The ELCA without asking (although we would not have argued) removed us from the ELCA block of the "Local ELCA" churches ad. Therefore out of our own money paid for an ad that did not include the letters "ELCA" within it and to their chagrins it does contain "LCMC". So this disrespectful group took it upon themselves to force the issue as to who gave the approval and by whose authority? If they would attend church they would have heard as it was announced who was in the "Forward with Faith" taskforce that approved this ad. These members have stopped attending our church months ago and only comes around to cause problems and dissension. A few show up at our 8 o'clock service to get a head count and a bulletin and after giving our Pastor dirty looks they leave and go to Trinity Lutheran (ELCA) to their ELCA approved and paid for secluded service in the general purpose facility as they wished to be left alone. The ELCA has actually paid for their own Pastor and from my understanding reimburses Trinity Lutheran the payment for the facility use. This group has not attended or given any regular support to our church for months and yet they feel that they can come and disrupt our meetings. Do they not have a conscience and don't they feel guilty for being so disrespectful and hateful in a house of GOD!. They cannot accept loss being in the minority and move on so now we have to tolerate their insolence on a grand scale. We already know that they will attempt to disrupt our annual meeting on this month and try again to shout down all of those who don't side with them even though the vast majority (over 80 percent) of our church does not agree with them. The ELCA is fully aware of their tactics and condones this disrespectful behavior. When will this stop and when will they accept that by their turning their back on scripture and siding with the ELCA is what is causing the problems they have and we all need to heal and move on.
CLEAR LAKE — The Northeastern Iowa Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is disputing Zion Lutheran Church’s vote in December to leave the denomination.
In a news release on Friday Rev. Steven L. Ullestad, bishop of the Northeastern Iowa Synod ELCA, declared that the two-thirds vote needed was not achieved.
The December vote at Zion came in reaction to a resolution adopted by the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in August that would allow gay pastors in a committed relationship to serve congregations.
Prior to that, gay pastors had to commit to being celibate in order to serve.
According to the news release, 366 church members attended and registered during the Dec. 13 meeting, which meant a majority vote of 244 was needed to meet the required two-thirds majority.
Zion members voted 238 to 119 to leave the ELCA, which was exactly two-thirds of the 357 members who voted.
“They must be confused or something,” said Rev. Dean Hess, senior pastor at the Clear Lake church, in response to the allegations. “All of those numbers are wrong. I don’t know where they got those.”
“We reported the numbers that were actually there, so I’m at a loss,” he said.
Church member Randy Reid, who was against leaving the ELCA, said there had been questions about the vote the past several weeks.
“It appears there continues to be a lot of opposition to people who were opposed to leaving the ELCA,” he said. “I’ve heard that they’ve actually confronted people within the church who were supporting the ELCA. It’s been uncomfortable since the elections.”
Carole Roth, church council president, was unavailable for comment Friday night, but was quoted in the news release as saying “We don’t see it (the vote) as invalid. From our standpoint, we don’t see a conflict.”
“We have counted all the votes, and we have a count of the voting members present: 357 voting members present, with 238 affirmative votes, 119 negative,” she is quoted in the news release.
Roth said in the news release she didn’t know where Ullestad got the numbers he cited.
She also said that she expects the congregation’s leaders will discuss the bishop’s letter, which disputes the numbers, next week.