Sunday, June 24, 2012

How Very Nice of You; Thank You, and God Bless!

The convention of the Minnesota South District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod ended last week, and we're delighted to report that there was some good news.  Earlier posts have outlined the many, many errors that needed correction and action by the convention.  Efforts from the floor to address these were, as expected, largely blocked.  So the convention did their own version of "rough justice", and instead directed that 2.4 million from the sale of the campus ministry properties be given to University Lutheran Chapel (ULC) and Hosanna Lutheran Church, Mankato.  ULC will receive 2 million, and Hosanna will have their $900,000 purchase price for the campus property in Mankato reduced by $400,000.

So thank you to all of the pastors and congregations of the Minnesota South District, and God Bless you.  You did a wonderful thing, and our hope is that one day soon you as a convention will get to make decisions like these.  You also sent a marvelous message to your officers and directors: be clear, open, accountable, and not too hasty about what you're doing - especially to our governing documents, bylaws and articles - and ask us for our approval.  We have high hopes for your new district president and directors, and we expect that they will make a much greater effort to treat you like the deliberative body you are.

We will keep our readers posted here on developments and details of the convention resolution.  The details have yet to be worked out, but at the moment the Minnesota South District is continuing their eviction of University Lutheran Chapel from the campus ministry property in Minneapolis.  So the legal actions have not stopped, and ULC will likely be out of the property shortly, in a day or two.  The convention had expressed their hope that the legal actions might stop, and it is certainly expensive for both the district and ULC to pay more in legal fees.  We hope that the details of the 2.4 million transfer to ULC and Hosanna, Mankato can be worked out quickly, and that the district's officers and directors carry out the convention resolution without any unnecessary delay.

It's been an unfortunate and expensive proposition for the district.  They're selling a 4 million dollar property for 3.25 million after signing a purchase agreement for 3.5 million.  They may also have to pay closing costs due to the purchase agreement they signed, and we're not sure if the Mankato campus ministry could be sold for more.  So out of a possible 5 million dollars from the sale of both campus ministries they will get to keep around 1.75 million, and that's before deducting their other expenses.

Haste makes waste.  It was a mistake to try to rush through the sale before the convention could meet and weigh in on what the directors did.  Maybe the next convention should divide their remaining 1.75 million between ULC and Hosanna, Mankato.

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