15 March 2006

Yet more Spring thoughts...

From the Akathist of thanksgiving:

Every flower is fragrant through the power of the Holy Spirit, in a delicate flow of aroma and tenderness of color; the beauty of the Great contained in what is small. Praise and honor to God Who gives life, Who spreads forth the meadows like a flowering carpet, Who crowns the fields with golden ears of wheat and azure basilisks, and the soul with the joy of contemplation. Let us rejoice and sing to Him: Alleluia!

How beautiful You are in the triumphant festival of spring, when all creatures come to life again and in a thousand ways joyfully call out to You; You are the source of life; You are the victor over death.

To the song of the nightingale, the valleys and forests stand in snow white bridal array by the light of the season. All the earth is Your bride, waiting for the immortal bridegroom. If You clothe even the grass is such splendid way, how will You transfigure us in the future age of resurrection, how will our bodies be made light and our souls be made luminous:

Glory to You, who brought out of the earth's darkness diversity of color, taste, and fragrance.
Glory to You, for the warmth and caress of all nature.
Glory to You, for surrounding us with thousands of Your creatures.
Glory to You, for the depth of Your wisdom reflected in the whole world.
Glory to You, I kiss reverently the footprint of Your invisible tread.
Glory to You, Who kindled before us the bright light of eternal life.
Glory to You, for the hope of immortal, ideal, incorruptible beauty.
Glory to You, O God, unto ages of ages!


Anonymous said...

Pastor Weedon,

I commented on a month-old post (http://weedon.blogspot.com/2006/02/ack-chris.html) and was worried that you wouldn't catch it. I'm very anxious to get your thoughts on it, though. What I said was:

I noticed that your sister-in-law, who you tagged here, says you told her that you'd be leaving the LCMS for Orthodoxy in four years.

Not that this would surprise anyone, obviously, but should you really stay with a congregation if those are your intentions? Also, maybe she misheard you. If so, perhaps you should clarify your intentions.

I'm asking not only because deception is not what we should engage in but also because I had a pastor who did this to me once and it caused deep problems.

He claimed he was Lutheran, like you do, but he was replacing Lutheran doctrine and practices with Orthodox ones. Then he fomented a church split and then left both congregations.

It was pretty disastrous and it was all based on lies.

Fact is, almost every Lutheran I've ever known who went Ortho has engaged in this kind of deception.

So, just wanted to suggest to you that if you want to leave the Lutheran church, you shouldn't wait for four years and put your congregation through hell but you should just leave. Also, deception is bad.


Mimi said...

I've had the pleasure of listening to the Akathist of Thanksgiving this past year, and it is truly beautiful.

Thank you for posting this part.

William Weedon said...

Dear Mollie,

Sorry to have taken so long to reply; the day has been consumed with seeing one of my beloved flock into eternity - a man who blessedly received the Holy Eucharist yesterday, the medicine of immortality; and spending time with another member who will be moved to a nursing home tomorrow. So I have not had much time left for blogging today.

My sister-in-law reported accurately enough what I'd told her back then; I've changed plans a dozen times or more since then.

It is, of course, VERY serious to intimate that a Lutheran pastor's teaching, preaching, or practicing of his ministry has been contrary to the Book of Concord.

If you believe that mine has been so, you have the obligation to demonstrate it and then charge me with false doctrine. Shouldn't be hard, if true, for my sermons are posted on my blog; or you can ask one of my elders (I know you know one of them well) if I have in any way contradicted the Symbols in my ministry.

However, if you cannot demonstrate this, then intimating that I have done so in a public forum is problematic, no?

Wishing you every good thing in Jesus Christ!

Anonymous said...

Pastor Weedon,

I don't think I intimated that you were teaching, preaching or practicing contrary to the Book of Concord. Frankly, I can't speak to it one way or the other. I commented on something that was in the public domain -- publicly published in the public domain, in fact.

My concern is for your congregation. And it is a deep concern born out of personal experience.

You say that your sister-in-law accurately pegged your views, but that you have changed your mind a dozen times or more since then.

I suppose that means that you have gone back and forth between fidelity to the Lutheran Confessions and the LCMS church and the desire to leave the Lutheran church and join the Orthodox church.

Well, that is not a good thing. It is a good thing for Lutheran pastor to stay strongly committed to the Lutheran confessions. Again, if you are contemplating leaving the LCMS for the Orthodox church, that is very grave -- very serious.

When my previous pastor (Tom Palke) did this, he would tell some people that he was going East and then when the congregation and friends of his would ask him about it, he would deny it. Even up until the day he left he wasn't honest about his intentions. It was deeply hurtful.

I have not heard your preaching, ever. I have no knowledge of whether you are or are not remaining publicly faithful to the confessions.

What I am saying is that your sister-in-law has publicly stated your desire to leave the LCMS after four years. I think the date on her original essay was Jan. 2005.

If that was ever true, and you say it was, you should repent of such deception. It is completely in error to attempt to keep your flock unaware about your preaching, teaching and practicing of ministry plans. There is an understanding between a Lutheran congregation and its pastor that you will not forsake them at any point for another confession. Keeping a congregation in the lurch for four years is not being a good shepherd. I know, because I was a victim of a shepherd whose flirtations with Orthodoxy caused him to leave us and join the Orthodox church in the most violent scenario you can imagine (at the end of the Divine Service, without any warning, he took to the lectern and denounced us and said he'd never be back).

Now, you didn't state forthrightly what your plans are now. But, I would encourage you to do so. So often -- whether it is in a marriage or a situation like this involving the sacred and intimate vows between a pastor and congregation -- the party that's getting (potentially) left is the last to know. I know, because I was there. It's horrible.

I have had trouble trusting pastors ever since my previous pastor deceived us so horribly and let us put trust in him while he was advocating another confession behind our backs. To this day, I have nightmares about whether or not my wonderful pastor will leave us in such a horrible fashion.

The emotional and theological trauma is real. It is harmful. I'm asking you to think about the congregation and what impact this will have on them.

I'm also somewhat sympathetic to the fact that what you are going through must be difficult for you, too. (Having said that, I think that sometimes people make these things harder than they need to be.) You have been quite public about your love of Orthodoxy, though, and this reaches far beyond your congregation. That's why I think it's only fair to be public about your intentions.

And if you have a problem with my advocating for your congregation here, how about you take it up with Tom Palke, the pastor who fomented a split of my congregation, causing both congregations to be without full spiritual care for many years.


William Weedon said...

Dear Mollie,

I honestly do not think you are advocating for my congregation, whom I deeply love. You are projecting onto us the painful and tragic experience of your past, and that's unfortunate.

As you have said, you're unaware of my preaching, teaching, and ministering and thus are not in a position to judge them; best you do not, then, no?

Since I don't know you from Adam and my "plans" such as they are are deeply personal, I have no intention of discussing them here. Any concern about my preaching, teaching, or administration of the Sacraments should be directed to President Herbert Mueller. And that's the last I'm saying on the subject.

Pax Christi!

Anonymous said...

Pastor Weedon,

I'm certainly *reflecting* the painful and tragic experience of when my pastor deceitfully left our congregation to join the Orthodox. I will not hide from that for a second.

But you can take me at my word. I am concerned about your congregation. Deeply. Because of my painful and tragic experience, sure. But that's sort of obvious.

And while I'm sure it doesn't seem that way, I'm also very concerned about you.