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Eighth Biennial Convention
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario
July 4 - 8, 2001

Fifth Sitting
Friday, July 6, 2001, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Chaplain Rev Val Hennig opened the sitting with devotions.

The Chair reviewed the order for the day.

Report of the Committee for Registration and Credentials

Rev Darlene Harrison reported the following registration figures:

Lay delegates registered 190
Ordained delegates registered 175
Total delegates registered 365
Visitors 186
Total persons registered 551

Report of the Committee on Minutes

The minutes from the second and third sittings were presented for approval.

NC-01-19 MS That the minutes from the second sitting of the convention be adopted as presented.

CARRIED

NC-01-20 MS That the minutes from the third sitting of the convention be adopted with the following amendments:

Augustana University College Corporation Minutes:

That Article III of the Camrose Lutheran College Corporation Articles be amended to read:

To be eligible to serve on the Board, a person shall be an active member of the church, who has an interest in the University, possesses a background or expertise in his or her chosen field, and has a realm of influence which will serve to enhance the University. However up to one–third of the voting members of the Board may be non–members of the church, so long as they accept and support the mission and principles of the corporation and otherwise qualify.

CARRIED

Report of the Committee on Elections

Chairperson Rev Marty Tuer explained the process for voting for the position of National Secretary.

The first ballot for the National Secretary was distributed.

The Chair closed the balloting for National Secretary.

Greeting

National Bishop–elect Raymond Schultz addressed the convention and confirmed that he accepted the call to the position of National Bishop.

Report of the Committee on Elections

The Chair explained the process for voting for the available positions on NCC.

The ballot for the positions on NCC was distributed.

The Chair declared balloting for the positions on NCC closed.

Presentation

Rev Paul Hartig, Eastern Synod representative to the Working Group on Worship presented a gift of thanks to Rev Richard Stetson for his work as the national staff liaison to the working group.

National Church Council Report cont'd.

NC-01-21 MS To replace Part III, Section 12 of the ELCIC Administrative Bylaws with the following new Part III, Section 12:

ELCIC Administrative Bylaws Part III

Section 12. Discipline

A synod shall undertake to put in place the following provisions to deal with the discipline of ordained ministers:

  1. The Synod Council shall subject an ordained minister to discipline for:
    1. preaching or teaching of doctrine in conflict with the confession of faith of this church;
    2. conduct unbecoming an ordained minister;
    3. willful disregard for or violation of the functions and standards established by this church for the office of Word and Sacrament; and
    4. willful disregard of the constitution, administrative bylaws or enactments of this church or of the synod.

    The National Church Council may from time to time establish guidelines to define or to assist in the interpretation of the above grounds for discipline.

    The National Church Council may also maintain a Manual on Discipline of Ministers containing materials which may provide guidance to individuals involved in a process dealing with a complaint against, or the discipline of, an ordained minister.

  2. The synodical bishop, upon becoming aware of circumstances that might subject an ordained minister to discipline as outlined in the preceding subsection, shall investigate such matters, shall consult with the minister and seek to deal with such circumstances. Should these endeavours not be resolved to the satisfaction of the synodical bishop, the synodical bishop may censure or admonish the ordained minister either privately or before the Synod Council, or may initiate a complaint against the ordained minister, to be dealt with in the manner set out below.
  3. A complaint against an ordained minister which could lead to discipline should be specific and should be in writing, subscribed to by the complaint and made by one or more of the following:
    1. a majority of the members of the congregational council of the congregation of which the ordained minister is under call, submitted to the synodical bishop;
    2. a majority of the voting members of the congregation of which the ordained minister is under call, submitted to the synodical bishop;
    3. a majority of the members of the governing body to which the ordained minister is accountable (if not a parish pastor) submitted to the synodical bishop;
    4. at least 10 ordained ministers of the synod on whose roster the ordained minister subject to the complaint is listed, submitted to the synodical bishop; or
    5. the synodical bishop.

    Upon receipt of a proper complaint, the synodical bishop shall immediately proceed to appoint an Investigating Committee to investigate the complaint.

  4. The Investigating Committee shall be composed of two ordained ministers and two lay members of the synod involved, appointed by the synodical bishop. The Committee shall review the complaint and make such inquiries as the Committee deems appropriate. If the Investigating Committee determines that there are no reasonable and probable grounds to believe the ordained minister should be subject to discipline, it shall report this finding to the synodical bishop who shall inform the parties involved. If, however, the Investigating Committee determines that there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe the ordained minister should be subject to discipline, the synodical bishop shall convene a Committee on Discipline as soon as possible to hold a hearing with respect to the matter.
  5. The Committee on Discipline shall consist of eight members appointed by the Synod Council. The Bishop of this church shall be asked to nominate one ordained minister and one lay person from outside the synod involved to serve on the Committee on Discipline. In addition three ordained ministers and three lay persons from the synod involved shall be appointed to the Committee on Discipline.
  6. The Committee on Discipline shall choose as its chairperson one of its members who was a nominee of the Bishop of this church and shall choose one of its members to serve as its secretary. The chairperson shall fix a time and place for the Committee on Discipline to hear the complaint. The ordained minister shall be given at least ten days notice in writing of such arrangements. The Investigating Committee shall, through its representatives, present its report and the ordained minister shall have the right personally or through counsel to question witnesses and to testify and to call witnesses. The ordained minister shall be entitled to a full hearing before the Committee on Discipline, but the Committee on Discipline may refuse to consider evidence that clearly has no bearing upon the charges or that is unduly cumulative. A record of the proceedings of the Committee on Discipline shall be maintained by the Committee.
  7. The Committee on Discipline shall make a written report, which shall be filed with the synodical bishop, stating what the Committee has found to be the facts in the case, whether the Committee believes the minister should be subject to discipline, and, if so, what discipline the Committee recommends imposing on the minister. If the complaint is to be upheld, at least six members who were present when all of the evidence was presented to the Committee must concur with the determination that the minister should be subject to discipline.
  8. The disciplinary actions which the Committee on Discipline may recommend are:
    1. private censure and admonition by the synodical bishop;
    2. censure and admonition by the synodical bishop before the Synod Council;
    3. suspension from the office and functions of the ordained ministry by the Synod Council for a designated period or until there is satisfactory evidence of repentance and amendment; and
    4. removal from the roster of ordained ministers by the Synod Council.
  9. The synodical bishop shall report the findings and recommendations of the Committee on Discipline to the next meeting of Synod Council and shall advise the Synod Council of any action taken by the synodical bishop as a result of such recommendations. The Synod Council may take action to suspend the minister from the office and functions of the ordained ministry or to remove the minister from the roster of ordained ministers in accordance with the recommendations of the Committee on Discipline; may reject such recommendations; or may refer such recommendations back to the Committee on Discipline for further review and recommendation.
  10. The action of the Synod Council to suspend the minister or to remove the minister from the roster may be appealed to the Court of Adjudication by the ordained minister within 45 days of the minister receiving written notice of the action of the Synod Council.

    In addition the complainant may appeal the action taken by the Synod Council to the Court of Adjudication only with respect to whether or not due process was followed by the Committee on Discipline in dealing with the complaint or to introduce new evidence which was not available prior to the conclusion of the hearing conducted by the Committee on Discipline.

    The Synod Council shall review any findings and recommendations of the Court of Adjudication and may take such action as may be appropriate in light of such findings and recommendations.

  11. If, upon investigation, but before a recommendation has been made by a Committee on Discipline, obvious heresy or flagrant immorality of an ordained minister is apparent to the synodical bishop, or if an ordained minister shall have admitted guilt or absconded, or if the circumstances are such that, in the opinion of the synodical bishop, the congregation, the synod, or this church would suffer injury if the ordained minister continued to exercise the office of the ordained ministry during the progress of disciplinary procedures, the synodical bishop may immediately suspend the ordained minister from the office of the ordained ministry until the complaint has been fully and finally decided by the Synod Council. Each such suspension shall be reported to the next meeting of the Synod Council.

MS To amend the proposed new Part III, Section 12 as follows: (additions are bold, deletions italic)

New section g: The Committee on Discipline shall prepare a written report, which shall be given to the respondent, who shall then have at least 30 days to respond to the Committee on Discipline. Re–letter following sections:

Add to renumbered section h: The Committee on Discipline shall make a written report, which shall not include any material which was not included in the written report given to the respondent, and which shall be filed …

AMENDMENT DEFEATED

MS That the bylaw be amended by adding a paragraph just prior to Section 12,b:

Such guidelines and manual shall be developed by a task force appointed by the National Church Council through a process of broad consultation with the synods, congregations and seminaries of this church and shall be submitted to the National Convention for final approval.

AMENDMENT DEFEATED

ORIGINAL MOTION CARRIED

Youth Voices

Tribute

Bishop Telmor Sartison paid tribute to the late Merv Campone. The convention honoured his memory with a moment of silence and a standing ovation.

Committee on Minutes

NC-01-22 MS That the minutes from the fourth sitting of this convention be approved as presented.

CARRIED

Second Reading: ELCIC Constitution Amendments

(Words stroked out are to be deleted, words underlined are to be added.)

NC-01-23 MS That Article VIII of the ELCIC Constitution be replaced by the following new Article VIII:

ARTICLE VIII    Lay Diaconal Ministers

Section 1. A synod may admit individuals as lay diaconal ministers. In doing so the synod shall comply with and administer the provisions of this Article and shall maintain a roster of those admitted and continued as lay diaconal ministers.

Section 2. Consecration of candidates as and reception of lay diaconal ministers shall be the function of the synods. Synods shall also have responsibility for recruitment, approval and supervision of all candidates for the lay diaconal ministry. Applicants for consecration or for reception shall appear before the examining committee of the synod, and may be consecrated or otherwise admitted only upon recommendation by such committee. The majority of the members of the examining committee shall be appointed or elected by the synod; at least one member shall be designated by National Church Council.

Section 3. Each lay diaconal minister shall covenant to abide loyally by the constitution, administrative bylaws and enactments of this church and of the synod.

Section 4. Each lay diaconal minister shall conform in teaching to the Confession of Faith of this church and shall lead a life befitting the office.

Section 5. Subject to the provisions of the Administrative Bylaws of this church each lay diaconal minister, except those who are retired or disabled, shall be in possession of a call from a congregation or a synod or this church itself. Under the conditions stated in the administrative bylaws, a lay diaconal minister on leave from call may be retained on the roster of lay diaconal ministers from year to year for no more than three consecutive years by action of the appropriate synod. A lay diaconal minister on leave from call for parental leave or study leave may be granted an additional five consecutive years by action of the appropriate synod.

Section 6. The synod shall be responsible for discipline of lay diaconal ministers on its roster. A Committee on Discipline shall be formed, when necessary. The composition and responsibilities of the Committee on Discipline shall be set out in the administrative bylaws. Disciplinary action may be appealed to the Court of Adjudication, whose decision therein shall be final.

CARRIED

NC-01-24 MS That Article IV, Section 1 of the ELCIC Constitution be amended with the following changes:

The mission of this church, as an expression of the universal Church and as an instrument of the Holy Spirit, is to share bring the gospel of Jesus Christ with to people in Canada and around the world through the proclamation of the Word and the celebration administration of the Sacraments and through service in Christ's name.

MS That the motion be amended to add the words "and administration" after celebration.

AMENDMENT DEFEATED

ORIGINAL MOTION CARRIED

NC-01-25 MS That Article VII, Section 3 of the ELCIC Constitution be amended as follows:

Ordination of candidates and reception of ordained ministers shall be the function of the synods, acting on behalf of this church. Synods shall also have responsibility for recruitment, approval and supervision of all candidates for the ordained ministry. An applicant who is an ordained minister in good standing on the roster of a Lutheran church with which this church has established a mutual recognition of ministers shall upon acceptance of a call within this church be received by a certificate of transfer or equivalent documentation. Applicants for ordination or for reception from other Lutheran churches shall appear before the examining committee of the synod, and can be ordained or otherwise admitted only upon recommendation by such committee. The majority of the members of the examining committee shall be appointed or elected by the synod; at least one member shall be designated by this church.

CARRIED

NC-01-26 MS That Article XI, Section 3,j of the ELCIC Constitution be amended as follows:

Appoint, as required, the members of all committees including the Committee of Pensions;

CARRIED

NC-01-27 MS That Article XII, Section 5,g be amended as follows: Represent this church at meetings of the auxiliaries and recognized independent organizations;

CARRIED

NC-01-28 MS Article XII, Section 7,a be amended as follows:

Keep or cause to be kept the minutes of the conventions and prepare or cause to be prepared such minutes the same for publication;

CARRIED

NC-01-29 MS Article XVI be amended as follows:

"Committee of Pensions" and substituting "Benefit and Pension Plans."

CARRIED

Greeting

Rev Dr Ishmael Noko, General Secretary, LWF, brought greetings to the convention.

Report from the Committee on Elections

Chairperson Rev Marty Tuer gave the following report from the committee on the ballot for the National Secretary:

Votes cast 258
Ballots spoiled 10
Ballots required to elect 186

The following votes were cast:

Brenda Carstens 1
Alice Croft 1
Matthew Diegel 1
Nina Gonzalez 1
Robert Granke 203
Cynthia Halmarson 6
Allan Grundahl 1
Judy Harris 1
Lynne Hutchison 1
Karl Johnsen 3
Susan Johnson 8
Allan Jorgenson 1
Stephen Kristenson 1
Doug Kranz 1
Doug Kramer 1
Rod Kruger 1
Liz Kuglin–Alyea 1
David Malina 1
Janet Morley 1
Olivia Muir 1
Andy Paulsen 2
Marlene Reguly 1
Telmor Sartison 1
Bob Shantz 1
Marty Tuer 1
Norm Thompson 1
John Theiss 1
Krister Ulmanis 1
Sharon Villetard 1
Aaron Wilke 1
Heidi Wilker 1

The Chair declared Robert Granke elected as the ELCIC National Secretary.

Mr Granke addressed the convention, thanked the gathering for the affirmation of his ministry and accepted this call to service.

Recognition

The Chair asked pastors serving a special ministry to identify themselves and be recognized by the convention.

Report of the Committee on Reference and Counsel

MS That the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada sponsor and support a series of day–long consultations across the synods to offer opportunities for worship and dialogue on matters of theological, ethical, and social concern among people of our Lutheran "heritage" congregations and missions.

MS That the motion be amended by replacing the word "heritage" with the words "multi–lingual."

NC-01-30 MS That this motion be referred back to Reference and Counsel for reconsideration of the word "heritage."

MOTION TO REFER CARRIED

(This motion was submitted by: Rev David Tin, Grace, Toronto; Rev Bob Shantz, St Ansgar, Toronto; Rev Peeter Vankar, Bethesda, Toronto; Rev Patricia Giannelia, St Paul, Toronto; Rev Ester Deng, Oakridge, Vancouver; Johnny Shim, New Life, Vancouver; Rev Otto Ng, Hosanna, Calgary; Rev Ilze Kuplens–Ewart, St Andrew, Toronto; Rev Michael Mills, Advent, Toronto; Rev Robert Kelly)

NC-01-31 MS That the convention accept the recommendation of the Committee on Reference and Counsel that no action be taken on the following motion:

That the National Church Council initiate an evaluation process, involving synods, reporting its findings to the 2003 Convention, and appraising the church of its progress through Canada Lutheran, of the "Let's Grow" ten–year campaign initiated in 1991 and to have ended in 2001.

CARRIED

(Motion submitted by: Rev Ron Bestvater, Zion, Weyburn, SK; John P Klassen, All Saints, Ottawa)

Secretary Robert Granke and Convention Manager Heidi Wilker made announcements about upcoming events in the convention.

The Chaplain closed this sitting with prayer.

In full communion with The Anglican Church of Canada
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