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Abstract: Bishop Warren to meet with executive committee at St. John's, Atlanta. Will he cite CBCR 9:23?
Following the decision of the Committee on Appeals, Bishop Ron Warren issued a Pastoral Letter to comment on the decision to defrock Pr. Schmeling. In the letter, Bishop Warren notes that he will meet with the executive committee of St. John's (Atlanta) on August 2, "to pray together, listen and discuss options for the congregation and Bradley in the future."
This could be a good thing, though we wonder if Bishop Warren is fully aware of the pain that his prosecution of this case has caused, and while we try, like all good Lutherans, "to put the best construction on everything," we can't help but recall CBCR 9:23:
"In accord with constitutional provision 9.21.d. and bylaw 9.21.01. and without invoking the provisions of Chapter 20, a congregation that maintains as its pastor an ordained minister who has resigned or been removed from this church’s roster of ordained ministers or that calls as its pastor one who has not been approved for the roster of ordained ministers may be removed from the roster of congregations of this church by the Synod Council upon recommendation of the synodical bishop."
CBCR 9:23 was used in 2004 by Bishop Murray Finck and the Synod Council of the Pacifica Synod to strip Central City Lutheran Mission (CCLM) of its "congregation in development status" with the ELCA. CCLM had called Pr. Jenny Mason who is now rostered with the Extraordinary Candidacy Project (ECP).
Coincidentally (or maybe not), it was Bishop Ron Warren who insisted in 2001 that Pr. Mason resign from the ELCA Roster.