Praying Together for Christian Unity Throughout a Century of Changes

Although prayer is certainly at the heart of Christian life, praying together is not an easy exercise for churches within worldwide Christendom. Even today, common prayers are exceptional events rather than part of the daily life of the churches. But at least once a year it has become "normal" for many churches and congregations to pray together during the annual celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. In 2008, the 100th anniversary of this most meaningful ecumenical initiative is being celebrated around the globe.

The roots of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity can be traced back to the beginning of the 19th century. Initiatives involving praying for unity together with Christians from other denominations had been taking place here and there for over a century when, in 1908, a priest and a sister, both Episcopalians, publicly celebrated for the first time an Octave of Prayer for Church Unity from 18-25 January in Graymoor, Garrison, New York. The Rev. Paul Wattson and Mother Lurana White, co-founders of a small religious community in the Franciscan tradition known as the Society of the Atonement, chose for the octave the days spanning from what was at that time in the Roman Catholic calendar the "feast of the Chair of Peter", to the "feast of the conversion of Paul".

In celebrating its 100th anniversary, this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity points to that historical milestone as its foundational moment. But it is clear that a lot has changed in the ecumenical landscape over the last century.

The Octave of Prayer for Church Unity of those days was based on a concept of unity as re-union of Christendom under the Pope’s authority. For that reason, the octave was neither appealing nor theologically acceptable for Christians and churches outside the Roman Catholic Church, except for some Anglicans who were sympathetic to the idea of a reunion of Canterbury with Rome – like Wattson and White, who joined the Roman Catholic Church themselves. While it soon became widely observed in the Roman Catholic Church, the octave was by no means the only initiative of prayer for church unity at that time.

Well before 1908, the World Evangelical Alliance, the World Student Christian Federation, the Young Men’s Christian Association together with the Young Women’s Christian Association, had already all launched worldwide annual weeks or days of prayer in which the aspect of unity played an important role.

As early as 1907 the London-based Times published a letter signed by an impressive list of high-ranking church leaders from different denominations, who called on "all the Christian ministers of religion in England […] to prepare their congregations for a united effort of prayer on Whitsunday […] for the reunion of Christians". They underlined that those prayers should not compromise the beliefs of any confession but should focus on God’s will for the unity of all. The church leaders soberly declared that it was not yet the time for large schemes of corporate reunion but that churches should unite in penitence and prayer: penitence for their divisions and prayer for opening their minds to God’s will for unity.

"God’s will for the unity of all" became something like the leitmotif of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity through the years. Early writings of the Faith and Order movement on prayer and unity refer to that concept. Decades later, that formula made it possible to pray for unity within the Roman Catholic Church in a way that would not hurt denominational loyalties of other Christians. And even today it is a reminder to Christians and churches everywhere that the quest for the unity of all does not depend nor is it based on different doctrinal concepts of unity; it is rather God’s will for the entire creation.

Since the mid 1960’s, after the Second Vatican Council, the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches and the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity of the Roman Catholic Church [today’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity] have prepared the liturgical materials for the Week of Prayer together

Celebrating this year the 100th anniversary of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will be an occasion to give thanks for the unity, however provisional it may be, that churches already do have and live, and in which the Week of Prayer certainly has its share.

In Jerusalem – one of the places where the divisions within Christianity have often become visible in the most distressing ways – the impact of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on the life of the churches is confirmed by the fact that opportunities for common prayer multiply almost spontaneously. This is especially true for ecumenical prayers for peace, as Christian unity and peace are inseparable concerns for the Christians in the Middle East.

It was the tradition of preparing together for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which led churches in Slovakia to the idea of preparing a special ecumenical celebration when the country entered into the European Union in 2004. The Week of Prayer is observed nationwide in Slovakia, both at the top church level as well as at the grass-roots.

Examples from all over the world could be multiplied. This year’s theme – Pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17) – highlights the fact that Christians and churches cannot cease to pray for the unity of all. The divisions, which are still a reality between and within the churches, do not simply follow denominational lines. They are often – at least to some extent – rooted in ethnic or national identities, in issues of race, social status, gender or sexuality, exclusion of people with disabilities or of those living with HIV/AIDS.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity cannot provide a solution to all these problems. But its celebration every year is a victory over divisions because it expresses the unity which Christians do have in Christ.

(*) Written by Kersten Storch, a German Lutheran pastor who is executive staff of the World Council of Churches’ Faith and Order Commission and has been involved in the preparation of the Week of Prayer’s liturgical materials over the last six years.

More information on the Week of prayer for Christian unity
http://www.oikoumene.org/?id=3193

Society of Atonement’s website
http://www.atonementfriars.org/week_of_prayer.htm

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 174,555 baptized members in 620 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, Manager of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

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ELCIC/ELCA Long-term Missionary in Papua New Guinea, Bonnie Weppler, to Resign in 2008

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)’s missionary in Papua New Guinea (PNG), Bonnie Weppler, announced she will resign after serving ten years in a variety of capacities with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in PNG (ELC-PNG). Following her departure from PNG in May 2008, Weppler will participate in a six-month re-orientation period in Canada during which she intends to return to university and begin graduate studies in international development.

In a letter to ELCIC’s Mission in the World (MW) and ELCA’s Global Mission, Weppler wrote,

“As Jesus told the disciples, when we leave our homes in order to follow God’s call, we find other homes. When we leave our families, we find other families. How true. I have felt very much ‘at home’ here in PNG. And I have been so blessed with more moms and dads and aunties and uncles and bubus and a whole slew of children – including six ‘Bonnies’ and one ‘Weppler’ named after me!!! All of these people are very dear to me and I hold them all very tightly in my heart.

But the time has come for me to return to the other ‘home’, Canada. The time has come for me to pursue further education and to renew the relationships with the other members of my family. I ask for your prayers as I head down this new path.”

Weppler first left Canada for PNG on Christmas day 1996 to start a one-year placement with the ELCIC’s Volunteers in Mission (VIM) program. That placement as an assistant trainer for home economics, hospitality, accounting and budgeting at the ELC-PNG’s Human Development Centre at Bundun was extended to eighteen months and was followed by a series of short-term missionary assignments funded by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American (ELCA) including a two-year contract as English teacher at the Lutheran Church College in Banz, PNG. Weppler’s current placement is a joint position between the ELCIC and ELCA, and for the past five years she has worked in finance and interchurch relations in the ELC-PNG national office in Lae. Her status changed to Long-term Missionary in February 2004.

Kelvin Krieger, program coordinator for MW, notes Weppler remains an ELCIC employee until the end of her re-orientation period in November 2008.

“We are encouraging sponsors to maintain their financial support for her position throughout 2008,” says Krieger. “Later this year, sponsors will receive options and suggestions from ELCIC’s Mission in the World for continuing their support by establishing a new relationship with an ELCIC missionary or partner church mission.”

Information on the ELCIC’s MW program can be obtained by visiting the ELCIC website: www.elcic.ca/mission/world or by contacting Krieger at 204.984.9164 or kkrieger@elcic.ca 

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 174,555 baptized members in 620 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, Manager of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

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Theme for 2008 Meeting of LWF Council Announced

"Melting Snow on Mount Kilimanjaro: Christian Witness Amidst the Suffering Creation" is the theme of the 2008 meeting of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Council to be hosted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT).

The Council meets from 25 June to 1 July 2008 in Arusha, Tanzania, dates agreed by the LWF governing body at its March 2007 meeting in Lund, Sweden. The theme is developed in consultation with the Council host church.

The LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko conveys the Council theme and venue in a December 2007 letter addressed to the member churches, and invites them to concerted action in view of the theme and current global environmental challenges. "This theme connects well with our concerns related to ecology and global warming, pointing to some stark realities and injustices," Noko writes. He invites the churches to observe 29 June 2008 as a "Sunday on Climate Change" reflecting and worshipping together as they focus on the theme. "I urge you … to sensitize the pastors and congregations on the urgent issues related to God’s suffering creation," he adds.

LWF Work in the Region
Noko says the meeting in Arusha will offer possibilities to experience some aspects of the life and work of the ELCT congregations in the northeastern dioceses of Meru and Arusha. The Council participants would have the chance to visit some of the LWF Departments for World Service (DWS) and Mission and Development (DMD) projects and programs implemented in collaboration with the ELCT and other member churches in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.

The general secretary notes the Arusha location of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) would serve as a reminder "of the ongoing search for justice on the continent and the continuing challenge of impunity."

In accepting the ELCT invitation to host the Council meeting, "we are deeply aware that this pilgrimage will expose us to and help us to understand the unique challenges faced by the LWF
communion and its expressions in the United Republic of Tanzania," he writes. Gathering in Arusha would be an opportunity to learn more about the "House of Africa," Noko says, and points
to the "House of Europe" focus at the 2007 Council meeting and LWF 60th anniversary celebrations in Lund, Sweden. (More about the ELCT at http://www.elct.or.tz/)

The Council, LWF’s governing body between Assemblies, meets once every 12 to 18 months. It consists of the President, who is elected by the Assembly, the Treasurer, who can be elected from
among the membership or from outside, and 48 persons elected by the Assembly.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is represented by two members on the LWF’s Council, National Bishop Susan C. Johnson and David Pfrimmer, principle dean, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary.

11th Assembly
The general secretary’s letter also informs the churches about the second meeting of the 11th Assembly Planning Committee (APC) to be held 28-30 January 2008 in Stuttgart, Germany. The APC will, in addition to its deliberations, have orientation to the conference center facilities, and to opportunities for worship and interaction with the Assembly host church – the Evangelical Church in Wuerttemberg. The APC comprises 14 persons drawn from the LWF member churches worldwide, and is chaired by Ms Angelene Swart, president of the Moravian Church in South Africa.

The Assembly is the LWF’s highest governing body, meeting every six years. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada hosted the July 2003 Tenth Assembly, held in Winnipeg, Canada. The 11th Assembly will be held 20-27 July 2010 in Stuttgart, Germany.

The general secretary’s letter highlights the LWF Executive Committee meeting, 30 November-2 December near Geneva, during which the Strategic Plan implementation was discussed among other issues. Members of the committee also provided information regarding the life of the churches in the regions, while paying particular attention to efforts for reconciliation in internal
church conflicts, he notes.

Noko invites the LWF churches to join in the 18-25 January 2008 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, also marking the 100th anniversary of the ecumenical week of prayer.

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 78 countries all over the world, with a total membership of nearly 66.7 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 174,555 baptized members in 620 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, Manager of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

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A Joint Christmas Greeting from ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson and ACC Primate Archbishop Fred Hiltz

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)’s National Bishop Susan C. Johnson and Anglican Church of Canada (ACC)’s Primate Archbishop Fred Hiltz issued a joint 2007 Christmas Greeting, rejoicing in the richness of the ELCIC’s and ACC’s Full Communion relationship. A copy of the full text follows.

Grace to you and peace in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
It gives us great pleasure to write to you together as the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada and the National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada in order to send you our best wishes for a blessed Advent and a joyous celebration of Christmas.
In a world where there is much conflict, we give thanks for the birth of the Prince of Peace.
In a world where there is much division, we celebrate the unity we have in Christ.
In a world where many are in need, we ask to be given generous hearts and willing hands.
In a world where many are alone, we rejoice in the richness of our relationship of Full Communion.
Our hope and prayer for each one of you is that you will be able to join us in proclaiming with the hymnist:
"Oh, join with me, in gladness sing, to keep our Christmas with our king, until our song, from loving souls, like rushing mighty water rolls.”

The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz, Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church of Canada and The Rev. Susan C. Johnson, National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

A pdf version if the 2007 Christmas Message is available at: https://elcic.ca/From-the-Bishop/documents/Christmasgreeting2007.pdf

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 174,555 baptized members in 620 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, Manager of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

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Important Information Regarding the ELCIC’s Continuing Education Plan

Along with member accounts for short-term study, the ELCIC’s CEP provides opportunity for members of the plan to apply for long-term study grants. Please note that the deadline to submit your applications for long-term study grants is January 15. The application form, which has been revised for 2008, is available online at https://elcic.ca/Documents/documents/CEPLongTermStudyLeaveForms.pdf

To be eligible to apply for long-term benefits, the member must have been an active contributor to CEP for at least one full year and have been in an approved ministry for at least five years in Canada. After having secured permission for an extended leave of absence (3 months or more) from the parish/employer and synodical bishop, a member may apply through the ELCIC’s National Office, to the Program Committee for Leadership for Ministry for a grant from this fund. Normally for long-term study, a member will be involved in a degree program (academic or clinical) requiring full-time residency.

The size of grants awarded in a given year will depend on availability of funds and number of applicants and consideration will be given to need. The maximum grant awarded per individual for any one year will be $5,000.

Additional information regarding CEP long-term grants can be found in the CEP Brochure, at
https://elcic.ca/Leadership/For-Ministers/documents/CEPBrochure2006.pdf

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 174,555 baptized members in 620 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, Manager 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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Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission Meets in Toronto; Much to Rejoice as Churches Work Collaboratively in Mission and Ministry

From Nov. 22 to 25, the Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission met in Toronto to review the Full Communion relationship between the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. The two churches have shared this unique relationship since the Waterloo Declaration of 2001, and now, six years later, they are assessing what they’ve accomplished and where they can go.

The recent communiqué (available below) gives the broad strokes of a new, exciting vision, which includes shared congregational ministries and training for lay and ordained ministry.

Communiqué from the Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission

The Joint Commission of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada meeting at St Paul’s Anglican Church, Bloor Street, Toronto, greets the members of our two churches and sends this message to all.

We have spent three days reviewing the work of the past six years of full communion and planning the work that lies before us during the next six years. We have heard from the Primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, and the National Bishop, Bishop Susan Johnson, of their hopes for the future as our two churches continue to grow into the full communion established in Waterloo in 2001. From all these conversations has emerged the realization that we are living into ‘the hope set before us’ when we embarked on this journey in faith. At a time when much of our attention is focused on divisions within the Christian communions we represent, we share with Anglicans and Lutherans in Canada that there is much in which to rejoice and many reasons to look forward to our churches working collaboratively in many areas of mission and ministry:

the public face of our churches, especially in addressing together matters of human need and global concerns
shared congregational ministries
growth in our understanding of diaconal ministry
formation for ministry, lay and ordained

We encourage the congregations of our churches to be imaginative in discovering ways to celebrate and work together. As a Joint Commission we look forward to working with the Primate and National Bishop, the Bishops of both churches, our national councils and with the people of our churches as we ‘build one another up into the fullness of the stature of Christ’ and into the unity for which our Lord prayed.

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 174,555 baptized members in 620 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, Manager 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 Congregations Urged to Mark World AIDS DAY; Appeal Issued to Support HIV/AIDS Prevention Work

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)’s Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA) has issued an appeal to help support HIV/AIDS prevention work.

Congregations within the ELCIC are urged to mark World AIDS Day during worship services on December 2. Worship and advocacy resources are available on the GHDA website at www.elcic.ca/GHDA .

HIV/AIDS can be stopped and it can be prevented. GHDA is working to address this crisis with its partners, Canadian Lutheran World Relief and the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance. Together we can "Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise."

To support HIV/AIDS prevention work, donations can be made to GHDA as follows:
Via the ELCIC website: www.elcic.ca (click on the "Donate Now" link)
By mail: GHDA, 302-393 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 3H6 (please indicate "GHDA-HIV/AIDS Appeal" in the memo portion of the cheque)
Through all ELCIC congregations

GHDA has developed a bulletin insert (www.elcic.ca/GHDA/documents/WorldAIDSDay.pdf) that can be downloaded and copied to assist congregations in sharing this information during worship.

The ELCIC’s Global Hunger and Development Appeal works in partnership with Canadian Lutheran World Relief to carry out development and emergency response work internationally along with refugee resettlement in Canada.

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 174,555 baptized members in 620 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, Manager 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.a new article, replace this text with your own content and images and press submit.

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Christ Meets Humanity Where People Struggle for Justice and Peace

In his 2007 Christmas message, the president of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Bishop Mark S. Hanson emphasizes Christ’s meeting with humanity where people struggle for justice, mercy and peace.

"Christ meets us where the creation groans in travail under the weight of our consumptive living. Christ meets us where the Word is read, the gospel proclaimed, and the sacraments shared," says the LWF president in the message addressed to members of the global Lutheran communion. Hanson is presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

Affirming God’s presence in the world and unconditional offer for justice, he adds, "Because God is present in the world, there is no person so lowly, no place so forsaken, no enemy so despised, no conflict so intense, no sin so grievous, no relationship so severed that God cannot offer forgiveness and faith, reconciliation and resurrection, justice and mercy, healing and hope."

The full text of Bishop Hanson’s Christmas message follows. It is available on the LWF Web site in PDF version at: http://www.lutheranworld.org/LWF_Documents/LWF_Christmas_2007.pdf

2007 Christmas Message from the LWF President

Dear sisters and brothers within our Lutheran communion:

Holy Child within the manger, long ago yet ever near,
Come as friend to every stranger, come as hope for every fear.
As you lived to heal the broken, greet the outcast, free the bound,
As you taught us love unspoken, teach us now where you are found. *

"Holy Child within the manger, long ago yet ever near…"
The Holy Child, born of Mary in a manger, is an image that is both familiar and heartwarming. Yet Jesus cannot be confined to a long-ago time and place, for Jesus is alive in the world and present for us, with us, and through us.

"Come as friend to every stranger, come as hope for every fear…"
The Holy Child, born of Mary in a manger, is also the crucified one, now risen. The manger is shadowed by the cross and illumined by the power and promise of Christ’s resurrection. In this Holy Child, God is entwined forever in the mystery and brokenness of our humanity, drawing us graciously and mercifully into the wonder of God’s divinity.

"As you lived to heal the broken, greet the outcast, free the bound…"
The Holy Child, born of Mary in a manger, is the Good News. Because God is present in the world, there is no person so lowly, no place so forsaken, no enemy so despised, no conflict so intense, no sin so grievous, no relationship so severed that God cannot offer forgiveness and faith, reconciliation and resurrection, justice and mercy, healing and hope.

"As you taught us love unspoken, teach us now where you are found."
Christ meets us where humanity struggles for justice, mercy, and peace. Christ meets us where the creation groans in travail under the weight of our consumptive living. Christ meets us where the Word is read, the gospel proclaimed, and the sacraments shared.

May the wonder and joy of Christ’s presence fill you with hope in believing.

In God’s grace,

Bishop Mark S. Hanson
President, The Lutheran World Federation

November 2007

* Quote from "Holy Child Within the Manger" by Marty Haugen.
Copyright, GIA Publications, Inc.

* * *
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 78 countries all over the world including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, with a total membership of nearly 66.7 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 174,555 baptized members in 620 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, Manager 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 Accepting Donations to Assist with Relief Efforts in Bangladesh

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)’s Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA) will be accepting donations to support victims of a devastating cyclone that hit Bangladesh late last week.

Cyclone Sidr struck the country of Bangladesh on November 15, with winds of up to 240 km/h (150 mph) and a tidal surge of several metres. Recent reports confirm 3,000 deaths, but Bangladesh’s Red Crescent Society says up to 10,000 may have died. The devastation along the southern coast comes only a few months after floods in the north of the country.

Donations received through the ELCIC’s GHDA will be forwarded on to Canadian Lutheran World Relief who will channel the funds through Action by Churches Together (ACT) International, which has several local members in Bangladesh working in the affected areas. Over 35,000 people will be targeted through ACT International efforts.

To support relief efforts in Bangladesh, donations can be made to GHDA as follows:
– Via the ELCIC website: www.elcic.ca (click on the "Donate Now" link)
– By mail: GHDA, 302-393 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 3H6 (please indicate "GHDA-Bangladesh" in the memo portion of the cheque)
-Through all ELCIC congregations

The ELCIC’s Global Hunger and Development Appeal works in partnership with Canadian Lutheran World Relief to carry out development and emergency response work internationally along with refugee resettlement in Canada.
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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 174,555 baptized members in 620 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, Manager 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 ACC Primate makes traditional visit to Lambeth; Full Communion Relationship with ELCIC on Agenda

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, paid a traditional call on Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams on Oct. 16. It is a tradition for new Anglican leaders of provinces to visit the archbishop, the titular head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, at his home in Lambeth Palace.

During their two-hour meeting, Archbishop Hiltz described the current state of the Anglican Church of Canada, particularly after the national meeting, General Synod, this past June. He spoke about the issue of human sexuality, and explained the diocese of Ottawa’s decision to approve blessings of same-sex unions. (The diocese of Montreal, which later passed a similar motion, had not yet met).

Archbishop Williams appeared receptive to the Canadian church’s actions. "He described our approach to handling the whole matter as ‘coherent,’" said Archbishop Hiltz. "We also, in that conversation, focused on the pastoral statement of the bishops and the kind of value that has for the church."

The two also discussed ecumenical relations, and the Archbishop of Canterbury was interested to hear about the continued development of the Full Communion relationship between the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.

Archbishop Hiltz made several other stops during his five-day trip. He visited the Anglican Communion Office, where he spoke with Deputy General Secretary Gregory Cameron, and Philip Groves, facilitator of the listening process around the human sexuality issue for the Anglican Communion. He shared a meal with the Primate of Ireland, Archbishop Alan Harper, and even gave a spontaneous presentation to Norwegian Lutheran students about Anglican-Lutheran relations in Canada.

Throughout these visits, Archbishop Hiltz heard encouraging feedback about how the Anglican Church of Canada is dealing with the issue of same-sex blessings.

"It’s always nice to hear someone like the Archbishop of Canterbury or from the Anglican Communion Office say you’re handling this coherently, cautiously, judiciously, and you’ve got some things I would hold up as a model for others to consider as they grapple with the issue," said Archbishop Hiltz. "Of course that’s very encouraging and I’m looking forward to sharing those kinds of reflections at the Council of General Synod and the House of Bishops. Because we need to hear that."

(Forwarded from ACC Web News.)
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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 174,555 baptized members in 620 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.

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