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Ninth Biennial Convention
Augustana University College, Cambros AB
June 12 - 15, 2003

Sing to the Lord a New Song
Report of the Secretary
The theme for the 2003 Convention is Sing to the Lord a New Song. Those of you who know my singing voice will know that leading singing is not my gift, but I am open to providing leadership in new and different ways of doing the work of the church.

It is a pleasure to hold this Convention at my Alma Mater, Camrose Lutheran College (now Augustana University College). As part of the planning committee, I welcome each of you, and hope that the many folks who have planned this conference have made arrangements that you will find supportive and that will assist you to participate fully in the convention.

You might wonder why I am making this report. Let me explain the process that lead to my being appointed as secretary of this church. The 2001 Convention elected Bob Granke to be secretary for 4 years. In 2002 Mr Granke accepted a position as the Director of Lutheran World Service at the Lutheran World Federation headquarters in Geneva. National Church Council appointed me at its March 2002 meeting to fulfill the duties of secretary until this convention. An election will take place in Camrose to fill the Office of Secretary for the next four years.

I accepted the responsibility with some trepidation. This meant moving the secretary function from a full-time funded position to a volunteer who lives in Victoria, not Winnipeg. I believe the change has been appropriate and that the work of the secretary has continued and is adequately completed. The functions of secretary are shown as part of this the report: statistics, constitutional changes, and minutes and publications. The support to the secretary, by the full time staff in the National Office has been superb. In particular, I want to mention Rhonda Lorch, who has provided consistent support and backup. Project Rasmus manages the numbers and statistics.

The move to a volunteer secretary has changed the dynamics of the National Office and of National Church Council. The changes emphasize the role of the bishop, and the role of the officers in recommending policy and direction, and leaves the hands on day-to-day management of the church to the management and staff of the National Office. I believe that the move was very healthy. Elsewhere in the convention material you will find a recommendation to move the function of treasurer to a volunteer position and to have a director of finance manage the day-to-day work of the finances of the church. This too would be an appropriate move, separating the role of policy maker from management. I believe these changes in governance are in the best interests of an effective and well-run National Church.

What do I do as a volunteer secretary? Attend officers meetings, chair task forces, oversee the completion of constitutional requirements (Constitution, Article XII, Section 7, and in the Bylaws Part VIII, Section 3).

Minutes and Publications
At each Convention, a committee on Minutes reviews the actions of the day and issues minutes. The official minutes are published in the Minutes of Convention . In an attempt to be more ecologically sound and fiscally responsible, one copy of the Minutes of Convention will be sent to each congregation and the minutes will be posted on the ELCIC web site at www.elcic.ca.

Effective next year, the 2003 ELCIC Yearbook will be made available at a cost of $20.00 per copy. This price reflects the actual cost of formatting, printing and distributing the yearbook. For those who are Internet capable, the roster, congregation information and statistics currently available in the yearbook will be available by a search on the ELCIC web site.

Project Rasmus provides the data for the yearbook which is up to date at the moment of printing. However, it is quickly out of date as changes occur daily. Access to Rasmus’ data via a search on the web site will provide the data in the most up-to-date manner.

Necrology
During the period July 2001 to March 2003, the ELCIC has suffered the loss by death of the following ministers:

Ole Bruun, Paul Burgoyne, Robert Ek, Wilton Ernst, Norris Heubner, Hartmut Horsch, Arne Jensen, Martin Knudson, Carl Kopperud, Martin Leeseberg, Karel Lunde, Alvin Miller, William Nolting, John Nunns, Christian Olesen, Walter Ohrt, Harold Parno, Harold Paulsen, John Peters, Barry Rasmussen, Wilfred Raths, Victor Rothenberger, Bob Rock and Raymond Sevold

Membership
The following represents a summary of the ELCIC national membership, weekly attendance and financial contributions from the years 2000 and 2001.

  2000 2001
Membership 188,654 186,843
Weekly average attendance (@ worship)   46,391   47,004
Financial donations $61,270,705 $62,409,954

Professional Leadership
The following figures were current at March 31, 2003:

Pastors rostered 868
Congregational pastors 404
Other active (various calls) 129
Retired 289
On leave from call   32
Disabled    7
Temporarily on leave from call    7
Diaconal ministers, active   14

ELCIC Constitution and Bylaws
Motions to modify the constitution are presented in the National Church Council section of this report. One of my tasks has been to attempt to streamline the constitution. Various amendments to specific sections have been made over the years. Now it is time to review the whole constitution to make it a more user-friendly document, easier to follow and easier to use. This work is not complete and will be the responsibility of the secretary elected at this Convention.

Report of the Nominating Committee
On behalf of the Nomination Committee I am pleased to present the Report of the Nomination Committee for National Church Council, ELCIC Group Services Inc., and the Court of Adjudication. (See Intro Section, page iv) Further nominations are possible from the floor of the convention. Procedures and requirements for nomination are outlined in the Bylaws, Part VI, Section 1, sub-section f.

Thank you to the following members of the Nomination Committee for the 2003 Convention: Rev Tim Le Drew, Dianne Mayan, Rev Darryl Roste, Rev Ed Hedlin, Jeanette Brandell, Rev Elaine Sauer, Rev Doug Schweyer, Rev Shirley Ruller and Dorothy Frook.

To conclude
Finally, I pray that this Ninth Biennial Convention of the ELCIC will be a rewarding and nurturing experience for each of you. If I can be of any assistance prior to, or during the Convention, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Respectfully submitted,

Donald W. Storch
Secretary

In full communion with The Anglican Church of Canada
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