LCMS Duplicity on Same-Sex Marriage?: On October 22, Rev. Dr. Gerald Kieschnick, President of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) launched a stern, public defense of 'natural' marriage including a statement which read in part:
[W]e as a church body urge our leaders, congregations, and members—particularly our 212,000 members inCalifornia, Florida, and Arizona—to give a public witness against the social acceptance and legal recognition of homosexual "marriage." (Emphasis added.)
President Kieschnick's statement was part of a public relations blitz that included a press conference, public service announcements for radio, and other media opportunites.
On October 27, LCMS rostered leaders received an email mesage re-iterating the 'traditional' definition of marriage and including a link to a bulletin insert to be used in LCMS churches on Nov. 2. The bulletin insert encourages the reader to "Protect marriage as God meant it to be" and attributes the following statement to President Kieschnick:
... as one of the largest U.S. Christian church bodies, with 2.4 million members nationwide and more than 212,000 in Arizona, California, and Florida combined, we urge our members in those states and Christians across the nation to educate themselves on the marriage issue in the short time left before the election. (Emphasis added.)
We note that the anti-gay language of President Kieschnick's October 22 statement does not appear in the bulletin insert, and we wonder why.

Who Knew?: We always assume our readers are well-informed, but we were not prepared for them to be quite so well-versed on Methodist church history.
Following our account of the first Methodist extraordinary ordinations, more than one reader took us to task for suggesting that Mount Vernon Place Church in Baltimore is regarded as the birthplace of American Methodism. All respondents generously conceded us partial credit for getting the city right.
Some suggested that the rightful mother church of Methodism in the United States is Lovely Lane, which does, indeed, proclaim itself to be the "mother church of American methodism." Lovely Lane Meeting House was the site of the 1784 Christmas Conference, the meeting of preachers that elected Francis Asbury as the first "general superintendent" of methodists in America.
Other readers suggested that Barrat's Chapel (The Cradle of Methodism) should have the honor. Thomas Coke, emissary of John Wesley, was sent to Baltimore to find preacher Francis Asbury and appoint him superintendent. Coke did not find Asbury immediately and was invited to preach and administer the sacraments at Barrat's Chapel on November 14, 1784. That worship service was the first occasion for baptism and communion to be administered in the United States by ordained Methodist clergy.
Asbury arrived at the service late, was introduced to Coke during worship (a plaque on the floor of the sanctuary now marks the spot) and declared at a subsequent meeting that he would accept the role of superintendent only if elected by local preachers. The Christmas Conference at Lovely Lane was organized to meet this requirement.
Mount Vernon Place Church was built as the "cathedral of Methodism" in 1872. Francis Asbury is buried in the narthex.

Installation at Valpo:

Sloth Never Looked So Good: If you're going to do nothing, you might as well do it in style. Tell the world you aren't afraid to sin boldy by slipping into the Official T-SHIRT!

Be the Life of the Party:
Worn out your old copy of The Book of Concord?
Get a new one.
Evangelical Lutheran Worship: what's all the fuss about? Find out for yourself.
Looking for a good old hymnal? We've got those, too.
Buy books, music, and other Lutheran stuff now from the Store! (Frequently cheaper than Augsburg-Fortress or Concordia.)

Pr. Sophie is all a-Twitter. Again.
Pr. Sophie's Tweets:

    Hot Dish Hotline: "We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard." What have you seen or heard that other people really need to know about? Use the Hot Dish Hotline to submit your item online.

    On Sunday, November 2, at 5 p.m. Rev. Darlene E. Grega will be installed as university associate pastor at a special All Saints Festival Eucharist at Valparaiso's Chapel of the Resurrection. Pr. Grega is the first ELCA pastor and the first ordained woman to serve on the chapel staff. Bishop James R. Stuck of the Indiana-Kentucky Synod will preach and preside at the rite of installation. Professor Joseph Bognar will be organist. Choral music will be performed by the Kantorei, Valparaiso's select 48-voice choir.
    Pr. Grega assumed her new duties on August 23 and has preached and presided at worship throughout the semester.

    More Nuptials: On November 1, Rev. Sharon Stalkfleet (pictured) and Larell Fineran were married at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Oakland, California. Pr. Ross Merkel officiated, Pr. Stalkfleet's brother Don and Bob Broughton were witnesses. Following the ceremony, the wedding party had a festive lunch at Scott's Seafood Restaurant in Jack London Square.

    Site Set for Extraordinary Ordination: Last week we reported that Jay Wilson has been called by First United Lutheran Church (SF) and will be ordained extra ordinem on December 6.
    We've since learned that the ordination service will be 3PM at Old First Presbyterian Church in San Francisco. Old First Presbyterian is home to the Welcome Ministry which Jay serves as Assistant Director.

    Lutherans Against 102: On the Arizona ballot, the traditional marriage measure is Proposition 102, and a number of ELCA pastors have expressed their opposition publicly. Among them are Pr. Ron Rude, Pr. Jim Dew, Rev. John Lillie, and Rev. Kenneth R. Ahlstrand.

    Lutheran Against 2: In Florida, the "traditional" marriage ballot measure is Amendment 2, and not surprisingly there is a group of religious organizations and clergy opposing the measure. On October 16, Florida Clergy for Fairness held a press conference and Rev. John H. Hayner was the lone Lutheran voice among the featured speakers:
    I believe that Amendment 2 is a mean-spirited attempt to legislate morality that has no business being on the November ballot in the state of Florida. Under the guise of "protecting marriage," it does no such thing. Rather, it has the potential of penalizing and doing great damage to other civil relationships across the spectrum of our society...
    From a theological/pastoral perspective, it all boils down to loving your neighbor as yourself. We are all God’s children with the capacity to love and to be loved. In the Lutheran tradition, we are “sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever” when we are baptized. Whom God accepts and receives into his own family, who are we to reject or ostracize?

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    Disclaimer: is not affiliated with the any other organization,and particularly none of the following: American Association of Lutheran Churches (AALC), American Lutheran Publicity Bureau (ALPB), Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS), Extraordinary Candidacy Project (ECP) (now defunct), Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM), Fellowship of Confessional Lutherans (FOCL),, International Lutheran Council, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS), Lutherans Concerned / North America (LCNA), Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC), Lutheran Lesbian and Gay Ministries (LLGM) (now defunct), Lutheran Ministerium and Synod (LMS-USA), Lutheran Women's Missionary League (LWML), North American Lutheran Church (NALC), Queer Lutheran Liberation Front (QLLF), Societas Trinitatis Sanctae (STS), Wingspan, Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), or Word Alone.