ELCIC members encouraged to pray for those affected by political unrest in Thailand; ELCIC Global Mission personnel Lori Endress safe

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) calls on its members to include in their prayers all who are affected by the situation in Thailand amid media reports of political unrest and instability.

Reports out of Thailand have shown anti-government demonstrations and rallies mainly centering around its capital city, Bangkok. Thousands of protestors have, "brought Thailand’s capital to a standstill," according to CNN.com, as they seek to unseat the leadership of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. Media images show protestors, who are identified by their red shirts, collecting their own blood and splattering it on the gates of the Prime Minister’s residence and other government buildings.

The ELCIC has one missionary in the region, Lori Endress, who has been serving for 10 years as a missionary in Thailand. For the past eight years, Endress has been based in Thailand’s northern ‘second city’, Chiang Mei, at Payap University, Thailand’s first Christian university and an institution of the national Thai Church, The Church of Christ in Thailand.

ELCIC Assistant to the Bishop for Global Mission, Rev. Carla Blakley, is in continued contact with Endress and reports that she is safe. "Chiang Mai [where Endress is based] is in the Northern part of Thailand, away from the centre of activity and protest, although Chiang Mai has had isolated incidences of violence as well," says Rev. Blakley. "Lori is safe and we will keep monitoring the political situation as it unfolds."

In this dominantly Buddhist country, Lori’s work in leadership training and English upgrading has enabled the diverse faculty to become leaders at Payap University. Her particular focus has been enabling the Thai faculty, as well as Thai and international seminarians, to become leaders for McGilvary College of Divinity (Payap University), for the national Thai Church, its congregations, and for the Churches of Southeast Asia.

Further information on the ELCIC’s Global Mission work can be viewed online: https://elcic.ca/Global-Mission/default.cfm

In addition to a call for prayers for the safety of those affected by the situation in Thailand, ELCIC members are asked to include ELCIC Missionary Lori Endress in their prayers; for her safety during this period of unrest but also she continues to recover from a mild stroke experienced in December.

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 162,100 baptized members in 611 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’s 2010 Easter Message

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) National Bishop Susan C. Johnson’s 2010 Easter message is now available in video format for personal or congregational viewing.

In her 2010 Easter message, Bishop Johnson shares her reflections on John 20 and the joy Mary experienced upon her encounter with the resurrected Jesus in the garden. Noting the privilege Mary had of sharing the good news with the disciples, Bishop Johnson invites members of the church to join her in this season of Easter, "in sharing good news with others around us who are in desperate need for [this] message."

Watch the video message here: https://elcic.ca/From-the-Bishop/default.cfm

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 162,100 baptized members in 611 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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New ELCIC National Office Staffing Team Models Effective Partnerships and Focused Framework

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) National Bishop Susan C. Johnson is employing a new model of staffing that lifts up the ELCIC’s priorities of effective partnerships and focused framework.

Three new senior staff members have joined the National Office in a part-time deployed capacity and were introduced at the recent National Church Council meeting. The new model, "will help to balance our budget, but will also bring a multiplier effect with the addition of these new staff members who all bring expertise, creativity and enthusiasm in their focused areas," says Bishop Johnson, who also notes that, "the new model allows for an effective partnership with congregations. The National Office has used part-time deployed staff before, but never to this extent."

Rev. Carla Blakley has been appointed to the position of Assistant to the Bishop, Global Mission. She assumes this role in a part-time capacity while maintaining her current call as senior pastor at Bread of Life Lutheran Church, Regina, SK. She brings many gifts to this new position, including international experience, creativity, and a commitment to and passion for the mission of the church around the world. Within this portfolio, Rev. Blakley is responsible for coordinating ELCIC Global Mission with the work of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Global Mission staff, supervising deployed staff of the ELCIC Global Mission program, assisting in the development and maintenance of Companion Church relationships, and assisting with the ELCIC Companion Synod Program.

Rev. Lyle McKenzie has been appointed to the position of Assistant to the Bishop, Worship. Rev. McKenzie assumes this role in a part-time capacity while maintaining his current call as pastor at Lutheran Church of the Cross, Victoria, BC. With a passion for worship, Rev. McKenzie brings many gifts to this new position, including his experience as chair of the local worship planning committee for the 2009 ELCIC National Convention and 2000 National Worship Conference, and as chair/co-chair of several synod convention worship committees. Within this portfolio, Rev. McKenzie is responsible for relating to the Program Committee for Worship, the National Worship Conference, and worship at the National Convention, along with responsibilities for maintaining and building relationships with the worship expressions of the ELCA, Anglican Church of Canada and Augsburg Fortress.

Rev. André Lavergne has been appointed to the position of Assistant to the Bishop, Ecumenical and Interfaith. Rev. Lavergne also assumes this role in a part-time capacity while continuing his current call as pastor at Trinity Lutheran, New Hamburg, ON, where he works in a team ministry. In addition to his passion for the ecumenical and interfaith relations of the church, Rev. Lavergne brings to the position his previous experience of working in a deployed staff position for the National Office which enabled him to develop and foster many ecumenical relationships. Some of the partners Rev. Lavergne is responsible for relating to include The Lutheran World Federation, World Council of Churches, Canadian Council of Churches and interfaith relations.

In September 2009, the National Office refocused its work and staffing levels to reflect current resource and programmatic challenges. While ensuring a commitment to priority areas such as Global Mission, Ecumenical Relations and Worship, the changes allowed the National Office to explore the possibility of new staffing models. This new model enables flexibility as the church undertakes a Structural Renewal Process heading towards the 2013 ELCIC National Convention.

The three new staff members join the existing senior staff of Rev. Paul Gehrs, Assistant to the Bishop in the areas of public policy, youth, and leadership for ministry, Trina Gallop, director of communications and stewardship, and Gloria McNabb, director of finance and administration.

A directory of National Office staff members, along with contact information, can be viewed online at: https://elcic.ca/National-Church-Council/Staff.cfm

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 162,100 baptized members in 611 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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NCC Holds Spring Meeting; Spirited Discipleship and Focused Framework Important Agenda Items for a Church In Mission for Others

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada’s (ELCIC) National Church Council (NCC) met in Winnipeg from March 11-13, 2010. Council members conduct the business of the church between National Conventions and provide direction to the ELCIC’s National Bishop Susan C. Johnson on how the ELCIC can best fulfill its governance responsibilities and live out its call to be a church In Mission for Others.

With committee meetings taking place on Thursday afternoon and evening, the formal portion of the meeting began on Friday morning with an Opening Worship Service including Holy Communion. National Bishop Johnson presided at the service, Rev. Peter Mikelic (Eastern Synod ordained member) preached and also was the meeting chaplain.  

Dwelling in the Word

Four members of NCC led Dwelling in the Word (DITW) sessions where they each shared a memory or reflection on a scripture passage that is important to them. Usually detailing a personal experience, Dwelling in the Word has become a regular part of NCC meetings and are one way NCC’s lives out its vision to foster a climate of spirited discipleship and share personal faith. NCC members leading Dwelling in the Word at the March 2010 NCC meeting included: Rev. Peter Mikelic, Bishop Michael Pryse (Eastern Synod), Jeanie Stann (British Columbia Synod lay member), and Rev. Claudine Carlson (Eastern Synod ordained member). Videos of the Dwelling in the Word sessions can be viewed online: www.elcic.ca/National-Church-Council/default.cfm

Call to Spiritual Renewal

In her report to NCC, National Bishop Susan C. Johnson stressed the need for a stronger call to spirited discipleship in order to address the church’s slow drift towards Christianity Lite. "I feel very strongly that God is calling us to a deeper discipleship and a closer, daily walk with our Lord," said Bishop Johnson. In the midst of several critical areas of work for the church, Bishop Johnson stressed the need to continue articulating our faith in our everyday actions – a focus found in one of the ELCIC five pillars, Spirited Discipleship.

Deeper Conversation on Joint Office Possibilities

An overview of a joint office possibility with the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) was presented to NCC members. NCC approved a motion to, "authorize the National Bishop, in consultation with the ACC Primate and the co-chairs of the Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission, to explore the possibility of establishing a joint national office in Ottawa and to take such steps necessary to explore the costs and other implications of such a move."

Senior staff members of both churches had met last spring to discuss opportunities for increased partnership. Staff members from ACC will be coming to the ELCIC head office in Winnipeg later this spring to continue discussions around joint opportunities.

Work of the Structural Renewal Task Force Continues

NCC members received an update on the work of the Structural Renewal Task Force which is chaired by Sheila Hamilton, ELCIC Vice-President. The task force has made presentations to all ELCIC synod councils, the NCC and the Conference of Bishops to engage in discussions on possible structural renewal models and to solicit feedback. Hamilton noted that the work of the task force continues. Synod councils will be updated at their spring 2010 meetings and synod conventions will have agenda time devoted to small group discussions and general feedback opportunities. NCC members amended the mandate of the Structural Renewal Task Force to bring constitutional and other changes to Synod Conventions in 2012 and the ELCIC National Convention in 2013.

Conversation on Gratitude and Generosity

At the Fall 2009 NCC meeting, members approved a Financial Resource Generation Strategy that identifies ways the church could work towards more conscious and faithful financial stewardship. One of the goals of the strategy is to, "engage spirited disciples in all expressions of the church in dialogue pertaining to our call to be stewards of our resources."

NCC members met on Friday afternoon for the guided one-on-one "Conversation on Gratitude and Generosity." The conversation opened with individual prayer and reflection. Discussion and further reflection was formed around six questions which had NCC members recalling their first memory about money and how that has shaped their current feelings about giving, reflecting on who has been a stewardship mentor in their life, and verbalizing their own personal theology of giving. The stewardship conversations concluded with a recognition of ways they could see themselves growing in gratitude and giving, and making a commitment to personal growth in that area.

Convention Governance Renewal

As detailed in a September 17, 2009 Letter to the Church, NCC initiated a process to review Convention governance practices following the 2009 ELCIC National Convention. "NCC is committed to making decisions regarding appropriate procedures for National Convention 2011 in order that there is plenty of time to communicate appropriately with congregations and delegates well in advance of the next convention," noted Bishop Johnson in her September 17 letter.

A report was shared with NCC. In the coming weeks information on the review process, updates to procedures and next steps will be shared widely with the church.

2011 National Convention

The Thirteenth Biennial Convention of the ELCIC will be held at TCU Place in downtown Saskatoon, Saskatchewan from July 14-17, 2011. NCC members approved the 2011 convention theme – Covenant People: In Mission for Others. The theme honours the ELCIC’s call to diverse faces and to being a church that better represents the demographics in the communities where we are located. Using the text from Isaiah 56:6-8 referencing the theme of covenant, the ELCIC will use the convention, including worship and bible study, to explore how our baptismal covenant is at the root of the call to be In Mission for Others. The theme will also allow the ELCIC to explore in a plenary educational forum how one synonym for covenant is the word treaty, and how the church and all people of Canada are treaty people. Delegates will be invited to reflect on how the ELCIC is called to engage in the wider community in witness and service.

Closing Worship and Next Meeting

NCC closed their spring meeting in prayer and song. The next meeting of NCC will take place September 9-11, 2010 in Winnipeg. In Spring 2011, NCC plans to meet concurrently with the Anglican Church of Canada’s Council of General Synod.

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 162,100 baptized members in 611 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 Human Sexuality Task Force Receives Study Feedback, Starts Next Phase

Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) responded enthusiastically to the call to provide feedback on the ELCIC’s Study of Human Sexuality. As of the February 28 deadline for feedback over 500 responses had been received at the National Office via online feedback, as well as through written submissions.

The ELCIC Study of Human Sexuality was made available for individual and congregational use at the end of September 2009. The study, prepared by the ELCIC Human Sexuality Task Force, engaged members of the church in dialogue and respectful conversation as part of a consultation process to generate feedback and inform the process of drafting a social statement. The study touched on personal discipleship, local ministry contexts, and the mission of the wider church.

Over 500 responses to the study were received as of the end of February with responses continuing to come in after the deadline; the task force will be including the additional responses in the process as they are able. The next step in the process will involve the task force reviewing all of the submissions and, using the feedback, writing a first draft of a social statement.

"Each member of the task force is reading every response that we have received," says Judy Wry, chair of the Human Sexuality Task Force. "We want to thank the members of the church for their prayerful and thoughtful consideration of the study. All of the comments will be carefully considered as we embark on the next phase in the development of a social statement."

The draft social statement, when available, will be distributed widely for consultation. Feedback from the draft statement will inform revisions that will lead to the proposed social statement. Following a review of the statement, it is intended that National Church Council will present it to the 2011 ELCIC National Convention. Delegates to the convention must endorse the final draft before it becomes an official social statement of the church.

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 162,100 baptized members in 611 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 and CLWR Executive Director Thank Members for their Generosity; An Update on Haiti

In a message to members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson and Canadian Lutheran World Relief Executive Director Robert Granke thank members of the church for their prayerful and generous response to assist financially with relief efforts following the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Canadian Lutherans have donated over $1 million dollars for the appeal that was issued after the January 12 earthquake.

A video message from the leaders may be viewed here: https://elcic.ca/From-the-Bishop/default.cfm

The following is the text from the message to ELCIC members:

Dear friends in Christ:

We are writing to you as the National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and Executive Director of Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR).

As National Bishop of the ELCIC, I want to thank you for the incredible generosity that you have shown in response to the disaster in Haiti caused by the earthquake. The incredible, generous support that you have displayed through both your prayers and through the gifts of your financial resources has been overwhelming. It proves to me that we are indeed a church In Mission for Others. The way that we have been able to work in effective partnership with Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) to provide compassionate justice to those in need is a true sign both of our partnership and our commitment to Gods mission in our world.

And as the Executive Director of CLWR, I would also like to offer my thanks to all congregations who supported the appeal to assist financially with relief efforts for Haiti. To date we have raised more than $1 million dollars, the majority of which has come from ELCIC congregations. Funds will be used to carry out relief efforts in Haiti primarily through the work of The Lutheran World Federation and ACT (Actions by Churches Together) Alliance. These efforts will include providing temporary shelters, as well as water and sanitation facilities. This will help as we work towards the long term, which will include the building of earthquake resistant houses.

Its the time of Lent. And in Lent we reflect on our relationship with our God and think about how we are doing in our personal discipleship. The way that you have shown generosity in responding to the disaster in Haiti shows that you know what it means to walk closely with our God.

May God bless you and continue to watch over you during this Lenten journey.

Rev. Susan C. Johnson                 Robert Granke
National Bishop, ELCIC                 Executive Director, CLWR

A pdf version of the letter can be viewed here: https://www.elcic.ca/Documents/Haitithank-youletter.pdf

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 162,100 baptized members in 611 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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March E-Communique

The latest issue of E-Communique, an electronic toolbox of information and resources from the National Office, is now available online at: www.elcic.ca/Communique/default.cfm.

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ELCIC National Bishop Calls for Prayers Following Chilean Earthquake

The National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) is calling on members to pray for all who have been affected by the devastating earthquake that hit Chile on February 27.

Conception, a city the size of Winnipeg, and surrounding coastal regions have been severely damaged by the 8.8 magnitude earthquake. The quake, which occurred in the early morning hours of February 27, has killed over 700 people and left over two million people homeless.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile (IELCH) president, Rev. Gloria Rojas, reports that the situation in the city is chaotic, with much destruction. Some affected families are housed in church buildings and have lost everything. Many people are staying on the streets because their houses are partially destroyed or they fear new aftershocks.

"As we continue to learn more about the situation in Chile, I ask that you keep all those who have been affected by this tragedy in your prayers," says National Bishop Susan C. Johnson. "While current efforts are focusing on emergency measures, we also need to keep in mind the need for long-term relief efforts. We are grateful for our partnership with Canadian Lutheran World Relief, and their membership in the ACT Alliance, and the work that will be carried out in the region in the coming days, weeks and months."

ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) members are present in Chile providing emergency assistance in the form of food, water and shelter.

ELCIC members wishing to support these efforts can make a donation through Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR), a member of ACT. Donations may be made through local ELCIC congregations. Donations may also be made through CLWR’s website at www.clwr.org, by sending a cheque payable to CLWR (and mailed to CLWR, 302-393 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 3H6), or by calling 1.800.661.2597. While CLWR does not anticipate that it will engage strongly in response to this disaster, as it has with Haiti, donations are welcome and will be channeled through the ACT Alliance.

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 162,100 baptized members in 611 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 Encourages Congregations to Pray for Peace for All People in the Holy Land on February 28

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) encourages all congregations to designate the second Sunday of Lent, which this year is February 28, to pray for peace for all people in the Holy Land.

The call comes in response to a motion passed at the 2009 ELCIC National Convention. The motion, titled “An ELCIC Convention Resolution on the Holy Land,” encourages the ELCIC to, “call on its members to regularly pray for peace for all people in the Holy Land, especially the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, and to designate a Sunday annually for prayers in the congregation across the ELCIC.”

The ELCIC’s Program Committee for Worship (PCW) has prepared a number of resources for use in congregations and in other settings. Congregations are encouraged to include the following prayer petition (or the full prayer – link is available below) in their worship on February 28:

Holy God, Sovereign of the universe, we pray for the peace of the Middle East and of the whole world which you love so much. We pray especially for the city of peace, Jerusalem, Jeru-Shalom, Jeru-Salaam, holy city to Christians and Jews and Muslims, a city which knows too little peace. God, in your mercy, HEAR OUR PRAYER.

The full version of the prayer, along with addition resources for use, are available online at: https://www.elcic.ca/Documents/PrayersfortheHolyLand.pdf

The second Sunday in Lent was chosen because of the first readings from the lectionary, all of which are from the book of Genesis and concern God’s covenant with Abraham and Sarah of promised descendants and land (Year C Genesis 15: 1-12, 17-18, Year A Genesis 12: 1-4a, Year B Genesis 17: 1-7, 15-16).

Future dates designated for prayers for the people of the Holy Land will be March 20, 2011 and March 4, 2012.

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 162,100 baptized members in 611 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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Women Delegates Urge Lutheran Communion to Address Human Trafficking Issues

Women’s issues should not be just a priority for women throughout the Lutheran World Federation (LWF); being an inclusive communion is the responsibility of the entire communion.

Speaking on behalf of women delegates and advisors attending the LWF North America Pre-Assembly Consultation (NAPAC), Mikka McCracken, female youth delegate from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) urged all LWF North American delegates to take on the issues women delegates have lifted up as priorities within the whole LWF.

"These are issues that we are all called to," said McCracken. "If only women take them on, this is not full communion."

Participants were urged to stand in solidarity with women delegates in addressing the issues of human trafficking, women in leadership and food justice. The three priority areas were first prepared and proclaimed at the LWF Women’s Pre-Assembly in Bogis-Bossey, Switzerland, 27-31 October 2009, and were affirmed by North American region women delegates.

Twelve individuals in a variety of roles participated in the NAPAC youth and women’s meetings, which took place one day prior to the 29-31 January regional pre-assembly.

Education was a significant component in the call to address issues around human trafficking. "We have a lot of learning to do about what trafficking really is," said McCracken. "This is not just something that happens elsewhere. It is the reality within our own context."

Women delegates joined the LWF Council 2009 decision in absolutely rejecting "the turning of human beings into commodities, especially for the purposes of forced or exploitative labor, sexual exploitation, forced marriage, armed conflict or ‘organ harvesting.’" They called for wholeness for victims and recognition of commodification of human beings as sin.

Harmful Stigmas and Perceptions

"In some places women sell themselves just to put food on the table for their families," noted McCracken. "The Church must combat the sale of women’s and children’s bodies, particularly at this time of global financial crisis."

Within the North American context, delegates were urged to explore their responsibility for human trafficking by addressing some of the contributing factors such as increased availability and acceptability of pornography. "These are often considered to be sending countries and destination countries," noted McCracken, in reference to both pornography and human trafficking. North America is often referred to as a destination country and its contribution to facilitating the demand of humans as commodities needs to be addressed. Delegates were encouraged to address the role they can have in changing the harmful stigmas and perceptions that women and children are dispensable and saleable.

Delegates were also urged to play a greater role in affirming women in leadership throughout the church. Women delegates strongly affirmed the LWF’s commitment to women’s ordination, first made by the 1984 Assembly in Budapest, Hungary. "We, men and women, must raise up and nurture women and know where power and privilege are at work," said McCracken.

LWF member churches were encouraged to identify processes for naming female candidates to key LWF positions, and create opportunities to see visible change in the Lutheran family, including addressing issues around appropriate legislation and regulations that would enable women to take positions of leadership. The women delegates called for the creation of an LWF task force to organize theological discussions to identify guiding gender justice principles that would help member churches to contextualize and promote gender policies.

"We recognize the importance of modeling," said McCracken, referring to the North American context, "and we encourage churches worldwide to experience women in the pulpit, at the altar, and in decision-making bodies."

Turning to the issue of food justice, the changing dynamics within North American households were discussed. McCracken noted a recent statistic indicating that within the United States, 22 percent of women earn more than their husbands and are considered, "the bread winners" in their households. In addition, food production has become more industrialized; farmland is being converted to development and housing and profit is the primary motivator versus nutrition, she said.

McCracken called on delegates to consider that "when we pray, we acknowledge that food is a gift from God." LWF churches were encouraged to actively participate in the fight for food justice through engagement in campaigns and the search for long-term sustainable change in this area. (725 words)

Follow news and deliberations from the North America pre-assembly on the LWF Assembly Web site at: http://www.lwf-assembly.org and from the NAPAC blog at: http://lwf2010napac.wordpress.com

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The LWF is a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund, Sweden, the LWF currently has 140 member churches in 79 countries all over the world, with a total membership of 68.9 million. The LWF acts on behalf of its member churches in areas of common interest such as ecumenical and interfaith relations, theology, humanitarian assistance, human rights, communication, and the various aspects of mission and development work. Its secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland.

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 162,100 baptized members in 611 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