ELCA cwa09 and Twitter

The ELCA Church wide assembly is underway.  Day one is in the books and Day 2 is up and going.  Yesterday was debate about parliamentary procedures.  One of the big items was the passage of the rule to only require a simple majority for passage of ministry recommendations concerning homosexuality.  I did not listen to this debate via live streaming through the ELCA website but entered the discussion afterward on Twitter.  It is really fun to see the number of people Tweeting the assembly via Twitter.  But if you are doing that make sure you are getting accurate information.  Go to the the ELCA website for updates or follow “pglutherans” on Twitter.  She is posting Tweets of news stories and other information about assembly action; a reliable source of information (pglutherans is reliable, maybe not so much the mainline media).  You can also follow the ELCA on Twitter for up-to-date information as well.

Last night, as I was following various people on Twitter about CWA news, I got into a discussion with a fellow Tweeter about what was going on.  Obviously we hold different views about homosexuality.  One of my Tweets indicated that I hope and pray that the delegates are not just following societal trends.  By the time we were finished with our discussion/debate I was accused of being “uncharitable towards those who disagree with me”.  At that Tweet I stopped the discussion…not because I didn’t have a response, but rather I wanted to process that discussion we were having and respond later.

Well…later is here…

“Uncharitable”?  Without giving you the full text of the conversation I want to respond.  And in all fairness to my colleague (who I follow on Twitter and on her blog…and whom I respect) I am not going to take shots or anything like that but rather respond in a general sort of way.  Our discussion/debate last night is between the two of us and anyone else following us on Twitter.

“Uncharitable” — I have heard similar terms such as that when connected to the debate about homosexuality.  The other terms I have heard are: “Unwelcoming”, “Intolerant”, “Unloving” and even “Homophobic”.  I am not suggesting that my colleague was eluding to any of those terms, but rather I have heard all of them in the same debate.  Am I “uncharitable”…NO.  Am I passionate about what I believe…YES.  For the record:  I believe in the traditional view of marriage between ONE man and ONE woman. But…if a gay couple walks through the doors of the church I am serving will I welcome them…ABSOLUTELY…and I hope and (frankly) expect everyone else to as well.  Will that gay couple be welcomed as members of the congregation…YES.  I will preach the Gospel to them; pray for them and serve with them…just like everyone else.  I just can’t support their lifestyle.  If a gay pastor comes to serve a congregation in Jackson what will my response be…I will work with my colleague and that congregation in an ecumenical way as I always have.

I may sound “uncharitable” to those who disagree with me but maybe that is because our view of scripture is so different.  Maybe it is because we are at a point where debate about homosexuality is not going to change the view of people who are already entrenched in their view.  Maybe I sound “uncharitable” because saying that you disagree with the homosexual life style proponents generally hear that you have “closed your doors”.

I am not “uncharitable”…I am just passionate about my beliefs and I hope the delegates remain faithful to their convictions and beliefs as well.  I hope and pray they do not get swayed by societal trends or media/societal pressure.  I hope and pray that the delegates remain and continue in prayer…and remember to listen.  I hope and pray that people are respectful.  And…no matter the out come of the vote this week…I hope and pray that the ELCA can get back on track and proclaim the Gospel, continue in mission and be evangelically focused.

There’s much work to be done, but nothing will happen through our own strength and understanding.  May God be praised and glorified in all we do.  And remember…be charitable to all people…regardless of beliefs.

Praise be to God!


Twitter updates

I am not sure if this is a good idea or not, but over on the right side bar I have added a widget that displays my last two Twitter updates.  If this is out of place for this blog please let me know.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, my Twitter account is being used strictly for ministry purposes.  Recently I have been Tweeting some sermon prep and other scripture thoughts.

So my Twitter experiment continues…


Church success

The following is a “tweet” on my Twitter account that I received yesterday (Tuesday).  It’s by John Piper and goes as follows:  “The success of a church should not be judged by its seating capacity but by it sending capacity.


Church membership doesn’t really say much about a congregation except how many people call that congregation their church home.  Worship attendance starts to get at the core issue but doesn’t tell the whole story.  Sending capacity (however one can measure that) tells us that people are being fed and sent to advance the mission of Christ to the glory of God.

A church that measures its success by seating capacity is inward focused.   A church that measures its success by its sending capacity is Christ (outward) focused.



This is my latest tweet on Twitter:

On the job/court/field success is empty success without integrity.  Character indeed matters.”

I am crafting a letter to the editor for my local newspaper about this topic with four other pastors already signing on to the letter.  Once submitted I will post it here.

But in the mean time…What are your thoughts on this?


Twitter experiment update

My experiment with Twitter is going well so far.

I mentioned before that I didn’t want Twitter to be another narcissistic outlet for me (Facebook being one and that is plenty).  I wanted to use Twitter for ministry purposes and so far that is what I have been doing (with one or two tweets to the contrary).  I have gained a number of followers outside my group of friends and others that I know; so from that I can gather that God has been using this Twitter thing to reach others.

But another thing I am learning is that Twitter is an exercise in “getting to the point and getting there quickly”.  I mean…you only have 140 characters to say what you want to say and for a preacher, that is a challenge.

So…the experiment continues…more updates to come.


I am a tweeter

I never thought I would actually do it but I am officially a Twitter user.  I signed up for my account over lunch today and now I am off and running.  If you want to find me my user name is: SWMNRev.

My purpose is to explore the ministry aspects of Twitter.  I don’t plan to get overly narssasitic and tell people when I am going to the bathroom, drinking water or going for a run.  I am going to try to limit my tweets (I guess that is what they call Twitter updates) to ministry tweets.  This is an experiment so we’ll see how it goes.

Are you using Twitter?

Is this worth while?

What’s your experience?