Pr Mike Semmler has just announced that he will not stand again for the position of President of the LCA.
It is difficult to believe that this era of staunch resistance to women’s ordination may be over (2000-2013). While there may always be people who are distressed by the idea of women’s ordination (though other churches’ experience is that concerns fade once people experience the pastoral care of women), there was no more an important position than that of President of the LCA in opposing women’s ordination. The position was used to delay, stifle and ignore discussion in the CTICR and in the national journal, as well as cling to the Church’s ‘current position’, repressing further debate, thereby clinging to the current position. How was change ever going to come unless there was open debate?
Of course, it remains to be seen who will stand for the position, but Synod delegates would presumably be twice shy about who it elects to this position, which, we have learnt, is an incredibly powerful one in guiding or sidelining issues within the Church.
Please include the election of our national president in your prayers.
Postscript: The text of the letter to pastors of the LCA:
Subject: Message from President Mike Semmler
Date: 16 Jan 2013 14:55:01 +1100
From: LAMP Webmail Message <…email address…>
Dear Pastors of the Church,
As you will receive your forms for nominations for President of the Church this week, it is important that I inform you that I have, after a struggle, decided not to allow my name to be considered and therefore you will need to give thought to a nomination you feel could best pastor the Church.
We are endeavouring to uphold the role of pastoring as the prime emphasis of the call.
Thank you for the significant support which you have so generously granted me personally and more importantly, the support for the office which has ben so evident. I have been humbled by that and thank God for all of you.
I anticipate, God willing, that a changeover of President will occur in mid-July 2013.
Yours in Christ,
Rev’d Dr Mike Semmler
President, Lutheran Church of Australia
- The Strange Clericalism of Women’s Ordination (servusfidelis.wordpress.com)
- Sally Chandler’s keynote address at All Saints Conference (katieandmartin.wordpress.com)
- It’s time (katieandmartin.wordpress.com)