Letter to the Church from ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson

The following is the text from a letter to the Church from ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson:

Dear Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada:

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! I want to share with you some of the recent work of National Church Council (NCC). This past March, NCC spent time together visioning – worshiping, doing bible study, and asking ourselves, “What is the future to which God is calling the national expression of the ELCIC?” Through this process five organizing pillars emerged which we believe will guide and support us in our work as a national church as we continue to strive to be a church In Mission For Others. Those organizing pillars are: Effective Partnerships, Diverse Faces, Compassionate Justice, Focused Framework, and Spirited Discipleship.

I will be describing these pillars a little more fully in my presentations to Synod Conventions, but let me share with you some thumbnail sketches.

For years the ELCIC has worked in a variety of partnerships – so what do we mean when we start talking about Effective Partnerships? It’s a realization that we no longer have the resources to be able to do everything by ourselves, it’s a challenge to encourage us not to do things on our own, and it’s a change in mindset where we want to always ask the question, “Do we need to do this on our own?” If the answer is no, then the next question is… “who is the best partner or partners to work with in this area.” It’s good stewardship but even more so it’s a stronger witness to the rest of the world!

Diverse Faces means that we want to reach out into the communities where we find ourselves and invite people to participate in life in the gospel and life in the church. Diverse Faces says something about ethnicity for sure, but it also says something about being a place where people of every age are welcome and have a voice. Where women and men, young and old, play key roles in leadership and service. A place for people of all socioeconomic background, of all kinds of ability. It has something to do with being a place where all people can discover and share their gifts as together we strive to be In Mission for Others. This is going to say something about the way we do evangelism for sure. However, it is also going to push us to share leadership and we have to be prepared to accept that it will change us, just as our families change when we add new faces to the table!

Compassionate Justice means reaching out with compassion, providing humanitarian aid, advocating for those who do not have a voice including our creation. Some of the ways we’ve done this recently is through our Stewardship of Creation initiative and our partnership with the Anglican Church of Canada to launch a national campaign against homelessness. Much of the work of the Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA) is done in partnership with other organizations. One of GHDA’s most important partnerships is with Canadian Lutheran World Relief and it is through that partnership that we as a church are able to respond to humanitarian emergencies, carry out international development, assist refugees and support alternative trade.

Focused Framework is not always the most exciting aspect of the mission of the church, but the reality is that addressing a number of structural and relational matters within our church will help us focus on being a church In Mission for Others. This is again partly to do with responding responsibly to decreasing resources, but it is mostly about clarifying relationships and responsibilities so that we can focus on becoming the church God is calling us to be. Some of the areas we think we need to look at include the size of NCC, the size and focus of convention, the number and sizes of committees, maybe even the number of synods.

We have also had to look at the size and focus of the National Office. This has involved the very difficult decision to reduce the size of our staff and has necessitated letting go a very bright and talented member of our national staff, the Rev. Ryan Andersen. It is not an easy or a pleasant thing to do, but it is part of what we are called to do to be good stewards of the resources you entrust to us. I want to clarify that while making this difficult decision we are still committed to ensuring that the important work of justice and stewardship continue in the life of our church.

Even as we attempt to face the realities and challenges of decreasing membership and resources, we know that God is calling us on a different trajectory. The reality is that there is a huge mission field at our doorsteps, sometimes starting within our own families. The final organizing pillar that NCC has adopted is Spirited Discipleship. We feel that God is calling us deeper into discipleship. We think God wants us to be filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit and to be able to show that to those around us. We think that God wants us to feel positive about our faith and our church. We think that our spirited discipleship needs to play out in all the ways we come together as church – in our worship, in our bible study, in the way we share our faith, in our compassionate justice – in all of the ways we are called to be In Mission For Others.

For the next period of time we in the National Office are going to be going through a lot of transition as we explore new partnerships and make decisions about what ministry areas we need to continue and what ministry we need to stop. There may be some bumps on the road – but we move ahead in confidence, hopeful for the future of our church, because we know that in the end it is God’s church. We may not know for sure how things are going to turn out, but we do know that with God they will be good. We will be blessed and God will help us to be a blessing to others.

Yours in Christ,

The Rev. Susan C. Johnson, National Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada – In Mission for Others

For a pdf version of this letter, please view online at: https://elcic.ca/From-the-Bishop/documents/April2008.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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A Joint Easter Greeting from ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson and ACC Archbishop Fred Hiltz

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)’s National Bishop Susan C. Johnson and The Anglican Church of Canada (ACC)’s Archbishop Fred Hiltz issued a joint 2008 Easter Greeting. A copy of the full text follows:

Dear Friends in Christ,

With gratitude for all that God has done for us in Christ, we join you in the journey of Holy Week. It takes us “from the glory of the palms to the glory of the resurrection, by way of the dark road of suffering and death.” (p 297, The Book of Alternative Services) As the days pass the drama heightens.

Through the liturgy we recall the last supper, the agony in the garden and the trial. On Good Friday we are following Jesus hour by hour, and moment by moment. As he hangs on the cross we cling to his words, forgiving all who look to him in faith, caring for his dear mother, thirsting for refreshment, longing for love’s redeeming work to be finished, commending his spirit into the hands of his Father. As he breathes his last there is silence – in our hearts and throughout the whole Church. Our Lord, as the Apostles’ Creed puts it, is “dead and buried.”

And then comes the night when the Church gathers in vigil awaiting the joyous message that, “He is risen! Alleluia.”

So begins the great 50-day festival of Easter. With joy we hear the stories of the Risen Lord greeting Mary Magdalene, inviting Thomas to believe, calling Peter to shepherd his flock, opening the scriptures and breaking bread at an inn in Emmaus, breathing upon the apostles and sending them into the world in the power of the Holy Spirit. As people of faith, we find ourselves in these stories.

For Holy Week our prayer is that as Christ gave himself for us, we may give ourselves to him through lives of faith and abiding commitment to his gospel of love.

For Easter our prayer is that we may know joy, peace, and hope in the Risen Lord, and that “by his grace, we will be enabled to show the power of his resurrection in all we say and do.” (Proper for Second Sunday of Easter, p 32, Evangelical Lutheran Worship)

In Him,

We are sincerely yours,

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

View a pdf version of the greeting: https://elcic.ca/From-the-Bishop/documents/2008Easter.pdf

—————————————————————–
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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Highlights From the Fourth Day of NCC Meetings

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)’s National Church Council (NCC) met in Winnipeg from March 5-8. On Saturday, council began their session at 9:00 a.m. with Opening Devotions by Tom Brook.

The first report of the day was from Ruth Vince, Executive Director of Evangelical Lutheran Women Inc. (ELW). Vince spoke to NCC about the upcoming ELW Board Meeting scheduled for March 27-30 where the board will be exploring possible outcomes from recent cross-Canada focus groups. Also on the horizon for ELW is the 2008 National ELW Quadrennial Convention, taking place in Calgary, AB July 10-13, 2008. NCC Council members praised Vince and ELW for the recent work being done on resources for the whole church. Both "What’s Enough" and "No Place Like Home" have been very well received in ELCIC congregations. Bishop Johnson thanked Vince for the partnership in ministry ELW has expressed with the ELCIC and applauded the continued courage of ELW to share, "signs of hope with the church in the midst of challenging times."

NCC reviewed the appointments of two ELCIC board positions on the Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) Board of Directors. Both Rev. Dr. Mark Harris and Rev. Dr. Faith Rohrbough were re-appointed to the CLWR board for a second term.

NCC members shared some final thoughts on the visioning work they had done earlier in the meeting. A motion to adopt the visioning directions in principle was carried unanimously. It was explained that the vision principles, organized around five areas of emphasis, will provide a framework for the work of the National Office. Highlights from the visioning sessions include the church continuing its emphasis on being a more outward-looking church, along with striving to articulate the ELCIC’s unique Lutheran role in living out the call to discipleship and how the ELCIC might answer that call through diverse and effective partnerships both within Canada and globally.

The next meeting of NCC will take place September 11-13, 2008 in Winnipeg. NCC meetings are also scheduled for March 5-7, 2009 and September 10-12, 2009. The meeting concluding with Closing Worship service. Bishop Susan Johnson presided and the Rt. Rev. Colin Johnson, Bishop of Toronto of the Anglican Church of Canada, delivered the sermon.

Photo highlights from the meeting are available on the NCC page of the ELCIC website: https://elcic.ca/National-Church-Council/default.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, 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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Highlights From the Third Day of NCC Meetings

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)’s National Church Council (NCC) met in Winnipeg from March 5-8. The council included an extra day during their spring meeting to allow time on the agenda to focus on visioning and strategic development.

Friday’s meeting commenced at 9:00 a.m. with Opening Devotions led by Tom Brooks.

Throughout the morning, NCC members continued their discussions and work on discerning the vision and strategic direction for the national expression of the ELCIC. Upon reconvening after the lunch break, council moved into the business session of their meeting.

Council heard the Report of the National Bishop who shared an overview of the work she has been involved in since coming to the National Office last September. In the report, Bishop Johnson noted, "the last few months have consisted of a plethora of transitions," and joked that the only thing that has stayed the same is her email address. A significant part of Bishop Johnson’s time has been invested in strengthening relationships with the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, as well as spending time in each of the ELCIC synods.

From the Report of the National Bishop, the following motions were brought forward to council for consideration: A motion was approved to designate one Sunday a year as Mission in the World Sunday; Bishop Cindy Halmarson was appointed to serve on the Lutheran World Federation North America Regional Committee (replacing a position that was previously served by Bishop Johnson which became vacant when she was elected bishop); Updates were approved to the Church Extension Capital Fund (CECF) Handbook; and Council approved the theme of the 2009 National Convention – In Mission for Others: Signs of Hope, Bishop Johnson explained that the theme was based on Scripture verses Romans 15:13 and Matthew 5:14-16.

Council received a report from the ELCIC National Officers meeting that took place in January. In the report, the National Officers recommended that NCC review motion NC-07-34 concerning a referral to Faith, Order and Doctrine (FOD). It was noted that proceeding with the motion and referring it to FOD may complicate the work currently untaken by the Human Sexuality Task Force. A motion made to rescind motion NC-07-34 was carried unopposed.

Two nominations where presented to fill a position on council which became vacant following the resignation of Bob Schmidt. By ballot process, Barb Stolee was elected to fill the remaining term.

Gloria McNabb, ELCIC Director of Finance and Administration, presented the Finance Report. Council reviewed a revised operating budget for 2008 and the unaudited financial results for 2007. Both documents were approved. Ken Hartviksen, ELCIC Treasurer, presented the report of the Finance Committee. This committee advises NCC regarding policies that it should consider and presented financial policy recommendations to address issues either not covered by existing policies, or where existing policies were deemed dated or no longer effective.

Council heard reports from the five ELCIC Synod Bishops. The Bishop’s share highlights and concerns for their respective synods with council for the purpose of framing the council’s environmental scan. Visioning and mission initiatives are a focus in many synods. Several Bishops reported new mission congregations within their synods. Concerns about the need to find new models of leadership within congregations and providing care and support to congregations experiencing declining memberships were also shared. Bishop Johnson noted that she was, "encouraged by the signs of hope that were evident in the Synod reports, amidst the signs of challenges," and commended the Synod Bishop’s for the, "signs of creativity," they are displaying within their work in the Synods.

Hildy Thiessen, Executive Director, and John Wolff, Board Chair, for ELCIC’s Group Services Inc. (GSI) joined the NCC meeting.

At the September NCC meeting, a request was brought forward from GSI to identify whether there might be financial resources available to further assist with GSI’s work on addressing the pension plan solvency liability. NCC deferred the motion until an actuarial evaluation could be completed, which was done in the time period between the September and March meeting. Through an e-meeting of NCC, council approved $550,000 from the Employee Benefits Reserve Fund be transferred to GSI in support of the Pension Plan’s Retired Benefit Account solvency deficiency. Typically, pension regulators require payment strategies to be within a five-year horizon as predictions beyond five years tend to be less reliable. Due to a number of circumstances, the pension regulator responsible for GSI’s pension plan had not enforced this requirement until 2007. Recent legislation now allows an organization to use a Letter of Credit as a guarantee for the required contributions and to meet the criteria for the five-year funding period. NCC discussed and approved the securing of a Letter of Credit in the amount of $5,000,000 to provide additional security required by the pension regulators. It was noted that this is not an actual cash deposit to the pension plan but rather a "security backed up by assets," allowing GSI to meet the regulatory requirements.

Wolff noted that at the end of 2007, the pension deficit had been reduced to $9.6 million. This total was a decrease from the previous figure of $10.5 million that Wolff estimated at the September 2007 meeting of NCC. GSI estimates the pension deficit will be eliminated in eight years; in 2004, when the strategy was first put in place, it was estimated that this would take 15 years to address. "We have made significant progress," said Wolff, who thanked NCC for being so supportive. Wolff noted that through the assistance of the National Church, GSI has, "secured some pretty good guarantees for pensioners," adding that it is GSI’s utmost priority to ensure they meet their commitment to ELCIC retirees and pension holders.

The final agenda for Friday was the review of several pieces of correspondence to NCC. Council reviewed a letter to the National Bishop from the Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission in which they encouraged the ELCIC’s National Bishop and the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada to enter into discussions about the possibility of shared National Office space. Council approved a motion for the National Bishop to begin this discussion with ACC but noted that in light of the recent five-year renewal on the ELCIC’s current office space in Winnipeg, the discussions would be focused on a long-term strategy.

The session adjourned for the evening with closing prayers. Saturday’s session will be the final day of meetings and will commence at 9:00 a.m.

Photo highlights from the meeting are available on the NCC page of the ELCIC website: https://elcic.ca/National-Church-Council/default.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, 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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Highlights From the Second Day of NCC Meetings

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)’s National Church Council (NCC) is meeting in Winnipeg from March 5-8. The council is meeting for an extra day during their spring meeting to include time for focusing on visioning and strategic development.

On Thursday, council began their session at 9:00 a.m. with Opening Devotions by Tom Brook. ELCIC Secretary Don Storch and council member Roger Haugen facilitated a discussion on the ELCIC’s Constitution, Bylaws and Governance. Jeff Pym is facilitating the visioning portion of the meeting and had council members spending various parts of the day working individually and in groups.

The session adjourned for the evening with closing prayers. Friday’s session will commence at 9:00 a.m. and will continue the discussion on visioning. The business portion of the meeting will begin Friday after the lunch break.

Photo highlights from the meeting are available on the NCC page of the ELCIC website: https://elcic.ca/National-Church-Council/default.cfm

—————————————————————–
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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Highlights From the First Day of NCC Meetings

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)’s National Church Council (NCC) is meeting in Winnipeg from March 5-8. The council is meeting for an extra day during their spring meeting to include time for focusing on visioning and strategic development.

The March meeting of NCC commenced with Opening Worship Service at 3:00 p.m. at Laureate’s Landing in Winnipeg, Manitoba. ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson delivered the sermon during the service. A copy of the sermon is available on the Bishop’s page of the ELCIC website: https://elcic.ca/From-the-Bishop/default.cfm

As part of the visioning session on Wednesday evening, NCC members spent time in Bible study. As well, a presentation consisting of an environmental scan on demographics and current trends in giving was presented by ELCIC Treasurer Ken Hartviksen.

The session adjourned for the evening at 9:00 p.m. with closing prayers. Thursday’s session will commence at 9:00 a.m. and will continue the discussion on visioning. The business portion of the meeting will begin Friday after the lunch break.

Photo highlights from the meeting are available on the NCC page of the ELCIC website: https://elcic.ca/National-Church-Council/default.cfm

—————————————————————–
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.replace this text with your own content and images and press submit.

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ELCIC National Bishop and ACC Primate Urge Canadian Government to Address Homeless in Canada; Congregations and Members Called on to Advocate for Affordable Housing Solutions

The Anglican Primate and the Evangelical Lutheran National Bishop call on the members of their respective churches to advocate for affordable housing solutions for the homeless with letters and visits to their Members of Parliament.

In a letter sent to the Minister of Human Resources and Development Canada, Monte Solberg, on Feb 27, 2008, the leaders urged the government “to address homelessness in Canada as part of a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy.”

The letter follows the tabling of the federal budget which left the estimated 150,000 to 300,000 homeless people in Canada out in the cold and another 1.5 million Canadians in desperate housing need without relief.

The joint Anglican-Lutheran initiative takes inspiration from the prophet Isaiah who 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,” the leaders’ letter concludes, “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.”

“Being in full communion means more than worshipping together,” says Archbishop Fred Hiltz, the Anglican Primate. “Members of both our churches give generously of their time and money to help people who are homeless. They run thrift shops, food banks, overnight shelters, and hospitality programs. But they know that charity isn’t enough. Advocating together for justice is also part of being in full communion.”

“I’m excited by this initiative,” says ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson. “It demonstrates how working together in full communion we can make a much larger impact and a stronger witness, hopefully inspiring our government to address the realities of homelessness in Canada.”

The joint initiative is modelled after a campaign of the diocese of Toronto encouraging Anglicans to visit their local MPs to express concerns about housing and poverty.

Hiltz and Johnson are inviting Lutherans and Anglicans to write or visit their federal MP, and where possible, to do this jointly. The purpose is to ask the Government of Canada to:
Renew and increase the affordable housing funding which is set to expire at the end of 2008
Join with the provinces to develop a comprehensive housing strategy as part of an overall national poverty reduction strategy

On line resources are available at www.elcic.ca/ghda to help people participate in this initiative:
“Bringing people who are homeless into their own house” – a resource that explains this initiative and gives tips for writing and visiting with your MP.
A bulletin insert for use in church bulletins, encouraging congregations and parishes to become involved.
A copy of the joint letter from The Most Reverend Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and The Reverend Susan C. Johnson, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, Monte Solberg.

To read a full version of the joint letter, visit: https://elcic.ca/GHDA/documents/LetterSolberg.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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ELCIC Seeks Two Representatives for KAIROS Program Committees

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) is looking to appoint two people to serve as ELCIC representatives on KAIROS’ program committees. KAIROS is an ecumenical coalition consisting of 11 churches and church related organization which work together in the area of advocacy and justice education (www.kairoscanada.org).

There are currently two opportunities available:

ELCIC Representative for KAIROS Canadian Social Development Committee: The first position is for an ELCIC representative on the KAIROS Canadian Social Development Committee. This committee assists KAIROS in addressing social policy and poverty in Canada. Knowledge of Canadian social policy, particularly poverty and/or refugee and migrant issues; knowledge of churches in Canada; and familiarity with Christian theology and liturgy are assets which will be of value in this position.
ELCIC Representative for KAIROS Global Partners and Education Committee: The second position is for an ELCIC representative on the KAIROS Global Partnership and Education Committee. This committee oversees and assists KAIROS in its work with its Global partners and KAIROS’ Contribution Agreement with CIDA. Some background and experience in working with partners from the South; Background in human rights and conflict or economic justice issues; Familiarity with CIDA; Regional expertise in either Asia, Latin America, Africa or Middle East are assets which will be of value in this position.

Both of these positions require attendance at two meetings per year (usually held in Toronto), ongoing communication with and reporting to the ELCIC National Office, and assisting the ELCIC in addressing policy in these areas. These appointments are for a three year renewable term. These are volunteer positions for which expenses occurred will be covered by the ELCIC.

If you are interested, please contact and/or send a short bio or resume to:

Rev. Ryan Andersen
Assistant to the Bishop for Stewardship in Public Life
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)
Email: randersen@elcic.ca
Phone: 1-888-786-6707 x153.

To view a pdf version of the above opportunities, visit: https://elcic.ca/Leadership/Employment-Opportunities/documents/CIDACSDApptDescription.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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Teresita Valeriano Named LWF Regional Officer for North America

""""The Rev. Teresita "Tita" C. Valeriano was appointed regional officer for the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in North America, effective March 1. Valeriano, 42, Lutheran campus pastor at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, since 2004, is an ordained pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

"I believe that we are in an exciting but also challenging time in our life together as a communion as we address poverty, war, human rights, theology and mission. I am looking forward to
serving the North American member churches (of the LWF) with joy, humility, creativity and audacity," Valeriano said.

"I love to meet people from different cultures, and I try to maintain my international network of friends while building a community wherever I live," she said.

The LWF is a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran tradition. Founded in 1947, the LWF has 140 member churches in 78 countries representing 66.7 million of the more than 70 million Lutherans worldwide. The LWF, based in Geneva, maintains its North America regional office at the ELCA churchwide office. The North America regional office serves all the member churches in the region, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC).

From 2000 to 2004 Valeriano served in Geneva as executive secretary for youth (18-30 years old) with the LWF Church and Society Desk.

"Teresita has a background that makes her very well prepared for this position," said the Rev. Kjell Nordstokke, director, LWF Department for Mission and Development. "This has given her a broad and solid knowledge of the Lutheran communion in its variety of contexts and traditions all around the world. As youth secretary one of her main tasks was the inclusion of young people in the life and the mission of the church. Her later experience as campus chaplain in California has certainly affirmed her capacity of opening space for youth and young adults in the church," he said.

Valeriano "brings with her real gifts, including in-depth knowledge of the LWF through her years on staff in Geneva, and a solid commitment to life together within the North America Region," said the Rev. Paul Johnson, ELCIC’s Assistant to the Bishop for Ecumenical Relations.

Born in Malabon, Philippines, Valeriano holds two bachelor’s degrees — a bachelor of science in business administration from the University of the East, Manila, Philippines (1985) and a bachelor’s degree in church music from the Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music, Quezon, Philippines (1994).

Valeriano earned a master of divinity degree at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, Calif., one of eight ELCA seminaries. Ordained in 1998, she was pastor of First Lutheran Church, Tulare, Calif., before joining the LWF staff in Geneva. She has served in multicultural and international settings.

In her new role, Valeriano will serve as a member of the LWF Department for Mission and Development staff. She will be responsible for coordinating work among member churches in North America, facilitating LWF activities in the region, and sharing information among the ELCIC, the ELCA and the LWF.

Valeriano succeeds Kathy J. Magnus, who retired in December 2007 after serving as LWF North America Regional Officer since 2001.

Information about the LWF Regional Office for North America is at http://www.elca.org/lwf/.

– with files from ELCA 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, 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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Global Increase in LWF Churches’ Membership Pushes Total to Over 68.3 Million

Africa’s Lutheran churches saw their total membership increase over the past year by just under two million, boosting the total membership of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) member churches worldwide to over 68.3 million. Lutheran churches in Asia registered an increase overall, while slight decreases were again recorded in other world regions.

According to the latest LWF statistics, membership in the organization’s 140 churches, 10 recognized congregations, and one recognized council in 78 countries worldwide rose by a total of 1,640,700, to reach 68,322,299, an increase of 2.5 percent over the previous year. In 2006, LWF member churches had some 66.7 million members worldwide, up from 66.2 million in 2005.

Over the past year, the total membership of all Lutheran churches worldwide rose by 1,623,024 to approximately 71.8 million (71,823,423), an increase of 2.3 percent. In 2006, all Lutheran churches  worldwide counted some 70.2 million members, up from 69.8 million in 2005. The number of Lutherans in non-LWF member churches fell by 17,676, or 0.5 percent, to reach 3,501,124.

Ethiopia Has World’s Second Largest Lutheran Church

Over the past year, LWF church membership in Africa rose by 1,926,407 or 12.7 percent to reach a total of 17,129,230. The membership of non-LWF Lutheran churches in Africa remained unchanged at 56,069.

With an increase of 368,861 members, or 8.2 percent, to 4,869,157, the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, the largest LWF member church on the continent, now becomes the second largest worldwide. The Church of Sweden remains the world’s biggest Lutheran church with 6.9 million members.

Among African churches, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, the continent’s second largest Lutheran church, recorded the highest membership increase—32.4 percent—with an additional 1,132,480 new members to reach a total of 4,632,480, making it the fourth largest Lutheran church in the world. The ELCT attributes its growth to “effective evangelism in [its] dioceses over the past two years … and a realistic authentication of statistics.” The Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria saw its membership rise by 380,630, or 27.9 percent, to 1,745,050. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana also grew a substantial 25.1 percent, with membership up 5,521 to reach 27,521. Membership in the Kenya Evangelical Lutheran Church was up by 8,000, or 22.2 percent, to 44,000. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi reported members, for an increase of 10,000 or 20 percent.

Other churches on the continent recording an over 10 percent increase included the Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Angola, Kenya and Cameroon.

While no statistical changes were reported by the 3-million member Malagasy Lutheran Church, the third largest Lutheran church in Africa, a 12.4 percent decrease in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mozambique put its total at 6,482.

Asia: Over 100,000 New Members

The total number of Lutherans in Asia rose 101,439 in 2007, an increase of 1.22 percent. Of a total 8,415,776 Lutherans in Asia, 8,275,418 belonged to LWF member churches, which corresponds to a 1.24 percent increase or 101,258 members.

Membership in Asia’s largest Lutheran church, the Protestant Christian Batak Church (Indonesia) remained steady at 3.75 million.

In terms of absolute figures, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea registered the highest growth in the region with 85,000 new members or 10.4 percent increase, to count 900,000
members. The United Protestant Church (Indonesia) recorded 1,150 additional members, or 11.5 percent, to reach 11,150. A more than 6 percent increase was recorded by the Bangladesh Lutheran Church and the Simalungun Protestant Christian Church (Indonesia).

Decreases were registered by the Lutheran Church in Singapore, Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church (India) and the Hong Kong and Macau Lutheran Church.

Europe: Membership Nearly 300,000 Down

Over the past year, the total membership of Lutheran churches in Europe fell again by 292,117, or 0.78 percent, to reach 37,177,468. Membership in LWF member churches went down by 292,031, also 0.78 percent, to 37,137,374.

Membership in the world’s largest Lutheran church, the Church of Sweden, remained nearly unchanged over the course of 2007, with a slight drop of 0.03 percent to reach 6,893,901. The fifth largest LWF member church worldwide, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, saw its membership drop by 22,983, or 0.5 percent, to 4,533,629. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark, the sixth largest LWF member church, recorded a decrease of 13,274, or 0.3 percent, to 4,493,168. The Church of Norway had 67,531 fewer members, or 1.71 percent, to reach 3,871,513.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia recorded a 25 percent membership increase or 3,000 new members to reach 15,000, while the Lutheran Church in Great Britain grew by 18.6
percent (440 members) to 2,810. The Evangelical Lutheran Church – Synod of France and Belgium, a non-LWF church, recorded the highest percentage increase in Europe by a two-thirds’ rise (400 members) to 1,000. The Protestant Church of the Augsburg Confession of Alsace and Lorraine (France) increased by 10,000 members, or 4.8 percent, to 220,000.

With 2,330 fewer members, the Lutheran Church in Ireland, an LWF recognized congregation, recorded the highest percentage of membership loss—75 percent—to reach 770. The Evangelical
Lutheran Church in Hungary recorded a significant decrease of 30.1 percent due to a change in the method used to count its membership. It had 213,125 members, down 91,875 from the previous year.

German Churches Count 180,000 Fewer Members

In 2007 the total number of Lutheran Christians in Germany was 12,627,746, reflecting a decrease of 105,245, or 0.83 percent. Germany continues to be the country with the highest number of Lutheran Christians in the world. Lutheran churches there had 12.7 million members in 2006 and 12.9 million members in 2005. The number of Lutherans in LWF member churches there fell by 104,774, also 0.83 percent, to reach 12,590,247.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover, the country’s largest Lutheran church, recorded 3,023,897 members, for a decrease of 21,457, or 0.7 percent. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria reported 2.6 million members, reflecting a 1.5 percent decrease of 40,724. Membership in the Evangelical Church in Württemberg fell by 18,803, or 0.8 percent, to 2,304,062. A decrease of 0.5 percent or 10,645 fewer members in the North Elbian Evangelical Lutheran Church put the total at 2,099,315.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony recorded 823,487 members, reflecting a decrease of 10,339 or 1.2 percent. A drop in membership was also recorded in the Evangelical Church of Pomerania, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Schaumburg-Lippe, and the Church of Lippe [Lutheran Section], as well as in the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church, a non-LWF church.

Slight membership increases were recorded in the Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Thuringia and Mecklenburg, and in the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad.

Membership figures remained unchanged for the Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Baden, Brunswick and Oldenburg, and in the non-LWF member Evangelical Lutheran Free Church in Germany.

Slight Decrease in Latin America

The total membership in Lutheran churches in Latin America and the Caribbean fell last year by 14,053, or 1.26 percent to reach 1,104,194. A drop of 2.34 percent among LWF member churches in
the region put the total at 822,074. Non-LWF churches registered 5,633 new members, a 2 percent increase, to reach 282,120.

While most Lutheran churches in Latin America and the Caribbean reported little change in their membership statistics, the region’s largest Lutheran church, the Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil, registered a 2.3 percent decrease or 16,756 members to reach 703,000. Declining membership was also reported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Colombia and the Argentina-based Evangelical Church of the River Plate. The non-LWF Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil reported 230,215 members last year, a rise of 5,692, or 2.5 percent.

The LWF’s recognized congregations in Mexico and Peru noted major changes in their membership figures. Membership in the German-Speaking Evangelical Congregation in Mexico fell by four-fifths, 2,474 fewer members to reach 636, while a 45 percent drop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Peru pushed the total down by 180, to 220 members.

Nearly 100,000 Fewer Lutherans in North America

Total membership in North American Lutheran churches fell by 98,652 or 1.23 percent in 2007. Of a total 7,940,686 Lutherans, 4,958,203 belonged to LWF member churches. The region’s LWF member churches registered a decrease of 75,248 members, or 1.49 percent.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the LWF’s third largest member church, recorded 4,774,203 members in 2007, a decrease of 76,573, or 1.6 percent. Membership in the Lithuanian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Diaspora (USA) remained unchanged at 1,500.

Decreases were also recorded in non-LWF churches—the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (USA and Canada), with 2,417,997 members, for a loss of 22,867 or 0.9 percent, and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, down by 1.2 percent, to 396,000.

The non-LWF Association of Free Lutheran Congregations (USA) registered a 10.3 percent increase (4,041) to 43,360 members.

Membership in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada remained relatively stable in 2007, falling by a mere 0.03 percent to count 174,500, while the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church
Abroad (Canada) recorded an increase of just under 21 percent, pushing the total to 8,000.

The LWF membership statistics are based on information received from the LWF member churches, recognized congregations and council, as well as from other Lutheran churches, organizations,
mission bodies and congregations. The figures recorded for the year ending 2007 were used for churches that did not indicate any changes by the end of January 2008.

* A one-page summary of the 2007 LWF membership figures is posted in PDF version on the LWF Web site under: www.lutheranworld.org/LWF_Documents/LWF-Statistics-01-2007.pdf.
* Full details can be found under: www.lutheranworld.org/LWF_Documents/LWF-Statistics-2007.pdf.

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 over 68.3 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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