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REV. RUSSELL SOMMERFELD SHOULD STEP DOWN
Posted on Thursday, June 01 @ 03:59:55 CDT by van

Religion
Having attained three score and ten, I’ll be the first to admit I probably make most so-called religious conservatives look liberal. For the most part though, I try to keep the few grievances I have relating to "church politics" to myself. It is only when a man like Russell Sommerfeld, President of the Nebraska District - Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS), in my opinion, is so glaringly incompetent as an administrator and an embarrassment to MY DENOMINATION that I am compelled by conscience to tell the world why I strongly feel he should step down and return to the parish ministry where he possibly can do a respectable job without further harming the district.



Every three years, the Nebraska District of the LCMS holds a conference wherein officers are elected and re-elected to serve for the following three years. In addition, attention is given by the delegates to other matters of interest and concern to the pastors and members of all of the churches affiliated with the synod in the district. The headquarters of the LCMS is in St. Louis, Missouri.

For those outside of the LCMS, it is important here to mention that only pastors are actually "members" of the synod. Churches whose members subscribe to the doctrine of the synod are affiliates of same...but not technically members.

Each church is entitled to two votes at the district convention which is being held in Seward, Nebraska, commencing today.. One vote goes to its pastor and the other to a lay representative elected by the voters of each church. Laymen are never in the majority because the district president and directors also are voting delegates. This presents the first problem. Since Sommerfeld has the power to "defrock" any minister in his domain almost at will, some fear him and sum are habitual "keester-kissers.". Only the most brave members of the clergy have sufficient "scrotal power" to "stand up and be counted" even when their district president engages in such deplorable conduct as will be presented herein. I truly believe my own pastor is one of the latter.

In my fifty plus years of being a "Lutheran" and married to the daughter of a man who, during his entire working lifetime was a Lutheran School Teacher and later Principal, my wife and I have lived in several states and been members of a number of LCMS congregations. Hence, we have know many of the "called and ordained servants of the Word." Without reservation or hesitation, I can say with a firm conviction, that I have never know a "man of the cloth" more dedicated to serving the Lord and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its purity as my current Pastor and dear friend.....Clint Poppe of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Let me inject here, that his writing is not a political message or appeal on behalf of Poppe for district president. Neither was anything said in this article solicited or even previously shared with him. What I say in everyone of my writings is or encompasses my own personal believe, feelings or opinions!

For the record, I would truly be saddened, more than most would ever know, to have my pastor move on to another calling. At the same time, I believe with a steadfast conviction that Pastor Clint Poppe could not only repair the damages done by Sommerfeld but would be a ready, willing and competent counselor and worthy example to every pastor and church worker in the district. For that reason and knowing he has done well in training our assistant pastor to rise to the challenge when the time comes, I put my personal feelings aside for the moment.

Laymen in the LCMS are pretty much taught pastors "can do no wrong." Preacher’s kids and teachers kids (and their spouses) are generally admonished to "keep their mouths shut at voters’ meetings." At least that’s the way it was when I "became a Lutheran" over five decades ago. Further, to "challenge" a pastor was looked upon by many as "taking on the Pope" of "Brother Martin’s" former faith. Now that I have been a Lutheran longer than my pastor has been alive, we have a great relationship. He respects my age and I respect him and his office. More about him later.

There are, in my opinion, currently two factions within the LCMS. On one hand there are the "real Lutherans" those who subscribe to and teach the Word of God in its purity. On the other hand we find the left-wing liberals who seem to believe in taking a "Tinker-Toy" approach to church doctrine. In other words, they are willing to bend, mold and juggle the pieces of the several hundred year old positions of Martin Luther when need be to fit their own self-serving purposes. I strongly believe the evidence points to Sommerfeld being in the latter faction. Let me share with you a few examples.

A black minister, while serving as associate pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Lincoln, Nebraska was accused by a young black man of homosexually assaulting him in the church parking lot. This was done after the LUTHERAN MINISTER had groomed the young man with an abundance of booze at a "watering hole" not that far from the church. According to what I would consider reliable sources, those imbibing alcohol ON THE CHURCH’S TAB included a gay church choir director and another bi-sexual LUTHERAN MINISTER from the Kansas City area. You might be wondering how I am knowledgeable of what went on, so let me tell you.

The young black man contacted Pastor Clint Poppe, my pastor, and sought his advice on how to handle the situation. Our congregation doesn’t have an attorney as a member and since I do a considerable amount of litigation consulting, I am sometimes called upon to help folks who need what I might be able to offer (always without any charge whatsoever). In cases where it is clearly evident the injured or aggrieved party needs "legal" representation or advice, I help them find an attorney suitable to their particular situation.

The young man was referred to me and called me to share his story. Since there are those who believe accusing a minister of sexual misconduct is a short trip to a court judgment of huge proportion, and since I did not know the man, I told him I would listen to his story and counsel with him, but only in the presence of Pastor Poppe in his church office.

As one who has been trained in the art of interrogation, I questioned the young man for the greater part of three hours and, with the man’s permission, recorded the entire interview. At the end, I asked him two very important final questions. First, was it his intention to file a legal action against the minister, against Christ Lutheran Church, our district or our synod. His answer was an emphatic "NO." The second question was, "Would you be willing to make a sworn statement covering all of the details of the rather disgusting affair." His answer was an emphatic "YES." Thereafter, I assisted him in preparing a twenty-nine paragraph, four page affidavit which he signed and I notarized. The young man has on several occasions given me permission to publish the entire contents of the affidavit verbatim. At this time, however, I believe such would not be in the best interest of the man or of the Nebraska District of LCMS.

President Sommerfeld was contacted and all of the information shared with him. A short time later, Sommerfeld, the young man and I met at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, in Lincoln. The purpose of the meeting was to give Sommerfeld the opportunity to personally interview the man. With the permission of both parties, I served as a witness to the interview and taped such in its entirety. It became apparent to me that Sommerfeld was more interesting in protecting the malevolent minister and hushing the matter up, than he was in forcing the matter to a proper conclusion. The man stated to president Sommerfeld his willingness to take a polygraphic examination so the validity of the statements and accusations could be verified. He stated he felt, in all fairness, Sommerfeld should require the minister - the Rev. S.T. Williams - to do likewise. The overly politically correct president declined the offer.

Concurrent with the above, it was discovered by an auditor that Williams and others at Christ Lutheran Church had engaged in questionable handling of THE LORD’S MONEY, if not outright diversion of such to their own uses. It was learned that Williams had used Christ Lutheran’s credit cards to fund a trip to the Bahamas for himself and a bi-racial couple. The stated purpose of the junket was for the couple to be married there. What many believe actually took place - in addition to the wedding - was a rendezvous of bi-sexual LUTHERAN MINISTERS in an expensive resort hotel. All or a significant portion of which was reported to have been paid for by Williams using Christ Lutheran Church credit cards.

The church, BUT NOT SOMMERFELD, took action and allowed him to resign his position, but SOMMERFELD allowed Williams to be placed in limbo status until he could receive a call. He later did receive and accepted a call from a congregation in Los Angeles, California.

Sommerfeld did not report the fact Williams has received a call UNTIL AFTER HE WAS INSTALLED as pastor in the predominantly black congregation which is reported to be one of the most prosperous in the country. If Sommerfeld allowed Williams to transfer to another district and failed to inform the "receiving" district of the alleged sexual misbehavior on his part, I believe the Nebraska District, its directors and Sommerfeld himself could find themselves in a precarious liability position in the future. If indeed Williams is ever charged and convicted of sexually assaulting anyone in his new parish, I will release all the information I have in my files to the plaintiff’s attorney for his or her use. Dumping our ecclesiastical garbage into another district is totally out of keeping with the zero tolerance rule of synod regarding sexual misbehavior on the part of a "roistered" minister. For this reason alone, Sommerfeld should be removed from office.

A young minister in southeastern Nebraska was falsely accused of assault by a female member of his parish who was upset because the pastor would not let her remove Christmas program costumes from his office. She filed a phony charge against the pastor. He called Sommerfeld and asked the district president to furnish him with a legal defense. Sommerfeld refused the request.

The young minister sought guidance from Pastor Clint Poppe, First Vice President of the Nebraska District. Poppe called me and requested information. Within less than twenty minutes, after visiting with the county attorney who had filed the charge, the matter was dropped and the record was expunged. Pastors of the Nebraska District, when you need help, don’t waste your time calling Sommerfeld. Call Poppe! In a number of instances, he has shown himself to be a responsible minister TO THE MINISTERS of our district.

Sommerfeld set on his pontifical posterior and let another young pastor in a southern Nebraska dual parish go for six months without being compensated by one of the two parishes pursuant to the agreement between the congregations and in accordance with the "call" he received and accepted. Again, I was honored to be able to be of assistance to the young pastor though discussing the matter with elders of the two congregations as a neutral third party. When the young man suggested he might be forced to pursue legal action against the erring congregation to collect his back pay, SOMMERFELD DIDN’T HELP HIM.....HE THREATENED TO DEFROCK HIM!

Is that really the kind of leadership we need in our district? I think not! Three years of Sommerfeld has been a strain on the Nebraska District, its pastors and their parishioners..

Sommerfeld allows secretaries in the district office to be paid more than many ordained servants in the parish ministry. At least two I know of have to work at a "second job" to support their families, while district president and his administrative staff live "high on the hog."

The delegates at the convention should demand that Sommerfeld and his staff give full financial disclosure on a regular basis so as to reach every member of every church. Publishing such on t he district’s web site would be a good way to accomplish that.

If it need be, I will suggest to the laity of this district that the time has come to apply the "Golden Rule" to the hide-and-seek book keeping of the district office. That rule simply put is....they who put up the gold...should rule!

I want to know and the delegates should demand to know just how much Kermit Brashear and his law office is paid with "district" funds. I want to know and the delegates should demand to know about district money being funneled by Brashear or at least with his concurrence into an Omaha Nursing Home AND AN OMAHA GOLF COURSE! What was the source of the money district "invested"? How much did the Nebraska District loose by being involved in the two businesses? Did Kermit Brashear or his office profit directly or indirectly from the utilization of district money in the ventures.

While we are discussing the shenanigans of the distinguished SPEAKER OF THE NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE, OMAHA ATTORNEY KERMIT BRASHEAR, it would be of great interest to my readers and to the delegates at the convention to demand full disclosure from the DISTRICT’S LEGAL COUNSEL of his role in the cover-up of a sex scandal at Lincoln Lutheran Junior/Senior High School.

Sommerfeld, when informed of a sixty year old male teacher writing solicitous love letters to a seventeen year old female student, UPON BRASHEAR’S ADVICE....DID NOT REPORT THE MATTER TO THE LINCOLN POLICE PURSUANT TO LAW! Rather, the district president directly involved himself in an attempted COVER-UP of the teachers dastardly deeds. The Nebraska Department of Education subsequently suspended the teachers license for five years. More in the future will be revealed about Sommerfeld, Brashear and a Lincoln attorney (WHO IS CHAIRMAN OF THE LANCASTER COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY) and their respective (but not respectible) roles in the cover-up.

SOMMERFELD BROKE THE LAW! I wonder if the district president ever studied Paul’s letter to the Romans relative to obeying the law?

If Russell Sommerfeld cares so little about the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod he will allow himself to be re-elected to screw things up for another three years, he can count of me and others to work with diligance within the bounds of law, TO MAKE HIM A WELL KNOWN LUTHERAN LEADER THOUGHT THE COUNTRY. This is the stuff which finds its way into the "Christian News" periodical.

IN MY OPINION, RUSSELL SOMMERFELD SHOULD STEP ASSIDE AND NOT STAND FOR RE-ELECTION. But my opinion and that of many in the Nebraska really donesn’t count. There are enough liberal keester-kissing clergy who Russ has schmoozed over the years to give him what he wants.....THREE MORE YEARS OF PERSONAL GLORY TO HIMSELF AT THE EXPENSE OF CHRIST’S KINGDOM.

RUSSELL SOMMERFELD........SHAME ON YOU!



PASTORS AND OTHERS AT THE DISTRICT MEETING WHO HAVE THEIR COMPUTERS WITH THEM, PLEASE SHARE THIS MESSAGE WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES.


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