ELCIC Seeks Nominations to Put Forward to Search Committee for Lutheran World Federation General Secretary

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) is asking members to consider submitting nominations to put forward for the position of General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF).

As a member church, the ELCIC is invited to submit nominations for the chief administrative position of the LWF. Nominations for consideration are to be submitted in writing along with curricula vitae to ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson (email: info@elcic.ca, fax: 204-984-9185). Deadline for submissions is Thursday, December 4, 2008.

In a May 19, 2008 letter from the current LWF General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Ishmael Noko informed the LWF Council of his intention to conclude his service as General Secretary on October 31, 2010.

The term for General Secretary is seven years and may be renewed for one term.

Nominations received by the ELCIC will be reviewed by its Executive Officers with recommendations to be brought forward to National Church Council for official nomination to the LWF Search Committee. LWF member churches are able to nominate more than one candidate. ELCIC nominations need not be a member of the ELCIC but must belong to an LWF member church.

A job description for the position of LWF General Secretary is available on the ELCIC’s website: https://elcic.ca/Leadership/Employment-Opportunities/Job-Postings.cfm

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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, 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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Lutheran and Anglican Bishops remind Minister Finley of Election Promise on Housing

Archbishop Fred Hiltz and Bishop Susan Johnson sent a reminder today to Minister Diane Finley, the newly appointed Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development to live up to a pre-election promise that a Conservative government would renew three key programs for affordable housing in Canada.

The three programs are: the Affordable Housing Initiative and the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, offering support to hundreds of community programs and services across Canada, and the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program directed to the repair of more than 20,000 substandard houses annually. These funding programs were due to expire by March 2009.

“We remind you of [your] commitment” the church leaders’ letter says, “and urge you now to announce a quick release of funds so there can be a smooth continuation of these vital programs.”
The request echoes a letter the two leaders sent earlier this year to Monte Solberg, then Minister of Human Resources and Development Canada, a message that was repeated in hundreds of similar letters sent by Anglicans and Lutherans across Canada.

One week before National Housing Day, November 22, Hiltz and Johnson are calling for an immediate renewal of affordable housing programs and a comprehensive national housing strategy as part of an overall poverty reduction initiative.

Their letter echoes the one they sent in March but with a new twist: an affordable housing strategy is good not only for the homeless and those at risk, but also for Canada’s economy.

Quoting an article in the Toronto Star by economists Donner, Yalnizyan and McCracken, they point out, “Acting today on affordable housing can provide a much needed boost to the economy during bad times while reducing economic insecurity and building assets for the long term.”

The two church leaders urge immediate action:. “A positive response by your government, with specific action on commitments, by Friday, November 21 [the eve of National Housing Day] would offer hope to Canadian families and individuals hard hit by the housing crisis.”

The full text of their letter follows

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November 14, 2008

The Honourable Diane Finley
Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

Dear Minister Finley,

We write as Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada and National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and congratulate you on your recent appointment to cabinet. We will keep you, and other members of your government in our prayers during these challenging times.

This letter follows on previous correspondence from us and other church leaders, consistently calling on the government of Canada to act in response to the homeless and those at risk of losing their housing. It is estimated that between 150,000 to 300,000 Canadians are homeless, and an additional 1.5 million are at risk of becoming homeless. Rental rates are increasing, while household incomes of rental families are decreasing. In October 2007, the UN Special Rapporteur on Housing called homelessness in Canada a “national emergency”.

We acknowledge with appreciation that in March 2006, the government of Canada under Prime Minister Stephen Harper disbursed $1.4 billion in a one-time allocation for affordable housing.

We further acknowledge the September 17 announcement made by Ministers John Baird and Monte Solberg pledging that a Conservative government would renew the Affordable Housing Initiative, the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, and the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program.

We remind you of this commitment, and urge you now to announce a quick release of the funds so there can be a smooth continuation of these vital programs. The homelessness funding initiatives support hundreds of vital program and services in communities across Canada, while the housing repair programs improve more than 20,000 substandard homes annually.

The current economic crisis makes the need for an in-depth, long-term affordable housing initiative more urgent than ever before. We see the federal government as a vital partner with provincial and territorial governments and other key sectors. The slowing economy threatens to increase the ranks of the homeless, forcing people at risk into deplorable housing conditions, often paying half or more of their income in rent.

An affordable housing strategy makes good economic sense. We commend to your attention the words of economists Arthur Donner, Mike McCracken and Armine Yalnizyan who recently wrote that: “An investment in residential construction that creates affordable housing options can help keep thousands of middle-class workers employed. Acting today on affordable housing can provide a much-needed boost to the economy during bad times while reducing economic insecurity and building assets for the long term.” (Toronto Star, Oct. 21, 2008).

Thus we are asking your government to:

Join with the provinces to develop a comprehensive housing strategy as a part of an overall national poverty reduction strategy.

Immediately renew and expand housing spending over a ten-year period as a part of a comprehensive national housing strategy.

Direct particular funding to groups on the margins of our society, especially people of low income, the elderly, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants and refugees, and Aboriginal people.
Anglicans and Lutherans are engaged across Canada in providing food, shelter and clothing to Canada’s lowest income people. Many are providing housing to special needs groups or redeveloping property into social housing. These initiatives cannot continue without housing dollars committed by your government. Together, we wish to extend a hand of partnership to ensure long term and lasting solutions to homelessness.

In the Hebrew Scriptures the prophet Isaiah asks what true religious observance is: “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house?” (Isaiah 58.7) Our vision is to go beyond the prophet’s call, to create a society where the hungry are able to eat their own bread, and the homeless poor are brought into their own house.

This issue is urgent, even more so when a perceived scarcity of resources threatens to call into question previously stated priorities of your government. We respectfully request a prompt reply signalling that your government will take quick and decisive action. November 22 is National Housing Day, when Canadians from coast to coast draw attention to affordable housing issues. A positive response by your government, with specific action on commitments, by Friday November 21 would offer hope to Canadian families and individuals hard hit by the housing crisis.

Thank you for respecting the urgency of this request.

Sincerely,

The Most Reverend Fred Hiltz
Primate, The Anglican Church of Canada

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

c.c. The Hon. Mike Savage the Hon. Tony Martin, the Hon. Yves Lessard.

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ELCIC Conference of Bishops and ACC House of Bishops Hold Joint Meetings; Commitment to Partnership and Deepening of Full Communion Relationship Expressed

From October 27 to 31, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada’s (ELCIC) Conference of Bishops and the Anglican Church of Canada’s (ACC) House of Bishops have been meeting jointly in Niagara, Ontario. In a letter sent from the ELCIC today, the Conference of Bishops express their commitment to, "walking in partnership with our sisters and brothers of the Anglican Church of Canada, and continuing to work to deepen our full communion relationship."

A copy of the full text of the letter follows: 

Dear friends,

We, the Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, write to you having just concluded five days of joint meetings with the Anglican House of Bishops. It was a particular honour and a privilege, and a sign of our deepening full communion relationship, to be present during the discussion on the agreement by many bishops at Lambeth on three moratoria: on the blessing of same-sex unions, on the ordination to the episcopate of people in same-gender relationships, and on cross-border interventions.

The diversity of opinions expressed reflects a similar diversity that we experience within our own church. We, too, continue to seek to discern the mind and heart of Christ for the wholesome care of all members of his Body, the Church. We echo the desire to “stay at the family table” and commit to walking in partnership with our sisters and brothers of the Anglican Church of Canada, and continuing to work to deepen our full communion relationship.

Yours in Christ,

+ The Rev. Susan C. Johnson, National Bishop
+ The Rev. Gerhard Preibisch, Bishop of the British Columbia Synod
+ The Rev. Ron Mayan, Bishop of the Synod of Alberta and the Territories
+ The Rev. Cynthia Halmarson, Bishop of the Saskatchewan Synod
+ The Rev. Elaine Sauer, Bishop of the Manitoba-Northwestern Ontario Synod
+ The Rev. Michael J. Pryse, Bishop of the Eastern Synod 

View a pdf version of the letter here: www.elcic.ca/Documents/documents/2008LettertoACCHouseofBishops.pdf

The ACC House of Bishops also released a statement at the conclusion of their meetings. The full version is available online at: www.anglican.ca/news/news.php?newsItem=2008-10-31_hob.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.

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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Announcing Food for Life: Recipes and Stories on the Right to Food; Upcoming Events Highlight Ecumenical Response to Global Hunger and Celebrate Lutheran Communion

Today is a day of celebration in the North American Region of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). In Winnipeg, Kitchener, Chicago, and Minneapolis, people are celebrating the publication of Food for Life: Recipes and Stories on the Right to Food. In North America, this cookbook and educational resource is a joint publication of the LWF, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), with gratitude to Augsburg Fortress (USA) and Augsburg Fortress Canada.

Food for Life is a compilation of recipes, stories and table blessings from different contexts and cultures that can be used to prepare global dishes for yourself, your family and your congregation – and to lift up the work of the LWF. Through effective partnerships with Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) and the LWF, members of the ELCIC practice spirited discipleship around the world in LWF projects of compassionate justice that strengthen food security in many different parts of the globe.

Food for Life is available for purchase through Augsburg Fortress Canada at www.afcanada.com. Priced at $14.00 plus shipping, this book makes a great gift any time of year.

On Thursday, October 16, Christians around the global will mark World Food Day. Resources for congregations and individuals are available on the KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives website at www.kairoscanada.org. As a member of KAIROS, the ELCIC works though effective partnerships for compassionate justice on our journey of spirited discipleship. The Canadian Foodgrains Bank, another partner through CLWR, is also encouraging individuals, congregations and communities to mark World Food Day, and has invited all who are able to Fast for Change. Further information is available online at www.endhungerfast.com.

LWF Sunday is quickly approaching. The ELCIC encourages all congregations to celebrate and give thanks for membership in this communion of churches on October 26, the last Sunday of the month. October 26 is also the day that many congregations will mark as Reformation Sunday. That this Sunday is also used as LWF Sunday is very appropriate, as the ELCIC joins with our Lutheran sisters and brothers around the globe in giving thanks for the communion we share in the Lutheran family, and within the worldwide body of Christ. Information and resources can be found at www.elca.org/Growing-In-Faith/Ministry/Partner-Related-Organizations/Lutheran-World-Federation.aspx.

In the next few weeks, ELCIC congregations will be receiving a Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA) information package. The mailing will include resources and information on the work we do In Mission for Others together through our shared calling to work for justice and to care for the poor, hungry and marginalized of our world. For inquires on the mailing or to request additional resources, please contact orders@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, 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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The 2008 Federal Election; Addressing Critical Issues of Housing and Poverty

Where do the candidates stand on critical issues such as housing and poverty?

The October 14 federal election provides us with an opportunity to raise questions with our candidates and also promote our Christian values of compassionate justice.

In a letter sent earlier this year to the Minister of Human Resources and Development Canada, the National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) urged the government, "to address homelessness in Canada as part of a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy."

Efforts to carry forward on this initiative continue and a task force has been formed with members of the ELCIC and ACC.

The following are a number of resources to help you be informed and ask questions of candidates around the critical issues of housing and poverty.

Interested in further information on the joint initiative on housing and homelessness? Please contact Rev. Paul Gehrs, Assistant to the Bishop at the ELCIC, email pgehrs@elcic.ca, phone 204-984-9156.

Reprinted from the September 2008 Special Issue of ELCICommunique. To subscribe to this monthly newsletter, email Communique@elcic.ca and indicate subscribe in the subject of the email.

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National Design Competition Ends Soon

October 1 is the deadline for submitting entries for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada’s (ELCIC) design competition. The ELCIC is seeking submissions for gifts that may be presented on behalf of the ELCIC to global and ecumenical guests. The gifts may be of any kind but must be inexpensive to replicate. Since the gifts may be packaged for overseas distribution, artists are encouraged to be mindful of weight and fragility. Options include, but are not limited to, crosses, calligraphy, icons, and lithographs.

Specifications: Designs may not be larger than 12 inches in height or width and 1 inch thick.

Eligibility: Artists must be members of the ELCIC and may submit only one entry.

Deadline: Participants must submit a photo (digital photos are acceptable) or slide of the entry by October 1, 2008. Finalists will be asked to submit original works of art at a later date.

Submit your entry to: ELCIC Design Contest, 302-393 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 3H6.

If you have any questions about the contest, please email info@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, 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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Classes Resume at Luther College High School in Regina After Tuesday’s Closure

Students and staff returned to classes on Wednesday following a situation Tuesday morning at Luther College high school in Regina which forced its closure.

At approximately 10:20 a.m. on Tuesday morning, Regina Police Service reports they received a 9-1-1 call from a staff-member reporting a male youth in possession of a firearm at the school. Police attended to the scene and at approximately 10:58 a.m. a 16 year-old male was taken into custody. No students or staff were injured in the incident.

Following the incident, students and staff from Luther College high school were evacuated into nearby Christ Lutheran Church auditorium where parents were notified they could pick up their children. Police continued their investigate at the high school and recovered a CO2 pellet pistol at the scene.

Luther College high school reopened Wednesday morning and counsellors were on-hand to provide care for students and staff.

"At times of crisis it is important we come together as community of faith to support one another as we process what has taken place and start on the path to healing and reconciliation," says ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all who were involved in Tuesday’s incident, including the young man, who is now in police custody, and his family."

Luther College High School is an institution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church 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, 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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Canadian Lutherans and Anglicans Lead Ecumenical Walk of Witness Event in Ottawa; Congregations and Members Asked to Pray and Take Action on September 25 to Raise Awareness of Urgent Need to Eliminate

A joint letter from National Bishop Susan C. Johnson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and Archbishop Fred Hiltz of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) encourages congregations and members of the two churches to pray and take action on September 25 to raise continued awareness of the urgent need to eliminate world poverty and remind our government of its commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Together on that day, Canadian Anglicans and Lutherans will lead an ecumenical event in Ottawa called Walk of Witness – Bringing it Home which will include a public walk and an act of witness through a joint statement at the United Nation’s Association Office.

"The Walk of Witness – Bringing it Home event and action are part of a larger initiative to mobilize churches around the ongoing scandal of global and national poverty," says Bishop Johnson and Primate Hiltz in the joint letter which encourages continued awareness of the issues around poverty and notes, "the following month, KAIROS will engage churches in Week to End Poverty, October 12-19."

Walk of Witness – Bringing it Home coincides with a gathering of world leaders, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, at the United Nations in New York to re-energize the world’s commitment to the MDGs. Walk of Witness was inspired by a July 24 walk in London, England when 1,500 bishops and others marched in support of the MDGs as part of the 2008 Lambeth Conference.

Congregations are invited to join in prayer and action by raising awareness of the urgent need to eliminate world poverty within their own community. Various resources are available for use including: bulletin announcements, a fact sheet, liturgical resources and guidelines for questioning candidates in the federal election. Resources are available online at: www.anglican.ca/walkofwitness .

View the full text of the letter here: https://elcic.ca/Documents/08WalkofWitnessLetter.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, 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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GHDA Issues Appeal to Assist Storm-Ravaged Haitians; Region Devastated Following Four Storms in Three Weeks

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada’s (ELCIC) Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA) is issuing a churchwide appeal for donations to assist with recovery efforts in Haiti following devastation in the region by a series of hurricanes and tropical storms. As many as 700 Haitians have died and more deaths are expected due to significant flooding of the area’s agricultural region in what is already the poorest country in the Americas. At least 800,000 Haitians are in urgent need, nearly half of them children.

Over a three-week period starting in August, Haiti has been devastated by four storms – Tropical Storm Fay, Hurricane Gustav, Tropical Storm Hanna and Hurricane Ike – damaging homes, livelihoods, and crops, as well as entire road systems including seven of the country’s key bridges which have been rendered unstable.

To assist with immediate needs, GDHA’s Emergency Disaster Response Fund* is forwarding $5,000 to Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR), GHDA’s partner in international relief and development. CLWR is working through Action By Churches Together (ACT) International to assist with the critical need for water purification tablets and food buckets, as well as hygiene kits, blankets, medicine and other urgently needed items.

"As people In Mission for Others, God calls us to do justice and love kindness. How can we help but respond to the needs of our sisters and brothers in Haiti?" says ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson. "Our National Church has committed funds through the GHDA Emergency Disaster Response Fund, but I hope and pray our members can give generously at this time."

Food shortages caused by the storms have many Haitians fearing a repeat of the violent food riots which occurred in spring 2008. Reports estimate that as much as 80 percent of the country’s entire rice crop has been destroyed. In a region where many live on less than $2 a day, food shortages will likely put the price of rice beyond the means of most Haitian families.

To support relief efforts in Haiti, donations can be made to GHDA – Haiti Appeal 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 – Haiti Appeal" in the memo portion of the cheque)
– Through all ELCIC Congregations

The ELCIC has chosen to concentrate the current appeal on relief efforts in Haiti but also recognizes that in the wake of Hurricane Ike, the state of Texas was significantly impacted, especially in areas around Galveston. Current reports put the death toll at 30 as of Tuesday and officials are warning of a growing health threat in Galveston. ELCIC members wishing to contribute to relief efforts in those affected regions can forward donations to the ELCIC office. Funds designated for these efforts will be sent to Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Disaster Response which is actively working in the region.

Further information about the work of ELCIC’s Global Hunger and Development Appeal can be viewed online at www.elcic.ca/ghda.

*GHDA’s Emergency Disaster Response Fund, established by an anonymous gift, allows GHDA to allocate funds immediately when an emergency occurs and then replenish the Fund with donations to the churchwide appeal.

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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, Director of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

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

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Highlights from the Second and Third Day of NCC Meetings

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada’s (ELCIC) National Church Council (NCC) met in Winnipeg from September 11-13. The following is an overview of highlights from the second and third day of meetings.

Both mornings began with Bible study. On Friday, council members spent time in small groups reflecting on Biblical passages demonstrating the ELCIC’s call to be actively engaged in the five visioning pillars (Compassionate Justice, Effective Partnerships, Focused Framework, Diverse Faces, and Spirited Discipleship) developed at the March 2008 NCC meeting. Discussions focused on how council members feel God is calling them and the ELCIC through the text. Saturday morning’s Bible study provided an opportunity for council members to share with one another personal reflections on their faith journey.

The business session commenced with a report from the Conference of Bishops and then individually from each Synod Bishop. The purpose of reports from the Synod Bishops at council meetings is to provide council members with an environmental scan of the synods, including highlights, challenges and key information. Synod Bishops reported on the outcomes of their synod conventions which took place this year and noted with appreciation the presence of National Bishop Susan C. Johnson at all five synod conventions. Several Bishops expressed concerns regarding congregations voting to leave the ELCIC, vacancies within congregations, and the challenge of identifying pastors with an interest towards being called to rural and northern vacancies. Several new programs and initiatives coming out of individual or collaborative Synod work were also highlighted.

The Right Rev. Colin Johnson, council representative for the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC), shared his report on the Council of General Synod (COGS), noting the visioning work being done by NCC was also being done at COGS. Bishop Colin Johnson said it was exciting that both the ELCIC and ACC were with new leadership who brought to the table, "fresh vision, fresh energy and new priorities."

Rev. Teresita Valeriano, Regional Officer for Lutheran World Federation North America (LWF-NA), shared highlights from her first six months in the position. LWF-NA is comprised of three church bodies – ELCIC, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and Estonian Lutheran Church Abroad – and works to foster relationships between member churches. Rev. Valeriano highlighted a new resource from the LWF titled Food for Life: Recipes and Stories on the Right to Food which shares stories of people throughout the world as they cope with scarcity and adapt to climate change, and includes recipes from LWF member churches.

Greetings were shared from David Swartling, Secretary of the ELCA. Swartling highlighted a number of areas the ELCA is currently working on such as becoming a Book of Faith church which invites members of the ELCA to become more fluent in the first language of faith – the language of Scripture, and is a five-year initiative of the church.

Hildy Thiessen, Executive Director of Group Services Inc. (GSI), provided council with an update on the pension plan for the ELCIC. Thiessen noted that the markets, "continue to be volatile right now," and GSI continues to closely monitor the performance of its investment managers along with reviewing the structure of the portfolio. Thiessen provided an update on the pension deficit, noting GSI is on track, and estimates the pension deficit will be eliminated in eight years, which is ahead of the 15-year projection strategy that was put in place in 2004.

A report of the Evangelical Lutheran Women (ELW) was presented by Ruth Vince, Executive Director, who shared highlights from the 2008 Biennial ELW Convention in July. ELW’s board will meet September 18-21 in Winnipeg and deal with motions from the convention. Following the Convention, the National ELW Board met via conference call to discuss issues around the Esprit magazine and determined that it will be continued through 2009. ELW’s board voted to raise the price of the magazine by $8.00 to deal with budget concerns but Vince noted that more conversation needs to take place about the role of the magazine and how it fits with the vision of the ELW. Vince also noted that ELW continues its work in the areas of social justice and living out faith in our daily lives. Through ELW’s commitment to raising the awareness of human trafficking, ELW was able to name two individuals for appointment on the Vancouver Olympic Committee dealing with human trafficking and the 2010 Olympics.

Time was allotted on Friday evening for committees of the council to meet; committees began with their reports after Bible study on Saturday morning. The Constitution Committee addressed a willingness to develop a plan for reviewing the ELCIC’s Constitutional documentation which no longer adequately addressed the current structure of the church. ELCIC Secretary Donald Storch noted there is, "lots of energy and enthusiasm for this (work)".

Council also reviewed correspondence received since its last meeting. Following up on two letters from the co-chairs of the Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission, council members passed motions to support a joint meeting of NCC with COGS in 2010 and also to pursue the opportunity for a joint meeting of the two national bodies of the ELCIC and ACC in 2013 which is the next time both the ELCIC’s National Convention and the ACC’s General Synod will take place in the same year.

Two items were added as part of new business for council. A call to special service was issued for Rev. Pamela Peterson to Victoria Correctional Services Canada at the Kent Institution in Agassiz, BC and council members asked National Bishop Susan C. Johnson to issue a response to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) regarding an application for a new pornography channel and voice the ELCIC’s opposition of the application.

The next meeting of NCC will take place March 5-7, 2009 in Winnipeg. NCC meetings are also scheduled for June 24-25, 2009 (prior to the 2009 Convention) and September 10-12, 2009. The meeting concluded with Closing Worship Service. Bishop Johnson presided and Rev. Doug Reble delivered the sermon.

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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, 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