The Glory Has Departed
Friday, June 17, 2011
bruce-church (http://bruce-church.myopenid.com/) has left a new comment on your post "Brett Meyer - On the Syn Conference Covert Agenda ...":
Why suddenly all the mergers and "collaboration" among synods and groups of local churches? Success has many fathers, but failure is a orphan. Also, misery loves company.
Liberals love ecumenism since liberalism causes churches to shrink and members to donate less (the less religious give less and have fewer children generally), so one must share resources regardless of doctrine. Also, the realization is that the liberal church is failing, so liberals band together so "everyone and no one" "owns" the failure.
The same goes with so-called conservative churches. Doctrine becomes less and less important as the need for "everyone and no one" to own the failure rises, that is, the larger the failure becomes, and the greater the need for merging resources, the more people look for unions.
GJ - Bruce Church is correct. Congregations "merge" because it sounds better than closing. Parochial schools (Appleton) pool their resources to fulfill the Latin motto - out of many, one.
The history of the mainline denominations is one of mergers. Andover merged with Newton. Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago is comprised of Maywood, Augustana, Central, and perhaps one more. But LSTC added McCormick on the same site, a Jesuit school, and who knows what else. LSTC was a dream, a Lutheran school next to the famous University of Chicago. Now the school is a nightmare of financial meltdown.
Northwestern College in Watertown and Martin Luther College in New Ulm merged to form Martin Luther College in New Ulm.
Missouri no longer needs two seminaries and the Little Sect does not need its palatial digs at all. WELS seminary classes are shrinking as fast as WELS. Since they have all shared the same womanizer as donor, they can pool their resources in many different ways, often in one place.
In keeping with the practice of other mainline denominations, the Little Three could fund a campus at Fuller Seminary, with one administrator and a couple of instructors to maintain the Lutheran mirage. Each empty campus could become a for-profit school or a low security prison.
Salaries and benefits will not shrink but staff sizes will. The LCA once did a "study" about staff, hiring a famous outside consulting firm. Many were kicked out but the survivors received the large raises suggested by the experts they hired.
The economy is speeding up what was already happening in the Little Three. The administrators will still have so much power and money that clergy will continue to play nice in order to keep the gravy train on the right track. No one will dare get in the cross-hairs of a DP or SP. Instead, they will direct their congregations into new opportunities for sharing resources and greater cooperation.
I remember when The ALC and LCA hailed the exodus of the Seminex faculty and the formation of the AELC. Richard Jungkuntz, from the little WELS college in Watertown, was a leader in this liberation. So was Gehrke, also from NWC.
Hearts were gay as Lutheran liberals salivated at the thought of everyone getting together. The AELC fueled every bad concept knocking around both denominations, which were only 20 years old at the time. Conrad Bergendoff opposed a merger because the LCA had not really merged yet. Nevertheless, the radicals kept the momentum going and ELCA became an enormous operation with a collapsing budget, failing schools, and congregations fleeing from the wrath to come.
Today's ELCA is a portrait of what the Little Three will become in a few years.