Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Issues etc... RIP

Apparently, somebody high up in our Synod has decided to pull the plug on the most successful outreach and news program that ever was produced by our Church body. Issues etc, was cancelled Tuesday, March 19th. Rev. Todd Wilken, who was serving his call to be the show's host, and Jeff Schwarz the producer of the show, were fired. The buzzword that's being bandied about is "terminated". This happened during Passion Week.

This blogger, who has been busy with a radio show of his own, is appalled that a pastor could be ripped from his call so easily. I'm equally appalled that a program, that aired for 14 hours a week and was the premier catechisis for many of us new Lutheran Converts, was taken down when it was so successful and was such a money maker for the station it ran on, KFUO in St. Louis. Nearly everyone you talk to who has become a Lutheran in the past five years will mention the profound impact that Issues etc. had on their walk of faith, and now that it's gone, there's a huge void left behind. Who will pick up the mantle?

There's been talk on Wittenber Trail of continuing the show via the internet. I'm all for that, but I'm all for us lay people and pastors taking a greater role in the future of our Synod. We can, as has been proven in so many internet venues today like Youtube, Stickam, and others, as well as numerous podcasting services, make a huge difference in the world today. Since our message is the message of the Gospel, it's not beyond God's ability to bless this world with a huge outpouring of materila with a polished and professional look, while all the time proclaiming our Risen Savior and standing by our confessional heritage.

What we need is resolve. I've learned that God is interested in doing what he wants to do, and not to argue with him when he wants us to do what he wants. He's already, literally, thrown a radio show at us. He's throwing more. It's going to happen whether we want it to or not. We're just caught up in the drama of God's work.

Peace to you all. Let's show these emergent/evangelicals types how we do things down town!


Darth Nemoyer said...


Here is all sorts of contact information to tell people what you think about this, let them know how important Issues, Etc. was to us, and ask why the show was cancelled:

Rev. David L. Strand
Executive Director
Board for Communication
(314) 996-1200
(314) 822-0000

Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
1333 S. Kirkwood Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-7295
(888) 843-5267
(314) 965-9000
FAX: (314) 996-1016

KFUO Radio Station
(314) 725-0099
(314) 725-3030‎
(314) 721-2969

Rev. Dr. Gerald Kieschnick
Synod President
(314) 996-1402
(314) 842-7110

LC-MS Board of Directors
(314) 996-1350


Meanwhile, an online petition has been started up about Issues, Etc. being ended. I don't know how much good it will do, but it should be able to do some. it certainly can't hurt to put your name down. Here's the link:

For anyone who comes across this and has Facebook, a lot of discussion it seems is going on at the "Bring back Issues ETC!!!" Facebook group.


Finally, financial help for the Schwarz and Wilken families can be sent to the following address. Just put in the memo line that it’s for the “Schwartz/Wilken Fund”. The Schwarzes especially need the help and Rev. Jack Schwarz's wife Beth has been recently diagnosed with small fiber neuropathy and they need to go to Mayo Clinic to try figuring out what can be done.

"Schwartz/Wilken Fund"
Saint Paul Lutheran Church
P.O. Box 247
Hamel, IL 62046

All help and all prayers are appreciated.


I will be continuing to post information and resources relating to the cancellation of Issues, Etc. and firing of Rev. Wilken and Mr. Schwarz. So, if you could please help me draw people to the resource of my blog, I would really appreciate it.

God bless,
--Aaron Nemoyer

Darth Nemoyer said...

PS. Matthew, is there any chance you're someone familiar with Higher Things or more especially the MouthHouse email loop? "Issues, Etc... RIP" was just what I titled my email out to that list about the cancellation of Issues, Etc.


Matthew said...

I know about Higher things, but the MouthHouse email loop, I haven't. Is that what it sounds like it is?

Darth Nemoyer said...

Whether or not it "is what it sounds like it is" would depend what it sounds like to you. ;-) MouthHouse is an email list run by Higher Things as a place for confessional Lutheran teens (and a few older members). It started in 2001 as a "Student Advisory Board" for teens to review HT articles. ..You probably didn't need a complete summary of MH and its history, but now you have it. Was that at all what it sounded like it was?


Pastor Gary Held said...

I used to belong to a number of email lists, but I hadn't heard of this one before.

Sorry about the title, I actually used that because of a video I made on youtube as a tribute to the boringDispatcher.

Anonymous said...

I am not an LCMS Lutheran I am a member of one of the small conservative Lutheran bodys (we left the ELCA). I am very saddened by the ending of Issues. It has been a great resource ever since Pastor Matzat was on the air. I will be praying for the Wilken and Schwarz families. A great tool for Lutherans to understand our faith has been taken from us.
Mark Keller
St Francis KS

the big test

Since someone, somewhere, has seen fit to deprive the world of Issues etc and take a huge bite out of confessional Lutheranism at the same time, I will not take up the mantle of working to see that those who did it answer for their actions.
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