Decent and Good Order

People who are trying to communicate with the Minnesota South District of the LCMS about the plan to sell off University Lutheran Chapel are being more or less shut down at every turn. One pastor wrote to the District President and got a reply that said something about how everything should be handled in “decent and good order.” So he ruminated on that and listed 8 things that constitute “decency and good order” in the district. Here are the first four:

  1. A task force was formed to discuss these matters in September 2010. The Board of Directors of MN-S apparently forgot to tell ULC that a task force had been formed to discuss the selling of their property. Good thing that someone from ULC happened to read the BOD minutes in late March to learn about the existence of the Task Force! Then, ULC didn’t find about the content of the meeting until April 15, 2011! It’s divinely lucky that ULC even got to go to the meeting where the plans to sell their buildings were being proposed to the Mission and Finance Committees! You know, so that all can be done… “in decent and good order.” Check the timeline here.
  2. As you notice from the emails that from the district officials, we are being told not to reply to their emails. The District is being transparent and open about discussing these things while NOT allowing discussion on them! Hmmm… is that troubling to you? This, of course, is done, “in decent and good order.”
  3. The Campus Ministry Task Force completed its assignment, developing a comprehensive plan for expansion of campus ministry to the colleges and universities located within the District, while exercising responsible stewardship of limited resources.” (here). What do they decide? They are going to “expand” the campus ministries by SELLING the church property of a vibrant congregation! I’ve worshiped at ULC – even taught and preached there. At the top of this post is picture – look at all the people! That congregation is alive! Is this your definition of “in decent and good order?”
  4. The District President’s email says that the Task Force’s proposal hasn’t been heard by the MN-S BOD. The problem here is that three of the members of the Task Force are members of the BoD! So, when the BOD considers this “proposal,” they are considering something written by three members of the BOD! Another three of BOD members are on the Mission Committee that the Task Force presented the proposal to at the April Meeting! And remember that Finance Committee that the proposal was presented to? Yeah, there are members of the Task Force on that committee too! I’ve included a chart of how diverse the people involved in this are! If you email me, I can send you the list with snail mail addresses so you can drop a letter to them (Praedicabitur in Tectis!!) By my count (and I got my degree in Classical Latin, so you might check me), seven of the twenty members of the MN-S BoD have already approved this plan in some way, shape, or form. In Louisiana, we’d call what’s going on “dirty” politics. In Illinois, it’s par for the course (grin). But, what’s it called when you really wanna do something in the Church? We call it “decent and in good order.”

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