Pressure Points (August 2013)

Comments (2)
  1. David Gehne says:

    As a participant in a PALS group, now some years ago, I found that our time together did not in any way, shape, form, or implication reinforce a sense of entitlement. Quite the contrary! We shared our joys and challenges as newly ordained servants of Christ and those conversations served as an ideal forum in which to address this very topic of servanthood.

    I see no more inherent danger in a pastors-only group (which PALS is not, as it encourages whole family participation) than in any group of sinners in a fallen world. We can always be tempted to look inward instead of heavenward.

    The balance between serving, in its many and various forms, and getting bogged down waiting on tables is one requiring continuous discernment. PALS was for me (and I suspect in most cases still is for most) an excellent opportuninty for shared discernment among pastors and spouses.

  2. Lesa Koehler says:

    As a non-participant in the PALS program, because of “exclusion”, I would like to express my thoughts on the PALS program as a wife of a newly ordained Pastor, an SMP Pastor. As far as I know my family is excluded from the PALS program, even though my husband is ordained and a student of St. Louis Seminary. We are currently in the position of fitting into the PALS program now, not in 2 more years after official graduation, which we wouldn’t be included at that time, either.
    I’m not bashing any of these programs, especially PALS; I just want to point out an oversight in the program that should be changed. I would like to stand up for the other men and their wives and families that are in the SMP program. These men and their families have earned respect from my husband and me. They are hardworking, dedicated men that deserve any of the support and love the LCMS has to offer them, without the callousness of being excluded from special groups like PALS. I read pressure points every month and have followed it for over two decades, when I became a Lutheran School teacher wife back in the early 90’s. I personally do not feel a strong need for a group like PALS, since my husband and I have been in LCMS ministry as a Lutheran School teacher family for many years before becoming a new Pastors family. Our experience is slightly different from other SMP students and my eyes are wide open to the needs of church worker support and the benefit of a program like PALS to the new SMP families.
    On page 8 of the August Reporter Resolution 5-02A calls for support of the PALS program for new pastors and their wives to participate in PALS. The next Resolution 5-03A is to create an oversight committee for SMP. Then the next Resolution 5-04B continues and STRENGTHENS the SMP program and affirms SMPs are “properly called.” All 3 of these, listed right in a row, they should be connected, but they are sadly not connected. I see a problem with not connecting these programs together and I call for the support of the SMP ministry, the Pastors and their families, by including them in the PALS program upon ordination. I think it’s the respectful thing to do and is certainly in line with witness, mercy, and life together. This may be an oversight and with the recent convention affirmations of SMP, including SMP in the PALS program is in order at this time. The PALS program should be a benefit to and offered to ALL newly Ordained LCMS pastors.
    Praise and thanksgiving to God for Rev. Hartung’s Pressure Points column.