The 2019 National Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) approved the document Reimaging Our Church – Public Ministry in the ELCIC. It begins a process to live into a new and fresh vision of the ELCIC that encourages all members to consider how best we can participate in God’s mission and together imagine and build a church which is missional, diaconal and prophetic.
It explores the meaning and implications of the term “public ministry” as well as the roles of deacon, pastors, bishop and laity. An immediate outcome of accepting the document and related motions is that the ELCIC now recognizes that “ordination” is the rite which marks and celebrates the acceptance of a first call into public ministry of a deacon, or a bishop or a pastor.
The heart of the 55-page document is a collection of aspirational statements that describe what the ELCIC would be like if it fully embraced the emerging vision. Both the document and an accompanying study guide are available online here.