The 17th National Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) formally wrapped up on Saturday, July 13, sending participants home from the University of Regina in Saskatchewan following a full agenda over the three days of convention.
Based on the theme, Called to Journey Together: The Ministry of Reconciliation, the assembly included almost 150 delegates, along with special guests, visitors and volunteers, The convention agenda was filled with worship, prayer, elections, motions, special presentations and fellowship, culminating with the closing worship service Saturday afternoon.
The service began with ecumenical guests and ELCIC Synod Bishops gathered around the baptismal font inside the worship space at the university, giving thanksgiving for Baptism, before processing in while singing Will You Let Me Be Your Servant.
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, delivered the sermon, focused on Jesus’ message of The Beatitudes, found in Matthew 5.
“We are blessed, not by what we do, but by what God has done for us,” Bishop Eaton said. “God has blessed us, set us free, and calls us to serve those, to restore creation, to be reconciled with the first peoples of this land, and to understand that multi-religious neighbours are actually children of God as much as we are. And that blessing them is a way that we bless God. This is a marvelous and liberating promise.”
Bishop Eaton also offered her reflections on the mission and ministry of the ELCIC.
“The ELCIC is such a model for me and so many others in my Church,” Bishop Eaton continued. “Particularly the lead you are taking in Care for Creation, and trying to restore a relationship with Indigenous people here, as well as Welcoming the Stranger. Don’t ever give up, because you are blessed now. Not because of what we have done, but because of what God has done for us. God has enlisted us to be a blessing to the rest of the world.”
Following the sermon, those assembled participated in a Blessing of the National Bishop, before proceeding to the installation of National Church Council. Bishop Johnson presided over Holy Communion before officially closing the 2019 ELCIC National Convention.
News, photos and video highlights from the gathering are available on the National Convention website: https://elcic.ca/In-Convention/2019-Regina/default.cfm