Posts Tagged ‘Canadian Council of Churches’


Evangelical support for Santorum shows generational shift for Catholic candidates.

One needs to look no farther than any presidential or American political race where one’s faith becomes a political hot potato, or better yet vote getter.

Now I am not saying that politics and religion are seperate entities…I am saying that when it comes to one’s personal faith they should shape one’s decisions on everything. For leadership of any religion to come out with official endorsement of one candidate over another, strips the believers, disciples, and apostles of Christ from using their faith to inform their daily decisions.

For what is it to say that just as many believers would not be led to vote Romney, Obama or someone else. But an endorsement of this kind brings the divide into the pews of “this is God’s choice”.

From my personal perspective I remember this happening in the first church I returned to as an adult, Foothills United, where during the Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance Party (C-CRAP) was forming under Stockwell Day in the late 1999 early 2000, where Day an outspoken early Earth, evangelical-Pentecostal was rising in polls to be leader. This Sunday morning during announcement time, before opening prayer the board chair stood up and began hawking memberships so that church members could vote for Day to ensure the Christian voice was in Ottawa.

Rewind that, yep you read correctly, at the time we had a Roman Catholic Prime Minister, and a devout Roman Catholic Finance Minister, an evangelical opposition leader, many anglicans, Jewish, muslim, sheik, etc in the House of Commons and Senate, yet this endorsemnt clearly stated that if people supported anyone but this one person their choice was UNChristian…ala they were anti-God.

Suffice it to say 4 years into my renewed spiritual pilgrimage with God this shook me, as I was definately not an Alliance supporter, I leaned more to Joe Clark and his Red Tories, or the NDP, or Communists, or the Liberals…so I received a pew slap that morning as did quite a few in our church being told by our elected board chair that we were insufficient as Christians because our faith had not led us to the same conclusion.

So before leaders of any church deem it is right to say this is “The Christian Candidate” or the “God Choice”…stop, breathe, and remember your belief, and the Holy Spirit may be guiding you to this choice, but you must also remember that each and every one has the Holy Spirit in them, and as a leader you must trust them to make the choice that their faith speaks to.

For those elected, you must trust the faith of the elected, whatever that is from Atheist to Zoroastrianism, to shape them and their decisions.

This open and honest way of allowing for Free Will to actually live out, renews trust in the institution that many have begun to distrust among the spiritual/sexual abuse scandals, financial scandals, and just what is perceived as a thirst after our money…

Let us refocus as the church on what we were called to do…share the gospel through word and deed that opens many up to becoming “Believers”  and once believers then they journey with the community of faith and become disciples, and if the call is there in their lives they will take their discipleship and break new ground in new places as apostles, or be called to be formed as teachers or preachers, or evangelists, or prayer warriors themselves.

But there needs to be an allowance for their own relationship and faith to develop out of their own situation and story, not a brain washing that exists within the negative connotation of cults.

 


This summer as a unit the family came to the decision that we were in recovery from Christendom.  Obviously, my Maid Marion an I had more to recover from than our children, but our mainline church where I was a Lay Professional Leader had managed to have members do a number on the littlest ones among us.

That is where the next step took as we literally threw out everything but our non-negotiable, the birth, life, teachings, death and new life of Jesus of Nazareth.  This focus on the master teacher brought us to a little gem of a community (Unity of Calgary) where we were blessed with an accepting and loving community of individuals seeking the holy and with amazing teachers of the likes of Rev. Tony Heggi, Doug Horne (Intuitive Healer),  and Rev. Doug Craig.  This community helped us, and most importantly myself, to forgive and reconcile to not only God, but God’s children of believers as found in the church.

So why write on the New Thought movement? Well it took us through a journey that shocked even us as a family.  As winter rolled in we were unable to attend Unity (let’s be honest, it is in the far south and we live in the far north)…but the healing that took place where as Doug Horne would say “take the past hurts and put it aside to no longer affect, so one can move forward from it”.

This was the step the family took when 3 weeks ago we realized just how much healing that forgiveness and reconciliation had brought us by rejoining a Christian Church. Not just a christian church, but for this liberal (liberation/social gospel/borderline universalist) theologian it is an Associated Gospel Church, Crossroads Community Church. So far it appears to be a welcoming community, with authentic people that accept my kids for who they are in God, and accept us for us.

Time will tell where it goes, but what is for sure is the journey of the last 6 months has brought my family to a core in God (is love) and knowing what it means to seek healthy community, learn and grow deeper within our faith to grow healthy community. 

The recovery leg of the spiritual quest has been concluded, now for the steps of new life…

 


ELCIC INFORMATION

EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN
CHURCH IN CANADA
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
Phone
1.204.984.9150 Fax 1.204.984.9185

NEWS RELEASE
From the National
Office of the ELCIC

ELCIC National Convention Delegates Approve Social
Statement on Human Sexuality

Saskatoon, 16 July 2011–Following more
than two hours of debate, delegates of the 2011 ELCIC National Convention
approved a Social Statement on Human Sexuality. The results came late in a day
and were done by written ballot, with 213 votes in favour of the motion and 134
against. 

The document is the
result of a four-year process involving: a study guide, a church-wide feedback
process, a draft statement that allowed for further feedback opportunities, and
the statement. The statement analyzes the current social problem, provides
theological and ethical foundations, and applies insights from the first two
sections to the contemporary situation.

Convention delegates first considered the statement Thursday
evening during a Committee of the Whole session. The Human Sexuality Task Force
introduced the 14-page report and responded to questions and comments from
delegates.

Delegates returned to
debate the matter in a Friday morning business session, and long lines of people
approached the plenary hall microphones to speak for and against the motion. As
on Thursday, comments covered a wide range of subjects, including the
interpretation of scripture, church tradition, theology, and human rights. Many
shared personal stories and many quoted the Bible.

“The statement is honest,” said a delegate in favour of the
statement. “The church is conflicted but the statement full of love and
grace.”

Another delegate said that
the social statement acknowledged homosexual orientation as a genetic reality.
“Our loving God gave them these characteristics,” he said. “The least we could
do is love them the way God does.”

Speaking against the statement, one delegate noted, “Nowhere in
the Bible do I see anything in support of same-sex relationships.” He continued,
“One day we will stand before God and we will be judged not by the UN
Declaration of Rights or the Canadian charter, but by God’s holy laws.”

Others said the statement was not
appropriate at this time for the church. “It’s so ambiguous no one understands
it,” said a delegate. “This isn’t our solid ground that we stand on. After ten
years of debate, we still do not have a consensus. We don’t have anything but
divisions.”

In this midst of this
conversation, delegates considered several motions that proposed to alter the
process of the vote. Delegates approved, almost unanimously, a motion to vote by
written ballot instead of public voting by raising cards. The delegate who
proposed the motion said this more private method would help people to vote
according to their consciences.

Delegates defeated another motion that requested a two-thirds
majority to pass the motion instead of the usual majority of 50 per cent plus
one vote. They also defeated a proposed amendment to provide more material in
the statement’s footnotes.

After the
allotted hour-and-fifteen-minute session during Friday morning’s session, the
question had not yet been called. National Bishop Susan C. Johnson, chair of the
meeting, proposed that delegates return from dinner one hour early to finish the
discussion and vote. She requested that those lined up at microphones maintain
their order until the later session.

After other business and a meal, convention resumed the
discussion in a similar tone. Many people stood up to express earnest opinions
both for and against the statement.

Following an hour of debate, and with people still lined up at
the microphones, a delegate asked for the question to be called.

Delegates voted on whether to call the
question and the results were announced as 166 in favour and 162 against. As
convention moved on to consider the adoption of the social statement, a steward
announced that there had been an error with the previous count and the majority
of delegates had voted not to call the question.

After a brief time of reflection, Bishop Johnson sited
Bourinot’s Rules of Order and ruled the decision to call the question stood
since delegates had proceeded in good faith according to information from the
stewards. A motion was made to challenge the chair, but delegates upheld the
decision of the chair.

The original
vote to approve the proposed Social Statement on Human Sexuality resumed, and
after voting, delegates heard a presentation and several announcements. They
then finally stood to sing hymns together.

At around 7:30 p.m., Bishop Johnson announced the statement had
been adopted by a vote of 213 to 134, plus two spoiled ballots. Following the
announcement and prayer, Bishop Johnson acknowledged the ongoing divisions in
the church and celebrated the continued unity that the church has in Christ.

The ELCIC Social Statement on Human
Sexuality is available online at:
elcic.ca/Human-Sexuality/default.cfm.

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

—————————————————————–
The
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:
Trina
Gallop, Director of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B
3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

Subscribe or
unsubscribe to ELCIC Information by emailing info@elcic.ca with a short
message.


ELCIC INFORMATION

EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN
CHURCH IN CANADA
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
Phone
1.204.984.9150 Fax 1.204.984.9185

NEWS RELEASE
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
continued.

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
sources.

“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
flesh.”

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

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

The
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
.

—————————————————————–
The
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:
Trina
Gallop, Director of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B
3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

Subscribe or
unsubscribe to ELCIC Information by emailing info@elcic.ca with a short
message.


ELCIC INFORMATION

EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN
CHURCH IN CANADA
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
Phone
1.204.984.9150 Fax 1.204.984.9185

NEWS RELEASE
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
convention.”

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
Bishop.”

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.


—————————————————————–
The
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:
Trina
Gallop, Director of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B
3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

Subscribe or
unsubscribe to ELCIC Information by emailing info@elcic.ca with a short
message.


ELCIC INFORMATION

EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN
CHURCH IN CANADA
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
Phone
1.204.984.9150 Fax 1.204.984.9185

NEWS RELEASE
From the National
Office of the ELCIC

Responses to Proposed ELCIC Social Statement on
Human Sexuality Mixed but Respectful


Saskatoon, 15 July 2011 — Members of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in Canada’s (ELCIC) Human Sexuality Task Force responded to questions
Thursday night from convention delegates regarding the proposed Social Statement
on Human Sexuality. The document is the result of a four-year process involving:
a study guide, church-wide feedback process, a draft statement that allowed for
further feedback opportunities, and the proposed statement.

Task force chairperson Judy Wry presented the three-part
document, developed according to an ELCIC policy for social statements. The
statement analyzes the current social problem, provides biblical theological
foundations, and applies insights from the first two sections to the
contemporary situation.

Beginning in
2007, the task force first surveyed ELCIC synods for input, then incorporated
feedback into a study document that was widely distributed. The more than 500
responses were reviewed and the task force prepared a first draft. This again
was distributed widely and feedback was incorporated, with final theological
review by the bishops.

In her
presentation to convention delegates, Wry said the task force’s work was
informed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s 2001 process, previous
ELCIC synod work, and a related 1970 statement of the predecessor church.

Convention then entered into a session for
Committee of the Whole whereby it departed from parliamentary procedure to allow
delegates time for questions and comments.

Responses to the proposed social statement covered a wide range
of topics, including the definition of family, the role of scripture in drafting
the document, the definition of marriage, the intent of the statement, and
issues of morality and salvation. Many delegates thanked the task force for
their work.

Some delegates
criticized the statement, arguing that its recommendations and purpose were
unclear. Others said that the statement departed from traditional Biblical
interpretation or did not adequately incorporate scripture.

“Scripture is not given enough weight here,” said one
delegate. “The authority that we have quoted is civil law or human rights. Not
enough authority is drawn from scripture.”

Other delegates urged for the proposed statement to be
adopted.

“I appreciated the breadth
and how it captured the complexity of situation,” said one delegate. She praised
the task force for addressing broader issues of human exploitation and the
idolatry of sexuality in current culture.

Some delegates spoke to how the statement had already led to
change in their communities. One pastor shared a letter from a person in her
congregation who found the statement “bold, sensitive, forward-thinking and
inclusive.” After reading the proposed statement, this person asked to have her
children baptized in the church.

Wry
fielded questions and comments with support from other task force members. After
task force member Rev. Sonja Free closed the session in prayer, ELCIC National
Bishop Susan C. Johnson thanked delegates for the “respect and love” that
characterized the discussion.

During
Friday’s business sessions, delegates will have an opportunity to debate the
specific motions put forward by National Church Council relating to the
statement.

Members of the Human
Sexuality Task force members are Bishop Steven Kristenson, Rev. Dr. Richard
Crossman, Rev. Sonja Free, Rev. Jim Hill, Nadine Smith, Rebecca Ulrich, and Judy
Wry. Rev. Paul Gehrs provided staff support.

·        The Proposed Statement on Human Sexuality is available
online
.

—————————————————————–
The
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:
Trina
Gallop, Director of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B
3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

Subscribe or
unsubscribe to ELCIC Information by emailing info@elcic.ca with a short
message.


ELCIC INFORMATION

EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN
CHURCH IN CANADA
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
Phone
1.204.984.9150 Fax 1.204.984.9185

NEWS RELEASE
From the National
Office of the ELCIC

National Bishop Susan Johnson Re-Elected on Second
Ballot

Saskatoon, 15 July 2011 — On the second ballot for National
Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), the Rev. Susan C.
Johnson was re-elected by delegates at the 13th Biennial National Convention for
a second four-year term.

In her
address following the announcement, Bishop Johnson thanked delegates for
trusting her with the call to National Bishop. “Four years ago you honoured me
with this election,” she said, “and I feel just as honoured today.”

Bishop Johnson acknowledged the support she
receives from colleagues, the conference of bishops, church partners and others
throughout the church, and shared with delegates that she knows she doesn’t,
“work in a vacuum.”

“I covet your
prayers,” she said, “and I thank you very much for the trust you have placed in
me.”

Bishop Johnson is the fourth
bishop to serve the ELCIC. This will be her second four-year term as National
Bishop. She was first elected in 2007.

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.


—————————————————————–
The
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:
Trina
Gallop, Director of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B
3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

Subscribe or
unsubscribe to ELCIC Information by emailing info@elcic.ca with a short
message.