Proposal to allow women to hold the position of Church Council

September 20, 2010 Church Blog, Events0

On the proposal to allow women to hold the position of Church Council President and Vice President:
Pam Will; 19 September 2010

Was on the Church Council during and after Pastor Black’s time with Pinnacle for about three years.
Duties of the Council and the President and Vice President appeared to be related to secular (worldly) issues of running the church maintaining the building, school issues, budget issues, contract negotiations, etc.
Each time elections came, it was difficult finding anyone to volunteer for either of these positions.
Allowing women might enable a larger pool of qualified candidates.

There are different practices in each of the three branches of Lutherans:
WELS is very strict and opposes woman having a voice to vote in the church as contrary to the Scriptures
Missouri Synod says “Our synod has held that the office of the public ministry (pastoral office) according to the Scriptures is the one divinely established office in the church…” and “The tasks of the elders in a congregation are often directly associated with the pastoral office and the public administration of the office of the keys.” …”everything depends on the nature of functions assigned to various offices established by the church.”
And the ELCA allows the ordination of women to the pastoral office.

There’s also conflict within the Missouri Synod.
Rev. Jerry Kieschnick, LCMS President indicates on the LCMS web site: “In many cases, conflict within our synod can be traced to differences over such matters as who should be allowed to commune at our altars, the role of women in congregational life, diversity in worship styles, lack of clarity in implementing the doctrine of church and ministry, and differing perspectives on inter-Christian relationships. Continued and even accelerated attention must be given to such issues.”
Dr. Samuel Nafzger, Executive Director, CTCR Chairman, Task Force on Guidelines says: “The CTCR reaffirmed that “there is no ‘thus saith the Lord’ regarding positions such as director/president and assistant director/vice president. These are offices established by the church in Christian freedom.”

The gating factor appears to be how the role of the President and VP are defined.
As the elders are the spiritual body working with the pastor, they are required to be men.
If the Council is responsible for secular matters, then it follows church doctrine that the position can be held by either gender.
The search committee had interviewed many pastors. The majority said they were fine with women holding the office of Council president & VP. Even Rev. Chris Wicker, District President, indicated he was fine with it on one of his visits here.

Pinnacle’s Constitution & By-laws read:
“It shall be the duty of the Church Council to make contracts, to accept and receive grants and bequests, sign documents, appear in court, in short, to transact all the business of the congregation assigned to them by the Voters’ Assembly.”
Duties of the President: “He shall preside at all Church Council and Voters’ Assembly meetings and shall prepare an agenda for these meetings…It shall be his responsibility to advise elected officers and appointed committee members of their duties and responsibilities. The President, at his discretion or at the request of the Pastor(s), may attend board and committee meetings.”
Duties of the Vice President: “He shall assume duties of the President in his absence or for the remainder of his term if for any reason the President vacates his post. He shall insure that (1) budget requirements and annual audits are prepared on time, and (2) planning activities occur as required by Article X (Duties of the Executive Board) of these By-Laws.”
The Elders: “There shall be at least fifteen (15) Elders serving the Lord at Pinnacle Lutheran Church. … The Elders shall assist the Pastor(s) in all matters pertaining to the spiritual welfare of the congregation.”

Per Pinnacle’s Constitution and By-Laws,:
the elders are the spiritual arm of the pastoral office
the Council attends to business matters of the church. This would permit women to hold any position on the Church Council.

The order of creation:
The article, “Women and the Scriptures: What does God REALLY say” is one person’s opinion/interpretation of the Scriptures.
Are many areas of differing opinions amongst members of the Missouri Synod – the role of women being one.
Synod’s official position is somewhat fuzzy. It argues about the order of creation, but concludes that congregations are free to set up their own standard for candidates.

Again, to quote the Missouri Synod publishings, “everything depends on the nature of functions assigned to various offices established by the church.”

Just like the different practices of the 3 branches of the Lutheran church, and the conflicts within our own Synod, there will be differing opinions within Pinnacle.

Remember Galatians 3:28 which speaks of secular, not spiritual matters – “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Following the informational meeting on September 19, below are the informational links for your review.
A limited number of hard copies will be available on the tables in the narthex.

LCMS – Women in the Church (58 pages – copies not available)

“Women and the Scriptures What does God REALLY say?” (13 pages)

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