Friday, April 18, 2014

Luther's Sermon on Christ's Suffering

Luther's Sermons - Mark 16:1-8.
Easter. Suffering and Resurrection




CHURCH POSTIL.

EASTER SUNDAY.

German text: Erlangen edition vol. II, 191; Walch edition vol. II, 822; St.

Louis edition vol. II, 602.

TEXT:

Mark 16:1-8. And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, they come to the tomb when the sun was risen. And they were saying among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the tomb? and looking up, they see that the stone is rolled back: for it was exceeding great. And entering into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, arrayed in a white robe; and they were amazed. And he saith unto them, Be not amazed: ye seek Jesus, the Nazarene, who hath been crucified : he is risen: he is not here: behold, the place where they laid him! But go tell his disciples and Peter, He goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. And they went out, and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them: and they said nothing to any one; for they were afraid.

CONTENTS:

THE BENEFIT AND USE OF THE SUFFERINGS AND THE DEATH OF CHRIST.
I. HOW AND WHY IS IT NECESSARY TO KNOW THIS BENEFIT AND USE

II. HOW CHRIST HIMSELF PREACHED THIS BENEFIT AND USE.

1. The nature of this sermon 2.

2. That this sermon is unmer-ited grace

3. That it is full of comfort 4-5.

4. How this sermon serves to explain many passages of holy Scripture 6.

5. How it is impossible to understand this sermon without the grace of the Holy Spirit

6. How and why one should exert himself, not only indifferently to hear this sermon, but also to experience it in his heart 8.

III. HOW CHRIST EXPLAINED THIS BENEFIT AND USE STILL MORE CLEARLY ON OTHER OCCASIONS

IV.THE HIGH CHARACTER AND THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS BENEFIT AND USE OF THE SACRAMENT

V. HOW PAUL CONDENSED THIS BENEFIT AND USE IN ASHORT PASSAGE

SUMMARY OF THIS GOSPEL:

1. Here we treat first of the fruit and benefits of Christ’s resurrection, namely, that Christ’s resurrection is our justification and satisfaction; as St.

Paul says in Romans 4:24-25 and 1 Corinthians 15:17.

2. In that we see how Christ is raised from the dead our faith is strengthened. For God says in Hosea 13:14: “O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction,” etc.

3. Human reason does not believe this; therefore the women go and buy spices to anoint the body of the Lord.

4. All that the women undertake to do, is done in a human way; and therefore the Lord strikes at their unbelief. How the Evangelists agree in the description of Christ’s resurrection you find elsewhere.

THE FRUIT AND POWER OF CHRIST’S RESURRECTION.

1. As we heard while explaining the meaning of Christ’s passion, that it was not enough to know its mere narrative and history; so it is not enough to learn only how and when Christ our Lord arose from the dead; we must also preach and understand the benefit and use both of the sufferings and the resurrection of Christ, namely, what he thereby acquired for us. For if we preach only its history, it is an unprofitable sermon, which Satan and the godless know, read and understand as well as true Christians; but when we preach to what end it serves it becomes profitable, wholesome and comforting.

2. Christ himself pointed out the benefit of his sufferings and resurrection when he said to the women in Matthew 28:10: “Fear not: go tell my brethren that they depart into Galilee, and there shall they see me.” These are the very first words they heard from Christ after his resurrection from the dead, by which he confirmed all the former utterances and loving deeds he showed them, namely, that his resurrection avails in our behalf who believe, so that he therefore anticipates and calls Christians his brethren, who believe it, and yet they do not, like the apostles, witness his resurrection.

3. The risen Christ waits not until we ask or call on him to become his brethren. Do we here speak of merit, by which we deserve anything? What did the apostles merit? Peter denied his Lord three times; the other disciples all fled from him; they tarried with him like a rabbit does with its young. He should have called them deserters, yea, betrayers, reprobates, anything but brethren. Therefore this word is sent to them through the women out of pure grace and mercy, as the apostles at the time keenly experienced, and we experience also, when we are mired fast in our sins, temptations and condemnation.

4. These are words, full of all comfort that Christ receives desperate villains as you and I are and calls us his brethren. Is Christ really our brother, then I would like to know what we can be in need of? Just as it is among natural brothers, so is it also here. Brothers according to the flesh enjoy the same possessions, have the same father, the one inheritance, otherwise they would not be brothers: so we enjoy with Christ the same possessions, and have in common with him one Father and one inheritance, which never decreases by being distributed, as other inheritances do; but it ever grows larger and larger; for it is a spiritual inheritance. But an earthly inheritance decreases when distributed among many persons. He who has a part of this spiritual inheritance, has it all.

5. However, what is Christ’s inheritance? His heritage is life and death, sin and grace, all that is in heaven and earth, eternal truth, power, wisdom, righteousness; he governs and rules over all, over hunger and thirst, over fortune and misfortune, over everything imaginable, whether in heaven or on earth, not only spiritual but also secular affairs; and the sum total of all is, he has all things in his hand, be they eternal or temporal. Now if I believe on him, I become partaker with him of all his possessions, and obtain not only a part or a piece; but, like him, I obtain all, eternal righteousness, eternal wisdom, eternal strength, and become a lord and reign over all. The stomach will not hunger, sins will not oppress, I will no more fear death, nor be terror-stricken by Satan, and I will never be in want, but will be like Christ the Lord himself.

6. In the light of this we now easily understand the sayings here and there in the prophets and especially in the Psalms; as when David in Psalm 34:10 says: “The young lions (the rich) do lack, and suffer hunger; but they that seek Jehovah shall not want any good thing.” And in another Psalm: “Jehovah knoweth the days of the perfect; and their inheritance shall be forever. They shall not be put to shame in the time of evil; and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.” Psalm 37:18-19. And immediately following in verse 25: “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” All this comes of itself from the fact that we are and are called Christ’s brethren; not because of our worthiness, but because of God’s pure grace. Yes, if God gave us this in our heart, so that we experience it, then we would be saved; but it goes in one ear and out the other. And this it is that Paul praises so highly and strongly to the Romans when he says: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him.” Romans 8:14-17.

7. The title of being Christ’s brothers is so high that the heart of man cannot understand it. If the Holy Spirit bestows not this grace, none can say: Christ is my brother. For reason is not bold enough to say so; although one may say it with the tongue, as the spirits of modern times do. It is not uttered in this way, it is necessary for the heart to experience it; otherwise it is pure hypocrisy. If you truly experience it in your heart it will be such a great thing that you will much prefer to keep silence than to speak about it, yea, in the presence of the magnitude of this inheritance you easily doubt and waver as to whether it is really true or not. Those who only cry: Christ is my brother! Christ is my brother! are not true Christians. A Christian acts quite differently, and it is very wonderful, so that the flesh shudders at it and dares indeed neither speak of it nor confess it.

8. We should bestir ourselves to hear this, not only with the natural ear, but also to experience it in our hearts, for then we would not be so forward and impudent, but would be surprised and amazed over it. True and godly Christians go along in life in contempt of themselves and in fear; they think thus: Ah, shall I, a poor, miserable person, who am steeped in sin, be now so exalted that God’s Son becomes my brother? Ay, how is it that I, a miserable poor creature, am thus honored? I am at once confounded before it and feed upon it; for it truly requires a great effort to believe it; yea, when one experiences it thus, how it is in truth, he must from that hour die; for man, since he is flesh and blood, cannot understand it. Here in this life man’s heart is in too great straits to lay hold of it; but after death, when the heart becomes larger and broader, we experience what we have heard through the Word.

9. In the Gospel of John Christ tells Mary Magdalene of the benefit and use of his death and resurrection still more plainly, when he says: “But go unto my brethren, and say to them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and my God and your God.” John 20:17. This is one of the great and comforting passages upon which we can venture, and of which we dare boast. As if Christ had said: Go hence, Mary, and say to my disciples who have deserted me on the field of battle, and who have well merited punishment and eternal condemnation, that my resurrection has taken place for their benefit; that is, by my resurrection I have brought it to pass that my Father is their Father, and my God is their God. These are few words and very short; but they contain a great thought, namely, that we have as great a confidence and refuge in God as Christ his Son himself has. Who can grasp such exceeding joy, unless one speaks of himself when he says a poor, corrupt sinner can and may call God his Father and his God, just like Christ himself does?

10. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews has grasped the words of Psalm 22:23 and taken them well to heart, when he says of Christ: “For which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the congregation will I sing thy praise.” Hebrews 2:11-12. If any worldly lord were to condescend so low as to say to a thief, or a murderer or to a low French character, Thou art my brother; that would be a great thing and everyone would be amazed at it; but that this King, who in his glory sits at the right hand of God, his Father, says to a poor sinner: Thou art my brother, that no one takes to heart, no one receives it in earnest, and yet on that hangs our highest comfort and courage against sin, death, Satan, hell, law, and against all misfortune, both of the body and of the soul.

11. Since we are flesh and blood, and subject to all kinds of affliction, it follows that it must be thus also with our brother; or he would not be like us in all respects. Therefore, in that he becomes like us, he tastes of all that we do, in order to be our true brother and save us, so that we on the other hand may become like him. This the Epistle to the Hebrews paints and brings out very beautifully when it says: “Since then the children are sharers in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same; that through death he might bring to naught him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver all them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily not to angels doth he give help, but he giveth help to the seed of Abraham. Therefore it behooveth him in all things to be made like unto his brethren, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.” Hebrews 2:14-18.

12. St. Paul in a very beautiful way condensed the benefit and use both of Christ’s sufferings and his resurrection in one short passage, as in a nutshell, when he says to the Romans: “Who was delivered up for our trespasses, and was raised for our justification.” Romans 4:25.

But on this theme enough has been said for the present; whoever desires may with profit meditate on it; more is written about it in the Postil; whoever desires to have it let him get it and read. We will now discuss another subject. Since people in many localities still cling to the papal abuses, so that they flock to the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper on Easter, and this custom is so deeply drilled into them, that it is very difficult to root it out everywhere, we wish to give some instruction to the singleminded and plain people, how they should at the present time partake of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. (Rodt’s Ed., 1525.)Of this the following sermon plainly speaks.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

"My Lutheran Hymnal" - Proof Copies Are Here



I decided to call it My Lutheran Hymnal so that people would ask, "Have you seen My Lutheran Hymnal?"

The book (words only) is arranged by era and author, so the reader can study all of Luther's hymns together, in TLH order, and all of Gerhardt's hymns.

Do you like one particular Lutheran hymn-writer? All of his hymns are together.

I consider all great hymns before the Reformation to be Lutheran, so they are included. I also included a section on Pietistic hymns, to help people become more knowledgeable about Pietism, which is the modern source of UOJ.


LCMS Semi-Poping. Non-Lutherans Leaving the Non-Lutheran Sect.
There Is Room for Church Growth, Crypto-Romanism, and Mainline UOJ -
But Not Justification by Faith through the Means of Grace

http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2014/04/my-journey-into-the-orthodox-church


Irecall being deeply moved by Fr. Richard John Neuhaus’ recounting of his journey from Lutheranism into the Roman Catholic Church (“How I Became the Catholic I Was”). It is a move that not a few have made, with denominational provenance spanning most every Protestant confession. Though I journeyed in a different direction from that of Neuhaus, many of the sights along the way were quite similar. Like him, however, neither do I wish for what follows to be an argument for my position, nor do I wish to engage those who have “cruelly, disdainfully, and despitefully” spoken against me, with little or no basis for their assertions (Psalm 31:20). The former I wish to avoid because I have embraced a way of life, not a set of dogmatic presuppositions, and everyone must be persuaded for himself or herself; and the latter because, as Jesus said, “they have received their reward” (Matt 6:5). Instead, I wish to tell my story for the sake of my friends, for those who may be asking, with kindness: Why?

Softly and tenderly EO is calling,
Lutherans, you sinners, come home.
On 1 December 2013, my family and I were received into the Orthodox Church by the Sacrament of Holy Chrismation. On that same day, my entire family received, for the first time as Orthodox Christians, the Eucharist—the constitutive gift of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. Nevertheless, my journey began long before that most profound day, probably around the time I entered the Fort Wayne seminary of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in 2003.
At seminary, for the first time, I encountered the liturgy, rich in meaning and overflowing with the ability to bring order to my life. There, for the first time, I came to see that, by virtue of the Incarnation, all theology was principally Christology, and the sacraments were the source and summit of our very existence as humans. There, for the first time, I came to embrace the rigors of theological study, such that upon graduation, I immediately commenced doctoral work in that same discipline. I am grateful for those years, and I would not be who or where I am today without them.
But that institution did not embody the reality of Lutheranism (as a whole) and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (in particular).
What struck me within weeks of my ordination was the reality that most parishes did not “do church” the way my parish did (not to mention some of the other theological and confessional aberrations and contradictions). And that was okay, or so the Synod said. In fact, that was encouraged. Unity was important, or so it seemed, but only in the essentials. While some very good pastors supported the understanding that Leitourgia Divina adiaphora non est, the general practice of the Synod conveyed a different reality. In short, it was left to every parish (governed by the voters’ assembly) to determine what it thought was best. In turn, some were liturgical. Others were more liturgical than many Roman Catholic parishes. Still others were middle-of-the-road. And many were indistinguishable from the local charismatic Protestant parish. What this discontinuity signified, however, was a break in communion. We did not have “all things in common” (Acts 2:44). In fact, in many instances, we had very little in common, save a quia subscription to the Lutheran Confessions. Yet, even that was delineated by interpretation.
For some time, I was determined to put my head down and simply live faithfully in my own little corner of the LCMS world, doing what I had always done and doing it as best I could. Consequently, the parish grew, giving increased, and spiritual maturity flourished. But I quickly discovered that when one lives thusly, he eventually becomes his own church, his own president/bishop, his own synod, and, eventually, his own god. And that was a reality with which my conscience would not allow me to live. Admittedly, I am not so naïve to believe that, in Orthodoxy, such problems of continuity do not exist. However, I do know that, in Orthodoxy, no man is above the liturgy, for the liturgy is the very hermeneutic of continuity and principle of unity, and if the liturgy remains, the Church retains her koinonia, her communion.
The second, and equally significant, reason for my move was my children. I am in no way suggesting that they could not have grown into faithful Christians within the LCMS—many have and many will. Rather, I am suggesting that the best way to help children grow into faithful Christians is by giving them the food for the journey, the bread for the way: the Holy Eucharist. However, it is not just a novelty that Holy Orthodoxy gives the Eucharist to the baptized of all ages. Rather, it presupposes the very heart of our existence as humans—that it is only in Christ’s body and blood given to us that we are enabled to become fully human again.
Moreover, it is only when we are in the process of being restored to our intended humanity that God is glorified (Gloria Dei est vivens homoas St. Irenaeus has said). Clearly, the arguments for and against the communion of all the baptized have been played out elsewhere, so there is no need to recreate them here. Rather, suffice it to say that I accept the clear witness of the Scriptures, the early Church and, for that matter, the Orthodox Church: that those baptized and chrismated are admitted to the Eucharist, precisely so that when they grow up, they never remember a day without it.
To that end, in discovering the great liturgical continuity, coupled with the emphasis on the sacramental life for those of all ages, there is one further reason for my reception into the Orthodox Church, but one that I could not have predicted before becoming a catechumen: In Orthodoxy, God is mercy. God is not an angry judge, nor is he wrathful. Rather, God is a Father, who is always and ever filled with that which he is: mercy. No need for belated commentary on various theories of the atonement, for no single theory accurately conveys the reality. Rather, I should only like to say that you can tell a lot about a church from its liturgy, as I have mentioned already. But, more specifically, for example, the word “mercy” appears 140 times in the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.
It is also significant that, in the Western Rite of the Orthodox Church, the singing of the kyrieactually sounds like a cry for help. Mercy is what drives Orthodoxy and, in particular, her many spiritual disciplines (e.g. fasting, frequent confession, penance, alms giving, prayer, etc.), not out of fear, but as a desire to be united fully with our Father again. Orthodoxy provides the means for healing our broken relationship and the mercy needed to silence our predetermined prodigal deal (“I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him . . .” [Luke 15:19]). Yes, our Father runs to us, precisely because he has always been waiting for us with a merciful heart.
There is more, yes, and with every passing day, as we begin to grow more fully into the Orthodox way, I recognize that reality. But my prayers remain with those who have yet to find their way home. For not only do I believe that the fullness of life is found in Holy Orthodoxy, but I also believe that, in a unique way, this is, in part, the life the Lutheran reformers were after (though the trajectory is markedly different with today’s Lutheran confessors).
It is not insignificant, in fact, that one of the first appeals for Lutheran support went from Germany to Constantinople. The Tübingen theologian, Jakob Andreae, penned the following as an attachment to the Greek translation of the Augsburg Confession, sent to Patriarch Jeremias of Constantinople:
I am sending you a little book that contains the main parts of our entire faith, so that Your Holiness may see what our religion is, and whether we agree with the teachings of the churches under the jurisdiction of Your Holiness; or whether perhaps, there might be something that is not in agreement (which I would not desire). I earnestly ask Your Holiness to receive it with the same good favor with which you have accepted my previous communications and, if it is not too much for your wise person, to kindly express your most favorable judgment concerning these articles, if God would grant that we think alike in Christ.
The hope of the Lutherans, in fact, was that the Orthodox Patriarch “count [them] worthy of [his] indulgence and receive [them] kindly into [his] paternal care.”
Indeed, therefore, from the earliest days of the Reformation, the Lutherans sought theological affirmation from the Orthodox Church (and not vice versa), in no small part because they viewed the Orthodox Church as holding unswervingly to the faith of the apostles. The Orthodox were, very simply, the Church.
And, so, in a most profound way, I have done what the earliest Lutherans had hoped to do. Finally, I have come home. But some are not home, at least not yet.
I do not for a moment doubt the sincerity and faithfulness of my friends who wish to remain Lutheran and, in fact, I commend them for that, because, although I have found my way home, I continue on the journey toward the telos for all Christians—unity with the one true God—a journey that my Lutheran brothers and sisters desire to share. Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, our eyes have been opened by the Lord to the truth of our human story, and we are all growing into our understanding of that story, into the fullness of who God created us to be: made in the image and striving for the likeness. And so, we travel together still.
My only prayer, of course, is that my Lutheran traveling companions respect me for lifting the burden on my conscience and doing what I was persuaded by love to do. Indeed, that is what happened to me and my family: We fell in love. And, to steal an idea from Bonhoeffer, while I know that love will not sustain this marriage with Holy Orthodoxy, I am convinced beyond all doubt that my marriage to Holy Orthodoxy will sustain my love for her, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Why? Because “this is the Faith of the Apostles, this is the Faith of the Fathers, this is the Faith of the Orthodox, this is the Faith which has established the Universe.”
Joshua Genig is assistant professor of historical theology at SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary.
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Evil Emanates from UOJ -
Even If You Have Never Met the Big Shots of WELS/ELS/LCMS.
Theology for Mental Ants

National ELCA and Episcopalian leaders,
Canada and US.
They also teach UOJ, which came from
Halle pietism and rationalism.


From WELS's Meditations, March-May 2014, for Monday, 17 March 2014.  The howler is in the second column which reads:  "No matter what you did yesterday -- or failed to do -- and no matter what you will do tomorrow, God has forgiven you."

Consider a sin from the second table of the Law.  

Were I to say, for example, that I committed adultery yesterday and I'm going to do it tomorrow, God has forgiven me.  That is ridiculous and dangerous.  Nor would it be any more Biblical were I to say "murder" or theft" or anything other sin, "big" or "little." 

This statement is foundational for allowing anything and everything, with one exception - denying UOJ.

This is the Dreck peddled in WELS Meditations -- and remember, this is the stuff that goes unfiltered into the homes of the unsuspecting. Leftover Meditations are sent to nursing homes, hospitals, and prisons (appropriately - big WELS presence there).

Everyone wants to stay as clergy and members in the City of Destruction,
because they get free calendars and napkins from Thrivent.

Norma Boeckler Art for Holy Week







Ecclesia College Christian Arts: Springdale, Arkansas:

Ecclesia College wanted me to show them how to use social media, so I began one blog featuring Norma Boeckler's art, which she is happy to share with all believers.

That blog links to two other blogs, with support from Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

If you want to locate a treasury of Christian art, go to this blog, which is linked with the other blogs on the lower left of Ichabod.

'via Blog this'


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

St. Francis Lutheran Installs Lesbian Pastor - WELS and LCMS Call It "Adiaphora"

Bea Chun - The group received five calls this month in ELCA.
Mark Schroeder and Joel Hochmuth should write another letter. See below.

St. Francis Lutheran installs lesbian pastor

NEWS


Church leaders, led by the Reverend Susan Strouse, dean of the San Francisco Conference, and all in attendance lay hands on the Reverend Beate Chun during her installation at St. Francis Lutheran Church March 30.
Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland  
ADVERTISMENT
It was a packed house at St. Francis Lutheran Church for the recent installation of the Reverend Beate Chun as its new pastor.
Chun, 54 and an out lesbian, was accompanied to the service by her fiancee, Alex Popova. The couple plans to marry soon, they said.
Some congregants noted that such a move wouldn't have been possible before the historic changes within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, with which St. Francis is affiliated.
Clergy from other congregations came to join in giving praise and asking God to guide the new spiritual leader.
The installation of Chun was particularly meaningful for St. Francis, which was founded in 1964. In 1982, the then-escalating AIDS epidemic inspired the church to reach out to the LGBT community. Soon, half of the congregants were gay men. In 1990, St. Francis ordained one gay male and two lesbian seminarians after the local bishop had refused to ordain them. This led to St. Francis being expelled from ELCA. St. Francis continued worshiping as an independent Lutheran congregation until 2011, two years after ELCA reversed its position on out LGBT pastors. Chun comes to St. Francis as an accepted member of the Lutheran Church.
"I was hoping and praying for this," Chun told the Bay Area Reporter, as Popova stood by her side. "I'm grateful to the people of San Francisco, of California, and of the Lutheran Church who took a leadership position for equal treatment of sexual minorities in every way. It feels like heaven has come down to us. Five years ago I could not have imagined that same-sex marriage would be legal."
Born in the Black Forest of Germany, Chun came to the U.S., leading Lutheran congregations in Texas, Wyoming, and California. Once married to a man, she now fully embraces her lesbian identity. In addition to leading services, Chun is enthusiastic about her involvement in church programs that benefit children and seniors, as well as St. Francis' Sunday morning meal, which feeds an average of 125 people.
The March 30 installation filled the sanctuary with joy, and even a few tears. There were numerous speakers.
"You have responsibilities," said the Reverend Lyle Beckham of San Francisco Night Ministry. "To the poor, the sick, the weak and the marginalized. And to the healthy and the wealthy, who in this city can be as isolated as anyone else."
Colleagues also urged Chun to be herself.
"Do not neglect the gift that is you," said the Reverend Marjorie Pearson of San Jose's First Presbyterian Church.
As Chun knelt down for the final portion of the installation, the entire congregation stood around her. They were all connected as one as they created a human chain by touching each other's shoulders.
The Reverend Susan Strouse, the installing pastor and dean of the San Francisco Conference, asked Chun if she accepted her new responsibilities.
"Yes, and I ask God to help me," replied a smiling Chun.
The new pastor of St. Francis stood up and addressed her congregation. "Peace of Christ be with you always," she said.
"And also to you," replied the congregation in unison.
There was hugging and handshaking as Chun began her duties.

---

Gay Face launches
crowdfunding campaign

NEWS


Ashley Kolodner is taking her Gay Face project on the road again. Photo: Courtesy Ashley Kolodner Photography
ADVERTISMENT
Queer Brooklyn-based photographer Ashley Kolodner is at it again, photographing LGBT people for her Gay Face project, but this time she's taking it national and adding an Ally Face component.
Kolodner, 26, visited the Bay Area last June and took portraits of 35 people. What differentiates her photos from similar campaigns is that she photographs in front of colorful paper that is used as the background.
She began the ally project in response to her straight friends who wanted to participate.
"The allies are just as important as the community itself," said Kolodner.
To fund the next chapter, she launched the Gay Face First Class Kickstarter campaign April 8 to raise $46,720.
The money will fund another tour of the U.S., visiting 28 states to add to the 230 portraits of LGBT people that she's taken and the roughly 50 photos she's taken of allies. At the end of the adventure the images will culminate in a book, she said.
"The goal is to travel, collect stories of people, to photograph them all over so you can really see the faces that are in Tennessee, Utah, or whatnot," said Kolodner, then putting it all together "so people can have a beautiful book that is not just full of images, but also stories."
The Washington, D.C. native graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in commercial photography from the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara in 2011. That same year, Kolodner began Gay Face as a personal project, to escape the narrowness of the focus of her lens in art, fashion, and music photography, but in 2012 it began to gain traction, she said.
Funding the estimated $80,000 project herself through donations from her parents, friends, and her work as a freelance photographer shooting corporate portraits, musicians, and fashion spreads in New York she began taking photos of LGBT people with elaborate colorful paper backgrounds created by the subjects.
Outside of traveling, the paper used in the backgrounds is expensive, said Kolodner. While she might have rethought the paper it has now become an act of creative expression by her subjects, who often take the paper home with them after the photo shoot.
"It's been a wonderful thing," she said about how people take the paper and create coasters and pin boards, "all kinds of things."
While she loved Adam Bouska's NoH8 photo project, where images are taken against a bright white background, and 50 Shades of Gay, black and white portraitures of LGBT subjects, Kolodner doesn't perceive the community so starkly. In her project the individuals get to create their own backgrounds and express how colorful they are, she said.
"It's been a humbling kind of thing. It's been a great thing," said Kolodner.


---

Maundy Thursday, 2014 listing for Joel Hochmuth,
even though he is in the slammer for man/boy porn swapping.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Aug. 21, 2009 Contact: Joel Hochmuth Director of Communications Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod joel.hochmuth@wels.net 
http://ichabodthegloryhasdeparted.blogspot.com/2012/06/more-wels-news-light-sentence-for-joel.html



WELS president expresses regret at ELCA decision on gay clergy
Milwaukee, Wis.—Rev. Mark Schroeder, president of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), is expressing regret at the vote of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) convention regarding homosexual clergy. Friday, delegates approved a resolution committing the church to find a way for “people in such publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships” to serve as professional leaders of the church.

“To view same-sex relationships as acceptable to God is to place cultural viewpoint and human opinions above the clear Word of God,” says Schroeder. “The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, along with The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, and other smaller Lutheran synods, maintains and upholds the clear teaching of the Bible that homosexuality is not in keeping with God’s design and is sinful in God’s eyes.” 

At the same time, Schroeder says WELS congregations stand ready to support those struggling with same-sex attractions. “As with any sin, it is the church’s responsibility to show love and compassion to sinners, not by condoning or justifying the sin, but by calling the sinner to repent and by assuring the sinner that there is full forgiveness in Jesus Christ,” Schroeder says.

WELS, with about 390,000 members and nearly 1,300 congregations nationwide, is the third largest Lutheran church body in the United States. In Wisconsin alone, there are more than 201,000 members and 417 congregations. “It’s unfortunate that many headlines have referred to the recent decisions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as something ‘Lutherans’ have decided,” Schroeder says. “In fact, the ELCA is only one of many Lutheran denominations. We are saddened that a group with the name Lutheran would take another decisive step away from the clear teaching of the Bible, which was the foundation of the Lutheran Reformation.” 

Schroeder says that WELS is firmly committed to upholding God’s design for marriage as outlined in Scripture—a design intended for one man and one woman. “We believe, and the Bible teaches, that God designed this relationship to be a blessing for men and women and for society. Any departure from what God himself has designed does two things: it denies the clear teachings of Scriptures and it undermines God’s desire that the man/woman relationship in marriage be a blessing.”

Virtue Online - Just Like the Lutherans, Whether Lavender or "Conservative"

Diocese of Mississippi resolution calling Presiding Bishop into accountability diesResolution 2013-1 dealt deathblow by Standing Committee

By Mary Ann Mueller 
VOL Special Correspondent
www.virtueonline.org 
April 15, 2014

Twin communiqués in the January 2014 edition of The Mississippi Episcopalian tell the story of what happened to Resolution 2013-1. One missive was from the diocesan Standing Committee, the other from Bishop Duncan Gray III (IX Mississippi). The year-old resolution, calling for the rescinding of Katharine Jefferts Schori's deposition of Bishop Mark Lawrence (XIV South Carolina), was permanently tabled. It will not be discussed during the Diocese of Mississippi's 187th Annual Council. The Resolution was dead on arrival at the 2014 diocesan meeting which was held Jan. 31-Feb. 2 in Natchez.

The original Resolution "Rescinding Deposition of Bishop Mark Lawrence" was presented to the 186th Annual Council by Yazoo City's Trinity Episcopal Church rector Fr. George F. Woodliff III. It was co-sponsored by fellow Mississippi Episcopalian Gloria Walker.

Resolution 2013-1 was referred to the Resolution Committee, which recommended to the Annual Council that the Resolution go to the Standing Committee for further discussion and eventual determination of its status. 

Members of the 2013 diocesan Standing Committee were: Sheri Cox; the Rev. Ann Benton Fraser; the Very Rev. Bruce McMillan; Danny Ray Meadors; the Rev. David Knight, Dr. Ed Sisson; David Sparks; and the Rev. Robert Wetherington who were joined by Diocesan Chancellor Granville Tate, Bishop Gray and Fr. Woodliff in discussing the Resolution. 

The January statement published by the Standing Committee in The Mississippi Episcopalian states: "After much listening and prayerful discernment, it is the decision of the Standing Committee that we will not issue a formal statement concerning the actions of the Episcopal Church against the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence.

"We, the members of the Standing Committee, do find ourselves uncomfortable with the irregular nature of the process used in dealing with Bishop Lawrence," the published statement continues. "At the same time, we also believe that the action was taken in good faith to address a situation that was also highly irregular. With this tension in mind, we believe issuing a statement in opposition to the actions of the Presiding Bishop and of The Episcopal Church, USA would not serve cogently to clarify this situation in a very public way. This would be unproductive for the parties directly involved and for the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi."

Bishop Gray also added his thoughts: "The Standing Committee has issued its statement. While I agree in large part with its conclusions, I have chosen to briefly share my own thinking on this matter. Our canons in no way anticipated the nature of the conflict between several dioceses and The Episcopal Church. We are, thus, left with trying to address issues of church polity with disciplinary canons. This struggle has been a challenge to those who seek to act in good faith.

"I have found myself uncomfortable with the irregular process undertaken to resolve the issues of polity and authority in the Diocese of South Carolina," the Bishop explained. "I do not question the motives of those who initiated such action, but believe a more traditional use of the Title IV disciplinary canons would have been more appropriate. The road would have been more confusing and messy, but may have been more useful in the long term ..." 

Fr. Woodliff, an attorney in his own right, was dismayed to see the way Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori ran roughshod over Bishop Lawrence in her use, misuse and abuse of Canon III.12.7 in order to remove Bishop Lawrence from Holy Orders and declare that he had "renounced" his ministry in The Episcopal Church. 

"I felt that someone had to make an attempt to bring to light something that I felt was wrong. There was no way that I can see that the Canon that was used applies to the facts in that situation," Fr. Woodliff told VOL, explaining his reasoning behind for drafting Resolution 2013-1. "This was the last opportunity for an official body of the church to protest that." 

The Yazoo City priest took issue with the Presiding Bishop's flagrant use of increasingly centralized power to browbeat clergy -- traditional bishops in particular -- while purposefully ignoring the precepts of written Episcopal canons. 

"The purported acceptance of the renunciation of holy orders by Bishop Mark Lawrence of South Carolina was not in compliance with the canon cited," Resolution 2013-1 reads. Canon III.12.7 provides: “If any Bishop of this Church shall declare, in writing, to the Presiding Bishop a renunciation of ordained Ministry of this Church, and a desire to be removed there from, it shall be the duty of the Presiding Bishop to record the declaration and request so made."

The Presiding Bishop prefaced her action upon a Special Convention address Bishop Lawrence gave on Nov. 17, 2012, at which time the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina formally disassociated from The Episcopal Church in order to authentically live the Gospel and remain true to the apostolic Faith once delivered unto the Saints. By then a "convergence of theology, morality, and church polity had led to a collision with the leadership of TEC."

At that time, Bishop Lawrence explained to his Diocese that, while remaining solidly Anglican, it was time to move on. It was prayerfully hoped that this separation from The Episcopal Church could be done equitably and without ill will. 

At no time did Bishop Lawrence say he was renouncing his orders or abandoning Anglicanism, which is a part of Christ's one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. In fact, he emphatically stated otherwise in a follow up statement.

"Quite simply I have not renounced my orders as a deacon, priest or bishop any more than I have abandoned the Church of Jesus Christ," Bishop Lawrence said in a letter posted on the Diocese of South Carolina website. "But as I am sure you are aware, the Diocese of South Carolina has canonically and legally disassociated from The Episcopal Church." 

Fr. Woodliff's Resolution specifically points out four areas in which Canon III.12.7 was blatantly not followed by the Presiding Bishop in her pronouncements against Bishop Lawrence. 

The "declaration" Bishop Lawrence made was that by the Standing Committee's Resolution of Disassociation, the Diocese of South Carolina had in fact "disassociated" from The Episcopal Church.

"We have moved on," Bishop Lawrence told the Special Convention. "With the Standing Committee’s Resolution of Disassociation the fact is accomplished: legally and canonically."

Nor were Bishop Lawrence's comments addressed to Katharine Jefferts Schori, but rather to the delegates attending the Diocese of South Carolina's Nov. 17, 2012 Special Convention that dealt with the Diocese's disassociaton with The Episcopal Church.

In that Special Convention address, Bishop Lawrence never uttered the words "I renounce" or indicated any "desire" to be removed from ordained ministry. 

Yet on Dec. 5, 2012, the Episcopal News Service (ENS) announced that "... the Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has accepted the renunciation of the ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church of Mark Lawrence as made in his public address on November 17 and she has released him from his orders in this Church. The Presiding Bishop informed Lawrence by phone, email and mail on December 5." 

ENS also reported that the House of Bishops was notified and that her actions were in keeping with Title III, Canon 12, Section 7 of the Constitutions and Canons of The Episcopal Church and that her deed followed a thorough discussion with the Council of Advice. It was with their advice and consent that she acted to release Bishop Lawrence from Holy Orders.

The final line of Fr. Woodliff's Resolution poses a question: "Putting aside the appalling lack of Christian charity evinced by such actions, they do raise the very legitimate question: What is the point of even having canons if they are going to be so flagrantly disregarded?"

The Diocese of Mississippi declares itself to be "One Church in Mission: Inviting ... Transforming ... Reconciling", yet it seems that Fr. Woodliff's question has fallen on deaf ears as the Diocese of Mississippi's Standing Committee has chosen to remain mute. Resolution 2013-1 is dead.


Mary Ann Mueller is a journalist living in Texas. She is a regular contributor to VirtueOnline

***

GJ - Discipline in The Episcopal Church consists of beating up the traditional priests and bishops. At least they have traditional bishops to beat up. The Olde Synodical Conference has (with perhaps an exception or two) only spineless get-along-go-along clones. They parade around denouncing ELCA when they are not meeting with ELCA and joining them in a host of activities, with ELCA calling the shots.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

We Have Another Martin Stephan - But Who Was His CFW Walther, Covering Up for Him?

Doug and Beall Phillips are on the outside, Lourdes Torres on the inside track to be #2 wife.


http://www.wnd.com/2014/04/pastor-accused-of-using-nanny-as-sex-object-2/

No copy and paste on this one; it is too close to LCMS Founder Martin Stephan, STD, and his young, single girlfriends.

I do not want to offend Matt the Fat and have him order me to erase the post.

Nor do I want to remind Fox Valley WELS about someone getting fired for abusive behavior and getting a call from the cover-up clowns Doug, Mark, and Kudu Don. ["Do this for me, Don, and I will help your media ministry." - "By your command, Great SP of All Sects. Right away. But shouldn't we wait until the toner is dry on the CRM notice?"]

Nope. I am keeping the lid on this one. If you read the article and make some connections, do not blame me.

Torres.
Would WELS blame the victim, shun her, and take her husband to court
for telling the truth?
You betcha they would. They did recently and have done it many times before.
Four-way lawsuit against St. Peter member for telling the truth.

From WELS, just after cutting a deal for Ski:

"The COP will review the process for considering requests of those who desire to re-enter the public ministry. The review will be made to ensure that a uniform process is used in all districts and to provide greater input from the entire COP before decisions are made by district officials."