Lutheran Satire on ULC

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.

Norm has been involved behind the scenes in many of the "go-to" websites for Lutherans going back many years.


Lutheran Satire on ULC — 23 Comments

  1. Funny as usual. I didn’t follow a lot of the exegesis, but I guess that’s not the point. I agree that the ULC thing is truly a fiasco. However, to play devil’s advocate, I do think synod does need to continue adapting to demographic and cultural realities when it comes to the amount of physical property we own. Two generations ago, the population was booming, “brand loyalty” was strong, and giving per individual was proportionately high. All good intentions and “faith talk” aside, the church will continue to decline and be marginalized in our culture. Our own members will be less loyal and put less in the offering plate. We will continually have to deal with ways to get rid of old, inefficient properties, streamline the “institutional church”, and, frankly, save money. It is a dirty but necessary job. I agree that it was NOT necessary in the case of ULC, but it is still valuable to consider the big picture.

  2. Jason, I understand what you are saying, and I agree that we have a lot of reality checks to consider in this regard.

    Of course, the sad reality is that this is THE very last type of property that you’d ever want to sell – across the street from one of the largest and most Lutheran populated secular universities in the nation. There are probably more LCMS students attending the University of Minnesota than several of our Concordia system schools combined!! (Ponder that one for a moment. Here we have incredible institutional structures in our Concordia collegiate campuses that don’t have the potential to train as many LCMS students as a campus ministry like ULC!)

    Long before we start senselessly selling off such properties in such prime locations for mission and ministry, we should be selling office space wherever we have it, or how about this – find dual purposes for campus ministry properties like this. Shoot, you could sell the MNS District office property and find necessary office space at a place like ULC and be even better stewards.

    People can get administrative work done nearly anywhere. But you just can’t get back property like this.

    “Board rooms before altars, pulpits and fonts!”

  3. @Pastor Jason Harris #2
    (Ponder that one for a moment. Here we have incredible institutional structures in our Concordia collegiate campuses that don’t have the potential to train as many LCMS students as a campus ministry like ULC!)

    Not only that, but CSP students who want to attend a confessional Lutheran church came to ULC!

    @Matt Thompson #1
    … Jesus questions the effectiveness of Methodist beans. Nice.

    Matt Thompson, you really are missing the point! “The Methodist guy who sold them to me” was getting rid of ineffective merchandise and the ‘servant’ got suckered.
    LCMS has been buying failed “programs” from non Lutheran sources for decades.

    ULC, an effective congregation, has been sold to fund a mess of “magic beans” (which have been proven not to work before, but no matter!)

    “The way to prove that confessional Lutheran congregations
    cannot succeed is to close the ones that do!”
    Yea, verily! 🙁

  4. As an ex-Methodist who fell in love with a Concordia River Forest graduate, the Methodist magic beans were a nice touch. 🙂

    The question of how to best serve the students at the University of Minnesota is one that requires a great deal of prayer and thought, and one should certainly seek divine guidance about this. In addition, it is certainly legitimate to consider an option in which the ministry continues without a physical building. But rather than considering these serious questions, I recently came up with a parody of my own which Marcus Zill will appreciate.


    September 31, 2011

    Resolved, that the Treasurer of the District effectuate the sale of the District’s headquarters property at 14301 Grand Avenue South, Burnsville, MN 55306 under the following conditions:

    1) The district retain a broker for the purpose of selling the District’s headquarters property for the highest market price available.
    2) The Treasurer is authorized to negotiate terms of the listing agreement on behalf of the board without further ratification.

  5. “Magic Beans”! LOL! No wonder this whole thing has me feeling this whole “church growth” thing is just a bunch of gas…

  6. @Rahn Hasbargen #7
    “Magic Beans”! LOL! No wonder this whole thing has me feeling this whole “church growth” thing is just a bunch of gas…

    It is! But gas can give you severe heartburn! 🙁

  7. So, who is threatening to sue MNS? From Save ULC Facebook (NOTE that it is not ULC who has threatened to sue):

    Back from the MNS Pastors’ Conference for the night – at which the District effectively stifled any discussion of ULC because someone has supposedly threatened to sue them over it. Here’s the flier they handed out (with a few notes, of course)

  8. @Harry Edmon #10
    Please bring up a resolution to cancel the sale regardless, and should that fail a resolution to protest the silencing of the debate on this issue.
    Fight the Good Fight Pastor+,
    -Matt Mills

  9. Maybe a “threat of a lawsuit” might be distinguished from a “credible threat of a lawsuit,” but not so much from a “convenient threat of a lawsuit.”

  10. I’m not a Pastor, and I’m in Seattle. The report was from “Save ULC” and was undoubtedly posted by Pastor Kind.

    P.S. My connection with ULC is that my oldest son Paul attended ULC while a graduate student at U. of Minn. and was president of the congregation for a couple of years.

  11. Dear Bloggers:

    Please consider this fundraiser at your local congregations for the purpose of raising funds for University Lutheran Chapel.

    “Here’s how: On Sunday, November 6th, 2011, let’s all host pancake breakfasts at our respective congregations. All proceeds (via free-will donation) will go to benefit ULC. Everyone can make pancakes, and everyone loves to eat them!”

  12. Where can we get more of these satire videos? Does CPH sell them? They are classic and whoever does them is perceptive. These ought to be shared and used throughout the synod, especially in district offices.

  13. I don’t understand. I do not find it amusing to threaten a fellow human being, one of God’s creatures, with arsenic poisoning. This is not the LCMS Lutheran attitude I grew up with.

  14. @Jana Snow #17
    This is not the LCMS Lutheran attitude I grew up with.

    Did the LCMS church you grew up with destroy functioning churches
    to have money for “coffeehouses”?

    [Satire involves hyperbole.]

  15. @helen #18

    Hyperbole or not, I don’t think that particular satire is amusing, especially coming from a Christian group.

    No, the LCMS church I grew up with did not destroy any functioning church to have coffeehouse money. I don’t think that’s the case here either. The chapel congregation is not being destroyed, they just won’t be in the building they’ve rented for years. Though it may have it’s difficulties and sad though it is, as a “vibrant and growing congregation” I would think they would survive in a new setting.

  16. You know, some of us here see doctrine and practice being linked. lex credendi, lex orendi. That is why some are very concerned with the litugical vs. CoWo debate. Likewise, Jesusu is with two or three gathered in His name. A congregation is truly a gathering of people. But they are gathered SOMEWHERE. They do not exist outside of space. They are together, somewhere concrete.

    In the book of Acts. Paul is bringing back money to help the heavily persecuted churhc in Jerusalem. The Jews were actively hostile to the upstart Christians. The Gentiles, being good Samaritans, sought to help their persecuted brethren survive.

    So what went wrong in MNS? Did the DoB forget their mutual support of the brethren? Did they become the Judaizers? It is one thing to have the world force us underground, but to be abandoned by those who are supposed to be our brothers and sisters in Christ? Explain this to me.

  17. @Jana Snow #19
    The chapel congregation is not being destroyed, they just won’t be in the building they’ve rented for years.

    The chapel congregation is being forced off campus, 60 years after the people of Minnesota built that building for the express purpose of having an LCMS presence on campus. For 60 years, the district boards were faithful in their stewardship of a gift (which really did not belong to them). This board plays the renegade and sells the property to finance its own schemes.

    Frankly, I don’t know how “rent” ever got into this; the church was built by the people, not the district, for their students, not the district’s profiteering! What is so hard to understand about the fact that giving up land and a building on campus is the height of idiocy if you claim to want to serve the students there!?

  18. @helen #21

    Wow … satire, hyperbole, schemes, destruction, idiocy … vicious. Is this confessional Lutheranism? Like I said in another post, like all of you here, I don’t know the whole story, so I really shouldn’t say anything. Thus, I will quietly depart and say no more.

  19. @Jana Snow #22
    ULC’s website is available to you as to us.
    Other information has been posted here, on several topics/threads.

    If you cannot make a judgement without knowing what went on in “executive session” then I suppose you should ask the BOD to publish that. MNS BOD would be welcome to explain themselves if they chose to do so.
    In the absence of explanation, many of us here believe
    “By their fruit you shall know them.”

    It’s good Lutheran vocabulary… mild even… and on rapid review, I missed “vicious” although I could probably think of a way to use it. ;(

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