Skip to comments.Church group says Zion ELCA vote fell short
Posted on 01/09/2010 10:22:44 PM PST by SmithL
CLEAR LAKE The Northeastern Iowa Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is disputing Zion Lutheran Churchs vote in December to leave the denomination.
In a news release on Friday Rev. Steven L. Ullestad, bishop of the Northeastern Iowa Synod ELCA, declared that the two-thirds vote needed was not achieved.
The December vote at Zion came in reaction to a resolution adopted by the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in August that would allow gay pastors in a committed relationship to serve congregations.
Prior to that, gay pastors had to commit to being celibate in order to serve.
According to the news release, 366 church members attended and registered during the Dec. 13 meeting, which meant a majority vote of 244 was needed to meet the required two-thirds majority.
Zion members voted 238 to 119 to leave the ELCA, which was exactly two-thirds of the 357 members who voted.
They must be confused or something, said Rev. Dean Hess, senior pastor at the Clear Lake church, in response to the allegations. All of those numbers are wrong. I dont know where they got those.
We reported the numbers that were actually there, so Im at a loss, he said.
Church member Randy Reid, who was against leaving the ELCA, said there had been questions about the vote the past several weeks.
It appears there continues to be a lot of opposition to people who were opposed to leaving the ELCA, he said. Ive heard that theyve actually confronted people within the church who were supporting the ELCA. Its been uncomfortable since the elections.
Carole Roth, church council president, was unavailable for comment Friday night, but was quoted in the news release as saying We dont see it (the vote) as invalid. From our standpoint, we dont see a conflict.
We have counted all the votes, and we have a count of the voting members present: 357 voting members present, with 238 affirmative votes, 119 negative, she is quoted in the news release.
Roth said in the news release she didnt know where Ullestad got the numbers he cited.
She also said that she expects the congregations leaders will discuss the bishops letter, which disputes the numbers, next week.
Once the ELCA abandoned the Bible, the rest comes easy.
Many congregations, mine included, sometimes do not know exactly how many members they have. I think it’s not that uncommon that people leave, stop coming to church, go to other churches on Sundays, etc., but are still listed in their roster. There are also people who come regularly but not officially members. These things can be sources of dispute when big issues like needing 2/3 members come up.
The ones who voted to leave made the right decision. The ELCA and groups like them basically act like the Dems. 2/3 of the vote protesting the way they do business but want a simple majority to throw the Bible out the window !!
Put women in leadership roles over men in a denomination, and THIS IS WHAT YOU GET.
There have been some excellent comments on ALPB Forum, particurlarly enlightening are comments # 45 & # 7.
C S*A) Ping!
* as of August 19, AD 2009, a liberal protestant SECT, not part of the holy, catholic and apostolic CHURCH.
The ones who voted to leave should just leave. Go out and form a bible centered, Gospel preaching congregation and leave those who want to stay in the ELCA alone with their apostacy.
Taking the constitution statement provided in post #7 at face value, it would appear the vote indeed fell short of a 2/3 majority by several votes. What needs to be determined is whether a number of members who signed as present left prior to the vote in question. If so, then they met the 2/3 majority. If, OTOH, they remained on premises, but didn’t vote, the vote fell short.
And that is why post # 45 is so germain.
I was unaware of the Roberts’s Rules requirement for registering attendance (again) immediately after taking vote in which the bar is established by members PRESENT as opposed to the normal bar of “legal ballots cast”.
I have a hard time keeping track of what gets said on any given thread over there, but earlier, I saw a post stating that it takes a simple majority to cut all funding to the ELCA. It also takes a simple majority to align with CORE or LCMC. But since the ELCA forbids dual membership, they could kick out a congregation for joining CORE or LCMC.
CORE membership is not prohibited (at this time) because CORE has yet to form its anticipated "free standing synod" or parallel denomination.
LCMC membership does run afoul of the prohibition on dual membership, and things can get very dicey if a congregation decides to move to LCMC without its Pastor; likewise if a Pastor decides to go LCMC without his congregation.
Oversimplified: If the congregation goes LCMC and the Pastor wishes to continue serving he would need to be "on leave from Call" with the ELCA until such time as he resigns the ELCA roster (three year limit); If the Pastor wishes to become LCMC he could continue to serve the congregation but the congregation would be in the same situation as those which have called gaysbians through the "Extraordinary Candidacy Project"--subject to discipline or removal from the ELCA.
I’m unaware of that requirement as well. I’m president of our Kiwanis Golden K club and conduct monthly board meetings. We take attendance of officer and board attendance at the beginning of each meeting. Whether this fiscal year or in the past, I don’t recall a voting member ever leaving during a meeting. But had that happened, I’m confident it wouldn’t have made us recount members present. This is news of interest to me.
The default in Robert’s Rules is for votes to be either simple or super majority of ballots cast.
It is an anomaly from Robert’s Rules that the ELCA Constitutions require that votes to leave the denomination require a super majority of “members present”. If the “members present” phrase is not in the Kiwanis By-laws, nothing to worry about.
I'm unsure on this, as it's taken me a little time to get an idea of what you've written. As I understand, if a congregation votes to go LCMS and the pastor wishes to continue serving that congregation, he can request "on leave from call" status with the ELCA (3 year limit).
If he himself wishes to transfer his affiliation with the LCMS (while his congregation continues its affiliation with the ELCA), he could do so but that would place the congregation in the same position (with the ELCA) as a congregation that has called gays/lesbians to serve as clergy.
It's this second part I have most trouble with. Since August, gay/lesbian clergy are accepted. So, why is there such a thing as "Extraordinary Candidacy Project" still in existence to which the congregation is subjected?
Nothing in our chapter’s by-laws (which have been approved by International) states anything that conflicts with ‘members present’. I then take it that ‘members present’ is operative.
Unfortunately they are suffering from the same situation my Church is. They believe that leaving the ELCA is leaving the Lutheran denomination. I am so frustrated at this attitude. I am a Lutheran and I will not partake of this affirmation of sin that the ELCA is.
The rules are that it take 2/3 of members attending the meeting.
How about quorum? I’m not surprised if people challenge results based on not enough people attending. I think the church I’m attending has both 2/3 rules regarding quorum and decision.
Lutheranism, like the other large Protestant denominations is by it's nature communal (or "catholic" to use a dangerous term)...and an "independent" Lutheran church is as strange as an independent Anglican, Presbyterian, or Methodist church. This is why Lutheran Churches leaving ELCA must VERY QUICKLY form a new denomination, for those churches like themselves of whom the ELCA has left--AS very conservative groups like LCMS are just too much to swallow.
My home Church, left the mainline Presbyterian denomination (PCUSA) over the same issues 25 years ago--BUT we left TO join another (small) Presbyterian denomination (that is since become not so small) the evangelical-but-not-fundamentalist Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC). The great majority of EPC churches today are ex-mainline churches--who left for the same reasons the ELCA is breaking up today.
Lutheranism, like Presbyterianism (and the other largest Protestant movements) is inherently denominational/communal, as this is one major way Church discipline is supposed to work. Yes, it has failed in the mainline churches--as '60s radicals inexorably took them over from within....that doesn't mean being in communion with other churches in a denomination is at all a bad thing.
The current divide between fundamentalist denominations and evangelical ones, is in the issue over women's ordination. I am on the conservative side of that divide, however, I can understand evangelicals, who reject homosexuality--and other radical theologies--who do allow women to be ministers. The EPC, much like the smaller Anglican groups, has taken a middle road on this...allowing women previously ordained to stay that way, BUT also allowing individual Churches to discern what side of that divide they will be on. It's not a permanent or perfect solution, but, it does allow the evangelical feminists, to be in fellowship with those (like myself) who are evangelical "complementarians" (we believe in different roles for men and women). Feminism is an error, but, I believe not at the level of the rank heresy that acceptance of homosexuality is.