1. Resources for Lent.
The ELCIC's Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA) has partnered with Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) to produce resources that may be used to guide your individual and family Lenten discipline of prayer and reflection. May they be signs of renewal we look to in the Easter resurrection. These resources can be found on the GHDA website.
2. 2009 National Convention
Delegates to the National Convention are reminded to send in their registration and accommodation forms with payment by Friday, March 13. The information package for delegates and visitors can be found on the ELCIC website under "What We Do - National Convention". The Bulletin of Reports will be mailed out May 1.
3. Parochial Reports
The deadline for submission of the annual parochial reports is March 31. The parochial reports package was sent out to all congregations in December in the same envelope as the Treasurer's Booklet. A copy of the parochial reports information can also be found on the ELCIC website under "Resources - Parochial Reports".
4. Earth Hour 2009
In 2008, 50 million people in 370 cities and towns, in more than 35 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour. Consider participating in Earth Hour 2009 on March 28 as a symbolic pause to reflect on our use of fossil fuels, to think about the impact of our activity on people and ecosystems around the world, and most importantly, to pledge to make a difference - as individuals, communities and as a nation.
Here are some ideas you can do to participate in Earth Hour 2009 and make a difference.
- Hold a service at your church during Earth Hour, Saturday March 28 at 8:30 pm. If that's not possible, observe Earth Hour at home with your family, or as a neighbourhood event. You can also incorporate material from KAIROS' Earth Hour resources into your church service on Sunday March 29. Follow the worship service guideline, Earth Hour 2009 - Life is Worth More Than Oil (PDF format) and get organizing ideas from the Different Kind of Oil Crisis education and action guide.
- As a lead-in to Earth Hour, host a PowerDown Day at your Church. As a group, commit to going without using fossil fuels or fossil fuel powered electricity for one 12 hour day. You can download a free copy of the PowerDown Day Guide from the Re-Energize campaign website (PDF format).
- Raise awareness in your community with a series of ads highlighting the need to take action now on climate change. You can download PDF versions here (please note that these are large files of 1 to 4 MBs):
Small-format ads, black and white
Small ads, colour
Large-format ads, black and white
Large-format ads, colour
These are designed for you to place in community papers, church newsletters and bulletins, to use in email, blogs, and social networking sites, or to be postered throughout your community.
- Check out the new KAIROS resource Our Oil Dilemma: Reflections and Queries a collection of stories offering insight into our role in the fossil fuel crisis, inspiration for change, and questions for reflection. This book can be used in your family, youth group, outreach study, bible study, or to stimulate congregational response. 76 pages. Available to order for $10.00 per copy, $6 per copy for orders of 4 or more.
- Dig Deeper! If you want to go even further and contribute to a more equitable global climate by reducing your own emissions, consider taking part in a Carbon Sabbath Initiative - a way for individuals and groups to track and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Information is available at http://www.re-energize.org/En/ChangeYourself.html If you want to collaborate with some other churches in your community, KAIROS can even help with a training workshop!
The above suggestions are from KAIROS, an organization which unites 11 Canadian churches and religious organizations - including the ELCIC - in a faithful ecumenical response to the call to "do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8).
5. LWF Youth Toolkit on Climate Change
The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has prepared a youth resource to assist young people in our churches to discuss the issue of climate change (timely since our current National Youth Project focuses on Stewardship of Creation). The resource, which is available on the LWF Youth Website will help to:
- Equip youth with knowledge about the impact of climate change
- Organize Bible studies, role plays and other activities on the topic of climate change in various settings (i.e. workshop for youth, confirmation class, etc..)
- Provide guidelines for youth to design local projects fighting climate change
6. Youth Media Habits Survey
Going Barefoot II - Youth Survey
Do you use Facebook? Do you read magazines and papers? What subjects are you interested in? Is the church and faith important to you?
The organizers of Going Barefoot II, a May 15 conference for church-related communicators, would like to know more about the media habits of youth today. Can you take a few minutes to fill out this survey? Do you know someone who should receive this survey? To participate in the survey, go to http://goingbarefoot.ca/. Logins will vary by region and are as follows:
BC Synod: ELCBC (username), lutheran (password)
ABT Synod: ELCAB (username), survey (password)
SASK Synod: ELCSK (username), prairies (password)
MNO Synod: ELCCanada (username), lutheran (password)
EAST Synod: ELCEastern (username), lutheran (password)
7. Tell your story!
Do you have 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 one of our upcoming issues!
8. The photo banner in this issue.
It all started in August 2006 in Winnipeg at the Canadian Lutheran Youth Gathering (CLYG) where a small group of young people (7 teens, 1 pastor and 1 terrified youth leader) from St. Peter's Zurich, met up with an even smaller group (2 teens and 1 equally terrified youth leader) from St. Peter's Milverton. No one knew at that time that the 4 days in Winnipeg would spark an amazing adventure.
The 2 groups forged great friendships that supported and encouraged each other over the following 2 years while preparing to attend Travel Light (also a CLYG event) in Whitehorse. By this time the group had grown to now include 6 leaders, 14 young people and 6 churches - 2 of them Anglican! St. Peter's Milverton and Zurich, Redeemer London, Bethany Woodstock, St. James Anglican Parkhill and Trivitt Memorial Anglican Exeter, all linked arms and travelled together from their small hometowns across the very big country for an amazing journey.
Friendships were renews and strengthened, while new ones were formed, and upon returning home from that event, no one could wait another 2 years to connect. A Travel Light Overnight Event was planned for early October. The event included a sleepover, free time, short bible study and a look at the new Mission Possible program of the Eastern Synod.
That night, while the young people were enjoying movies, video games, and an endless stash of chips and pop, the leaders had time to reflect on what they needed to help them in their ministry. The idea of the "Stewardship Sleepover" was born.
The Stewardship Sleepovers will be a series of 9 events spread out over the next 2 years occurring approximately every 3 months and will have 5 basic components including a bible study, stewardship event, service at a host church, free time so youth and leaders can get to know one another and of course, lots of food.
To date, the Stewardship Sleepovers have included youth and young adults ranging in age from 11-19, from 11 churches and there are hopes to grow to include many more from the Lutheran London, ON conference, as well as from the Huron Diocese of the Anglican church.
(Thanks to Sharla Ciupak for sharing this story with us!)
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