27 July 2013

If your congregation is vacant or calling...

...you really need to know about this site:

Lost Pastors

Remember and never forget: your District President can suggest names for your congregation, but he cannot forbid your congregation from calling any person who is eligible for call in the Synod. Let's drop the asinine political games and give the complete list of eligible men to EVERY vacant/calling congregation.

Thank you, Pr. Ken Kelly for your caring and valuable work on behalf of our many pastors who are without call, but eligible and eager to serve.

15 comments:

Martin Diers said...

Joshua (the computer in War Games) said it well: "The only winning move is not to play."

Our Confessions say it better:

"Wherever the church is, there indeed is the command to preach the Gospel. For this reason, the churches must retain the authority to call, to elect, and ordain ministers. And this authority is a privelege which God has given especially to the church, and it cannot be taken away from the church by any human power. ...

"Therefore, if the bishops are either heretics, or will not ordain qualified persons, the churches are under obligation in the sight of god, according to divine right, to ordain for themselves pastors and ministers.

"Now if anyone would call this disorder or schism, he should know that the godless doctrine and tyranny of the bishops are at fault for it; for Paul commands that all bishops, who either teach incorrectly themselves, or defend incorrect doctrines and false services to God, should be regarded as accursed."

The Treatise. par. 66, 72.

Scott Diekmann said...

Even if he could forbid your congregation from calling any person who is eligible for call in the Synod, you could still call whomever you wanted to call. Holy Scripture trumps synodical canon law and District Presidents.

William Weedon said...

Scott,

Absolutely, but calling a man who is not rostered with Synod will likely forfeit membership in the Synod for that congregation. But any congregation certainly has the freedom and right to call whom they will.

Debbie Harris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie Harris said...

Thank you for providing this information. I think that many congregations do not realize they may call any eligible pastor they choose - rostered in the LCMS of course. Choosing only from the list of names provided by their DP seems to be leaving God out of the calling process.

Paul McCain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul McCain said...

CAVEAT:

The LCMS Bylaws, to which every congregation is pledged and must follow as part of their membership in The LCMS, requires congregations to seek their district president's counsel when calling a pastor, receive it and consider it.

There are NO stipulations or details as to what "consultation" consists, but it must be done. In other words, a DP can not mandate a congregation go through a self-study, or receive an Interim ministry rather than call a pastor, etc. etc.

However, again, a congregation can not simply call without the DPs knowledge and awareness and without giving him an opportunity to offer his counsel.

Note, Pr. Weedon is absolutely correct, a district president can NOT forbid or prevent a congregation from calling any man in good standing on the roster of The LCMS.

Nor may a DP ever leave the impression that when they "remove" a name from a call list, or "add" a name to a congregation's call list this is in any way something required.

However, if a DP reports to the congregation a man is NOT in good standing on the Synod's roster and eligible for a call, they may not call that man.

A DP may well be aware of information that is important for a congregation to be aware of and must be given the opportunity to share that information.

If a congregation proceeds to call a man not on the Synod's roster in good standing, they are placing themselves in the position of forfeiting their membership in The LCMS.

All offered by way of FYI.

--helen said...

If a man is not "in good standing" he shouldn't be on the roster; the DP should have gone through the procedures to remove him, which I believe include proving the pastor at fault in one of the three areas for which Pastors may be removed.

It notably does not include the Pastor being willing to push "church growth" programs or "entertainment church", even if those are the criteria of the DP.

Paul McCain said...

Here are the Bylaws that set forth the requirements for congregations that want to call a person who is on the Synod's roster of pastors.

2.5 Calling Ministers of Religion by Congregations

2.5.1 Congregations shall seek the counsel of their respective district
presidents when calling ordained or commissioned ministers.

2.5.2 Congregations that are members of the Synod shall call and be served only by (1) ordained ministers who have been admitted to their respective ministries in accordance with the rules and regulations set forth in these Bylaws and have thereby become members of the Synod; (2) candidates for the pastoral ministry who have satisfied
the qualifications and requirements for assignment of first calls by
the Council of Presidents acting as the Board of Assignments; or
(3) ordained ministers who are members in good standing of church
bodies that have been formally recognized to be in altar and pulpit
fellowship with the Synod when agreements for such calls are in
place.

2.5.3 Congregations that are members of the Synod shall call only (1) commissioned ministers who have been admitted to their ministries in accordance with the rules and regulations set forth in these Bylaws and have thereby become members of the Synod; (2) candidates of LCMS colleges and universities who have satisfied the qualifications and requirements for assignment of first calls by the Council of Presidents acting as the Board of Assignments; and (3) commissioned ministers (or those holding positions comparable to commissioned ministers) who are members in good standing of church bodies that have been formally recognized to be in altar and pulpit fellowship with the Synod when agreements for such calls are in place.

2.5.4 Congregations that violate these requirements and persist in such violation shall, after due admonition, forfeit their membership in the Synod.

Paul McCain said...

Sometimes congregations that are calling a pastor are not clear on the fact that when a DP "adds" a name to a call list or "removes" a name from a call list he is doing so ONLY BY WAY OF ADVICE which may or may not be accepted by the congregation IF the persons involved are on good standing on the roster of the Synod, that is, are not on restricted or suspended status.

A DP "approves" a call list only in the sense that he certifies that the men on that last are NOT on restricted or suspended status, but not in the sense that the DP must "approve" whom the congregation is considering if they are all in good standing on the roster of the Synod.

So, congregations that are calling a pastor must seek their DPs counsel, must receive it and consider it.

Beyond that there is no other requirement of congregations calling men to be their pastors beyond that which is stipulated in the Bylaws, which have been provided immediately above this quote.

Scotty said...

Whats the cost of not being a member of the "Synod?

DentM42 said...

If what is said above regarding the rights of the congregation is true, how can District officials assert that they have complete control over the list of candidates from which a congregation may choose?

For example, from the SELC District Document entitled, "THE SELC DISTRICT THE LUTHERAN CHURCH – MISSOURI SYNOD Call and Vacancy Guidelines 2005
" (www.selc.lcms.org/documents/district/CallVacancyGuidelines.pdf‎):

(p. 15) The District President shall give due consideration to all names submitted by the congregation. From this
list, as well as from those whom he feels would best serve the Lord as pastor of the parish in question, he
shall, as soon as he is able, select at least five names of pastors which he will submit to the congregation,
together with a characterization, biographical materials, qualifications, etc. This is the list from which the congregation is to call. No names are to be added to this list without permission of the District President.

William Weedon said...

The document expresses the District's guidelines: how they PREFER to operate. But there is no way that ANY congregation of the Synod could be forbidden to call ANY rostered working in non-restricted status. Period. Many DPs, I suppose, don't like that, but it is the reality. The Districts are NOT a hierarchy above the congregation.

DentM42 said...

But doesn't installation need to be "authorized" by the DP? (Bylaw 4.4.3.e - "...ordained ministers and commissioned ministers who have been duly called to a position
of full-time service shall be installed upon authorization by
the appropriate district president."

Even if a congregation calls a man, can't the DP simply refuse to authorize the installation and thereby enforce his will upon the congregation?

William Weedon said...

I would sincerely hope that none of our DPs would simply refuse to authorize the installation of a man who was properly rostered and available for call. I think that if one DID, a congregation would have recourse to his ecclesiastical superviso? The very nature of our Synod as a communion fellowship means that the parishes of the Synod may properly call any man on the Minister of Religion - Ordained list who is not restricted in status.