Monday, August 01, 2005

For Those Of You Still Interested: Latest LCMS Struggles

For what it's worth. FYI. From Reclaim News:

"'Report on Meeting from Litigants Suing LCMS President'

The following is a report from Mr. Edwin Hinnefeld, who met with Lutheran
Church-Missouri Synod President Gerald Kieschnick, in an attempt to resolve
issues over which Lutheran Concerns Association (LCA) is bring suit against
Questions about this meeting and its intent will be forwarded to Mr.

Edwin Hinnefeld
July 27, 2005

Friends in Christ:

The conclusion of the LCMS convention in 2004 prompted many members to raise questions about the number of convention voting delegates.

Inquiry provided information that indeed there were 176 voting delegates as a result of 88 new circuits formed by exception. The LCMS President approved these exceptions in response to requests from Districts. These added delegates could therefore have changed the results of most of the actions taken at the convention including the election of officers, the praesidium and many other elected positions along with many resolutions that could have lasting results.

There was also information concerning the interference with the authority of the LCMS Board of Correctors by CCM opinions and convention resolutions contrary to Missouri law.

In addition to the CCM opinions contrary to Missouri law some did not interpret anything.

Hundreds of you have written, sent e-mails or telephoned your deep concern for the future of the Church if these irregularities were permitted to continue and not be corrected. It was clear that because of the complications of authority at the convention level, the board level, the office of the President and District President level the only solution was legal. Furthermore because Missouri law was clearly violated it required court action to resolve.

The Lutheran Concerns Association supported by nearly 100 plaintiffs began the task of coordinating the process of a legal lawsuit to correct these critical irregularities.

At the encouragement of many pastors we sought a meeting with the LCMS President Dr. Kieschnick to explain to him in person our contemplated action and to listen carefully to his response.

Attorney Robert Doggett and I attended this meeting on Monday July 27, 2005 at 10:00 a.m. Joining Dr. Kieschnick was Sherri Strand, an attorney with Thompson Coburn LLP, the law firm for the LCMS Board of Directors. Dr. Kieschnick was very cordial, opening the meeting with prayer, and after our brief presentation, he deferred to attorney Strand who urged for added meetings to review in detail the specific concerns in an effort to avoid litigation. There was a question about representation which I determined to be a concern about the source of funds for legal fees. Dr. Kieschnick was very attentive, asked several questions and reminded us of our Biblical responsibilities. Our meeting fulfilled its purpose and intent.

At 2:30 pm on the same day we met with the law firm representing our
proposed case. The firm of Kohn, Shands, Elbert, Gianoulakis & Giljum LLP
is in Missouri and is recognized as very capable and respected. It is their
opinion based on years of experience including many cases involving not for
profit institutions that these irregularities and the violation of Missouri
law supports the case for court action.

We have prepared for our law firm many details to help support and validate our case. These include the baptized membership [of the LCMS] by circuit, by district for 2001 and 2003 including voting delegates, congregations and exception delegates. We also provided [the number of] communicant members [of the LCMS] per voting delegate, circuits formed not conforming to LCMS by-laws and many more basis for correlation. Careful review of web-site information and minutes of several meetings have provided helpful information.

There is no way to predict the outcome. It is evident that the case will take many months and in fact may not be resolved by the 2007 LCMS convention. The importance is that the irregularities are corrected and the Church be restored to its precious tradition. It will be the basis in the future for reduction if not removal of any perceived actions of impropriety and cause all efforts, leadership, motivation and finances to be devoted to the Lord's work with absolute integrity.

There will be a time after the filing of the law suit, which will happen in August, for a period of discovery. As depositions are taken it will more clearly provide understanding and may reveal added irregularities. Great differences are reported between certain factions within the Church, often referred to as Liberal and Conservative. If in fact the sides will not comprise their position, then it reaches a state of impasse. At this point division many be the only answer. This in no way is advocated but reality says the future may hold such a decision.

It may be time for all members, including those in authority, to ask the question before any decision or action is taken "Is this pleasing to God"? Many decisions including those causing the irregularities seemingly were made for the gaining of power, greed, self-esteem or in some ways just patronizing.

We view this law suit as an opportunity provided by the Lord to bring about correction and change. Now we humbly seek the Lord's will, pleading for guidance and wisdom in all of our actions.

This cause is absolutely worthy, necessary and needs your support. Your financial support is requested. The costs are significant but small when compared to the enormous loss if we do nothing. There are many that have committed major resources to save our Church. We seek your prayers and support. Share this with your congregation so that many are being kept informed. Please send your contributions to:

Lutheran Concerns Association
Rev. Daniel N. Jastram, VP. Treas.
1320 Hartford Ave.,
St. Paul, MN 55116-1623

Sincerely in Christ,

Edwin Hinnefeld"

Make of this what you will.

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