There’s a saying in PR circles: Public relations is what you say about yourself. News is what others say about you. There’s another way to look at the news: news is what happens TO you.
From the perspective of a member of the ABC District of Lutheran Church Canada big news broke last week. Depending on your perspective there’s been a lot, or little, information coming out about the story of CEF’s insolvency. This website is about providing a clearinghouse for information about the CEF crisis, as well as anything else that’s happening related, or unrelated to the issue.
The CBC has picked up on the story and is reporting about what we’ve already known about for the last week and a half. It’s not a small issue, and now, everyone is watching. And it seems to be a fair representation (what, a reportering being fair and balanced, say it ain’t so!).
So much for the news. What then, do we say about ourselves in this tempest which has broken out of its teapot? Pastor Michael Schutz from Concordia Lutheran Church and School in Penticton, BC was interviewed for the story. “As a pastor, I get to celebrate with them in times that are joyful, but I’m also invited in times of disappointment, anger and frustration, and I have to say this is certainly one of those times.” There’s no need to interpret the statement. It does reflect us as a church body of sinners who are hurt, confused, and trying to make sense of things. But we do it together.
Since setting up this site not even a week ago, I’ve received a few comments suggesting it’s not productive, and that I have suggested the notion that there is an air of intimidation between pastors as district. Turning back to the CBC article, “Some told CBC they didn’t want to be interviewed, fearing reprisal from the church for speaking out.” What does is say about us, as a church body? It says a reporter couldn’t get anyone to talk because, oh dear, there’s an air of intimidation between pastors an district.
The only error I could find in the CBC story is that the use of “church” is a bit sloppy. But then we, as Lutheran Christians, understand that the church is not the district office. The district office is an administrative office that serves congregations, churches, in their ministry. The story isn’t about theology (thank goodness), so it’s understandable that the constitution and how it is formed through scripture and the Book of Concord is a bit ethereal to grasp. For the world, that’s splitting hairs.
Yesterday, LCC issued a statement making those air-splitting structural issues clear.
So, here we are. Yesterday it was all cookies and giggles and today is the end of a very long inhale, hand-wringing, and breath-holding. There will be a collective exhale for CEF and we’ll find out how bad our breath is.
LINKS to Recent News Items
January 15, 2015 ABC District of LCC Faces Financial Crisis (CBC News)
January 15, 2015 Update on CEF Investor Meetings (ABC District Website)
January 14, 2015 Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the CEF Situation (LCC Website)