March 18, 2008

Sadness and Folly

The best thing happening in the Missouri Synod is the radio program "Issues, Etc." Or make that, "was." I just received disturbing news that the program has been canceled, and Rev. Todd Wilken has been fired. (I called Synod's switchboard to confirm - you might also wish to call: 1-888-843-5267.)

I listened to the show daily on my iPod, and our congregation has been supporting them financially. Surely this is one of the best ways to both strengthen the faithful and proclaim the gospel outside our own circles via the new media. How is it that a Synod "Ablaze!" cannot manage to support what was its best true mission effort? Madness and folly - and a terrible thing to do in Holy Week. I am sad for myself, but more sad at the damage this will do to real mission work.


Pastor Beisel said...

This is most disturbing. Why?

Kirsten said...

Pastor Esget,

Thank you for commenting on this.

I love Issues, Etc., too. That program has done so much, not only to strengthen my understanding of the Lutheran Confessions, but to heal the emotional wounds of my fundamentalist upbringing. I've already written Mr. Strand to let him know how saddened I am!

At least we Confessionals now have The Wittenberg Trail to bind us together.

Do you think it's possible Issues, Etc. could be restored without KFUO-AM or the synod's blessing?

Mason said...

I am astounded. The program has been such a blessing. I am embarrassed by so much in our Synod, but always would direct friends there.
A real shocker-

Christopher Esget said...


There is discussion on the Wittenberg Trail encouraging an independent production. Apparently this was purely political; someone who used to be on the KFUO board mentioned that Issues, Etc. was the most successful program they had, possibly more than all the other shows combined.

Kassie and I would often listen to the show together while doing things around the house, and it often provoked good, edifying discussion. I am so disheartened by this.

Christopher Esget said...

Quite right. It was truly something to be proud of, in a Synod so often given to the foolish and inane.

pcdwhit said...

There's a group in Florida doing a regional program called the Lutheran Difference. They started on the net, then were picked up by a radio station. Perhaps using them as a model?

Timothy said...

I felt like I was being punched in the stomach when I read this. Issues Etc. and its confession of the Gospel was fantastic.

My prayers are with Jeff and Rev. Wilken and their families.

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, the most 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