The 16th Biennial National Convention of the ELCIC began today at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
View the convention agenda here.
Opening Worship Highlights
“The church has never been more relevant. Christ’s message of peace,
sacrificial servanthood and neighbourly love is exactly what an ailing
secular society needs,” said Willard Metzger, executive director,
Mennonite Church Canada, in his sermon at the opening worship service of
the 16th Biennial National Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in Canada (ELCIC), meeting at the University Centre, University
of Manitoba, in Winnipeg, July 6-8.
Metzger preached and ELCIC
National Bishop Susan C. Johnson presided. In attendance were almost 150
delegates, as well as special guests, visitors and volunteers.
convention meeting area was transformed into sacred space with a
communion table in the middle of the delegate tables, font and pulpit
also strategically positioned, and a musical ensemble of violin,
saxophone, percussion and keyboard led congregation and choir in song. (read the full story)
Report of the National Bishop to Convention Forward Looking
“We are not just a church and a communion that looks back to the events of our founding, we are a church that God is calling into a challenging and uncertain future, but with the promise that God’s hand is leading us and God’s spirit is guiding us,” said Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) National Bishop Susan C. Johnson in her report to delegates at the ELCIC’s 16th Biennial National Convention.
Bishop Johnson’s report on Thursday, July 6 featured highlights and updates from the past biennium, as well as reflections on the ELCIC’s emphasis on the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) theme adopted for the reformation, Liberated by God’s Grace, which the ELCIC has also used as its theme.
The ELCIC’s National Office strategic priorities formed the framework for the Bishop’s report. The National Office lives out the call to be a church In Mission for Others through four areas of focus identified by the ELCIC’s National Church Council and affirmed at the 2013 National Convention. These areas include: Spirited Discipleship, Compassionate Justice, Healthy Church and Effective Partnerships. (read the full story)
Reformation Challenge Update
Two years ago, the ELCIC embarked on the ELCIC Reformation Challenge, an initiative that would place emphasis on the church's collective journey towards the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Refomratoin.
The ELCIC Reformation Challenge calls on members, congregations, specialized ministries and synods to: sponsor 500 new refugees to Canada, provide 500 schedularships for students in schools of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land; plant 500,000 trees in Canada, Palestine and Ethiopia.
Delegates to the 2017 ELCIC National Convention were introduced to a new video highlighting the creative and engaging ways ELCIC members have been involved in this initiative.
"Who would have thought when our church first made this commitment, how far we would come," said Natioanl Church Council member Bruce Cook. "This initiative has been a bold challenge for all expressions of our church - individuals, congregations, communities, synods and national - to look outward and serve others, demonstrating that we are a church In Mission for Others."
To date, ELCIC members have commited to sponsoring 540 refugees, provided for 165 scholarships for schools of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, planted 80,474 trees, and donated $150,090 for The Lutheran World Federation Endowment Fund.
Convention keynote addresses theme, subthemes
“God’s grace is given to us as a free and unconditional gift,” said
Bishop Dr. Munib Younan, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the
Holy Land, in his keynote address to delegates, special guests and
visitors to the 16th Biennial National Convention of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in Canada.
“The theme Liberated by God’s grace did not come out of our heads but
was taken directly from the theological writings of Martin Luther,”
said Bishop Younan, who offered a glimpse into his views on grace.
“We live in a world of wealth,” he said. “Everything costs and
everything has a price. My relationship with God is not built on my
merits but on liberation by God by grace through faith.”
“It is our responsibility to let the light of God’s free gift of grace shine for the sake of our neighbours.” (read the full story)