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December 20, 2011

Letter to the Church from National Church Council

Dear members of the ELCIC,

We are writing to you today to clear up some misunderstandings about the balloting procedures that took place at the last National Convention. Many of you are unaware of these concerns, however, some misinformation has been crossing our church in the form of emails. National Church Council addressed these matters at their meeting in September but unfortunately the emails have continued.

The issue centers around confusion about who was responsible for counting ballots at the last National Convention and whether proper procedures were followed in the counting of yes/no ballots for approval of the Social Statement on Human Sexuality and the related motions. Here are some facts to address the questions that have been raised.

1. The ELCIC Constitution and Administrative Bylaws stipulate that the Committee on the Conduct of Elections is responsible for all balloting processes.

2. This year, for the first time, volunteer ballot counters were recruited to assist the Committee on the Conduct of Elections as needed. Unfortunately separate terms of reference were not created for the volunteer ballot counters and there was some confusion over their role. This is most unfortunate and will be addressed before the next convention. ( CC-2011-80 That officers of the church review the process of how elections and balloting are conducted at National Conventions, and report to NCC at the September 2012 meeting. CARRIED.)

3. The Committee on the Conduct of Elections chose to count the yes/no ballots on their own, since it was such a simple counting process. This decision was in order.

4. All of the committees of convention have a staff person assigned to them from the National Office. Assistant to the Bishop, The Rev. Carla Blakley, was assigned to assist the Committee on the Conduct of Elections. She is totally innocent of any suggestions of wrong-doing which have been circulating. These suggestions run counter to Matthew 18:15-17 and are libellous.

5. All of the votes that took place at the convention were conducted in a both legal and appropriate way. We understand that some people are disappointed and even angry with the results of the vote, but the conduct of the voting and counting of ballots is not in question.

We hope that this letter addresses these concerns. Any further communication should be sent directly to the National Bishop or the Secretary of this church.

In the Advent spirit of hope, love, and peace,

National Church Council

A PDF version of this letter is available here: http://www.elcic.ca/Documents/2011Dec-NCCLetter.pdf

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada's largest Lutheran denomination with 145,276 baptized members in 594 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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