Synod and its real estate businesses.

Recently, there has been a lot of posts about the campus ministry situation in Minneapolis.  If you look at all of the various posts here on BJS you will find a number of “testimonials” of former members of ULC and also a plea for reconsideration by a great number of pastors and deaconesses that are involved in campus ministries across this country.  If you are interested in the full picture, check out this website:

Higher Things has also addressed this issue:

What an amazing testimony to the lasting affects of the Minnesota South District’s past commitment to the campus ministry at ULC.  If they ever were concerned as to whether they were making a difference with ULC, the answer lies in all of the comments and responses to this situation.

Now the bad news, here is an article from the University of Minnesota’s online news highlighting the situation, and our Synod is not being viewed very well.

I remind you all that this is the same Minneapolis that just two years ago saw an entire Lutheran denomination fall from grace.  So on one side, the Lutherans are taking the world hand in hand and abandoning the faith, and on the other now the Lutherans (conservative ones) are cannibalizing things and becoming involved in real estate deals which remove pulpits and altars.

A side note to this situation, how will all of the new campus ministries be viewed if they are the result of a real estate deal which robbed a congregation of their building (against their will)?  Will this not taint every single one of these new ministries?

There have to be other options for the Synod, or its district than selling off church buildings.  Perhaps we should start with things that do not involve the Divine Service or feeding of souls (district properties without congregations, pulpits, or altars to serve souls in need).  If a real estate deal is needed, those buildings which are not directly involved in Word and Sacrament ministry ought to be considered first.

On a personal note, I was an attendee of the other property in this situation, Campus Lutheran Chapel at Minnesota State University, Mankato.  I remember that after my first year at college the chapel was being considered for being shut down, but in that situation the district did come in and listen to us students about the value of the chapel.  In the end the chapel was saved, but sadly, the faithful man who served at that altar was called elsewhere.  When things started up the next school year, I remember losing interest in the chapel because it now was offering only “contemporary” services.  Often those who consider such services to be a great evangelism tool forget about the souls that those services drive away.

Lastly, I only dread what will come out a year from now on Holy Tuesday.

I would encourage all of you to voice your concerns and also praise for the past support that MNS has given to ULC.  Sometimes we bear financial hardship in order to serve souls in need (let’s remember what is important here).




About Pastor Joshua Scheer

Pastor Joshua Scheer is the Senior Pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He is also the Editor-in-chief of Brothers of John the Steadfast. He oversees all of the work done by Steadfast Lutherans. He is a regular host of Concord Matters on KFUO. Pastor Scheer and his lovely wife Holly (who writes and manages the Katie Luther Sisters) have four children and enjoy living in Wyoming.


Synod and its real estate businesses. — 8 Comments

  1. I remember losing interest in the chapel because it now was offering only “contemporary” services. Often those who consider such services to be a great evangelism tool forget about the souls that those services drive away. –Formerly in Mankato

    They “forget” because they simply don’t care about Lutherans who want to adhere to historic lcms positions. Anyone who gets in the way of their “improvements”, e.g., “open” communion, is told that they know where the door is. They expect a loss of 10%+ when they go to open communion and “CoWo” [as stated by a Tx Dist officer].

    What they don’t admit is how often those losses are not made up, and in fact the “revitalized” congregation shrinks further. Even those who were in favor can be found elsewhere (or nowhere) after a year or so, as I subsequently found out. [Est 600 to 424 baptized members 10 years later]

  2. I don’t seem to remember, missional, evangelism, or proper & echt, church growth including or precluding: filling or amending filling district or Synodical coffers.

    This is an appalling view, of how unruly & self serving, & narcissistic the districts have become. I pray that no one founds/bases this in yet, another law suit.
    I don’t know, we don’t know, this or that is in charge of, is becoming a standard rather than a thoughtful response. Campus ministry is being delegated or given over, for other Denom’s as it is, this is a living Church. The only offence they have is being set on a lucrative piece of land. Remind me again, Who sets & founds a Church?!

  3. Being a graduate from Mankato and being blessed with Campus Lutheran Chapel where I attended, met and married my wife at the Chapel and also a major reason for the growth of my faith and my active participation in my church.

    Last year during the summer I stopped at the Chapel and found it locked. I drove around and noticed new Campus Ministry building for WELS, ELCA, Catholic, Methodist etc. (and I am sure if I had looked more I would have found others including Islam) which were not there the last time I was there. This means that other churches see the need and truely believe in reaching the students on the university campus with a church building.

    June 18th and 19th my wife and I are attending an Alumi gathering from Gamma Delta and Campus Luhteran Chapel at the Chapel in Mankato to gather with others who remember our time at the Chapel and how it contributed to our faith for the rest of our lives and to see old friends.

    It is sad to see the LCMS not understanding that the two largest schools in Minnesota that have great facilities and locations on campus need to be sold. The one comment that I read on the Minnesota South site was everything came down to $1600 per student cost instead of looking how to reach more students.

    You do not grow something by destroying what you already have. I again see our church missing the forest of people to reach for our Saviour because of the trees. The district is truely looking at money and not important mission that needs to be done.

  4. @harley Rokenbrodt #4
    Harley – have you written to the MNS BOD (in care of DP Seitz) to voice the concern you share here? If not please do so and soon! – the BOD meets on May 17th and the futures of both ULC in Minneapolis and CLC in Mankato will be discussed.

  5. I was a delegate to the 2009 MNS District convention. At the 2009 MNS District convention a Memorial was presented with the following; Resolved, that the MNS District in convention direct the Board of Directors of the District to discontinue any and all consideration of the sale of these campus properties.
    This resolution had not come up for a vote and I questioned, why? I was told that because the real estate market was in the tank this was a moot point and wasn’t going to happen anyway. So we never got this resolution to the floor for a vote.

  6. If you haven’t yet written and sent a snail-mail letter to the MNS BOD c/o the Rev. Dr. Lane Seitz (Board of Directors – MNS District, LC-MS, c/o President Seitz, 14301 Grand Ave. South, Burnsville, MN 55306) then close your browser, and get it done now. Blogging feels good, but ULC needs real help and prayers.
    Pax Christi+,
    -Matt Mills
    ULC class of ’85

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