Folks -- below is an update sent by Anne Carter, the president of Grace Lutheran Church of Eau Claire, regarding the lawsuit filed against the congregation by an ELCA-supported faction of former members and associate members to force the congregation to drop its affiliation to Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC). The group also successfully sought an injunction preventing the congregation from passing a budget for 2012, and has frozen access to other assets until such time the suit is decided.
Greetings, While I have not sent out many updates lately, I take this opportunity to let you all know a few things.
Over the past few months, there have been several motions filed with the court. These motions, filed by Amazing Grace, NW Synod and ELCA, have all been in response to Grace's countersuit filed in June. Amazing Grace has filed a motion to dismiss our countersuit. NW Synod and ELCA have filed Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings. In very simple terms, argument has been made that the NW Synod and ELCA should not be enjoined because they claim "ecclesiastical immunity". We have submitted briefs opposing that view.
Judge GaleWyrick will render a decision on these motions some time this fall.
Along with those motions, Tom Guelzow, attorney for NW Synod, has filed sanctions against Grace's attorney, Jay Heit. He claims that Mr. Heit has filed a frivolous lawsuit against NW Synod. A hearing is scheduled for November 21 at 10:00 a.m. in Polk County when Judge GaleWyrick will rule whether sanctions should be imposed.
At the request of Council, Mr. Heit has prepared a motion to the court asking for lifting of the temporary injunction against Grace so that, if necessary, Grace may use some of the monies in the Mission Endowment Fund to cover any cashflow shortage that may present itself during the remainder of 2012.
There is a possibility that Judge GaleWyrick will take the opportunity to render a decision on all these motions at the November 21 hearing. This could be a very important hearing as the direction of the lawsuit could be decided that morning.
Wednesday, November 21, is the day before Thanksgiving. I know that it will be difficult for some to attend the hearing, but I hope that there are many who will be able to make the trip and support our attorney and our cause.
Polk County Courthouse
November 21, 2012
Thanks very much for your continued support.
In His Service,