The Office of the Bishop, as one of the representatives of the national expression of the ELCIC, facilitates communication, consultation and cooperative programming among the synods (Conference of Bishops, Relationships with Synod Councils, Communications to Synod Conventions, Rasmus) and provides support, where agreed, in areas of synod responsibilities (Canadian Lutheran Youth Gatherings, Stewardship, Seminary Curricula, Church Extention and Capital Fund).
Together with the synods, the national expression is to nurture the identity, unity and vision of the ELCIC, support the mission of the church, coordinate common standards, address common concerns and develop covenants for partnership in specific areas of mission. Within this partnership, each expression has responsibilities for specific areas of leadership.
Within the Synodical Relations unit, we are responsible for policies and standards for rostered individuals, the development of stewardship resources, relationships with ELW, special interest conferences (Chinese) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (in particular, the Lutheran Youth Organization and Division for Ministry), as well as connections to church schools. We work with synod ad hoc groups/synod committees to facilitate the biennial conference for Women in Ministry, the biennial Canadian Mission Pastors Conference, the annual Canadian Mission Consultation and the Task Force on Theological Education.
Wherever there is collaborative and cooperative ministries between the national and synodical expressions of the ELCIC, the Synodical Relations staff person is available to participate in shared ministries. It is through working collaboratively that the ELCIC (congregations, synods and National Office) are better able to meet the changing needs of the church and its members.
Primarily responsible for standards and policies related to the candidacy process and roster of the ELCIC, this committee has been involved in the following tasks (but not exclusively) during this biennium:
- Selection of applications and disbursement of the Continuing Education Plan (CEP) Long Term Study Fund (up to $5000.00 per applicant);
- Yearly Disbursement of ELCIC bursaries to the ELCIC schools ($500.00 each to LCBI, Luther College High School, Luther College University and Augustana University);
- Provide subsidies to synod candidacy committees for costs of psychological testing of candidates for ministries;
- Appoint writers for the colloquy examination (written by students applying to enter the roster ministry of the ELCIC);
- Update and revise the ELCIC Candidacy Manual for leadership in the ELCIC;
- Supervise, receive and act upon recommendations from the report of the Millennium Study of Pastoral Leadership Needs;
- Facilitate the biennial meeting of the joint CTEL/Candidacy Committee;
- Develop and monitor policies and standards pertaining to the candidacy process of the ELCIC; and
- Facilitate action from the recommendations of the 2005 Task Force on Theological Education.
The committee members, one representative from each synod and seminary of the ELCIC, who work on behalf of this ministry are:
- Chair, Rev. Doug Reble, Eastern Synod
- Sister Valerie Sander, Manitoba Northwestern Ontario Synod
- Deaconness Julie Hink, Alberta and the Territories Synod
- Rev. James Hill, British Columbia Synod
- Rev. Ian Nestegaard Paul, Saskatchewan Synod
- Rev. Dr. Erwin Buck, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon
- Rev. Faith Rohrbough, Retired President, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon
- Rev. Dr. Richard Crossman, Retired Principal Dean, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, Waterloo
- Rev. Dr. David Pfrimmer, Principal Dean, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, Waterloo
- Rev. Elaine Sauer, ELCIC Staff
Barb Fast, Program Coordinator
In March 2000, the National Church Council approved the ELCIC Strategy for Stewardship 2000–2005. Since that time, a national team has implemented the recommendations of that strategy. The funding has been provided through the ELCIC budget, Lutheran Investment Funds and Endowments, a grant from Forward in Mission, program cost recovery and a grant from the Lutheran Laity Movement for Stewardship-Canada.
Actions occurring during 2004–2005 were as follows:
- Each synod received national support for a stewardship consultant or equivalent team. BC, ABT, SK and MNO each have an appointed consultant. Eastern Synod uses a team of conference resource persons coordinated by Rev. Guenter Dahle at Synod Office.
- Stewardship sample packets were sent each spring directly to all ELCIC congregations. Materials (a combination of resources from the Ecumenical Stewardship Center and the ELCIC) may be ordered in print or downloaded from the ELCIC website. The theme for 2005–06 is Generations of Generosity–an encouragement to share stories of faith and a chance to appreciate the stewardship of all generations.
- Annual report covers were again designed and available in print by order and on the website. Synod consultants also produce and share their own resources. These are often shared with interested congregational leaders through the E-Communiqué.
- Stewardship consultants, potential new leaders and representatives from National Staff met in November 2004 for the Fifth Annual Stewardship Consultation, for training, mutual support and planning. The next consultation is planned for October 17–19, 2005 in Winnipeg.
- Webpages containing stewardship news and resources are posted at ww.elcic.ca/steward/steward.
- Communication between consultants is well established. An email called "Stewardship Suggestions" is sent regularly from the national coordinator.
- Ecumenical cooperation continues to be encouraged. The national coordinator meets at least once annually with other members of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center and corresponds by email with members of the Canadian Inter-church Stewardship Committee.
- National Church Council has approved in principle a similar Stewardship Strategy for 2006–2010. The revised strategy recommends a program of scholarships and mentorship opportunities as well as annual training events planned by the national coordinator and hosted within each of the synods.
||Rev. Elaine Sauer
||Assistant to the Bishop
||Rev. Paul Johnson
||Lutheran Planned Giving Director
|Synod Stewardship Consultants:
Mr. John Wolff
||Ms. Lorraine Kalis
||Rev. Roger Haugen
||Mr. Jim Thomas
||Rev. Guenter Dahle
Jeff Pym, Director
Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. 1 Peter 4:10
Lutheran Planned Giving (LPG) has been in operation in the Eastern Synod since 1997, and across the entire ELCIC since January 1, 1999. The director, Jeff Pym, is a part-time deployed staff person, devoting a total of 75% of his time to this ministry (50% Eastern, 25% ELCIC). In addition, there is a network of 12 volunteer counsellors who serve a geographic region of their respective synods.
LPG exists to encourage and enable members of the ELCIC to make planned gifts to the church in all its expressions—congregational, synodical and national. LPG is not a fundraising campaign for any particular program or agency of the church. Instead, it is a ministry to our members and congregations. Donors choose the beneficiary of their gift.
It is not the business of Lutheran Planned Giving to offer advice to prospective donors. It is the business of LPG to make our members aware of the opportunities offered by planned giving and to provide them with the information necessary for informed decisions. Donors are advised to seek advice from professionals of their choice: lawyers, accountants, financial planners and tax experts.
Lutheran Planned Giving exists as a partnership between the National Church and the synods. The synods deliver programs, while the ELCIC provides resources and support.
Much of LPG's ministry is carried out by the corps of volunteer counsellors and stewardship consultants. These people are responsible for promoting planned giving within their synod and assisting donors with the process of making a gift. They offer the following services to congregations:
- consultation on planned giving and congregational endowment funds; and
- seminars on planned giving to congregational groups, such as ELW, seniors, men's breakfasts, stewardship dinners, etc.
At the national level, LPG's role is to support the counsellors through:
- training and coordination;
- creation of promotional materials (e.g. brochures, articles, advertisements, presentations);
- maintenance of the LPG office with toll-free number (1.888.308.9461), fax line (1.905.634.2428) and e-mail access email@example.com;
- response to direct member inquiries;
- record-keeping and reporting;
- technical services such as gift proposals, research, etc.; and
- donor visits where justified.
A debt of gratitude is owed to the LPG counsellors who serve their synod by bringing information about planned giving to individuals and congregations.
||Rev. Roger Haugen
- Most gifts in the table above are gift expectancies, i.e. they have not yet been received by the beneficiaries. It may be decades before some gifts are realized.
- Gifts are reported by the synod where the donor resides, not where the beneficiary is located.
- The ultimate value of the gifts received may vary greatly from the amounts reported above. In many cases the amount of the gift is expressed as a percentage of the donor's estate. It is impossible to estimate the size of these gifts, so a "placeholder value" of $999 is used.
- An existing gift is one where the donor indicates he/she has already remembered the church with a planned gift. A new gift is one made since the advent of Lutheran Planned Giving. In rough terms, a new gift can be attributed to the activities of LPG while an existing gift cannot.
We give thanks to God for the generosity of the many members who have made planned gifts to their church. We pray that others would follow their example so that the mission of Christ's church may be strengthened by their gifts.
Barb Fast, Coordinator
As directed by National Church Council, recommendations of the Communications Task Force were referred to the bishop's office and the Constitution Committee. Those recommendations have already lead to some changes and improvements:
- The process of hiring a Manager of Communications is underway.
- The National Coordinator met with peers from the United Church of Canada, Anglican Church of Canada, Presbyterian Church in Canada and the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops to investigate ecumenical sharing.
- National Coordinator met with ELCA Communicators at their biennial Consultation.
- Cross promotion of communication tools has been an emphasis.
- Email communications have been promoted and subscriptions encouraged.
Each seminary and Synod Office received a package of samples of ELCIC and ELW communication tools. It is hoped that when questions are asked about national communication, the contents of this package may lead to suggestions and subscriptions. Students at the seminaries received the same package of samples and were offered free subscriptions to all our e-tools. Seminarians in their final year were offered a free one-year subscription to our magazines.
Sharing news of natural disasters in early 2004 made it very clear that ELCIC Information news releases are able to reach a large number of people in a short time. Usually Synod offices forward national news releases to their congregational contacts. Recently, more individuals have asked to be added to this mailing list.
The Women's Desk is primarily an awareness and coordinating body. It is to lift up issues raised in the 2001 With Many Voices study on women in ministry and to work cooperatively with the office of the Regional Coordinator of LWF—Women in Church and Society. We are also responsible for facilitating the planning for the biennial ELCIC Women in Ministry Conference which will take place in the spring of 2006.
In cooperation with The Lutheran World Federation, The ELCA Women and the ELW, there will also be a Consultation of Sexual Exploitation. This event will be by invitation only and takes place in May 2006. More information will follow as we make plans.
This committee is responsible for policies regarding youth ministry in the ELCIC as well as the supervision of the planning of the biennial national events: Canadian Lutheran Youth Gathering (CLYG, even years); the Young Adult Conference (odd years) and the National Youth Assembly at our ELCIC National Convention (odd years). It is also a place where synodical youth ministry is shared and networked.
The committee has assisted or coordinated the following tasks:
- Continue in partnership with the Anglican Church of Canada at CLYG;
- Developed and monitored updates to the CLYG Manual;
- Selected the successful applicants for the Luther League Legacy Fund grants;
- Coordinated a national youth consultation to look at the needs of the synod youth ministry programs;
- Maintained and monitored the development of the youth website, a major communication tool for CLYG and the national expression of youth ministry (firstname.lastname@example.org);
- Selected and monitored the National Youth Project for the biennium 2004–2006. We encourage all congregations to support the “Mission Possible: Building Hope” project we have partnered with Habitat for Humanity. We hope to raise $70,000 by April 30, 2006. That means approximately $550 is needed from each ELCIC congregation; Reviewed the report of the National Planning Committee for CLYG 2004; and
- Appointed the National Planning Committee for the CLYG 2006.
This consultation takes place annually. This is an event that enables Synod Mission Committee chairpersons and consultants to collaborate and share ministry highlights and strategies. Planning occurs for the biennial Canadian Mission Pastors Conference as well. The CMC receives information about national initiatives approved by the Canadian Extension and Capital Fund (CECF) Advisory Board which monitors the Canadian Mission congregational mortgages.
Rev. Elaine Sauer
Assistant to the Bishop for Synodical Relations
ELCIC Office of the National Bishop