Friday, August 23, 2013

District President Doug Engelbrecht's Email Supporting James Skorzewski's (Ski's) Return to the Ministry



Brothers,
The perpetual adolescence of WELS pastors is
captured well by their Facebook photos
of Glende and Ski with a scantily dressed Katy Perry.

          A number of weeks ago you received a set of documents from two laypeople in the district who were involved in a situation that ultimately led to the resignation of one of our pastors.   This situation was handled by the Northern Wisconsin District Presidium and the congregation(s) involved according to synod protocols, and reasonable and appropriate action was taken.  A number of you have expressed deep concerns about the content and purpose of the mailing that you received, including the fact that it came out under the aegis of two pastors in the district from whom the couple was receiving counsel.  Your Presidium decided that, since the information the pastors in the district received raised a number of questions, and since it obviously presented only the viewpoint of the couple that sent the information out, it would be good to call a meeting of our circuit pastors to give them a report of the situation from the viewpoint of the Presidium, to answer any questions they might have,  and to help them answer any questions the men in their circuit might bring to them.  That meeting was held on June 18th at Maribel.  A good share of our circuit pastors were able to be in attendance.  Others, who were not there, already had some involvement in the situation and previously had the information that was shared at that meeting.  President Engelbrecht presented a fairly detailed account of the events that led to the eventual resignation of the pastor involved and of the protocols that were followed.   He explained the plan of discipline and restoration that was developed, which included a suspension of ministry and periodic reviews to determine whether or not a return to the public ministry would be possible at some time in the future.
 It became clear that the use of the term “suspension” in connection with that plan of discipline/restoration was a poor choice of words on the Presidium’s part, since the action that was taken was not consistent with the use of that term in our circles and may have given some the impression that what had taken place was not serious or that the action taken by the Presidium amounted to merely a slap on the wrist.  The circuit pastors came to the understanding that such was not the case, but that the Presidium considered what had taken place to be serious and something that needed serious action.  While the suspension of ministry that was called for did remove the pastor from all ministry, not only in his congregation, but throughout the WELS as well “until further notice”, (as is basically  the case with any resignation) it was misunderstood by those who did not have all the information relative to the case.   As a result, and after consultation with WELS President Mark Schroeder and President Engelbrecht, the pastor made his suspension from ministry more clear by tending a letter of resignation.  That was then reported via the weekly call report.  Although President Schroeder expressed his approval of the plan that was developed for the pastor by the District Presidium that could lead to possible return to pastoral ministry, he felt that the term “suspension” caused both confusion and questions that could be avoided by a standard “resignation”.    The pastor, who thereupon  willfully submitted his resignation, has continued to follow the original plan of discipline/restoration developed for him by the Presidium, recognizing it as a beneficial program for his physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being.   Since all too often when a called worker in our synod resigns there is no program put in place that helps him or her to be restored spiritually, emotionally, and physically, it is hoped that the program developed by the Presidium in this case might serve as a model for dealing with such situations that arise in our synod in the future.
 
The circuit pastors expressed their appreciation for the more detailed explanation of the situation and asked if, in the future, there might be better communication with them in such situations to avoid any misunderstandings or misinformation.

The circuit pastors in attendance at the meeting in Maribel then expressed their concern over the documents that were sent out to all of the pastors in district by the couple, as well as the involvement of the two pastors mentioned in those documents.  The consensus was that the sending out of those documents was inappropriate, since it served only to do further damage to the reputation of the pastor involved, following his resignation.   It was also the consensus of the circuit pastors present that, apart from the initial involvement of the one pastor in bringing the allegations to the attention of the proper individuals, the two pastors had overstepped their bounds in continuing to be involved, since neither of them at the time served as the pastor of the couple nor as a circuit pastor, and neither of them served in any official capacity in the district that would justify their further involvement.    The circuit pastors asked that the Presidium meet with the two pastors mentioned in the mailing to convey that message to them and to ask to what extent they knew about the mailing that was sent out.    Such a meeting was held the following day on June 19th and the concern of the circuit pastors about their involvement was conveyed to them.   The two pastors did state that, as far as the mailing was concerned, they were not aware of it being sent out and did not encourage or OK it.   The Presidium thanked them for their willingness to meet with us and to listen to our concerns, and also thanked them for their obvious concern for the spiritual and emotional well-being of the couple who were involved.   We encouraged further meetings of the couple and the Presidium to help them in their healing process. 

          It needs to be stated at this point that at no time did the leadership and pastoral staff of St. Peter/The CORE take lightly the incidents and events that took place which led to the resignation of their pastor or try to cover them up in any way.   They stated that sin is sin and it was acknowledged as such by those involved where sin occurred, and where poor decisions and lapses in judgment occurred they were also acknowledged and addressed.    The moment these incidents were brought to the attention of the responsible officials, the proper procedures, as laid out by our synod policies for situations like this, were followed both by the District Presidium and by the leadership of St. Peter/The CORE.     While the general nature of the incidents that led to the resignation of their pastor were shared with the members of St. Peter/the CORE, specific details of the incidents (including names) were not shared in order to protect primarily the couple involved and also the pastor, as well as others mentioned in statements that were made during the investigation.    Since the couple, however, chose to disclose the specific details through the mailing they sent out, the matter of protecting the reputations of those involved from further damage became a moot point.  A special meeting was held recently with the members of St. Peter/The CORE and a summary of all that has taken place in the past 11 months, including specific details, was presented to them. 
         
 Should you wish to have a fuller explanation of what occurred, how it was handled by the district, and specific details, you are encouraged to contact President Engelbrecht.  

          We also hope and pray that all those who have been involved in this situation will soon find peace in the forgiveness of sins through our Lord Jesus Christ and strength in Word and Sacrament to live in harmony with one another and serve their Savior to the glory of God.


NOTICE OF REQUESTS FOR CRM STATUS

          One of the reasons for the special meeting with the members of St. Peter/The CORE and for this letter to you is to give everyone more specific and accurate information on what has transpired in the past 11 months, especially in the light of a formal request that has been made by the pastor who resigned from the CORE for CRM status.    Our Wisconsin Synod does have a process for re-entry into the public ministry after a resignation/suspension/termination.   It involves:
·      a period of time away from the ministry (often a year, although in some cases it may be less), for the specific purpose of addressing the things that led to the resignation/suspension/termination
·      a formal written application for CRM status submitted to the District Presidium in the district in which the resignation took place,
·      notice being sent out to the district of the request and a solicitation for responses, either positive or negative
·      letters of recommendation from individuals designated by the District Presidium who could give an evaluation of the progress made by the applicant in resolving the issues that led to resignation/suspension/termination
·      a meeting with the District Presidium to discuss the request
·      a possible period of supervised service or internship as outlined by the District Presidium
·      a decision on granting CRM status by the District Presidium, after the interview and a review of all the material that has been submitted

According to the synod constitution the District Presidium has the sole responsibility for making a determination on granting CRM status.   In order to make that decision comments from those who wish to make them are taken into consideration.   

There are two such requests before our Presidium at this time.  James Skorzewski and Paul Fanning have requested consideration for CRM status.  Paul Fanning has been out of ministry for approximately a year and resigned from his call at St. John – Kaukauna, WI  when he remarried and moved to Nebraska.     James Skorzewski has been out of ministry since January 2013, (his resignation was requested and accepted by the District President at the end of December of 2012),  but has been addressing issues that led to his resignation for almost three years through Crosstrain Ministries.   
           
Comments on the two men seeking CRM status at this time may be sent to the District Office:

          welsnwpd@aol.com  or 249 E. Franklin Ave – Neenah, WI 54956

         

Doug [Engelbrecht]

***

Doug’s email: nwdp@wels.net
 
home phone: 920-722-3218
 
cell phone: 920-841-2809
  
Oh, and the newsdesk of the local newspaper:
 


GJ - This email shows what a joke the Anything Goes District has become under Deputy Doug Engelbrecht.

Ski resigned last December? Strange, it did not really happen until the April following -

Ski has been working on his problems through Crosstrain Ministries? That is another cancerous tumor from Church and Change, the WELS Fuller Seminary lobby that pretends to disappear when convenient, only to emerge again: larger, worser, meaner. 

These are the Jelly-Tele-Tubbies, apparently waving bye-bye,
but really smirking over their capture of WELS.

DP Patterson is one their coaches and charges a fee to coach people. I want to know how to organize parish spiritual retreats where the ladies bet on who is going to puke her guts out from alcohol first. Could I hire one of them coaches? Kudu Don Patterson is probably booked until the Second Coming, given his skills.

Ski was on the board of Church and Change until I published the names and photos of everyone on the board. It just happened that three Mark Jeske staffers were on the board - a co-inky-dink.

The letter identifies only one sin committed - the sin of dealing with the issues of pastoral alcoholism and repeated sexual harassment. Some have expressed wonder that I knew the facts involved in Ski's situation. DP Jon Buchholz knew all about it and laughed it off, back in 2009, when I brought it up to him.

Many realize this is a safe outlet to deal with matters, while the Mark Schroeder prescription of writing a letter is just another step toward being kicked out for the sin of writing a letter or trying to meet with the furtive Deputy Doug Engelbrecht. Therefore, I often receive information about the false doctrine and disgusting behavior of WELS pastors and teachers.

Those new to the situation should recall that Glende and Ski excommunicated a member, Rich Techlin, for correctly identifying both pastors as dishonest plagiarists. Naturally, Deputy Doug supported Glende and Ski 100%.

Ski and Glende are disciples of Babtist Andy Stanley,
but if anyone is identified as reading this blog - Anathema sit!

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