I would George, but it is plainly ugly, and bishop behavior is not always exemplary. So in our case, there is a delicate walk with, yet not influencing the walk. It is a decision the ELCA congregations have to make on their own. So I am not going to post names and such in a forum like this.
I will say that in the ministries I'm in, it is clear that on average with my samples there are about 3-4 congregations per synod, on the way out right away. There is probably on average 1 large congregation taking a "we are big enough to stay and create meaningful resistance." One note: these large congregations continue to have task forces evaluating an exit. Others are similarly engaged. I am not reporting their names beyond posting news articles or fait acompli, because they are already experiencing enough trial and anguish with the process without speculating here. So you have seen one report in California and one news report link in Colorado from me, no more.
So a, take it for what it is, estimate is 3.5 *65 = 230ish on the way out. 100 large churches readying for protest or exit. at least that many 230+100=330-500 engaged at the council level on assessing the question. Numbers of members? = 90,000 in small churches, 100,000 in large ones = 200,000 in a 1000 congregations with national presence. Some synods like NE Iowa and SC seem to be trying to make a inside protest response, with more or less Bishop support. (in three days many will meet with former Bishop Crumley for worship and conversation) I see at least 1000 separating in one way or another soon. Your mileage may vary, The question is not really on those numbers, but whether such an exodus will create a cascading implosion. If not, I'm sure ELCA will feel quite comfortable with 9000 congregations and 4 Million members, and a slow trickle of bleeding out. If there is an implosion, Lutheranism in America will be in a total restructure, and that would effect me, and probably is something I should know about, even if its "none of my business."
But we apparently won't hear about it officially until 2012? when the official publication gets printed? You know those AF presses still have to have the type set by hand. Grin. By then Missouri will have posted monthly data on the hundreds coming in and going out in her membership, some of those being ex-ELCA congregations that ELCA hasn't reported from their secret data yet Smiley Let's pray for some repentance, rethinking, and more order than that. The implosion is not the best scenario.
GJ - I read the necrology to my wife yesterday. We discussed the fact that she knows every single one of those theological leaders. We went to conferences together, with her costs paid by me.
I read these stats to her this morning, and she said, "Where were these people 22 years ago?"
I said, "Someone had to be first. Besides, if we had stayed for the benefits, everyone would be in rehab today. There is a price to be paid."
I wrote an entire book about this, which was published in a special edition of Christian News. The ELS, Missouri, and WELS were too busy snuggling with their new partner in ministry, ELCA, to rock the boat. Too much Thrivent money was going to joint religious projects. As one of the "conservative" WELS DPs explained, "We can't give up that money."
The homosexual vote at the last ELCA convention is the final, last straw for many congregations. The last straw was forcing Lutheran congregations to have an Episcopal bishop present for any confirmations to be valid. The cobbled-together merger was ready to come apart, then, when this latest vote passed to hurrah and rainbow-colored stoles. I hear the parade of activists was especially revolting to some.
If Missouri, WELS, and the ELS want to help, they can expel the Roman Catholic and Fuller influences among them and return to the Book of Concord. Many ELCA members are so poorly trained that they are more like newborn kittens, blind and helpless. The "conservative" Lutheran clergy will need to upgrade their training too, after 30 years of aping Fuller.
Quote from: Chuck Sampson on Yesterday at 07:21:53 PM
... an article by one Leah Shaeffer which contended that the Virgin Mary was actually raped by a Roman soldier. When our Church Council wrote to Bp. Chilstrom asking him to disavow this blasphemy he wrote back to say "Charles, I cannot be the keeper of a thousand doors."
I think she's currently serving a congregation in Ohio if that helps affirm your decision. I remember her from when we were both in DC. Ironically, I think her doctorate was from Catholic U.