Friday, May 27, 2016

Moving the Butterfly Bush, Harvesting Asparagus from a Friend

Our Butterfly Bush - White Profusion if you forgot - has done so well near the bird feeders that I decided to move a tiny, struggling Butterfly Bush. It will help form a bird-perch, butterfly host, and natural screen around the windows.

Sassy wanted to go out with me until she detected a mist falling. She noped that and asked to go back in. So I pulled my hat down against the Sou-wester blowing in and fetched the distant Butterfly Bush. I hastily planted the bush on higher ground. The little bush probably had too little moisture. And the slugs ravaged the bush for a long time, giving me a chance to try out useless slug repellents and cures.
White Profusion Butterfly Bush.
A diversity of planting throughout the garden will
support the larvae of various butterflies.

White Profusion Butterfly Bush

I pruned another Butterfly Bush into extinction, so I decided to water the little tyke more, which began to grow a bit this year. The transfer was easy. The clay was soft but not waterlogged. Afterwards, I made a toad-friendly log fence around the new bush and watered it generously with rain-barrel water.

I also dumped a rain-barrel on the large White Profusion, which is now about 8 feet tall and not ready to start blooming. The little one, Bonnie, may get quite large in time.

Buddleia davidii 
'Bonnie' (Bonnie Butterfly Bush) This Mike Dirr selection was named after his wife, Bonnie, and if you know Mike, you know that it must be one fine Buddleia! This giant deer resistant butterfly bush reaches 10' tall and is covered in large grey-green leaves, then topped from June until frost with large 10" panicles (flowers)  of very fragrant, light blue-violet (RHS 94D) flowers. (Hardiness Zone 5-10) - 
See more at:
Rain was expected a 4 PM but should arrive later with some force.

The birds were anxious to feed, so I re-supplied them with sunflower seeds today and watched the lively feeding frenzy. When Junior Squirrel showed up again to keep the birds away, I opened and shut the window to watch his standing broad jump away. Very pleasing.

The male cardinal is feeding from the platform or the ground several times a day. I imagine the female is sitting on the eggs in the Crepe Myrtle bush.

Once the birds were feeding on the hanging feeder when the squirrels reach made it spin around. He took a swipe at them to shoo them away. They went to the platform and the Jackson EZ Bird Swing.
The creatures are fun to watch, constantly entertaining.

Lantana are grown to excess in Phoenix, because they are drought tolerant,
but they also bloom well and attract butterflies here.

Update from 2011 Story on Mason Beecroft -
Who Poped and Became a Brewmaster.
More Than Most Want To Know, But Someone Was Looking Up the Link

 Dead Armadillo Brewery
LinkedIn Profile for Mason Beecroft

Our brewmaster, Mason Beecroft, was a Lutheran pastor for eleven years (really, we’re not kidding). He learned how to brew beer while studying Historical Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary, which had a student conduct policy that did not allow drinking. To ensure he was not thrown out of the Seminary, he claimed he never imbibed his own creations (wink, wink) in obedience to the law and thus demonstrated his high moral character (yeah, right). And, incredulously, they bought his story. While a pastor in Houston and Tulsa, Mason spread the good news of brewing to hundreds of parishioners and friends, baptizing them in the malty goodness of real beer (hallelujah, pass the growler). During Vacation Bible School, he graciously offered sessions for the adults on the “Christian Art of Brewing Beer” and shared his own beer in a selfless act of charity. He will be considered for sainthood upon his death.

His full beard

The Loss of Rev. Mason Beecroft

I’m saddened by the departure of Mason Beecroft from the LCMS roster of the ordained, as reported by The Lutheran Witness in its September issue.

I was privileged to meet him at the Model Theological Conference on Worship in January 2010. His presentation there, essentially saying that the key to revitalizing our synod was the restoration of the Mass, was excellent.

Rev. Beecroft had stepped down from his office at Grace Lutheran in Tulsa for health reasons. We prayed for his health, but now there are other concerns.

I’m told (and verified with a second source) that he has left for Roman Catholicism, and this disappoints me for several reasons. First, because all of the good things that he did will now simply be poo-pooed as “Romish.” Secondly, because he was a good scholar whose services will not be in the LCMS employ any more. Finally, because of where he’s going, how one can renounce justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone? The man-made law can only bring an appearance of comfort.

And he’s not, in Roman Catholicism, going to avoid theological liberals.

Please come home, Rev. Beecroft.


GJ - One Lutheran lady told me about the LCMS pastor who kept a rosary. Soon after he was a priest. Many Lutheran clergy are promiscuous in their use of these terms:
  • Mass
  • Father
  • Mary
  • Saints
  • The Holy Father, aka The Antichrist
Not every Lutheran minister who glories in those terms will join Rome or Constantinople. Some will walk the tightrope instead. But many will lead their flocks into deception.

Someone told me that Robert Preus wrote Justification and Rome to deter his own seminary from poping, but that obviously did not work.

I am happy to say to all those Lutheran clergy who have left for Rome or Constantinople - "Stay there. You probably never grasped Biblical doctrine in the first place."


 GJ - Someone told me that that a WELS pastor in Alaska went Russian Orthodox. Now that's cold.

PS - I forgot about this post, because I kelmed it from another blogger. I missed the part in the bio where Mason went from Dallas Seminary to becoming an LCMS pastor. The Missouri Synod is notoriously lax in doctrinal disciple. Like the WELS and ELS, the officially approved candidates know as little about Lutheran doctrine as their professors, District Presidents, and Synod Presidents.

If one is trained in Enthusiasm outside of Missouri, WELS, or the Little Sect on the Prairie, he is welcomed into Synodical Conference Enthusiasm and easily passes on through the Roman Catholic Enthusiasm.

Ten Days of Rain Ahead in Sunny Springdale

Today I feel like the man in Twilight Zone who had all the time in the world, all the books in the world to himself to read, and then his glasses fell off and broke. My Moline classmates loved that episode for its irony, because we were readers. Today the equivalent would be forgetting the password for Facebook and not knowing how to recover it.

In my case, I have four full rain-barrels, a waste-basket full of rain, gardens with plenty of rain, and 10 days ahead of rain. Accuweather is usually too optimistic about rain, and dismisses a lot of rain predicted. has 10 days of rain.

I have an idea - brush up on beneficial insects. Here are some from Jessica Walliser's newsletter -

Lacewing larvae
Tachinid flies
Ladybug larvae
Soldier beetles
Syrphid flies
Praying mantids
Parasitic wasps
Spined soldier bugs
Assassin bugs 
Ground beetles 
Big eyed bugs
Rove beetles

The best part about beneficial insects is recruiting them through plants. If I want a certain type of beneficial insect, the most important part is having plants loved by that species.

For example, yesterday, when putting roses into two vases, numerous tiny ichneumon wasps hovered around the flowers. They were doing their work when I cut the stems and followed the roses. Were they saying goodbye to their kids - or looking for one last meal before the roses left? I do not have to figure that out. Their presence tells me I am using the right plants to support their work on the roses.

Or there is this little tip. The Tachinid flies look just like houseflies, and they are major enemies of pests. How do I know if I have Tachinids in the garden? Simple - the only insect in the garden that looks like a housefly is the Tachinid, and it has to be a Tachinid. Why? - Houseflies are never in the garden.

/Feverfew is especially attractive to beneficial insects
and spreads by seed. Fortunately it is a small plant.

What Are Some Plants for Recruiting Beneficial Insects?
Like most of you, I was new to beneficial insects a year or two ago. I was aware of them, thanks to my mother's fascination with insects, but not exactly well versed. Walliser's excellent and readable book on the topic got me especially interested.

So I study the plants more than the bugs. One vendor at the farmer's market said there was no cure for squash bugs. I had trouble believing that, so I began reading up on the subject and found this - Tachinid flies are potent enemies of the squash borer, so he can encourage them with Feverfew and some other easy to grow plants, like Sunflowers and Mountain Mint.

Another great part of getting plants to recruit these beneficial insects - many host plants are perennial. I got some Mountain Mint and Horse Mint, fun plants to watch in the garden. Mountain Mint has constantly buzzing insects around it  and Horse Mint (Bee Balm) attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, as well as bees.

The squirrels have decided that I plant sunflower seeds to feed them, so I have given up on that weed - very exasperating, given the reputation and hardiness of the sunflower. I may look for its relatives as potted plants.

Mountain Mint caught my eye in Washington DC,
with insects flying around it in a constant buzz.

Almost Eden and Opie Give Us a Tour
Sassy and I were headed left for a walk when Almost Eden and his dog appeared on the right. That gave the dogs something to do while we talking gardening, mulching, and beneficial insect host plants.

I am hoping Honeysuckle will be
as aggressive in the Wild Garden as they say.

Luther Days Fake ELS-WELS Conference - Still Providing Porn Links.
Here Is Natalie Pratt's LGBT ELCA Pastor Pal and Sample Tweets-Retweets

Luther Days continues to follow at least one X-rated Twitter account,
which also follows Luther Days.
But look at this LGBT Twitter account she is following,
not to mention some soft-core and obvious fraudulent stuff,
as before - according to my safe computer consultant from ELS-WELS.
Breaking News - Luther Days Is Following Emmy Kegler, ELCA Lesbian Activist - Do Scott Barefoot and Richard Starr Know, Approve, Follow?

LinkedIn Profile -

Pastor of Grace Lutheran in NE Minneapolis. Carrying a deep sense of God's love & an eye for lost coins. She/her/hers.  …
LGBTQ people are not CAUSING anyone discomfort. They are not to blame for other people's hang-ups.

"Lutherans need to stop saying "Here I stand," and start saying "Here we go." YES! Awesome stuff here tonight!

"Lutherans need to stop saying "Here I stand," and start saying "Here we go." YES! Awesome stuff here tonight! bcast

Luther Days speakers Scott Barefoot
and Richard Starr.
Luther Days speaker Jay Webber.
Is everyone on vacation at the
Mankato ELS Vatican?


Where She Is

2016 #GCNConf – “weconnect” Featured Speaker Emmy Kegler

Posted on December 14, 2016, by Marg Herder
Emmy Kegler
Emmy Kegler
Emmy Rettino Kegler will be the featured speaker at the 2016 Gay Christian Network weconnect women’s retreat, which will take place on the afternoon of January 7, opening the 2016 GCN conference, “What’s Next.”
Emmy was kind enough to agree to be interviewed here on Where She Is prior to her appearance at weconnect. Here on this page you’ll find an introduction to her life and work.  The next post is an interview with her.
Emmy Kegler is a web designer, church curriculum writer, and the curator of a new web encyclopedia of resources around LGBTQ life and Christian faith, Queer Grace. With a Master’s degree in Divinity from Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota, she is awaiting a call in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) as an ordained pastor.
Both of Kegler’s parents worked as English professors at the University of Minnesota, so her childhood was spent surrounded by books and words. Though baptized into the Roman Catholic Church, she was raised in an Episcopal congregation, giving her an abiding love for intentionally crafted worship, for tradition that invites participants into its beauty and richness, and for faith-inspired social justice.
Although her parents prohibited video games until she knew how to competently ride a bike and swim (a necessity growing up in the land of 10,000 lakes), she eventually was able to talk them into the purchase of an Apple II and, later, one of the first available dial-up modems. She’s been fascinated by technology ever since.
Emmy’s years in evangelical and non-denominational traditions left her with a keen recognition that all believers bring gifts to God’s table, and a passion for theologically rich contemporary music, unscripted preaching, and prayer. She learned the power of community and compassion while participating in Episcopal, youth-led retreats.


Queer Grace -

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015
This week we have a guest post from Proclaim member, Emmy Kegler.  Read about some of the creative and exciting ministry Emmy is engaged in as she awaits first call.
By Emmy Kegler
When I came out as gay at 16, I knew my life was going to be complicated. When I accepted the long-fought call to ministry at 19, I knew my life was going to be more complicated.  And when I followed that call all the way through Clinical Pastoral Education, internship, three years of classes, divorce, graduation, and this period of time awaiting first call in the Twin Cities… I had a sneaking suspicion that my life was always going to have a strong degree of messiness.

Many of you know this mess, too.  We become translators of our experience, bridgers of the gap.  We explain to friends, family, loved ones, colleagues, seminarians, call committees, congregations, total strangers how it can be that we are gay-, bi-, trans-, queer-and-also-Christian.  I love those conversations (most of the time).  I love how the messiness of being LGBTQ and called to serve the church can transform people’s minds and hearts around sexual orientation, gender identity, Scripture, tradition, and the long arc of the hope of God.  But these conversations can be exhausting.  It is not always fun to have my personal life and ministerial calling as a theological exercise.  The layers on layers of theology, history, and interpretation are difficult to unwrap over a beer at a neighbor’s barbeque (sic).  

I wanted to create a space where people could learn, on their own time, at their own comfort level, about the myriad of concepts and beliefs around what it means to be LGBTQ and Christian. There are so many incredible resources scattered across the Internet, but tracking them down through a basic Google search can be like walking through a queerphobic minefield.  In addition, the interconnected questions are complex.  What does feminist theology have to do with the way we read the Bible as LGBTQ people?  How did the Lutheran church get to where it is? What is bisexuality and what does it have to do with faith?  How do we know when we’re in a spiritually abusive church and how do we leave?
For years I’ve wanted to create a space that could connect all those questions and the incredible resources already in existence.  So on the eve of my thirtieth birthday, with my girlfriend holding my shaking hand, I launched a fundraiser for a website tentatively called Queer Grace, “an encyclopedia for LGBTQ and Christian life.”
Four months later, fifteen thousand people have visited the site.  Donations just topped $2,500, meaning I can pay my growing group of writers for the incredible content they are generating. Eighteen articles are up, with eight more awaiting submission or final edits.  In the next phase, I’ll be updating the site with direct links to important sites like (is your church on there? Double check!).
At first, Queer Grace was a way to fill my waiting time.  But each day I work, I feel a sneaking suspicion that this is as much my call as ordained ministry will be.  I live in a space where the word of God is preached, the law named, the gospel proclaimed.  I live in a space where the promise of welcome at the Lord’s table is offered.  
Queer Grace is found at  When you have the time, read it.  Share it.  Let me know where there are resources lacking.  Donate to the cause.  The Spirit is up to something here, and we’re all welcomed along for the ride.

Emmy R. Kegler has a Master’s in Divinity from Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minn.  She was raised in the Episcopal Church and spent some time in evangelical and non-denominational traditions before finding her home in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.  She is currently awaiting call in the ELCA.  While she waits, she works as a self-employed web designer and church curricula writer.  She lives in Minneapolis and enjoys biking, board games, books, beer, and babysitting her girlfriend’s dogs.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Did You Think This Through? - I Hear My Parents Saying - About the Roses

Fragrant Cloud.

Mother's Day was a good day to harvest roses, but nothing like today. Even though most hybrid teas were done blooming for the moment, I had two large bouquets, each garnished with fragrant roses.

We laughed about that when Mrs. Ichabod and I delivered them. One bouquet was in a large plastic coffee sipper cup -  I found it on the morning walk with Sassy. Yes, I washed it carefully first. I have a lot more roses than rose vases, and this one was just right in size for long-stemmed roses, which is how I cut them.

Floribunda roses and KnockOuts tend to grow multiple blooms on a stem when they are healthy and well fed organically. Last year I had one stem with seven perfect orange roses on it. That one went into a glass vase for Mrs. I to enjoy.

But - at the chiro's office, I admitted, "My parents would be asking me if I thought this one through. Just to keep up with harvesting the best roses will be a challenge."

I have fond thoughts of previous efforts. I planted one Fragrant Cloud rose near the downspout of the garage in Midland. The rose produced constantly, unusual in color and fragrance, unique in shape. Now one Fragrant Rose is planted in memory of Mrs. Wright and will have a plaque.

Queen Elizabeth - from Dr. Walter Lammerts, PhD

The two Queen Elizabeth roses were planted last year, so they are quite strong already this year. They already have plaques for Bethany and Erin Joy.

Growing so many roses will also be a lot of fun - and a necessary part of raising and pruning roses. Today we had another thunderstorm, loud but short on rain. More should fall tonight. The happy consequence of this will be a bountiful harvest of roses in June.

  1. The roots will be more established.
  2. The above ground will be developed.
  3. The underground soil microbes will be thriving and - at the worst - in suspension waiting for more rain. 
Mowing the front lawn is no longer a chore, and sometimes we sit on the patio chairs and enjoy the scene. The cardinals fly to their nest in the Crepe Myrtle bush. Robins work the mulch for worms and insects.

California Dreamin'

Icbhabod the Glory Has Departed - Almost 9,000 Views in Two Days

Pageviews today
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WELS, ELS, LCMS, and CLC (sic) Know How To Do This Too.
Roman Catholic Priestly Abuse, Cover-ups.
From 2013

Cardinal Roger Mahony
Cardinal Roger Mahony at a mass welcoming the Los Angeles Diocese's new archbishop (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times / May 26, 2010)

Patt Morrison:
I had to look twice at the date on the newspaper to make sure I wasn’t having a time-warp moment.
I’d heard this before. In a way, I’d covered this before.
My colleagues Ashley Powers, Victoria Kim and Harriet Ryan have dropped a doozy on Southern California with theirstory of memos recounting how, a decade and a half before the scandal emerged about Roman Catholic priests’ sexual abuse of young people, future Cardinal Roger Mahony and an advisor planned to hide these molestations from law enforcement, going so far as to move the suspect priests out of California.
In a word, a cover-up.
But long before those memos that The Times found about concealing priests’ misconduct, the church apparently was doing the same thing in the face of a lawsuit by a young woman named Rita Milla. I wrote the stories about her suit against seven Filipino priests working here, and the archdiocese, for $21 million in 1984. Her suit said that:
  • For four years, beginning when she was 16 and a parishioner at a Wilmington Catholic Church, first one and then all seven priests had sex with her, beginning when one who fondled her through a broken confessional screen. Two of them assured her that “it was morally, ethically all right for her to have sexual intercourse with them … that by doing so, that she would be helping them and helping herself.” Milla was 16 when all this began; the age of consent in California is 18, but no question of criminal charges was evidently pursued in this matter, perhaps because of the statute of limitations.
  • When she became pregnant -- by one of the younger priests, as DNA tests showed years later -- Milla says there was talk of an abortion; then the priests got her a passport, arranged travel to the home of one priest’s relative in the Philippines for her pregnancy, and told her family she was going abroad to study. When she came back with a baby daughter, and the priests did not pitch in to support the child, she asked the church to help hold the priests to their responsibility. But, she said, when one churchman said it was probably her fault, and not the priests’ alone, she went to a lawyer.
  • Not soon enough. California courts first dismissed the archdiocese from the case, saying that because sex with parishioners isn’t part of a priest’s job description, the church couldn’t be liable. And then the courts threw out Milla’s case completely because her legal clock was timed out -- by about six months before the suit, as it turned out. The courts said she should have sued, at the latest, within a year of her daughter’s birth.
  • Milla was regarded as off-balance, a fantasist, a scarlet woman. She filed a slander suit against a bishop who told a local Spanish-language radio station that she was a “person of bad reputation.” Then-Cardinal Timothy Manning, at the archdiocese’s old cathedral of St. Vibiana’s, scolded The Times for its coverage of Milla’s case. And the priests could not be served with the lawsuit because they could not be found. When I called looking for them, I was told they were out of the office. Then I was told they were away on vacation or retreat, then transferred to unknown parishes. Gone.
About half a dozen years after this, my phone at The Times rang. A creaky voice said, “Patt? It’s Father Tamayo.” The eldest of the seven priests was dying, and he was remorseful. He had a confession to make to me. He showed me documents on the archdiocese letterhead. One, CCed to Cardinal Manning (Mahony came to the archdiocese a year after Milla sued), advised Tamayo not to reveal he was being paid by the archdiocese unless he was questioned under oath. A check for $375 was included. It was one of many checks.
The archdiocese knew where to send Tamayo the letters advising him to stay away, and nearly four years’ worth of checks, but did not share that with Milla’s lawyers. A copy of one letter urging Tamayo to go back to the Philippines was copied to then-Archbishop Mahony.
Tamayo kept asking the archdiocese for permission to come back, but the letters told him to stay put; returning could “open old wounds and further hurt anyone concerned, including the archdiocese.” Tamayo was also in bad standing with the church because he had gotten married.
A church spokesman told me then that the payments didn’t amount to hush money but were mandated until Tamayo found another post. The fact that payments went on so long was “unusual” but were sent “out of compassion and care and a sense of moral responsibility for a man who had served us.”
No such responsibility was evidently acknowledged for Milla and her child. Not until 2007, when the church paid out a massive $660-million settlement to more than 500 young people who had been victimized by clergy, did Milla get any money for what she went through. By then her daughter, the priest’s daughter, was 25 years old.

'via Blog this'

The Stephan-Walther Mythology Harms the Entire Synodical Conference.
From 2012

Synodocat has a grim outlook,
because he must promote a mythology he knows is false.

I get into phone and email discussions with people who scratch their heads over peculiar attitudes of the Olde Synodical Conference.

The biggest single problem of the Olde Synodical Conference is the Walther mythology. Although the facts about Bishop Stephan and Walther are published, known, and circulated, the mythological view predominates - even among those who would never call themselves Waltherian.

One eye-opener was Herman Otten's grandson repeating the lie, told in Perry County, that Stephan was "given three choices" when caught in adultery. First of all, Stephan was an open serial adulterer, so there was no shock. Secondly, when a man's life is threatened and he is forced across a river at gunpoint, there are no choices.

Stephan's St. Louis residence was known for all the women hanging around.
That included C. F. W. Walther's young niece, who died in America.

Anyone can see how the various authors skip over the kidnapping of Walther's niece and nephew from his father's parsonage. Mrs. Buenger was so involved that she spent time in the hoosegow for her participation. C.F.W. married one Buenger daughter, and his brother married another. When Walther's brother died, Ottomar Fuerbringer married the widow, making the kidnapping epidsodes (the children and Stephan) basic to LCMS history and DNA. Ottomar begat Ludwig Fuerbringer, who skipped over the early years of Missouri in his two books, and Ludwig begat Fibby, who turned Concordia Seminary, St. Louis into a faculty for Seminex.

The Bohemians had no problem with slavery.
Stephan settled his group in a slave state, unlike the Scandinavians,
who loathed slavery and stayed away from slave states.
Quoting Walther on slavery is considered slander, especially today.

Bishop Stephan is often accused of mismanaging money. Doubtless his plans and insistence on Perry County were quite harmful, and he lived high on the hog. But he did not touch the money. Everything was approved by the pastors and the laity, sometimes by one group, sometimes by the whole group. The clergy took money out of the common fund for themselves, too. CFW's brother took $400 out, a huge sum, and never accounted for it, never repaid it.

Zion on the Mississippi goes into all these details, which are quite confusing and difficult to follow. The Society was running out of money when they robbed Stephan of all his gold, personal possessions, 1500 books, and land (120 acres, eventually).

C. F. W. Walther led the mob against Stephan, acted as the new leader in Perry County, and took over leadership of the group soon after the big event. Walther also controlled the history of the group, stifling attempts to write about those early days.

The Saxon mob, organized and led by Walther,
robbed Stephan of all his gold.
Where did it go?
The stolen chalice ended up being used in C. F. W.'s congregation in St. Louis.
Thieves love to show off their trophies from robbery.

A group of pious liars turned Stephan into an embezzler (who never held the funds), a false teacher - whom the clergy installed as bishop. The clergy pledged total obedience to Stephan, so it is not shocking that Walther simply took over that style of leadership, becoming the American Pope.

The pious liars have never disclosed Stephan's well known adultery, in Europe and in America, or how he doomed his wife and children by sharing his syphilis with them.

Stephan studied at Halle University.
Stephan changed Walther's concept of justification.

The doctrinal foundation of the Olde Synodical Conference comes from Stephan's cell group Pietism and his initial education at Halle University. The Saxon group came over as Pietists and kept their cell groups going for a long time. Their bizarre justification scheme came from Halle and Stephan. Walther never changed, never went beyond his rationalistic and Pietistic training. But many consider his every pronouncement infallible, inspired, and beyond criticism.

The Missouri Synod, like other Pietistic groups, moved closer to the Confessions and Luther in later years. In that regard the LCMS was no different from the Swedish Augustana Synod or the Tennessee Synod or the General Council. Even the General Synod became confessional enough to merge with General Council, forming the ULCA in 1918.

The Missouri Synod remained a mix of Pietism and Lutheran doctrine, which is why the group had their Seminex crisis, their surge of Pentecostalism, and their love affair with the Church Growth Movement.