ELCIC National Bishop Urges Government of Canada to "Fully and Effectively" Implement UNDRIP

ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson has written to the Goverment of Canada, urging the government to "work collaboratively with indigenous peoples to fully and effectively implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples."

The full text of the letter can be viewed here.

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We’re stronger together, say Anglican, Lutheran youth coordinators

Meeting on scenic Thetis Island, B.C., 24 Anglican and Lutheran regional youth coordinators planned the future of their joint ministry work at Stronger Together 2011, Sept. 13 to 16. The consultation emerged from grassroots energy to support and connect youth coordinators who work at the levels of dioceses (Anglican) or synods (Lutheran).

“This was a really great way to gather folks together to focus specifically on their role of equipping,” said Andrew Stephens-Rennie, director of youth ministries for the (Anglican) Diocese of Ottawa and event organizer. “We also dreamed big dreams for youth ministry in our church.”

Regional coordinators essential
Regional youth coordinators are an essential, but often invisible, part of the youth ministry universe. Serving either as staff or volunteers on committees, their job is to support local church programs while staying connected to national initiatives.

These jobs look different across Canada. Tasks may include planning regional gatherings, offering pastoral support to church youth leaders, or developing resources. Some serve in densely populated cities while others drive hours between churches.

Yet coordinators share a common passion. They work to nurture the spiritual lives of young people and to get others engaged in this good work, even as some regions face budget and communications challenges.

The Stronger Together participants shared these stories with the help of facilitators Mark DeVries and Jeff Dunn-Taylor from Youth Ministry Architects of Nashville, Tenn. These men also helped direct the focus to the deeper purpose of youth ministry as well as future plans.

At one point all participants shared stories of leaders who had influenced their faith development at a young age. It was a moving exercise that helped refocus the group.

Anglican-Lutheran cooperation key
Several new initiatives are emerging from the Stronger Together gathering, and all include enhanced Anglican-Lutheran cooperation at a regional level.

This focus was a highlight for the Rev. Kristen Steele, a Lutheran pastor in Langley, B.C. and a member of the B.C. Synod Youth Ministry Committee.

“It was a great opportunity to meet with (Anglican) diocesan youth people to see how we can meet together,” she said. “It’s always nice to put a face to a name, to connect and to talk about what’s happening.”

She looks forward to working together on the Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth (CLAY) gathering, which met for the first time in August 2010. This event, started by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, attracts approximately 1000 young adults every two years.

Similar cooperation has also been celebrated at Ask and Imagine, an Anglican-Lutheran youth leadership development program and Common Ground, an ecumenical youth ministry forum that met in May 2011.

Youth ministry belongs to whole church
In a statement released from Stronger Together, participants emphasize that youth ministry not only requires coordination between Anglicans and Lutherans, but among many elements of church communities.

“Youth ministry is the ministry of the whole church,” summarized Judy Steers, General Synod’s youth initiatives coordinator (Anglican).

“We’re understanding youth ministry as a thing the church does, not a thing that happens on the side, that it’s a central and core part of the ministry of the community.”

With this momentum still rolling, organizers are starting plans for Stronger Together 2012. For more information on how to support or get involved, email:

Judy Steers, General Synod youth initiatives coordinator (Anglican Church of Canada)
The Rev. Paul Gehrs, Assistant to the Bishop, justice and leadership (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada)

Links
– Read A Statement Reflecting the Visions and Conversations at Stronger Together (https://www.elcic.ca/Documents/StrongerTogether2011.pdf)

—————————————————————–
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 145,400 baptized members in 594 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.

Material provided through ELCIC Information is intended for reproduction and redistribution by recipients in whatever manner they may find useful.

For more information, please contact:
Trina Gallop, Director of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

Subscribe or unsubscribe to ELCIC Information by emailing info@elcic.ca with a short message.

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Highlights from National Church Council’s Fall Meeting

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada’s (ELCIC) National Church Council (NCC) met in Winnipeg from September 8-10. Council members conduct the business of the church between National Conventions. The following is an overview of highlights from the fall NCC meeting.

Orientation
At the 2011 ELCIC National Convention in July, ten new council members were elected to replace outgoing members, including two new officers of the church. On Thursday evening, following the council’s opening worship, National Bishop Susan C. Johnson and Vice President Sheila Hamilton provided an orientation to all council members on the constitution, administrative bylaws and structure of the ELCIC, as well as the role of NCC, its governance model and strategic plan.

Telling Our Faith Stories
Usually detailing a personal experience, the telling of one’s personal faith stories – also known as Dwelling in the Word – has become a regular part of NCC meetings. These reflections are one of the ways NCC is responding to the new Call to Spiritual Renewal initiative (www.elcic.ca/csr), which encourages deeper discipleship within our church through a practice of: pray, read, worship, study, serve, give, tell. At the fall meeting, Rev. Jeff Smith, Rev. Matthew Diegel and Rev. Trish Schmermund shared their reflections with council. Videos of their reflections can be viewed online: www.elcic.ca/National-Church-Council/Dwelling-In-The-World.cfm

Convention Review and Outstanding Business Items
Council members spent time on Friday reviewing feedback from the 2011 ELCIC National Convention and attending to unfinished business from the gathering. Overall, council felt that the feedback from the convention was positive. Concerns regarding visitor fee rates will be addressed at the spring 2012 NCC meeting when delegate fees for the 2013 National Convention are presented for approval.

Council members received correspondence regarding balloting and elections at this year’s National Convention. NCC members approved a motion to have, “the officers of the church review the process of how elections and balloting are conducted at National Conventions.” A report will be brought to the September 2012 NCC meeting.

A review of the motions passed at convention was part of the meeting’s agenda. Council members walked through each motion affirmed by delegates to identify next steps for the ELCIC and NCC. In addition, council members also reviewed motions that the convention did not have time to address during the proceedings. These included the following:

  • A resolution on addressing sexual exploitation and human trafficking. This motion was affirmed by NCC members as an NCC policy and will be brought to the 2013 ELCIC National Convention for endorsement by the whole church.
  • From the Committee on Reference and Counsel: that the ELCIC, in partnership with the Synods, make provision for congregations to celebrate Holy Communion on a weekly basis. NCC referred this motion to the Conference of Bishops.
  • NCC affirmed a motion on exploring ways to be more environmentally friendly at the 2013 National Convention.

Structural Renewal
At the 2011 ELCIC National Convention, delegates approved the recommendations of the Structural Renewal Taskforce in principle (www.elcic.ca/Structural-Renewal) and authorized NCC to move forward with the implementation process. Council members heard that Synods are currently working to develop their implementation teams. Sheila Hamilton, chair of the Structural Renewal Taskforce, provided an overview of the implementation work from a national level. Council members also approved a motion to appoint a National Implementation Team that will work with the Synod Implementation Teams. The national team is comprised of several members of the existing Structural Renewal Taskforce, communications and constitutional expertise, and representation from the five ELCIC Synods and NCC.

Ongoing Strategic Planning
NCC received two papers at their fall meeting. Global Mission and Accompaniment and The Ecumenical Journey were presented to council members for review. These papers provide context of the current realities in these two areas. NCC will further consider these papers at its spring 2012 meeting when members will spend time on strategic planning and visioning.

NCC meetings in 2012
The next National Church Council meeting will held March 8-10, 2012 in Winnipeg. The fall meeting will take place September 6-8, 2012.

—————————————————————–
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 145,400 baptized members in 594 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.

Material provided through ELCIC Information is intended for reproduction and redistribution by recipients in whatever manner they may find useful.

For more information, please contact:
Trina Gallop, Director of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

Subscribe or unsubscribe to ELCIC Information by emailing info@elcic.ca with a short message.

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ELCIC National Bishop Urges Prime Minister to Increase Financial Commitment to Support Relief Efforts in the Horn of Africa

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada’s (ELCIC) National Bishop Susan C. Johnson is urging the Prime Minister to, "respond effectively and generously" to appeals from the United Nations and NGOs for aid to countries in the Horn of Africa, and calling for support from the Canadian Government so that the "important work of facing this crisis can continue."

In an August 24 letter to The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Bishop Johnson notes that a long term commitment by many people and agencies is required as the crisis, "will not end quickly and immediate disaster response is not enough."

"The effects of the drought will be ongoing at least until December, and will likely spread further through the region," says Bishop Johnson. "Even after the drought is over, we have to prepare for mid-term and longer-term solutions for rehabilitation, climate change adaptation, and disaster preparedness. As well, the ongoing violence and instability in Somalia need to be addressed."

Addressing the request for financial assistant in light of current economic realities Bishop Johnson says, "we are aware that vast amounts of money were raised to rescue the global financial industry. It is now time to rescue human beings in the Horn of Africa."

Read the full text from Bishop Johnson’s letter to the Prime Minister here: https://www.elcic.ca/Documents/LettertoPMonHornofAfrica201108.pdf

The lack of rain in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya has created food and water shortages that threaten the lives of 11 million people. The World Food Program reports that tens of thousands of Somalis have died from starvation. Thousands more Somalis suffering from malnutrition, dehydration, and exhaustion arrive in Kenyan and Ethiopian refugee camps every day seeking aid, swelling the camps far beyond their capacity and causing a major strain on resources.

In July, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) issued an appeal, through its partnership with Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR), for financial support to assist relief efforts for drought affected people in East Africa.

To date, Lutherans across Canada have donated almost $220,000 to the appeal. All donations designated for East Africa Drought Relief received by CLWR before the end of the day September 16, 2011 will qualify for matching federal government grants.

CLWR has worked in Africa for years on food and water security projects. Funds donated to the CLWR appeal will provide support in the region in the following ways:

 

  • Distributing over $1.5 million of food (1,900 tons) in Ethiopia in partnership with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Ethiopia. This large-scale emergency food aid project is responding to immediate needs for relief in the drought stricken district of Goro, a district in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. Over 18,000 people will benefit from the distribution.
  • Through their partnership with the LWF, in supporting refugee camps in the region. The LWF-managed Dadaab camp in Kenya is hosting over 1,300 new arrivals per day, most from Somalia. LWF camp interventions include the distribution of nine tons of flour mix for supplementary feeding of children and the elderly; the distribution of clothes, slippers, and sanitary wear for women; and regular water deliveries using a 7,000-litre truck.
  • Providing assistance to people still in Somalia, specifically to newly displaced people in Mogadishu and to those affected by drought in the Gedo region. This support is administered through partnership with the ACT Alliance and will include the distribution of food, water, sanitation, and shelter.

Donations can be made in the following ways:

 

  1. ELCIC members are asked to donate to the appeal by making a designated offering donation for “2011 East Africa Drought” through their ELCIC congregation.
  2. Online at www.clwr.org/donate. When completing the form, you will come to a pull-down menu that allows you to designate a specific project. Choose “2011 East Africa Drought.”
  3. By calling CLWR’s toll-free number: 1.800.661.2597 or locally at 204.694.5602.
  4. By sending a cheque made payable to CLWR, 302-393 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 3H6. Please indicate that you wish to contribute to East Africa drought relief.

—————————————————————–
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 152,500 baptized members in 607 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.

Material provided through ELCIC Information is intended for reproduction and redistribution by recipients in whatever manner they may find useful.

For more information, please contact:
Trina Gallop, Director of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

Subscribe or unsubscribe to ELCIC Information by emailing info@elcic.ca with a short message.

Read more

ELCIC National Bishop Expresses Condolences to Jack Layton’s Family

In a statement issued today, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada’s (ELCIC) National Bishop Susan C. Johnson offered her condolences to the family of The Honourable Jack Layton, remembering his contributions to Canadian society and his legacy of hope and optimism. The full text of the statement follows:

 

On behalf of the members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, I would like to offer our deepest condolences to the family of The Honourable Jack Layton.

We mourn the loss of a great leader who was unfailing in his compassion for people in need. Jack stood up and stood strong for what he believed in, never compromising in his dedication towards seeking social justice, nor in his passion for issues such as Aboriginal rights, the environment, affordable housing, and ending violence against women.

Jack inspired us all with his hope and optimism, both in his political career and in his personal life, and especially during his battles with cancer.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Jack’s family, and all who mourn his loss.

Yours in Christ,

The Rev. Susan C. Johnson
National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

 
—————————————————————–
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 152,500 baptized members in 607 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.

Material provided through ELCIC Information is intended for reproduction and redistribution by recipients in whatever manner they may find useful.

For more information, please contact:
Trina Gallop, Director of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

Subscribe or unsubscribe to ELCIC Information by emailing info@elcic.ca with a short message.

Read more

Horn of Africa Appeal to the Lutheran Communion; Call for Prayers and Financial Support

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) General Secretary Rev. Martin Junge has made an urgent appeal for prayer and financial support from the Lutheran communion to assist with relief efforts in the drought affected region of the Horn of Africa.

In a letter to LWF member churches and national committees following an LWF delegation to the region at the beginning of August, Junge said the world is facing a crisis in which more than 12 million lives in the region are at risk due to drought, said to be the worst in 60 years, and conflict.

Junge called on Lutherans worldwide to pray for refugees and displaced persons in the Horn of Africa, as well as those seeking to help them, including the staff of government, international and non-governmental organizations. He also called for financial support of the work in the region, and urged members to appeal to their governments to respond to the United Nations appeal for the Horn of Africa, which has a 1.3 billion dollar shortfall. Read the full letter from Junge here (https://www.elcic.ca/Documents/LettertoMemberChurchesHornofAfrica.pdf).

In July, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), which is a member of LWF, issued an appeal, through its partnership with Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR), for financial support to assist relief efforts for drought affected people in East Africa.

ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson also called for prayers for all those impacted in the region. In April, Bishop Johnson travelled to Ethiopia and saw first hand the devastating effects the lack of rain, dry conditions and land erosion has had on the region. She was also able to witness the impact that the effective work of CLWR and LWF World Service has made in addressing these needs. "It is important that we assist our brothers and sisters by donating to this appeal so this vital work can continue," says Bishop Johnson.

CLWR has worked in Africa for years on food and water security projects. Funds donated to the CLWR appeal will provide support in the region in the following ways:

  • Distributing over $1.5 million of food (1,900 tons) in Ethiopia in partnership with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Ethiopia. This large-scale emergency food aid project is responding to immediate needs for relief in the drought stricken district of Goro, a district in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. Over 18,000 people will benefit from the distribution.
  • Through their partnership with the LWF, in supporting refugee camps in the region. The LWF-managed Dadaab camp in Kenya is hosting over 1,300 new arrivals per day, most from Somalia. LWF camp interventions include the distribution of nine tons of flour mix for supplementary feeding of children and the elderly; the distribution of clothes, slippers, and sanitary wear for women; and regular water deliveries using a 7,000-litre truck.
  • Providing assistance to people still in Somalia, specifically to newly displaced people in Mogadishu and to those affected by drought in the Gedo region. This support is administered through partnership with the ACT Alliance and will include the distribution of food, water, sanitation, and shelter.

“We have extreme confidence in our experienced partners on the ground in East Africa,” says Robert Granke, CLWR’s executive director. “We know every donation sent to CLWR will be used wisely and will save lives.”All donations designated for East Africa Drought Relief received by CLWR before the end of the day September 16, 2011 will qualify for matching federal government grants.

Donations can be made in the following ways:

  1. ELCIC members are asked to donate to the appeal by making a designated offering donation for “2011 East Africa Drought” through their ELCIC congregation.
  2. Online at www.clwr.org/donate. When completing the form, you will come to a pull-down menu that allows you to designate a specific project. Choose “2011 East Africa Drought.”
  3. By calling CLWR’s toll-free number: 1.800.661.2597 or locally at 204.694.5602.
  4. By sending a cheque made payable to CLWR, 302-393 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 3H6. Please indicate that you wish to contribute to East Africa drought relief.

(With files from Lutheran World Information.)

—————————————————————-
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 152,500 baptized members in 607 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.

Material provided through ELCIC Information is intended for reproduction and redistribution by recipients in whatever manner they may find useful.

For more information, please contact:
Trina Gallop, Director of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

Subscribe or unsubscribe to ELCIC Information by emailing info@elcic.ca with a short message.

Read more

ELCIC Members Asked to Financially Support Emergency Appeal for East Africa Drought Victims

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), through its partnership with Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR), is appealing to its members for financial support to assist with relief efforts for drought-affected people in East Africa.

The lack of rain in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya has created food and water shortages that threaten the lives of 11 million people. The World Food Program reports that tens of thousands of Somalis have died from starvation. Thousands more Somalis suffering from malnutrition, dehydration, and exhaustion arrive in Kenyan and Ethiopian refugee camps every day seeking aid, swelling the camps far beyond their capacity and causing a major strain on resources.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the drought in East Africa," says ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson. "Having been in Ethiopia just this past April, I have seen first hand the devastating effects that the lack of rain, dry conditions and land erosion has had in this region, as well as the effective work of CLWR and the Lutheran World Federation World Service in addressing these needs. It is important that we assist our brothers and sisters by donating to this appeal."

CLWR has issued an appeal that will provide support in the region in the following ways:

  • Distributing over $1.5 million of food (1,900 tons) in Ethiopia in partnership with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Ethiopia. This large-scale emergency food aid project is responding to immediate needs for relief in the drought-stricken district of Goro, a district in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. Over 18,000 people will benefit from the distribution.
  • Through their partnership with the LWF, in supporting refugee camps in the region. The LWF-managed Dadaab camp in Kenya is hosting over 1,300 new arrivals per day, most from Somalia. LWF camp interventions include the distribution of nine tons of flour mix for supplementary feeding of children and the elderly; the distribution of clothes, slippers, and sanitary wear for women; and regular water deliveries using a 7,000-litre truck.
  • Providing assistance to people still in Somalia, specifically to newly displaced people in Mogadishu and to those affected by drought in the Gedo region. This support is administered through our partnership with the ACT Alliance and will include the distribution of food, water, sanitation, and shelter.

 

“We have extreme confidence in our experienced partners on the ground in East Africa,” says Robert Granke, CLWR’s executive director. “We know every donation sent to CLWR will be used wisely.”

CLWR has worked in Africa for years on food and water security projects and will continue to work toward sustainability in the region. CLWR’s five year development goal in our Africa programs is to provide safe water supply, storage capacity and/or irrigation to over 150 communities in Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Zambia. CLWR is training African farmers in sustainable agriculture and livestock management, and providing them with the tools they need to feed themselves and their families. CLWR’s ongoing development work in the region helps to mitigate the effects of crises such as drought and famine by building food and water security that lasts.

Donations can be made in the following ways:

 

  1. ELCIC members are asked to donate to the appeal by making a designated offering donation for “2011 East Africa Drought” through their ELCIC congregation.
  2. Online at www.clwr.org/donate. When completing the form, you will come to a pull-down menu that allows you to designate a specific project. Choose “2011 East Africa Drought.”
  3. By calling CLWR’s toll-free number: 1.800.661.2597 or locally at 204.694.5602.
  4. By sending a cheque made payable to CLWR, 302-393 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 3H6. Please indicate that you wish to contribute to East Africa drought relief.

—————————————————————–
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 152,500 baptized members in 607 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.

Material provided through ELCIC Information is intended for reproduction and redistribution by recipients in whatever manner they may find useful.

For more information, please contact:
Trina Gallop, Director of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

Subscribe or unsubscribe to ELCIC Information by emailing info@elcic.ca with a short message.

Read more

ELCIC National Bishop Calls for Prayers and Expresses Concern for the People of Norway

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) National Bishop Susan C. Johnson shared her concern and prayers for the people of Norway in the aftermath of terrible attacks on government headquarters and an island retreat centre.

"We join the world in sending our thoughts and prayers to those who have been devastated by the tragic loss of family, friends and classmates," said Bishop Johnson. "We also join in prayer with the Church of Norway and the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of Norway as they respond pastorally to those in shock and grief. We pray that the presence of Christ will be a source of comfort and strength in the midst of overwhelming grief."

The World Council of Churches has prepared this prayer for Norway. Congregations and members of the ELCIC are encouraged to hold the people of Norway in their prayers.

—————————————————————–
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 152,500 baptized members in 607 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.

Material provided through ELCIC Information is intended for reproduction and redistribution by recipients in whatever manner they may find useful.

For more information, please contact:
Trina Gallop, Director of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

Subscribe or unsubscribe to ELCIC Information by emailing info@elcic.ca with a short message.

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ELCIC’s 13th Biennial National Convention Concludes; Being a Church In Mission for Others Central to Moving Forward

A hope filled tone calling for grace and care for one another marked the closing worship service of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada’s (ELCIC) 13th Biennial National Convention as delegates and special guests were sent out with a message to be Covenant People: In Mission for Others. Almost 600 people attended the enthusiastic closing worship service on July 17 at TCU Place in Saskatoon, SK.

“We have worked hard,” said ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson in reference to the significant agenda delegates attended to over the three business days of convention.

Bishop Johnson acknowledged that throughout convention delegates, “experienced together just about the whole gamut of emotions” and that while some were excited about decisions delegates had made, others were not.

“We have made some very difficult and gut-wrenching choices for the future of our church and its ministry,” she said, her own emotion for the statement surfacing as she struggled to hold back tears. “Some of us will be leaving this convention elated, and some will, and have already, left despondent.”

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada presided at the service. Bishop Johnson preached on the gospel from Matthew, the parable of the wheat and weeds.

“Throughout history, people have used a variety of ways, some mild, some extreme to separate ‘us’ from ‘them’,” Bishop Johnson said. “Who’s them? Why the weeds of course! And we know who the weeds are. We can separate wheat from weeds, right?”

But after considering the many categories we try to use to separate ‘wheat’ from ‘weeds’ and the inherent difficulties of that, Bishop Johnson suggested, “Maybe, just like the servants in today’s parable, we are not given the job of separating wheat and weeds because we don’t have the ability. We can’t do it.”

Rather, the point of the parable is that Jesus was and is here with the weeds and the wheat, said Bishop Johnson. “He did not differentiate among those he associated with, among those he loved. The point is that in the overwhelming love of Jesus, the barriers come down.”

Bishop Johnson reminded delegates that this does not mean inactivity. “In today’s parable we see the owner of the field caring for the crop – both wheat and weeds – watering, fertilizing, making sure that it all grows. And that is what we are to do as well. It’s why we are trying to live out our vision of being a church In Mission for Others!”

She encouraged delegates to, “stop erecting barriers that separate us from them. Let us let the image of God in me recognize and honour the image of God in you. And let’s get on with the work of caring for the field – weeds and all! This is my prayer, for myself and for this church.”

During the worship service, Bishop Johnson installed newly elected officers of National Church Council (NCC), with returning NCC members and all others present at the service pledging to support them in their work.

In addition to a full business agenda, the ELCIC’s 13th Biennial National Convention was also filled with meaningful worship services that open and closed the business sessions. A banquet on Saturday night celebrated not only 25 years of the ELCIC, but also 35 years of women’s ordination in the church, the 10th anniversary of full communion, and included a number of tributes to individuals and organizations that contributed to the life of the church.

Almost 600 Lutherans and special guests met in Saskatoon, July 14-17 for the ELCIC’s 13th National Convention. Full agenda details, and highlights are available on the National Convention website: elcic.ca/In-Convention/2011-Saskatoon.

—————————————————————–
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 152,500 baptized members in 607 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.

Material provided through ELCIC Information is intended for reproduction and redistribution by recipients in whatever manner they may find useful.

For more information, please contact:
Trina Gallop, Director of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

Subscribe or unsubscribe to ELCIC Information by emailing info@elcic.ca with a short message.

Read more

ELCIC National Convention Delegates Approve Structural Renewal Recommendations In Principle

Delegates to the 2011 Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) National Convention have approved in principle recommendations of the Structural Renewal Task Force and authorized the ELCIC’s National Church Council (NCC) to move forward with the implementation process.

The vote occurred on Saturday, July 16, the third day of business for convention delegates. A copy of the Structural Renewal Task Force Report can be found here: elcic.ca/Structural-Renewal.

The recommendations in the report of the Structural Renewal Task Force include: that the ELCIC be re-organized into three synods; existing conferences be reconfigured into "areas" (groupings of congregations) supported by leadership teams; conventions of the National Church and synods be held triennially; and National Conventions be smaller in size.

Sheila Hamilton, chair of the task force, and Rev. Mark Harris, task force member, took questions and heard comments from delegates for two hours during a Committee of the Whole session.

Delegates spoke passionately about finding a structure that meets both the church’s current reality, but also holds potential for growth.

Some delegates expressed concerns that the taskforce was driven too much by economic factors, while others were encouraged that the ELCIC structure would be "right-sized" to best meet the church’s changing needs.

Delegates also encouraged the use of technology to bring people, congregations and decision makers together.

Approval of this motion means that NCC will now consider how to best move forward with the next steps in the implementation process, including taking further motions to Synod Conventions in 2012.

Over 500 Lutherans and special guests met in Saskatoon, July 14-17 for the ELCIC’s 13th National Convention. Full agenda details, and highlights are available on the National Convention website: elcic.ca/In-Convention/2011-Saskatoon.

—————————————————————–
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 152,500 baptized members in 607 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.

Material provided through ELCIC Information is intended for reproduction and redistribution by recipients in whatever manner they may find useful.

For more information, please contact:
Trina Gallop, Director of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

Subscribe or unsubscribe to ELCIC Information by emailing info@elcic.ca with a short message.

Read more