Bruce Cook was elected Vice-Chair of the ELCIC at the 2022 National Convention. He served on National Church Council since 2013 as a member of the finance committee. Cook is a registered nurse by training and has worked in the insurance industry for many years.
“I’m anticipating a huge learning curve to start with and I’ll be leaning heavily on the other officers and NCC members to guide me through. Sheila Hamilton has been a great role model for my entire tenure on NCC.” he says. “My recent work on the vision statement task force has been very interesting. It encouraged me to look at our church with wider eyes and in different ways.”
Cook understands the difficult decisions congregations face in these times of transition and uncertainty. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Peter’s in Gadshill, Ont., and was a member there until it closed in August 2020.
“It was the church I was raised in, where my family is buried,” he says. “ It was a very difficult time of loss and sadness. Being at the decommissioning service, locking the door for the last time, saying good-bye was so hard. But it pushed me from somewhere that I was comfortable and made me dig deep – to rediscover who I am and what is important to me.”
When asked about his idea of mission, he responded, “My idea of mission has really changed over the years. I used to have a traditional view of mission – to go into the world, proclaim the gospel and make disciples. Now, the “how” and “what” of my idea of mission has changed and is more outward focused and action oriented. It’s about being present as a Christian Lutheran in my community, my country and my world – being socially responsible, taking action against climate change, helping when I can to address poverty and homelessness, being involved with social justice issues, and the list goes on. Sometimes it’s as simple as making a donation or dropping a bag in a food bin.”