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From the National
Office of the ELCIC

ELCIC National Bishop Encourages Love, Renewal and
Action in Report to Convention

Saskatoon, 15 July 2011 — ELCIC National Bishop Susan C.
Johnson encouraged delegates to let the Holy Spirit lead them through the coming
days of convention as she delivered her Report of the National Bishop to
delegates, special guests and visitors attending the 13th Biennial National
Convention taking place July 14–17 at TCU Place in Saskatoon, SK.

“We have several challenging days of work
ahead of us,” said Bishop Johnson. “What I ask is that we treat each other with
Christian love, as faithful followers of Jesus, who love this church. This is my
hope and my prayer for our church as we enter into these days of

The Bishop’s report
outlined much progress over the past four years in working to be a church In
Mission for Others
, particularly in light of the 60th anniversary
of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Through its support of The Lutheran
World Federation and Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR), the ELCIC helps care
for more than 500,000 refugees on a daily basis.

This past April, the National Bishop saw this work first-hand
when she travelled to Ethiopia’s Al Barre refugee camp, home to some 13,000
Somalis. “The work that we are doing in the areas of water, environment and
livelihood activity is truly amazing,” she said. “The work is professional, the
workers are passionate, but the job doesn’t end there. People can’t stay in
refugee camps forever. They need to be resettled in a new land, reintegrated
into the local community or repatriated into their original homeland.”

Bishop Johnson spoke to the need for
continued refugee sponsorship through CLWR and offered some inspiring stories of
ELCIC congregations that have made a commitment to welcoming refugees into their
communities. “Consider how you can participate in this very concrete way of
being a church In Mission for Others,” she said.

Looking to the future, the Bishop discussed several new
initiatives being launched at convention, including the church’s Call to
Spiritual Renewal. Over the past few years, Bishop Johnson has been encouraging
members to strive for a deeper discipleship, which includes regular attendance
at worship, daily prayer and scripture reading, yearly involvement in a program
of study, regular service to the community, regular and proportional giving, and
commitment to sharing the good news with those around us. “I feel strongly that
God is calling us to a closer daily walk with our Lord,” she said. “And I invite
each of you to participate in this Call to Spiritual Renewal.”

In addition to Spiritual Renewal, Bishop
Johnson called delegates to commit to the inaugural Praise Appeal. Part of the
ELCIC’s Financial Resource Generation Strategy, this church-wide appeal offers
the opportunity to highlight different aspects of church ministry. This year the
Praise Appeal will give thanks for the ministry of women in the church, looking
back on the ministry of Evangelical Lutheran Women Inc. and looking forward to
the new forms this ministry may take.

“If you haven’t organized a Praise Appeal Sunday yet this year,
I urge you to do so and support the work of the wider church,” Bishop Johnson
said. “Thank you for all of your support and encouragement, and your partnership
in ministry. It is an honour and a privilege to serve as your National

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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