1. Hurricane Sandy
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) members wishing to donate funds to assist people affected by Hurricane Sandy can do so by donating through ELCIC's partner, Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR).
From the Caribbean to the North Atlantic Coast, millions of people have evacuated their homes and communities due to Hurricane Sandy. Strong winds and torrential rains have led to loss of power, flooding and mass destruction. The storm sent trees crashing down and left neighborhood streets looking like rivers.
In Haiti, severe flooding blocked roads, damaged or destroyed homes and agricultural fields, and killed livestock. There is significant damage in rural communities, and hundreds of families are living in temporary shelters. New outbreaks of cholera have been reported. Donated funds will support relief including water and sanitation, cholera treatment and prevention, and shelters for people affected by the hurricane.
ELCIC members wishing to make a donation can do so as follows:
- By making a designated offering donation (indicate Hurricane Sandy Relief) at any ELCIC congregation in Canada.
- Online at www.clwr.org/donate. Click on Emergencies, and select "Hurricane Sandy Relief."
- By calling CLWR's toll-free number: 1.800.661.2597 or locally at 204.694.5602.
- By sending a cheque made payable to CLWR, 302-393 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 3H6. Please indicate that you wish to contribute to "Hurricane Sandy Relief."
2. Anglican, Lutheran churches produce Epiphany devotions
A new series of Epiphany devotions showcases the growing cooperation between Anglicans and Lutherans on both sides of the 49th parallel.
Leaders of the four participating churches--Anglican Church of Canada (ACC), Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), The Episcopal Church (TEC), and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)--have launched the devotions with a pastoral letter, designed to be read in churches on Reign of Christ Sunday, Nov. 25.
The series of six follows the weeks in Epiphany--from Jan. 6, 2013, Feast of the Epiphany, to Feb. 10, Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord. The imaginative contributors are members of the Lutheran-Episcopal Coordinating Committee, USA, and the Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission (JALC), Canada.
3. Ads for Advent
As your congregation prepares in awe and wonder for the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, consider extending an invitation to the community to attend your upcoming worship services. The ELCIC's National Office has developed a variety of ads that can be placed in local newspapers and are easily customizable as posters, bulletin inserts, door-hangers, fliers and even direct mail pieces. To view the ads, visit: www.elcic.ca/documents/adventads.cfm.
4. Stewardship Resources
LAST CALL - Annual Report Covers based on this year's stewardship theme material will be mailed out to congregations in the next few weeks. If your congregation has not yet ordered your Annual Report Covers (these are covers based on this year's thematic stewardship materials that you can use as a cover for your congregation's Annual Report), please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and to place your order.
5. 2012 ELCIC Praise Appeal Service
We give thanks to all the ELCIC congregations across the country who have held ELCIC Praise Appeal Sundays this year!! Has your congregation identified a Sunday which works best within your local context? If not, there's still time to hold an ELCIC Praise Appeal Service this year! Visit the ELCIC Praise Appeal website for resources to assist in your planning and preparations. Resources include:
Be sure to visit the ELCIC Facebook page. Congregations across the church have been creating their own video messages and highlighting their reasons for holding an ELCIC Praise Appeal Sunday. Feel inspired? Create your own video and post it to the page or email it to email@example.com.
6. Canadian Lutheran World Relief's Gifts from the Heart catalogue now available
The CLWR Gifts from the Heart catalogue contains gifts that change the lives of people around the world.
Popular gifts include goats, mosquito nets, wells, medical care, and teacher training, which help to improve the lives of people living with poverty. The gifts are representative and project-specific to CLWR's community development work.
ELCIC Lutherans across Canada use the catalogue whenever the need arises to give someone a unique gift: Christmas, Easter, birthdays, confirmations, and anniversaries are just some examples.
This Christmas season, CLWR has prepared slides and videos you can share with your congregation to raise awareness of the Gifts from the Heart catalogue. Each video is 35-40 seconds in length and there are several to choose from (including a funny one!).
The slides and videos can be found here: www.clwr.org/News/Gifts_from_the_Heart.htm
The slides can be downloaded directly to your computer and inserted into a slideshow. The videos have been uploaded to CLWR's YouTube channel and can be watched with an Internet connection. (CLWR's YouTube channel: youtube.com/CLWRvideo).
If you don't have an Internet connection at your church and would like to have the videos or slides on a data DVD, please contact Jennifer at 1.800.661.2597 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. Two new Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance resources for World AIDS Day 2012
World AIDS Day -- December 1 -- is less than one month away! And this year, the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance has prepared two new resources to support your World AIDS Day activities within your faith community, workplace, wider community or family.
World AIDS Day Service
This year's liturgy focuses our hearts and minds on reaching the goal of Zero AIDS-related deaths, Zero new HIV infections and Zero discrimination. Through prayers, readings, silent reflection and corporate actions and words, congregants are led on a journey, faithfully thanking God for keeping God's promises and committing themselves to doing their part to help realize them in love. The service outline (or liturgy) is available online in English, Spanish, German and French: http://www.e-alliance.ch/en/s/hivaids/world-aids-day/
Online Advent Calendar
You, your family members, colleagues and friends are invited to sign-up to receive daily Advent devotions on HIV in your inbox between December 1 and January 6, 2013. Each devotion is written by an EAA member responding to HIV around the globe. Readers will receive insights into this crucial work, as well as inspiration and challenge for their own actions and engagement in the HIV response. Sign up now via http://www.e-alliance.ch/en/s/hivaids/world-aids-day/
8. KAIROS' truth, reconciliation and equity work continues
KAIROS' focus on Indigenous rights continues through 2013 and you are invited to join on this journey.
If you're just starting out, please take a look at KAIROS' Truth, Reconciliation and Equity photo action. These pictures are an important public witness for all Canadians. The photos are being shared at national events and online.
If you've already taken a photo (or even if you haven't!), consider these next steps:
- Hold a workshop or right relations study. KAIROS and its member churches have many great resources to help you, including the very popular Blanket Exercise and a game show on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Don't forget to tell us about your event!
- Attend a hearing or event linked to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. These events are an extremely important opportunity to hear stories about the impact of residential schools, and to learn together what steps to reconciliation might look like. All Canadians are encouraged to attend. KAIROS posts these events to their website, and you can also look at www.trc.ca. Resources on understanding residential schools and their impact across generations are available for you.
- Northern Ontario and Quebec are the focus of community hearings in late 2012 and into early 2013. In April, the Quebec national event will be held in Montreal. Then the focus shifts to BC for the rest of 2013, and Alberta for 2014.
- Invite local First Nations, Metis or Inuit communities or organizations in your area to talk about their work and how you can support it.
- Meet with your Member of Parliament. In January 2013 KAIROS will be asking people to meet in groups with their MP, with a focus on Indigenous rights nationally and globally. Please watch for more details or get in touch.
- Watch for other actions through the year.
9. New congregational resource invites 'pilgrimage to Busan'
A new online publication from the World Council of Churches (WCC) invites parishes and congregations to explore the themes of Christian unity, justice and peace in advance of the upcoming 10th Assembly of the WCC.
Entitled Pilgrimage to Busan: A Journey into Ecumenical Christianity, the six-unit resource is designed for use by congregations in study groups, adult forums, or for a day-long retreat as a way to study the theme to the upcoming assembly, "God of life, leads us to justice and peace".
The WCC assembly will take place October 30 to November 10, 2013 in Busan, Republic of Korea. It will be the most diverse Christian gathering of its size in the world.
10. 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!
11. Share these resources
Is there someone you know of that you feel would benefit from receiving these resources? Consider forwarding them a copy of this email. Subscribing to E-Communique is easy - just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word "Subscribe" in the subject.