May 11, 2011
Following two years of thoughtful analysis and church-wide consideration, the final report from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada's (ELCIC) Structural Renewal Task Force is now available. The report and an accompanying Frequently Asked Questions document can be downloaded from the ELCIC website at: http://elcic.ca/Structural-Renewal/default.cfm.
The report emphasizes a focus on mission and equipping the church to be In Mission for Others through a framework that is flexible, affordable and sustainable, and offers the following recommendations: that the ELCIC be re-organized into three synods; existing conferences be reconfigured into 'areas' (also known as groupings of congregations) and supported by leadership teams; conventions of the National Church be smaller in size; and that both National and Synod Conventions be held triennially.
National Church Council (NCC) received the Structural Renewal Task Force report and recommendations at its April 2011 meeting and adopted the motion: That the National Convention approve the recommendations of the Structural Renewal Task Force in principle and authorize the National Church Council to move forward with the implementation process.
Delegates to National Convention this year will be asked to vote on approving the recommendations of the Structural Renewal Task Force in principle only, says Sheila Hamilton, chair of the task force. There will be no changes to structures as a result of this vote but rather implementation teams for synods and the National Church will be formed to look at the details of how to best implement the recommendations. Hamilton explains that these details would need to be brought before Synod Conventions in 2012 and the 2013 ELCIC National Convention for approval before the actual restructuring process could begin.
The ELCIC Structural Renewal Task Force was appointed in 2009 by NCC. Through participation at Synod Council meetings, Synod Conventions and a church-wide survey, the task force has focused on obtaining as much input as possible as they considered what kind of structure best suits the changing demands of the ELCIC's mission and ministry.
Further information on the work of the ELCIC Structural Renewal Task Force can be viewed online at http://elcic.ca/Structural-Renewal/default.cfm.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada's largest Lutheran denomination with 152,500 baptized members in 607 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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