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December 17, 2008

ELCIC Announces New Mission in the World Partnership with ELCA; ELCIC/CLWR Seek New Ways to Support Volunteer Placement Program

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) announces an agreement in principal with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is in place to work towards the integration of the ELCIC's Mission in the World (MW) program with the ELCA's Global Mission Unit.

In March of 2008, the ELCIC's National Church Council identified five organizing pillars to guide and support the national church in our work as a church In Mission for Others. The organizing pillars - Diverse Faces, Compassionate Justice, Focused Framework, Spirited Discipleship and especially Effective Partnerships - have been key as the ELCIC has sought out areas where there are existing synergies in place to develop closer working relationships.

Over the coming months, ELCIC MW and ELCA Global Mission staff will work together to transition towards this new approach to world mission for the ELCIC. The partnership will result in, opening doors to additional programming and resources to ELCIC members that they wouldn't otherwise have, says ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson.

In addition to accessing programs and resources, the resulting partnership will assist the ELCIC in addressing the realities of the current financial situation of the church. Projections on income indicate a significant shortfall in the national budget. As the ELCIC MW program transitions over to ELCA Global Mission, the position of Mission in the World coordinator, filled by Kelvin Krieger, will be phased out by June 2009.

I give thanks to God for the faithful service and dedication to the mission and ministry of this church that Kelvin Krieger has provided over these many years, says Bishop Johnson. When Kelvin realized our choices were to move the administration of the World Mission program to the ELCA or to cut an ELCIC missionary position, he agreed with the decision to move in this direction. I really appreciate his willingness to help us in the transition period and to share his years of expertise.

Along with pursuing new opportunities through the ELCA Global Mission partnership, including avenues to enhance Companion Synod relationships, the ELCIC is continuing the current long-term missionary placements (Rev. Brian Rude, Lori Endress, and Rev. Fran Schmidt), Amazon Mission, Patagonia Mission and existing partner church grants. ELCIC members and congregations are encouraged to assist with expressions of support for ELCIC MW's Mission & Missionary Sponsorship program.

ELCIC/CLWR Seek New Ways to Support Volunteer Placement Program

In 2006, the ELCIC and Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) initiated a three-year shared staff arrangement resulting in the engagement of Sister Monica Denk as Coordinator of ELCIC Volunteers in Mission (VIM) and CLWR International Volunteer Services (IVS)

While there has been a positive response from constituents, including a growing number of placements and a heightened level of interest in volunteering, financial realities dictate the consideration of new administrative options for the future in support of both VIM and IVS.

Sister Denk will complete her term in October 2009. In the interim, ELCIC and CLWR will consider options to enable volunteer activities to continue. ELCIC members interested in volunteering their services should continue to contact Sister Denk.

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada's largest Lutheran denomination with 174,555 baptized members in 620 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.

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