Brothers and sisters,
Below you will read an email that was supplied to members of her congregation by the president of Grace Luthearn Church of Eau Claire, Anne Carter. As you can read in the summary, the judge in the case has sided with the ELCA-supported plaintiffs. The suit forces the congregation to leave its affiliation with Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ.
As more information becomes available, I'll be certain to share it. Meanwhile, prayers for the congregation, its pastors and its leadership would be welcome.
In November 2011 a lawsuit was filed against Grace Lutheran Church by Amazing Grace ELCA, Inc. Today a decision regarding the case was filed with the courts by Judge Molly GaleWyrick.
This afternoon I met with our attorney, Jay Heit, in a preliminary meeting to discuss the decision and any future action by counsels in the case. Pastor Nestingen and I also met briefly. Following is a synopsis of the decision. A full copy will be available in the church office on Monday for anyone to review.
As with any legal document, there are terms unfamiliar to those outside the legal profession. So, to simplify and paraphrase the decision:
- Judge GaleWyrick has ruled that the Synod Council's decision rendered on January 16, 2012, is final.
- The judge can make the four directives of that decision the Order of the Court and enforce them.
- Grace Lutheran Church has been referred to the Synod Council for guidance in the implementation of those directives.
Those four directives are as follows:
- That Grace Lutheran Church immediately terminate affiliations with LCMC or any church other than the ELCA.
- That Grace Lutheran Church immediately restore to full voting membership all those voting members moved to associate member status since January 1, 2011. Eligibility for voting membership is governed by *C8.02c.
- That Grace Lutheran Church immediately recognize that anyone who meets the criteria of *C8.02(c) and who does not want to associate with LCMC is a voting member of Grace Lutheran Church. Individual members who wish to remain affiliated with LCMC may hold associate membership status at Grace Lutheran Church as per C8.02(d), if they so desire.
- That Grace Lutheran Church's sole affiliation is with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Affiliation with the ELCA may be terminated only as permitted in the governing documents of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
In other words, Judge GaleWyrick has turned back to the church the implementation of a decision of the church.
A congregational meeting will be scheduled in the near future for feedback and to answer questions.
As we enter the celebration of Easter, may we remember that nothing that is done to honor our dear Lord is in vain. He loves us completely and rewards the faithful.
Thank you for your prayers and support.