...This was passed with near unanimous voice vote at the Spring Pastors' Conference of the Southern Region of the Rocky Mountain District:
Resolution to Request the Restoration of "Issues, Etc." on KFUO, The Disclosure of Board for Communication Documents Related to Its Cancellation, and an Independent Audit of KFUO:
Whereas, members of the Southern Region of the Rocky Mountain District-LCMS have voiced their confusion and frustration at the handling of the "Issues, Etc." cancellation and firing of its Called host and producer; and
Whereas, "Issues, Etc." has been a blessing to many people of the Southern Region of the Rocky Mountain District-LCMS - Lutherans, other Christians, and those outside the Church, listeners in the KFUO broadcast area, listeners of stations across the country which carry this program in syndication, and thousands of listeners from around the world who downloaded audio files of the show on the Internet; and
Whereas, "Issues, Etc." has been a valuable resource for pastors and congregations, keeping them abreast of current issues at the intersection of theology and American society, and helping them to respond to these issues in a truly biblical, evangelical, that is, Lutheran way, indeed serving as a model for LCMS outreach effort; and
Whereas, Issues, Etc. was in the forefront of broadcast technology and on the cutting edge of communications technology through streaming broadcasts and podcasting, and thereby making it an outstanding outreach tool to/for both our own LCMS members and youth as well as those outside the Church throughout the world thereby fulfilling the Great Commission (Matt 28:18); and
Whereas, Issues, Etc. has been an uncommonly excellent vehicle for broadcasting some of the best teaching that our LCMS has to offer to the world, because it has regularly scheduled professors from both seminaries and many of our universities, plus noted experts from the International Center as well as LC-MS parishes and other agencies; and
Whereas, KFUO recently cancelled Issues, Etc., temporarily pulled it from the KFUO web site, and dismissed its on-air host, Rev. Todd Wilken from a called position of the Church, and program director, Jeff Schwarz, for widely disputed reasons; and
Whereas, over seven thousand Christians from around the world and across denominational lines including not only the radio audience, but more importantly, an impressive audience using the web and podcasts, including soldiers serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other posts throughout the world, have signed an online petition requesting KFUO to reinstate "Issues, Etc."
with its host (www.petitiononline.com/Issues/petition); and
Whereas, God has gifted His Church with material wealth primarily for the purpose of reaching to the unchurched and nourishing the faith of the churched and since "Issues, Etc." has done well in this regard, in accord with Jesus' instructions in Luke 16; therefore be it
Resolved, that the pastors of the Southern Region of the Rocky Mountain District-LCMS gathered in solemn assembly give thanks and praise to God for the ministry of Issues, Etc. and the hard work of Pastor Wilken and Mr.
Schwarz; and be it further
Resolved, That the Southern Region of the Rocky Mountain District-LCMS requests that the Board for Communication Services and KFUO AM publically apologize to the dismissed staff and their listeners and strive toward a mutually agreeable arrangement under which Rev. Wilken and Mr. Schwarz may continue their exemplary production and airing of this program, and reinstate "Issues, Etc." to its previous broadcast times as soon as possible; and be it further
Resolved, That the Southern Region of the Rocky Mountain District-LCMS requests, for the sake of trust and unity, that Mr. David Strand and the Board for Communication Services make public all internal documents and memos concerning this cancellation, including any documentation of not just radio listenership, but also about podcast downloads across American and around the world, and, in addition, allow for a complete, independent, and publicly documented audit of KFUO finances, including directly comparable financial performance of all of the station's programs; and be it further
Resolved, that the pastors of the Southern Region of the Rocky Mountain District-LCMS request that the Board of Directors of the Rocky Mountain District-LCMS, the Board of Directors-LCMS, and the President, LCMS request in turn that the LC-MS Board for Communications Services and radio station KFUO AM reinstate the recently dismissed staff, so that they may continue their exemplary work in our behalf on this program.
Signed: Rev Douglas Escue
Vice President for the Southern Region, Rocky Mountain District, for the pastors of the Southern Region