Wednesday, November 8, 2017

So How Is The Progress On The Retractions And Corrections?

You, Dear Readers, are the best. [d7] Your help has been vital in addressing the earlier events described here and at, and you have made all the difference in standing up for "whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report". You have held fast to these things when both the church and the world considers these virtues to be dispensable and inconvenient, from the sale of the University Lutheran Chapel property in Minneapolis to the sale of the KFUO frequency licence in Saint Louis. Thank you!

Quite a few of you have asked how it can be that I have remained a pastor in the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod when the public notices, announcements, and memos from July of 2016 remain unretracted and uncorrected, and say otherwise. I have been asking that myself since some of you brought my removal to my attention, something of which I had been unaware since I had accepted a call as Chaplain of a new Recognized Service Organization (RSO) of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) the second week of July of 2016. After waiting a year and half for the retractions and corrections, I think it best to post here, on this blog, documentation of my efforts. So my removal from the pastoral roster of the LCMS did not occur (being expunged and reversed in August of 2016), but the published announcements say that it did, and have yet to be corrected.

So God Bless you for all your help. The following letter may be of some interest. [e8]

Dear President Hardy,

It has been a year and a half since your effort to remove me from the synod's pastoral roster was expunged and retracted. And yet, here we are, many months from August of 2016 when you reversed the previous error of my removal, and the public notices, announcements and memos saying that I have been removed from our synod's clergy roster have not been corrected and retracted. So you seem to be having some difficulty completing the task you began so many months ago. Given this length of time and the number of months since the Lutheran Reporter published your announcement of my being removed, I thought it best to publish this letter, our other correspondence, and related documentation on That blog is a better way for me to let others know how it came about that I have not been removed from our synod's clergy roster, yet the various public notices say otherwise, and have not been corrected. Pointing them to the correspondence and materials on the blog is much more efficient. You will also be able to read most, if not all, of the relevant documentation on the blog. I will put the links to the materials in the footnotes, which will point to .pdf files which can be viewed and downloaded. And I will place future correspondence to you on that blog, where it can be easily accessed by you.

In summary, after some correspondence in May and June of 2016 I wrote to you and your office on June 21st and 23rd of 2016 (by email and fedex) that I would shortly accept a call as a Chaplain to a new Recognized Service Organization (RSO), the Saint Timothy Society. After receiving the synod's letter accepting them as an RSO on July 5th of 2016, the Saint Timothy Society formally extended the call to me on July 8th of 2016, which I accepted a few days later. [i2] [j3] Shortly thereafter, you removed me from membership as a pastor in the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod on July 18, [k4] and then on August 23rd and 24th my removal was expunged, and you transferred my membership to the Minnesota South District as a pastoral candidate accepting a call as Chaplain to the Saint Timothy Society. [l5]

For reasons which I (and others) cannot fathom, you are having difficulty with the retraction, correction, and expunging of the various public notices and memos you placed on the synod's website, in the Reporter, and published to "President Matthew Harrison, All District Presidents and Administrative Assistants" of my being removed. [m6] I had always assumed that, as my District President at the time, you would be glad to know in June of 2016 that I would shortly receive, and accept, a call to a new synodical RSO in July of 2016. And, likewise, that you were delighted to correct your error when you attempted to remove me from the pastoral roster later that same July. And, again, that you would be equally delighted to retract and correct the public announcements of my removal, because, well, I had not, and have not, been removed from our synod's roster of pastors.

To paraphrase the old bidding prayer, "Let it be our care and delight to prepare ourselves to hear again the message", that, joyously, your earlier public notices are retracted and corrected. So let me do my part, once again, as I did in August of 2016 and repeatedly thereafter, to encourage you that you may have no hesitation about completing the task you began so long ago. And to dispel any confusion you might have, let me, once again, demonstrate that your error was in your effort to remove me from the clergy roster in the first place. As I and others have pointed out, your publicly stated reasons for my removal have, in addition to being proven false, differ from document to document, and appear to be less premise and more pretext. So let's cut through the various other defects and inadequacies and concentrate on just one or two (of the many) that caused my removal being expunged. Remarkably, you had the years wrong. The term of my pastoral membership in the synod began in 2009 and would have ended in 2017. You somehow managed to confuse 2009 for 2008 and 2017 for 2016. This was demonstrated to you with documentation a year and a half ago, but, so that we might not despair, let us do so again. Here yet again is the text of the letter I sent to you in August of 2016 from District President Stechholz, addressed to me and dated 2008 January, which states:

On January 1, 2001, you were granted membership in the Synod as a Candidate Member. Bylaw (a) states that those individuals granted Candidate Status "may be continued on the roster for a period not to exceed four years by act of the president of the district through which the person holds membership." The purpose of this letter is to inform you that your membership in the Synod, as a Candidate Member, will come to an end on January 1, 2009. [q0]

It would be impossible for me to have been granted "membership in the Synod" in 2008, because I was a Candidate Member until January 1, 2009. The application forms [r1] sent with that letter were returned to the English District in February of 2008. I also replied to that with an email to the English District, and received a response that the application had been received. [s2]

I was granted membership in synod as a candidate from 2001 to 2009. That was followed by my membership in the synod (as a candidate or non-candidate pastor) from 2009 to 2017. I could not have been granted membership status as a non-candidate in 2008. That happened in 2009, and the Council of Presidents could grant or decline my "non-candidate status" for another eight year term beginning in January of 2017, and not in 2016.

Your mistake of one calendar year would have mattered little, if at all, had you not attempted to remove me from the clergy roster some two weeks after I had accepted a call. In doing so, you made a simple and correctable error on your part (which would have resolved itself) into a series of errors, which you now need to correct.

Another notable and bizarre defect is apparent in your letter to me dated July 18, 2016, which states:
We have in our English District records that your non-candidate status expired January 31, 2016. Over the last several months, letters and emails were sent to you, inviting you to write a letter to the Council of Presidents requesting an extension. Since the English District did not hear back from you, on July 18, 2016, Bishop Jamison J. Hardy made the decision to remove you from the LCMS roster in accord with Bylaw 2:13.2.1 (b) and 2.13.4 for non-compliance. [o8] [n7]

As you have known for over a year and a half, none of this is correct. I contacted you and your office numerous times in writing between May and July of 2016, copies of which you can find in the footnote links below. You knew in June I would be accepting a call in the next few weeks. Neither bylaw cited would apply, and neither would "non-compliance".

Not only is the letter incorrect, at least two of the stated reasons are bizarre fabrications. Your letter has cited by-law, which refers to something called "restricted status". But I have never been on restricted status, or anything of the kind. I have been suggested for call lists, I had been in the English District for about 25 years, and no one has ever suggested to me that I am "incapable of performing the duties of the office or position because of physical, mental, or emotional disability". How would it be possible for you to get that wrong when the bylaw itself requires someone to be "notified in writing as to the specific reasons for having been placed on restricted status" and that notice be given "in writing the President of the Synod and all other district presidents of such restricted status"?

Your letter also cites bylaw 2.13.4, which is even more outrageous. Bylaw 2.13.14 refers to something called suspended status, and the process of expulsion from the synod. Not only have I never been on restricted status, but, likewise, I have never been placed on suspended status, or anything of the kind. And, again, it seems impossible for you commit this as an inadvertent error, because like bylaw, it requires written notice, and also a formal process.

So I am perplexed as to why you would not hurry with delight to retract and correct your memos and notices which contain things about me which you have known for quite some time are not true, and which appear to be fabricated to justify an action which never should have occurred, and which you have already reversed and expunged. [p9]

And, of course, this is in addition to all the other reasons you already have to finish the corrections you began in August of 2016, and more reasons why the mistake in July of 2016 should not have happened at all. So let this knowledge encourage you and speed you along in finishing the corrections you began in August of 2016 when you reversed the mistake of the previous July. [t3] Now you can rest assured that you no longer need to try to defend or excuse something that never should have happened in the first place by fabricating specious reasons such as "non-compliance" and bylaws which concern things that have never applied to me. [u4] That burden is lifted, because, in addition to all the other easily avoidable and correctable errors, inaccuracies, and fabrications, you had the wrong years for my roster membership. Fix the dates at your next convention, fix the errors in the announcements and memos, and these correctable errors will be reversed in the same venues in which they were originally made. I have already described how this can be done, and the wording, in my letter to you in May of 2017. I will post them on this blog as well.


Gordon Bynum


[i2] That upcoming call was the subject of my email to your office sent June 21, 2016, and a letter sent to you by Fedex on June 23, 2016. A .pdf version of the letter is at this URL: A copy of the call letter of July 8, 2016 in .pdf format is at this URL:

[j3] The letter from the office of Recognized Service Organizations (RSO) of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod of July 5, 2016 in .pdf format is at this URL: in a new window.

[k4] A .pdf file of your letter removing me from the clergy roster is here: Your memo to the synodical president, "All District Presidents and Administrative Assistants" is found on page 2 of this link:

[l5] Your letter of August 23, 2016 is at this link as a .pdf file, and your transfer form dated August 24, 2016 at the link

[m6] My requests for this began in July of 2016 by email and were followed by letter, on March 17, 2017 (at this link:, and on May 17, 2017 (at this link: That last link contains is a corrected version; I made a mistake in the year of the announcement I am requesting you place in your next convention workbook.


It's unfortunate that your delay in finishing the corrections has made this an issue, but I must ask: How did you manage to get the year wrong? Did it not occur to you that the email from your office dated May 18 of 2016 can only make sense if my membership ended in 2017, not 2016? Note the text from that email:

In January of 2008, you were granted membership in the Synod as a Non­Candidate Member. Bylaw (a) states that those individuals granted Candidate Status “may be continued on the roster for a period up to eight years by act of the president of the district through which the person holds membership.” The purpose of this letter is to inform you that your membership in the Synod, as a Non­Candidate Member, came to an end in January of 2016.

The email makes perfect sense if the correct years are applied, 2009 and 2017, instead of the erroneous years of 2008 and 2016.

On the positive side of the ledger, I must say that until you attempted to remove me from the clergy roster, I have had routinely positive experiences with you, the district staff, and the previous District Presidents going all the way back to Roger Pittelko. You saw me at our English District Midwest Pastors Conference at the Cenacle Retreat Center in Lincoln in October of 2015, which was yet another excellent conference which I very much enjoyed.

As late as October of 2015 you saw me in person and mentioned nothing remotely related to what you and your office would write and publish the following May, June and July.

See also the email your office sent to me on May 16, 2016 (available as a .pdf file at this link: The timing and content of the email struck me as odd, and I wanted to make sure I had not missed an earlier letter, so I asked about it in my reply email on that same day, May 16, 2016 (at this link: In the past, the English District has sent the application forms a year prior to the end of the term of membership: see footnote [q0]. The reply I received on May 17, 2016 makes sense for an application for a term beginning in 2017, not 2016 (.pdf file at this link:

[o8] Quoted from your letter sent to me dated July 18, 2016 (.pdf version at this link: One problem (among many) with your letter is that you knew I was taking a call as early as June 21, 2016 (.pdf version of email at this link: I received the call on July 8, 2016.

[p9] I pointed out the error in the years of my term of membership to you as early as August 23, 2016 by email. The .pdf version of my email to you is at this URL:

[q0] I have added the bold italics for emphasis. President Stechholz's letter dated 2008 January is at this URL:

[r1] At least two forms (and possibly more; these are the two I have found so far), an application (.pdf at this link: and a report (.pdf at this link:

[s2] The reference to 2009 is clear in President Stechholz's letter, and also mentioned in the email thread from March of 2008 (.pdf version is at this link: My email from March 3, 2008 asks:
I don't think there's any hurry at the moment, but it would good to know when the Council of Presidents decide on CRM applications. If they decide that I should not continue past 2009 January, you can tell Bishop Ritt I said, "Put me in, coach!" He can suggest some things for me, and I could finish up what I'm doing for grants, endowments, finance, etc., before taking a call.

As I wrote at the time, the activity described here occurred after I had been the Academic Dean for the seminary of the TAALC (The American Association of Lutheran Churches), and immediately after we organized the Saint Timothy Society, the synodical RSO for which I have been the Chaplain since July of 2016. At the time (2007 and 2008) I was one of the directors.

District President Ritt preceded President Stechholz, which might explain why I confused the two in the email.

[t3] You can add all of the above to the other reasons to finish the corrections. Yes, it is true that you tried to remove after I had accepted a call, yes, it is true that you made the effort after the synod in convention made candidates for a ten year term all those currently candidates and non-candidates, and "nunc pro tun" would still apply. But those reasons - and more - are in addition to, and not in stead of, what is pointed out here. This is a simple, and necessary, correction of an error in the dates of my roster membership. It also avoids asking why you would remove someone from the clergy roster after you knew they had received, and would shortly accept, a call; why you would do this after the synod in convention on July 13 made all "candidates and non-candidates" candidates for a ten year period; and why you would remove someone for (ostensibly) failing to fill out an application for a roster category which no longer existed after July 13th of 2016.

Correcting the dates makes this simple: your office had the years wrong by one; you mistakenly removed me some five months before my term as a non-candidate would end, and a week after I had accepted a call to a Recognized Service Organization of the synod. I was a member of synod as a non-candidate from 2009 to 2017. In July of 2016 I accepted a call. The events after I accepted the call are interesting, but not really necessary. It did not matter if I became a candidate from July 13 of 2016 to July 13 of 2026. Non-candidates and candidates alike can, and do, accept calls and become active members.

[u4] I have for some time now been in touch with several members of the Council of Presidents and the Praesidium to let them know I would be happy to send them whatever requests and forms they would like. The uniform response has been that they would have nothing to act on because I had already accepted a called position. It is apparent from the documents here in this blog post that I routinely fill out the forms from the districts, synod and the Council of Presidents (see, for example, footnote [s2] here). I can write to them again if you like, but I am unsure as to what "non-compliance" means, or if it is even possible in this instance.

[d7] You, Dear Reader, might object that this is an over generalization, too kind and too generous. Well, perhaps, but I say take whatever compliments you can get.

For those who are not members of, or less familiar with, the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, the following letter probably uses terminology that is unfamiliar. "Clergy Roster", "Member of Synod", "Candidate", refer to ordained clergy who hold membership in the "synod" (or LCMS, or Missouri Synod). "Non-Candidate Members" of the LCMS no longer exist; that category was eliminated after 15 years (or so) in 2016. If you find that confusing, you are not alone.

Yes, I realize the footnote letters and numbers are odd, and weird looking. That's because I don't know enough about google blogger to figure out how to make them sequential.

[e8] Some of you have suggested that since the notices were published in the Reporter, an official publication of the church, and to the Council of Presidents, that they should take it upon themselves to retract and correct them, since they can easily determine the notices are incorrect. I agree with you completely. However, I am told that only the district president who published the notices can retract and correct them. Some of you have also pointed out that rule sounds like a tremendous liability for any corporation (religious or otherwise). Again, I do not disagree.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Telling The Truth Would Be Much Easier; Fabricating Excuses Must Be Exhausting

Well, Dear Readers, as some of you have mentioned, it is a curious spectacle to see someone go to so much effort to avoid telling the truth in order to avoid correcting their mistakes. In this case, given the length of time the fabrications have gone unretracted, I'm not sure how it differs from outright lying. So perhaps the most charitable assumption might be that avoidable mistakes became correctable errors, and then the correctable errors were justified by fabrications. And now, as of this writing (a year and a half later in February of 2018), it is becoming difficult to believe that the first mistake was not a malicious lie from the beginning.

But let's hope this is not the case, and let's redouble our efforts in getting the truth out and correcting the record. Below is the letter (one of several) sent by my former district president in May of 2017 after he fabricated yet another excuse for his effort to remove my name from the clergy roster in July of 2016. Like the earlier excuses, this one was also demonstrably false, made up eight months after the fact, and had the added curiosity of having never been mentioned before. [d3]

The Reverend Dr. Jamison J. Hardy, Bishop and President
The English District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod
33100 Freedom Road
Farmington, Michigan 48336-4030

2017 May 17

Dear President Hardy, I think we need more clarity. Let's also start with greater simplicity. Again, I would like the record to reflect the reality, so I am asking you to send the following memo:

DATE: TO: ________________ Rev. Matthew Harrison, President
All District Presidents & Administrative Assistants
Rev. Dr. Jamison J. Hardy, President, English District, LCMS
SUBJECT: Gordon Bynum – Ordained Minister

Please disregard the previous memos and announcements regarding the roster status of Rev. Gordon Bynum. At no time was he removed from the ordained roster of the synod. The memos, announcements and any other actions indicating otherwise are retracted, along with any references or suggestions made in them by citing synodical bylaws, 2.13.4, (b) and “non-compliance”. Rev. Bynum accepted a call to a synodical RSO, the Saint Timothy Society, in July of 2016, and was transferred to the Minnesota South District in August of 2016. He was and remains eligible for consideration for a call. We regret having caused any misunderstanding or damage to his reputation this may have occasioned.

I ask that the following appear in the print edition of the Lutheran Reporter under the “Official Notices” section:

GORDON BYNUM was and remains eligible to receive a call. At no time was he removed from the ordained roster of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. The earlier notices and announcements of his removal (in July and August of 2016) are, regrettably, in error.

I ask that the same appear in the online version of the official notices (

I also ask that the notice found at be appended with the note “(THIS NOTICE IS IN ERROR AND HAS BEEN RETRACTED).”

I ask you to place the following in the relevant section of the 2018 English District Convention Workbook:

“The Rev. Gordon Bynum's status change from Candidate to Non-Candidate occurred on January 1, 2009, and not in 2008. We regret the error.”

When I mentioned the error in June of 2012, I was informed it was a trivial mistake, probably due to an administrative oversight, and it would not have any signifigance. It became signifigant when the erroroneous date became part of the attempt to remove me from the clergy roster. This needs to be corrected.

I ask that you include the following in the 2018 Engish District Convention Workbook under the category “TRANSFERS OUT - ORDAINED MINISTERS”:

The Rev. Gordon Bynum August 24, 2016 Minnesota South District
Chaplain, Saint Timothy Society, Recognized Service Organization

Please refer to the correspondence and documentation I have sent since August of 2016 if you need further verification. I would appreciate your immediate attention to this matter given the length of time the memos and notices have gone uncorrected, and the ongoing confusion this has generated.


Gordon Bynum

Rev. Dr. Dean Nadasdy, District President, The Minnesota South District LC – MS
Matthew Johnson, Circuit Counsellor, Northwest Metro, Minnesota South District
Directors, the Saint Timothy Society
Rev. Dr. John Sias, Synod Executive Secretary, LC - MS
Eugene Weeke, Director of Business Services, LC - MS


[d3] A .pdf version of this letter and attachments are at this url:

Saturday, March 18, 2017

You Appear To Be Struggling; Perhaps You Should Start With The Facts

Some of you [c9] have expressed varying degrees of incredulity and amazement that I am still waiting for the retractions and corrections of the notices of my removal as a pastor from the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (or "LCMS"). [d0] I too have expressed the same, given that I was not removed, and continue to this day as a pastor in the LCMS, [e1] and have been serving in my current position as the Chaplain of the Saint Timothy Society since July of 2016.

Below is just one of my many efforts to have the record corrected. This particular letter was sent in March of 2017, [f2] some seven months after my removal had been expunged in August of 2016. As always, I am very grateful to all of you who have brought to my attention the demonstrably false information about me, the Saint Timothy Society, and the excellent people and churches who have helped and supported us over the years. As Mark Twain put it, A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes. This particular set of lies has been left unretracted (as of this writing now in February of 2018) for a year and half, so it has quite the head start. Proverbs 12:19 has the antidote to Twain's insightful diagnosis of the human condition.

The Reverend Dr. Jamison J. Hardy, Bishop and President
The English District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod
33100 Freedom Road
Farmington, Michigan 48336-4030

2017 March 18

Dear President Hardy, It has been over six months since we began the process of corrections to my roster status. I believe the following corrections can be relatively simple. My roster membership chronology is straightforward:

2001 Jan. 1 to 2009 Jan. 1: member of synod as a Candidate (8 years).
2009 Jan. 1 to 2017 Jan. 1: member of synod as either a Candidate or Non-Candidate (8 years).
2016 July 8: received call as Chaplain for the Saint Timothy Society (a new synodical RSO).
2016 July 13: member of synod as a Candidate (term of 10 years).
2016 Aug. 24: transferred from the English District to the Minnesota South District.

I would like to have the record reflect the reality. The following are some of the remaining items I am asking you to address.

1. Would you correct and retract your memo of July 18, 2016 to “Rev. Matthew Harrison, President” and “All District Presidents and Administrative Assistants” in the same manner, using the same venue, and to the same recipients? This correction would include: (a) I have not been removed from the Roster of Ordained Ministers of The Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod; (b) I was and continue to be eligible for a call; and (c) that the memo of July 18th is in error and retracted. It would also be important to include: (a) the use of bylaws and 2.13.4 in the July 18 memo is mistaken; (b) I have never been “placed on restricted status” for being “incapable of performing the duties of the office or position because of physical, mental, or emotional disability”; nor (c) have “formal proceedings have been commenced” (against me) “which may lead to expulsion from the Synod” recently or any other time. These are quotes from bylaws and 2.13.4.

My assumption is that the use of these bylaws (along with “non-compliance”) in your memo of July18th is a mistake. In your letter to Mr. Weeke dated August 23rd you do not mention these but bylaw instead. Your stated reason for your July 18 effort to remove me was that I had not applied for continuation as a Non-Candidate. But as mistakes go, this one is very damaging, so a more fullsome and accurate correction would be appreciated.

2. Would you clarify the sentence “Please bestow Gordon Bynum his candidate status to the Roster of Ordained Ministers of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod effective August 23, 2016” from your letter dated August 23, 2016 to Mr. Eugene Weeke? Perhaps Mr. Weeke can do this, but it is more likely that he can record and note that only one change occurred in my roster category in July (to Candidate on July 13th), and that I have not been removed as an ordained member of the LC – MS. There is no “gap” period when I was not an ordained member of synod between July 13, 2016 and August 23, 2016. On July 13, 2016 the synod in convention changed my roster status to Candidate for a period of 10 years, deleted the category of Non-Candidate, and deleted bylaw which created and governed Non-Candidate status. That action prevails, prevents and replaces the later action of July 18th because the action of July 18th applied to a roster category (Non-Candidate) which no longer existed on the basis of bylaws which also no longer existed ( I was and continue as a member of synod, and I was an ordained member of the LC – MS as a Candidate during that period.

3. Will you correct and retract the official public notices in the Lutheran Reporter of 2016 August and on the synod's website using the same venue and in the same manner, both in print and digital formats? This would include that I was and continue to be on the ordained roster of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod; I have been and continue to be eligible for a call; and that the 2016 August official notices in the print edition of the Lutheran Reporter and the electronic version of the synod's website stating otherwise are in error and retracted.

4. Will you correct the record regarding the dates of my membership roster categories and inform the relevant districts (including Minnesota South and English) and departments of synod using the chronology in the first paragraph above? I am sympathetic to the fact that you were probably not the District President when these dates became confused, but it would be very helpful to have this corrected. Whatever my clergy roster categories were (Candidate or Non-Candidate), one of their terms had to be from 2001 to 2009 followed by another from 2009 to 2017. The enclosed letter from the English District dated January 2008 verifies that I was a Candidate from 2001 to 2009.

If any confusion remains that my following term on the clergy roster (as either Non-Candidate or Candidate) began in 2009, let me know and I will dig deeper into storage and send you more documentation. Given what I have sent you already since May of 2016, it may be overkill. I'm happy to send it all again, and I can try to locate and send to you other documentation you might find helpful. Please let me know what you decide; if you determine you are able to do the items above, I would appreciate copies for my records.


Gordon Bynum


Rev. Dr. Dean Nadasdy, District President, The Minnesota South District LC – MS
Matthew Johnson, Circuit Counsellor, Northwest Metro, Minnesota South District
Directors, the Saint Timothy Society
Rev. Dr. John Sias, Synod Executive Secretary, LC - MS
Eugene Weeke, Director of Business Services, LC - MS

Enclosures: 3

January 2008 Letter, David Stechholz to Gordon Bynum July 18, 2016 Memo, Jamison Hardy to Praesidium and all Administrative Assistants 2016 August Official Notices


[c9] "Some" here also includes a surprising number of clergy and members of the LCMS, friends and visitors to this humble web site, "Well-Wishers", and the the other usual suspects from University Luther Chapel, The Saint Timothy Society, and

[d0] Unfortunately, abbreviations and acronyms abound. This one is hopefully clear enough.

[e1] I accepted the call as Chaplain in the second week of July, a few days after receiving it. As of 2018 February my former district president has still not corrected the announcements and memos.

[f2] A .pdf version of that letter and attachments are at this url:

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Saint Timothy Society is Now a Recognised Service Organisation (RSO) of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

Sometime back in 2007 the Evanglical Lutheran Church of Kenya (ELCK) invited Rev. Tom Aadland to teach at their seminary in Matongo, Kenya following his last term as Presiding Pastor of the American Association of Lutheran Churches.  At the end of that year the Saint Timothy Society for Lutheran Seminary Scholarship was chartered and incorporated to support that work and become a 501c3 organisation in 2008 (for our readers outside the United States, that's one of those pesky codes for non-profits and charities that allow donors to deduct their contributions when paying their income tax; for our readers inside the United States, you have our empathy for having to deal with the current tax code).  We've chugged along for the past nine years doing a lot more than we thought we could largely due to Tom Aadland's excellent success in raising money.  This is often the way of Churches and Church societies; we fail to understand that we can't do what we intend to do, and due to that lack of understanding we manage to do those things anyway.

At some point the Saint Timothy Society decided to apply for what is known as "RSO status", that is, to become a Recognised Service Organisation (RSO) within the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LC-MS).  This came to completion in July of 2016: RSO recognition was given by the LC-MS, the signatures on the agreement were completed by the beginning of August of 2016, and the Saint Timothy Society now appears on the website (and in the RSO directory).

Your humble writer (blogger? that's a word now, eh?) has gained even greater humility (and proud of it!) by being called as the Chaplain for the Saint Timothy Society, which I accepted on July 14, 2016.  So the sporadic postings here will become somewhat less sporadic and will include more information about the Saint Timothy Society, in addition to University Lutheran Chapel in Minneapolis.  And in the next week I hope to have comments and contact info working on this blog.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Saint Timothy Society Has Been Accepted as a Recogized Service Organization (RSO) of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS)

On July 5th the Saint Timothy Society was offered Recognized Service Organization Status by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Details to follow.

For those who are fond of acronyms, that means the Saint Timothy Society has been accepted as an RSO (Recognized Service Organization) of the LCMS (The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod). For the rest of us, it means that the Saint Tim Society will continue its efforts to help support Lutheran Seminary scholarship and education overseas, most notably as part of the work Tom Aadland does at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya's seminary in Matongo, Kenya. As of this date, we're still waiting to hear in which District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod the Saint Timothy Society will reside. This writer is a member of the clergy roster of the LCMS as a member of the English District, and we're waiting to hear back from them if they would like to be the home of the Saint Timothy Society.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Convention Materials on Google Docs; Readable in Browser or Download

We here at Friends of University Lutheran Chapel Minneapolis have devoted much of this blog to making available to the public the documentation related to University Lutheran Chapel and the chapel's effort to bring the sale of the campus ministry property to a vote by the Minnesota South District Convention.  Along the way, we discovered that Google Drive (formerly Docs) and Google Picassa Web can be very useful in displaying documents either "in-line" or in a new browser window.

So why not do the same for the 2013 Convention Materials for the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod meeting this week in Saint Louis?  The "LCMS" (as it is abbreviated) already does an excellent job in making available its convention materials on its own website at and at  Why not make some of these available as readable in the browser? The documents are already publicly available, so unless we're asked to remove them, we'll put the links in this post.

As usual, there are many, many caveats, disclaimers, and various other dire warnings, consequences and cautionary tales that go with the the use of the blog and whatever you find here.  See our Acceptable Use Notice (the link is displayed on the right) and read the "fine print" at the bottom of this post.

This may take a long time to load, depending on your bandwidth, connection speed, and the overall load on google apps servers, but feel free to try to view the
If that doesn't work, you can try to

The First Issue of Today's Business is a smaller file, and you might have more luck viewing
Or you can try to

And now the "fine print". The versions of these documents here may be incorrect, inaccurate, out of date and suffer from various other defects. Refer to the official website of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (URL's given above) or to the convention officers for complete and accurate versions and other documentation. The server host provider(s) for this blog also have limitations and restrictions, including limited bandwidth and availability depending on your location and connection speed.

Which means that at some point the downloads and views may (and probably will) exceed the quota for this account on Google Apps for Business, and the links will no longer work, the page may not load, etc. Until then, we hope this is of some use.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

No Secrecy or Non Disclosure Here - The Settlement Between ULC and the District

The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS) meets in convention on July 20th.  Here at Friends of ULC we have been trying to help those involved by sharing the relevant documents concerning University Lutheran Chapel and its struggle to have the Minnesota South District Convention vote on the sale of the campus ministry property in Minneapolis.  In our last post we dissected one erroneous reason why the LCMS should not vote on convention workbook memorial 1-15, and urged that this memorial go to the delegates for a vote.

In this post we dissect yet another erroneous reason why the LCMS in convention cannot  - or should not - vote on memorial 1-15, "To Commend and Support Campus Ministry at University of Minnesota".  That would be that the legal settlement between University Lutheran Chapel and the Minnesota South District involves some sort of secrecy or non-disclosure.  We don't know if that reason has been suggested to the floor committee or others at the upcoming convention.  We hope not, but we have heard and seen this speculation elsewhere, and it would not be surprising if this were offered as an excuse to decline to consider the memorial.

In the same way that some have made demonstrably false oaths, affidavits, and sworn statements exposed elsewhere on this blog, this line of argument could prove ultimately very embarrassing to the arguer.  The first question to them should be, can you produce the text of the settlement and show us where it supports what you say?  Even if the text of the settlement were not available, it would be a shame to make this case to any deliberative body or convention.  They would want the delegates to decline to consider a memorial based on a settlement whose terms we cannot know, whose text we cannot see, and hidden from us by a non-disclosure or secrecy clause we cannot examine.

But the text of the settlement is available, just like almost every other document from the legal action.  It was part of the order dismissing the eviction and litigation.  And there is nothing in the settlement to prevent the synod, or any district, from acting on this memorial, or, for that matter, just about anything else they would like to address regarding the Minnesota South District or University Lutheran Chapel.  The only limitation the settlement mentions is that University Lutheran Chapel and the Minnesota South District will no longer litigate against each other on the specific grounds of the legal actions dismissed by the settlement.  The synod in convention can do a vast number of things (especially so in convention) just like the Minnesota South District Convention was correct in wanting to vote on the sale, but was prevented from doing so by their former district president.

But don't take my word for it. Read the text of the settlement agreement

If you find the legalese too dense, get a lawyer to explain it to you (as I've said earlier, unlike many other pastors, I know I'm not a lawyer). Some individual names and the signature and exhibit pages (giving the legal description of the property) are redacted in this digital copy (including the last 10 pages of the 23 page document), but anyone interested can ask the Minnesota South District for a full copy. If for some reason they wont give it to you (it should already be available to all their pastors and congregations as members of their corporation), ask if University Lutheran Chapel will give you a copy. Or get a copy from the 4th district court records office (that's my favorite method; it's a charming trip to the downtown Minneapolis courthouse, and the records office is part of the scenic underground parking ramp!).

Why not just let the delegates vote on the original workbook memorial 1-15? Conventions and floor committees have a lot of work to do. Spurious reasons for not allowing the delegates to vote on memorials are a distraction, and waste everyone's time. Conventions and floor committees have more than enough to do without having to sift through speculative theories which are not established by the documentary evidence.