Saturday, February 10, 2007

Isn't It Ironic?

After reading about Pastor Brad Schmeling being removed from the ELCA pastorate because of his committed same-sex relationship, I attended a workshop on church vocations where we were told, "Remember that God doesn't call the qualified -- God qualifies the called."

Too bad that the ELCA doesn't really believe this.

Artwork: Prayer weaving in support of Pastor Schmeling


Reverend Dona Quixote said...


Tonight a new guy came to my service with his partner. The man had been a Missouri Synod pastor for 25 years. He merely broached the possibility with his congregation that the clobber passages in the Bible have been possibly misunderstood and misapplied, and was told that "The Synod has spoken. It's wrong."

My comment, "Oh dear, did some Lutherans exchange a pope for a synod?" He laughed.

And when you heard that particularly comment in the workshop, were you tempted to smile sweetly, blink innocently, raise your hand and ask, "But what about Brad Schmeling?"

LutheranChik said...

Considering that this thing was being held at the Russell Kirk Center -- Russell Kirk is like the great departed guru of the conservative movement in the U.S., and this place is like Mecca for those folks -- I was just glad that I didn't spontaneously combust upon crossing the threshhold. But that song "Isn't It Ironic" was certainly going through my head all day long.

(The location, BTW, was chosen I think for reasons of centrality and because the arrangers had an "in" -- I don't think it was meant to be a philosophical statement. And Mrs. Kirk and the staff were very gracious hosts.)

Beth said...

LC: We're trying. We know that we need to try harder.

Verdugo said...

Ironic is indeed the word for the day. Just don't let the irony drown out the call of God.

as an aside, forgive my ignorance, but what is a "prayer weaving"?

James Hilden-Minton said...

At St. John's we have an Advent tradition of prayer weaving.

Here's how it works. There is a strip of cloth in each order of worship. Congregants are encouraged to write a prayer on the cloth. These strips are collected and woven into a mesh backing. The result is a collective expression of prayer with wide participation, including folks too shy to voice prayers in a service.

Such creativity in worship is one of the benefits of having a gay pastor such as Bradley.

Please visit my blog, I have written on how our congregation proclaims Christ. For me, this is not so much a political issue or even a justice issue. This is about the gospel and how we live it. Our critics do not need to agree with our reading of the gospel, but I do hope they can see that we are living this gospel as best we can, trusting in the Holy Spirit to work it all out.

Blessings, James

Reverend Dona Quixote said...


I had never heard of the Russell Kirk Center --thanks for the ... um ... warning?

At any rate, I'm glad you didn't spontaneously combust, and I am glad to have a heads up about a place where I might.

After all, I wouldn't want to be caught flaming ... ;) ;) ;)

toujoursdan said...

Sorry to hear that this has happened but I remain hopeful that its absurdity will spark change.

Scooper said...

My standing opinion about such things is here.

Joy said...

I knew by the title of your blog that you might have some interesting things to say! I am hopeful in that too that is "God doesn't call the qualified--God qualifies the called." Unfortunately, many denominations have a long way to go to realize God often chooses those people the denomination is too ignorant, blind and prejudice to see God in.
Thanks for posting - am enjoying your blog.

Sophia said...

I read about the outcome of that situation with great disappointment.

I'm wondering whether there will be a response from over here in Episcopalian-land, since we're "in communion" with ELCA and we definitely don't agree with what was decided.

evelyn said...

The decision said so much more than what I'm hearing from so many people.

The committee nearly unanimously called on the ELCA to change the policy............ and to reinstate those who have been (or will be) removed from ministry due to the policy.

I'm reminded of something I read about 3 answers that God gives to our prayers.... "Yes", "Yes, but not yet", and "No, because I have something so much more wonderful planned for you."

I'm not ready to give up on the ELCA (and especially not ready to give up on the work of the God's Spirit in and through us) yet.

I'm so proud of you, LC, for your witness to God's love!