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Pastor Gregory L. Jackson, Ph.D.

6421 W. Poinsettia Drive

Glendale, Arizona 85304-2419



[My comments are in square brackets, so that people can read verbatim what one district president has written to his pastors. Another district president echoed the official line, saying that Martin Marty’s theological speech “might not technically violate the principles of fellowship, the wisdom of his presence is highly questionable.” Note that the worst case of all, having a Roman Catholic archbishop speak, is deliberately falsified. The district presidents of WELS and LCMS all studied under an ELCA seminary professor at the Snowbird Leadership conference, so they are in a poor position to criticize.]



One of the important issues with which the Conference of Presidents
dealt at its recent meeting had to do with the use of outside speakers
by Synod Boards and Committees and various Parasynodicals. We met with
representatives from Wisconsin Lutheran College, Lutherans for Life and
the Commission on Worship. As a policy designed to cover everyone
connected with our Synod we adopted the following:


"It is possible for presentations and discussions about secular and/or religious matters to
take place in schools, churches, conferences, commissions and
parasynodical organizations of our fellowship outside the framework of
fellowship. When speakers and presenters are not of our fellowship they
MUST be conducted outside the framework of fellowship. Pastoral concern
and sensitivity to the feelings of our constituency must always be shown
in the selection of speakers and the way in which their presence is

Since the choice of certain speakers may cause offense or unrest among
our constituents it would always be advisable to seek the counsel of a
wider spectrum of the brotherhood including the leadership of the
district in which the event will take place.
Although scheduling of celebrities may be of some value in the
information they can share and even may show their agreement with our
position, we should be careful not to rely upon their endorsement to
give credibility to our cause."

The adoption of this policy was triggered by invitations to Dr. Martin
Marty and Archbishop Weakland to speak at WLC. Dr, Marty was invited to
a convocation to which students are required to come and the Archbishop
was invited to a luncheon for faculty and a few select students at which
community affairs are discussed.


[Note by Pastor Jackson – The statement about Roman Catholic Archbishop Weakland is false. According to the hand-out from Wisconsin Lutheran College:

“Beginning at noon on February 3 CHARIS will host a series of luncheon speakers discussing their experiences and perspectives on urban ministry and the role of religion in the city. The series will be held in the Siebert Center of the Recreation Complex at Wisconsin Lutheran College. Everyone is welcome. Bring a friend. Cost is $5 per date or pay 35 for the entire series. Detach and mail the registration form…]


Our concerns regarding both of these
invitations were expressed at the aforementioned meeting and also
through a letter sent to Dr. Greenfield subsequently. We expressed the
conviction that while the presentation by Dr. Marty might not
technically violate the principles of fellowship, yet the wisdom of his
presence is highly questionable.


We believe that the best course of action is for WLC to withdraw its invitations to both men and we asked WLC to do that. That is where the matter stands at the present time.
There seems to be a breakthrough in regard to teacher certification.
The University of Minnesota is willing to recognize the training and
degrees of our Martin Luther College teacher graduates if they have
professional experience in the public system. This professional
experience will be under the supervision of our people at MLC who are
state certified. There are some concerns about this at MLC and a
memorial expressing such a concern will appear at our Synod convention
in July.



“Pastors: There are 102 vacancies in the Synod for theologically trained
men.  There are 35 graduates from the Seminary. As of last week there are 51
requests before the Assignment committee. There already are more and
the likelihood of over 60 requests is very real. There are 28 vicar
candidates and at present there are 42 requests. This includes about 12
requests for vicars in mission settings. Only 6 to 8 of those will be
granted but that still leaves a difference of about ten. In the area of
Staff ministers the requests and the candidates are even at 4 and 4.”


[Perhaps WELS should have considered the lack of pastors when the leaders were driving so many pastors out of the ministry. Now WELS has a fortune from selling indulgences but no pastors. Larry Olson’s “staff ministers,” men and women will fill in the gaps, they hope. Olson earned a D. Min. from Fuller.]