Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thoughts upon the impending sale of ULC in Minneapolis

Well, if you look here you will see that this morning Pastor Kind at University Lutheran in Minneapolis - where I attended for a summer back in 1997 - is facing serious difficulties. Although it is an independent congregation and healthy... the Minnesota South District has decided to sell their property (for $3.2 million) by the end of the year. No plans for the congregation have been made quite yet.

This is a sad and foolish decision. But that is all it is. I don't think it is safe to cast aspersions or things like this. But it points out something that we would be wise to remember.

This was a business decision -- which makes sense because fundamentally the LCMS and the Districts are not "Church" - they are businesses. They are organizations of the kingdom of the left designed to funnel money around to various goals and projects. This used to be funneling money to Seminarians to train pastors and to the direct support of missionaries.

Now - well, I think one can certainly argue that the way funds are being shifted are foolish - even horrid. But these are business decisions. These are not "churchly" decisions made by churchmen, but business decisions made by people who have bureaucratic bills to pay.

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This is part of the reason why I love the Oklahoma District. We have very little bureaucracy. We have 1 full-time staff member, I think -- our secretary (and actually, I think she might be part time). Virtually all our positions are volunteer positions. There is no beast to feed.

If you want change, if you don't want things like this to happen again in the future, the solution isn't electing good "guys" to the spots -- they will still be in positions where they have to make business decisions.

Here's the solution. Let there be 100 districts, each consisting of no more than 100 congregations and/or 12 circuits. Let all the district offices be part time, volunteer positions, as is done in Oklahoma. The the District President be someone serving full-time as the pastor of a parish.

This would undercut the business aspect of our districts. This would undercut the politics of our districts, because if you have a full time parish to take care of, you simply don't have time to muck around in someone else's congregation.

Until we change our system, until we eliminate the "power" of the districts - this is the sort of thing that will happen over and over, especially as the districts strive to pay their bills and come up with new stupidity to justify their existence.

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