Thursday, March 18, 2010

Should We Vote?

Last Friday I wrote a piece for this blog called "Beyond our Control."  In it I said that our local church council would "appoint a committee to examine our denominational affiliation" at its meeting on Tuesday of this week.

Well, the council did settle on members for such a committee, but then decided to hold a special congregational meeting to, in turn, decide whether (1) the committee should go ahead and begin work or, on the other hand, whether (2) the congregation should hold a vote to stay with or leave our current denominational affiliation, that is, with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  The meeting will be held at 10:45 on April 11, the Sunday after Easter, after Sunday School and before the 11:00 hour of worship. An official notice of this meeting is being prepared.

As I understand it, the purpose of the meeting will not be for discussion but to simply read the options, pass out the ballots and vote.  As I understand it, some think that there is no point to examining our denominational affiliation if there is not a strong desire in the congregation to leave the ELCA.

I have not wanted to bring the denominational affiliation issues to a vote because I think such a vote would be divisive.  I grieve now that it seems we are coming to that.  But I have never been, and am not now, in "charge" of what our church will do.  I have had major reservations* with and objections to the ELCA's August decisions but I have thought that, as a congregation, we could take a position** and delay any such affiliation issue for quite some time.  I have been proved wrong.

Questions about the upcoming April 11 meeting can be addressed to any member of our church council, or by emailing the church office.  Please come and talk with me or comment or email me with questions or comments about my position on this or any other issue.

* My "major reservations" and "objections" can be most easily found by doing a search for the word conscience in this blog.  An article on this subject can also be found on  Comments on that Crosswalk article can be found by clicking here.  Click the colored words for links.
**A position such as articulated in the Common Confession which failed to be adopted in a December vote at our church.


  1. a vote to vote.... or a vote to study...,maybe we should study and then vote....or should we vote and not study.. maybe maybe bout we make an informed decision and move forward...

  2. I think we have made this issue and the procedure way harder than it has to be. I can understand how the actions of the Church Wide Assembly in August are difficult for us personally/theologically, but procedurely, it is cut and dry. Our local constitution and ELCA constitution spell out this procedure clearly. I fear the path we are on is more divisive than the one spelled out in our constitution. This vote to see if we should vote is dangerous and unnecessary. If we would just vote, all questions would be answered; questions such as "should the committe continue to examine our denominational affiliation" and "do a majority of members want to begin the process of leaving the ELCA"? We shouldn't be examining affiliation options until the majority has spoken. The biggest concern I have with this vote before the vote, is the interpretation of the results of this vote. We should just take the first vote and get it over with. I don't understand why we are making this harder than it has to be.

  3. Thank you, Mike and Wayne. I am writing a letter to the congregation on this subject and plan to have it sent out with the Parish Pulse (our church newsletter).