Candidates get a turn.

CRMWe have seen what the 3-10A Task Force came up with – nothing decisive or substantial.  You can read the original resolution, report, and President Harrison’s letter asking for more input here.

Instead, President Harrison is using his authority to seek more information from the candidates mouths.  He has commissioned a number of men (who are or have been on “candidate” status [formerly known as CRM]) to come down to St. Louis to discuss the matter with him and his office directly.  This is good, as it bypasses the office of District President, which in our Synod is a fine example of “YMMV”.  Let the candidates come out of the shadows to speak of their experiences, this is good.  It will shed more light on the situation than maybe what the Synod President has already heard.  Sometimes St. Louis seems so very far from the parish, I am glad that President Harrison is bridging that distance in this case.

Maybe there can be some good suggestions for the Synod in Convention this summer to show some mercy to our pastors who find themselves in this situation and work hard to get them back to serving in the parish.


For more of this kind of first hand information, check out Pr. Alan Kornacki’s great book on this form of “Lutheran purgatory”.  Here as a PDF.  Here on Amazon.


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.


Candidates get a turn. — 10 Comments

  1. I don’t know how much I can or should say about the meeting yesterday. In terms of who said what, I certainly won’t go into that. In fact, apart from myself I won’t even tell you who was there.

    But I will say that I was very impressed with how the meeting was conducted. We were able to talk for two hours, and a lot of very positive things were said. I am pleased with the individuals who facilitated the meeting, and I believe that they acted with the utmost professionalism, courtesy, and compassion. I am eager to see what all comes from this.

  2. I am very glad this meeting was held and long overdue to resolve this issue in our midst. It would good to have a data base somewhere listing all the pastors on CRM status so congregations making up a call list can have a look to see if there is someone they should consider.

  3. @Gene White #3

    It would good to have a data base somewhere listing all the pastors on CRM status

    You will never see such a list.
    If it came out, good lay people would be saying, “Here is a man we have heard; he is a faithful preacher. Why has the district not given us his name for our vacancy?” Or, “What did district do to help him stay in his last call?”

    There might also [here I am guessing!] be an embarrassing correlation between Pastors on CRM/CA and the “need” for district licensed lay substitutes. [Where did we ever get the idea that districts should/could “license” lay substitutes for the OHM?]

    I’ve wondered about something else, too; we’ll see how it plays out in July before I tell you…

    [Remember, I am the resident “cynic”, “pessimist” or whatever your favorite ‘brush off’ word is. What would I know? I’m not even eligible for a district license…] 😉

  4. @helen #4: Remember, I am the resident “cynic”, “pessimist”

    Remember Lily Tomlin said: “No matter how cynical you get it is impossible to keep up.” 😉

  5. @helen #4

    Good morning, Helen. My point was if such a data base was available the districts would be out of the loop in supplying such names to congregations, in all cases, so the question wouldn’t come up. A side issue, but an important one, is that districts, in some cases, are trying to train congregations into believing that only the district can supply names for their call list. Historically, congregations have the right to do this independently, districts are only advisory for any topic. The laity are most uninformed as to what the correct polity is so they are easy targets since they don’t know how the call process is supposed to work. See for guidance on calling.

  6. @Gene White #6

    A side issue, but an important one, is that districts, in some cases, are trying to train congregations into believing that only the district can supply names for their call list. Historically, congregations have the right to do this independently…

    All true, but if there were a CA list, the DP would be handing congregations two lists and,(from other comments in various places), perhaps neglecting to supply the various informational forms for one of them.

    Perhaps the “education” on polity and the rights and obligations of congregations should come down from synod… in the interests of eliminating the CA status. Pastors removed for just Lutheran cause should also be removed from the roster (and not slipped back in by way of “lay ministry” to cause havoc in another congregation, as has happened).

    Congregations known to drive out pastors should not receive replacements, per Dr.Luther.

    Of course, I am presupposing a Lutheran synod, composed of Lutheran congregations electing Lutheran officers (fewer of those!), all following a Lutheran constitution (and with a great reduction in “by-laws”)!

    Back to idealism in my superannuated status! 🙂

  7. @helen #7

    I take it you live in CA, Helen, bless you my lady. Both the Northern part and the Southern part operate about the same and are joined at the hip with the NW where I live.

    My thinking is the DPs should have no control over these lists as to who sees them and who can get a copy. Congregations should have direct access as a service provided by THEIR Synod. Our DPs have way to much power and influence (and money control) than they should. Synod and delgates bares the blame and the hurt for that, citing current circumstances.

    It would be good if Synod undertook the teaching of our historical polity to the laity but I see no organization equipped to do that. On the other hand there are resources for this for free on my website and others for purchase, if people would only avail themselves of it. At least one should obtain a copy of “Zion on the Mississippi” and “Government in the Missouri Synod” for a good understanding of how the pot of stew was created. Then take your new knowledge and start using it in your own congregation. If it has to be grass roots so be it, but get it done!

  8. @Gene White #9

    I take it you live in CA, Helen, bless you my lady.

    Blessings always appreciated!
    But I got my “education” in Texas. 🙁

    Districts were created in horse and buggy days, before many people even had phones.

    With modern communications, districts are as obsolete as buggies and party lines!
    The main thing they seem to do is soak up 70-80% of “mission” monies and spend it on over staffing, or on non-Lutheran programs.

    Harrison put an envelope in Lutheran Witness early on, to contribute directly to Synod.
    Every church should have a box of such envelopes with a set for seminary included.
    Then, out of their ‘mission’ contribution, they should give to synod and seminary as much as the district keeps for itself and to district, as much as district sends to synod and seminary.

    But Synod should in turn, save us embarrassment by taking the Lutheran name off some RSO’s which are not furthering Lutheran activities in the world.

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