Greetings from Rev Paul Johnson
Sisters and brothers in service of the Gospel, around the world, and at home in Canada, peace be with your spirits,
I am finally in my new job as Assistant to the Bishop for Ecumenical Relations (and Mission in the World), and enjoying it, but still feeling a little overwhelmed. I write briefly here to introduce myself and share with you a very sketchy outline of how I see myself working with you, and with Kelvin Krieger, whom many of you know well, and appreciate, as I do already.
Perhaps the best way to share with you is to give you those parts of my job description, as prepared by National Bishop Ray Schultz, that I believe apply in some way to Mission in the World, and offer some comments. First, I am to assist the Bishop to develop and maintain partner church relationships. Clearly, my responsibilities here involve communication and relationship building including some international travel. Next, I am to carry out policy and supervise the staff of the ELCIC Mission in the World program. The emphasis here remains on policy; Kelvin will continue to work in the day-to-day operations, in pretty much the same way that he has been working. There may be some minor adjustments here and there, but please be sure that if anything significant changes, anything directly impacting mission personnel, or communication channels abroad and within Canada, we will let you know. In addition, my job description says that I will assist in the inter-church communications and negotiations related to the ELCIC Companion Synod Program; more communication and relationship building. Also, I am to represent the Bishop's Office in inter-church projects and activities as mandated by National Church Council and the National Convention. Finally, I am to administer the international policy of the Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA) and advise the National Bishop on matters related to Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR).
There is more to my job description, but these are the areas most directly related to Mission in the World. Now you know just about as much as I do; I appreciate your patience and your prayers as I continue to learn the details of my new call. Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions and concerns, especially related to the areas I have outlined.
With you in Christ,
The Rev. Paul N. Johnson, Assistant to the Bishop for Ecumenical Relations
News and Notes
Jack and Valerie Frederick were planning to come to Winnipeg in May to attend their granddaughter's wedding and return to Cameroon until the end of 2003 to complete their Short-term Missionary placement. They have decided instead to bring a close now to their three and a half years of service with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cameroon. "We will greatly miss our work in Cross and Crown Congregation, the villages, the hospital, Sawtu Linjiila - our many friends both expatriate and Cameroonian. We feel the need to be closer to our family and also think it is our time to return in view of the world situation."
Brian Rude participated in an HIV/AIDS consultation for the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) member churches in Latin America, held March 18-21 in Catia la Mar near Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. Brian reported that it was a meaningful and inspiring meeting aimed at starting the regional implementation of the Global LWF Campaign Against HIV/AIDS.
Ruth Vince, Executive Director of the ELW, was to travel to Cameroon in April to attend a meeting of the Femmes pour Christ and visit ELCIC missionaries. Her trip was canceled due to concerns for security following the start of the war in Iraq.
Here is Katharine Bergbusch’s home leave schedule: BC Synod, May 1-20; Eastern Synod, May 21-June 11; MNO Synod June 12-22; vacation, June 23-July 20; LWF Assembly July 21-31; return to Peru, early August.
Jack and Valerie Frederick will return from Cameroon on May 1 and resettle in Canada.
For Lori Endress as she recovers from foot surgery and gradually returns to work at Payap University in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
For medical personnel everywhere seeking to combat the outbreak of SARS and for people in Asia who are particularly concerned including ELCIC missionaries David and Marlys Kaiser (Hong Kong) and Lori Endress (Thailand).
For better phone and e-mail service for Stuart and Margaret Brown; for Margaret as she copes with severe knee pain and awaits a date for surgery; for the new JCMWA office assistant Saidou Abba as he seeks to live and grow in Christian faith and witness.
For Etienne and Jeanne Fomgbami as they prepare for the birth of their sixth child in June and for the Fomgbami family as they prepare to return to Cameroon in August.
Gracious God we pray for health and security, wherever we are. We ask that you be the doctor and the policeman watching over us. We pray for safe travels. We ask that you be the driver of the car, the captain of the ship, the pilot of the airplane. (from Bonnie Weppler)
Established September, 1995. Page revised June 2, 2005.