Delegates to 2011 ELCIC National Convention Approve Motions on Unity, Same-Sex Blessings and Qualifications for Ordination

Delegates of the 13th Biennial ELCIC National Convention approved three highly anticipated and vigorously debated motions related to the ELCIC Social Statement on Human Sexuality. Delegates approved an Affirmation Concerning the Unity of the Church; a policy statement allowing rostered ministers to preside at or bless legal marriages, including those between same-sex couples, according to the laws of the province; and a policy paving the way for the ordination and installation of gay and lesbian pastors.

These motions, put forth by National Church Council (NCC), were drafted by the ELCIC Faith, Order and Doctrine Committee “to allow us to move forward if the Social Statement on Human Sexuality was approved,” said committee member and Saskatchewan Synod Bishop Cindy Halmarson. The social statement itself was approved during Saturday’s business sessions, following more than two hours of debate.

Affirmation Concerning the Unity of the Church (Motion #26)

Passed by a vote of 204 to 133, the affirmation states that the church should: not be divided because of disagreement over moral issues and that ELCIC members, congregations, synods, and churches who disagree with one another remain in dialogue and unity; maintain unity in the gospel and the sacraments; refrain from actions that will divide the body of Christ.

Delegates offered a wide range of perspectives during the debate from serious reservations to gratitude.

“I speak against the motion,” said one delegate. “The fruit of the spirit are love, peace and joy, and since we have discussed this issue, there has been no peace, love, or joy.”

“We are losing the heart of our people, and it shows in their giving,” expressed another delegate. “You can not legislate the hearts of the people we are serving.”

One church member expressed her appreciation for the work of the committee and NCC for putting forth the motion and offered this comment: “I have consulted with theologians and biblical scholars, and they have verified that in the original language ‘to love one another as I have loved you’ there is no ‘except’ or ‘but.’”

Delegates cast their votes as the last order of business on Saturday night. “I want to commend you for the respect and patience you’ve shown,” concluded National Bishop Susan C. Johnson following the announcement of the vote results.

Motion on Same-Sex Blessings (Motion #27)

Passed by a vote of 192 to 132, Motion #27 allows ELCIC rostered ministers to preside at or bless marriages according to the dictates of their consciences and according to the laws of the province in which they serve, including those of same-sex couples.

Early in the debate, a delegate made a procedural motion to table the discussion until the 2013 National Convention. “I believe the motions we have passed are a good framework to build on. I am suggesting we take a bit of time to let this document breathe before we take further steps,” he said.

The motion to postpone failed, and debate continued.

“I’ve heard several people say that this issue has been dealt with, but the status quo is unacceptable—to love the sinner and hate the sin,” said one delegate. “That is hate, discrimination, exclusion and alienation. That is saying I can ride the bus but sit at the back. That is not love. That is not what Jesus would do.”

“I have serious misgivings about how this might play out in practical terms,” expressed a delegate. “The day will come when a couple will ask to be married in a congregation that won’t participate in that kind of service. What will be the ramifications?”

Another speaker encouraged delegates to open the door for the congregations who do wish to participate in same-sex blessings. “I speak in favour of this motion even though I know I won’t be performing these marriages,” he said. “My congregation has made its position clear: it is not a place they are prepared to go. As a pastor, I can marry couples because I have been called by that congregation. I marry in their name, and it behooves me to consider their wishes. I would be surprised if these marriages happen in five per cent of our congregations. But the question is, can we still work with the congregations that will do this? Let them do their ministry as we do ours.”

National Bishop Johnson led the delegates in song (Lord Listen to Your Children Pray) as ballots were cast.

Motion on Rostered Ministry (Motion #28)

Passed by a vote of 205 to 114, Motion #28 states that sexual orientation is not in itself a factor that disqualifies a candidate for rostered ministry. The motion rescinds two past convention actions that disallowed self-declared, practicing homosexuals to be approved for ordination and call.

“I thank you for your love and patience during this debate. On behalf of my congregation, I speak against the motion,” said one delegate. “It is against God’s will and Gods word, the Bible.”

“When I look at my experience of 20 years, I can’t see that anything good has come from church’s current policy on this issue,” said Eastern Synod Bishop Michael Pryse. “I’ve seen the terrible results of this policy: broken people, broken families, broken congregations, substance abuse, broken lives. That’s what happens when you demand celibacy of those who don’t have the gifts to live celibate lives. This motion provides the opportunity for willing congregations to consider these candidates.”

“I urge you to not vote for this,” expressed a rostered delegate. “Will congregations be allowed to ask a candidate’s orientation? Are we opening a can of worms for congregations that are on the orthodox side? Will pastors have to hide their orientation to get a job? Is this a decision that’s made too soon?”

At the end of the debate, one rostered delegate broke her silence. “I rise to speak in favour, and I do so praising God, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God made me gay, and I celebrate God’s gift,” she said. “This church has nurtured me and helped me become the person I am. As I prepared myself to take this call, no one ever asked me about my sexuality, but we were told we could stay if we were celibate or silent. Today I break my silence on behalf of my sisters and brothers who cannot speak. I implore that gifted gays and lesbians may be embraced, empowered and sent.”

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

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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

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ELCIC National Convention Delegates Approve Social Statement on Human Sexuality

Following more than two hours of debate, delegates of the 2011 ELCIC National Convention approved a Social Statement on Human Sexuality. The results came late in a day and were done by written ballot, with 213 votes in favour of the motion and 134 against.  

The document is the result of a four-year process involving: a study guide, a church-wide feedback process, a draft statement that allowed for further feedback opportunities, and the statement. The statement analyzes the current social problem, provides theological and ethical foundations, and applies insights from the first two sections to the contemporary situation.

Convention delegates first considered the statement Thursday evening during a Committee of the Whole session. The Human Sexuality Task Force introduced the 14-page report and responded to questions and comments from delegates.

Delegates returned to debate the matter in a Friday morning business session, and long lines of people approached the plenary hall microphones to speak for and against the motion. As on Thursday, comments covered a wide range of subjects, including the interpretation of scripture, church tradition, theology, and human rights. Many shared personal stories and many quoted the Bible.

“The statement is honest,” said a delegate in favour of the statement. “The church is conflicted but the statement full of love and grace.”

Another delegate said that the social statement acknowledged homosexual orientation as a genetic reality. “Our loving God gave them these characteristics,” he said. “The least we could do is love them the way God does.”

Speaking against the statement, one delegate noted, “Nowhere in the Bible do I see anything in support of same-sex relationships.” He continued, “One day we will stand before God and we will be judged not by the UN Declaration of Rights or the Canadian charter, but by God’s holy laws.”

Others said the statement was not appropriate at this time for the church. “It’s so ambiguous no one understands it,” said a delegate. “This isn’t our solid ground that we stand on. After ten years of debate, we still do not have a consensus. We don’t have anything but divisions.”

In this midst of this conversation, delegates considered several motions that proposed to alter the process of the vote. Delegates approved, almost unanimously, a motion to vote by written ballot instead of public voting by raising cards. The delegate who proposed the motion said this more private method would help people to vote according to their consciences.

Delegates defeated another motion that requested a two-thirds majority to pass the motion instead of the usual majority of 50 per cent plus one vote. They also defeated a proposed amendment to provide more material in the statement’s footnotes.

After the allotted hour-and-fifteen-minute session during Friday morning’s session, the question had not yet been called. National Bishop Susan C. Johnson, chair of the meeting, proposed that delegates return from dinner one hour early to finish the discussion and vote. She requested that those lined up at microphones maintain their order until the later session.

After other business and a meal, convention resumed the discussion in a similar tone. Many people stood up to express earnest opinions both for and against the statement.

Following an hour of debate, and with people still lined up at the microphones, a delegate asked for the question to be called.

Delegates voted on whether to call the question and the results were announced as 166 in favour and 162 against. As convention moved on to consider the adoption of the social statement, a steward announced that there had been an error with the previous count and the majority of delegates had voted not to call the question.

After a brief time of reflection, Bishop Johnson sited Bourinot’s Rules of Order and ruled the decision to call the question stood, since delegates had proceeded in good faith according to information from the stewards. A motion was made to challenge the chair, but delegates upheld the decision of the chair.

The original vote to approve the proposed Social Statement on Human Sexuality resumed, and after voting, delegates heard a presentation and several announcements. They then finally stood to sing hymns together.

At around 7:30 p.m., Bishop Johnson announced the statement had been adopted by a vote of 213 to 134, plus two spoiled ballots. Following the announcement and prayer, Bishop Johnson acknowledged the ongoing divisions in the church and celebrated the continued unity that the church has in Christ.

The ELCIC Social Statement on Human Sexuality is available online at: elcic.ca/Human-Sexuality/default.cfm.

Over 500 Lutherans and special guests are meeting in Saskatoon at the ELCIC’s 13th National Convention. Full agenda details and a live link to the proceeding are available on the National Convention website: elcic.ca/In-Convention/2011-Saskatoon.

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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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Responses to Proposed ELCIC Social Statement on Human Sexuality Mixed but Respectful

Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada’s (ELCIC) Human Sexuality Task Force responded to questions Thursday night from convention delegates regarding the proposed Social Statement on Human Sexuality. The document is the result of a four-year process involving: a study guide, church-wide feedback process, a draft statement that allowed for further feedback opportunities, and the proposed statement.

Task force chairperson Judy Wry presented the three-part document, developed according to an ELCIC policy for social statements. The statement analyzes the current social problem, provides biblical theological foundations, and applies insights from the first two sections to the contemporary situation.

Beginning in 2007, the task force first surveyed ELCIC synods for input, then incorporated feedback into a study document that was widely distributed. The more than 500 responses were reviewed and the task force prepared a first draft. This again was distributed widely and feedback was incorporated, with final theological review by the bishops.

In her presentation to convention delegates, Wry said the task force’s work was informed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s 2001 process, previous ELCIC synod work, and a related 1970 statement of the predecessor church.

Convention then entered into a session for Committee of the Whole whereby it departed from parliamentary procedure to allow delegates time for questions and comments.

Responses to the proposed social statement covered a wide range of topics, including the definition of family, the role of scripture in drafting the document, the definition of marriage, the intent of the statement, and issues of morality and salvation. Many delegates thanked the task force for their work.

Some delegates criticized the statement, arguing that its recommendations and purpose were unclear. Others said that the statement departed from traditional Biblical interpretation or did not adequately incorporate scripture.

“Scripture is not given enough weight here,” said one delegate. “The authority that we have quoted is civil law or human rights. Not enough authority is drawn from scripture.”

Other delegates urged for the proposed statement to be adopted.

“I appreciated the breadth and how it captured the complexity of situation,” said one delegate. She praised the task force for addressing broader issues of human exploitation and the idolatry of sexuality in current culture.

Some delegates spoke to how the statement had already led to change in their communities. One pastor shared a letter from a person in her congregation who found the statement “bold, sensitive, forward-thinking and inclusive.” After reading the proposed statement, this person asked to have her children baptized in the church.

Wry fielded questions and comments with support from other task force members. After taskforce member Rev. Sonja Free closed the session in prayer, ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson thanked delegates for the “respect and love” that characterized the discussion.

During Friday’s business sessions, delegates will have an opportunity to debate the specific motions put forward by National Church Council relating to the statement.

Members of the Human Sexuality Task force members are Bishop Steven Kristenson, Rev. Dr. Richard Crossman, Rev. Sonja Free, Rev. Jim Hill, Nadine Smith, Rebecca Ulrich, and Judy Wry. Rev. Paul Gehrs provided staff support.

  • The Proposed Statement on Human Sexuality is available online.

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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

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National Bishop Susan Johnson Re-Elected on Second Ballot

On the second ballot for National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), the Rev. Susan C. Johnson was re-elected by delegates at the 13th Biennial National Convention for a second four-year term.

In her address following the announcement, Bishop Johnson thanked delegates for trusting her with the call the National Bishop. “Four years ago you honoured me with this election,” she said, “and I feel just as honoured today.”

Bishop Johnson acknowledged the support she receives from colleagues, the conference of bishops, church partners and others throughout the church, and shared with delegates that she knows she doesn’t, “work in a vacuum.”

“I covet your prayers,” she said, “and I thank you very much for the trust you have placed in me.”

Bishop Johnson is the fourth bishop to serve the ELCIC. This will be her second four-year term as National Bishop. She was first elected in 2007.

Over 500 Lutherans and special guests are meeting in Saskatoon at the ELCIC’s 13th National Convention. Full agenda details and a live link to the proceeding 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

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ELCIC National Bishop Encourages Love, Renewal and Action in Report to Convention

ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson encouraged delegates to let the Holy Spirit lead them through the coming days of convention as she delivered her Report of the National Bishop to delegates, special guests and visitors attending the 13th Biennial National Convention taking place July 14–17 at TCU Place in Saskatoon, SK.

“We have several challenging days of work ahead of us,” said Bishop Johnson. “What I ask is that we treat each other with Christian love, as faithful followers of Jesus, who love this church. This is my hope and my prayer for our church as we enter into these days of convention.”

The Bishop’s report outlined much progress over the past four years in working to be a church In Mission for Others, particularly in light of the 60th anniversary of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Through its support of The Lutheran World Federation and Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR), the ELCIC helps care for more than 500,000 refugees on a daily basis.

This past April, the National Bishop saw this work first-hand when she travelled to Ethiopia’s Al Barre refugee camp, home to some 13,000 Somalis. “The work that we are doing in the areas of water, environment and livelihood activity is truly amazing,” she said. “The work is professional, the workers are passionate, but the job doesn’t end there. People can’t stay in refugee camps forever. They need to be resettled in a new land, reintegrated into the local community or repatriated into their original homeland.”

Bishop Johnson spoke to the need for continued refugee sponsorship through CLWR and offered some inspiring stories of ELCIC congregations that have made a commitment to welcoming refugees into their communities. “Consider how you can participate in this very concrete way of being a church In Mission for Others,” she said.

Looking to the future, the Bishop discussed several new initiatives being launched at convention, including the church’s Call to Spiritual Renewal. Over the past few years, Bishop Johnson has been encouraging members to strive for a deeper discipleship, which includes regular attendance at worship, daily prayer and scripture reading, yearly involvement in a program of study, regular service to the community, regular and proportional giving, and commitment to sharing the good news with those around us. “I feel strongly that God is calling us to a closer daily walk with our Lord,” she said. “And I invite each of you to participate in this Call to Spiritual Renewal.”

In addition to Spiritual Renewal, Bishop Johnson called delegates to commit to the inaugural Praise Appeal. Part of the ELCIC’s Financial Resource Generation Strategy, this church-wide appeal offers the opportunity to highlight different aspects of church ministry. This year the Praise Appeal will give thanks for the ministry of women in the church, looking back on the ministry of Evangelical Lutheran Women Inc. and looking forward to the new forms this ministry may take.

“If you haven’t organized a Praise Appeal Sunday yet this year, I urge you to do so and support the work of the wider church,” Bishop Johnson said. “Thank you for all of your support and encouragement and your partnership in ministry. It is an honour and a privilege to serve as your National Bishop.”

Over 500 Lutherans and special guests are meeting in Saskatoon at the ELCIC’s 13th National Convention. Full agenda details and a live link to the proceeding 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.

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ELCIC National Convention Commences; National Bishop Reflects on Call to be Disciples

More than 325 delegates and over 150 visitors joined their voices and hearts in worship to open the 13th Biennial National Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) on Thursday, July 14 at TCU Place, Saskatoon, SK.

ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson preached at the opening worship service.

In her sermon, Bishop Johnson reflected on the convention theme Covenant People: In Mission for Others and reminded delegates that they are all, “joined to God in the covenant of baptism, and through God we are joined to each other and called to live our lives as disciples of Jesus.”

Delegates were reminded of the promises made through the covenant of baptism which was affirmed at the beginning of the opening worship service. The promises include: to live among God’s faithful people; to hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s supper; to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed; to serve all people, following the example of Jesus; and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth.

Bishop Johnson asked delegates to reflect on how they were doing in living out these promises. “How are you doing in continuing to deepen your discipleship and your relationship with God?” she continued.

During her travels and in conversations across the church, Bishop Johnson said she was sensing that some are experiencing a spiritual hunger that is being met from very different sources.

“We have been so influenced by our consumer-driven culture that we stuff ourselves with possessions, and positions, and status, rather than turning to the pure spiritual milk that will sate our hunger,” she said.

“Christianity isn’t an institution, but rather a movement whose missionary focus is always directed outward into the world,” she said. “The things that we do within our communities of faith bear significance only insomuch as they serve and support that outward movement.”

Bishop Johnson reiterated a call to spiritual renewal that she has been sharing across the church for several years now and reminded those gathered at the opening worship service of the call to follow Jesus. “I feel very strongly that God is calling us to a deeper and more spirited discipleship and to a closer daily walk with our Lord,” she said.

Outlining a new initiative titled the Call to Spiritual Renewal, Bishop Johnson offered a list of seven actions to assist in deepening discipleship, including: Pray, Read, Worship, Study, Serve, Give, Tell.

“I know it’s not easy,” she shared. “But take heart. Take heart in the fact that the disciples had moments of doubt, misunderstanding and abject failure – and they had Jesus with them in the flesh."

“Jesus is calling,” she concluded. “Let us joyfully follow.”

Opening worship closed with Bishop Johnson declaring the church-wide assembly in session.

The altar used for worship and present throughout convention was built from wood reclaimed from prairie grain elevators by local artist David Kenyon Fast. Learn more about this project here: grainelevatoraltar.blogspot.com.

Over 500 Lutherans and special guests are meeting in Saskatoon at the ELCIC’s 13th National Convention. Full agenda details and a live link to the proceeding 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.

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Lutherans Gather for National Convention

Over 350 delegates from across Canada will gather in Saskatoon, SK this week to participate in the Thirteenth Biennial National Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. The convention takes place July 14-17 at TCU Place.

During the two and a half days of convention business meetings, delegates will hold elections for officers and National Church Council (NCC) members, consider a number of important motions, worship together, and participate in a forum titled, “The Blanket Exercise” which will engage participants in the historic relationship between Europeans and the Indigenous nations, and in the colonization of the land we now call Canada.

The ELCIC National Convention takes place every two years and includes clergy, lay, staff members, and special guests and partners. In addition, almost 100 visitors are registered to attend and another 100 volunteers will assist with convention logistics.

An important part of convention will be the business sessions. Delegates have the opportunity to participate in discussion and vote on a number of important matters before the church. A few of the significant motions at this year’s convention, include:

Encouraging Right Relationships with Indigenous Peoples (Motion 24)

Following the Friday afternoon forum, a motion titled, An ELCIC Resolution on Encouraging Right Relationships with Indigenous Peoples will be introduced. The motion calls on the ELCIC to commit to promoting right and renewed relationships between non-indigenous and Indigenous Peoples within Canada and to affirm that recognizing and implementing indigenous rights is essential to being the kind of society Canada strives to be.

Structural Renewal Task Force Recommendations (Motion 23)

Delegates will discuss and vote in principle on a proposal for structural renewal that is designed with a goal to strengthen congregations, streamline synods and redirect financial and people resources towards mission. The recommendations 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.

Should delegates affirm this motion, the recommendations are approved in principle only. The approved motion would mean that National Church Council would move forward with the next steps in the implementation process, including taking further motions to Synod Conventions in 2012.

Addressing Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking (Motion 29)

The 2011 ELCIC National Convention will consider a call to congregations, rostered leadership and synods to provide leadership in preaching, teaching and other forms of public witness against the commercial exploitation of human beings. Study and advocacy to strengthen Canadian legislations and policies, which "discourage the demand that fosters all forms of exploitation of persons, especially women and children," are encouraged through this motion.

This motion before delegates at the National Convention affirms and supports initiatives set out by The Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada.

A Proposed ELCIC Social Statement on Human Sexuality (Motion 25)

Following four years of study, discernment and church wide consultation by the ELCIC Human Sexuality Task Force, delegates will consider for approval a Proposed ELCIC Social Statement on Human Sexuality. The statement was prepared according to the vision and process articulated in The Public Witness of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada: A Policy on How the Church Addresses Social Issues. There are three sections in this statement: "Encountering the World in Which We Live" which names some of the current issues of sexuality that face our world; "Facing God and Being Church" which seeks to find common language to articulate the faith and theology which guides our life together; and "Doing Ministry" which seeks to stimulate conversation about mission and ministry at the local and global level.

Motions from the ELCIC’s Faith, Order and Doctrine Committee (Motions 26, 27 and 28)

The ELCIC’s Faith, Order and Doctrine Committee was asked to review and prepare motions arising from the Proposed ELCIC Social Statement on Human Sexuality. These motions were approved by NCC and recommended for adoption to the 2011 National Convention.

The motions before delegates address three areas: Unity of the Church, Presiding at or Blessing Marriages, and Standards for Ordination and Consecration. In the spirit of openness and transparency, NCC shared with the church these motions in an April 3, 2011 Letter to the Church from National Church Council.

National Conventions of the ELCIC are the highest legislative body of the church and are held every two years (biennially). The voting membership of convention consists of two hundred rostered ministers elected by conferences as allocated by NCC on the basis of baptized members; and lay delegates elected by each parish not already represented by an rostered minster. Parishes with greater than eight hundred baptized members may elect an additional lay delegate. Voting membership also consists of twelve youth selected by the ELCIC synods as members of the youth assembly.

Further information on the Thirteenth Biennial National Convention of the ELCIC is available online at: elcic.ca/In-Convention/2011-Saskatoon.

Note for Media Representatives: All media must be accredited in order to attend this event. Forms for accreditation can be found at the following link: elcic.ca/In-Convention/2011-Saskatoon/MediaInformation.cfm.

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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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Countdown to Convention #5

Lutherans from across the ELCIC will meet in Saskatoon for the 13th Biennial National Convention taking place July 14-17. As we count down the weeks to convention we will highlight what’s new, what to watch for, how to keep informed and news to know in the weekly newsletter Countdown to Convention.

Countdown to Convention #5 is now available online.

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Countdown to Convention #4

Lutherans from across the ELCIC will meet in Saskatoon for the 13th Biennial National Convention taking place July 14-17. As we count down the weeks to convention we will highlight what’s new, what to watch for, how to keep informed and news to know in the weekly newsletter Countdown to Convention.

Countdown to Convention is now available online.

Read more

Emergency Appeal Issued to Assist those Affected by Flooding in Saskatchewan

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), through its partnership with Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR), is appealing to its members for financial support for humanitarian aid to assist those displaced by flooding in Saskatchewan.

Much of southern Saskatchewan is under severe stress due to flooding from rivers and dams, and also due to high water tables and ground water flooding. Reports from the affected region note that some areas are bracing for peaks that will rival flooding seen during the spring run-off. And in many places, people have been battling the flood since April. Recent re-flooding concerns are having a significant impact on people and morale.

CLWR is issuing an appeal for funds to support humanitarian efforts which could include: help relocating those affected to safe areas; providing emergency shelter; providing food; and supporting congregational programs that provide assistance which fills potential gaps already provided by governmental emergency services. Based on currently available funds, $5000 for Saskatchewan flooding is being committed to relief efforts. The ELCIC and CLWR work in effective partnership with lead agencies which are providing front line services.

On May 17, 2011, ELCIC and CLWR issued emergency appeals to assist those affected by wildfires in Alberta and flooding in Manitoba. Recovery from the wild fires and flooding in Manitoba remain an ongoing concern. Donations continue to be accepted for “2011 Alberta Wildfires” and “2011 Manitoba Flooding.”

ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson is also calling for members to pray for the people across the western provinces who have been affected by this year’s disasters, especially those who are immediately threatened by flooding. She has prepared the following suggested prayer:

God of the Universe, you have created this world in which we live and have called it good. And yet at times the forces of nature seem out of control. We pray for all those who are affected by the flooding and wildfires on the Prairies. Help them, and us, to put our trust in your love and care. Motivate and equip those who are reaching out with hands and hearts to serve those in need. In our faithful prayers, in our generous response, help us to be a church In Mission for Others. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Donations for the appeals may be made in the following ways:

  1. ELCIC members are asked to donate to the appeals by making a designated offering donation for “2011 Saskatchewan Flooding” through their congregation.
  2. Donations may also be made through CLWR:
  • Online at www.clwr.org/donate. In the process of completing the form, you will come to a pull-down menu that allows you to designate a specific project. Choose the “2011 Saskatchewan Flooding.”
  • By calling CLWR’s toll-free number: 1.800.661.2597  or locally at 204.694.5602.
  • By sending a cheque made payable to CLWR and mailed to: CLWR, 302-393 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 3H6. Please indicate in your correspondence that you wish to contribute to the “2011 Saskatchewan Flooding.”

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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

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