Florida Church Battle Update
Last year Exposing the ELCA posted a report concerning the battle that was waging between the ELCA and St. John Lutheran Church in Summerfield, Florida. (see here)
Here is an update from a member of the congregation:
In Sept. or October 2012 I wrote to you about a Central-Florida church whose pastor had been defrocked by the FL-Bahama Synod. The hypocritical reason for doing this (plus a host of other charges that were dropped) outraged the vast majority of congregants, who refused to obey the Synod ruling. They answered by dual-affiliating with the bible-centered ELCM, which granted a provisional rostering of the pastor, and then voted by super majority to keep him as their pastor. This action provoked no response from the Synod for several months until a minority of 40-50 members wanted the associate pastor to take his place, she was a recent seminarian and this was her first church, and she was 100% ELCA. That did not happen and she resigned some months ago. Appeals to Chicago Hdqtrs. and Tampa bishop to reconsider feel on deaf ears, his sin was too terrible to be forgiven. However, a homosexual pastor in the pulpit since 2002 in the Ft. Lauderdale area, 7 years before the 2009 approval of such pastors, seemed not a big deal to the ELCA hierarchy, he was after all in a committed monogamous relationship. What has since transpired in the past 6 months is this: The minority requested adjudication with the bishop and concerned parties. It was discovered that a minority delegation held a meeting with the bishop BEFORE the scheduled adjudication, the church council then declined to attend the adjudication meeting, it appeared to them that the outcome was already decided. Then a member of the congregation minority filed a lawsuit stating that the ELCA is a hierarchical church, the majority's action was unconstitutional and demanded the church be turned over to them. Their numbers have since dwindled to a mere handful, with most joining other area churches. There is no possible way they could keep the church viable and it would surely close. I guess the church and the bequeathed $2 million dollar, lake-front property would become the property of the ELCA. Now the GOOD NEWS, On July 2, 2013, the court DISMISSED the suit, stating the plaintiff had no merit and was not authorized to file a suit. He has 20 days to appeal the decision. Since the Synod has let him do the dirty work and spend his own money, it remains to be seen if they will go on any further. The Synod Council deferred all authority on the Executive Committee to handle the matter. The bishop retires on Aug. 31, 2013. I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit has taken an interest, there have been many unusual and fortuitous things that have happened since this all started, and we all thank God for his help. Our situation closely parallels the church in Eau Claire, WI., and we hope they succeed. We must fight the good fight for our Lord, no matter the outcome. God is in control, the final victory will be His.
Update II - An appeal of the dismissal was granted with a Aug. 11, 2013 deadline.
I will let you know when I hear more.
Dave from Minnesota
8/12/2013 05:49:40 pm
An example of the damage the ELCA has done to Christian churches.
8/13/2013 11:02:16 pm
Zion's story of disgust with the apostate ELCA isn't unique to this part of Minnesota. I visited Sychar Lutheran in Silver Bay about a year ago; it had recently fled the ELCA to become an LCMC church, one of 99 LCMC churches in Minnesota. Zoar Lutheran in Tofte (right on Hwy. 61) has also become an LCMC church.
Pastor Tom Murray
1/20/2014 03:40:23 am
Zion Lutheran Church in Finland IS being rebuilt. The ELCA congregation is taking its time to discern the best way to rebuild in order to serve the community. Your comments about the ELCA causing "damage" to the congregation ... and the idea that the local population doesn't support same-gender marriage ... are both wildly off-base. Lake County residents voted to reject the amendment to ban same-gender marriage last fall.
1/22/2014 01:07:53 am
So let's try to decode the ELCAspeak in your argument. If Lake County voted [51 percent to 49 percent: http://minnesotaelectionresults.sos.state.mn.us/Results/AmendmentResultsCounty/1?questionid=140 ] to reject a constitutional amendment preserving the historical and Biblical definition of marriage, then the ELCA should hustle to rebuild a church in Finland that blesses that sin in the same heretical way the whole denomination blesses it? How does ELCA damnation-incurring apostasy "serve the community"?
1/23/2014 06:19:07 am
That'll teach me to read more carefully. According to the Minnesota Secretary of State's office, Lake County voted 51 percent to 49 percent IN FAVOR Of Constitutional Amendment #1: Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman. [ http://minnesotaelectionresults.sos.state.mn.us/Results/AmendmentResultsCounty/1?questionid=140 ]. In fact, 75 of Minnesota's 87 counties voted in favor of preserving the historical/Biblical definition of marriage.
1/20/2015 07:49:57 am
Please check into AFLC out of Min. We changed to this around 20 years ago and are so happy we did. You can find out about the church on internet lAFLC Churches. I'M a 3 month snowbird and would love to see a AFLC church in this sres. I have been going to different churches and can't find one I like. They will send a guy down to explain to you what we are all about. You won't be sorry. A very happy AFLC member
10/23/2015 11:41:03 am
Our experience in the ELCA is if it predetermined that a vote won't go the way church leaders want it to go, even after secret meetings with identified sympathizers, they will declare you under synodical administration and do the voting for you.
1/18/2016 04:49:27 pm
The ELCA constitution is worthless to the church. No matter what you vote or what you decide as a church, the constitution say the final decision is the synods. They can take all the church has worked for, if that's their final decision.
3/11/2019 02:54:18 pm
I assumed it would be. He said that it most likely would not be rebuilt. So many past members of the church were so fed up with the ELCA's liberal bent (primarily gay marriage), that they stopped attending this church.
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Former ELCA seminary student and former ELCA member who is fed up with the ELCA's consistent mockery of God's Word.
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