ULC files legal complaint against MN South Leadership.

Posted on the ULC website is news that they have now taken matters to court.  Click here to read the 22 page complaint.

They admit that the action reflects a failure by the church (see their apologia, page 2), but that they are necessary to protect the flock at ULC.  Click here to read ULC’s 8 page apology (defense) for their actions.

Before anyone starts the “Christians don’t go to court” route of argumentation, read the defense – it presents biblical, confessional, and historical evidence from theology for such a course of action.  They even cite by-laws!

From the last paragraph of the defense:

Because the leadership of the District has refused to hear us, has refused to hear the church at large, and will do irreparable harm by closing on the sale prior to the District Convention, University Lutheran Chapel and I had no other choice but to file suit in the civil courts. We have done so for the sake of the students and of the flock of Christ, not for revenge, and not for our own gain.

O Lord God, keep us faithful as we pursue this course of action, and preserve Your holy Church and the proclamation of Your Gospel on the campus of the University of Minnesota and in all places where it is found. Amen.

How very sad that no resolution could be found for this whole situation within our church.

Please include ULC and the MNS leadership in your prayers, that perhaps matters may still be settled before Caesar renders his verdict.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Comments

ULC files legal complaint against MN South Leadership. — 132 Comments

  1. I wish I could worship with the saints of ULC this Sunday in this first Sunday of their declaration of status confessionis. Our prayers are with you dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

  2. @John Rixe #77

    Due to the pending legal action, will the convention even discuss the matter?.

    @Old Time St. John’s #78

    Don’t you think that it’s likely that the convention will not act at all? How can they, with a lawsuit in progress? They will all be terrified into inaction for fear of a misstep.

    Two questions are presented in your postings:

    1.) What do I think the convention WILL do?

    2.) What COULD the convention do, with legal action pending?

    I am pessimistic as to the first, but optimistic as to the second.

    Innocent and conscientious people tend to suffer paralysis in these situations. We tend to submit to the Enemy’s government by superstition and fear rather than the Redeemer’s government by revelation and hope.

    The sweeping statement that, without exception, we cannot do anything because litigation is pending is a glossy, overrated superstition. Clear the gloss by asking, what exactly is it about the pendency of the litigation that causes fear? Rarely will you get an answer to that. Usually the response is, “Well, there is litigation pending.” That’s not an explanation. That is only a restatement of the glossy supertition.

    When you do get an answer, it usually runs along the lines of, “Well, you might expose the District to liability to Dolan by interfering with his purchase.” Fine. Now we’ve got a proposition that can be examined. Let’s examine it.

    The question becomes, what liability would be caused by the Convention acting?

    One of ULC’s claims is that the sale was an ultra vires act, an act beyond the power of the Board. Because the articles of incorporation were not properly amended to remove the prohibition on the power of the Board to dispose of real estate, the Board lacked the capacity to enter into the sale contract. A valid contract requires parties with capacity to contract.

    That claim is about as big an interference with Dolan’s purchase as could be imagined. The remedy for an ultra vires act by a board is invalidation of the transaction. If that claim succeeds, the District already faces all the liability to Dolan that could be incurred by a failure of the purchase. This state of affairs already is fait accompli.

    Now, suppose the action the Convention takes it to declare that the sale by the Board was an ultra vires act because the articles of incorporation prohibit the Board from disposing of real estate. The Convention will have said no more than ULC has said in its complaint, and no more than is true. Any liability that results is not caused by the Convention’s declaration, but already was caused by the Board’s ultra vires act.

    Because amendments of the articles of incorporation require approval by the members, the court is likely to put weight on what the member do, and their first chance to do something is the convention.

    An obstacle might be the system of submitting remonstrances in advance. But someone versed in the law of the District should research whether that system is a proper obstacle to declaring an ultra vires act.

  3. Delegates may want to consider whether a dfferent chairman could be selected to preside at the convention.

  4. What was the outcome of the hearing yesterday? Or did I get my dates wrong?
    John

  5. @John Hooss #104
    From the Save ULC Facebook page:

    Just returned from the Planning Commission meeting. Doran was sent back to the drawing board and asked to re-present in two weeks. If they can’t scale their plan back a little they may not get their zoning variances.
    The next meeting is May 21. We need folks to show up and voice their opposition to this project!

  6. @John Hooss #104
    The results of the permanent TRO hearing are not known yet. It is my understanding that the emergency TRO will remain in effect until the decision is rendered by the judge.

  7. I am sitting at the MNS district office waiting for the board of directors meeting to start, when one of the execs comes out and says, “we will be in executive session until early afternoon.” When I asked them why, he stated “We have issues to discuss.” What do they have to hide??

  8. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. (1 John 1:6)

  9. The MNS board of directors were in executive session from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Is this how our church is suppose to operate?

  10. @helen #47
    The current DRP is the beginning of the necessity for the office “canon lawyers” in the LCMS. Notice how, as Dr. Noland so well pointed out, the whole process of creating an absolute quagmire in solving our own problems internally began with the dumping of the old Commission on Adjudication/Commission on Appeals structure when it actually used Scripture and sound reason to resolve the Robert Preus situation. And then, when the 1992 DRP was found to be inadequate to deal with the Benke-Kieschnick 9-23 debacle, we got the 2004 DRP expansion. Notice how many more pages have been added to the synodical handbook in the last 20 years. I haven’t actually checked, but I wouldn’t be at all surprise to find that the Handbook has at least doubled in size because of attempts to “tweak” the structure (or wholesale rebuilding it, ala 2010) in order to, *by the laws of men* “guarantee” the “peace” and “success” of the LCMS. It is a symptom of our lagging faith in the Word of God, the Law which condemns and kills, and the Gospel of Christ the Crucified which truly justifies and sanctifies. I believe it is a thick, crusty residue of the battle for the authority of (read: *trust in*) the Holy Scriptures that began in the 1920s. (And not in the 60s, as many believe, btw.)

    This certainly has a strong parallel in the secular world, in the countless pages of law and regulation that our governments put into place to try to make things work “right”, and ensure “success” for everyone. Honestly, there was a part of me that, as a delegate in 2004 and 2010, felt like a member of the House who was told by Speaker Pelosi: “You have to pass it to find out what’s in it.”

  11. From the MNS website, here is a list of the 2009-2012 MNS Board of Directors:

    President: Rev. Dr. Lane R. Seitz
    First Vice President: Rev. Gerhard Bode (Region 4)
    Second Vice President: Rev. Dr. Larry Griffin (Region 3)
    Third Vice President: Rev. Mark Tewes (Region 2)
    Fourth Vice President: Rev. Robert Gehrke (Region 1)
    Secretary: Rev. William Otte
    Treasurer: Ms. Lucille Clemmensen
    Region 1: Rev. Robert Schulze, Mr. Jeffrey Bartels (East Metro North Conference), Mr. Wilford Bartley (East Metro South Conference)
    Region 2: Rev. Thomas Stoebig, Mr. James Roegge (West Metro East Conference), Mr. Stephen Krause (West Metro West Conference)
    Region 3: Rev. Dr. James Heining, Mr. Timothy Block (Southeast Minnesota East Conference), Mr. Matthew Drevlow (Southeast Minnesota West Conference)
    Region 4: Rev. Kurt Lehmkuhl, Mr. Lane Nordquist (Southwest Minnesota East Conference), Mrs. Gayle Baumgard (Southwest Minnesota West Conference)
    Commissioned Ministers: Mr. Randall Ash, Ms. Lynn Henry

  12. Dana Kind :
    The MNS board of directors were in executive session from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Is this how our church is suppose to operate?

    Thank you for being willing to speak in public on this.

    Darkness is not good. Since even board members are sinners, they should be encouraged to do business where their constituents can see it.

    To passively abuse the 8th Commandment in order not to question boards and others, we can end up sinning by doing nothing when we have reason to think things are being done in the dark.

    We can also end up sinning if we speak out.

    We will sin either way. But there are two sides, not just one. We can’t avoid sin just by being quiet all the time. If we do that, we will fail to go out on a limb just a little to support the right cause, a pastor or friend who is being persecuted, and all manner of things like that.

    Please keep reporting what you can while still keeping yourself safe.

  13. Young families with kids who someday may attend the U of M at Minneapolis or Mankato, please contact your convention representatives.  You will never again have an opportunity to help save these chapels.

  14. I just read this on the Save ULC Facebook page:
    “This afternoon we were in Hennepin County Housing Court. The MNS District brought an eviction action against ULC, in direct violation of the restraining order issued by the judge who is hearing our case in District Court. The good news: The eviction case against us was dismissed. The bad news: The MNS District just wasted more mission money on an action that their own lawyer admitted he knew would be dismissed before he even got there.”

  15. @Dana Kind #107
    Dana Kind wrote: I am sitting at the MNS district office waiting for the board of directors meeting to start, when one of the execs comes out and says, “we will be in executive session until early afternoon.” When I asked them why, he stated “We have issues to discuss.” What do they have to hide??

    I understand and sympathize with your plight. However, did you invite district officials to sit in on your strategy sessions while you planned your lawsuit against them? I doubt it. When you ask “What do they have to hide?” – It’s reasonable to assume you also had issues to discuss as you planned to put your lawsuit out there. Let’s be realistic – neither “side” will invite the other to hear their plans before they’re put into action.

  16. Over the past year, an enormous portion of the BOD meetings have been in secret executive sessions, hidden from the ordinary Minnesota laymen on whose financial and prayer support the district entirely depends.  Is this any way to encourage trust?

  17. Carl Vehse :How many Lufauxran congregations or pastors have been booted out of the Missouri Synod in the past couple of years for their unrepentant rejections of various parts of Article II and Article VI?
    Or maybe I should ask, “Have any…”
    No… he‘s still rostered.

    “I’m reading a book right now on musical pulpits or something like that. It shows how many Baptists and Methodists and Presbyterians are getting kicked out of churches. They don’t mention Lutherans because Lutherans don’t tell. We’ve got these district presidents – they don’t want people to know how many guys they’ve gotten rid of.” – Rev. Dr. Robert Preus, 1995

  18. @Jana Snow #119
    We weren’t hoping to sit in while they discuss legal strategy and certainly such discussions did not fill the six hours they were in executive session. We were just hoping for a little transparency in the rest of their work. We weren’t even allowed to be present for the opening devotions. We also just wanted to meet them face to face, since most of them have never attended ULC.

  19. Jana Snow :
    @Dana Kind #107
    Dana Kind wrote: I am sitting at the MNS district office waiting for the board of directors meeting to start, when one of the execs comes out and says, “we will be in executive session until early afternoon.” When I asked them why, he stated “We have issues to discuss.” What do they have to hide??
    I understand and sympathize with your plight. However, did you invite district officials to sit in on your strategy sessions while you planned your lawsuit against them? I doubt it. When you ask “What do they have to hide?” – It’s reasonable to assume you also had issues to discuss as you planned to put your lawsuit out there. Let’s be realistic – neither “side” will invite the other to hear their plans before they’re put into action.

    I believe your criticism is inappropriate because you imply a kind of symmetry that does not exist in this situation. ULC is already much more transparent than the powers that be. ULC is small, the district powers are relatively large. There has been a kind of aggression against ULC; none against the district.

    Relativizing statements such as the ones you make should be dismissed by the average person because all they tend to do is discourage and neutralize the little guy.

  20. @Dana Kind #123

    > We were just hoping for a little transparency in the rest of their work. We weren’t even allowed to be present for the opening devotions. We also just wanted to meet them face to face, since most of them have never attended ULC.

    Though expressed in weakness, these are powerful statements. Don’t be discouraged.

  21. In response to comment by Jana Snow.

    My wife accompanied Dana Kind to the BOD’s meeting. The purpose of their going was to meet the BOD’s and to be able to put a face to a name. I’m sure if someone were trying to sell your church out from under you, you would want to have an opportunity to meet them. There was no expectation that they would be privileged to sit in on a strategy meeting – especially since the BOD’s meetings are convened under executive session. Unfortunately, none of the BOD’s had the courage or the courtesy to meet and greet them.

  22. On Friday the court vacated the restraining order protecting University Lutheran Chapel
    . Lord have mercy!

  23. Dana Kind :
    On Friday the court vacated the restraining order protecting University Lutheran Chapel
    . Lord have mercy!

    And the MNS BOD/Leadership immediately filed with the court an action for eviction, for which the hearing will be June 1.

    This is walking together in the LC-MS.

    Lord have mercy!

  24. Shame on MNS BOD for doing this wicked thing. They forget that God sees all….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.