|Easter Divine Service at ULC a couple of days ago - evidently, this is not "missional" enough and the chapel needs to be sold
the "Campus Ministry Property Task Force" of the Minnesota South (MNS) District of the LC-MS unveiled a plan last week, the keystone of which is to sell the two campus properties it owns at the University of Minnesota (ULC) and Mankato State University (CLC). The plan was unveiled on Holy Tuesday, which brought back for many of us the horrific memories we have of the events which took place on Holy Tuesday a few years back, in 2008, when "Issues, Etc." was suddenly canceled and its host, Pr. Todd Wilken, and producer, Mr. Jeff Schwarz, were both terminated, and the archives of the show were suddenly taken down from the KFUO website, as if it never existed - all done "in the dark" and without explanation to our church body. I still remember the creepiness I felt that day, and the utter shame I felt to belong to a church body that would act in this fashion, and during Holy Week, no less. And now, this move by the MNS District has brought back that feeling of creepiness and shame. Sad.
One of the lessons I've learned from both of these tragic and sad Holy Tuesday events is that "missional leaders" (whatever the heck they are!) must not be all that in to Holy Week, which is supposed to be the most important week in the Church Year for Christians. I assume that the members of this Task Force identify themselves as "missional leaders," since the Mission Statement of the MNS District is: "Developing missional leaders in congregations and schools," and it would seem odd, indeed, to appoint members to this Task Force who were not "missional leaders" themselves.
A few other things I have learned about "missional leaders" from these events is that a) Open and Transparent Communication = Obfuscation and Confidentiality; b) Word and Sacrament Ministry is ineffective and must be replaced with better, more relevant "mission" strategies; c) Confessional Lutheran theology must give way to Americanized, "Evangelical" theology; d) The modus operandi is that the end justifies the means, and the best way to justify the means to the end they desire is to make it seem like it's all about finances, even when anyone with a calculator and an elementary school-level education in math can see otherwise; e) The Office of the Holy Ministry is replaced by the assertion that "everyone is a 'minister.'" And much else.
Anyway, this year's "Holy Tuesday Treachery" was quickly brought to light by Pr. David Kind and those involved in the virtually self-supportive University Lutheran Chapel (ULC), where confessional, faithful, Lutheran theology is put into practice (which, evidently, is the opposite of "missional"), and where a vibrant congregation of God's children faithfully gather around His Holy Word and Sacraments (which, evidently, is also the opposite of "missional"). I am thankful that Pr. Kind not only refused to comply with the request to keep this matter confidential, but also rebuffed DP Seitz's appeal to 1 Cor. 14 to make the case that "good order" required continued confidentiality by pointing out to him that "good order" never means doing things under the cover of darkness. Amen to that, brother!
You can read all about the goings on in this matter at the Save the ULC page on the ULC website, where all the pertinent documents are posted for your perusal and study. I encourage everyone to raise their voices in opposition to the actions proposed by the secret Task Force of the MSN District.
You can read what others are saying about this here, here, and here. You can also join the "Save the ULC" Facebook page here.