ULC MN Comments on MNS BoD minutes and “faulty” resolution for convention.

University Lutheran Chapel has posted on their website two new documents, one which addresses the board minutes from December, and another which comments on a proposed resolution written by a member of the Minnesota South Board of Directors which has acted to sell the property that ULC has so faithfully used to provide Word and Sacrament ministry to countless students for decades.

Here is the commented resolution for MN South District Convention.

Here is the commented minutes of the Board of Directors December meeting.

The resolution’s resolved phrases tell it well.  Supporters of ULC are encouraged to support it, but those properties need to be sold!  There is not even a resolved to give some of the proceeds of the sale to ULC – oh the charity!  But then again, the minutes of the Board of Directors show their unwillingness to share the wealth.

Here is the link to put your wallet where your confession is.

Save ULCs!  (Yes, ULC in Los Angeles still could use support)

 

One of the fruits of this effort has been a renewed Synodical interest in campus ministries.  While I support such an effort, it appears that many have decided to let ULC MN serve as a martyr for the cause.  Wouldn’t it be great if this new national campus endeavor purchased a new chapel location for ULC?  With their Synodical fundraising capacities, it could happen.  Just thinking out loud.


Comments

ULC MN Comments on MNS BoD minutes and “faulty” resolution for convention. — 29 Comments

  1. Thank you for continuing to bring the ULC MN situation to the forefront. Some of us had hoped that President Harrison would have spoken as clearly and firmly to the MNS BOD about ULC as he did before the House Committee today. Since they ‘are’ being martyred for the cause, I would certainly hope that your suggestion becomes a top priority for the synodical campus ministry endeavor. Eviction day is 74 days away…..

  2. Regarding the proposed resolution passed by the Rochester circuit of the MNS-District LCMS written by Rev. James Heining a member of the MNS Board of Directors, and Chairman of the Missions Committee that first proposed selling ULC’s chapel. and Rev. William Otte, District Secretary and member of the MNS-District LCMS board of directors:

    I am pretty sure this isn’t what St. Paul meant when he said, “Encourage one another.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

    One good thing, the fact that these two individuals are behind this and acknowledge “an intensive nationwide lobbying campaign” shows that something is hitting its mark and being felt. Though I would simply point out that the complete phrase “to stop any change” is simply untrue, and uncharitable and shows the depths that these men are sinking in their behind the scenes work. To make this kind of sweeping generalization offends me. When your argument is weak, and you know it, you go after your opponent and make every effort to make him look bad. Here is yet another example.

    On another note: I see that mission giving to the MNS-District LCMS is behind the previous year’s pace by over a million dollars: http://mns.lcms.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=iA-80hm0-xw%3d&tabid=172&mid=752. Could be here is where they are feeling the “intensity” the most.

  3. We are all sinful and corrupt and as a result our sin follows us into our institutions. We deal with sin through the discipline of daily repentance and forgiveness. How are we to deal with institutional corruption in our corporations? What can we do differently as a corporate body to help fend off Satan, the World, and ourselves?

  4. Using these gentlemen’s logic, I could also state that continuing to subsidize the district office in Burnsville, MN and the staff which work there will severely hamper the district’s mission efforts elsewhere. Really gentlemen of the Rochester circuit? Do you really want to go there? In terms of dollars spent on ULC verses district headquarters, which “severely hampers” more mission potential?

  5. I like the way the Rochester Circuit resolution uses the words “their unique ministry” when referring to ULC, as though ULC is the one being the innovator. (Sarcasm being used). This is actually revealing, because it shows them indirectly acknowledging their bias against ULC and ULC’s form of campus ministry (i.e. faithful). It should also sound the alarm to us, that if ULC is viewed as unique, we who believe in uniformity and faithfulness in practice should be on notice. This was an effort to strike the blow and have the sheep scatter. Most of us know that.

    And the gall that ULC supporters are supposed to pony up to support ULC’s “unique ministry”. A ministry already bought and paid for by the sacrificial gifts of many who have gone before us. I don’t know how many times this has to be emphasized, and they still have hard hearts and deaf ears in their greed to rob the storehouse. May God have mercy on us all!

  6. Worthy of note:
    The Synodical President, in a pastoral letter written and distributed last October after the surprise signing of a sales contract despite his and others’ good faith efforts to prevent this, has asked the entire Synod to financially support ULCMN. This evidences and chides the ridiculous position of the MNS BOD in selling ULCMN’s superbly located and fully paid for site out from under them while making no provision for the thriving congregation and ministry to university students from several of colleges in that place. We all have the privilege having an opportunity to act on behalf of ULCMN in our households, congregations, circuits, and districts. I am grateful to Pastor Scheer for bringing this to everyone’s attention.

    The Rochester Circuit resolution contains significant errors and key omissions. It is a shame that this represents a collective act of LCMS pastors. What a blot on our Synod.

  7. It is also interesting to read in the MNS BOD 2-7-2012 UNAPPROVED Meeting Minutes: item V. b., page 3 (http://mns.lcms.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=cYf1J0MR9GI%3d&tabid=59&mid=809) that the MNS DP has been given the authority to hire additional consultants “to protect the interests of the District in the sale of the District property located at 1101 University Avenue, Minneapolis.”, and that approval has been given to retain the firm of Dorsey & Whitney as special counsel. Dorsey & Whitney is a high profile (and no doubt expensive) legal house in the Twin Cities.

    Does the MNS BOD have an itch that bothers them??

  8. @Former Anglican #10
    “Interests of the District”……..hmmmm……..

    What about the interests of all those who sacrificially gave to purchase this property for the very purposes for which it is being used!!!

    I guess they figure they can pay that big legal bill out of the enormous profit they are going to reap from the sale.

    Evil and greed.

  9. Late in the current draft minutes is a proposal calling for a 4 week fundraising drive in each district congregation to build an adult retreat center at Camp Omega.

    In what parallel universe do these people think that anyone would trust them with sacrificial donations of money to build anything on District property?

  10. Is it just me or does anyone else see a contradiction between the sale of the UofM campus property (It is my understanding that there is no attempt being made currently to sell the MSU – Mankato campus property, let alone a pending sale.) and the memorial submitted by the Rochester circuit on the one hand and the third resolved of the “Overture To Affirm and Expand Campus Ministry in MNS District” in one of the appendicies of this month’s MNS BOD minutes on the other hand?

  11. @Former MNS BOD Member #13
    Too bad the BOD didn’t go a little further with their quote of Pastor Harrison’s letter and suggest that everyone in the District, including the District itself, donate to the University Lutheran Chapel in MN.

  12. @II John #7
    But the district offices and position holders are all missional…

    @Old Time St. John’s #9
    This whole mess is one giant blot on our Synod. Love has long been left aside for politics and practices which come from non-Lutheran streams.

    @Former Anglican #10
    Consultants are the new sacraments of missional thinking. Think of them as soothsayers and prophets of the modern day.

    @Noreen Linke #11
    Silly Noreen, congregations exist to feed district whims. Those dollars marked “missions” in most congregational budgets will go on to district to pay for all of this.

    @Former MNS BOD Member #13
    No, no, you forget that they have a better vision for campus ministry than the “growing in numbers”, “growing in knowledge of the truth” and even more important “faithful” ministry of Pastor Kind and ULC. Jesus just didn’t get our times, he gave us Church 1.0. Too many bugs, and the fixes couldn’t get it done either. We have upgraded to Fad 2.0, which promises to be far more entertaining to the world (and our Old Adams).

    Sorry for the sarcasm.

  13. What is the fee arrangement with Dorsey & Whitney? Is it contingent on the sale and a percentage of the proceeds?

    It would be a sad use of funds if the District were to spend more on legal fees to protect a real estate transaction than it would spend to assist one of her congregations to find a new home.

  14. I think they are yielding their “big stick” as it were, but I struggle to put better construction on what’s going on here.

    Where does the fiduciary duty of the MNS BoD and its officers sit with these dealings? Does their duty only pertain to matters of finance? Or does it pertain to the purpose this entity called a district was constituted?

    Even if their duty is only to tend to finances…

    We still have seen little to show how the fiduciary duty of getting the best deal on the sale of the building was carried out. Why was the listing for mere days adequate? Where are the offers from other parties that deal in similar property development?

    If nothing else, the constituent congregations deserve more information. Perhaps everything is being done as it should. If it is, let’s not hide it all in executive session. Let’s not make congregations formally request the financial statements of the district each year.

  15. Lutherans don’t normally do this but….get a hundred folks from around the Twin Cities.  Every Saturday morning, stand in front of ULCMN for an hour with signboards and sing LSB 651.   Hey, it worked for the Tea Party.  🙂

  16. I actually wasn’t kidding.  If I still lived in Minnesota, I would be over on University Ave. on Saturdays with my sign even if I was the only one who showed up.    I really care about this issue.

    ULCMN ’61

    @John Rixe #19

  17. @John Rixe #21
    If I were in cruising range, I would gladly join you. I wish that I could at least visit. Those of you who can, I’m happy for you and I hope that you do so.

  18. I continue to be horrified at the manner in which the Minnesota South District BOD and its leadership is shamefully and sinfully treating University Lutheran Chapel in Minneapolis. It is unfathomable that they would perpetuate falsehoods in their BOD minutes, be unwilling to seek help from the Synodical President to provide mediation and reconciliation with the congregation that their actions are threatening to destroy, all while gladly accepting millions of dollars from the sale of a chapel built and funded by other people’s money for the express purpose it is being used faithfully today, while not even being willing to “tithe” a percentage of those sales to ULC. This is simply unconscionable. They would do well to head the Lord’s instructions through the Apostle Peter during this season of Lent and repent: “Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it.” (1 Peter 3:11)

    Having said that, I also take great exception at the notion that “many have decided to let ULC MN serve as a martyr for the cause,” and frankly I am dismayed at the quickness with which some here are willing to disparage and speak ill of our Synodical President in this regard. While some of you may wish that President Harrison would have, or could have, done more, you should not lose sight of what he “has” done and “is” doing.

    Moreover, please don’t assume that someone’s inability to effect change means that they do not wish such was different. I wish I could unilaterally change the situation myself, but just because it is out of my hands, that doesn’t mean I am willing to allow ULC to die a martyrs death. Who among us wants to see ULC martyred?

    President Harrison has spoken on this issue, and he has demonstrated a greater willingness than any President in my lifetime to support campus ministry and do so publicly. Sure, it would be great for the President and any such new synodical campus ministry endeavor to find millions of $$$ for all sorts of campus ministry sites, including ULC in MN. But the bottom line is that for the last decade the Synod has not given a dime to campus ministry and that is not the fault of President Harrison any more than it is the fault of all of us.

    Look, I don’t need to sit here and explain my undying support for campus ministry and ULC in Minneapolis in particular. But I would suggest that before anyone throws stones of blame in any other direction than where they rightly belong, that they at least take a good hard look at what they have done to support campus ministry over the last generation themselves. It was those who lived two generations ago who built these wonderful facilities. It was the task of those in this last and present generation to take care of them, expand them, and imitate their drive. But the Synod as a whole took it’s eye off the campus ministry ball over the last generation and that includes all of us. This didn’t happen overnight, folks, so putting the blame on any one person, or persons, for not doing more, is ridiculous.

    Those who have labored in campus ministry regardless of confession or liturgical practice, have done so in obscurity and with relatively little support. I commend everyone in campus ministry, even those I might not necessarily always agree with, for actually giving a rip about college age students, while the Synod flirted with anything and everything else. But what we are seeing in our midst is what happens when one generation doesn’t grab the baton and run it around the track. We as a Synod have put our emphasis on all sorts of things in the last generation, but not on campus ministry.

    I’m as upset as anyone over what is happening to ULC in MN and all these campus ministries, but please don’t blame President Harrison for that. He is at least doing what he can along with Rev. Bart Day through the Office of National Mission, to effect change for the future. And no, you don’t go from campus ministry being unfunded for a decade to creating a campus ministry consciousness anew and throwing millions at campus ministry facilities overnight. The later may never happen, but perhaps the former can. The later is not in Harrison’s control, but the former is!

    I, for one, believe that our Synodical leadership is doing all that it can to put campus ministry back on the map. Maybe President Harrison can’t save ULC or find money to simply give them or others, and perhaps there are things even he wishes he would have done different. But that doesn’t mean that he deserves to be disparaged as if he doesn’t care, or he is willing to let ULC simply be martyred, nor should his support of the efforts through the Office of National Mission to do what can be done for the future of campus ministry be minimized either.

    I ask that you all continue to pray fervently that not a single one of these 5 campus ministries up for sale will be sold. But I likewise ask that you also recognize and appreciate the support that President Harrison and others like Rev. Day are giving to campus ministry right now. I can’t speak for all campus pastors/workers in the Synod, but it is because of the efforts of our current synodical leadership that we still have hope for the future of campus ministry at all.

  19. @Marcus Zill #23

    ‘Like’    This gives a lot of background of which I was unaware.  I just always assumed campus ministry was continuing as a priority function of the districts.  It’s not always easy for a simple, casual layman to keep informed.  BJS did a good job in surfacing the problem.  Your comment is helpful and appreciated.

  20. @Marcus Zill #23
    Pastor Zill, since I am one of those you are referring to, I will respond. You and I are friends, and we are on the same side, so this is spoken to you in that spirit. I can both be appreciative of the efforts of President Harrison, and disappointed at the same time. And I am both. I disagreed with him meeting with the MNS BOD and not also meeting with Pastor Kind, despite several assurances that he would. I disagreed with the tact he took with the the BOD. I disagreed with his assertion that there has been fault on both sides. I disagreed with his lack of pastoral care toward Pastor Kind and the congregation at ULC which was hurt over his neglect of them. And I was disappointed that he didn’t take this crystal clear example of what has happened unjustly to ULC and publicly call this the sin that it is. I know you disagree with me on that point, but that is my opinion. As for the rest, I know the back story, so you don’t have to hash through all that in another response back to me. I don’t think the posting of some of those details is helpful in this forum. You and I just won’t 100% agree with the unfolding of this story. That’s ok.

    I have greatly appreciated Pastor Day’s care and concern for both Pastor Kind and ULC. After some lengthy discussions between us, he has made a concerted effort to fill the gap left by President Harrison.

    All that being said, I do appreciate most of what President Harrison did do, and what the campus ministry task force is aiming for, and I am supportive. I am also MOST thankful to God that President Harrison is our synodical president, especially in light of the events in D.C. this past week. So this is not an all or nothing proposition. I pray for President Harrison in my prayers, because I know the tasks before him are great, and are really more than one person can bear.

    And finally, I AM supremely disgusted by the evil and unjust actions of the MNS BOD, and their feeling of entitlement over the property at ULC. Rather than being faithful stewards of the campus ministry they were given charge over, they are stealing what does not in God’s reality belong to them. If they had not been in a big fat hurry to take this wicked action, and had respected President Harrison’s request to wait until a discussion could be had, we would all be having a different conversation here. But they didn’t. And ULC’s very real eviction date is 71 days away.

  21. @John Rixe #24

    Thanks, John. The Synod’s Campus Ministry Office was closed in 2002 and everyone in campus ministry was left on their own. As the then LCMS World Mission Exec stated, we were going to have to “fend for (our)selves.” And we did. Christ on Campus (through Higher Things) and the Lutheran Campus Mission Association developed in response.

    But the subsidy needs of campus ministry congregations has generally always been a District matter, and as you can imagine, every District views this differently. Many are unfortunately cannibalizing their assets before our eyes, and yes, it disgusts me to see the ministry to college students being put on the chopping block in order to pay for the mistakes of others, or fund the ridiculously shortsighted and faulty “missional” dreams of others. It also drives me crazy to see Districts that are literally doing NOTHING to reach out to college students in places with schools three times the size of the one I serve.

    I will say that we need to be careful to not cast all District’s with the same brush. Some districts are still “incredibly” supportive of campus ministry. But sadly for many, campus ministry is an afterthought, especially since they aren’t seen as money makers. But I do thank God for the level of support my campus ministry receives from the WY District and many others feel the same way about their Districts. The spirit of genuine campus ministry and mission outreach is not dead in the LCMS, it’s just inconsistent.

    So while every District is different, to a certain degree the Synod set the tone for the Districts by getting out of the campus ministry coordination and support business in 2002. If you think about it, the Synod itself shouldn’t complain that District’s aren’t supporting campus ministry when for the last decade they have not lead by example.

    So the bottom line is that we are paying at the District level now, for what we first lost at the synodical level. It has been a downward spiral of support for some time. Two decades ago, the Synod gave scholarships for campus pastors/workers to go to annual training events; now campus pastors spend half their time simply trying to raise funds to stay afloat. Campus ministry self-sufficiency was never an expectation of those who built these campus ministry facilities, but now it is becoming a reality because few want to help fund this important and vital work. Never mind the painful irony that we decry the loss of members in the Synod, while not seeking to fund the places where we are precisely losing our members.

    But while the Synod has never to my knowledge ever provided direct subsidy to campus ministry, they did provide a central office to encourage and support it. When that went by the wayside, it shouldn’t have been too surprising that eventually District’s would follow suit.

    Thank God that now the Synod and its leadership is trying to lead by example again. Hopefully the course that is being set through the Office of National Mission will help not only provide the direct support and coordination that is sorely needed, but also inspire an increased desire for the funding of campus ministry everywhere.

  22. I just realized that perhaps this never got posted here, but just this last week Rev. Bart Day offered up the following very pastoral update about the future of LCMS Campus Ministry:

    http://www.wmltblog.org/2012/02/update-on-the-future-of-lcms-campus-ministry/

    He also was interviewed on KFUO Radio about the LCMS’ efforts to increase support for campus ministry. You can listen to that interview here:

    http://www.box.com/s/11g3q2bys3y1k019fc2k

    Yes, there is a lot of negative stuff to discuss in terms of campus ministry (and it is vitally important), but we also have much to be thankful for. Please, please, take time to notice these very positive steps for campus ministry that President Harrison has set in motion through Rev. Day and his office.

  23. @Noreen Linke #25

    Noreen, I appreciate your response, and I too consider you a friend, and always will.

    Hindsight being what it is, I am sure President Harrison wishes he had done more.

    Again, hindsight being what it is, there are things I wish he had perhaps done differently, or sooner myself.

    Having said that, even though I have tried to do plenty myself, with the benefit of hindsight, there are times that I, too, wonder what more I could have done, or can still do. That is probably a common thought of many of us right about now.

    I believe that we do have to also be careful to not assume we know everything that is taking place. Yes, we may all be extremely well-informed, but that doesn’t mean we know everything either. There is always a chance that there is information, or layers of information, that we are simply not privy to.

    Beyond that, I can not even begin to fathom the incredible weight that is on President Harrison’s shoulders for everything that takes place in the Synod. He inherited what would have been an enormous task even without the Synodical mandate to completely gut and reshape the Synod’s structure. And no matter what he does, or doesn’t do, he will hear about everything from everyone on every side of every issue.

    The bottom line is that the Minnesota South District and its leadership is squarely at fault and as of the moment at least, they apparently, or at least for now, hold all the cards. And if they really wanted to, they themselves at this exact moment have the opportunity to halt this thing, slow it down, and make things right. Let us not forget that. Frankly, I have no idea how these individuals sleep at night when considering the damage that they are doing to all the precious souls involved here.

    Yes, I wish President Harrison could do more. I wish all of us could do more, and if there is something else that can be done, I will be among the first to spring into action for the sake of this campus ministry, and frankly, the other four too, and the many more that I fear are going to unfortunately see “FOR SALE” signs on their properties soon.

    I grieve what I am seeing. I want to save ULC in Minneapolis and every other campus ministry on the financial chopping block. But I can’t do anything about that. I can do what I have been given to do through Christ on Campus, and what I have been asked to do to work with a committee of other faithful campus ministry staff to put on an incredible National LCMS Campus Ministry Conference in 11 months.

    So while I wait for something that can possibly be done on the property front, I am going to do what I can, and give thanks to President Harrison and Pastor Day for the bold initiative that they have taken in terms of setting a course for campus ministry’s future.

    In spite of my grief, I am quite hopeful for the future of campus ministry. Please know that I do not seek to diminish many of the genuine concerns that are expressed here, most of which I completely share. I just ask that at the same time, that we at least make sure we acknowledge the incredible things that are happening for campus ministry.

  24. John Rixe :@Marcus Zill #23
    ‘Like’    This gives a lot of background of which I was unaware.  I just always assumed campus ministry was continuing as a priority function of the districts.  It’s not always easy for a simple, casual layman to keep informed.  BJS did a good job in surfacing the problem.  Your comment is helpful and appreciated.

    The districts are getting rid of everything possible these days to avoid insurance costs and liability. They don’t really explain themselves and on many district websites you can’t find any minutes that are less than a year old. In the Missouri District, for example, after cutting contributions to the campus ministries over several years, some of the campus ministry chapels will be given over to their local boards of directors (after becoming incorporated LCMS Recognized Service Organizations) with the condition that the property can’t be sold. I know that this has happened with the campus ministries in Springfield and Cape Girardeau. The district isn’t going to contribute anything in the future, but the chapels won’t be allowed to be sold to anyone either.

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