Give me thoughts about this potential activist event
I am looking to bounce this idea off you folks and have you tell me what you think of it. :)
As you know I am a Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod clergy of 30 years, having been on Emeritus status with the Michigan District since August of 2004. The LC-MS is very bigoted and anti-GLBT.
Being on Emeritus status I still get invitations to LC-MS Michigan District events and gatherings of clergy. The cost of my attendance would be covered because I am emeritus. However, I could choose to pay for my own expenses to avoid a conflict of interest.
In October, the 13th through the 15th, the Michigan District of the LC-MS is having an All Pastor Conference (meaning all clergy of the Michigan District are eligible to attend) at the Boyne Mountain Resort that is in northwest part of the Lower Peninsula just south of Petoskey and west of I-75. The theme of the event is "Keying Into Reconciliation."
My thought is to turn my room accommodations into a Pro-GLBT educational/hospitality room with snacks and beverages and seek to engage other attendees of the conference in dialogue and discussion about GLBT persons in the church, and provide free pro GLBT literature and video programs to take.
I would want to find a couple of other people to join me in this endeavor.
What do you think of this activist event? I'd like your thoughts and suggestions. Thanks.
Absolutely powerful idea. I would work with folks from The Good Seed, the ELCA because they probably already have a good deal of literature they can give you. Given that the theme is reconciliation it's a natural. I'd say go for it, if you can find some folks so that you're not alone. Even the best, most experienced activists need support. Kara
I think this is a groovy idea. Be sure to have another room for yourself though. We gay christians like to party and can stay up late eating bugles and drinking dr pepper and gossipping!;)
I like the idea a lot. It could spark interests and questions people may have. I'm sure there are people who want to reach out to the LGBT community. Go for it.
Great idea, Rob.
I see in the LCMS an attitude that it must give every appearance of being doctrinally pure. Let no one think that the LCMS is soft when it comes to interpreting doctrine. Unfortunately the anti-LGBT attitude stems from this. It is a matter of honor to be very anti-LGBT; it makes the LCMS appear holier. No greater insult can be thrown at a Missouri-Synod Lutheran than to call him/her a liberal.
I am still on the LCMS clergy roster (teachers are classified as clergy) until they remove me. I was asked to resign, but wouldn't do so willingly. I think the LCMS will be one of the last denominations to embrace gay Christians. But I also see in my case that the vast majority of the congregational members have no problem with me being gay. No one wants to upset the status quo, but I see hope on the horizon. Each little effort made to challenge the centuries of prejudice has an effect.
One good resource is the booklet by Mel White What the Bible Really says About Homosexuality. It covers the topic very well and quite a substantial booklet. You can order it on this website cheaply.
Of course, I always recommend the DVD For the Bible Tells Me So. I don't see how anyone could watch that and not be moved. Interestingly the pastor of the LCMS school where I worked objected to the statement in the DVD that we use clearer passages of Scripture to help us understand more difficult passages. I didn't understand the objection; that seemed common sense to me. To give out the DVD for free might be a bit pricey.
Are there any good materials written by LCMS pastors on the subject? I have not run across any.
And be sure to have free drinks. I went to the Great Commission Convocation in 1980. The best attended events were the parties in the evening. (Don't ever let anyone tell you Lutheran pastors are a sober bunch. Or just Lutherans in general for that matter. ;))
Thanks for your input Pablo
Thanks for your imput on my LCMS activist idea. How I wish you were closer than Colorado, I could use you to help me on this. I am trying to find some others to help me do this. (Speaking of Colorado, I have been watching the Democratic Denver Convention all week.)
I certainly agree with you on the LC-MS pure doctrine fetish. :rolleyes: They are absolutely anal about pure doctrine. And that is where some of their homophobic and bigoted medieval doctrine and practice comes from, if you get my drift. ;)
I'm still on the roster too, as emeritus. I haven't been asked to resign.....yet. I'm still on the membership roles of Prince of Peace, Clare, MI, the last congregation I pastored, before my forced resignation as their pastor.
Yes, I am well aware of the the booklet, What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality, by Mel White. I have reproduced it by the several hundreds and passed it around, when I was still pastoring at PofP, Clare. After I resigned I sent a copy along with a letter to every member of the congregation. (I have something to share with you about the Soulforce's initial release of this booklet and a couple of historical errors about Galileo and Copernicus Mel had made in the origional text release that I found and contacted him about, and his correcting it. I have an email exchange with Mel about it that I have saved in my email file.)
I also have made hundreds of copies of the Soulforce's copyright free videos "How Can I Be Sure That God Loves Me Too?," Mel White's sermon; and "Homosexuality: The Debate is Over, The Verdict is In. NOT A SICKNESS! NOT A SIN!" and passed them out free.
I would like to have copies of all of these available to pass out along with the new Soulforce booklet, "What the Science Really Says About Homosexuality."
A month of two ago I ordered a copy of the DVD "For the Bible Tells Me So." It brought tears to my partner's and mine eyes as we watched it together. It would be great to have it playing for people to watch, at least.
I do not know of any materials written by LCMS folks either.
I certainly agree with you about Lutheran pastors and their cocktails and beer. And they love it when it's free! They may be sober about their doctrine but they are not sober when it comes to booze! :lol:
Any further ideas you have or if you know of anyone who like to help me with this, let me know.
Hello Reverend Barker
I wish I could attend with you. I am originally from Michigan -grew up in the Detroit area and lived in Frankenmuth for three years. (i know you know about Frankenmuth chicken! Others on this forum are probably saying, "What the hec is Matthew talking about!")
I attended St. Lorenz in Frankenmuth, a Missouri Synod congretation, when I was married. Are you familiar with that particular church? I have since went back to the Catholic Church, but at anyrate, if I was in the Great Lake state, I would be more than willing to join you! I'm currenly in Cincinnati now.
Keep us informed! God bless you!
Hello Matthew! Thanks for your input. :)
How well do I know the tourist-trap of Frankenmuth with Zehnder's & the Bavarian Inn chicken dinners, Bronner's year-round Christmas Wonderland and St. Lorenz Lutheran Church, having lived only twenty minutes from there when I served my first congregation of St. Paul Lutheran, Millington as associate pastor for five and one-half years, from June 1980 to September 1985. I got over to Frankenmuth several times a month for one reason or another, usually church business.
For you others, wondering about this Frankenmuth, it is one of many German Lutheran settlements near the Saginaw, Flint area of Michigan, near the thumb of he lower penninsula. Google Frankenmuth, Michigan if you want to know more.
What did you do in Frankenmuth and when were you there? Just wondering.
I wish you could join me too, Matthew. I do hope I can find one or two more to do this action with me.
I do wish I could help you with this event. It seems that everyone I know lives in eastern time zone. That pesky little obstacle of distance seems to be a factor in everything.
I will pray for God's blessings on this. The LCMS is very much in a conservative 16th century mindset, but it is a denomination that in theory at least is very much focused on grace. I see hope in the future.
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