Daystar conference heavily promoted by “Ordain Women Now” (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

An upcoming Daystar conference is being heavily promoted by an organization called “Ordain Women Now.” The conference is set for August 2-4, to be held at Valparaiso University in Indiana. By the way it is being promoted, the conference could easily be seen as an Ordain Women Now conference. Much of the publicity for the conference is coming from Ordain Women Now. The president of Ordain Women Now, Elizabeth Goodine, is one of the plenary speakers. Valparaiso University Professor Matthew Becker, who is involved in both Daystar and Ordain Women Now, also is one of the plenary speakers and is listed as the conference contact.

But there is this one-sentence disclaimer at the Ordain Women Now website: “Ordain Women Now is not involved with the planning of this conference, but OWN President, Dr. Elizabeth Goodine, will be one of the Plenary Speakers and will lead one of the breakout sessions.”

Besides Elizabeth Goodine (Southern District) and Matthew Becker (Northwest District), other LCMS rostered workers scheduled to speak at the conference include these ordained ministers: Atlantic District President David Benke; California-Nevada-Hawaii District President Bob Newton; Jock Ficken (Texas); Chad Lakies (Northwest); Paul Mueller (Northwest); Frederick Niedner (Indiana); Robert Schmidt (Minnesota South); and Jim Wetzstein (Indiana).

One would hope that these ten LCMS rostered church workers would clearly distance themselves from the purpose of OWN, which is to “Ordain Women Now in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.” However, in the case of Goodine and Becker, at least, it is difficult to see how they could distance themselves, given their involvement in Ordain Women Now.

“Ordain Women Now” sites promoting the conference:

Conference brochure PDF file
Ordain Women Now website
Ordain Women Now Facebook page


Daystar conference heavily promoted by “Ordain Women Now” (by Pr. Charles Henrickson) — 50 Comments

  1. I think President Harrison should attend this conference and do a Matthew 18 face-to-face with these LCMS pastors, District Presidents, and Becker immediately following the event. Then he should admonish them in accordance with LC 284. Then he should advise the entire church to mark and avoid these men. That is, unless they all speak out against WO in the LCMS……..

  2. Randy, it will not be possible for President Harrison to attend
    the Valpo Conference. From August 3 to August 7,, he will be
    attending the Council of Presidents Meeting with his Synodical
    Vice Presidents and the 35 District Presidents.

  3. @Pastor Dave Likeness #2

    Pastor Likeness,

    Great point. Sounds like the perfect opportunity to move the Praesidium / COP meeting to the Valpo area in order to address this insanity as a church body! There’s plenty of time to reschedule the COP venue. If the LCMS leadership is serious about addressing error, why on Earth wouldn’t they converge on this event to stomp out this heterodox movement? Matthew 18 face-to-face concerns could be dealt with on the spot. What a perfect opportunity. I can’t imagine that LCMS leadership would miss this opportunity to address error, nor do I think that they would have clear consciences by holding a glad-hand political meeting while such error is taking place.


    PS: I wonder if Benke and Newton were planning on skipping the COP/Praesidium mtg in favor of this OWN conference?

  4. Randy Yovanovich :
    PS: I wonder if Benke and Newton were planning on skipping the COP/Praesidium mtg in favor of this OWN conference?

    By August, a new DP will have been elected in the Atlantic District; Benke has announced he is retiring. As for Newton in CNH, I don’t think we’ll be that fortunate; if he’s running (and I haven’t heard otherwise), he’s a lock to be reelected. If he then skips out on some of a COP meeting to go this conference, oh well.

  5. Pastor Henrickson,

    Thanks for the clarification. I forgot about Benke retiring this year. Regarding the COP/Praesidium conference, do you know where that will be held?

  6. The LCMS President and the COP will be meeting at
    Graceland in Memphis, TN. As you know this is the
    former mansion of Elvis Presley. This Grace Place
    Retreat will feature some of the favorite meals of
    Elvis and a great place to relax.

  7. @Pastor Dave Likeness #7

    You’ve got to be kidding! Really? LCMS, Inc is planning on meeting at Graceland? This is my district……… gets worse by the minute. If President Harrison really holds a meeting at Graceland while Valpo is raging as the front lines of the Church Militant then the WAR is lost for the LCMS.

  8. Pastor Likeness is joking. The COP retreat in August will be in Northern Michigan on Mackinac Island—and no, not in the Grand Hotel.

  9. is a RSO of the LCMS according to their website located in St. Louis. Sorry people it’s not Graceland in Memphis!

  10. I suppose a confrontation is inevitable over ordaining women in the LCMS, and you can bet the price of a Wisconsin farm that those promoting this idea would not stop there. The seeds of a schism were planted and the motivation of progressive post modernists within the LCMS is to reconstitute the Synod, modernize it, or dissolve it. They could care less if there were an immediate exodus of thousands of conservative Lutherans who have had enough. And where would they go? They would join WELS, other Confessional Lutheran bodies, or join other denominations. I do not see a purging of the post modernist progressives in sight. I do not see discipline or excommunication, which they deserve. I see only a willful tolerance and a appeasement which will only buy more time but not solve the issue of LCMS survival.

  11. @Charles Henrickson #9

    I disagree. Regardless of where the LCMS, Inc conference is held, if the COP / Praesidium meets while Becker and Benke and Newton (and others) have their Valpo extravaganza without admonishment, then the whole newfound position against heterodoxy within the synod is a sham.

  12. @Thom Garrison #10
    Pastor Likeness is joking. The COP retreat in August will be in Northern Michigan on Mackinac Island—and no, not in the Grand Hotel.

    Is this another joke? There is no “reasonable” place or rate on Mackinac Island, [and “off season” (last year’s alibi) would be January, wouldn’t it?] The princes of the synod [not the Church] do themselves very well on our dime, (if it’s not another joke).


    Aug. 03 – Aug. 07, 2015 Council of Presidents Classic Retreat (CR)
    Mission Point Resort, Mackinac Island MI
    Ephesians 4 cradles the upcoming Grace Place Wellness Retreat for the entire LCMS Council of Presidents and Presidium and their wives. This is the third retreat provided to the leadership of the Missouri Synod in the past 10 years. This particular retreat gathers our leaders just as all the District Conventions are concluding and new Presidents are gathering for their first joint encounter.

  14. No joke, Helen. The Michigan District has used Mission Point as a conference center a number of times. It’s nice but it is not “swanky”. It is very relaxing at the east end of the island. I have stayed there several times.

  15. Still must be a joke, right? LCMS Inc. would in no way plan a retreat for the entire COP, Praesidium, and their wives while we are in the midst of such struggles. Harrison just came out publically against Becker’s flawed theological stance, so there’s no way he’s planning on holding such a retreat during the OWN/Daystar conference, right?

    Who’s the joke on now?????

  16. I like the Ordain Women Now’s Facebook cover photo of a purple golfball with the logo “Ordain Women Now” tee’d up on the front lawn of and aimed at the Purple Palace.

  17. President Newton, that’s the guy who tried to sue a congregation for their church property.

  18. Summaries of the sectional presentations are provided on the brochure, and Dr. Goodine’s presentation is the most counter-LCMS. The overall summary on the brochure gives an overview of the purpose of the conference: “‘Our Children’s Church’ will provide a safe place for professional church workers and lay leaders to address various issues of the faith and Christian mission in relation to younger generations. We will examine best practices for teaching the core of our faith as well as engaging some disputed topics within the church and related to its purpose.” Given this language and the speaker from OWN, one can well imagine that WO will be discussed quite openly, as the description of her sectional also indicates. The very title of the conference, I believe, is put forward as a contrast with the oft repeated phrase that this is our “grandfather’s church.” At the end of the summary they also note: “The conference will serve as a model for the LCMS and other national church bodies to empower and equip congregations as they maintain and promote intergenerational understandings of faith and practice.” It seems that there is the idea that faithfulness to the past generations and their work may be more of an inpediment to the future of the church than embracing new understandings that are more faithful to the changing culture (see Becker’s sectional description). That this conference would become a “model for the LCMS…to empower and equip congregations” is rather disconcerting to me.

  19. @Tim Schenks #23

    Maybe he should tell his buddy (DP Benke) to put a cork in it. We hear the bemoaning form certain synod leaders about the ‘evil’ of blogging. I am sure a lot of that is directed at us, and maybe Pres. Harrison, to stop it. However, Dave Benke is an ACTIVE participant at another site, and I personally find his postings to be uncharitable. I am sure he will disagree. And the there is Prof. Becker who will go on ad nauseum with his heterodox/heretical teachings as though he is the the best things since sliced bread. Do you think they are being reprimanded?

    For consistency sake, I would hope that Pres. Kieschnick has called/emailed Pr. Rossow, Pr. Scheer AND Prof. Becker, Pres. Benke, Pres. Harrison and probably even more to discuss the vitriol that he sees. Eventually if things don’t work out, Matthew 18 will bring him to publicly rebuking others, and I want him to name names as is appropriate/required. (to warn the Church of public false teachers) Let him defend why he has called to the carpet those he has publicly named, and let the debate begin.

  20. OWN has repeatedly stated that they desire to have an open conversation in the LCMS about women’s ordination without fear of discipline. Clearly, the “fear of discipline” part is not much of a concern for them any longer. I’m not surprised that Valpo would provide a platform for OWN. The kicker of this thing is that this “our children’s church” event is clearly a jab at the LCMS. It serves no actual purpose beyond this. I’m fairly certain that the ELCA has no need to hold a discussion on the subject of promoting women’s ordination – since they already have it. OWN has a pretty strong ELCA presence in their fold (former LCMS in some cases), so this also gives them an opportunity to pat themselves on the back. But ultimately, these social justice warriors simply cannot be content with their own little utopia, they must force all others around them to conform to their world view. And so it is then, here we are. The fact that a decent sized segment of their supporters are Roman Catholic, Muslim, Mormon, Reformed, and other flavors of protestant, goes to show that this is more than an internal matter – we are getting pressed heavily by outside forces. OWN isn’t as Missouri-Synod as they would like us to believe in regards to their supporters and contributors. With that being said though, they do have some legit LCMS supporters who are clearly able to remain in their congregations – either as clergy or laity – with little concern at this point regarding discipline.

  21. I suppose it would do little good to point out to OWN that the allowing of women’s ordination in denominations is almost always followed with more tolerance of heterodoxy/heresy in other areas.

  22. Keep in mind, Becker may have gotten off the hook for his prior misdeeds mentioned in the DRP complaint, but that does not exempt him other false teachings or future misdeeds. He needs to be put under 24/7 surveillance.

  23. “One would hope that these ten LCMS rostered church workers would clearly distance themselves from the purpose of OWN, which is to “Ordain Women Now in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.”

    Charlie, these words made me laugh out loud! To quote an old movie, “You funny guy!”


  24. @Charles Henrickson #30
    Rev. Henrickson,
    If the DRP as carried out by his Northwest District President and Circuit Supervisors overlooked his false teaching this time, why would we expect a different outcome from future DRP complaints against him?

  25. You have district presidents who are in favor of ordaining women. Wow. If they did not, then why would they be attending? If they have any type of service, at this conference, they will probably attend maybe even particapte. They should be suspended if they attend this conference. No But’s. End of Story. Suspend them all.

  26. @J. Dean #38

    “What is to be done? What are we to do, dear brethren, who have been entrusted with the ministerial office of the Lutheran Church in times so decisive for the Church and the world? Nothing would be more wrong than if we were to wait for others to act. The Word Conference will take its course in accordance with the law by which it was guided at the outset. We cannot expect it to know what the church of the Formula of Concord is and to act accordingly. … From it we can expect an inner renewal of Lutheranism as little as from any other ecclesiastical organization, including that of our own church. Nor can we expect anything at all, from our bishops, synods, church presidents, and faculties.”

    Herman Sasse, Letters to Lutheran Pastors, Volume I. CPH 2013, 15

    “What should we do, in this situation of our church? And that means all of us, dear brothers, every pastor, every teacher of theology, who knows about the responsibility which he bears. We must first free ourselves of the superstition that what is to be done must and will be done by others, as those who are called to do something. The bishops and the great church presidents will do nothing. None of them before Hanover (when the meeting is commenced) will stand up and state a simple and clear profession of the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper of the Lutheran Confessions, or profess its ecclesiastical consequences. Not one. At the meetings of the old World Convention, such a thing could still happen. Today there is no longer a Hein or a Reu. Even the great theologians will, when it comes to this question, grow very quiet. The times in which the professors were confessors are gone… So we must all speak, and in advance!”

    Herman Sasse, Letters to Lutheran Pastors, Volume I. CPH 2013, 427

    It’s time my friends… we must ALL speak!


  27. A question if I may.

    While I understand, practice and fully support the LCMS requirement that pastors preach and teach IAW the doctrinal positions of the LCMS, i wonder if there is a context in which one such as Becker might discuss and debate an opposing position without having disciplinary action taken?

  28. @David Hartung #40

    Maybe, but that is hardly what he is doing. Instead of merely talking about things adn trying to reason them out with others, he absolutely insists he’s right and we’re wrong. And instead of just talking, he actively promotes his ideology, TEACHING students his erroneous ways, thereby subverting the LCMS (encouraging women to go ELCA to become ordained). And then he participates in worship and ceremonies with those who we are not in fellowship with, against oru written rules.

    I am sure as seminarians are learning, these type of topics do come up and are discussed. Especially amongst the students themselves as the wrestle with what they learn. But that is not Matthew Becker. He has crossed many lines to warrant disciplinary action.

  29. @David Hartung #40

    In addition to what Jason eloquently stated, Becker wants something that already exists. Becker is essentially in fellowship with the ELCA. He ought to make it official and move on over to where he believes the grass is greener.

  30. @David Hartung #40

    Regarding a context for a safe place to explore different ideas/issues… This is my understanding of what a Circuit Winkel is for. If you have an idea, opinion, or proposal that may or may not be in line with confessional Lutheranism, you share it with your brother pastors and let them fraternally and collegially critique your idea. You do this before you start a new congregational practice or “ministry” and certainly before you write public statements.

    If this kind of activity was actually taking place in our winkels, there would be far less nonsense to write about on blogs like this one.

    In Christ, Clint

  31. @David Hartung #48
    Take heart! I have a winkel where we can and do “get hot” with each other upon occasion, but in a spirit of real discussion. As the CV, I do have a faint “worry” about some of the quieter guys who might misinterpret the heated discussion and be “offended”, but I shouldn’t, because the ones I “worry” about keep coming back. And then, we go have lunch together, and quite thoroughly enjoy each other’s company. I love my circuit. There really is mutual respect, even when one says to another, “That’s a load of hogwash!”

  32. Dear BJS,
    The more I stare at this one, the more I wonder what to do? Perhaps simply sign up and go.
    I “may” bring an air horn and blow it every time someone goes against Biblical teaching, an then say, “excuse me, what was that?”
    In reality, I may bring that air horn and blow it the first time someone at the NID convention comes to the microphone and says, “call the question.” Especially after 30 seconds of discussion.

    OK, just kidding on the air horn (or am I?)

    I am also watching videos of UK debates in Parliament. Hmmm.

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