1. Celebrating Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Congregations throughout the ELCIC are encouraged to lift up and recognize the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on or around January 17 to 24. Globally, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is recognized from January 18 to 25 but many denominations in Canada choose the Sunday to Sunday format. You are encouraged to lift up Week of Prayer for Christian Unity activities whenever you are able. The National Office, along with the Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario Synod, will be hosting a local worship event on Wednesday, January 20. What activities will your congregation participate in? For helpful resources, visit the World Council of Churches website for information this year's theme and liturgical suggestions.
2. Ministry that makes a difference.
2010 marks the 100th birthday of Guiding. For 100 years, Guiding has provided a safe, acceptable environment in which girls and young women have been able to understand who they are, develop outdoor skills, citizenship and explore their spirituality. Over the past 100 years, many of our churches have supported Girl Guides by providing leadership, meeting places, and administering various stages of the Religion in Life Award. Find out more about guiding and how you and your congregation can get involved: www.elcic.ca/Calendar-of-Events/documents/Guides-Scoutsbulletininsert2010.pdf
3. Share your feedback on the ELCIC Study of Human Sexuality.
Feedback on the seven sessions of the ELCIC's Study of Human Sexuality continues to be received. Make sure you have a chance to share your feedback before the February 28, 2010 deadline. Find the study sessions and feedback information online.
4. Be what you eat.
Living in a fast food nation, many of us may not have time to reflect or learn about where our food comes from originally or what process it goes through before becoming available behind a fast food counter or supermarket shelf. In Be What You Eat: A Resource for Campus and Young Adult Ministries, Rev. Jana Schofield and Michael Isense reflect upon the clear connection of the communion table centering of Christ's spiritual act of eating saying "Take my body, given for you" and the present world we live in with a wide gap of wealth and poverty. They also share practical suggestions on how to live not only an ethical life but that of someone who has truly "tasted the goodness of God." This resources is part of The Lutheran World Federation North American project to raise awareness on Food Security and Food Sovereignty as accompanying resources to the Food for Life: Recipes and Stories on the Right to Food (available from Augsburg Fortress). Other resources for congregations, pastors, women' groups, and global mission enthusiasts are included in this project. Materials are also available online.
5. One Community - a resource for Lent.
The next issue of Canadian Lutheran World Relief's (CLWR) Partnership newsletter will be mailed to congregations at the beginning of February. Written around the theme of One Community, the issue features stories about CLWR's community-based programming in India, Mozambique and Bolivia. The issue also includes a special pullout centre section. On one side of the pullout is a 2010 Lenten calendar. The reverse side summarizes some aspects of CLWR's international development and relief work on a map of the world. This is one of the ways the ELCIC and CLWR work in effective partnerships for compassionate justice. Please consider displaying the map on your church bulletin board.
Unless congregations have indicated otherwise, they will receive 12 copies of the newsletter. If you wish to change the quantity shipped, please contact CLWR at 1.800.661.2597 or 1.204.694.5602.
6. Give us today our daily bread.
The Lutheran World Federation will gather for its Eleventh Assembly in July 2010 in Stuttgart, Germany around a related and relevant theme Give Us Today Our Daily Bread. Join in reflection that leads us to action for the sake of the hungry world.
7. National Worship Conference and call for nominations to the Companion of the Worship Arts Award
Make plans now to attend the 2010 National Worship Conference, jointly sponsored by the ELCIC and the Anglican Church of Canada. This year's conference is titled: Taking Care of the Neighbourhood: Worship as Public Work for the Common Good, and will be held July 4-7 at the Vancouver School of Theology, on the UBC campus. Speakers include Distinguished Theologian in Residence Dr. Sallie McFague of VST, and award-winning religion columnist Douglas Todd. The event will also feature insightful workshops and inspiring worship. Deadline for early-bird registration is March 15. For more information and registration procedure, please visit the Worship website.
The Program Committee for Worship calls for nominations to the Companion of the Worship Arts, an honour conferred in recognition of significant contribution to the worship life of the ELCIC at a local, synodical, and national level and recognizing the ongoing inspiration and encouragement to others, together with service to God through worship, spirituality, and the arts.
Please include with your nomination:
- Reasons for the nomination, i.e. biographical material, a listing of the person's specific contributions to the worship life of the ELCIC (include examples nationally, synodically, and locally),
- An indication, with examples, of the ways the person continues to inspire and encourage others in the worship life of the church,
- A minimum of three letters of support for the nomination from others familiar with the individual's contributions.
Please note, current members of the Program Committee for Worship are not eligible to receive the award.
The honour will be conferred at the joint ELCIC/ACC Worship Conference in Vancouver, July 4-7, 2010 (www.nationalworshipconference.org). Send nomination materials by March 31, 2010 to Lorraine Rheinhardt, 6070 Buchanan St., Burnaby, BC V5B 2S2 or email@example.com.
8. Congregational Canada Lutheran subscribers... don't fall behind in your 2010 subscription issues.
If your congregation still hasn't responded to the fall mailing containing the annual subscription renewal request, please note that they must be submitted immediately in order to maintain your subscription for 2010. Please contact the Canada Lutheran circulation coordinator to make arrangements today so your subscription doesn't get cancelled.
9. ELW resources.
Evangelical Lutheran Women (ELW) has a number of resources that can be used for individual or group study.
- The devotions titled Embodied Life can be used as discussion starters at book clubs, Church Council meetings or as part of your Bible study group. These excellent devotions were written by Ollie Miller.
- ELW has an extensive video library. Check this out on-line and have a couple of video and discussion evenings in your home this winter.
- Prior to Christmas, a Facebook page was started for ELW. Without any advertising, the membership to this group quickly surpassed 60. Please join us at hear, speak and act--Communicate! and join in lively discussions. Let's see if we can get to 300 members by March 1! Share this with your friends.
- Are you currently participating in The Word Made Flesh (2009) Bible study produced by Evangelical Lutheran Women? Want to keep the conversation going? Can't get to a regular Bible study but are already on Facebook? Did you always wonder what this Facebook thing is all about? Join us in our "hear, speak and act--Communicate!" group as we wrestle together with the themes and issues raised in this thought-provoking, challenging study about life lived in the flesh.
- Order The Word Made Flesh on-line.
10. ELCIC national staff member participates in Global Encounter.
Rev. Paul Gehrs, Assistant to the Bishop at the National Office, is one of seventeen members participating in the 2010 Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) Global Encounter trip. The ELCIC and CLWR work together in effective partnership for compassionate justice.
Participants of the Global Encounter trip will be spending ten days visiting the West Bank cities of Jerusalem (East), Bethlehem and Beit Jala and will have an opportunity to interact with CLWR and ELCIC partners in the region: the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJH) and the Lutheran World Federation. Their return trip will include a three-day visit to Geneva and the international head offices of the Lutheran World Federation and the World Council of Churches.
Highlights and reflections on the trip will be posted on the ELCIC's blog site.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and be featured in an upcoming issue!
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