Obama has Greater Support than Lane Seitz Does – Resolution of Minnesota North District Pastors, by Pr. Rossow

I read a poll this morning that says that only 35% of Americans think Barack Obama will be re-elected. Contrast that with a vote today at the Minnesota North Pastors Conference against the action of President Lane Seitz and the Board of Directors of the Minnesota South District to sell the property of the University Lutheran Chapel. The voice vote of the motion below was an estimated 95% plus in favor. Barack Obama has it all over President Seitz and his board according to the pastors up north.

What are President Seitz and his board thinking? Hopefully at next years Minnesota South District convention the delegates will ask themselves if the Gospel is any better off this year in Southern Minnesota than it was three years ago (to mimic Ronald Reagan’s famous question) and then realize that it has taken quite a hit from President Seitz and his Board and then vote them out.

Here is the motion that was passed at the conference convened at Lutheran Island Camp, Henning,  Minnesota today.

Resolution
MNN District Fall Pastors Conference
October 4, 2011

WHEREAS, the Minnesota South District (MNS) Board of Directors (BOD) has recently taken actions and executed an agreement to sell the property on the campus of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, used for the past 62 years by University Lutheran Chapel (ULC); and

WHEREAS, the Joint Minnesota South/Minnesota North Districts Pastors Conference (May 11, 2011, Brainerd, MN) had requested that the MNS BOD bring this entire matter before the MNS District in convention to deliberate and determine an appropriate course of action regarding the sale of the ULC property; and

WHEREAS, the decision to sell the Lutheran Student Center by the MNS District BOD has resulted in tension, divisions, and a disruption to our life together; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Minnesota North District (MNN) 2011 Fall Pastors Conference humbly express its sincere sadness at the outcomes of these actions of the MNS BOD; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the MNS BOD be urged to communicate caringly and clearly and further explain its rationale, and, if at all possible, reverse or delay its recent decisions regarding ULC, so that the matter may considered by the MNS District Convention; and be it further

RESOLVED, that encouragement be given to individuals, congregations, circuits, and districts across the LCMS to offer solutions to sustain the ongoing ministry and mission of ULC; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that the MNN 2011 Fall Pastors Conference encourage all to fervently pray that the Lord of the Church bless the outcomes of these deliberations and decisions concerning ULC.
 
Action: Adopted

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.

Comments

Obama has Greater Support than Lane Seitz Does – Resolution of Minnesota North District Pastors, by Pr. Rossow — 237 Comments

  1. Oliver Young :Walking in to ULC, Minneapolis this morning, I noted a small florescent pink triangle painted at a central point on the surface of the parking lot. After bible, study Pr. Kind confirmed my suspicion – the ULC property was surveyed this past week – the pink triangle was the marker from which the property surveyor took his measurements.
    These measurements are for the benefit of Doran Construction, as they determine the specifics of their plans for the ULC site.
    This marker is an all too real and poignant reminder to all members and visitors to ULC that the MNS BOD has chosen to sell this gem of a campus mission property for their own warped and twisted reasons.
    If the reality of this marker does not move you to action to help save ULC, I do not know what else will before it is too late.
    You can support ULC on line or by mail – details are available at http://saveulc.org/
    Please keep us in your prayers. Have mercy, O Lord!

    Truly, you are doing us a big favor by keeping this in the forefront. We are privileged to be able to help. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do.

  2. Breaking news from the MNS district pastor’s conference is posted on the ULC facebook pages. At the conference the district passed out flyers to each pastor stating that there has been a lawsuit threatened regarding the sale of the ULC, so their lawyer says that the district should not respond to questions or make statements about the action.

    As best as I can see from the district’s website, the conference continues Tuesday until noon.

    I’m praying that the pastors themselves ask questions and make statements, even if the district refuses to answer questions.

    ULC says further that they themselves have not threatened a lawsuit and do not know who has done so. I believe them.

  3. The MNS District administration is not going to answer questions or make any statements regarding the sale…. So in other words, status quo.

  4. Even if it were true that the district admin has received a credible threat which would make it unwise for the administration to make any statement, would it be considered unwise for the administration to listen to the voice of the pastors of the district assembled in conference? I predict that any effort made by the pastors to address the issue will be ruled out of order.

  5. @Old Time St. John’s #203
    The district administration are cowards – afraid to face the light of Truth! They conduct their business out of sight and spin what they do as being for the good of the district – the district being the congregations and pastors in Minnesota South.

    As members of the district, all pastors at the district conference should call the district leaders to account for their wrong headedness. Their unwillingness to make a statement or to discuss the sale of ULC does not stop discussion at the meeting – rule the chairman out of order!

  6. “We’d really like to answer your questions. In fact I think you all would be very interested and excited about our explanation….however, there’s this lawsuit and well…”
    Check and Mate.

  7. #4 Kitty :
    “We’d really like to answer your questions. In fact I think you all would be very interested and excited about our explanation….however, there’s this lawsuit and well…”
    Check and Mate.

    There is nothing here to stop the pastors themselves from talking and from making a statement. I pray that they realize that and do so.

  8. @Old Time St. John’s #203

    Whether or not we like what the district did re: the sale, if there has indeed been a lawsuit, then nobody should talk to nobody. If I’m on the BOD, I’m taking a vow of “no comment.” Period.

    #4 Kitty :“We’d really like to answer your questions. In fact I think you all would be very interested and excited about our explanation….however, there’s this lawsuit and well…”Check and Mate.

    Kitty, as I said above, you don’t have to like it. But even your “statement” says too much. Leave out the middle sentence: “In fact, I think….” up to the “however, there’s this lawsuit.

    Johannes (“A closed mouth gathers no feet”)

  9. @Johannes #211
    That’s entirely right. If the BOD is worried about lawsuit, they should be quiet.

    Two follow on points, though.

    If the chapel isn’t initiating or threatening this lawsuit, and hasn’t heard about it, which they have plainly said, then who is? I can’t help being a little skeptical about what the district is saying. Maybe they had someone not from the Chapel say, ‘I’ll bet there will be a lawsuit,’ and they are seizing on this to leverage into trying to get the pastors to be silent about the whole issue. I would be very surprised if there really is a lawsuit.

    Second point–the fact that the BOD believes that they need to be silent on this issue does not mean that the pastors should be. In fact, quite the contrary. Now more than ever the pastors can and should speak up. They should say what is right. After all, that is what Pastors do.

  10. Dear Bloggers:

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

    http://pancakesforulc.wordpress.com/

    “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!”

  11. Was there any discussion of this issue at the MNS Pastors Conference?   In contrast to MNN, is there much support for ULC among MNS congregations?.

  12. Does the convention (next summer) have authority to overrule the board of directors as to the amount of the net sale proceeds to allocate to the ULC congregation?

  13. @Old Time St. John’s #212

    It’s particularly disquieting to read so much conjecture about motives, etc., on BJS. Your guess that “I would be very surprised if there really is a lawsuit,” hardly puts the best construction on things. I don’t have to defend the MNS Board of Directors for anything, but we really should take their statement at face value–there is a lawsuit brewing. Casting aspersions on the Board is not helpful, odious as their decision was.

    Johannes

  14. Johannes :
    @Old Time St. John’s #212
    It’s particularly disquieting to read so much conjecture about motives, etc., on BJS. Your guess that “I would be very surprised if there really is a lawsuit,” hardly puts the best construction on things. I don’t have to defend the MNS Board of Directors for anything, but we really should take their statement at face value–there is a lawsuit brewing. Casting aspersions on the Board is not helpful, odious as their decision was.
    Johannes

    You’re right. I repent. Thank you for bringing this up.

  15. @John Rixe #215
    John – I was told that MNS distributed a flier that asserted that due to a pending lawsuit they would not be entertaining ANY discussion about the matter. (here is a link to the flier with notations made afterward by ULC when they posted it on their website). I was also told by someone in attendance that Pastor Kind asked to address the assembly and make it clear that ULC was not bringing a lawsuit against MNS but that he was completely shut down and not allowed to speak. Hardly a spirit of openness. Even if MNS BOD chose not to speak, which is their right, does that automatically translate into gagging ULC and Pastor Kind from addressing something that casts aspersion on ULC in some people’s eyes?

  16. I believe the wording was that there was a “threatened” lawsuit, which is far different than a “pending” lawsuit. For instance, one could take many of the comments on this very site to be threats of lawsuit, even if no one here has contacted a lawyer.

  17. @T. R. Halvorson #216
    It is my understanding that the MNS BOD has only proposed an amount to give to ULC from the proceeds of the sale. To my knowledge, there has been no official decision. It is my belief that the convention can “overrule” a BOD decision as districts or synods gathered in convention are the highest authority in the church (politically speaking.) The means to do so would be by submission of memorials for consideration at the next convention. Please note that all floor committee members are selected by the DP. Submissions of memorials to floor committees are no guarantee that they will be brought to the floor of the convention (or in some cases, even printed in the convention workbooks.) Though, there are parliamentary means to do so, it takes a concerted effort. You raise a good point. Now is the time for congregations to begin preparing their memorials to submit to the next MNS district convention if they wish to indicate the specific amount ULC should receive from the sale of the property.

  18. II John :
    Information for submitting overtures to the MNS Distrist 2012 convention can be found here: http://mns.lcms.org/NewsEvents/ConventionMaterial/tabid/168/Default.aspx

    I hope that when overtures are being considered that someone (or someones) will remember the goshawful dispute resolution process, all 12 pages of it, and offer substantive changes. Sorry about going off subject, but it had to be brought up.

    Johannes (OK, back to the thread!)

  19. Realistically, the amount should be about 1.62 mil, plus baptismal font, altar, pulpit, lectern, cross, paraments, vestments, stained glass windows, and, well, you get the idea.

  20. @Noreen Linke #219

    I’m a little disappointed that the local MNS pastors and congregations haven’t been more vocal in their support for ULC.  Maybe I’m just not aware of such support.

  21. @John Rixe #229
    Actually, the joint pastors’ conference of MNS and MNN passed a resolution (in the spring, I believe? When the sale was being contemplated but had not been executed yet) asking the BOD to let the district decide this question in their convention rather than as a board action.

  22. @John Rixe #231
    You know, I think that people tend to assume that once they have taken a public position, they don’t have to reiterate it. I can think of several higher ups who have expressed strong support for ULC but who have not mentioned this lately. I don’t think that this means that they have changed their minds, but rather that they think that everyone already knows where they stand.

  23. @Old Time St. John’s #232
    While this is most likely true, we are still fallible, sinful human beings with all too short memories… Sometimes (many times?) the obvious, and not so obvious, needs to be reiterated and reiterated and reiterated again, so that supporters (and detractors) don’t think that support has evaporated.

  24. The ULC website has some updated comments regarding the flyer passed out at the pastor’s conference.
    http://ulcmn.org/Files/Save%20ULC%20Files/Fall%20Pastors%20Conf%20Flier.pdf

    Here are the additions:

    “Pastor Kind attempted to address this at the conference, but was not recognized at the microphone and not given opportunity to speak.

    Unfortunately, the distribution of this flier to the pastors, had the effect of squelching any discussion of the sale of ULC.

    President Seitz has confirmed, via email, that this flier has nothing to do with any threat or perceived threat from ULC.”

  25. @Rich #234

    Read that flyer again, referring to the Chapel as “our U of M property located at 1101 University Avenue SE, Minneapolis, MN” is about like referring to an unborn child as fetal matter or product of conception.

  26. Look at Pastor Harrison’s letter! He specifically asks for financial contributions to ULC! It is SO GOOD!

  27. Rev. Rossow, fellow brothers and sisters in Christ,

    The Lord be with you.

    Although I support the resolution posted here by the MNN District pastors, I regret that this information got out before the Dstrict could deliver it to Rev. Seitz and the MNS District BOD.

    I know that the ULC situation is bad and emotions are running high and rampant, but two wrongs do not make a right.

    The improper release of this document embarrassed Rev. Fondow, the DP for MNN District. I share his embarrassment and sorrow. We have to better than this.

    Please continue to pray for all concerned.

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