News and Notes
There is a need for more ELCIC members to respond to opportunities for Volunteers in Mission. The list of opportunities has been updated this month and is available from the Program Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
. Volunteers in Mission share their Christian faith, skills and time in other countries and other parts of Canada for periods of six months to two years.
The $200,000 goal for Mission in the World Directed Giving in 2002 was reached! A total of $233,493 was received. One out of every three congregations in the ELCIC participated along with individuals, conferences, synods and ELWs. This strong support helps sustain a diversified Mission in the World program.
66% of the total was designated for support of Long-term and Short-term Missionaries, 12% for overseas partner church programs and projects, 7% for Volunteers in Mission, 1% for the Good News Partner program and 14% for World Mission "unspecified". The unspecified donations were distributed evenly across the Mission in the World budget, providing a key component of funding for our world mission programs.
Two Short-term Missionary placements ended recently (Fredericks - Cameroon and Kaisers - Hong Kong). As a result of these changes, the opportunities for Missionary and Mission Sponsorship now include the following:
Stuart and Margaret Brown
Papua New Guinea
Patagonia Mission Argentina
"Tok Ples" School Materials
is the focus project in 2003 for Gifts Over and Above. In Papua New Guinea, "Tok Ples" refers to the local village language. The ELC of Papua New Guinea requires funds to produce "Tok Ples" classroom materials for their elementary schools. $838 has been donated to date but the need is for $7,500 and 2003 is the last year for this project. To find out more, view a photo story
on the Mission in the World
Cameroon Lutheran Student Housing
and Peru Pastors/Congregational Support
were Gifts Over and Above projects in 2001 and 2002. $12,225 was donated for the Cameroon project. The 17-room housing unit complete with a septic system is well on the way to completion. $3,918 was donated for the Peru project and provided much-needed interim funding. Support will now continue through an annual grant from Mission in the World. Any additional funds that come in for the Cameroon and Peru projects will be used as designated.
In the Companion Synod Program, two ELCIC Synods have already signed covenants; the Eastern Synod with the Lutheran Church in Guyana and the SK Synod with the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Argentina. The other three Synods are actively working on companion relationships; MNO Synod with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cameroon (EELC), ABT Synod with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Colombia (IELCO) and BC Synod with the Peruvian Evangelical Lutheran Church (ILEP).
Covenants for the three new Companion Synod relationships will be signed at special events this summer. Rev Nehemias Parada, the IELCO President, will be present at the ELCIC National Convention this month in Camrose, Alberta for the ABT-IELCO signing. Rev Thomas Nyiwe, the EELC President, will attend the Fomgbami Farewell event in Selkirk, Manitoba on July 20/03 where the MNO-EELC signing will occur. Rev Adita Torres was elected to a three-year term as President of ILEP last March. After the LWF Assembly in Winnipeg, she will travel to Vancouver Island for the BC-ILEP Companion Convenant signing and then return to Lima, Peru with Katharine Bergbusch.
Katharine is currently completing an interpretation tour of Canada. Katharine and Brian Rude, who will travel to Winnipeg from El Salvador, will serve as Advisors to the LWF Assembly.
Rev Jack and Valerie Frederick returned from Cameroon on May 2, 2003 and Rev David and Marlys Kaiser returned from Hong Kong on May 11, 2003. Please see the Mission in the World web site for current mailing addresses.
Erika Parker is completing her VIM assignment as an English Teacher in Bratislava, Slovakia with the Slovak Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession and will return to Manitoba on July 3/03.
For our Good News Partners Etienne and Jeanne Fomgbami as they prepare for the birth of their sixth child in mid June and for the Fomgbami family as they continue preparations for their return to Cameroon in August.
For the people of Guyana who are again suffering from violence and for Volunteers in Mission Barry and Alice Lang and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana as they continue to minister to victims of violent crimes.
For Bonnie Weppler and the national staff of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea as they tackle the ongoing difficulties and challenges in the Finance Office.
For smooth transition for missionaries including the Fredericks and Kaisers as they adjust to life back home and consider ways to put their mission experience to use in Canada.
For all partner church Bishops and Presidents and indeed all delegates to the LWF Assembly that they may be able to obtain travel documents and travel safely this summer.
Established September, 1995. Page revised June 2, 2005.