527 North Boulevard - 4th Floor
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
 
   
 

 

The 2011 Meeting theme:

"Challenges and Visions for

Mission and Ministry

we face as leaders of

Christian Churches in the

21st Century: 

Sharing Personal Stories /

Moving Forward Together"

was based on the Lund Principle

In 1950 Christian leaders from around the world endorsed what has come to be known as the Lund Principle (meeting in Lund, Sweden):     As representatives of Christian churches we will act together in all matters except those in which deep differences of conviction compel us to act separately.    

Mr. Rob Tasman

Mr. Robert M. Tasman (Assoc. Dir. Director of the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops)

Mr. Tasman was a guest speaker during the Business Session.  He provided a power point presentation titled: “Louisiana Catholics Committed to the Repeal of the Death Penalty”. 

 After Mr. Tasman's presentation, a ‘Binding Resolution’ to affirm the commitment of the LIC to support this effort by the Catholics, was submitted and approved by all Judicatory Leaders present at the meeting.  The remaining Judicatory Leaders will be individually contacted for their vote.   

The L.I.C. has long advocated against the death penalty.

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The Board approved a new paper by the Criminal Justice Commission outlining the

Vision, Mission, Principles, and Specific Strategies of the Commission

  Click here for downloadable version

Guest speaker, Rev. Sean Keith of the Louisiana Baptist Convention gave an interesting and informative presentation as coming from his prospective as a Sunday School Teacher and his calling in home missions.   Click here for more info. regarding his presentation.

Mrs. Catherine Townsend & Madre Annie Bates (both are Reg. Coordinators). 

Madre Annie Bates (of the Episcopal Diocese of W. LA) was newly elected to fill the vacancy in the Executive Committee as a Coordinator for Region 5 (Lafayette/Acadiana area).

We appreciate your service to the L.I.C.!

Fr. Richard Greene is the new Designate for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette.

Welcome!

A couple of other new folks we were pleased to meet:

Rev. Kaylan Walker (left) of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, and Pastor Pat Keen of New Orleans, (ELCA - TX/LA Gulf Coast Synod)

Kathy Lee of CRNO gave us an update on the operations of Christian Renewal New Orleans.  (Find out more at CRNO.org)

 

A few more pictures from the lovely grounds of the Wesley Center:

 

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Link to get Flash Paper by Adobe

Sept.

19th & 20th, 2011

The L.I.C. Fall Board Meeting

 was held  

at the Wesley Center in Woodworth (near Alexandria)

At this meeting, Judicatory leaders were invited to address the challenges churches face in the modern world, such as demographics, doctrines, church life, and secularization of the world.

Executive Director, Rev. Dan Krutz gave an introduction that included a call to examine this question: “What can the Churches do together, rather than what do we ‘have to do’ together?” 

Highlights from Judicatory Presentations:

  

Bishop

Michael

Duca

Mrs.

Mary

Collins

Rev.

Sean

Keith

Bishop

Mike

Rinehart

Bishop

Ronald

Herzog

Rev.

Samuel

Tolbert

Ms.

Ruth

Estorge

Dr.

Donald

Cottrill

 

Bishop Michael Duca (Roman Catholic Diocese of Shreveport & current President of the Louisiana Interchurch Conference), started off the presentations on Monday.   He spoke of reclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and its mission:  To go out and proclaim the good news.  Our Churches do need internal revival and more emphasis on personal commitment.  We need to strengthen and renew, but then go on to evangelism.    He said that we should use charity as well.   There are overwhelming community needs.  Charity and evangelism work together, and charity is an area where we can all work together.   In the discussion that followed, Pastor Pat Keen (ELCA – Gulf Coast Synod), noted that we also need to get down to a grass roots level – for instance the Church feeds the homeless, but the REAL problem is that they ARE homeless.  And he stated that people need co-workers rather than case workers.

Mrs. Mary Collins (President of Church Women United) stated that her organization represents women of many denominations.   But many of their membership are older women now and some are passing on.   They’ve realized they have to make changes in order to reach the younger crowd and keep continuity.   For instance, as most younger women must work outside the home now, Friday morning meetings simply will not work.   They strive for common goals among Christians, such as a recent Diabetes Seminar, Friendship Days, World Community Days, a shoe & uniform scholarship for children of prison inmates, and the Least Coin Offering.   They try to choose a special project each year in particular areas, and sometimes join in with existing Church projects. 

 

Rev. Sean Keith, (guest speaker: Sunday School/Discipleship Strategist from the Louisiana Baptist Convention),  opened with citing the difference between a drop of water and a wave, the latter having constant motion, moves things in its path, and regenerates itself.   The Church needs vibrant people, ready and willing to serve God.  Often there is no discernable difference between the moral behavior of Christians and non-Christians.   Relationships are the conduit God uses to reach the world, and if you want to change society, change the people who will determine the society’s future – today’s children.  There are many forces calling our children away from the Faith.  Institutions are important, but one on one reaches hearts.  Prayer and Leadership are vital, but so is following up with missing folks.   He finds that to be a failure among the Churches.  People need to be calling those folks, sending cards, and checking on them.  More info. and free resources can be found at: www.LBC.org/churchgrowth & some of the info. from his presentation can be found atwww.lbc.org/expectmore  (scroll down on page).

 

Bishop Mike Rinehart (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – Gulf Coast Synod), noted that only 2 counties in Texas are mostly Lutheran.  He spoke of internal issues of the ELCA and conservative Lutherans constantly fighting and their loss of membership in the USA, but increases in other parts of the world.   They are trying to “loosen up” and allow a wider world view.  He said it is easy to believe ridiculous things about other people’s faith when they are far away, and that we have to learn to “play well”.   He cited Galatians 3:28:  “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”     He noted that some Churches will probably never agree with their stance on Gays and Lesbianism, but that they believe there is scientific evidence that this is a natural occurrence.  Among others the ELCA has been working with, he spoke of the expected soon full communion between the ELCA and the AME Zion Church.  He stated that what unites us greater than what divides us, and we should find the issues where we CAN speak with one voice, like fighting the death penalty and dealing with immigration issues. 

 

On Tuesday, Ms. Ruth Estorge (Acadiana Friends Meeting – Lafayette: Religious Society of Friends), spoke of some of the challenges their ministry is facing as well as some ideas/programs they have been implementing.  She said that they face a similar issue as Church Women United, in that they also have an aging membership and are in need of more effective ways to reach the young people.    She believes that young adults today are looking for 2 things:  (1) Others of their own age to fellowship with; (2) Peers of their age that they can discuss issues with.   They plan to have a song-fest soon, and are working on a video presentation.   They continue to work with peace initiatives, whether intercity or international, as this is an integral part of their ministry.   For instance, they are currently working in some of the New Orleans Schools teaching violence alternatives – obviously an area of real need.

 

Rev. Samuel Tolbert, Jr. (LA Home and Foreign Missions Baptist State Convention), noted that a major challenge of their Churches in these troubling economic times, is that they are faced with continuing to provide MORE services, with LESS of a budget.   It is hard to look out upon your congregation and ask them to give more generously when so many of them are unemployed.   They are partnering with other organizations in efforts to increase job skills.   Poverty and crime are continual issues, with mass incarceration of African American men (& some women), leaving grandmothers and single mothers struggling to raise children with an absence of male leadership or provision.  He spoke of the “African American Male Empowerment Initiative” (49 page pdf file), which is an effort “to save our African American men and boys”.  The document starts off with a caption showing the D.A.D.S. Club (Developing And Directing Saints – to mobilize).   They encourage those who have come from single parent homes and/or out of welfare, but who are now in leadership roles, to speak to and mentor others.

 

Bishop Ronald Herzog (Roman Catholic Diocese of Alexandria), stated that he would like to say “ditto” to many of the items already spoken of by the speakers of these two days.   Their Churches have held different events to help call and remind people of their Catholic heritage.   He says that many of a generation and a half, have been lost, because of confusion after Vatican II, and that they have to re-evangelize people.  Adults do not pass on the faith the same way they used to.   More than half the priests in many Dioceses are from other countries, and one of their challenges is to acclimate these priests to other cultures.   Young adults live in social media where there are constant communications and “instant answers”.   We are used to teaching and expecting folks to accept it.  But the Church’s teaching are consistently being challenged.  If Facebook were a physical territorial country, the only 2 countries that would be larger would be China & India.  The Church needs a consistent form of communication.  The Diocesan paper goes out at no-cost to all on their list that want it, and questions and answers are printed for all to see.  Rev. John McClelland (Presbytery of the Pines) noted that he has found many of his congregation (that he never sees on Sunday morning), on Facebook.

 

Dr. Donald Cottrill (United Methodist Church – LA Annual Conference), represented Bishop William Hutchinson.   He started out with a quip he saw in a newspaper:  “New Gun – called the ‘Legislature’.  There are just 2 problems with it:  It doesn’t work, and you can’t fire it.”  He said the Church is sometimes like that – not quite working, but you can’t just ‘fire it.  You have to work with what you’ve got.   He said the UMC target audience has been the middle class couple with 2.5 children and a dog, and their programs were developed with such in mind.  That would be fine, if it was 1954.  They have had re-develop their programs and mentality to meet today’s challenges.  Things are costing more everywhere.  Clergy & staff insurance, pensions, salaries, and internal costs are increasing which leaves less left for outreach.  By 2018, if they cannot replenish their resources, they will run out of money.  They challenge folks to move beyond themselves, be risk takers for Jesus.  “Helping others eventually helps us too.”  They will continue to be active in disaster response.  Need more non-Christians brought in to the fold, more diverse membership, and more younger members.   Some churches are just not big enough to sustain themselves or make an impact on the community, and they have to look at combining these churches into more strategic locations.  Dr. Cottrill gave a list of self-identifying congregation profiles: www.lainterchurch.org/FallBoardMtg-2011-CongregationProfiles.htm .

 

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In discussion after these Judicatory presentations were given, it was asked that the participants voice a few common threads heard in the 8 speakers.   These answers were given:       

              New evangelization

              Demographic Shifts

              A change from cultural heritage to individual acceptance of faith

              Criminal Justice Issues

 

Evening Worship Service in the Chapel

The Most Rev. Michael Duca, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Shreveport, blessed us with the evening homily.  He quoted Matthew 5:13-15, citing our calling to be salt of the Earth and a light for the world.  He said that too often people encounter "Christians" but never encounter Christ.  (He also joked about his fondness for seasonings such as cayenne pepper and hot sauce!).  And he noted that we tend to argue our 'points', trying to 'convince', rather that witnessing.  

Evening Service of Vespers, in the Wesley Center Chapel

Our thanks as well to Dr. Don Cottrill who prepared the evening program, which included worship songs taken from foreign languages and converted to English/text.

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Board Meeting ARCHIVES

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