1. Updates from Canadian Council of Churches
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2016
The Canadian Council of Churches offers resources for the January 18-25, 2016, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
The focus is on the text from 1 Peter 2:9 Called to proclaim the
mighty acts of God. The Canadian resources are produced by an ecumenical writing team
chaired by ELCIC pastor Susan Climo. National Bishop Susan Johnson has
written a letter encouraging all ELCIC individuals and congregations
to get involved in the 2016 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. To view
this letter, please click here.
In a letter from Canadian
Council of Churches (CCC) president, Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan reminds
us that, "As Christians, we are called to put our faith and hope into
action and to meet the needs of the oppressed and vulnerable by
reflecting our own experience of God's love for us. God's Word directs
us into paths of hospitality and invites us to welcome the stranger. In
God's Word we find the source of our strength and a model for every
action we undertake in God's name."
Please read and share the letter
widely. Together may we all welcome the stranger.
Read the full text of the CCC letter here.
2. ELCIC National Office Partners with CLWR and LCC to Sponsor a Syrian Refugee Family
National office staff from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
(ELCIC), Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) and Lutheran Church-Canada
(LCC) are coming together for the
first time to bring a Syrian refugee family to Canada.
The initiative will pool donations from individual staff members to raise the money needed to support a family for a year.
To view the full ELCIC news release, please click on this link: ELCIC National Office Partners With CLWR and LCC to Sponsor a Syrian Refugee Family
3. Prayer for Congregations and People Formerly of the ELCIC
At the 2015 ELCIC National Convention in
July, delegates passed a motion, "that the ELCIC acknowledges with
sadness that several of our family congregations and family members have
chosen to leave this church. We would like to be clear that our
thoughts and prayers remain with them as they carry on Christ's
ministry. We will include these congregations and former members in our
weekly prayers as we do member congregations of this church. We will
continue to look for opportunities to alleviate suffering in, and to
care for, the communities we serve together. CARRIED"
The following prayer is
being shared for use across the church. It has been included in prayers
during recent meetings of the National Office, the recent National
Church Council meeting and at other times of prayer.
God of all, as Jesus
prayed for unity among his followers, we acknowledge with sadness the
people and congregations formerly of the ELCIC, and we pray for their
well-being and our continuing partnership in ministries to alleviate
suffering and to care for the communities and world we serve together.
4. ELCIC Reformation 2017
Reformation 2017 Themes and Goals
The ELCIC has marked out 2015-2017 to commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation (2017). We have adopted The Lutheran World Federation (LWF)'s
themes and goals. The overall theme is Liberated by God's Grace with three sub-themes: (1) Salvation - Not for Sale; (2) Human Beings - Not for Sale; and (3) Creation - Not for Sale. The goals are: (1) to strengthen communion among member churches; (2)
to explore our Lutheran identity; (3) to strengthen ecumenical
commitment; and (4) to reaffirm our commitment to justice and
peace. These themes and goals are becoming prominent in the ELCIC's
ministry and are captured in our 2016 joint Anglican-Lutheran national
youth and worship gatherings. Additional worship and study resources
will appear in 2016.
Please click on the following links for some helpful resources:
Reformation 2017 Flyer
Not for Sale! CLAY Gathering
Formation & Reformation - National Worship Conference
Reformation Theme Reflections
Theological reflections for study groups are contained in four booklets which are the work of authors and scholars from across our global Communion of Churches. Topics include the migration of peoples
(including refugees), climate change, land expropriation, the
"prosperity gospel" and sustainable human existence. These are excellent
resources for ministerial study groups and ecumenical conversations. Consider a joint winter or spring study for 2016. please click here.
To find out more on Reformation Reflections, please click here.
Take the Reformation Challenge!
ELCIC members are encouraged to give expression to being "Liberated by God's Grace" through the ELCIC Reformattion Challenge. Our goals are to:
- Sponsor 500 refugees to Canada
- Provide 500 scholarships for ELCJHL schools
- Plant 500,000 trees
- Give $500,000 to the LWF Endowment Fund
Let us know your commitment by telling us what you, your congregation, your family and your community pledge to do. Please click here to get more information on how to get started!
Reformation Challenge: http://www.elcic.ca/ReformationChallenge/default.cfm
Register your commitment: http://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JHG2R8W
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land: http://www.elcjhl.org/
Lutheran-Roman Catholic Working Group
(Front from left to right) Archbishop Richard Gagnon (CCCB Co-chair), Dr. Mary Joy Philip (ELCIC), Dr. Catherine Clifford (CCCB), Sister Donna Geernaert SC (CCCB). (Back from left to right) Pastor Andre Lavergne (ELCIC staff), Mr. Kyle Ferguson (CCCB staff), Bishop Susan Johnson (ELCIC Co-chair), Pastor Paul Sartison (ELCIC)
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) have convened a Working Group on From Conflict to Communion which encourages Lutherans and Catholics to commemmorate the Reformation in 2017. The Working Group will produce a Study Guide in which our shared history will be considered in light of the five imperatives of From Conflict to a Communion - common point of beginning, mutual encounter, striving for unity, our shared gospel and joint witness. Bishop Susan Johnson is co-chairing the Group. We invite our ELCIC community to include this important work in the prayers of the faithful and to begin thinking about a joint Lenten study for 2017. Information coming soon.
Luther Reading Challenge
Many of Martin Luther's
writings are being presented online for reflection. The texts range
from Luther's personal letters and hymns to his doctrinal and social
commentary; his catechisms and his will. Individual readers and reading
groups can participate in online discussions. Simply register and have
the opportunity to look at our roots!
Information on Canadian Events
We are gathering news of 2017
Reformation events. These include a lecture series in Calgary; an
ecumenical worship and lecture series in Edmonton; a scholarly
symposium in Waterloo; joint CCCB-ELCIC commemoration across Canada. and more. Is your congregation, community or
institution planning something special for 2017? We would like to hear
from you! Give us the who, what, when, where and why of what's
happening. If you have any information available online, give us the
link! We would like to help remind people of possibilities and assist in
getting the word out. Send an email to Assistant to the Bishop, Rev. Andre Lavergne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. 2016 ELCIC Praise Appeal
Resources for holding a Praise Appeal Sunday in 2016 are now available online. The theme for the 2016 ELCIC Praise Appeal, Liberated by God's Grace: Human Beings - Not for Sale, echoes The Lutheran World Federation theme of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. You will see the ELCIC lift up this theme of Liberated by God's Grace and its three sub-themes (Creation - Not for Sale; Salvation - Not for Sale; Human Beings - Not for Sale) over the next three years as we participate in the international and ecumenical commemoration.
Congregations throughout the ELCIC are asked to designate one Sunday in 2016 to highlight this appeal at a time that works best for their local circumstances. View the resources online at elcic.ca/praiseappeal .
6. Compassionate Justice Updates
DUIM - An Interactive and Engaging Program for Ministry Leaders
The Canadian Churches' Forum is offering Deepening Understanding for Intercultural Ministry (DUIM),
a 6-day interactive and engaging program with practical ideas for
implementation in your own context. DUIM is for Christian ministry
leaders nurturing cultural relevance, understanding and awareness in
their communities. The next DUIM program will be in Saskatoon, SK from January 25 to 29. For more information and for a full listing of their 2016 schedule, please click here.
Welcoming the Stranger
Have you affirmed the core
faith values for Welcoming the Stranger? The ELCIC National Convention
endorsed this initiative in July, 2015. For more information, please click here.
Winds of Change Campaign
In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action #62, KAIROS has prepared a petition for each province and territory calling on each jurisdiction to make the history of residential schools and treaties to be a mandatory part of the school curriculum. Find out more and download a petition by clicking here.
CLWR Global Encounter: Visiting Ethiopia or Uganda - January 16-30, 2016
Pray for the CLWR delegation and follow their journey on social media. For information on CLWR's Global Encounter, please click here.
On December 7, 2015 Project Ploughshares joined other non-government organizations in sending a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs encouraging Canada to join the Arms Trade Treaty. To view this letter, please click here.
7. Spirited Discipleship Updates
The next Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth (CLAY) Gathering takes place in August 17-21, 2016 in Charlottetown, PEI. Registration information is now online.
Please share with your home teams and youth groups. Find out more
about: Specialist Home Teams, deadlines, fees, accommodations and more
at claygathering.ca .
National Youth Project - Right to Water
The National Youth Project continues to promote the Right to Water. Fundraising continues to support the community of Pikangikum, and you may wish to express support for this community by writing to your MP. To help you get started and to view the open letter from Anglican and Lutheran leaders, please click here.
Call to Spiritual Renewal
with others across the ELCIC striving for a deeper discipleship as we
live out our baptismal covenants. The call to spiritual renewal
includes: Pray, Read, Worship, Study, Serve, Give and Tell. A new
resource: Call to Spiritual Renewal - Ideas for Individuals,
Congregations and Communities was distributed at convention last summer
and is now available online. For more
information, please visit our website.
8. Healthy Church Updates
What is your plan for
continuing education in 2016? The ELCIC Continuing Education Plan (CEP)
provides support to encourage on-going education by ELCIC leaders. The
member's personal account is available for a wide variety of short
term study opportunities. Plan members are eligible to apply for a Long
Term Study Grant toward an advanced degree. CEP Expense Reimbursement
Forms and Long Term Study Leave Forms can be found here at the ELCIC Group Services website.
2016 Companion of the Worship Arts
The Companion of the Worship Arts is an honor bestowed on individuals in recognition of significant contributions made to the worship life of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC).
Conferred in the ELCIC since 1996, the honour recognizes ongoing
inspiration and encouragement to others, and service to God, through
worship, spirituality and the arts. The honour is presented at the
National Worship Conference, which takes place every two years.
In 2016, the 20th anniversary of the ELCIC Companion of the Worship Arts will be
conferred at the joint ACC - ELCIC National Worship Conference, Formation & Reformation, to be held in Waterloo, Ontario on July 24
- 27, 2016. Look for nomination information on the Companion of the
Worship Arts webpage.
9. Effective Partnerships Updates
Young Lutherans Get Living Reformation Projects Off the Ground
The Global Young Reformer Network of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has launched a series of reformation projects led by young adults from across the LWF communion. Learn more about the projects by clicking here.
10. Canada Lutheran Wants Your Ideas and More
Get Connected Through Canada Lutheran
From progressive ministries to practical spiritual guidance, Canada Lutheran introduces
readers to people and ideas that will provide discussion and connect
them to their home congregations, the National Church, and our global
ministries - helping our members live their lives In Mission for Others.
A Congregational Subscription Plan (CSP) to Canada Lutheran is your best way to stay connected. For your congregational subscription, please contact your respective Canada Lutheran representative.
To get your church started on a congregational subscription and for
individual subscriptions, please contact Barb Wiebe at email@example.com
Wanted - Articles for Practising Our Faith
have a story or idea about how you or the people around you handle life's challenges and opportunities through faith? Begin to inform and
inspire others by sharing your story. Each article should be around 650
words and Canada Lutheran will pay for it once it gets
accepted. Successful articles are subject to editing to conform to
ELCIC style. If you are interested in submitting your article, send it
to firstname.lastname@example.org with practicing our faith on the subject line.
11. Tell Your Story
Do you have a story to share about the work of your congregation In Mission for Others that you would like to see in a future issue of E-Communique? Send your brief story and a picture to email@example.com and be featured in an upcoming issue!
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