1. Convention Theme Announced.
This coming June 25 to 28, members of the ELCIC will meet together in Vancouver, BC for the Twelfth Biennial National Convention of the ELCIC. Building on our call to be a church In Mission for Others the focus for the 2009 convention is In Mission for Others: Signs of Hope. The convention theme is based on two Biblical passages: Romans 15:13 and Matthew 5:14-16. The logo for convention is comprised of two key elements: the dove and the olive branch. Both symbolize signs of peace, hope and of the presence of the Holy Spirit. The text and dove are displayed in such a way as to give a sense of forward movement - our response to our call to be In Mission for Others as signs of hope and light for the world.
Details on the convention are available on the Convention website.
2. GHDA continues to accept donations for Gaza Appeal
The ELCIC's Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA) continues to accept donations to support immediate relief efforts and address humanitarian needs as life slowly returns to the Gaza region following 22 days of war. GHDA, through Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) and Action By Churches Together (ACT) International, is assisting in the distribution of food, water and medicine. Supplies being distributed in the latest ACT-supported shipments include 8,000 blankets, 100,000 bottles of water, and food for 25,000 people, and everything from canned food and fortified milk to cooking oil.
Relief and rehabilitation efforts will be ongoing for several months. You can support the continued delivery of supplies, food and water by making a contribution online at www.elcic.ca or by calling 1.888.786.6707 ext. 177.
3. Resources you and your family can use for Lent.
GHDA has once again partnered with CLWR to produce resources that may be used to guide your individual and family Lenten discipline of prayer and reflection. May they be the signs of renewal we look to in the Easter resurrection. These resources will be posted on the GHDA website at the beginning of February.
4. ELCIC Gift Annuity Program
Does this describe you or someone you know?
- Over the age of 65
- Wants to make a financial gift to the church
- Would like to enjoy increased personal income on a guaranteed basis.
If so, the ELCIC Gift Annuity program may be right for you.
Features include the following:
- Minimum contribution $10,000
- Available on single or joint (couple) basis
- Annuity rates based on your age
- Income guaranteed for as long as you live
- Income is partially or completely tax-free (proportion determined by your age)
- Charitable beneficiary can be your congregation or some other expression of the ELCIC
- Program administered by ELCIC
- Backed by contract with major Canadian life insurance company
Information package and no-obligation quote available. For more information, contact Trina Gallop, firstname.lastname@example.org, 1.888.786.6707 ext 172 or visit the Lutheran Planned Giving website.
5. Is your congregational AGM approaching?
The National Office has prepared new stewardship annual report covers for congregational use. The covers act as a folder to contain your congregation's annual general meeting docket and provide stewardship highlights from each synod along with suggested liturgy for opening and closing of your meeting. To order, contact the ELCIC orders desk at email@example.com or 1.888.786.6707 ext 177. You can also download these covers from the Stewardship website.
6. Update on the work of the JALC
The Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission (JALC) met for the third time since National Convention/General Synod 2007, in balmy - well not balmy, but sunny - Winnipeg, December 11-13, 2008. Members of the Commission continued to work on the ambitious agenda for our two churches which had been identified at previous meetings, including updates on Theological education, alternate routes to ordination, the issue of interchangeability of members, the writing of confirmation protocols by Bishops Halmarson and Kerr-Wilson, and the inclusion of a commissioner on the Anglican Theological Education Working Group. Full highlights of the recent JALC meeting are available online.
7. Delegate information letters mailed to all ELCIC congregations.
The 2009 ELCIC National Convention will take place at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver from June 25 to 28. Congregations are reminded that the name of their lay delegate and alternates are to be submitted by February 13, 2009. The delegate information letter, registration and accommodation forms will be mailed out to all congregations on February 1, 2009. This convention registration package will also be posted to our website at that time. Registration deadline is March 13, 2009. Details and forms for convention can be viewed on the Convention website.
8. Stewardship of Creation accreditation for congregations.
The ELCIC’s Stewardship of Creation Initiative offers congregations an opportunity to be accredited as a Greening Congregation. A new form is available to apply for accreditation as a greening congregation.
9. Across the synods.
Did you know, that every synod is engaged in initiatives to strengthen its members in living out our common call to be a church In Mission for Others? Some of the things happening are:
Taking It Home - www.easternsynod.org/taking-it-home.php
This program both empowers congregations to initiate mission, and clusters congregations so that they can encourage each other along in their calling and commitments. More information is available on the website.
Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario Synod
Churches Starting Churches - www.mnosynod.org/crossword.html
MNO explores the ELCA concept of Churches Starting Churches. A workshop will be held on Saturday, February 28 from 9 am to noon at Faith Lutheran Church, in Winnipeg. Dr. Keith Zeh, mission director in the ELCA for Minnesota and the Dakotas, will be addressing the very practical issues of how "giving birth" and "starting new churches", rather than taking away from existing ministries and congregations, can actually breathe new life and purpose into existing congregations. He has had much experience with this in the past five years and will share various models of churches starting churches, some traditional and some very new models.
Community Development - www.sasksynod.elcic.ca/pdf/ARE%20brochure.pdf
Using resources from the ELCA, this synod is seeking to apply models of community development to the mission of the church. Training events are scheduled for March in Regina and Saskatoon, under the heading of “God’s Mission, Our Community.”
Synod of Alberta and the Territories
The Evangelizing Church Project
The goal of this project is to create and nurture an evangelizing culture in rostered workers, congregations and members. The first step is to challenge rostered leaders to read The Evangelizing Church: A Lutheran Contribution (Augsburg Fortress, 2005), and to use its insights in conversation, teaching and preaching.
British Columbia Synod
Re-imagining Mission: Ways to be Church in Today's World
What does it mean to be a church in mission in our context? Are there other models of congregational life than the ones that we already know and practice? How can we do mission effectively that helps us reach out to the younger generation? These are some of the questions that underlie the thought of this event. This workshop is open to all people in our churches. Mount Olivet Lutheran Church - Saturday February 14, 8:45 am to 2:30 pm
10. Learning Links
Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a new neighbour to the ELCIC National Office in downtown Winnipeg. We participate in the work of CFB through our partnership with Canadian Lutheran World Relief who is a member of this ecumenical organization. If you are interested in food justice and ending hunger, you may be interested in some of the resources on their website: www.foodgrainsbank.ca
Luther Hostel - www.seminary.wlu.ca/lutherhostel/index.html - June 8 - 12, 2009. This summer take a journey to an amazing destination called Luther Hostel. A vacation destination of a different kind, Luther Hostel will leave you feeling inspired and energized as you take the time to explore your faith, meet new friends and rekindle old relationships. Along with Keynote Speaker Patrick Keifert, courses in theology and ministry are available.
KAIROS: Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
Recent Kairos statements include reflections on violence in Gaza, the economic crisis and the federal budget. A Different Kind of Oil Crisis is a 15-minute PowerPoint/Flash video presentation. Using original music, evocative photography and simple subtitles, the presentation reflect on the connections climate change as an environmental crisis, a human rights crisis and a spiritual crisis. It is available through the website at www.kairoscanada.org, under “publications” (see “orderform”).
Earth Hour - www.earthhour.org/ Earth Hour 2009 aims to reach more than one billion people in 1000 cities around the world, inviting communities, business and governments to switch off lights for one hour at 8:30pm on Saturday March 28 and sending a powerful global message that we care enough about climate change to take action. Some people choose to spend Earth Hour at home, choosing a family activity that can be done in the dark. Others may choose to gather in churches to combine the discipline of dark with worship and prayer. The Kairos resource “Power Down Day” offers additional suggestions: http://www.re-energize.org/En/pdfs/PowerdownDay.pdf Can you use this time to proclaim love for the God’s earth and rekindle your relationship with the Spirit of Christ?
UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples - http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/en/drip.html On September 13, 2007 the United Nations adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It is worth prayerful reading to reflect on Canada’s relationship with our first nations. Additional resources on available at www.kairoscanad.org (see “aboriginal rights” in the “Solidarity in Canada” section.
Ask & Imagine is for young people in the Anglican Church of Canada and the ELCIC. It's more than a camp, it's more than a youth conference - it's a 10-day experience of living and learning in community with other youth and adult mentors. Find out more at www.askandimagine.org.
Justice Camp - For several years, the Anglican church of Canada has been hosting Justice Camp. It encourages participation of people from a wide range of backgrounds, with an attempt to have:
- 50% of the participants be 18-30 and 50% be over 30
- 50% of the participants be local and 50% be from away
- 50% of the participants be male and 50% be female
Justice Camp is a weeklong experience, which is divided into 3 main sections:
- Day 1 and 2 - Introduction: Community Building, Biblical Foundations, Education and Advocacy Skills
- Day 3 to 5 - Small Group Immersions: Hands-on experience exploring poverty with reference to a specific issue (such as Housing and Homelessness, Employment, Education, or Race)
- Days 6 and 7 - Integration and Celebration: Reporting, Reflecting, and Next Steps; Feast and Worship
The next Justice Camp will be August 9-15, 2009 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The ELCIC is encouraging Lutherans to participate in this experience. Find out more at: http://justicecamp.ca/home
11. Calling all council members, rostered ministers, lay leaders, members and partners of the ELCIC.
Do you know someone who should be receiving E-Communique? This monthly resource from the National Office connects you and your congregation to information, events and resources throughout the church and our partners. Forward a copy to others in your church and subscribe by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with subscribe in the subject line.
12. Photo banner in this issue of E-Communique.
St Ansgar's, London, Ontario congregation had its second In Mission For Others - Taking it to the Streets event. At worship we saw a ketchup skit about how we are called to reach out to others in love. We enjoyed a potluck lunch before a fun and fellowship part through which we learned that our mission field begins at our doorsteps. We were asked to draw a map of our neighbourhood and name our neighbours. It was very eye-opening that we could fairly easily name organizations and institutions in our neighbourhood, but not very many individual neighbours. It was also very interesting to learn about the demographics around us. One participant asked a good question, "Why are we doing all this?" The answers included our desire to discover an relevant mission project for our congregation but also to change our attitudes about our role as Christians and recognize that we are called to serve this neighbourhood - individual neighbours in need of God's grace and their neighbours' care. We will continue this process by hosting a third fun and fellowship event as we journey deeper and deeper into our sense of call.
13. Send in your photo.
Do you have photos from your congregation that you would like to see in a future issue of E-Communique? When sending in your photo please indicate a description of the item or event being featured, along with whether the individuals in the photo have provided consent for their picture to appear in E-Communique. Send your jepg photos to: email@example.com.