The Synod of Alberta and the Territories is taking a new approach to its annual Synod Study Conference in 2024.
To be held from February 5-8 in Canmore, AB., the study conference will have a fresh, new look, as Synod Bishop Larry Kochendorfer has invited rostered leaders from the ELCIC’s British Columbia Synod as well as the ELCIC’s new Full Communion partner, the Moravian Church’s Northern Province to attend the four-day event.
“We talk a lot about collaboration within the church,” Bishop Kochendorfer shared. “Usually this is some sort of incentive between congregations or Full Communion partners. But what about across borders? I had been invited to the B.C. Synod Study Conference earlier this year by Bishop Kathy Martin, so that got me thinking about how we could maybe invite B.C. to come to ours.”
It is anticipated that over 100 participants will be in attendance at February’s study conference.
“We’re here to support each other,” added Bishop Kochendorfer. “This is a time for community-building, and especially now with B.C. coming, there is an opportunity to see more friends and colleagues, while we look to continue deepening the relationships we already have.”
“And because of decisions made at [National] Convention this past summer, we have also chosen to invite – for the first time – the Moravians. Rev. James Lavoy of the Moravians will also serve as one of our conference’s guest speakers, which I am really looking forward to. So, we will certainly be trying to tie quite a few things together in new ways.”
Alongside Rev. Lavoy, the joint study conference will also feature keynote speaker Rev. Dr. James Rimmer of South Carolina, who formerly served with the Lutheran World Federation and currently works in areas of climate and eco-justice.
“I think we as a church are in a time of great change, and in that we need each other,” Bishop Kochendorfer said. “In order to move forward together, we need to build those relationships, really get to know one other, and have those conversations. Sometimes they are the ones that move us forward, but we can’t forget to have the difficult conversations as well. In this liminal time, it is so vital that we look into expanding the possibilities of ministry together. This is a great first step in walking together as Christians and supporting one another.”
Registration for the event closes on January 13, 2024, while the cut-off date for reserving accommodations is January 9.