MNS Board of Directors release new minutes from May and they show something…

That is appalling.  See the draft minutes here.

There was a chance that the sale could have fallen through, but apparently the District BOD wanted the property of ULC sold so much that they accepted a revised offer of$250,00 less than before (ironic that at the beginning they seemed unwilling to give ULC $250,000 but now are willing to give Doran the money).  It also shows that the MNS BOD had an opportunity as late as May 24th to back out of the deal and save the ULC building from destruction.  They have chosen to continue with the eviction of one of their congregations and also to continue to drive a wedge of division into the District and our Synod by continuing their course of action.

This is one of the quotes from their resolution:

Seller shall complete the eviction of University Lutheran Chapel from the Property prior to the Closing Date.

Now translated:  The Minnesota South District shall complete the eviction of one of their member congregations, University Lutheran Chapel from the property prior to the Closing Date.

Also of note is that the organization “People of Praise” (wikipedia here) who has rented the ULC parsonage in the past is being given right to take any of the contents of the property with them.  They are also being praised by the District and given “God’s richest blessings”.  That is right, a charismatic group that our confessions would condemn (see Smalcald Articles) is being shown more courtesy than a congregation the District exists to serve (things other than evictions).  How can a confessional Lutheran Synod (by way of one of its Districts) bless the work of those whose ministry is of an unholy spirit?


Here is the BOD resolution regarding the sale of ULC:


WHEREAS, the Minnesota South District (the “District”) owns real property located at 1101 University Avenue Southeast, Minneapolis, Minnesota, which is legally described on Exhibit A attached hereto (the “Property”); and

WHEREAS, on September 13, 2011 the Board of Directors of the District (the “Board”) unanimously adopted a resolution authorizing the Treasurer of the District to effectuate the sale of the Property subject to certain conditions, including a condition that any purchase agreement executed on behalf of the District must have a net sales price of not less than $3.2 million; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to such resolution the Treasurer of the District entered into a purchase agreement with Doran Development, LLC (“Doran”) dated September 23, 2011 (the “Purchase Agreement”); and

WHEREAS, as is typical, Doran’s obligations as buyer under the Purchase Agreement are subject to certain conditions precedent, as set forth in Section 9 of the Purchase Agreement (the “Conditions Precedent”); and

WHEREAS, as part of Doran’s investigation of the Property and its efforts to obtain the municipal approvals required for Doran’s intended use of the Property, certain items have come to light including the following: i) the City of Minneapolis has approved a smaller residential housing project than Doran desired; ii) alleged fence and pavement encroachments exist on the perimeter of the Property; and iii) certain environmental conditions exist on the property that will need to be addressed when Doran develops the Property for its intended use; and

WHEREAS, the above listed items each form the basis for Doran being relieved of its obligations under the Purchase Agreement based on or more of the Conditions Precedent; and

WHEREAS, Doran has requested the purchase price stated in the Purchase Agreement be reduced from $3.5 million to $3.25 million in exchange for Doran waiving the Conditions Precedent and accepting title to the property subject to existing encroachments and environmental conditions; and

WHEREAS, having considered Doran’s request and information relevant to such request, the Board finds it would be in the best interests of the District to reduce the stated purchase price of the Purchase Agreement to not less than $3.25 million in exchange for Doran waiving the Conditions Precedent (except certain conditions relating to title and ULC’s occupancy) and agreeing in an amendment to the Purchase Agreement to accept title to the Property subject to existing encroachments and environmental conditions; and

WHEREAS, in preparation for the closing of the sale of the Property the Board desires to designate those officers authorized to execute documents on the District’s behalf;

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved:
1. The above recitals, including the findings contained therein, are incorporated as resolutions of the Board of Directors.
2. The sale of the Property to Doran for a gross sales price of not less than $3.25 million is hereby ratified and approved and the resolutions contained herein shall supersede the Board’s previous resolution of September 13, 2011 regarding the sale of the Property.
3. For purposes of the resolutions below, “Authorized Officer” means either the President of the District or the Treasurer of the District.
4. Either Authorized Officer is hereby directed and authorized to negotiate, execute, acknowledge and deliver on behalf of the District an amendment to Purchase Agreement that reduces the stated purchase price in the Purchase Agreement from $3.5 million to not less than $3.25 million and contains such other terms and conditions as either Authorized Officer deems appropriate.
5. Either Authorized Officer is hereby authorized, empowered and directed to negotiate, execute, acknowledge and deliver on behalf of the District a deed and all other documents and instruments necessary or desirable to complete the sale of the Property as contemplated by the Purchase Agreement, as amended. The execution of any document or instrument by either Authorized Officer shall be deemed conclusive evidence of the approval of such document or instrument in accordance with the terms of this resolution.
6. Either Authorized Officer is further authorized, empowered, and directed to do or to cause to be done all further acts and things as he or she deems necessary, advisable, or convenient in connection with or incidental to the consummation or carrying into effect of the transactions contemplated by the above resolutions including, but not limited to, the payment of real estate taxes, deed taxes, closing costs, and other costs and expenses associated with, or incidental to, the sale of the Property, and all such actions shall be deemed ratified, approved, confirmed and adopted.

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.


MNS Board of Directors release new minutes from May and they show something… — 43 Comments

  1. Remember brother, it’s not about theology! It’s about politics and MONEY!

  2. @Rev. John F. Wurst #1
    Rev. Wurst, it’s about ALL THREE–Politics, money, AND theology-in a mix that has not been for the faint hearted to know about and live through. This past year or so has revealed to all what many have known about the MNSD and ULC for years. Lord, have mercy…..

  3. I looked on this site but couldn’t find it – but I am certain that I read that MNS said in their court filing that one reason they had to proceed with the eviction right away was that they’d owe Doran at least $500,000 if ULC was not off the property by the closing date of July 1, 2012. But I note that in these minutes that the closing date has been pushed back to July 11, so clearly there is nothing critical to Doran regarding July 1. Especially since MNS is agreeing to reduce the sales price to Doran, surely they could have negotiated enough time to let the MNS Convention make this controversial decision instead of leaving it strictly up to the Board. It is shocking to see that the Board did not negotiate for the three weeks needed to ask the Convention to make the final decision rather than making it at the Board meeting. MNS will need the buy-in of multiple congregations across the District to make their new campus ministry plan work. Regardless of MNS congregations’ opinions of ULC and the events of the past year, it appears that the Board is forcing MNS congregations to accept their plan while blocking any input from the congregations of the district.

    Why has the Board committed to taking this decision out of the hands of the Convention? I guess ULC supporters have been asking this since last September. I hope the question gets answered at the convention.

  4. Is there any way in which the Board of Directors or their supporters in the District leadership can use parliamentary rules at the Convention to block or limit discussion of the ULC sale? Can they claim that the Board of Directors has the final say and that it is none of the Convention’s business except to accept what the Board has done or remove the members of the Board when they are up for election? Can they simply “strongarm” their way through the Convention schedule such that the ULC sale gets little or no “floor time”?
    I’ve heard that a determined chairman with a copy of Robert’s Rules of Order can do just about anything he wants.

  5. @Steve Gehrke #4
    In fact, the claiming of not being able to postpone the closing date past July 1 was part of the MNSD exibit AA to the Minnesota Fourth District Court, per the link I listed in post #6. So if the date is postponed past July 1 by MNSD agreement, I have to ask: Did the MNSD not tell the truth to the Fourth District Court (if pure logic is folowed)? Think about it……

  6. Yes, that’s it – thanks, Rahn. I also noted the line in their filing with the court “Postponing the July 1, 2012 closing date is simply not an option.” Hopefully the judge in the case has noted that it was.

    But I pray that the Convention will render the point moot.

  7. Mr. Malach,
    It is certainly possible for a chairman to abuse his power. However, I was a delegate at the 2010 Synodical Convention and though not a supporter of his, I credited SP Kieschnick with being fair to all sides of the debates on the BRSSG (or whatever that acronym was) while keeping the convention on track, even though it was no secret in which way he wanted the votes to go. Similarly I will count on Pres. Seitz to be as fair in managing a controversial convention as SP Kieschnick was in 2010. However, the problems I saw in 2010 that could show up in the MNS convention would be premature calling of the question by delegates from the floor, which can catch unprepared delegates off guard, and to a lesser extent the manner in which resolutions were brought to the floor, which is certainly a prerogative of the chair.

  8. I don’t get all the fuss. Virtually every month another faithful Lutheran pastor (or two or more) in our Synod gets evicted or threatened with eviction from their *divine* calls.

    Where’s the outrage for this abomination?

  9. @Rev. Kurt Hering #10

    No doubt we all can think of a number of examples of problems that cry out for correction.
    I have often seen concern and judgement here regarding the types of ‘evictions’ you mention. If you look further on the site, you will easily find some examples.

    The sale (or attempted sale–it’s not finished yet) of the ULCMN Sanctuary is a public scandal right now. The district convention of ULCMN’s district began earlier today. It is the issue of this exact time. Furthermore, it represents a misuse of power in the Church, in the most clearcut possible way. And since it is being done to a sister congregation, by her own district BOD, it is as if it is being done in our own names, as the district is Synod in that place. Our belief in the Communion of Saints, regularly confessed, requires and evokes our love and support in this dreadful situation, as it does in others.

  10. Pastor Hering, in your post #10 are you referring to district actions against pastors or congregational actions against pastors, or both? Since the topic of this thread was MNS actions against ULC, I was wondering if you were relating that situation to what districts have done/are doing to pastors. Thanks for the clarification!

  11. “…the District exists to serve (things other than evictions).”
    (worth repeating)

    @Rahn Hasbargen #3
    “it’s about ALL THREE–Politics, money, AND theology”

    Hmmm… This district of the LCMS certainly has revealed a lot about the synod’s theology.

  12. 12. The districts are independent in the administration of affairs which
    concern their district only, it being understood, however, that such
    administration shall always serve the interests of the Synod. (from article XII of the Synodical constitution, the article pertaining to districts.)

  13. Has there been any discussion of the ULC situation thus far at the MNS District Convention?

  14. Hold on. So bring me up so speed here. So MNS is receiving not a profitable thing from the sale of the property whatsoever? They loose more by selling then they would gain by keeping? …so basically they only reason they are even doing the sale is because they hate ULC and want to throw them out on the street as some sort of vindictive power play? I hope I’m misunderstanding something here…

    But either way, in the name of semper reformanda, we need to revise our denominational structure to provide stronger accountability to such tyrants. It’s not exactly brain surgery, yet in any church where power is centralized in figureheads, they inevitably trample on others. No power in the church should be given to someone who doesn’t have to answer for what they do with it. To men. “I answer to God” is the same as “I answer to nobody,” at least as far as the organization of temporal affairs is concerned. And it’s the theological equivalent of saying “I love God, so I don’t have to love you.” Mutual submission MUST work itself out in how we relate to one another as a church body, otherwise we are rejecting Matthew 20:25-27.

  15. The ULC Facebook page says that if the sale is to be brought to the floor it will be this afternoon.

  16. So justice is far from us,
    and righteousness does not reach us. 
    We look for light, but all is darkness; 
    for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows…

     “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 59:9, 21)

  17. @Miguel #16

    I think you have the general idea of what is going on, but I am sure the supporters of what the MNSD is doing would disagree. Remember what the Board of Directors said straight to President Harrison when he showed up at one of their meetings a few months ago–namely that not everyone viewed ULC in as favorable of a light as President Harrison (or many of the posters on this blog) did. Read the proposed resolution on the ULC sale that is being brought to the convention, and you will get an idea of what the MNSD Heirarchy thinks of ULC, its pastor, and its’ ministry….

  18. Rev. Kurt Hering :
    I don’t get all the fuss. Virtually every month another faithful Lutheran pastor (or two or more) in our Synod gets evicted or threatened with eviction from their *divine* calls.
    Where’s the outrage for this abomination?

    So true, “The Mistreatment of clergy is as horrifying as it is secretive, and the casualties are reaching epidemic proportions. Over 19,000 pastors get of the ministry every year. When the sermon ends on Sunday, over 350 pastors will be gone before the next Sunday service begins.” (“Clery Abuse” By Kent Crockett P. 9)

  19. @Rahn Hasbargen #20
    I think that it is very telling that the BOD and President Harrison could not even agree on a version of the minutes of the meeting that they both attended.

    Their choice of how to ‘spin’ the facts is transparently deceptive. Anyone who thoughtfully reads their writing and the original source material on which some of it is based will see that with ease. Unfortunately, people tend not to dig that deeply.

    It is one thing to have a legitimate difference of opinion, and quite another to twist facts to accomplish your agenda.

  20. @Miguel #16

    I don’t know at all one way or another on your 1st main point Miguel but as to the LCMS having a structural problem . . . definitely! The LCMS has such an overly decentralized political / ecclesiastical structure, it makes discipline very difficult to exercize.

    I must admit some years back when I attended WELS & ELS congregations at times it seemed discipline was too fast and too certain – but over 1/2 the nonsense that goes on in the LCMS now would *never* even occur in those congregations.

    Even in congregations with good confessional pastors, there seems to be disheartening amounts of latitudinarianism present – pockets of congregations that pastors have more or less given up to ‘do their own thing’ like God’s people did in ancient times (Judges 17:6) only now we have God’s complete Word and the confessions of the Church and many of our people still act that way.

  21. It’s not a “structural problem” but a problem of the men who occupy the positions within the structure.

    If there are men willing to use the structure to maintain synod confessional unity, they will use it (recall Rev. Wallace Schulz).

    If there are men willing to ignore or misuse the structure for other purposes, then the problems will remain (there have been numerous BJS threads on some of those).

  22. “And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.” (Matt 10:14-15)
    Kyrie Eleison+,
    -Matt Mills

  23. “The Synod at Convention in MN – South voted to give $2 M from the sale of ULC to ULC. It passed 52.3% to 47.7%.”

    HT:Pr. Mark Preus at LQ

  24. Who proposed this? Does this constituted “approval” of the sale by the Convention?

  25. $2,000,000 to the congregation leaves the district with $1.25 million. And how is that amount going to provide for the kind of new vision for campus ministry the MNS BOD embraced?

  26. Well, if $3.5 million gave them enough for $5000 grants to congregations to do campus ministry, I guess this would give them enough for a little less than $1800 per congregation to do campus ministry. Less than $150/month. About $35/week.

  27. Of course, if the proposed new district campus ministry guy gets the kind of salary/benefits that were suggested before, then that $35/week goes WAY down…

  28. What kind of real estate can 2 million dollars buy.

    Why would the ULC want to remain with MNS after the way that congregation has been treated. Will the ULC take the money and then leave MNS for either the Slovak or English districts. At a minimum, the ULC should at least switch districts.

  29. Have any other congregations in MNS requested to be transferred to the SELC or English districts following the MNS actions against ULC?

  30. @Lumpenkönig #37
    Will the ULC take the money and then leave MNS …

    First let’s see the money in hand… the hands of ULC… then we can speculate about the rest.

    Frankly, I wouldn’t stop praying about this one.

    First, we can give thanks for the majority who voted the money to the congregation.
    Next we’d better pray that it is actually transmitted to ULC.

  31. I would really like to see the resolution that was passed. Anyone have access to its wording?

  32. OVERTURE E—7

    RE: To Provide Funds for ULC

    WHEREAS, the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities has been served by Lutheran ministers for over eighty five years and;

    WHEREAS the chapel has served the congregation and campus ministry of ULC for over sixty years, and

    WHEREAS, the MN South District Board of Directors has entered into a contract to sell the building without providing a new church home for the campus ministry, and

    WHEREAS, the MN South District has on numerous occasions expressed support in convention for campus ministry at the University of Minnesota therefore be it

    Resolved, that the District provide $2 million from the proceeds of the sale toward relocation of University Lutheran Chapel for the sake of continuing its campus ministry.

    Submitted by:
    Glory of Christ Lutheran Church
    Plymouth, MN
    Rev. Klemet Preus, Senior Pastor
    Rev. John Fehrmann, Associate Pastor

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