1. National Bishop Invites Prayers for TRC
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) National Bishop Susan C. Johnson invites members of the ELCIC to pray for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and for the Alberta National Event which runs from March 27-30, 2014 in Edmonton, Alberta.
"The call to listen to survivors of residential schools and to learn from history is of the utmost importance," says Bishop Johnson. "Our church is committed to an ongoing process of finding truth and reconciliation together. We understand this to be both an urgent and a long-term commitment."
To view ELCIC's news release, please click on this link: "ELCIC National Bishop invites prayers for Truth and Reconciliation Commission" (March 21, 2014)
2. Attention - New and Current Treasurers
Does your congregation have a new treasurer? If 'yes,' they might be interested in the New Treasurer's Checklist that appears on page A-22 of the 2014 Treasurer's Information Booklet found on the ELCIC website. For the interest of both new and current treasurers, the booklet also contains information on financial administration including books and records retention; financial controls; budgeting; and cash flow management. Please see section 8 of the Treasurer's Information Booklet for more information.
3. Worship Opportunities and Synod Conventions
Are you planning some travel across Canada this summer? If you are looking for worship opportunities, check out the ELCIC's Find a Congregation tool.
And did you know that you can also attend one of the many Synod Conventions that are happening across our church this spring/summer as well? Registering as a visitor is a great way to see what's happening across our church! Find out more by visiting the synod websites.
April 24-26: Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario Synod Convention, Winnipeg
May 2-4: Saskatchewan Synod Convention, Regina
May 29-June 1: British Columbia Synod Convention, Prince George
June 19-22: Synod of Alberta and the Territories Convention, Camrose
June 26-29: Eastern Synod Assembly, Toronto
And don't forget our great national events as well!
July 13-20: Diaconal Ministers Gathering, Edmonton
July 20-23: National Worship Convention, Edmonton
August 14-17: Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth Gathering, Kamloops
4. NAAC Events to Nurture and Inspire You
NAAC Gathering and Training Institutes for the Catechumenate
The North American Association for the Catechumenate (NAAC) will be holding events that will provide learning opportunities and inspiration to pastors, seminarians, musicians, and lay leaders. If you are looking for ways to help your congregation move from a paradigm of maintenance to one of mission, and from membership to one of discipleship, then check out on the following events!
Reclaiming Our Baptismal Calling: Discipleship in a Post-Christian Culture
(Annual Gathering including a full Catechumenate Training Event)
August 5-8, 2014, University of British Columbia Campus
Go Make Disciples: An invitation to Baptismal Living
(Regional Training Event offered by NAAC)
September 25-27, 2014, St. John's Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, VA
For more information, please go to www.catechumenate.org or contact Devra Betts. You may also click on the following links to get more details.
NAAC Cover Letter
NAAC News Release
5. 2014 Praise Appeal Materials Now Available
Do Justice, Love Kindness and Walk Humbly With Our God
Many congregations around the ELCIC participated in the 2013 ELCIC Praise Appeal - thank you for your partnership in this important ministry!
The ELCIC Praise Appeal helps support the work of the wider church. The 2014 ELCIC Praise Appeal theme - Do Justice, Love Kindness, and Walk Humbly with our God (Micah 6:8) - outlines what God required us to do in a way that is both memorable and compelling.
Through your gift to the Praise Appeal, you directly enable the mission and ministry of the ELCIC to Do Justice, as we work in the areas of homelessness and affordable housing and responsible resource extraction, among many other important issues; Love Kindness, as we work to support refugees around the world and work in many development and relief programs with our partners; Walk Humbly with our God, through our Call to Spiritual Renewal and our deepening discipleship and learning of new ways to reach out in faith to those around us, and building better relationships with other denominations and faiths here in Canada and around the world.
Help us continue this work by holding a Praise Appeal service in your congregation. Resources can be found online at elcic.ca/praiseappeal/resources.cfm and consider making a personal donation to the ELCIC Praise Appeal (this can be done as a designated ELCIC Praise Appeal offering through your congregation) or online at elcic.ca and clicking on DONATE NOW.
6. Effective Partnerships
Advocacy Internship in The Lutheran Wold Federation (LWF) Communion Office
The Theology and Public Witness/Office for International Affairs and Human Rights of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is looking for an advocacy intern. This position is a youth internship of up to one year beginning September 1, 2014. Candidates for this position require a church endorsement by an LWF member church and must be younger than 30 years. Application deadline is April 30, 2014. For more details on this position, please click here.
7. Compassionate Justice Updates
Open for Justice
The Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability (CNCA) has initiated a campaign calling for an extractive-sector Ombudsman to investigate complaints and for legislated access to Canadian courts for people who have been seriously harmed by the international operations of Canadian companies. Additional information including campaign backgrounder and suggested actions are available at the CNCA website. KAIROS is a member of CNCA.
The Watershed Discipleship program is sponsored by KAIROS and Calling Lakes. This event explores stewardship of creation, responsible resource extraction, indigenous rights, and decision making.
When: Friday, May 9 (6:00 p.m./supper) to Sunday, May 11 (1:00 p.m.)
Where: Calling Lakes Centre, Fort Qu'Appelle, SK
Justice Camp 2014 - LAND on Aug 15-21, 2014, Edmonton, AB
Land, spirituality, and the development of community are all inseparably linked. Justice Camp brings together people from across Canada to learn through active immersion within the communities challenged by social justice issues. To learn more, please click here to go to their website.
Caring for All Creation: Land, Water, Our Natural Community
Caring for All Creation: Land, Water, Our Natural Community is a series of weekly gatherings of the diverse peoples who care about our lands, waters and communities in different ways. The intention is to create a caring community that supports each other in the vital task of seeing, thinking and acting in new ways. The BC Synod is one of the sponsors of this series.
Vancouver: March 4 to May 13, 2014
Victoria: March 3 to May 12, 2014
Deepening Understanding for Intercultural Ministry
Presented by the Canadian Churches Forum
June 23-28, 2014 in Winnipeg
Earth Day is April 22
To help you celebrate and observe Earth Day, you may use the following resources.
Canadian Foodgrains Bank Prayer
Renewal of Your Stewardship of Creation Commitment
8. Spirited Discipleship Updates
WORTH IT - CLAY 2014 Gathering, August 14-17 in Kamloops, BC
Registration is now open for the 2014 Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth gathering (CLAY 2014). Please click here to go to the website.
National Youth Project - Right to Water
The National Youth Project has committed to providing potable water to one home in Pikangikum, ON. Three new resources have been posted in support of this goal: A brochure, an FAQ document and a powerpoint presentation designed for local use. Please click here to get more information.
Study Opportunities at LTS Saskatoon
Lutheran Theological Seminary in Saskatoon has two upcoming study events:
May 6 -8, 2014 Annual Study Conference
May 19-23, 2014 School of Faith
Go to http://www.usask.ca/stu/luther/ for more information.
Study Opportunity at WLS Waterloo
Waterloo Lutheran Seminary hosts the annual Luther Hostel event from June 2-6, 2014. Click here for more details.
Faith and Wisdom
Faith and Wisdom is a resource site that provides information on lifelong theological learning opportunities and which also includes a search engine.
9. Healthy Church Updates
Diaconal Ministers Gathering
The biennial gathering of ELCIC's rostered diaconal ministers and diaconal candidates takes place on July 13-20, 2014 in Edmonton, AB. Please contact Rev. Paul Gehrs, Assistant to the Bishop for Justice and Leadeship at email@example.com for more information.
10. Canadian Interfaith Conversation
ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson signed on to the Statement on Quebec Charter of Values (November 2013). Prepared by the Canadian Interfaith Conversation, the statement expresses concern about the proposed charter's effect on religious freedom.
The Canadian Interfaith Conversation has been bringing together senior representatives of the world's faith communities since January 2009; they address together issues of concern for the common good of all Canadians from sea to sea to sea out of positions of deep respect and deep knowledge of pluralism.
The Canadian Interfaith Conversation encourages the Quebec government to reconsider its proposed ban on religious symbols in the public service and encourages harmony, dialogue and insight among religions and religious communities in Canada and with all Canadians.
11. Worship Updates
2014 Call for Nominations to the Companion of the Worship Arts
The Companion of the Worship Arts is bestowed on an individual every two years in recognition of significant contributions to the worship life of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC). The honour recognizes ongoing inspiration and encouragement to others, and service to God, through worship, spirituality, and the arts.
For the first time in 2014, two Companions will be honoured - one from the ELCIC and one from the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC). To learn more about this honour and to find out on how you can nominate, please go to www.newworship.ca .
Register Now for the 2014 National Worship Conference
July 20-23, 2014 in Edmonton, AB
The National Worship Conference is a biennial conference sponsored by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada. The Conference welcomes participation by clergy and laity of these two churches as well as clergy and laity from other churches who seek to build up the life of the Christian community through our worship so that we might serve the world God loves.
Registration is now open!
Register early (until June 15, 2014) and you will enjoy an early bird rate. Student and congregational team rates are also offered.
Need more information?
Please go to www.nationalworshipconference.org to find out more and don't forget to "Like" us on Facebook to get timely updates and join in the conversation!
12. Ecumenical and Interfaith Updates
Word and Sacrament Resources
The Faith, Order and Doctrine Committee (FOD) of the ELCIC's National Church Council has been asked to study the provision of Word and Sacrament Ministry in the ELCIC. The underlying concern is for under-served communities desiring more regular access to a full ministry of word and sacrament. FOD has created a resource to assist members of the ELCIC (1) to explore and discuss the current reality for congregations in Canada with respect to Word and Sacrament ministry, and (2) to reflect on how our Lutheran understanding of Word and Sacrament and of ministry might shape future options for the provision of ministry.
Details of the study together with a Study Guide and response tool are available on the ELCIC website at: http://elcic.ca/faithorderdoctrine/default.cfm. The deadline for responses is on Monday, December 15, 2014. The study is designed for small groups wherein conversation and the exchange of ideas and opinions may take place relatively easily. Larger communities could offer more than one opportunity while smaller communities could come together to do the study.
Waterloo Ministries Directory
The Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission (JALC III) concluded its first meeting since the Joint Assembly in Ottawa. JALC will soon turn its hand to a revision of the Waterloo Ministries Directory. Please click here to read this document.
We are inviting communities where Anglicans and Lutherans are working together to revise their listings or to suggest new ones. Send any updates or new material (following the format used in the Directory) to firstname.lastname@example.org
During Lent, the people at Lutherans Connect (a (Lutheran Campus Ministry in Toronto) publishes a superb series of online daily devotions. This year the theme is On the Way with Jesus in Lent. To sign-up, please go to http://lclent2014.blogspot.ca/. These Lenten devotions (and a similar Advent series) regularly attract people from around the globe.
News from The Lutheran World Federation
The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) offers a regular blog on its website with texts, photos and videos together with regular email news. Subscription to Lutheran World Information is available at the bottom part of the webpage. Click here to view its blog and other LWF information.
News from the World Council of Churches
The World Council of Churches (WCC) offers a regular news page with texts, photos and videos. An email news subscription is also available to get updated on anything related to WCC. Click here to sign-up for its e-news.
13. CLWR Updates
Meeting with members of the Al Ahmed family in Za'atari (Photo courtesy of CLWR)
Change is possible for Syrian refugee families
CLWR’s Tom Brook had the unique opportunity to meet a Syrian refugee family twice in a short period of time. However, that time was enough to bring much positive change, and a lot of it has to do with support from Canadian Lutherans. In January, the Al Ahmed family was struggling to get by in a cold tent with thin blankets. In March, much of the struggle to keep warm was gone. They’re now staying in a warm caravan. They have a new heater and rugs from Canadian Lutherans and the Canadian government, as well as thick blankets. And they will receive donated sweaters from Canada. Read more about the Al Ahmed family by clicking here.
CLWR sweater drive update
Distribution of over 70,000 sweaters donated by Canadians is now in progress! Sweaters are being distributed in bundles of five, in an assortment of sizes, to Syrian families in the Za'atari refugee camp. CLWR’s partner, the Lutheran World Federation in Jordan, have said that they are very impressed by the quality of the donated sweaters. Canadian Olympian Cindy Klassen was visiting the region with CLWR and she got the unique opportunity to participate in a sweater distribution (see photo). Thanks to all who’ve helped bring warmth to those who need it most.
Cindy Klassen with Palestinian women soccer players (Photo courtesy of CLWR)
In Bethlehem, a big step forward for women and girls in sports
The new Dar al-Kalima Sports Hall in Bethlehem is now open! The sports hall received a lot of support from Canadian Lutherans, including Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Calgary, and the facility is especially notable because it will house a much-needed sports program for women and girls. Six-time Canadian Olympic medalist Cindy Klassen spoke at a symposium about own empowerment through sports at the launch on March 2. She was awarded one more medal to add to her collection The Medal of Bethlehem in appreciation for her support. “This is a world-class facility that will develop excellent athletes,” she said. “I am honoured to be part of such an historic occasion.” ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson also participated in the symposium. Read more by clicking here. When you’re on the page, scroll down to see some media coverage- the event received a lot of attention in Canada and in Palestine!
A group of almost 40 Canadian Lutherans were also in Bethlehem as part of Canadian Lutheran World Relief’s Global Encounter to the Holy Land.
Free counseling centre in High River, Alberta, received support from Canadian Lutherans
Some of the donations Canadian Lutheran World Relief received for flood relief in Alberta last summer went to help open a free counseling centre in High River, Alberta. Check out this news story to learn more: http://www.highrivertimes.com/2014/01/10/free-counselling-centre-to-open-in-high-river
Elder Care Pavilion in Augusta Victoria Hospital (Photo courtesy of CLWR)
A vision of dignified care for the elderly
CLWR is joining the Augusta Victoria Hospital, a Lutheran hospital in East Jerusalem, in their journey to fulfill a great need for health care for the elderly in the Palestinian Territories. The Elder Care Pavilion will provide specialized, 24-hour care to over 100 patients - a significant increase from the 22 beds currently devoted to this kind of medical care. To learn more about the proposed pavilion, please click here. Click here to find out how to make a donation - all supporters will be named on the Olive Tree Partnership honour wall at the hospital.
14. Tell Your Story
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