Convention and/or Bust

I’m in Mississauga enjoying the hospitality of my in-laws before making the short trek from here to Kitchener. Kitchener is hosting the umpteenth LCC Synodical convention. I say “umpteenth” because it doesn’t really matter what number we’re on.

Andreas Schwabe
Andreas Schwabe is editor and publisher of SolaGratia.ca, and an Edmonton-based multimedia & communication strategist and producer. His focus for SolaGratia is on administration, governance, and issues of faith. For clients, he writes or produces just about anything.
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It was bound to happen…

It was bound to happen. To be generous I’ll call the restructuring process and plan contentious. I listened to the audio of the on-line seminars (there was no video, they were just audio). It universally contains the language of the foregone conclusion. “What we’re doing.” “What we’re going to do.” “The new system WILL be…” A couple of times moderators caught their bias, but it’s clear Synod’s plan is to make the “proposed” a reality, without a lot of discussion.

Considering how close convention is to the anniversary of the reformation on October 31, someone had to fire a volley in the dispute between the Synod’s own restructuring consultant, Rev. Les Stahlke, and Synod. And the volley came in the form of a new 95 thesis.

In 2017, 500 years after the reformation, there’s an uneasy sense that Synod needs reformation. We only need to look to Synod’s own restructuring consultant. This document is now making the rounds: a new 95 Thesis for Lutheran Church Canada as written by Rev. Les Stahlke.

Document: 95 Theses for LCC (PDF)

Andreas Schwabe
Andreas Schwabe is editor and publisher of SolaGratia.ca, and an Edmonton-based multimedia & communication strategist and producer. His focus for SolaGratia is on administration, governance, and issues of faith. For clients, he writes or produces just about anything.
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This is what the other shoe sounds like…

You’re in bed in that dreamy space between wakefulness and sleep. And then you hear something. You start…but stay motionless. Then, after not hearing the sound again, you drift off to sleep. Waiting for the other shoe to drop is uncomfortable when it doesn’t happen.

The first shoe: it’s been nearly three years since the collapse of ABC District and its Church Extension Fund and its DIL investment fund – January 5, 2015. Thousands of people lost millions of dollars to a debacle of mismanagement and misinformation. No one, not even the people who were in charge  say they know what happened. If they do know, they’re heeding legal advice and staying mum. And the church really is all about staying silent isn’t it?

Andreas Schwabe
Andreas Schwabe is editor and publisher of SolaGratia.ca, and an Edmonton-based multimedia & communication strategist and producer. His focus for SolaGratia is on administration, governance, and issues of faith. For clients, he writes or produces just about anything.
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The Politics of Restructuring

Last week the Canadian Lutheran published an essay by President Robert Bugbee entitled, “I support restructuring.” He says Synod has tried and failed to restructure many times. While that may be true, they must have been half-hearted attempts. There’s no mention of restructuring in the Canadian Lutheran Prior to 2015 (including paper copies), when three District conventions told synod to fix itself. I’ve followed conventions closely since the early 90’s. At best, there was only ever talk.

Synod has always been reticent to accept that the 2015 District motions to restructure were an order to “heal thyself.” Reticence aside, it’s the honest version of the issue. Delegates and members of all Districts were appalled by the collapse of CEF in ABC district, and wanted to avoid the problem from happening elsewhere. Heck, LCEF in Missouri went through a review process to make sure it wasn’t subject to the same governance and management issues in LCC. If that’s not a wake-up call…

Andreas Schwabe
Andreas Schwabe is editor and publisher of SolaGratia.ca, and an Edmonton-based multimedia & communication strategist and producer. His focus for SolaGratia is on administration, governance, and issues of faith. For clients, he writes or produces just about anything.
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