|Mission roots or sky-high overhead.|
Two tiny non-calling LCMS congregations in rural Virginia were joined together five years ago to form Christ Lutheran Mission in Ruther Glen, a rural unincorporated community 20 miles north of Richmond and 30 south of Fredericksburg. Their mission is so small that practically every member who attends regularly is made a church official.
Now the LCMS wants to grow the mission by sending it a mission pastor. They are being sent a graduate straight out of seminary. His installation is scheduled for August 18, 2013.
The mission start meets in rented space in a business park "along the back side of the storage units in the business park." Hardly a winning location! It only has about 50 chairs in a room that could hardly fit any more. In fact, the installation has to be held at the Methodist church since there's not enough space for all the visitors. This small church is now forced to have a $100 grand budget, of which the synod picks up half. Still, that's a grand per seat that the church must come up with!
The synod is not letting the congregation save money by putting the pastor's family of four on an HMO, and the synodical health plan costs $26 grand per year! Yes, you read that right! The pastor's salary also must be substantial because he reportedly owes $100 grand in student loans! Again, you read that right!
The synod has set goals for this new pastor and the mission, giving him/it three years to get dozens of new members, and if the mission doesn't grow immediately, or the mission fails to come up with $50 grand per year for the pastor, the synod can pull out of the deal after just one year.
The synod may well be setting the seminary grad up for failure. Ruther Glen is rural and in the Bible Belt, where most everyone already goes to church. There's a Baptist church on almost every corner, and the Baptists and Evangelicals down there think Lutheran worship is pretty staid, so they are not as likely to join. So where's he going to get all the new members?
The congregation was told that the cheapest they could get a pastor for was $50 grand. They weren't told, however, about CRM pastors who might be glad to take a call for less since likely they didn't have any student loan debt anymore, if they ever had any. Also, if the church called a CRM pastor, the mission and pastor would not be under such pressure to grow the church.
The fact that someone with $100 grand in student loan debt is sent to a mission start shows the folly of having such a large Concordia University System and two seminaries where all the professors are paid handsomely. At Concordia St. Louis, for instance, the professors are paid $70 grand a year. Then, so the student doesn't default on his massive student loans, the synod must subsidies missions to the nth degree so all their graduates have good paying jobs. Perhaps the LCMS should change its name to LCMB, since it is more boondoggle than synod!
Anyway, when a mission start is lied to, and not told about CRM pastors, and are told they can't find a LCMS pastor for less than $50 grand a year, is a call based on a call list based on lies still as divine?
Ruther Glen, Virginia
|Wake up, sheep.|
You are being fleeced.
bruce-church (https://bruce-church.myopenid.com/) has left a new comment on your post "LCMS Seminary Cost Scandal: Fabulous Costs To Supp...":
More links for the above comment--first, the costs of the Concordia Health Plans, and second, CRM links:
Concordia Health Plan Costs Per Month/Per Year:
Self, Spouse, Child(ren):
Year 2013, Option A: $2,432 per month. $29,184 per year
Year 2014, Option A: $2769 per month. $33,228 per year
Priestly Rant: On Calling CRM Pastors:
LCMS Resolution 3-10A:
Lost Pastors Password Protected Website:
|The fat cat is not motivated to change anything.|
The Concordia Health Plan is definitely a Cadillac plan that in 2018 will be excised taxed at a rate 40% on the amount over $27,000 for a family plan. The family plan means two or more persons are covered. In 2014 the CHP plan is supposed to cost $33,228 for a family. That means the excise tax would be $2,491 if the same rates apply in 2018. So the plan plus tax would cost the congregation $35,719 per year come 2018!:
Excise Tax on High-Cost Coverage (Cadillac Tax):
High-End Health Plans Scale Back to Avoid ‘Cadillac Tax’:
Although the tax does not start until 2018, employers say they have to start now to meet the deadline and they are doing whatever they can to bring down the cost of their plans. Under the law, an employer or health insurer offering a plan that costs more than $10,200 for an individual and $27,500 for a family would typically pay a 40 percent excise tax on the amount exceeding the threshold.