The Arizona-California-Las Vegas district of WELS is meeting in Glendale, Arizona today. Due to an unavoidable oversight, I was not invited to speak. This is what I would have said, and I always say when asked...
The Wisconsin Synod will not exist in 10 or 20 years if things continue as they are. The Church Growth people got in there long ago and leveraged all their pals into positions of influence long ago. The Sausage Factory had a CG president (Valleskey) and still has two professors (Sorum and Bivens). The Love Shack is mostly Church Growth, as evidenced by Bruce Becker calling Paul Kelm back. The mission counselors are all Church Growth. The parish consultants (Kelm) are all Church Growth. World missions and American missions - CG, too.
WELS is currently training members to be generic Protestants. The cutting edge of WELS is all CG (Green Bay, etc).
If the Lutherans start asserting themselves, the CG congregations will head for Missouri: pastors, property, and all. His Holiness, Jerry Kieschnick, will welcome them. WELS should say, as they would to Marvin K. Mooney: "Go in peace, but please go now."
The battle-lines have already been drawn. The COP is inert, as usual. The Love Shack is doctrinally united - against Lutheran doctrine. Unfortunately for them, the synod voted for the opposite direction at the last meeting.
The strong will defeat the weak, as Luther said. If people support Lutheran leadership, they will elect a First VP to support SP Schroeder. If pastors and laity want to continue the loosey-goosey Baptist-Protestantism of Wayne Mueller, Larry Olson, Paul Kelm, Bruce Becker, and Mark Jeske, they will elect a First VP like John Parlow or James Huebner.
Some kind of commission has already suggested that Parish Services be reduced or changed. As everyone knows, WELS did not need another Parish Consultant. Oodles of offering money will be used up to move Kelm to Milwaukee and pay for his salary and benefits. The SP suggested no new calls at all, bypassing his chance to have Wayne Mueller replaced by appointment. Of course, the money does not come out of Bruce Becker's pocket.
I wonder - was Kelm on the way out? Green Bay is behind in current funds and way behind in its building funds versus expenses, according to their newsletter. Having Kelm go is a way of reducing expenses in Green Bay while having an ear at The Love Shack. Holy mole-y.
Calling Kelm was a deliberate affront and insubordinate on several counts. If WELS pastors and laity want more divisiveness, they should support Bruce Becker, Paul Kelm, and John Parlow.