The strength of the ELCIC’s Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA) is in its holistic approach to addressing issues of justice in the world according to Ryan Anderson, Assistant to the National Bishop for Stewardship and Public Life. Anderson addressed the GHDA luncheon for delegates attending the Eleventh Biennial National Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) who had an interest or curiosity for the church’s work for justice and care for the neighbour in need.
By holistically addressing issues of emergency relief and long-term development while also advocating for change and offering education, lasting transformation can be achieved. Not only are immediate needs met, but also structures are changed that lie at the root of problems like poverty, hunger and human rights both in Canada and abroad.
Partnerships were lifted up as an integral part of this holistic approach. GHDA’s primary partner, Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR), offers channels for effective delivery of emergency relief and long term development programming. KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives is instrumental in coordinating the ecumenical voices of Canadian churches to advocate for public policy that protects the needs of the marginalized. The organization also provides a wealth of educational resources. Synods of the church implement domestic projects that address issues of need in communities throughout Canada.
The “Signs of Hope, Practices of Love” campaign is GHDA’s framework for engaging members of the church in this wide array of initiatives. Attendees were encouraged to look at ways in which they can personally engage in practices of love for one’s neighbour to be a sign of hope in this broken world that can be so overwhelming. The Stewardship of Creation initiative, adopted by the convention on Friday, June 21, is the first of many ways this will be promoted and acted upon.
Anderson also formally introduced the group to the new GHDA logo. The logo is segmented into 3 parts and centres around the cross. As a symbol of not only the saving death and resurrection of Christ and the identity of the church, the cross reminds Christians of the injustices or crosses that people bear in the world every day. The shared waters of baptism are the background for a rising sun of hope. Out of the baptismal waters, Christians are called to be a light unto the world, a sign of hope and new beginnings. An unfurling leaf points to concern for creation as well as the abundance of life breaking forth from the church’s work in long-term development, including the alleviation of hunger.
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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