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From the National
Office of the ELCIC

ELCIC National Convention Commences; National
Bishop Reflects on Call to be Disciples

Saskatoon, 14 July 2011 — More than 325 delegates and over 150
visitors joined their voices and hearts in worship to open the 13th Biennial
National Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) on
Thursday, July 14 at TCU Place, Saskatoon, SK.

ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson preached at the opening
worship service.

In her sermon,
Bishop Johnson reflected on the convention theme Covenant People: In Mission
for Others
and reminded delegates that they are all, “joined to God in the
covenant of baptism, and through God we are joined to each other and called to
live our lives as disciples of Jesus.”

Delegates were reminded of the promises made through the
covenant of baptism which was affirmed at the beginning of the opening worship
service. The promises include: to live among God’s faithful people; to hear the
word of God and share in the Lord’s supper; to proclaim the good news of God in
Christ through word and deed; to serve all people, following the example of
Jesus; and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth.

Bishop Johnson asked delegates to reflect
on how they were doing in living out these promises. “How are you doing in
continuing to deepen your discipleship and your relationship with God?” she

During her travels and in
conversations across the church, Bishop Johnson said she was sensing that some
are experiencing a spiritual hunger that is being met from very different

“We have been so influenced
by our consumer-driven culture that we stuff ourselves with possessions, and
positions, and status, rather than turning to the pure spiritual milk that will
sate our hunger,” she said.

“Christianity isn’t an institution, but rather a movement whose
missionary focus is always directed outward into the world,” she said. “The
things that we do within our communities of faith bear significance only
insomuch as they serve and support that outward movement.”

Bishop Johnson reiterated a call to spiritual renewal
that she has been sharing across the church for several years and reminded those
gathered at the opening worship service of the call to follow Jesus. “I feel
very strongly that God is calling us to a deeper and more spirited discipleship
and to a closer daily walk with our Lord,” she said.

Outlining a new initiative titled the Call to Spiritual Renewal,
Bishop Johnson offered a list of seven actions to assist in deepening
discipleship, including: Pray, Read, Worship, Study, Serve, Give, Tell.

“I know it’s not easy,” she shared. “But
take heart. Take heart in the fact that the disciples had moments of doubt,
misunderstanding and abject failure – and they had Jesus with them in the

“Jesus is calling,” she
concluded. “Let us joyfully follow.”

Opening worship closed with Bishop Johnson declaring the
church-wide assembly in session.

altar used for worship and present throughout convention was built from wood
reclaimed from prairie grain elevators by local artist David Kenyon Fast. Learn
more about this project here: grainelevatoraltar.blogspot.com.

Over 500 Lutherans and special guests are
meeting in Saskatoon at the ELCIC’s 13th National Convention. Full agenda
details and a live link to the proceeding are available on the National
Convention website: elcic.ca/In-Convention/2011-Saskatoon

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination
with 152,500 baptized members in 607 congregations. It is a member of the
Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World
Council of Churches.

Material provided through ELCIC Information is
intended for reproduction and redistribution by recipients in whatever manner
they may find useful.

For more information, please contact:
Gallop, Director of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B

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