Rev Paul Johnson,
Assistant to the Bishop for Ecumenical Relations and Mission in the World, attended the National Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Colombia (IELCO) in January. Rev Sigifredo Buitrago
, was elected as the new IELCO President/Bishop to succeed Rev Nehemias Parada
who is moving on to semi-retirement after six years in office. Rev Jose Ariza
of St Albert, Alberta was also at the Assembly and is now serving as a volunteer English teacher at one of the IELCO schools, Colegio CELCO in Paz de Ariporo, from January to June.
Pastor Gustavo Gomez
of San Juan Bautista (St John the Baptist) Lutheran Church in Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina is on a speaking tour in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Gustavo is one of two pastors sponsored by the ELCIC who serve in the southern Patagonia region of Argentina; the other is Pastor Sergio Utz who serves the congregations in Esquel and Cushamen. Individuals and congregations of the ELCIC help support this work through Patagonia Mission Sponsorship
. Gustavo visited congregations in Edmonton and Bawlf, Alberta from March 9 to 11. He is currently visiting congregations and attending conference meetings in the Saskatchewan Synod until April 4. He will spend a couple of days in the ELCIC office in Winnipeg before heading back to Argentina on April 6.
Two new Volunteers in Mission (VIM) completed the missionary orientation program at the Canadian Churches Forum for Global Ministries in Toronto, January 2 to 11. Elvira Sentes
is a retired teacher from St John’s, Waterloo, Ontario. It is expected that she will depart for Tansen, Nepal in June and serve for a year as a primary teacher of missionary children at the United Mission to Nepal. Leah Ganes
from Camrose, Alberta is an occupational therapist. It was expected that Leah would leave in May to serve for a year at the LAMB Hospital in Bangladesh in a joint placement with the World Mission Prayer League but the LAMB Hospital cannot receive Leah there for at least a year so an alternative placement is being considered for the interim.
(Evangelical Lutheran, Selkirk, Manitoba) returned to Slovakia as a Volunteer in Mission to help alleviate the shortage of English teachers at the Lutheran high school in Bratislava, Slovakia. Erika served with VIM in this role for two years from August 2001 to June 2003. She traveled to Bratislava at the beginning of March and will return to Canada in mid July.
Al and Darlene Anderson
of Messiah, Camrose, Alberta are serving as Volunteers in Mission with the Lutheran Association of Missionaries & Pilots (LAMP) Canada. Al is the Director of Ministries and Darlene will be his Associate. Based in the LAMP office in Edmonton, the work involves the planning and coordination of LAMP Canada ministries and will include some visits to ministry bases and communities.
Rev Jack And Valerie Frederick
have accepted an invitation to serve as Volunteers in Mission in Guyana for two years. Jack and Val will serve the Redeemer Lutheran Parish, a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana in Georgetown beginning in July. At that time, Rev Barry And Allce Lang
will complete their two-year VIM placement at the Redeemer Parish and return to Canada.
Payap University in Chiang Mai, Thailand has invited the ELCIC to renew the appointment of Lori Endress
for an additional two years. Lori’s position as English Teacher at Payap has up to now been underwritten by the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia. Since the United Board funding ends in June, Mission in the World is appealing for Missionary Sponsorships to make it possible to return Lori to Thailand to continue her service as a Short-term Missionary from July 2004 to June 2006.
As of February 1st, Bonnie Weppler’s
status has changed from Short-term to Long-term Missionary and her position as Administrative Assistant and Training Officer for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea (PNG) will continue. Bonnie is on home leave and will return to Lae, PNG in April. She is busy giving presentations in congregations, mainly in the Eastern Synod; she was also in the ABT Synod in March. Since this is a joint placement with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Bonnie will also be visiting her sponsoring congregations in Florida.
Stuart And Margaret Brown
are coming to the end of their four-year assignment with the Joint Christian Ministry in West Africa (JCMWA). The Browns will leave Cameroon in early May and fly out from Nigeria on May 10. They will visit family in Montreal en route and resettle in Vernon, BC in early June.
is the Katharine Hockin Award recipient for 2004. This award is presented annually by the Canadian Churches Forum for Global Ministry to someone who has made a significant contribution to global mission and ministry. Brian is being recognized for his work in HIV/AIDS ministry in prisons and for raising awareness of human rights issues during his 15 years as an ELCIC missionary in El Salvador. Brian was able to travel from El Salvador and spend a week in Toronto where he received the award on February 21 at the Forum’s annual banquet. Brian is the first Lutheran to receive the Katharine Hockin Award.
was called to serve a mission congregation in Iquitos, Peru and moved to Iquitos from Lima in early February. Mission in the World and the Peruvian Evangelical Lutheran Church (ILEP) have agreed on a six-month trial period. If this new placement goes well during the trial period, it is anticipated that Katharine will continue to serve in Iquitos for another three years or so until her retirement. Katharine's work in Peru has facilitated the ordination of the first seven ILEP pastors; now the church is growing and new congregations and missions are being added.
Mission in the World Directed Giving
was strong in 2003, accounting for about half of the funds needed for the ELCIC’s world mission program last year. The opportunities for Mission in the World Directed Giving in 2004 include the following:
(1) Peruvian Evangelical Lutheran Church
- Katharine Bergbusch, Long-term Missionary Sponsorship
- Funds to provide government social security benefits for ILEP pastors
(2) Salvadoran Lutheran Synod
- Brian Rude, Long-term Missionary Sponsorship
- Support of Quetzalcoatl Foundation HIV/AIDS ministry in prisons
(3) United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Argentina
- Patagonia Mission Sponsorship; Rev Gustavo Gomez and Rev Sergio Utz
(4) Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cameroon
- Support of the Garoua Boulai Bible School/Seminary
(5) Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea
- Bonnie Weppler, Long-term Missionary Sponsorship
- Support of ELC-PNG partner church programs
(6) Payap University, Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Lori Endress, Short-term Missionary Sponsorship
There will be a Companion Synod Consultation
from May 19 to 21 in Winnipeg. The Consultation will bring together one representative from each synod to share ideas, report on activities and learn how the national office can assist with the Companion Synod Program. To find out what is happening with the overseas companion church for your synod, contact your synod office and watch for articles in the synod news section of the Canada Lutheran magazine.
Many current and recently returned ELCIC missionaries will be presenters at the Global Mission Event
(GME) in Bozeman, Montana, July 15 to 18, including Brian Rude, Lori Endress, Erika Parker, Margaret Sadler, Marcus Busch and Anne Hallman. ELCIC Vice-President Susan Johnson will participate in the Bozeman GME and preside at the closing worship. ABT Bishop Steve Kristenson will convene a session on the ABT Synod’s companion relationship with IELCO. Rev David Pfrimmer, Director of the Lutheran Office of Public Policy, will be part of a panel discussion on globalization issues. GME posters and registration brochures are now being distributed to congregations by the synod offices. Go to www.elcic.ca/mission/world
and click on the link to the GME web site. The Bozeman Event is co-sponsored by the ELCIC and the ELCA.
Established September, 1995. Page revised June 2, 2005.