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Discipline Case 3

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                  EASTERN DISTRICT•                           THE AMERICAN LUTHERAN CHURCH
            -
                                            BETHEsDA AIR IUGW1S BuILDING     SuITE 345W
                                           7315 Wisconsin Avenue, Washington, D. C. 20014
                                                            301-652-1338
                         President                                                  Assistants to the President
                GORDON   S.   HUFFMAN,   D.D.                                         EvAN 3. BARTELL
                                                                                      PAUL G. DIsnRo
                                                                                      E. HAROLD JAN SEN
                                                                                      RoBnT F. SPnLER,    Th.D.
                                                 June   28, 1976

The Rev. John Hove, Pastor                                     The Congregational President
St. John’s Lutheran Church                                     St. John’s Lutheran Church
Hicksville Road   Gail Drive, North                            Hicksville Road   Gail Drive, North
Massapequa, New York 11758                                     Massapequa, New York 11758

The Rev. Jack Hickman, Pastor
St. John’s Lutheran Church
Hicksville Road , Gail Drive, North
Massapequa, New York 11758

The Rev. Donald Smestad, Pastor                                The Congregational President
Christ Lutheran Church                                         Christ Lutheran Church
757 Bellmore Avenue                                            757 Belimore Avenue
East Meadow, New York 11554                                    east Meadow, New York 11554
Brethren:

        As you know, considerable discussion has arisen in the District concerning
the structure, policies and theological implications of the Hebrew Christian
Community sponsored by St. John’s, Massapequa and Christ, East Meadow. After
several meetings with the ALC pastoral leadership and the St. John’s    East Meadow       --


staff and lay representatives, we must question whether the position of your
congregations remain in concert with the confessional position of the Constitution
of the ALC, and whether or not you still accept a committment to that Constitution.

        We have, further, received numerous reports of Bible Study groups conducting
activities which, according to the information we have, should be reviewed by the
Regional Mission consultation in keeping with agreements of long standing which
attempt to avoid competitive situations and the duplication of efforts.

        We would therefore respectfully request that you indicate to the Executive
Committee of the Eastern District the committment of your congregations to the
Constitution of the ALC and your willingness to deal with the issues raised by the
activities of your Bible Study groups in areas presently served by existing Lutheran
congregations.
                                              5
                                              Sin ly,
                                              çe


                                                              ‘€
                                                               Paul K. Jensen,
PKJ:mh                                                         Secretary

cc:     Dr. Huffman, Eastern District
      s/Harold Jansen
        Dr. Rudolf P. F. Ressmeyer, Dr. James A. Graefe, Pastor Maury M. Drum
          EASTERN DISTRICT.                   THE AMERICAN LUTHERAN CHURCH
                             BETHESDA AIR RIGHTS BUILDING        •   SUITE   345W
                            7315 Wisconsin Avenue, Washington, D. C. 20014
                                             301-652-1338

              President                                                      Assistants to the President
       GORDON S. HUFFMAN, D.D.
                                                                               EVAN J. BARTELL
                                                                               PAUL   G.   DIsERo
                                                                               E. HAROLD JAN SEN
                                                                               Ronnwr F.    SPLELER, Th.D.



                                  June   28, 1976




The Rev. Jack Hickman, Pastor
St. John’s Lutheran Church
Hicksville Road   Gail Drive, North
Massapequa, New York 11758

Dear Pastor Hickman:

           In our anxiety to get out the enclosed letter, we overlooked

the fact that it should also have been addressed to you as one of the

pastors’ at St. John’s.

           Please excuse this inadvertent oversight.                             -




                                                    Sincerely,




                                                    Paul K. Jei n,
                                                            3
                                                            s
                                                    Secretary-

PU: nih

Enc.

cc: Pastor Harold Jansen
LQ;; F.JcN

4                                     HICKSVILLE ROAD & GAIL DRIVE N.• MASSAPEOUA N.Y.c 11758
                                                                                    •


                                                                      REV. JACK H. HICKMAN. P.,êor
                                                                      REV. JOHN W. HOVE. Pastor
                                                                      TELEPHONE: 735.7337

 July 15, 1976



 Executive Connittee of the Eastern District
 The meridan Lutheran Church
 Bethesda Air Rights Building, Suite 3k5W.
 7315 Wisconsin Avenue                                                          -


 Washington, D.C. 2OOll

 Gentlemen:

 We have received your inquiry regarding our cmitment to the PLC constitution and
 certain other matters and will try to respond in as forthright a manner as possible,
 asking only that you read our response carefully and with the same concern with
 which it is written.

 You asked whether the position of our congregations remains in concert with the con
 fessional position of the constitution of the PLC. Having re-read this confessional
 statement in Chapter 3 of the constitution, we re-affirm our stand with the position
 that is stated therein, including, incidentally, the words “inerrant”, “infallible”,
 etc., which seem to have caused so much difficulty in certain other quarters of the
 PLC.

 Please do nt be misled by that which certain self-appointed “defenders of Lutheran
 isis” and other assorted critics may accuse us of teaching (salvation through the
 law, etc.). There are many rumors and even documents floating around which have
 been authored by the uninformed and believed by the gullible, but which contain
 countless factual inaccuracies and virtually endless variations of half-truths,
 misrepresentaticns and outright falsehoods regarding our congregations. We have long
 ago abandoned any attempts to track these down and to correct them, discovering that
 most peoi1 believe what they want to believe anyway, and that the few who are
 honestly open to understand what is really happening here will come with an unbiased
 mind and ask.

 As far as our connnitment to the constitution of the PLC, we are riot aware of any
 point at which we reject it, but if there is a question regarding ou loyalty to a
 particular article, perhaps you could direct us to that article in Qrder that we
 might address ourselves to it more specifically.

 The matter of dealing with the Bible study groups, etc., that meet in the distant
 areas, was also raised in your letter. We have explained in one of the meetings of
 the pastors and district leaders the options that seem to be open to us and the
 difficulties that we face with each one of them. There would appear to be only
 three.
                                  -2-                        Ju1y15,1976
                                                                                and
1. We could in the interests of intra-Lutheran accord, abandon these ministries
the people who are served by them. But these ministries were all begun in response
to the urgent pleadings of people who live in these areas, asking that we come and
help them. To turn our backs on them at this point would be to elevate a regard for
structure and organization above a concern for people.

We are obviously aware that there are I.utheran congregations in these areas, and.
that certain inter-Lutheran agreements have been made to avoid duplication of
effort, competition, etc. But permit us to ask a few questions for a moment. In
Patchogue, for example, with what evangelistic thrust are we in competition? And,
where is the extensive Bible study program which we are jeopardizing? And, why
have the churches in that area refused to listen to what many of their people were
saying or to heed the pleas of those who have since found it necessary to reach out
to us for the ministry which they require? The list of questions could easily be
extended and it would indeed be unfortunate if the zeal to condemn our action were
to become a smokescreen obscuring a curiosity as to the reasons for this history
of inaction. There has been ample opportunity for the churches of that area to
respond. To date they have not, either because they will not or because they
cannot. But it would be unconscionable for us to abandon at this point the people
there who now relate to us. Ministry to spiritually hungry people simply must take
precedence over jurisdictional agreements. Certainly the8e agreements were never
intended to frustrate the work of the Holy Spirit or to leave hundreds of people
to die on the vine. To us, therefore, the mandate is clear. We cannot turn back
and. if we find it necessary even to purchase property in these areas in order that
the work may be done effectively, this, too, we will have to do.

2. The second option would be for us to work together with the churches in these
areas. This was the avenue that we had hoped to pursue at the last meeting of the
pastors in Glen Head, but we ran into such an antagonism over a series of rather
picayune issues (e.g., the presence of the laymen that we had been told to bring)
that intelligent discussion seemed to be virtually out of order.

We find this avenue blocked and, incidentally, have no intention of particioating
in any further meetings of this particular nature. Twelve hours of harangue over
rumors and half-truths have made it rather obvious that the potential of this
approach reg. sters close to zero.

3. The third option for us is to withdraw from the ALC and thereby remove the element
of “Lutheran competition”. A committee presently studying the relationships of St.
John’s, Christ Lu:heran and the Hebrew Christian community, with a view to bringing
all or parts of   iem under a common governing structure, has discussed at length our
relationsh’  to the PLC. A subcommittee of thIs 1arer c’ttee ha roinerided
that the e be severed, but the committee as a whole has yet to endorse that
recoendacion. Our stand from the beginning has been that such a move would make
things too easy for us and possibly also for the ALO as a ‘oie We believe that
the PLC is going to have to make a decision as to whether ov :ic ;e ire still an
acceptable voice within the larger body. If the PLC decides that we are not, we
will receive that decision with a deep measure of sadness, but wLll in any event
feel compelled to pursue the work which we firmly believe has been set before us.

Perhaps there is a fourth option, even a fifth. It’ so, we would sincerely like to
have them pointed out to us in order that we mIght consIder them. You have asked
us whether we are willing to deal with the issues raised by the eetjvities of our
Bible study groups in these other areas. We are riot positive hat we know exactly
what you want us to do when you ask us to ‘deal with the iss’es”   We h\e preerit
to you the struggles that we have with the only three npttons that    see
point and await a further explanation of your intent.
                                       -3-                 July 15, 1976
  In closing, we must express one item of great personal disappointment to some
                                                                                  of us,
  and that is that in all the years that the foundation for the present situation
                                                                                    was
  taking shape, we have never succeeded in counseling personally with out bishop
                                                                                  . It
 was almost ten years ago that Pastor Hickman advised Dr. Huffman by telephone
                                                                                 of
  some of the early developments here that began to move us away from the more
                                                                                generally
 typical Lutheran situation. It was more than five years ago that Pastor Hove
                                                                                 wrote
  a letter inviting Dr. Huffman to come and meet with us in order that we might share
 the things that were taking place. That invitation was repeated in person at
                                                                                 the
 1975 district convention and again in 1976 at the meeting in Glen Head. Certainly
 any busy pastor can empathize with a situation wherein an important call slips away
 and never gets made, and we do not raise this point as a matter of criticism of
                                                                                    our
 bishop, but rather as a sobering commentary on a church that can become ao
                                                                             pre
 occupied with administration, meetings, the working out of regional agreements,
                                                                                    etc.,
 that there remains no time to sit down in face-to-face counseling, prayer and
                                                                                 the
 joyful consideration of the challenges that the Lord in His w1.sdom has placed before
 us. Whether or not this can still be meaningfully done, we don’t know, but we
                                                                                   are
 positive of one thing, and that is that the matter will never be resolved admin
                                                                                    is
 tratively.

 Sincerely,




              —
  Øtor, St. John’s Lutheran Church            Pastor, Christ tutheran Church


     -aLO.            ?-iJ
                                                               (‘4-,
  Past,r, St. John’s Lutheran Church              Pastor, St. Joi’s Lutheran Church &
                                                          Christ I.itheran Church



  President, St. Johnhran Church                esident, C&I’t LuIeran/2hurch

           * * * ** * * * * *


 Members of the Church Council of              Members of the Church Council of
   St. John’s Ljiteranhurch                      Christ Lutheran Ch ch
   --         d4’’-
                  .




                                             A’’
                                                               jl
/c%R          ‘
                                                           -




                                                                               c
              44                                                                        V7
            EASTERN DISTRICT.                  THE AMERICAN LUTHERAN CHURCH
                              BETHESDA AIR RIGHTS BUILDING    •   SUITE 345W

                             7315 Wisconsin Avenue, Washington, D. C. 20014
                V
                                              301-652-1338
                                                                        Assistants to the President
                 President                                                EvAN J. BARTU..L
          GoRDoN S. HuMAw, D.D.
                                                                          PAUL G. DisaRo
                                                                          E. HAROLD JANSEN
                                                                          ROBERT F. SPIELER, Th.D.
                                    June 22, 1976


The Rev. John Hove, Pastor                          The Congregational President
St. John’s Lutheran Church                          St. John’s Lutheran Church
Hicksville Road   Gail Drive, North                 Hicksville Road   Gail Drive, North
Massapqua, New York 11758                           Massapequa, New York 11758

The Rev. Donald Smestad, Pastor                     The Congregational President
Christ Lutheran Church                              Christ Lutheran Church
757 Belimore Avenue                                 757 Beilmore Avenue
East Meadow, New York 11554                         East Meadow, New York 11554

Brethren:
                                                                        t
        As you know, considerable discussion has arisen in the Distric
                                                          ations of the Hebrew
concerning the structure, policies and theological implic
                                                             Christ, East Meadow.
Christian Community sponsored by St. John’s, Massapequa and
                                                              the St. John’s
After several meetings with the ALC pastoral leadership and
                                                                                           --




East Meadow staff and lay representatives, we must questio n whether the position
                                                                position of the
of your congregations remain in concert with the confessional
                                                               a committment to
Constitution of the ALC, and whether or not you still accept
that Constitution.

        We have, further, received numerous reports of Bible Study groups
                                                              have, should be
conducting activities which, according to the information we
                                                                     ents of
reviewed by the Regional Mission consultation in keeping with agreem
                                                             and the duplication
long standing which attempt to avoid competitive situations
of efforts.

         We would therefore respectfully request that you indicate to the
                                                             of your congregations
Executive Committee of the Eastern District the coinmittment
                                                                  the issues
to the Constitution of the ALC and your willingness to deal with
                                                                     tly served
raised by the activities of your Bible Study groups in areas presen
by’ existing Lutheran congre gations.

                                                    Sincerely,



 PKJ:mh                                              Paul K. Jens,zn,
                                                     Secretary
 cc:   Dr. Huffman, Eastern District
       Harold Jansen
               It is :ith deep concern that we address you at this time con—
,pLA    cernhilg the problems of the ministry of the Gospel of 1
                                                               3t.John’s
        Lutheran Church.

              In the past several years, St. John’s Lutneran Cha-ca has
        undergone changes which are of utmost importancc to maay members of
        the congregation.

              The Constitution of the church has not been adhered to in the
        organization and functioning of the Congregation of t. John’s Luth
        eran Church.   Questionable practices hav emerged which re not
        Bib.ica1ly based, but which arc selected fro2l several other sources
        such as: The Judaic High Holy Day Prayer Boo, Tephilal Jeshururn,
        The Dead Sea Scrolls and other alleged trditions and personal rev
        elations of men and )saders of the i-ebrew Christian Comuniy at
        St. John’s Lutheran Charch.   Tais has resulted in;tiae creation of a
        Jewisn sect within tne Congregation of . John’s Lutheran Cnurch.
        One 01 tne reasons iren br tnis cevelopment as çuoted in tne
        t. John’s Lutheran Cnurch .-mua1 eort, 1976, bi rator ::ickman:

                  “s w evndellze the Jew we &now some iill be led. to the
                  same position o faith anJ life we practice, but others,
                  who will not coma in this direction, we must provoke
                  through jealousy to return to the orthodox faith of the
                  fathers,   in order to strengtmen the synagogue and nation
                  of Israel so the nation and people will be strong for the
                  serious and tragic days which lie ahead of us.”

             The members and followers of this Hebrew Cnristian Community
       constitute soaj.e persons of Jewish-Christian background; however,
       the vast majority are oersons who miht be called Geti1s—Cnristicns,
       many of whom are members of t. Jon’s Lutheran Church and Christ
       Lutheran Cnurch in East heado, J. Y.     These persons consist of
       many various nationality backgrounds, but who are not in any way
       Jewish by physical descent.    In actuality, what has taken place is
       the Judaisiac of the Caristian Church.

              A clear division has been created in the cmurcb between fol
        lowers of the ‘Community” and those members outside the lt8ommunityft.
        Community followers adhering to the authority, structure, practices
       and mode of worshi. as aelineated by their own written documents
        and other unwritten policies;  the other diisioa mintaing the unity
       of the Christian church opposing any Zdiison into Jewish and
       Gontile wings. t presnt tae Comaunity constitutes tae vast major
       ity of the Congregation and thus their OpIiiOflS Lfld 1eas and autnor—
       ity overwhelairiiy dominates the ractices and functions of tas Curcn.
       TherefDre mnv unacceptable practices iaae arisen, needless to sa/,
       unconstitutionally based, with opposition
       Tas power structure and lines of authority beind ignored, and by—oassed.
                                                   throua
       icman am, ld mie elders approve. b the ‘bb the bba” (r’astor
                                                            dictate decisins
       affectin: the entire conregtion; the coacunity
                                                         as weal s other
       mamocrs o the Con:regtion outside tac community.
    Some of these unaccetable practices are as follows:

    1.    The urging of the church to adopt the cycle of Jewish
          Festivals, Krev osh oshana, Yom Kippur, etc.

          For the Christian the cross stands in the eyes of tne
          New Testament faith as the pivot of history. Paul de
          clares tne events of the cruofixion and resurrection
          the whole of history of mankind reversed, I Corinthians 15,
          Romans 5:12—21.  Therefore, the cancellation of Holy
          Thursday service because it conflicts wit.. a Jewish holi
          day is highly q.uestionable.

    2.    The urging of the church to acceDt a liturgy based on
          Synagogue liturgy, High Holy Day Prayer Books, the Dead
          Sea Scrolls, and the Bible, etc., with several aspects of
          the service in Hebrew.

    3.    noouraging legalism upon Christians, Jew and Gentile
          alike, in dietary matters sucri as establishing a Kosher
          kitchen in the church, and the practice of other Jewish
          traditions.

    4..   Creating class distinctions within the Body of Christ by
          limiting the functions and ervice of women and establish
          ing the position of the male as special in the role of the
          “elder” and in the special services dedicating the “male
          child”; also establishing the positon of the !bbal of the
          community with particular rights afld givileges of office
          not specified in the Cotitution.

     5.   Limitinj the teaching ministry and other ministries to
          ‘Conmunity” members, 1iriting Christian education a.d
          leadership to men, ‘iith members of the “Community” doin—
          ating the instructional church school staff and youth
          activities, thus making all Sunday School classes and
          youth activities for both Jr. and Sr.       and young adults
          Hebrew oriented.  The deference to the Hebrew Cornunity ap
          proach on matters of form and practice do not seem in ac
          cordance with biblical teaching and are not acceptable.

       It is iiaortant to point out that a Christi.n church cannot
continue to be     Christian church if in it there is any kind of
class distinction, or        the Gosel of Jesus Christ is under at
tacic.   I. the Dreence of God <  person is neither Ja nor Gantile,
noble or baoe, rich or poor, but is a sinner for ho: Christ died.
The Carcn firis nat tere is onr one redentive coaaunity,
and it is the all enbr cing coionwenlth o’ Go :Gl. 6:16, the
I        f .rQc.
e such the CLurch is heir to the ro:zises of the :ciugom, heirs
of all the Dro:aises given to Israel,    mans 4:13—15, G.al. 3:2,
Titus 3:7, Jes 2:5.      Therefere, mm.: atteiapt to elevate the
status of the Hebrew Coaaunity above that of the Gentile Ciiristins
is contrary to 3iblical teaching.

The adoption of legalism and subjection to the Jewish law is
repudiation of the Grace of God in Christ which is the distinctive
element of the Gos’el. God acceots as righteous those who have
faith :bicb excludes the principle of 1eg..lsm.  One cannot live
the life of devotion tu tue keeping of statutes, wnio.. legalism
calls for, and at tne same time a life of faith in Jesus Christ
and filial trust in the God ci’ grLce.

      The real son of Abrah is not a man who is rcia1ly de
scended from him and who can trace the Dedigree of nis body from
him; the real son of -brah is on who no matter hat his race,
or country or lineage or sex, makes the se surrender of faith
to God.  The true Israel is not a matter of physical descent;
tne true Israel consists ol aliwrepeat      rau’s ct of £altn
not by the works of the law. hli who have faith in Jesus Christ
belong, not to a community or nation that iu im bondage to legal
statutes, but to tnat coinity o believers wnose relation to
God is that of sons, having tne spirit of sonship, not of oondage,
and heirs of the promise.

      Seriuus stIons exist in •3t. Johns Lwaern Charcn.        Zome
Of these are in the following reus:

     1.   Tare is the juestioa of the lea1ity of the .cticns
          tcen at tas -nnual Cgregationai meetin;.    The Con—
          stituton was dsümmen ann tas amme cnan was not
          presntea in writIng to tne Congregation prior to tne
          meeting.

     2.   Both Pastor Hove and Ptor hieman are active membes
          of the Hebrew Christian Comnnitj.   There remains no
          pastoral leadership for members outside the Community.
          The attempts and urgings to Judaise the Christian churon.
          are unacceptable and also what we feel to be unbiblical.
          (Galations 2:L+-17, Galations 5:13—15.)

     Since Pastor Hove has expressed a concern i’or tnose members
outside the Community we urgently reuest that he meet with those
members for further discussion and enlightenment as to what the
future holds for tnose members at St. John’s Lutheran Chnrch.
                                                                                           ©
          EASTERN DISTRICT.                      THE AMERICAN LUTHERAN CHUkCH
                                BETHESDA AIR RIGHTS BUILDING     SUITE 345W
                               7315 Wisconsin Avenue, Washington, D. C. 20014
                                                301-652-1338
                 President                                             Assistants to the President
        GoRDoN   S. HuFFMAN, D.D.                                        EVAN J. BARTRLL
                                                                         PAUL G. DIsBRO

                                                                         RosT   F.   SPIELER,   Th.D.

                                                March 11, 1977



Mr. Edgar Hall
72 Pine Street
Massapequa, N.Y.      11758

Dear Mr. Hall:

Pursuant to our conversation of yesterday, I have put together the
following collection of reasonable expectations based on various doc
uments and statements that a member of one of your congregation has
a right to entertain of his pastors.

First, from the Letter of Call:
   That the pastor preach and teach the Word of God as revealed in
      the canonical scriptures and as witnessed by the Confessions
      of our church;
   That the pastor administer the sacraments according to the practice
      of The American Lutheran Church and its recommended liturgies;
   Instruct the children in all that Christ commanded;
   Ministration to all the members according to their needs;
   To lead in witnessing for Christ arid to enlist in active member
      ship all who are not actively affiliated with a Christian con
      grgation;
   Keep his practice in harmony with the Word of God, the church’s
      confessions, and the constitutions and by-laws of both the
      ALC and the local congregation;
   Strive in word and deed to be a worthy example of Christian living,
      avoiding conduct which might endanger the faith of others;
   Stimulate and encourage the members of the parish to support all
      the work of the ALC....

   (The above were selected parts of the standard letter of call which
   in substance has remained the same since the pre-merger days of our
   congregations. These covenants were made at the time of the accept
   ance of call, and are the first of the norms agaisnt which a pastor’s
   place in the parish is to be measured.)

Second, from your constitution:
   Article III “The public services of this congregation shall conform
     to the authorized liturgies and rituals of the American Lutheran
     Church., and the authorized hymn books of the Church shall be
     used in its worship and its schools.
  Article VII. 2. Only a clergyman of The American Lutheran Church in
     good standing or one who is recommended for call by the Church
     Council of The American Lutheran Church, may be called as pastor
     of this congregation.
  Article VII. 4. No one shall be permitted to officiate in the
     pastoral office of this congregation who is not a member in good
     standing of The American Lutheran Church or who is not acceptable
     according to the standards of The American Lutheran Church.
  Bylaws IV. 5.   Every pastor serving this congregation shall have an
     undivided loyality to the faith and purpose of the Church  -  according
     to Articles II and IV of this constitution. Any   question concerning
     such loyalty shall be adjudicated according to the recommended
     procedure of the Church.

Finally, from the ALC Constitution:
   Chapter 6 (Membership) 6.ll.a,b,c, This section deals with the
      “requirements” for the membership of a congregation in the ALC,
      and in turn anticipates a pastor’s support of the following: a. The
      profession of a common faith; b. The acceptance of this Constitution
      and By-laws; c. Participation in the program of activity approved
      by this (ALC) Church.
   Another part of section 6 (6.12.l2.b.5.) asserts that no part of the
      church’s life may be denied because of race, national origin, color
      or sex.
   The united Testimony of Faith and Life, which forms a kind of preamble
      to the ALC merger, in a section of Christian Liberty states briefly
      that “...compulsions.lying upon the individual in response to God’s
      grace toward him are not to be made into laws for the control of the
      lives of others.   (Part II Section IV)

I would feel that the member had every right to expect that a pastor’s
association with groups outside the congregation whose life or purpose was
in conflict with any of these documents would be a breech of good faith,
whether or not the specific limits of the Constitution were violated.

This has been only the most brief essay of a documented base for pastoral
expectations, and further study would present a more complete picture. How
ever, none of these statements should be applied without adequate oppor
tunity for discussion and sharing with all concerned.. This would be a
matter for the District President, as your constitution provides, and should
be undertaken through his office.

We continue tobe in prayer that the Holy Spirit would give us light to see
our way through these difficult issues.  Our documents are nothing more
than promises of faithfulness to each other, and they are not a body of
laws, but the clear memory of what we agreed to before God as we at on time
or another tried to follow His admonition to do everything de   tly and inorder.

                                           You s in Christ,



                                           (Rev) Ha ol ansen
                                           Dean, Eastern District, ALC

HJ/bkrn
cc:   Gordon Huffman, Bob Wood
         •1j    •       EASTERN DISTRICT.                    THE AMERICAN LUTHERAN CHURCH
•   .,
               ::I                          BETHESDA AIR RIGHTS BUILDING     SUITE 345W
                                           7315 Wisconsin Avenue, Washington, V. C. 20014
                                                            301-652-1338
                         President                                                 Ass.stants to the President
                  Goiuow S.   HuFFMAN,   D.D.            November 30, 1976           EVANJ.BARTEU.
                                                                                     PAUL G. DrsBRo
                                                                                     E. HAROLD JAN SEN
                                                                                     Roarr F. SPIELER,   Th.D.




           Pastors and Church Council                     Pastor and Church Council
           St. John’s Lutheran Church                     Christ Lutheran Church
           Hicksville and Gail Drive North                757 Beilmore Avenue and Chaladay Lane
           Massapequa, New York    11758                  East Meadow, New York     11554


           Gentlemen:

                Our Eastern District Executive Committee at its November 18th meeting
           spent some considerable time on your letter of July 15, which was a res
           ponse to our inquiry concerning your commitment to The American Lutheran
           Church Constitution and other related matters.

                In addition, we were presented with a communication from the Long
           Island Conference urging an indepth study of your theological stance and
           witness to determine whether it is in keeping with the Lutheran Confessional
           stance and witness.

                The two matters that seem to be of utmost concern are these:
                 the satellite ministries being conducted in the areas
                 where our other Lutheran churches have viable ministries;

                  the whole tension between law and Gospel and how it is
                  communicated to the community.


                Both Jews and Lutherans alike are asking, in regard to your ministry:

                  are your satellite ministries in keeping dth the polity
                  and procedure of The American Lutheran Church;

                  is the theology of these ministries within the confessional
                  stance and witness of The American Lutheran Church.


                On question one, the Executive Committee unanimously agreed that to
           the best of our understanding your satellite ministries are in violation
           of the polity of The American Lutheran Church. It also appears to us that
           you are in direct violaçion of the policies agreed upon by The Lutheran
           Council Mission Consultation.
                                          2                           11/30/76
St. John, Massapequa, N.Y.            —       —




Christ, East Meadow, N.Y.

                                                   not have sufficient in—
     On question two the Executive Committee does
                                                we would encourage you to
formation to give an answer at this time. But                        ce in
be open to a theologic al study suggested by the Long Island Conferen
                                               tion.
an effort to determine the answer to that ques
                                                        rs, and the like often
     We are well aware that misrepresentations, rumo
                                            hips as there are between your
result when there are barriers to relations
                                                 of the Long Island Conference.
two congregations and the other congregations
                                             ittee to uphold the integrity of
But it is our desire in the Executive Comm
                                                rch, as well as find ways to
The Constitution of The American Lutheran Chu
                                                ributing to a healing process.
break down the barriers that exist, thus cont
                                                     asked Bishop Gordon S.
     In an effort to accomplish these goals we have
                                                 pastors of St. John’s,
Huffman and Dean Harold Jansen to meet with the
                                                d, as soon as possible. We
Massapequa, and Christ, East Meadow, Long Islan
                                                 ort of our Executive Committee
informed them that they would have the full supp
                                                 in violation of the polity of
in declaring that your satellite ministries are
                                               ld encourage your congregations
The ALC. We informed tham also that they shou
                                                    ce, as recorded in the
to accept the challenge of the Long Island Conferen
resolution which is enclosed with this letter.
                                                    ing with the pastors and
     Dr. Huffman has been asked to convene the meet
                                               utive Committee in writing prior
report the results of that meeting to our Exec
to our next meeting on February 3, 1977.
                                                    situation. Thereis the
     There are many relationships effected by this
                                                es, as well as our other ALC
Jewish Community, the other Lutheran judicatori
                                              All of them are seeking clarifi—
congregations in the Long Island Conference.
                                           Lutheran witness for Christ to the
cation on where we stand in regard to your
                                              r, our desire is to be faithful
community. As expressed earlier in this lette
                                              of reconciliation and healing.
to our ALC and in addition to serve as agents
                                              Dean Jansen to counsel with your
To this end, we are asking Bishop Huffman and
pastors on this matter.
                                                   ation and healing, I am,
     Hoping this will aid the process of reconcili


                                              Sincerely yours,



                                              William S. Corkish
                                              Chairman of the Executive Committee
                                              Eastern District, The ALC




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