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 2.13.2.1 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 2.13.2.1 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 2.11.2.3 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 2.11.2.3 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 (2.11.2.3). 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.

Sincerely,

Gordon Bynum

CC:

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

Footnotes:


[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 2Realms.com.


[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: https://goo.gl/35irHw https://goo.gl/35irHw