1. Peace on Earth: A Christmas Greeting
The annual Christmas greeting by leaders of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) has become a holiday tradition symbolizing the full communion partnership the two churches have enjoyed since 2001.
In their 2014 Christmas video message, Bishop Susan Johnson, National Bishop of the ELCIC, and Fred Hiltz, Primate of the ACC, reflect on a year marked by turmoil and violence around the world - one that makes the message of the Prince of Peace more relevant than ever.
2. Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Jan.18-25
The Canadian Council of Churches (CCC) offers a collection of wonderful resources for the January 18-25, 2015, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The focus is on the text from John 4, Jesus said to her 'Give me a drink'. The core material is a joint effort of the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The Canadian resources are produced by an ecumenical writing team coordinated by The Canadian Council of Churches. Orders should be placed now for your community's study and prayer. To download the entire WPCU 2015 resource kit or to order copies, please click here.
3. 2014 Annual Parochial Reports
The 2014 Annual Parochial Reports and Surveys will be mailed to all congregations in late January. Congregations are to complete and submit these forms online by March 31, 2015. The online reports will be available on the ELCIC website on January 30, 2015 at http://elcic.ca/Parochial-Reports/default.cfm.
4. Notice on the 2015 Treasurer's Booklet
The 2015 Treasurer's Information Booklet will be posted on the ELCIC website in mid-January. To access this document from the website, click on Resources and then choose Treasurer Resources from the drop-down menu. This will bring you to the section where the Treasurer's information and forms are located. In 2014, ELCIC Group Services, Inc. (GSI) took over the annual updating of the payroll - the T4 information and the examples for calculating payroll for clergy previously provided in the Treasurer's Information Booklet. This information will now appear on the GSI website at www.elcicgsi.ca under the Employers section. All payroll and benefit plan information will be located in one place which is the GSI website. Detailed information on the Pension and Benefits Plans of the ELCIC administered by GSI is also available on the GSI website.
5. National Convention Matters
Information on National Convention
The 2015 National Convention will take place in Edmonton, Alberta from July 9 to 12, 2015. A letter will be sent to all ELCIC congregations at the end of January 2015 advising that the registration information package will be posted on the ELCIC website on February 23, 2015. Online registration will be available starting March 2, 2015 with a closing date of April 15, 2015. Further information as it becomes available will be posted on the ELCIC website located at http://elcic.ca/In-Convention/2015-Edmonton/default.cfm
Election of Lay Delegates
A notice regarding the election of lay delegates was mailed out to all congregations in November. Parishes are to elect their lay delegates and lay alternates to the National Convention by March 8, 2015. See the ELCIC website at
http://elcic.ca/In-Convention/2015-Edmonton/default.cfm under the For Delegates section for a copy of this notice and the delegate notification form.
Request for Nominations
The Committee on Nominations is required to nominate two persons for each position to be filled on National Church Council, ELCIC Group Services, Inc. Board of Directors, and the Court of Adjudication. A copy of this Request for Nominations has also been posted under the National Convention section of the ELCIC website with the link Elections under Convention Business on the left-hand side menu.
6. Anglican-Lutheran Cycle of Prayer
We are invited to pray especially for our Anglican sisters and brothers with whom we are in full communion. Produced by the Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission, the Anglican-Lutheran Cycle of Prayer (2014-2015) is designed for use in communities of the Anglican Church of Canada and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. For each Sunday, there are intentions for specific dioceses, synods and/or groups. To view or download this document, please click here.
7. Canada Lutheran Wants Your Ideas and More!
Ideas for 2015 Issues
Canada Lutheran is looking for ideas for its 2015 issues. Do you have a biblical/theological question that you would like answered in Q & A or something that you would like to read about in Practising Our Faith? Or maybe you are interested in the possibility of writing for the magazine. Editor, Kenn Ward, would like to hear from you!
Photos for in sight
in sight is a new feature that explores our church through photos of our art, architecture, activities and people. Send your photos (high resolution, at least 300 dpi please) to email@example.com with in sight in the subject line.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
8. February 22 is Diaconal Sunday
Diaconal Sunday, set by our National Church for the last Sunday each February, is a way to raise awareness for consecrated Diaconal Ministry vocation. An annual Sunday focus on diaconal ministry is another way to highlight the mission of all believers in our church to seek the lost, the lonely, the disenfranchised in our neighbourhoods and throughout the world, ministering to them in the way of Christ. New materials for Diaconal Sunday, written by ELCIC Diaconal Ministers will be available soon! Watch E-Communique and elcic.ca for updates.
9. Celebrate Scout-Guide Week Feb. 15-22
Many ELCIC congregations support Scouts and Guides by providing leadership, meeting places, and administering various stages of the Religion in Life Award. Join us with others across Canada in celebrating Scout-Guide Week 2015. A special bulletin insert will be available on the ELCIC website shortly.
10. Compassionate Justice Updates
Revised Common Lectionary: Spirited Reflections
As we begin 2015 and continue with a new year in the Revised Common Lectionary, KAIROS will continue to provide its series of weekly lectionary-based theological reflections on a series of justice topics. You can read perspectives on the biblical call to ecological justice, right relationship, and other justice issues from across the country and across the ecumenical spectrum. Check out Spirited Reflections at http://www.kairoscanada.org/reflections-worship/spirited-reflections/. KAIROS is looking for new authors, too - if you would like to contribute, please contact Jim Davis at email@example.com.
11. Healthy Church Updates
Deepening Understanding for Intercultural Ministry
The Canadian Churches' Forum (CCF) offers an excellent continuing education opportunity called Deepening Understanding for Intercultural Ministry (DUIM) on February, 2015 in Toronto, Ontario and on May, 2015 in Beausejour, Manitoba. The DUIM program is a 6-day, interactive, engaging program with practical ideas for implementation in your own context. The program is for Christian ministry leaders nurturing cultural relevance, understanding and awareness in their communities. To get more details on the DUIM program, please click here.
Canadian Churches Forum: http://www.ccforum.ca
Word and Sacrament Study
At the time of writing, we have received in excess of 200 individual and group responses for the ELCIC’s Word and Sacrament Ministry Study Guide! We are grateful to all who used the Study Guide to explore the provision of Word and Sacrament ministry in their own contexts.
Reformation Commemoration 2015-2017
The ELCIC National Church Council (NCC) has marked out 2015-2017 to commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation (2017). NCC has adopted The Lutheran World Federation's goals which are to strengthen communion among member churches; to explore our Lutheran identity; and to strengthen ecumenical commitment. The overall commemorative theme is Liberated by God's Grace with three sub-themes: Salvation - Not for sale!; Human Beings - Not for sale!; and Creation - Not for sale! The Lutheran World Federation has created a webpage focused on the journey toward 2017. The webpage is growing substantially and offers some glimpses into the emphases and resources which are being rolled out over the next three years. Look for special emphases on women reformers, Bible Study, theological study, ecumenical worship and the creation/nurturing of a Global Young Reformers Network.
Please click on the following links to get more information:
LWF's Reformation 2017
LWF's Global Young Reformers Network
12. Effective Partnerships Updates
National Bishop Susan Johnson with Archbishop Brendan O'Brien of the Episcopal Commission for Christian Unity, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in Ottawa. The National Bishop's visit was in contemplation of Reformation 2017 observances. Photo by ELCIC.
Waterloo Ministries Directory
The Fall 2014 edition of the Waterloo Ministries Directory is available on the ELCIC website. The Directory lists ministries where Anglicans and Lutherans are working together and takes its name from the “Waterloo Declaration” which saw Canadian Anglicans and Lutherans enter a full-communion relationship. Additions or revisions to the Directory should be sent to Assistant to the Bishop Andre Lavergne at firstname.lastname@example.org. A fresh edition will be coming out in the spring.
Assembly participants pose with cakes celebrating the CCC's 70th anniversary.
Photo by CCC Communications.
70 Years of Unity in Diversity in Christ
In November 2014 about 170 people from across Canada and beyond gathered in Mississauga, Ont. To celebrate the 70th anniversary of their denominations and organizations working together in the name of Christ - to further the unity of the Church, and benefit all Canadians and the world.
This assembly, gathering together all the bodies within The Canadian Council of Churches (CCC) for the first time in seventeen years, looked to the future of Canadian ecumenism. Participants listened to voices of ecumenists young and old on where Canadian church co-operation has been, and where it’s going; they reflected on their history with Canada’s Indigenous peoples; they weathered an unexpected blizzard while improving a chapel service; and they spent time in conversation and fellowship, building bonds while envisioning how Canadian ecumenism can grow.
Canada’s churches have a long and deep history of cooperation. Together they will continue to seek and serve God’s will in the decades to come.
Find links to pictures and much more here.
Canadian Lutheran World Relief Updates
Gifts from the Heart
Have some last minute Christmas shopping? Why not consider a Gift from the Heart? The items in CLWR’s catalogue symbolize the development and relief work Canadian Lutherans support overseas. Honour your loved ones with a gift that changes lives. Click here to see the items online. Don’t forget Gifts from the Heart for other special events throughout the year, like birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, confirmations and Easter.
CLWR’s online Advent calendar will remain available into the New Year, so if you haven’t had a chance yet, you still have time to check in and read how Canadian Lutherans are supporting people around the world. Click here to see it.
Giving School-Day Update
The response to CLWR’s Giving Tuesday call-to-action was amazing! CLWR supporters smashed the 20-classroom goal ($5,000). The current total is over $19,500 (as of Dec. 17). That’s enough to build and/or equip 78 classrooms with school supplies for students in refugee camps. Thank you for your support. If you wish to continue supporting classrooms for refugee children, please consider a gift for the “Equip a Classroom” item in CLWR’s Gifts from the Heart catalogue.
Beating Hunger in Ethiopia
Rev. Riitta Hepomaki of the Eastern Synod visited Ethiopia last month, where she got to meet people benefitting from irrigation projects supported by Canadian Lutherans. Read about Mohammed Eyasu and his family here, and Ahimed Melsa here.
Harvest of Letters Letter-Writing Campaign
Join Canadians across the country in writing a letter to your Member of Parliament, asking for increased support for farmers in developing countries. Support for smallholder farmers has been proven to reduce poverty and hunger. A Harvest of Letters resource on how to get involved has been prepared by our partner Canadian Foodgrains Bank. If you haven’t received a copy of the resource, it’s available for viewing and printing online by clicking this link: bit.y/holclwr.
Road to Kakuma Update
The Road to Kakuma shipment has finally arrived at the Kakuma refugee camp in northwestern Kenya. Thanks to the CLWR supporters who made the journey possible with over $15,000 in donations over the past few months. Many students will receive Learning & Living Kits upon returning to class in January, but for many other residents distribution has already begun. So far 253 children and 264 extremely vulnerable adults have received support. Quilts and blankets are a great comfort to people exposed to a tough and unforgiving climate. We will provide an extensive update on the distribution early in 2015.
13. 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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