Strength in Togetherness for the ELCIC’s Global Hunger and Development Appeal

The strength of the ELCIC’s Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA) is in its holistic approach to addressing issues of justice in the world according to Ryan Anderson, Assistant to the National Bishop for Stewardship and Public Life. Anderson addressed the GHDA luncheon for delegates attending the Eleventh Biennial National Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) who had an interest or curiosity for the church’s work for justice and care for the neighbour in need.
 
By holistically addressing issues of emergency relief and long-term development while also advocating for change and offering education, lasting transformation can be achieved. Not only are immediate needs met, but also structures are changed that lie at the root of problems like poverty, hunger and human rights both in Canada and abroad.
 
Partnerships were lifted up as an integral part of this holistic approach. GHDA’s primary partner, Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR), offers channels for effective delivery of emergency relief and long term development programming. KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives is instrumental in coordinating the ecumenical voices of Canadian churches to advocate for public policy that protects the needs of the marginalized. The organization also provides a wealth of educational resources. Synods of the church implement domestic projects that address issues of need in communities throughout Canada.
 
The “Signs of Hope, Practices of Love” campaign is GHDA’s framework for engaging members of the church in this wide array of initiatives. Attendees were encouraged to look at ways in which they can personally engage in practices of love for one’s neighbour to be a sign of hope in this broken world that can be so overwhelming. The Stewardship of Creation initiative, adopted by the convention on Friday, June 21, is the first of many ways this will be promoted and acted upon.
 
Anderson also formally introduced the group to the new GHDA logo. The logo is segmented into 3 parts and centres around the cross. As a symbol of not only the saving death and resurrection of Christ and the identity of the church, the cross reminds Christians of the injustices or crosses that people bear in the world every day. The shared waters of baptism are the background for a rising sun of hope. Out of the baptismal waters, Christians are called to be a light unto the world, a sign of hope and new beginnings.  An unfurling leaf points to concern for creation as well as the abundance of life breaking forth from the church’s work in long-term development, including the alleviation of hunger.

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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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Bishop Fred Hiltz Elected Anglican Primate

The Anglican Church of Canada has chosen Bishop Fred Hiltz of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island as its 13th Primate or national leader.

Bishop Hiltz was elected by the church’s General Synod, meeting in Winnipeg, on the 5th ballot, from among four bishops nominated last April by a gathering of all Canadian bishops.

Bishop Hiltz, 53, will succeed Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, elected three years ago, who announced earlier that he would retire at the end of the General Synod gathering now underway.

Bishop Hiltz was elected assistant bishop of the diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island in 1995 and elected diocesan bishop in 2002. He was a member of the Council of General Synod from 2001 to 2004 and, since, 2006, has served as the Anglican Co-Chair of the Anglican-Lutheran International Commission.

In a statement after his nomination for the primacy, Bishop Hiltz described the Primate as "a servant of the people of God (whose) ministry is the gather the Church, to unite its members in a holy fellowship of truth and love, and to inspire them in the service of Christ’s mission in the world."

He is married to Lynne Samways and they have one son.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is currently proceeding through the balloting process for the election of a new National Bishop as well. For information and balloting results, please view the following link: https://www.elcic.ca/In-Convention/2007-Winnipeg/Friday-Highlights.cfm

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Update on the Election of a New ELCIC National Bishop

As of the dinner break on Friday, delegates at the Eleventh Biennial National Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) had not yet elected a new National Bishop. Just prior to the two-hour break, delegates cast their fifth ballot for Bishop.

The fifth ballot for Bishop included the following three nominees:
– Bishop Cynthia Halmarson
– Rev. Susan Johnson
– Rev. Edward Skutshek

In order to declare the election of a Bishop on the fifth ballot, a majority of votes need to be received for one individual.

Information on the balloting process, which began on Thursday evening, is available on the ELCIC website: www.elcic.ca (click on the link to Convention 2007)

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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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Rev. Susan Johnson Elected as National Bishop of the ELCIC

Delegates at the Eleventh Biennial National Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) have elected Rev. Susan Johnson, Assistant to the Bishop of the Eastern Synod, as the new National Bishop of the ELCIC. The election occurred on the sixth and final ballot for Bishop.

Bishop-elect Johnson will succeed National Bishop Raymond Schultz who announced in January of this year that he will retire as of September 1, 2007. Bishop Schultz has been serving as National Bishop for six years. He was elected for a four-year term at the 2005 Convention but announced his retirement half-way through the term due to personal and health reasons.

Bishop-elect Johnson is not new to the work of the National Office, from 2001-2005, she served as Vice-President of the ELCIC. In addition to her role as Assistant to the Bishop of the Eastern Synod (which she has served since 1994), Bishop-elect Johnson has served as an advisor to The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Council since 1998, as a member of the North American Regional Committee for LWF since 2005, on the Leadership Development Task Force from 2005-2006 and on a variety of boards and committees both at the national and synodical level.

"I’m just overwhelmed and honoured by this incredible honour," said Bishop-elect Johnson upon the announcement. "I promise to be all that I can to help us together to be In Mission for Others."

Delegates have been deliberating on the election of the National Bishop for most of Friday; business sessions on other matters, such as the introduction of a new Stewardship of Creation Initiative (an environmental action plan for the church) and greetings from a number of international partners and guests have been interspersed between ballots.

Further information of the Eleventh Biennial National Convention is available online at: https://elcic.ca/In-Convention/2007-Winnipeg/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 / 204.782.8618
tgallop@elcic.ca

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

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ELCIC Renews Commitment to Evangelical Declaration

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) has set the stage for its next 10 years In Mission for Others by renewing its commitment to one of the church’s foundational documents, Evangelical Declaration, at its Eleventh Biennial National Convention, which is taking place in Winnipeg, June 21-24. The convention of clergy and lay delegates voted overwhelmingly in favour of renewing the document which included a title change to reflect the church’s mission strategy, In Mission for Others: An Evangelical Theology of Mission – Evangelical Declaration.
 
The declaration was originally adopted at the ELCIC’s 1997 National Convention as a statement of mission for the decade ending 2007. Ratifying it again reaffirms the church’s theological foundation for the coming decade, said Bishop Ray Schultz. The statement was adopted with very few changes from the original 1997 wording.
 
Schultz said he took the near-unanimous approval of the declaration as a strong motion of confidence. “I interpret it to mean that the direction by which we’re defining mission and the strategies we’re defining around it are strongly appreciated by this delegation,” he said.
 
“We understand that the present reality of the world involves significant changes in our society, economy and culture,” the declaration reads. “Technological innovations, globalization, economic and political uncertainties and shifting morals and values have increased the sense of insecurity for many people. We further understand that the needs of the world and our opportunities for mission are found on our doorsteps and not simply at a distance.”
 
The document goes on to say: “We believe that the reality of Christ is that God promises to be with us unconditionally in the midst of the changes of our world. The church is called to name those things that cause us to be less than human. The church is called to proclaim the truth of the gospel to others and to live according to it as a community. The church is called to stand in solidarity with, and to welcome into its midst, all those who are marginalized because of sin and who experience injustice. The cross of Christ stands opposed to any ideology that treats people as commodities or proclaims that people can earn salvation by hard work or positive thinking.”
 
The declaration commits the ELCIC over the next decade to: discerning means of faithful living, equipping people to be members in mission, encouraging advocacy for the unjustly treated, sharing gifts with the whole people of God, communicating with others and responding to opportunities for mission.

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ELCIC Congregations Encouraged to Go Green

Calling on all members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) to take actions to reduce their environmental footprint and to create "greening congregations", the ELCIC took steps towards becoming a green church by adopting an environmental stewardship initiative, Stewardship of Creation, during its Eleventh Biennial National Convention which is taking place in Winnipeg, June 21-24.
 
“We commit ourselves as a church to answer the call to respect the integrity of God’s creation through an environmental stewardship initiative engaging our national, synodical, congregational and individual member expressions,” the statement adopted by delegates read in part.
 
A key part of the initiative is the establishment of an accreditation process for congregations wanting to be recognized as “green congregations.” The National Office will create the accreditation process after hosting a consultation meeting in the spring of 2008. The initiative will be promoted through local or regional Stewardship of Creation groups and congregations will carry out “green” activities through their own groups and individual members.
 
Ryan Andersen, Assistant to the Bishop for Stewardship in Public Life, said it was his hope that, "congregations will designate persons to lead them in environmentally sustainable practices, suggest options for such practices and share their experiences with other congregations."
 
“What it means is that we’re going to be more self-disciplined as a community of church members across Canada to attend to these issues and to develop the kind of practices that will give us a credible voice,” Bishop Raymond Schultz said in an interview following the introduction of the initiative. “We’re expecting that, by engaging the church beginning with grassroots congregational members, this will heighten awareness so that at regional conferences and synod conventions initiatives will begin to arise.”

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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’s Mission in the World Luncheon Highlights the Work of Skills and Gifted People of Faith

During a break from the business sessions taking place at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)’s Eleventh Biennial National Convention, many delegates had an opportunity to hear more about the ELCIC’s work In Mission for Others in the world at the ELCIC Mission in the World (MIW) Luncheon which was held on Friday, June 22, 2007 at the University Club on the University of Manitoba campus. The event gave MIW  coordinators an opportunity to highlight recent accomplishments and new initiatives in this important work which included Program Coordinator Kelvin Krieger’s announcement that Sr. Monica Denk has been appointed as International Volunteer Coordinator of the ELCIC and Canadian Lutheran World Relief.
 
International highlights on the work being done by skilled and gifted people of faith included: Erika Parker’s completing five years of service in Bratislava; Rev. Dale and Donna Finch will be working in Jerusalem at Augusta Victoria Hospital and within the school system in Jordan and the Holy Land; Margaret Sadler and Marcus Busch are working for a year in Cambodia with the Lutheran World Federation; and Fran Schmidt has just become a long term missionary in Peru.
 
Edelvis Iraida Rodriguez Cadillo, Treasurer of the Peruvian Lutheran Evangelical Church brought greetings and thanks from her church council and congregation in Peru. Many congregations have become established in Lima and as well as other communities. Through a translator, she extended particular thanks to Rev. Katherine Bergbusch for her mission work and she also expressed a wish to host more visitors from Canada in her homeland.
 
Rev. Bergbusch has announced her retirement after thirteen years of mission work in Peru, the last 3 years in the Amazon jungle. She was inspired to undertake the work by the efforts of others in the field and a desire to share a better awareness of the rest of the world. Rev. Bergbusch describes her work as "accompaniment – not ahead or behind but beside – arm in arm as a partner". She also clarified that she felt more appropriately in mission "with" others and cherishes the friendships she gained in Peru.
 
Kelvin Krieger and Rev. Paul Johnson, ELCIC Assistant to the Bishop for Ecumenical Relations, encouraged prayer for the partner churches around the world and the opportunity to live out Jesus’ call for the faithful.

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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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Bishop Fred Hiltz elected Anglican Primate

The Anglican Church of Canada has chosen Bishop Fred Hitz of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island as its 13th Primate or national leader.

Bishop Hiltz was elected by the church’s General Synod, meeting in Winnipeg, on the 5th ballot, from among four bishops nominated last April by a gathering of all Canadian bishops.

Bishop Hiltz, 53, will succeed Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, elected three years ago, who announced earlier that he would retire at the end of the General Synod gathering now underway.

Bishop Hiltz was elected assistant bishop of the diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island in 1995 and elected diocesan bishop in 2002. He was a member of the Council of General Synod from 2001 to 2004 and, since, 2006, has served as the Anglican Co-Chair of the Anglican-Lutheran International Commission.

In a statement after his nomination for the primacy, Bishop Hiltz described the Primate as "a servant of the people of God (whose) ministry is the gather the Church, to unite its members in a holy fellowship of truth and love, and to inspire them in the service of Christ’s mission in the world."

He is married to Lynne Samways and they have one son.

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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 / ACC Celebrate Six Years of Full Communion

Celebrating Six Years of Full Communion, close to 1,000 members of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada (ELCIC) gathered for a "day-long Eucharist" on the longest day of the year, June 21, 2007. The theme for the service, planned by the Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission was "The river of life, the everlasting wellspring, the fountain of resurrection." The joyful celebration took place at the Winnipeg Convention Centre and coincided with the Eleventh Biennial National Convention of the ELCIC and the 38th General Synod of the ACC.
 
As participants found their assigned tables in the large hall, the room was ritually smudged by aboriginal elder, Barbara Shoomski. Arthur Anderson explained the importance of the ceremony in changing and enlivening the atmosphere with the offering of prayer: " God please change my attitude with my brothers and sisters as we follow the sacred way".
 
Large four way screens over a central raised platform displayed images of the success of the past six years of full communion: formal liturgies, casual discussions, meals, sharing Eucharist, conversations and children’s crafts.
 
The congregation was encouraged to "be gentle with one another as we share bread and wine". Presiding Ministers were Archbishop Andrew Hutchinson and National Bishop Raymond Schultz, assisted by Sr. Monica Denk, Pastor Ilze Kulens-Ewart and Dr. Richard Leggett. A gathering song led to the first of several table discussions; the first encouraged Anglicans and Evangelical Lutherans to get to know each other and each other’s churches better. Many discovered common joys and challenges, and communication flowed.
 
In a thanksgiving for Baptism, the font was filled with water from four directions to symbolize water of life, healing, transformation and wholeness. The meditation was written by Sr. Priscilla Soloman, CSJ and printed in KAIROS, Water: A Sacred Gift.
 
The sung Kyrie was taken from Evangelical Lutheran Worship and led to the liturgy of the word.

A second table group discussion addressed the sacredness of water and its meaning to individuals, families and the global community. The groups read aloud and discussed the importance of KAIROS Water Declaration: "I agree with the following declaration and commit myself to upholding its principles: Water is a sacred gift and connects all life; Access to clean water is a basic human right; The value of the earth’s fresh water to the common good takes priority over any possible commercial value; Fresh water is a shared legacy, a public trust and a collective responsibility."

Dr. Sallie McFague, Distinguished Theologian in Residence, Vancouver School of Theology, addressed the congregation on "Global Warming: A Theological Problem".
 
The music for the celebration was coordinated by Mark Sedio who not only supported enthusiastic singing of hymns with his confident and hospitable keyboard arrangements but also wrote "Agnieu de Dieu". A number of other musicians added their skill to communion hymns.
 
The hymn of the day was a new work from Keri Wehlander, chosen from many entries and debuted at the celebration. Wehlander admitted she had previously heard the hymn sung only in a small group and found the experience of hearing her lyrics ringing forth in the large convention hall "thrilling!" She added praise for Sedio’s interpretation. "Part of my joy was how wonderfully he animated it."
 
Sharing lunch together became a natural part of worship and conversation continued unabated at all tables. After the Profession of Faith, members of table groups were asked to offer prayer for the church, the well-being of creation, peace and justice in the world, the poor, all who suffer, for our congregations and any special concerns. Prayers of the Assembly were offered in Spanish, Cantonese, Cree, French, German Ugandan and Inuktituk.
 
A further table reflection on water was offered through the reading of KAIROS "Water: More Valuable that Gold".

The Exchange of Peace was an important moment for all participants who were building new friendships. An offering was taken in aid of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund of the ACC and the Global Hunger and Development Appeal of the ELCIC.
 
Communion was offered under both denominations and received with particular joy, born out by the singing of "Sent Forth by God’s Blessing": "Your grace shall incite us, your love shall unite us to work for your kingdom and answer your call."

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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 Participates in Ceremony to Reaffirm Aboriginal-Church Covenant

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), along with representatives of eight other Canadian church denominations reaffirmed a covenant recognizing the rights of the nation’s Aboriginal peoples during a ceremony which took place following a full day of worship and conversation between delegates and members of the ELCIC’s National Convention and the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC)’s General Synod.

Titled, Towards the Constitutional Recognition and Protection of Aboriginal Self-Government in Canada, the covenant reaffirmed a previous statement by the leaders of Canadian Christian Churches on Aboriginal Rights and the Canadian Constitution which was signed 20 years ago on February 5, 1987.
 
During the ceremony church leaders repeated a pledge committing to “the vision of a new relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples based on sharing, respect and the recognition of rights and responsibilities.”
 
The rededication ceremony occurred during a joint all-day liturgy service held by the ELCIC and ACC. Both churches are holding their national conventions in Winnipeg this week. The ceremony also coincided with National Aboriginal Day.
 
The 1987 covenant marked a major step forward in reconciliation between Canada’s Aboriginal peoples and the church, and recognizes Aboriginals’ rights to be distinct peoples, to an adequate land base and to self-determination.
 
Following the ceremony, at news conference held by KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, leaders praised the rededication. “This is a spiritually significant event,” said The Rt. Rev. Mark MacDonald, the first-ever national indigenous Anglican Bishop, noting that the ceremony took place on the first day of the summer solstice.
 
Representatives at the news conference expressed confidence that covenants, such as the one with the churches, will help in making constitutional advances for Aboriginal people.
 
“It gives us hope and keeps our faith alive that some day we will succeed,” said Clement Chartier, president of the Metis National Council. “Our people are a spiritual people, by and large. We believe it’s important to work with the churches and move forward.”
 
ELCIC National Bishop Raymond Schulz said his church urges an early resolution to native land claims, many of which have dragged on for years.
 
Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, said progress has been made since the 1987 covenant was issued. The Anglican Church has formally apologized for its role in residential schools and reached a financial agreement on compensation to those affected.
 
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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.

Read more