409,703 Clams, Bucks, Smackers, Dead Presidents and/or Cold Hard Cash Spent On Consultants by the Synod for Structure Proposals, by Pr. Rossow

Thanks to Rev. J Wheeler who went straight to the LCMS Treasurer Tom Kuchta, we now know how much was spent on consultants for the Blue Ribbon proposals: $409,703.

Tom Kuchta also mentioned that the money came from Thrivent. This is not Tom Kuchta’s excuse but I have heard this Thrivent line used to excuse such spending.  And what does that excuse? Would Thrivent have refused to give  the 409,703 clams if we had asked to for it to pay for seminary tuition? Would Thrivent have refused to give  409,703 smackers  in order to add a  missionary to the field? This is not fake money. It is real money, cold hard cash,  that is being spent by a real church in a real headquarters by a real president and for real live stuff, albeit conceptual, pluralistic, theological elitist, sociological gobbledy-gook speak.

You can see Rev. Wheeler’s original comments and the other comments in that string here.

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


409,703 Clams, Bucks, Smackers, Dead Presidents and/or Cold Hard Cash Spent On Consultants by the Synod for Structure Proposals, by Pr. Rossow — 30 Comments

  1. Did Sweet or Bell’s front money come from Thrivent too? Guess why my smarter, more Faithfull better half cut ties & pulled our family out of all things Thrivent. Oh, it’s “thriving” alright…but for whom and to whom?

  2. Please note, that Dr. Kuchta simply told me the amount and that it came from Thrivent. I quoted his exact and only words. Yes, I presume that this will be the excuse or defense. Dr. Kuchta only gave me the facts.

    How about money given to our Seminaries for student tuition? More pastors will provide more Lutherans and Thrivent would be happy with that.

  3. Rev. Wheeler – my bad. I will cahnge the post to better reflect this.

    (To those who are reading this after I changed the post, based on what I originally wrote one could imply that Tom Kuchta had given the Thrivent information as an excuse. He did not. He simply reported that Thrivent had paid for it.)


  4. Don’t shoot the messenger, Mr Kuchta, gave an answer, a factual amount. But, what was done with that amount, is the issue. Not the quote.

  5. NOTA BENE: The $409,703 is ONLY the amount paid to outside consultants! There are a LOT more costs associated with this whole Blue Ribbon process than just that. Think of all the expenses for meetings and travel and lodging and meals–what has already been spent and what will be spent. Think of the nine regional (overnight) gatherings coming up, for over 1200 delegates plus others, and all the costs to congregations for travel, meals, etc. Think of the two extra days added to the Houston convention, for over 1200 delegates plus others. Think of the steep increase in convention assessments to congregations for these gatherings and extra convention days. The $409,703 paid to outside consultants is just the tip of the iceberg. All for a bunch of proposals nobody was asking for anyhow.

  6. Good job, Rev. Rossow. And yes, Rev. Henrickson it just the tip of the iceberg. This is so sad!

  7. I wonder whether or not the average pastoral or lay delegate who struggles to make ends meet will consider this money well spent, especially in light of the lack of support for seminarians, missionaries, great Christian radio, etc.

  8. My godfather is a delegate, & no he does not know much. We must remember, that most delegates, only know what is passed to them by who they represent: not what they represent. Most (I say most) simply want to be of service, but who holds sway & who governs the info? Things that make ya go hmmmm. He used to read BJS earlier in the year. Prior to the SW district conv. My better half went over to the house & gave him all our info we had (We did our homework, thankfully was told so, big smiles).

    He refused to take the survey. Why? To weighty, to even discuss, let alone vote in the time given, with so little explaining of ramifications on our Church & for those in it.
    You can lead, the best of men, to the most basic of truth, but you cannot make them act. No matter how great your love for them, their love for you, or both loves for the LCMS.

  9. You may have overloaded him, Dutch. Let it sink in. Let him slowly digest this stuff, and come to his own conclusions. We grandfathers need to take our time.

  10. No actually, Johannes, he wasn’t. He took what we gave, right to his Pastor. “She did her homework on this.” Why hubby, didn’t get a nod, don’t know, should have though. That was back in April of this year. After the convention, he & my Mum spoke on it. He was gobsmacked.

    I know, not just grandpa’s need time, so do we all. But Johannes, time is a luxury, we no longer have. If the “mousy” kid of the family, can do this (mouse=Dutch) anyone should be & can be. The Lord doesn’t always allow, “private time” in perking things. We know what is good, right & True. We speak them always, and when called to, God forbid, we act on them. Thinking & pondering all facets, is what got us all here in the first place. Good, right & True, or it goes out, if it won’t go, you fight it were ere ye find it.

  11. @Paul Becker #7

    Well this delegate finds it ironic that it would appear having as many of us at the convention as they do is a huge financial drain, but spending this money was a good idea? I don’t think so

  12. I am so happy that we can use our donations to Issues Etc. and then let Thrivent cough up their portion. This goes for Heritage Foundation and Higher Things NOTHING GOES TO SYNOD. NO GUILT TRIP HERE GK!

  13. How interesting stewardship & partnership are in St Louis.

    -we sold a property in Hong Kong for 9.2 million clams-that has been designated by the Board, for the Board for Mission Services. What that will be used for I wonder, not the sems or universities, I wager, not for any actual missionaries in the field. Can we say Ablaze! in poor stewardship & Fanning the Flame of media savvy apostasy? Maybe protection funds to the UN?
    Ref-LCMS E news, no. 71 August 28, 2009.

    -in the Malaria Initiative, LWR, isn’t just “partnering” w/ELCA & UMC, it is also partnering w/ Untied Nations Foundation & The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, (BMF for short). LWR (LCMS maybe) took funds from the UN? From BMF, no way, Bill Gates, does anyone remember his Frost interview? ” I have no evidence of that” that was his response to “isn’t there something Divine in the human soul?”. We are mixed up, & mixing tithes, w/ the UN & the BM Foundation? You shake hands w/those of the world, you’re gonna get mighty dirty, in a defiled sort of way. You can find that info at the Untied Nations Foundation site, under UN Foundation Malaria Partnership. Can you hear the outcry, from every congregation, well, most, if they knew we are now partners w/ atheistic Bill Gates & the UN?!
    Ref. LCMS E News, UN Foundation Website, UN Foundation Malaria Partnership, 4/1/08. (Jokes on us folks.) Wee bit different now. UN…the UN…& BMF?

    -our sems & universties, sit under heavy bonds. Now the fact, they are taking Fuller grads, makes sense, as does their lack of Spiritual & financial support from those who founded them. It’s a “global” faith we have now, can we say Ablaze! in bondage? Who else sits under the UN? Rick Warren’s P.E.A.C.E. plan & Tony BLiar (that is what those in the UK call him) & Bliar’s Faith Foundation- for the Faithfully, Universally Inclusive. So VERY not your Grandfather’s Church

    -Project Wittenburg. the joint effort w/SELK. Do we really need vistor’s centers? In Germany? Has anyone ckd EU Laws, Deutsches Law on freedom of religion? It is mission, w/o a voice or Mission over there folks. For the tune of how much so far? We have family & friends im dem BDR, we talk a fair bit… politics are a dicey bit, but religion…that is a no go in conversation. No, I did not count mine w/Ablaze! ticker.
    Been, no “center” needed. Our laws do not follow us over there. We sit under theirs. If ya know what those laws are, mean & say & imply, what a waste of $$$$. Put in posh loo’s, they’ll be of better use & go further for the funds. We cannot re-establish a SELK congregation there, EU laws & German law & the city counsel all say no (Herr oder Frau Burgermeister). Wonder…will the UN connection help? How easy would it be, to paper trail funds from that project, into something else.

    The list goes on & on. It’s been said, you hold the purse strings you hold the power. You control information, you control the people. I’m not going to post links here folks. If it matters to ya, I’ll help ya, but won’t make it easy. If it matters so much, even though I have left for WELS, I still look. My in laws, Mother, godparents, cousins, and godchildren still dwell in LCMS. That is why I care, is it worth a bit of your time? There is nothing like doing it for yourself, finding out, by yourself, to fuel the care & concern you already bear. If a little girl pew sitter can find the time, make the effort, so can smarter, faster, more Faithfull Believers…. that I hope to become.

    I was taught, before you speak, don’t show what ya don’t own, do your homework kiddo.
    Will you? Hint, best to aquaint yourself w/UN policy & comment, ck out Gates’ views of religion. Ck out the papers across the Pond, about Project Wittenburg. LCMS website provides a wealth of info, if you play a bit. Google is a fantastic thing!

    You want to fight any battle, do your homework, know who you will fight, know how they stand & what they stand by, put on His Armor, and know the ground you stand on. They already know us very well indeed.

  14. Did a Thrivent member give $409,703.00 to Synod, Inc. for Thrivent to match or does Thrivent give out grants as well as matching funds?

  15. I have had it reported to me, second-hand, that the combined cost of the nine regional gatherings is $380,000. This would come out of the extra $900,000 that is being charged to congregations through the increased convention assessment. Presumably, the rest of that total, $520,000, would cover the two extra days in Houston plus “other purposes.” I would like to see if those figures can be confirmed, as well as see a more complete accounting of all the expenditures associated with the whole process.

    So when you combine the outside consultant fees ($409,703), the eighteen days for the nine regional gatherings ($380,000), and the two extra days in Houston plus “other purposes” ($520,000), that comes to over $1.3 million dollars. That’s just what President Kieschnick’s office/task force is spending on those few items. It does not include other expenses already incurred nor other costs to congregations and delegates.

  16. Thrivent’s web site says (and I don’t know when they updated it) that they have allocated 85% of this year’s matching funds.

    Wannabet on whether my contribution to Issues Etc gets matched?

  17. I know that our local Thrivent chapter has had to cut back on matching funds to congregational projects in our area. Yet somehow there are hundreds of thousands of dollars available to fund outside consultants for President Kieschnick’s task force. Hmmm. . . .

  18. Does 2 & 2 still=4? Just asking ! Or is there some other Foundation plunking out? Just wondering as others are!

  19. When you follow the money, and see how much and where it’s being allocated and spent, that ought to tell you what is important. The seminaries are a drag, missionaries are being recalled, but we gotta get that structure thing fixed! It’s an old ploy–you don’t like how the game is going, you change the rules. This is the real agenda. Oh, yes–you have to have a crisis of some kind. This time it’s something like “mission efficiency” I suppose. So this structure thing IS important. Take it from there. I also think if you look closely you’ll see that it’s the JF agenda. You could look it up.


  20. A good friend of mine who is an LCMS pastor recently told me that blogs like this are composed of people who talk to themselves, but do not want to listen to anyone outside the fold. Even more cutting, he said that these ruminations are like homeless men who mutter to themselves as they walk aimlessly along the road.

    I concur with this pastor. When I have posted on this website in the recent past, I as a former LCMS pastor have tried to engage in dialogue that would be beneficial to my hurting brothers and sisters in the LCMS. At times I have received civil discourse (for instance from Pr. Rossow), and at times I have either had my posts deleted or responded to in a bizzare “Olde English” way (by whoever “Dutch” is).

    If this post is allowed to remain, my prayer for the good brothers and sisters in the LCMS is that they will take seriously what the godly men who trained me imparted to me- to take the Word and Sacraments serioiusly. This means that you will guard the Holy Scriptures and the Altar with your life: Laymen are regularly consecrating the Eucharist in your denomination (especially lay vicars). Of all the signs of a need to break fellowship, this one rises above financial corruption, liberal political meanderings, and the dismantling of a venerable educational system.

    Why are you repeating the same pattern of Protestantism in this country by waiting for the Ordination of Women (for example) before you break bonds with this entity? Is it fear of loss of salary? Is it your grade A health insurance? Your pension? Lose your life for Christ’s sake and you will find it. Esteem the little children who reach out their hands at age two and three for Christ in the Eucharistic host by rightly administering it to them, and you will find your peace. For Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come to me, and do not forbid them, for such is the Kingdom of God”. Faith is a gift given in the Holy Mysteries of Baptism, Chrismation and Communion. Embrace the faith of the Apostles, and of Orthodox, Western Christianity; and the machinations of men will vanish like smoke, and melt like wax in a flame.

  21. @Fr Daniel #21

    Fr Daniel, it is not our policy to delete any posted comment. Please send me an email if you find a comment that is missing; it may have been caught by our spam filter. You can email me by clicking on “contact us” above the comment field.

  22. Friar Hackney, I apologized profusely to you & asked for forgiveness from you, in the post you reference. Again, the tone I used was in error, and again I do apologize for it.
    If those who still reside in the LCMS, want to fight for her, fight to preserve her Scriptural & Doctrinal foundations, that a futile fight? We do take the Scriptures & the Sacraments seriously, most seriously, & we treat our Doctrines most seriously, it’s why BJS is here.

  23. Fr Daniel,
    Lutherans believe Faith is by Christ Alone; Faith Alone; Grace Alone; Scripture Alone. I may have found my family unwelcome in my LCMS church, please don’t ask me to run back to Greece or Rome. Luther made that rather mute for me.

  24. “Even more cutting, he said that these ruminations are like homeless men who mutter to themselves as they walk aimlessly along the road.

    I concur with this pastor. ”

    Now there’s a great way to engage in dialog. I now return to muttering to myself as I walk aimlessly, barely cognizant of my neighbors to the East.

  25. Fr. Daniel,

    Blogging is certainly not the best venue for dialogue and probably not the best source for most information, but in many cases it is one of few places for people to find others with whom they share similar interests. It is also one of the only places those of us who are “out of the loop” can gain certain information and encouragement.

    Thanks for trying to engage us and help us. We may not respond to help sometimes because we are too busy getting things off our chests or too proud to receive help form a former Lutheran.

    I agree with you that we must take Word and Sacrament seriously and by the grace of God we do just that. I have not learned from Holy Scripture or the Lutheran Confessions that young children, or anyone for that matter, are prepared to receive the Lord’s Supper without proper catechesis. I am not familiar with the doctrine or practice of Chrismation.

    I do not agree that the matter of leaving the LCMS is solely a financial matter. Being in an local LCMS congregation and being in fellowship with family (both biological and church) is part of our being as Lutherans. It is not natural for us to leave our family. Christ has commanded that we must be separated from anyone who would come between He and us, but the opposite of that is happening in my home church congregation so I believe I am free to stay put. If I could convince my whole church family to leave the LCMS and join a more faithful Lutheran synod of congregations I would do so, but I do not think they are ready to do that. Therefore, if my pastor and congregation are faithful in Christ, I will stay until my conscience tells me otherwise. And we will stay in the synod until the whole congregation or perhaps the majority are ready to leave.

    Anyway, you are welcome to join this mumbling and sometimes aimless walker who often feels like he is not at the home in the LCMS.

  26. So, Danny, you spew ad hominems at Lutherans in “blogs like this,” make unsubstantiated accusations against the blog moderators, and then you advocate that we Lutherans should jump in the Bosporus to swim over to what? Eastern heresies?!? To join you and others who have broken ordination vows and deserted the Lutheran confessions?!?

    In your delusions… and your shame.

  27. Fr Daniel,
    Friar Hackney, again, I wait here, for the second time. I admitted my error & my wrong against you, I have repented to my Lord and to you & asked your forgiveness for a second time. Oddly enough, I am seeing the same pattern of response: stone, cold, silence.
    The basic teachings, of both our churches are relatively the same. Repent & forgive. You do not help the cause you proport above by withholding such. That is not what either of our Church’s teach.
    The consequences of such, may differ a bit betwixt the two but the precept of Scripture is the same. Apparently, East cannot meet West.

  28. Friar Daniel,
    What is your response to the explainations & ruminations of your own words?


    You referred to yourself as a “ecumenical mutt”? You were/are worth more than that!!!

    According to your own words, leaving the LCMS was difficult for you, because of the retirement & health care benefits. How ironic, that is what you accused those Pastors here at BJS of doing? “Me thinks thou dost protest too much”. Have you sought out those you shepherded in your congregations for the misleadings you bore over the ten years you were held Office in the LCMS? Did you seek their forgiveness for misleading them, knowing the True Church was in the East? Did you seek out those you mislead, according to your own words?

    Shifting sand Fr Daniel, shifting sand. You find no Safe harbor, so you deny others their own. To condemn those who run BJS or post, is to err. It is your own error that bids you post, not theirs.

  29. The link was cut off above, it should end as follows:


    You stated your committed to “religious pluralism”, if a Jewish soldier….

    All Inclusive spirituality, vs exclusive True Faith. Now I see…. the method of your discourse.
    Mississippi, Florida, an Missouri, your previous congregations, I think, need to hear a word or two from you.

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