Canada Lutheran – Editor

The award-winning national publication of the ELCIC invites applications for the position of Editor. View the full description of this position.

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GHDA Issues Joint Appeal with CLWR to Assist With Relief Efforts Following Sever Flooding in Southeast Asia

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)’s Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA) is accepting donations to support relief efforts Southeast Asia, including Bangladesh, Nepal and India, after torrential monsoon rains hit the region causing rivers to burst their banks.

News reports estimate that more than 230 people have died in the past 11 days and about 10 million people are homeless or cut off from their villages with little or no access to food or health care.

Designated funds received through GHDA will be sent on to Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) which is already engaged in relief efforts in the region, including the distribution of temporary shelter materials such as polythene sheets, water purification tablets, family kits of clothing, bed sheets, mosquito nets and hygiene items.

To assist with the immediate needs in the affected areas, GHDA has designated $5,000 which has been sent to CLWR to assist with their efforts in the region. The funds are from GHDA’s Emergency Disaster Response Fund which was established thanks to an anonymous gift and allows GHDA to allocate funds immediately when an emergency occurs and then replenish the Fund with donations to the church-wide appeal.

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

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

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

Material provided through ELCIC Information is intended for reproduction and redistribution by recipients in whatever manner they may find useful.

For more information, please contact:
Trina Gallop, Manager of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

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

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LWF Dismayed by Vatican Document Despite Significant Ecumenical Results; General Secretary Noko Affirms Lutheran Churches’ "Understanding to Be Fully Church"

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has expressed dismay and disappointment that a document released this week by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, reasserts again for Roman Catholic theologians that the title "church" is not properly to be extended to Christian communities such as the LWF and its member bodies.

In a statement issued today in response to the Vatican document, "Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church," LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko affirms that "Lutheran churches do not accept the understandings of church or the description of our lived reality of faith," found in the document.

Referring to the September 2000 document "Dominus Iesus – On the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church," Noko notes that while the current position of the Vatican is not new to the LWF, "we are saddened and disappointed that it is reasserted again for our current context, in which the work of ecumenical partnership has produced such significant results."

Noko points to the "common understanding" articulated by the October 1999 adoption of the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) as recognition of a "decisive step forward on the way to overcoming the division of the church." He says the affirmation of the JDDJ by the World Methodist Council, in July 2006, has shown the declaration’s "power to become more than a statement on a sixteenth-century issue."

"Understanding ourselves to be fully church, where the gospel is rightly preached and the sacraments rightly administered, we remain committed to ecumenical dialogue, including continued conversation with our partners in the Roman Catholic Church," the LWF general secretary stresses.

He adds that the LWF understands Christian unity to be both God’s gift to the "one Body of Christ and the task of the People of God."

The full text of the LWF statement follows:

Statement by Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko
General Secretary, The Lutheran World Federation

The Lutheran World Federation learns with dismay of the "Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church," issued from the Vatican this week by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This document clarifies for Roman Catholic theologians that the title "church" is not properly to be extended to "Christian communities" like the member bodies of our Lutheran communion, which were shaped by the crucible of Reformation. While this position is not new to us, we are saddened and disappointed that it is reasserted again for our current context, in which the work of ecumenical partnership has produced such significant results.

On 31 October 1999, the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church together adopted a Joint Declaration that articulated a "common understanding" on the Doctrine of Justification and so accomplished what the signers recognized as a "decisive step forward on the way to overcoming the division of the church." In the years since 1999, as the Declaration was affirmed also by the World Methodist Council, it has shown its power to become more than a statement on a sixteenth-century issue: its generous spirit provides an example of ways that "our churches have come to new insights" – both about their own particular traditions and about one another. In this Joint Declaration, a clarifying note states that the word "church" is used in the document "to reflect the self-understanding of the particular churches, without intending to resolve all the ecclesiological issues related to them." This stance allowed the dialogue to proceed as between partners ("par cum pari"). The mutual respect and reserve of such an approach, so essential to the Joint Declaration, are helpful also in the wider ecumenical relations among churches. Without such an approach, problems arise not only on the world level but also locally, where pastors and faith communities are developing relationships as genuine ecumenical partners as they seek faithfully to serve God in their communities.

Lutheran churches do not accept the understandings of church or the description of our lived reality of faith which are found in the "Responses." Understanding ourselves to be fully church, where the gospel is rightly preached and the sacraments rightly administered, we remain committed to ecumenical dialogue, including continued conversation with our partners in the Roman Catholic Church. We understand Christian unity to be both God’s gift to the one Body of Christ and the task of the People of God. We will continue to pursue our vision of Christian unity as willed and prayed for by Christ himself.

Geneva,
11 July 2007

* * *

(The LWF is a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund, Sweden, the LWF currently has 140 member churches in 78 countries all over the world, with a total membership of nearly 66.7 million. The LWF acts on behalf of its member churches in areas of common interest such as ecumenical and interfaith relations, theology, humanitarian assistance, human rights, communication, and the various aspects of mission and development work. Its secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland.)

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

Material provided through ELCIC Information is intended for reproduction and redistribution by recipients in whatever manner they may find useful.

For more information, please contact:
Trina Gallop, Manager of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

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

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Lutheran World Federation Regional Officer for North America, Kathy J. Magnus, Announces Early Retirement

Kathy J. Magnus, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Regional Officer for North America, announced today that she will be leaving the position at the end of this year and taking an early retirement.

Magnus has served in the position since January 2002 and during her six years of service with the LWF, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Magnus has come to know Canada and the ELCIC. As an advisor to the ELCIC National Church Council, Magnus attended both fall and spring meetings each year and participated in ELCIC National Conventions, attended the Canadian Lutheran Youth Gatherings and has presented at conventions of both the Eastern and Saskatchewan synods.

"Kathy Magnus has been a true friend of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and a wonderful connection for this church with the rest of the Lutheran communion," said Rev. Paul Johnson, ELCIC Assistant to the Bishop for Ecumenical Relations, after receiving the news of Magnus’ early retirement. "Although she is a member of the ELCA, in her position as Regional Officer for the Lutheran World Federation North America she has always been deeply committed to the full participation of the ELCIC in the life of the LWF, both in the Region and in the whole Federation. She has been a gracious and informative presence at many, many ELCIC events, including regular attendance at National Church Council. "

Johnson noted, "She will be sorely missed, not only in Geneva and Chicago, but in Winnipeg and all across Canada. We give thanks to God for the gifts she has shared so freely with us over the past years, and wish her God’s richest blessings for the future."

Magnus works out of the ELCA offices located at The Lutheran Center in Chicago and serves the LWF member churches in North America by building connections between and among the churches and connecting the North American churches to the global Lutheran family.

“It has been a great joy and an incredible opportunity to serve on the LWF staff for these past six years,” Magnus says. “I have had the opportunity to see the church at work in so many places and share the powerful stories of our shared mission and ministry with the North American churches. I have been welcomed as a member of the family by the ELCIC and am deeply grateful for the friends and colleagues that have shared in this journey!”

A lay person, Magnus previously served as the vice president of the ELCA, on staff of the ELCA Global Mission Unit and as an assistant to the bishop in the Rocky Mountain Synod (Denver). Magnus is married to Rev. Richard A. Magnus, Executive Director for the ELCA Evangelical Outreach and Congregational Mission Unit, and together they have two adult children and three grandchildren.

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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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Eleventh Biennial National Convention Concludes; Delegates Sent Forth With Ingredients for Grace

Participants attending the Eleventh Biennial National Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) marked the closing of convention by worshipping together on Sunday morning. National Bishop Raymond Schultz, National Bishop-elect Susan Johnson, and the serving bishops of the ELCIC Synods, with the exception of Bishop Elaine Sauer of the Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario Synod who was absent due to illness, followed a flower decked processional cross into worship during the opening hymn. All dressed in white copes, while Bishop Schultz carried the crozier.  Bishop Schultz presided, and was assisted in worship leadership by lay delegates, members of the youth assembly and the convention chaplains. 

The music for the service was celebratory in tone, with Mark Sedio providing upbeat leadership on a grand piano for the singing of the hymns and the liturgy.

Rather than using one prayer of the day, three were used to signify various aspects of the convention. The first prayer used was for the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, as it was the designated prayer for the day, the second prayer was one for Christian unity, serving as a reminder of the ecumenical family that the ELCIC is a part of, and the third prayer was for the stewardship of creation, which had direct connections with a motion that was passed during the convention.

Bishop Schultz’s sermon centred on Luke’s story of the Gerasene demoniac. Schultz reflected on the fact that the people who encountered this man after he was healed became afraid of Jesus. Bishop Schultz’s reflected, “Isn’t it amazing that an act of salvation would make people afraid!” and went on to say that this fear arises from a human understanding that the powerful can and do use their power to dominate and hurt others. This, he said, stands in direct contrast to Jesus’ understanding of his ministry, as well as to an all-powerful God who, in fact, chooses to show kindness and mercy.

In this story, the combination of the compassion that was shown, along with the gratitude of the recipient became the “ingredients of God’s mission of grace.” 

Through our baptism, Schultz concluded, we receive a call to be In Mission for Others, while reflecting this same quality of compassion, along with the reassurance that we need not be afraid.

Participants shared in the Eucharist together, and were sent forth with words that proclaimed their unity as one body in Christ, and called them to be Christ in the midst of their communities everywhere.

Following the service, participants shared final conversations with one another, and made their way to waiting buses and cars to return to their congregations, communities, friends and families.

Full coverage and information on the Eleventh Biennial National Convention of the ELCIC is available online at: https://elcic.ca/In-Convention/2007-Winnipeg/default.cfm

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Anglican Church of Canada’s General Synod Commits to Pastoral Care of Same-Sex Couples

The Anglical Church of Canada’s General Synod Monday approved a statement from the House of Bishop urging the church to show pastoral understanding and sensitivity to all same-sex couples, including those civilly married.

The statement also commits the House to develop pastoral strategies to give effect to the acceptance of gays and lesbians to whom "we are already committed by previous General Synod and Council of General Synod resolutions, House of Bishops guidelines and Lambeth Conference statements."

Bishop Patrick Yu of Toronto, one of the authors of the statement, said the question now is "how do we move forward in a situation of no consensus. We bishops represent a diverse group," he said. "It’s a fragile situation."

On Sunday, a motion to authorize the blessing of committed same-sex unions was passed by laity and clergy but defeated in the House of Bishops.

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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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Blessing of Same-Sex Unions Defeated at General Synod of ACC

The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada has narrowly defeated a resolution that would have allowed dioceses to decide for themselves whether or not to bless same-sex unions.

Lay delegates voted 78 to 59 in favor of the motion and clergy voted 63 to 53 in favor But the House of Bishops voted 21-19 against it. As a result the motion was defeated, since it required approval by each of the three orders to pass.

The motion  read:

"That this General Synod affirm the authority and jurisdiction of any diocesan synod,
1. with the concurrence of the diocesan bishop, and 
2. in a manner which respects the conscience of the incumbent and the will of the parish,
to authorize the blessing of committed same-sex unions."

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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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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

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

Read more

International Partners and Special Guests Address Delegates at the Eleventh Biennial National Convention of the ELCIC

Throughout Friday’s agenda, delegates at the Eleventh National Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) heard about the work of the church and that of its partners; the people who represent some of the major relationships in which the Bishop’s Office engages. What follows are highlights from the special guests who addressed convention delegates.

Rev. Dr. Ralph Mayan, President of Lutheran Church-Canada
Rev. Dr. Ralph Mayan brought greetings from the congregations, pastors and deacons of the Lutheran Church-Canada to delegates of the Eleventh Biennial Convention of the ELCIC at Winnipeg’s University of Manitoba.

He recalled the words of Paul in his letter to the Galatians (1:3-5) “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Mayan continued, “We rejoice with you that God has indeed delivered us from “this present age” according to the will of God the Father. Despite our diverging courses, we both stand beneath the cross, which keeps us helpful and hopeful in one another. There is a continued spirit of goodwill between the Churches.”

Mayan concluded with personal best wishes for National Bishop Schultz whom he has known since they both served pastorally in British Columbia. He added, “The West Coast gets in our blood.”

Rev. Canon Dr. Alyson Barnett-Cowan, Director – Faith, Worship and Ministry of the Anglican Church of Canada
Rev. Canon Dr. Alyson Barnett-Cowan greeted the members of the convention on behalf of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC), and received laughter from those gathered when she commented that it was evident that the Anglicans and Lutherans were true kindred when it came to dealing with the intricacies of parliamentary procedure.

Barnett-Cowan expressed her appreciation for the vote that took place the previous evening to allow ordered ministers of the ACC who serve ELCIC congregations to have the same rights and privileges as the equivalent order of ministry in the ELCIC.

Noting that both the ELCIC and ACC are learning a great deal from this relationship, Barnett-Cowan posed the question “Is there more that we could be doing together?”

Dr. Dieter Kays, President and Chief Executive Office of FaithLife Financial
Dr. Kays brought greetings to convention delegates on behalf of the Board of Directors and members of FaithLife Financial. In his report, Kays noted that one million dollars had been contributed to the Christian community in the past year through programs such as scholarships, grants and disaster relief, although, when volunteer hours are accounted for, in total, the amount was actually closer to two million dollars.  

Kays offering thanks to the ELCIC and to Bishop Ray Schultz, and wished Bishop Schultz many blessings on his retirement.

Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton, General Secretary of The Canadian Council of Churches
On behalf of the Canadian Council of Churches, Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton greeted delegates. Acknowledging that the convention would be dealing with some difficult items during its time together, Hamilton noted that most church groups are doing exactly that these days. She observed that, from a historical perspective, churches have always had difficult issues that needed to be dealt with.

In describing the Canadian Council of Churches, Hamilton described the ELCIC as a vital part of the 21 denominations that make up this organization and spoke appreciatively of how the “evangelical” part of ELCIC’s name forms a kind of bridge between different denominations.

Dr. Hamilton shared examples of how the ELCIC is participating in significant international work through the Canadian Council of Churches in events such as the parallel meetings that were held in Germany during the G8 Summit with religious leaders from across the globe who came together to speak for the peoples of the world by working with the G8 agenda and challenging leaders to speak out on behalf of those whose voices were not being represented.

Mr. Carlos Peña, Vice President of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
Mr. Carlos Peña began by thanking the ELCIC for all that it is doing, and offered official greetings from the Evangelical Church in America. Focusing on the many commonalities of the two: the same continent, the word “evangelical”, and the same baptism and faith, he noted that the ELCA is also sharing full communion with The Episcopal Church in the United States.  

Speaking about how the common worship resource was also a form of partnership between the two bodies, Peña shared that the ELCA would also be discussing issues around sexuality in their national gathering in August. He noted that just as they are praying for us in our process, he would ask for our prayers in their process later this summer.  

Peña concluded by giving thanks for Bishop Schultz and offered his gratitude for all the gifts that Bishop Schultz had brought to the ELCA and noted that he will be missed.

Mr. Robert Granke, Executive Director of Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR)
Speaking to the partnership between CLWR and the Lutheran Church for more than 60 years, Mr. Robert Granke noted how the ELCIC and CLWR are embarking on new paths, based on collaboration. Granke highlighted a few of the areas of collaborating, such as: new placements in the Volunteers in Mission program; a capital and advocacy program, which has resulted in a total of $100,000 for the Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem; mechanisms that have been established for seminarians to gain exposure to international work; preparations to take on a new project which involves building a new resource generation plant; and finding more ways to reach out to the general public.

Granke shared that, through the work of CLWR, 100,000 people are supported in one day and concluded by saying that there is a strong link between the mission of the ELCIC and CLWR, and spoke of his confidence of this partnership in the future.

Ms. Edelvis Iraida Rodriguez Cadillo, Treasurer of the Peruvian Lutheran Evangelical Church (ILEP)
Bringing greetings from the Peruvian Lutheran Evangelical Church, Ms. Edelvis Iraida Rodriguez Cadillo briefly outlined the structure of the church in Peru, and acknowledged the assistance of the ELCIC in the formation of the church in 1993.  

Cadillo noted that Peru is very poor, with a high level of malnutrition, and an overall lack of work. These factors have a significant impact on the lives of those in these congregations and consequently, there are programs to assist women and children through the church, to support their overall health and well-being.

Cadillo spoke of the importance of the partnerships they have formed with churches in continuing their work and read a letter from Rev. Pedro Bullon, Pastor/President of the ILEP, who offered his greetings to those gathered, and acknowledged the celebration of six years of full communion with between the ACC and ELCIC.

Oberkirchenrat Norbert Deneke , United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany (VELKD), and General Secretary of the German National Committee (DNK) of the LWF 
Bringing greeting from the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany, Oberkirchenrat  Norbert Deneke expressed his gratitude for having the opportunity to learn about the ELCIC through his attendance at convention. He noted that he recognized many German surnames on delegates name tags and that it made him feel very much at home.  

VELKD is a communion of eight territorial churches with approximately ten million members and mission of the VELKD is realized through seven areas of focus: A common order of service for worship; A common position on theological questions, such as: how can Christ be confessed in a pluralistic society?; Promotion of congregational renewal through publications, etc.; Cultivation of relationships with the worldwide Christian community; Engaging in dialogue with other Christian denominations; Responsibility for common church law; and Collaboration with other member churches of the Evangelical Church in Germany, which includes a communion of the Lutheran and Reformed territorial churches in Germany.

Ms. Kathy Magnus, Regional Officer of Lutheran World Federation (LWF) – North America
Kathy Magnus brought greetings and information on the work of the Lutheran World Federation that celebrates its 60th anniversary this year and is recognized as the second-largest partner to the United Nationals High Commissioner for Refugees with direct care of over 400,000 refugees around the world. Some 140 member churches in 78 countries continue to champion the cause of displaced peoples. Highlights of the international successes prompted to an enthusiastic litany of sorts as Magnus led the delegates in repeated cheers of, "Sixty-Six Million Lutherans Do Make a Difference!"
 
Noting the maps and handout materials provided for delegates, Magnus encouraged their use at the parish level. She focused on Rwanda, just one of many vulnerable countries. In 2003, over the course of 100 days, over 800,000 people were massacred. In the aftermath, ninety-one of every one thousand babies will die at birth. One fifth of children will die before they reach the age of five. Immediately after the massacre, Magnus said simply, "LWF was there." She shared stories of the return of hope to people whose lives had been shattered and reminded the delegates that, "You are tangibly in mission for others around the world".

Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan – Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (greeting was by video)
Rev. Paul Johnson provided introductory remarks prior to the tape of Bishop Younan being shown and indicated that in 2001, the ELCIC signed a bilateral agreement with the ELCJHL, making it a partner with that church. Earlier this year, the ELCIC becaome part of an organization called the Coordinating Commission for Palestine, which meets once a year to coordinate support for the Palestinian church.

In his video greeting, Bishop Younan expressed his gratitude for the ELCIC forming an agreement to stand together with their brothers and sisters in Jerusalem. He noted that the Palestinian church is strong in its witness, and seeks to work for justice and peace.  

Ms. Betty St. Onge, President of the Board of the Evangelical Lutheran Women (ELW)
Ms. Onge greeted the convention on behalf of the ELW and commented that this gathering was truly a family gathering, and that this convention was like a family reunion for 2007.  

Onge reported that the ELW celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2006 and that they have begun a discernment process to assist them in looking towards the future. As a part of this, they have constructed a congregational survey that has been sent out to their membership and are working with focus groups across Canada. Onge said that they are looking forward to seeing how the ELW will redevelop itself.

Since the inception of the ELW, members have donated more than 2 million dollars to the work of the national church. In looking forward, the ELW will be putting out a publication called, No Place Like Home, which is a new resource about homelessness. They are also looking forward to their next convention in July where they will gather under the theme: “Be not afraid”.  Onge concluded by reminding the convention to “be not afraid” and to “be in mission for everyone, everywhere.”

Sister Anne Keffer, Head, Deaconess Community of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American (ELCA)
Sister Keffer offered greetings to the convention from the Deaconess Community of the ELCA and noted the history of the Deaconess Community for delegates which began 120 years ago and was originally a part of the Lutheran Church in America (LCA). There are currently 75 women in the community of deaconesses, and 4 more candidates have come forward.

Keffer noted several examples of how deaconesses are serving in communities: offering hospitality to immigrants as they arrive, caring for special needs children, coordinating international volunteers and working for peace in areas of conflict. Keffer indicated that these deaconesses were serving in communities around the world, and through this work, they were seeking to make a difference.

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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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Motion to Encourage Synods to Develop Ways to Best Minister to People Living in Committed Same-Sex Relationships Defeated

After much thoughtful, considerate and respectful discussion, reflection and prayer the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) voted to defeat a motion before delegates at the Eleventh Biennial National Convention to encourage Synods to develop ways “to best minister to people who live in committed same-sex relationships, including the possibility of blessing such unions”. The motion was voted on by secret ballot during the afternoon session on the third day of convention. The motion received 181 votes in favour and 200 votes in opposition.

Introduction to the motion by Roger Kingsley, Vice-President of the ELCIC, noted, that at the 2005 National Convention, after the defeat of a local-option for same-sex blessing, a motion was approved by delegates stating “That our church’s leaders, congregations and Pastors ‘seek to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace’ (Ephesians 4:3) rejecting all words and actions hostile to gays and lesbians in our churches and communities, and taking steps to create a more welcoming environment in this Church for gays, lesbians and their families.’”

The announcement of the motion was received by silence from the delegates.

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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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