found their statements to be forthright and potentially honest but not, in fact, true. I look forward to hearing Mr Schultz’s explanation and information. I also look forward to the Board of Directors and President Kieschnick’s loud proclamation from the highest tower that they are rejecting their legal counsel’s recommendations to pursue the Issues, Etc. trademark and will allow Mr. Schwarz and Pastor Wilken to operate their organization and show without interference from anyone related to the LCMS.

    In Christ – who knows the heart,


    HOWEVER after further consideration and discussions I have followed up with this email with the Wilken letter attached again:

    Dear Pastor Braunersreuther,

    You are speaking for President Kieschnick at his direction but what involvement do you have in this matter?

    So, a few questions for you. Until I sent the letter attached to my previous email (and this one as well) had you seen it? Were you at the Board of Director’s Meeting in November? If you were there, did President Kieschnick encourage continued legal action in the trademark matter? Simple questions requesting only a “yes” or “no” answer.

    Thank you for your time.

    In Christ,


    AND decided to ask the same questions (less the “were you at the meeting question”) of President Kieschnick as follows:

    Dear President, Dr. Kieschnick,

    I have received the prepared response to the Issues, Etc. trademark situation from Pastor Jon Braunersreuther but would like your direct answer to a few questions. I understand you are a busy person but this matter is of a large concern to me and I appreciate your time.

    Have you seen the attached letter? At the Board of Director’s November meeting did you encourage the continuation of legal action in the Issues, Etc. trademark situation? These are simple questions and I’m requesting only a “yes” or “no” answer unless you would like to elaborate further.

    Thank you for your time.

    In Christ,


    SORRY for all the posting but I encourage everyone that is so inclined to ask very simple questions so the answers may not get bogged down in the Clintonesque, legalese verbiage that at least I’ve come to expect.

  12. I also sent an email to Indiana district President Dan May, the BOD and the BCS this morning. I’ve already received a response from President May which includes the following:

    “An argument over the NAME of a program does not seem worth the effort to me. I will urge both parties to cease and desist. I strongly support the right of the producers to Issues Etc. to be heard and to speak freely. But a debate over the name of the program seems to be a matter of people looking for an argument. If either side decides this is worthy of mission money for court costs, I will strongly object. Unless there is a lot more information than this it seems to be a lot to do about nothing. I will see what I can find out, but I am truly sorry about apparent willingness of God’s people to argue about such matters.
    In Christ, President May”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.