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Switch to Forum Live View Campus Ministry Takes a Hit
4 years ago  ::  May 18, 2011 - 10:53PM #11
G_Erdner
Posts: 170

Lutheran Campus Ministries are not the only programs that the ELCA doesn't have enough money to continue to support. Over 500 congregations have left the ELCA since August of 2009. Another 100 have taken their first vote to leave and are marking time until they are also gone. That's a very large amount of offerings going somewhere other than to the ELCA.


There are over 200 new congregations started in other Lutheran denominations, mostly populated by people who were on the losing side of congregational votes where they couldn't get a 2/3rds majority to vote to leave. So, the people who lost the votes left their ELCA congregations and started new churches in other denominations, who are now getting the offerings that used to go to the ELCA.


Then, there are many churches who have decided to "restore the ELCA from within" who are redirecting the money they used to give to the ELCA, and are sending their offerings and support directly to appropriate ministries that need support.


It is not good that LCM isn't being supported, but the ELCA just plain doesn't have the money to spend on programs that it once did. They had to make some hard choices over what to cut and what to keep. I'm looking forward to seeing the details of the ELCA's next budget.


None of this should come as news to anyone. All of this was predicted as what would happen if the Social Statements were approved at the August 2009 CWA. I'm surprised no one who is a strong supporter of the actions of the August 2009 CWA hasn't spoken up and taken the credit for the ELCA being willing to sacrifice programs like LCM as part of its witness of doing what it believed was right.

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4 years ago  ::  May 18, 2011 - 11:41PM #12
Sherylyn
Posts: 63

I'm probably going to regret this, but...


G_Erdner, you've just about ridden that horse into the ground. Campus ministry support was declining annually since way before CWA '09. Before we went through a difficult period and campus ministry declined at LSU, we saw the amount churchwide sent decline from about $9,000 a year to $3,000 - and that was way before CWA 09. And while I only have my synod to judge by, a lot of the congregations that left hadn't sent benevolence to the synod or churchwide in years.


There is a limited pool of money that has been declining as the church has greyed, because we are, frankly, not good at evangelism and we are not good at being welcoming.


Not everything is about homosexuality. In fact, we have seen increased participation since the assembly, because we are one of the few denominations and ministries in the area that welcome and invite homosexual individuals and couples to fully participate in the life of the community.

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4 years ago  ::  May 19, 2011 - 12:00AM #13
G_Erdner
Posts: 170

May 18, 2011 -- 11:41PM, Sherylyn wrote:


I'm probably going to regret this, but...


G_Erdner, you've just about ridden that horse into the ground. Campus ministry support was declining annually since way before CWA '09. Before we went through a difficult period and campus ministry declined at LSU, we saw the amount churchwide sent decline from about $9,000 a year to $3,000 - and that was way before CWA 09. And while I only have my synod to judge by, a lot of the congregations that left hadn't sent benevolence to the synod or churchwide in years.


There is a limited pool of money that has been declining as the church has greyed, because we are, frankly, not good at evangelism and we are not good at being welcoming.


Not everything is about homosexuality. In fact, we have seen increased participation since the assembly, because we are one of the few denominations and ministries in the area that welcome and invite homosexual individuals and couples to fully participate in the life of the community.





Where did I once mention the word "homosexuality"? The issue is about the ELCA not following scripture, it's not about the specifics of which parts of scripture that the ELCA chose to ignore.


While it is true that there has been a gradual decline in the ELCA's size and financial strength since the day it was founded, the pace of decline increased dramatically after the 2009 CWA. That's a fact. It's public knowledge. To note that support was declining at a certain small percentage for a long time, and to ignore the fact that there was an extreme increase in that rate of decline as a result of the errant decisions of the 2009 CWA is to post an untrue statement.


I'm sure you're aware of the phrase used in a court of law regarding telling, "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth"? That means that to be totally honest, it's not enough to lie. You must also include all the details, omitting none that hurt your position. That's where the "whole truth" comes in. You stating that the financial support was declining is "the truth", but by ignoring the extreme change in the rate of decline, you failed to tell "the whole truth". Your insistence that this is about homosexuality instead of being about the authority of Scripture is an example of failing to confine your comments to "nothing but the truth". You interjected your own opinions, which happen to be wrong.


 

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4 years ago  ::  May 19, 2011 - 8:28AM #14
tawonda
Posts: 4,367

The LCMS is having the same issues with campus ministry, Erdner. And I'm sure that the same is true for WELS.


Move on. Stop hijacking other people's topic threads. We are tired of you flogging your dead horse here. If you don't like the ELCA, then don't go to an ELCA church.

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4 years ago  ::  May 19, 2011 - 9:38AM #15
G_Erdner
Posts: 170

May 19, 2011 -- 8:28AM, tawonda wrote:


The LCMS is having the same issues with campus ministry, Erdner. And I'm sure that the same is true for WELS.


Move on. Stop hijacking other people's topic threads. We are tired of you flogging your dead horse here. If you don't like the ELCA, then don't go to an ELCA church.




First, posting accurate and true information about the ELCA's money problems in a thread about an ELCA ministry not getting enough money is not "hijacking" a thread.


Second, the issues the LC-MS is having with campus ministry is not the same as the ELCA. The ELCA can't afford to fund campus ministry because it is going broke. The LC-MS has a small reduction in resources because of the recession, but their biggest issue is deciding whether or not spending on campus ministry is the better choice regarding stewardship of their resources.


It's like the difference between a family trying to cope with a breadwinner taking a pay cut (the LC-MS) and a family trying to cope with the breadwinner losing their job completely and going on unemployment (the ELCA).

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4 years ago  ::  May 19, 2011 - 4:12PM #16
tawonda
Posts: 4,367

G_Erdner: I happen to know people in ELCA campus ministry -- surprise, surprise -- and "going broke" is not what's happening. It's the same dynamic as the LCMS; living with a new economic reality caused by a number of issues and trying to redistribute resources in the best way possible given the conditions. (Some of my campus ministry friends would like to see campus ministry come under the aegis of Global Mission and receive some of the resources and consideration that those programs do, while others think that the locally-supported model is a workable option IF the local congregations can all be persuaded to invest time/talent/funds in nurturing student relationships.)


Also: Contrary to your negative drumbeat, my congregation is growing -- so much so that I just got home from a meeting with our pastor, Synod misison developer and other lay ministers, talking about our plans for a multiple-worship-point ministry in the future to accomodate more people while maintaining the character and manageability of our own congregation. I know at least one other person on this forum whose ELCA congregation has the same happy problem to solve.


I left the LCMS when I was about 20 years old. I was probably as angry with them then as you are with the ELCA now. Guess what? I got over it. I found a church home that fed/challenged/supported me and I was happy, and I got over it. I harbor no ill will toward the LCMS today. As far as that goes, what they do or don't do is not of that much ongoing concern to me, because it's not my church body anymore. If the ELCA isn't your church body anymore, then what we do isn't your business either.


Your behavior reminds me of a friend of mine who, coming off a bad divorce, couldn't stop talking about his ex-wife for YEARS until he finally found a happy relationship that allowed him to develop some psychological distance from his divorce experience.


But if you insist on flogging the deceased equine...I'm going to ask you to kindly start your own topic threads instead of jacking mine.


 


 

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4 years ago  ::  May 22, 2011 - 3:19AM #17
TomeReader
Posts: 70

We're lucky. We've had to be nearly self-supporting for the past several years (a town-gown congregation). Our students, the pastor, and the campus ministry associate spend time fund raising and it's worked well. Partly it's because so many Arizona State students come from the metro Phoenix area that we can go to their churches explaining their donations to LCm as an investment in their own ministry. In some cases students simply return to their home church after graduation.


The newly elected bishop (and former classmate of mine) of the Southeast Michigan Synod, Don Kreiss, has stated that LCM brought him into the Lutheran church (he was a very nominal Methodist as an undergrad). He eventually felt called to parish ministry, served for about a decade, and then was elected bishop. This perfectly underscores the importance of campus ministry instead of the former model of relying on Lutheran college graduates to become parish pastors.


Lynn

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4 years ago  ::  May 22, 2011 - 8:31AM #18
tawonda
Posts: 4,367

In my time at MSU, both the ALC/LCA and LCMS campus ministries were incubators for pastors. (And in the case of the LCMS, at least one active female member got her call and jumped the fence.) I can think of at least a half-dozen LCM friends of mine who wound up in seminary.

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4 years ago  ::  May 22, 2011 - 7:45PM #19
Sherylyn
Posts: 63

Our synod assembly just ended today. We took four students from LSU to man our display table. They promptly found several other college students, who two of ours knew from working at camp. Then on Saturday, I met a Texas A&M sophomore who was a voting member from her congregation, introduced her to our students, and they introduced her to the others. Now they are all best friends.


The presence of so many young people this year (a year when our focus was intergenerational ministry and formation), really energized the assembly. People were so excited to see them and talk with them, and so impressed at how fluently they can articulate their faith. And the students had the best time - they were so excited last night that they were literally bouncing.


That is how you build support for campus ministry. Let the students tell their stories. When they do, you see the positive impact campus ministry has on the larger church. When these young people graduate, they will be leaders in whatever congregation they step in to because they are leaders now. They will have a faith that continues to mature. What better testimony to the importance of campus ministry can their be?

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3 years ago  ::  May 26, 2011 - 12:55AM #20
TomeReader
Posts: 70

"The presence of so many young people this year (a year when our focus  was intergenerational ministry and formation), really energized the  assembly. People were so excited to see them and talk with them, and so  impressed at how fluently they can articulate their faith."


Sherilyn, I'm excited to hear this. So many churches have divided themselves into seniors groups, young adults, youth, children, etc. that I think they've divided the congregation into separate little communities with little in common. Our campus ministry program is mostly for the students (largely because of schedules and different interests) but at the same time the students are active in the congregation serving on committees, assisting in worship, attending social functions, etc. They get life lessons from the older members and the older members are reinvigorated with their enthusiam and joy. (And by older, I mean anyone who's finished their undergraduate education.)


Lynn

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