Anglican Church of Canada (ACC): In our continuing and deepening relationship with the Anglican Church of Canada, the Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission (JALC) plays an important role. You will find the report of the joint commission, prepared by Bishop Michael Pryse, the ELCIC Co-Chair, in section G—Appendices. An excellent resource for information on our full-communion partner is their website at www.anglican.ca.
Canadian Council of Churches (CCC): In May of 2004 the Canadian Council of Churches celebrated and gave thanks for 60 years of service and ministry as part of the spring governing board meeting. Bishop Schultz was in attendance. More recently, the ELCIC welcomed the Mennonite Church Canada to full membership on the Council. In addition, at its last meeting in March 2005, the Rev. Kayko Driedger Hesslein has been appointed to the governing board. I continue to represent the ELCIC there, and am happy to welcome Kayko to the table. More information on the council may be found at www.ccc-cce.ca.
At its March 2005 meeting, National Church Council (NCC) accepted the invitation of the governing board to accept the Micah Challenge. This is a unique opportunity for all member bodies of the CCC, along with all the member bodies of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC), which has already accepted the challenge, to bear witness together to God’s call to work for justice and peace in the whole world.
The Micah Call (Accepted by NCC, March 2005)
This is a moment in history of unique potential, when the stated intentions of world leaders
echo something of the mind of the Biblical prophets
and the teachings of Jesus concerning the poor,
and when we have the means to dramatically reduce poverty.
We commit ourselves, as followers of Jesus, to work together
for the holistic transformation of our communities, to pursue justice,
be passionate about mercy and to walk humbly with God.
We call on international and national decision-makers of both rich and poor nations
to fulfill their public promise to achieve the Millennium Development Goals
and so halve absolute global poverty by 2015.
We call on Christians everywhere to be agents of hope for and with the poor,
and to work with others to hold our national and global leaders accountable
in securing a more just and merciful world.
Note: The Government of Canada is a signatory to the Millennium Development Goals.
World Council of Churches (WCC): There is a recognition that financial resources are diminishing, demands increasing, and "competition" for funding fierce. Many churches, and the ELCIC is no exception, are full members of the WCC and also full members of at least one confessional communion, for us the Lutheran World Federation. Both involve costs.
Even in places, like Europe and North America, where financial support for the WCC has been solid, it is now threatened, notably in Germany where the tax situation has changed dramatically. Financial support for the WCC comes from Germany (41%), Scandinavia (32%), and North America (10%). The top twenty member churches account for 90% of WCC funding.
While our own financial contribution is small, the ELCIC makes a positive contribution in many other ways to the life of the WCC, and is in return gifted by the hundreds of member churches with which we share membership, across the whole spectrum of the body of Christ (with the exception of the Roman Catholic Church, which is not a member), from Russian Orthodox to Chilean Pentecostal, a vivid reminder of our unity in Christ, even if that unity remains imperfectly expressed as a result of the power of sin in our lives and in our life together. The unity is a gift of God; try as we might, we cannot deny that gift. Find more information about this expression of our unity through the World Council of Churches at www.wcc-coe.org.
In September of 2004 the ELCIC hosted the WCC general secretary, the Rev. Dr. Sam Kobia, in Winnipeg for one day, as he began his Canadian visit, which included Toronto and Ottawa. In Winnipeg his visit included a morning lecture at the University of Winnipeg, a lunch with local church leadership at Thunderbird House, catered by the Aboriginal Centre, and an afternoon sharing circle with ecumenical guests and local aboriginal church leadership.
Bishop Telmor Sartison has represented this church ably and generously on the central committee of the WCC since 1998 and the last assembly in Harare, Zimbabwe, which he attended as a delegate. Bishop Telmor attended his last meeting of the central committee in Geneva in February of this year, and I was privileged to be there with him for the final days of that meeting. We thank-you, Telmor, for representing us with all the gifts you have to share. We pray that God bless you and Addy richly with grace and peace in your retirement.
The next Assembly of the WCC is in Porto Alegre, Brazil in February of 2006. The National Bishop of this church and the Executive Director of the Evangelical Lutheran Women of the ELCIC will attend as delegates in our behalf.
North America Regional Committee (NARC) of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF): The Advisory Committee for the North American Regional Officer, meets face-to-face only once a year, in 2004 meeting in December, in Geneva. The LWF had invited NARC to Geneva to meet staff and get a good overview of operations. Of the two ELCIC representatives in attendance, the LWF paid the airfare for one. In addition, the Committee has two conference calls per annum, with others scheduled as needed. NARC was pleased to recommend the re-appointment of Ms. Kathy Magnus for another three-year term as Regional Officer for North America. Judy Baribeau, who has represented National Church Council (NCC) on the NARC since the inception of the regional office, will complete that service as she completes her second term on NCC with the National Convention in July. We thank Judy for her very capable service over many years, and her nurture and support of the office and of the regional officer. NCC will appoint a new representative to NARC once the new roster of NCC is complete following the National Convention.
Key Leaders’ Meeting: This was a one-day meeting which took place in August of 2004 at the Lutheran Centre in Chicago. Bishop Schultz, the Rev. Dr. David Pfrimmer, the Rev. Elaine Sauer (Assistant to the Bishop for Synodical Relations), and I participated for the ELCIC. Bishop Mark Hanson and about eight others were around the table from the ELCA. The agenda for this daylong meeting involved a close look at what the two churches are currently doing together and what areas can be looked at for further cooperation that will strengthen the mission of both churches.
Regional Consultation: This event, "Deepening the Bonds of Communion," took place in Chicago, at The Lutheran Center (ELCA), March 31–April 2, 2005. Present from the ELCIC were Bishop Schultz, the Rev. Dr. David Pfrimmer (both LWF Council members), the Rev. Susan Johnson (LWF Council Advisor), the Rev. Elaine Sauer, the Rev. Paul Johnson (LWF NARC), Ms. Ruth Vince (ELW and LWF-North America, Women In Church And Society), Bishop Cindy Halmarson, the Rev. Dr. Cam Harder (LTS, JALC, Anglican Lutheran International Commission), and Ms. Judy Baribeau (LWF NARC and NCC).
The event came about as a way to express one of the Winnipeg assembly commitments, especially that revolving around more careful and intentional communication with our communion partners, and especially concerning our own discussion of questions of human sexuality. Ms. Kathy Magnus, Regional Officer for North America, was the convener and facilitator and, working with NARC, did a great job of planning and organization. Please see Kathy Magnus’s report on the work of the regional officer in section G—Appendices. You are also encouraged to have a look at the website for the Regional Office of the LWF at www.elca.org/lwf. For an overview of the work of The Lutheran World Federation as whole, please see www.lutheranworld.org.
This remains the single largest area of ministry managed by our National Church, as represented by our budget. We have a faithful and very dedicated staff person to coordinate the program, Kelvin Krieger, who has been in the National Office of this church with world mission in some capacity for over a decade, and thus provides important continuity, along with great competence and commitment. I invite you to read carefully Kelvin’s thorough report presented below, and to spend some time on the Mission in the World website at www.elcic.ca/mission/world.html.
Kelvin Krieger, Program Coordinator
The Mission in the World program provides opportunities for the ELCIC to be a church in mission for others in the world. The ELCIC has eight world mission partner churches spread out in Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East and the South Pacific. Mission service, exchange visits, directed giving, sponsorship programs and project grants help to foster these relationships and provide opportunities for people to engage in international mission. ELCIC members can also serve in mission for others in Canada as Volunteers in Mission and in places in the world where we do not yet have partner churches.
Five of the eight world mission partner churches are twinned with ELCIC synods in the Companion Synod Program as a way of fostering international mission at the synodical, congregational and personal level. Mission in the World staff (Kelvin Krieger and Rev Paul Johnson) facilitated a Companion Synod Consultation in May 2004 that brought together representatives from all five ELCIC synods to discuss what they are doing to get to know their overseas companion church and to consider approaches to issues that arise in cross-cultural and international relationships. All synod representatives expressed a desire to relate to their companion churches as equals, to look for ways to be mutually supportive and to avoid an emphasis on providing financial support.
The Long-term Missionary, Short-term Missionary and Volunteers in Mission (VIM) programs provide three possible streams of service for ELCIC members. Missionary Sponsorship and Patagonia Mission Sponsorship provide participants with opportunities to develop relationships with ELCIC missionaries and the two Patagonia mission pastors and contribute financially to their support. One in every four ELCIC congregations and many individuals contribute to Mission in the World Directed Giving (including sponsorship) which accounts for more than half of the annual world mission budget. Grants are provided to partner churches by Mission in the World and through an agreement between GHDA and CLWR additional grants are provided each year for church partnership projects. An ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) Global Mission Event (GME) in Montana in July 2004 was co-sponsored by the ELCIC and enjoyed by 40 Canadian participants. For 2005, both ELCA GMEs have been endorsed by the ELCIC and Canadians are encouraged to participate in the event which is most convenient: Fargo, North Dakota, July 14-17 or Baltimore, Maryland, August 25-28.
Mission in the World staff held meetings with the leaders of the eight partner churches while they were in Winnipeg for The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Assembly in July 2003. In return, the staff made several trips overseas to visit and learn more about each of the partner churches. Here are other ways in which these world mission partner church relationships have been fostered during the past couple of years:
Peruvian Evangelical Lutheran Church (ILEP)
Rev. Katharine Bergbusch, Long-term Missionary
Annual grant for ILEP pastors’ social security benefits
Companion with the British Columbia Synod
Salvadoran Lutheran Synod (SLS)
Rev. Brian Rude, Long-term Missionary
Quetzalcoatl Foundation HIV/AIDS and wellness ministry in prisons; grants from GHDA in addition to GHDA/CLWR priority partnership funding.
Donation to Salvadoran Lutheran University following the January 2005 murder and robbery
United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Argentina (IELU)
Patagonia Mission Sponsorship; Pastor Sergio Utz and Pastor Gustavo Gomez.Companion with the Saskatchewan Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana (ELCG)
Rev. Barry and Alice Lang followed by Rev. Jack and Valerie Frederick, Volunteers in Mission.
GHDA/CLWR priority partnership funding for the Lutheran Lay Academy
GHDA donation to assist the ELCG with flood relief in January 2005
Companion with the Eastern Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Colombia (IELCO)
GHDA/CLWR priority partnership funding to address needs of internally displaced people
Companion with the Synod of Alberta and the Territories
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cameroon (EELC)
Annual grant for the Garoua Boulai Bible School/Seminary
Companion with the Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL)
GHDA/CLWR priority partnership funding and directed giving through LWF for ELCJHL schools
Participation in COCOP (Coordination Committee for Cooperation)
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea (ELC-PNG)
Bonnie Weppler, Long-term Missionary (jointly with the ELCA)
GHDA/CLWR priority partnership funding for medical aid post solar energy
Annual grant and participation in the LOPC (Lutheran Overseas Partner Churches)
While the focus is on partner churches, mission personnel have responded to additional opportunities to be in mission for others during the past two years. Stuart and Margaret Brown completed their Long-term Missionary assignment with the Joint Christian Ministry in West Africa in May 2004. The positive response to a special appeal for Missionary Sponsorships made it possible for Lori Endress to return to Thailand to serve for two more years as a Short-term Missionary through to June 2006. The Volunteers in Mission who were not placed with any of the eight partner churches include the following:
Erika Parker, Evangelical Lutheran Church, Selkirk, Manitoba
Slovakia (jointly with ELCA), Mar/04 to Jun/04
Al and Darlene Anderson, Messiah Lutheran Church, Camrose, Alberta
Lutheran Association of Missionaries and Pilots (LAMP) Canada, Mar/04 to Feb/06
Rev David and Marlys Kaiser, Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Regina, Saskatchewan
Hong Kong, Aug/04 to Dec/04
Elvira Sentes, St John’s Lutheran Church, Waterloo, Ontario
Thailand, Oct/04 to Apr/05
Leah Ganes, Messiah Lutheran Church, Camrose, Alberta
Central Asia (jointly with World Mission Prayer League Canada), Dec/04 to Nov/05
Michael Veck, St John’s Lutheran Church, Waterloo, Ontario
Poland, Mar/05 to Mar/06
Two ELCIC Long-term Missionaries received special recognition in 2004. Rev Katharine Bergbusch received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon in recognition of her contributions to the Peruvian Evangelical Lutheran Church during 10 years of service in Peru. Rev Brian Rude received the Katharine Hockin Award which is presented annually by the Canadian Churches’ Forum for Global Ministry. Brian was recognized for his work in HIV/AIDS ministry in prisons and for raising awareness of human rights issues during his 15 years in El Salvador.
Mission in the World made three ecumenical appointments. Margaret Sadler (Hosanna, Edmonton, Alberta) is representing the ELCIC for three years (2004–2007) as the ecumenical partner on the Anglican Church of Canada’s (ACC) Partners in Mission Committee (for their world mission program). Rev Nadine Nicholds (Trinity, New Hamburg, Ontario) has been appointed to the Board of the Canadian Churches Forum for Global Ministries. Rev Katharine Bergbusch will be part of the Canadian contingent at the World Council of Churches Conference on World Mission and Evangelism in Athens, Greece, May 9-16, 2005.
For the 2005 to 2007 biennium, ongoing missionary placements and programs will be maintained. It is expected that more candidates will offer to serve in mission for others and that each partner church will receive a visit from one of the Mission in the World staff in alternate years. The directed giving and grant programs will continue to play an integral role in the ELCIC’s mission for others in the world. The Companion Synod Consultation will be offered again in 2006. Ways in which to continue and possibly increase collaboration with the ELCA and ACC will be given consideration.
The work of the Program Committee for Worship (PCW) represents the heart, soul, and foundation of who we are as God’s people in this part of the body of Christ we call the ELCIC. Thankfully, in the area of worship, we are richly blessed with a wonderful team of extraordinary folks dedicated to excellence in their work, and to ensuring a resource base for our church that is both deep and broad. The Committee now has a full roster, with new members appointed by the National Bishop.
After many years of gifted service on the PCW, the Rev. Karen Johnson-Lefsrud, current Chairperson, will be stepping down from the Committee. We thank her for generously sharing the many gifts which are hers. She has been instrumental in the involvement of the ELCIC in the Renewing Worship process, being a member of the editorial team for new hymns and songs. I encourage you to read Karen’s PCW report below, itself only a brief sketch of all the marvelous things the Committee does and coordinates. For more details on a regular basis, and a web-based source of worship riches beyond compare, I invite you enthusiastically to look at the website, www.worship.ca. Pastor Wendell Grahlman, the webmaster, and another faithful and very gifted volunteer, has worked on this with Pastor André Lavergne, editor, since 1995. If you have never looked at it, you have missed a great deal; if you have looked at it, you know how valuable a resource we have, a resource respected, admired, and used around the world.
The Rev. Karen A. Johnson-Lefsrud, Chairperson
Grace and peace be with you in the name of Christ our Lord. I am happy to report on the ongoing work of the Program Committee for Worship (PCW). The Program Committee for Worship is a standing committee of the ELCIC which is charged with the responsibility to recommend policies and to develop standards and resources for worship. The PCW has six members: Debbie Lou Ludolph (Eden Mills, ON), Donald Engel (Winnipeg, MB), Brenda Nestegaard Paul (Esterhazy, SK), Joy Berg (Edmonton, AB), Karen Johnson-Lefsrud (Victoria, BC) and Mary Dove (Anglican Church of Canada appointee).
In addition, there are several people across the ELCIC who take responsibility for pieces of the work which falls under our mandate. These people are seconded to our committee. They do not meet with us, unless we happen to meet in their locale, but they keep in touch with us through phone and email and do a huge amount of work on our behalf. The seconded members of the PCW are: Eric Dyck (National Convention Worship Design & Liturgical Direction); Wendell Grahlman (Worship Planning Calendar & editorial consultant for the ELCIC Bulletin Series); Mark Harris (Consultation on Common Texts); André Lavergne (Lift Up Your Hearts website, Agenda for Worship & PCW Circulation List, Renewing Worship Coordinator); Clement Mehlman (Catechumenal ministry & North American Association for the Catechumenate); Michael Mills (ELCIC representative on the Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee of the Anglican Church of Canada); Donald Neville (Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, Royal Canadian College of Organists, Hymn Society, Societas Liturgica); and Eileen Scully (liaison with the Anglican Church of Canada).
I am most grateful for such a talented and dedicated core of people to work with—both PCW members and those who are seconded to the committee, who offer their gifts to the church joyfully, ably and without reserve.
There have been several matters of importance that have been part of the PCW’s work this past biennium. To gain a complete picture of our work together, I direct your attention to the document Agenda for Worship which is being provided to every delegate at this convention. Agenda for Worship is a tool which enables PCW members to monitor committee work, assists in setting the agenda for the next meeting and helps to keep the ELCIC constituency up-to-date on our work. A current edition is always posted at the ELCIC‘s national worship website www.worship.ca. In addition, it is regularly circulated to people across the ELCIC who are involved in the worship work of the church or who have an interest in such work. If you would like to subscribe, please contact André Lavergne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The highlights of PCW projects and works-in-progress are:
ELCIC + Renewing Worship The ELCIC was graciously granted standing in the ELCA’s Renewing Worship project. A number of provisional resources have been released during this biennium, Renewing Worship educational events have been part of each synod convention and a copy of the Renewing Worship Songbook was given as a gift to every synod convention delegate. More than 30 ELCIC members have participated directly in the Renewing Worship process on editorial teams and development panels and countless more ELCIC members have tried the resources out in their parishes and have provided invaluable feedback and suggestions. The ELCA will be taking action at their church wide assembly this summer with regard to the new resources, and the motions before our convention in this regard recognize the significance of these resources in the life of the ELCIC for the years to come. The most important consequence of this process, we hope, is that people are talking about worship in our church—and talking about it with passion, recognizing worship’s significance at the centre of our life together. It is something in which each and every one of us holds a stake. "Please see the Report on Renewing Worship Facts and Update–May 2005 in Section G–Appendices".
National Worship Conference The conference "Breaking Bread Breaking Boundaries" was held in Toronto July 21–26. It was a “first” for us in that it was a joint event with the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC). Approximately one-quarter of our participants were from the ACC and the conference had two co-chairpersons, Michael Mills (ELCIC) and Peter Wall (ACC.) Michael and Peter pulled together a magnificent team to plan and prepare for this event and they are to be commended for hosting a first-rate event. Keynote presenters Paul Gibson and Mark Mummert challenged us with presentations that suggested worship is the place wherein we live with the tension between faith and doubt, where the spiritual aspect of worship is rooted in the material things of bread, wine and water. The 2006 National Worship Conference will be held in Regina, Saskatchewan, July 12–16, 2006. This conference will again be a joint Lutheran/Anglican event, and will feature world-renowned clinician and musician, John Bell, who hails from the Iona community in Scotland, as well as Richard Leggett, Professor of Liturgical Studies at the Vancouver School of Theology. It is shaping up to be an event not to be missed! Look for promotional material about this event, both at this convention, and in the months to come, and plan to join us in Regina in July of next year!
Companion of the Worship Arts This is an honour bestowed in recognition of significant contribution to the worship life of the ELCIC. The honour recognizes ongoing inspiration and encouragement to others and service to God, through worship, spirituality and the arts. The 2004 laureate was The Rev. Dr. Eduard Riegert, a teacher and visionary in our church who, among many things, has taught and encouraged the gift of preaching. Dr. Riegert was honoured at the Worship Conference held in Toronto in July of 2004. The 2005 laureate is Mrs. Elaine Nelson of Medicine Hat, AB. Mrs. Nelson is a church musician who has worked tirelessly to encourage congregational song and choral singing in our church, in her own community, in her synod and in the national expression of our church. She will be invested as a laureate at this convention on Saturday, July 24, at a hymn festival featuring convention musician, Mark Mummert. Plan to join in this celebration of the gifts God has given to the church through Elaine Nelson!
Rite for the Ordination or Consecration of a Bishop The final revisions to the Order for the Ordination or Consecration of a Bishop were completed in the autumn of 2003. Members of the PCW met in Toronto with the Conference of Bishops to discuss the rite and to explore its underlying theology. Following some very fruitful dialogue, and a final editing, the rite was commended to the National Church Council which approved it as the official rite for use in the ELCIC.
ELCIC Bulletin Series The bulletin series has been in a time of transition over the past biennium. We have tried new formats, and have received a considerable amount of feedback, for which we are grateful. What we have noted is that ELCIC congregations are very clear, perhaps even passionate, about what they want the bulletin series to be! Our 2003–2004 series removed the lessons from the bulletin, placing them instead on a bulletin insert, in an effort to emphasize that the proclamation of the Scriptures is an auditory event. However, although we had some positive feedback to this change, the majority of response called for a return to the pattern of printing the lessons. That indeed has occurred in this past series and will continue for the foreseeable future. We have retained the printing of the Psalm on the bulletin, as many people have found this useful. The next series will feature the artwork of James Patterson, a Saskatchewan-born artist who is currently living and working in Oakville, ON. This will be a fresh look, providing some variety to the photographic covers that have graced the bulletin for the last few years, but also carrying the continuity of focus visually upon the gospel reading for each Sunday of the church year. We are indebted to Holmes Publishing who have published the ELCIC Bulletin Series since the inception of the ELCIC, and who have been faithful and cooperative partners in this ministry with us.
Consultation on Common Texts (CCT) The CCT is an ecumenical gathering of Canadian and American worship folk who seek to work together on the texts we hold in common and on the sharing of a common pattern for worship. For example, the Revised Common Lectionary which informs our three-year cycle of readings for worship is a creation of the CCT. The CCT is currently working on a daily lectionary, part of which is being field-tested in the Renewing Worship provisional resources. é Lavergne served as the ELCIC representative on the CCT for the first part of this biennium, and currently Mark Harris has taken on the responsibility of being the ELCIC voice at that table. Indeed this is a very important part of our work, and of the ELCIC’s ecumenical work and partnership.
Our committee began this biennium as a committee of three—and we are grateful to Bishop Schultz and to the National Church Council for understanding that the volume of work, as well as the connection to geographical areas of our country, called for a larger committee. It was increased in size, therefore, from three to five members, with a sixth member being appointed by the Anglican Church of Canada. We continue to be grateful for the ongoing and emerging partnership with our Anglican brothers and sisters.
We continue to maintain links with a number of societies and associations that impact and inform the worship life of the church, including the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, the Consultation on Common Texts, the English Language Liturgical Consultation, the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, the North American Academy of the Liturgy, the North American Association of the Catechumenate, the Royal Canadian College of Organists and Societas Liturgica. Many of our seconded members help us to maintain these valuable links and associations.
I am deeply grateful for the helpful and thoughtful assistance of Pastor Paul Johnson, Assistant to the Bishop for Ecumenical Affairs, who provides administrative support and is our connection to the management structure of the ELCIC. I am grateful for the many people across our church who contribute in so many ways to invigorate and bring life to the worship of this church. Thanks be to God!
Since July of 2004, at the request of Bishop Schultz, I have been Coordinator of GHDA. This has been, and continues to be, a very rewarding part of my call. I thank you for your partnership in this critical ministry of our church.
The theme of our convention, In Mission for Others, moves us as disciples together to think carefully and prayerfully how we respond to poverty, hunger and injustice in the lives of the least of our sisters and brothers, a mission we dare not ignore, neither here in Canada, nor around the world which God loves so much.
GHDA is a standing appeal of the ELCIC through which members are encouraged to respond regularly to the needs of others both in Canada and in the world. Through GHDA, we are able to use what God has entrusted to us in the service of our most needy neighbours. Through support of GHDA, ELCIC members are in mission for others. On the next page is a thorough idea of how regular GHDA offerings (other than special appeal offerings) were used in 2004.
||Amount of money
||Canadian Lutheran World Relief
Education & Advocacy with other partners
||Amount of money
||Church Council Justice & Corrections
||PLURA (anti-poverty initiatives)
||Lutheran Office of Public Policy
||Amount of money
||Quetzalcoatl (El Salvador)
In Mission for Others… Through Support of International Development Projects
More than seventy percent of all undesignated GHDA giving is allocated to support international development projects, mostly through Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR). As of March 2004, National Church Council agreed that our commitment to CLWR itself would be seventy percent. It was not possible to meet our fixed commitments to KAIROS and other agencies, including the synods of this church, without reducing this number slightly. It is worth noting that, in the USA, Lutheran World Relief (LWR) receives thirty percent of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) World Hunger funds, with an additional thirty percent there going directly to The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), and forty percent being used domestically.
Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR), our closest partner in international projects, still receives the largest share of GHDA funds, allocated for international development. Funds received by CLWR are matched by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and are used to support projects implemented by the Lutheran World Federation Department of World Service and bilateral projects in such countries as Bolivia, Peru and India.
GHDA is grateful to CLWR for making funds available through the Partner Church Priority Project Fund for projects that we identify. In 2003 and 2004, local projects sponsored by our partner churches in Colombia, Papua New Guinea, El Salvador, and Palestine received support from this fund. Each year $40,000 was used for these projects, in total.
GHDA is proud to be in partnership with CLWR and gratefully acknowledges the high level of cooperation and support received from the agency in the past biennium. Please see the report of Canadian Lutheran World Relief in section G–Appendices. Executive Director Ruth Jensen has announced her retirement, effective at the end of this year; we give thanks to God for her commitment to the work of CLWR.
Barb Fast, ELCIC Coordinator of Communication and Stewardship, and I meet regularly with Tim Graff and Rick Fast of CLWR, to ensure the smooth functioning of the GHDA/CLWR relationship.
The Lutheran Office for Public Policy (LOPP) receives partial funding from GHDA (the balance is covered by regular offerings to the ELCIC). LOPP assists the ELCIC to respond to issues of public policy such as the international debt crisis, structural adjustment programs, child poverty, homelessness and human rights issues that adversely affect the poor. The Rev. Dr. David Pfrimmer has served faithfully and well for many years as the Director of LOPP; as of 1 May 2005 David will be the new Principal Dean of Waterloo Lutheran Seminary (WLS). We give thanks to God for his ministry among us in the ELCIC, and for us in the world, and pray God’s richest blessings on him as he begins new work at WLS. You can find more detail about the work of this office at www.elcic-lopp.ca . Please see David’s final report as Director of the Lutheran Office for Public Policy in section C–Officers Reports.
As a small church with limited resources, the ELCIC’s witness to justice and peace is strengthened as we work with the other Canadian churches. KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives is a partnership involving eleven churches and church organizations that brings together the work of the former coalitions such as the Inter-Church Committee for Refugees (ICCR), the Aboriginal Rights Coalition (ARC) and the Ecumenical Coalition for Economic Justice (ECEJ). Supported in part by GHDA, KAIROS is dedicated to promoting human rights, justice and peace, viable human development and community among all the peoples of the earth, since all are created in God’s image and all are loved by God. KAIROS is a decisive and faithful response to God’s call for justice for all people and respect for the whole of creation, including this blue planet which is God’s garden, not ours. Please go to www.kairoscanada.org to learn more about the work we all do through KAIROS.
Synod GHDA committees receive annual grants equal to 9% of the synod’s GHDA gifts, once all other commitments have been met. These grants support local and congregational projects that address poverty. Projects supported have included food banks or pantries, out-of-the-cold emergency housing, community suppers, urban ministries to low-income people, preventive health care programs and literacy programs.
Also, GHDA funds, through KAIROS, are used to support the work of PLURA (Presbyterian, Lutheran, United, Roman Catholic, and Anglican churches working together), which works through provincial committees of church and low-income representatives to fund anti-poverty projects.
GHDA provides development education resources and action programs to the ELCIC in cooperation with KAIROS. Please see the website at www.elcic.ca/ghda In addition, a monthly e-newsletter is provided, Healing and Hope. You may subscribe at www.elcic.ca/ghda/enews or by emailing Barb Fast at email@example.com.
ELCIC members are partners for healing whenever they respond to a special appeal for assistance in disaster situations. In 2003 and 2004, GHDA issued special appeals to help people in war torn Iraq, victims of famine in southern Africa, of earthquake in Iran, of flooding in Haiti and Argentina, of genocide in the Sudan, and, of course, of the tsunami in South Asia. Any gift designated to a special appeal is forwarded in its entirety to help people in the affected area. The pie chart below shows the details on special appeal disbursements in 2004.
||Amount of money
|| $ 425.00
ELCIC staff, who can devote only part of their time to GHDA, struggle with a dilemma related to special appeals. How do we encourage ELCIC members to respond to an international disaster without undermining the undesignated giving that supports ongoing programming? How do we not disappoint those who rely on our ongoing support as we attempt to assist those who are thrown into sudden distress? As ever, GHDA encourages ELCIC members to adopt a “second mile giving” approach to special appeals.
Both 2003 and 2004 saw increases in undesignated, or general, non-appeal, GHDA offerings. In 2003 there was a slight increase as compared to 2002 of just over $2,000, and in 2004 a significant increase of more than $34,000 over 2003. It is my hope and prayer that this trend will continue, as the people of this church are moved by God’s Spirit to share of the wealth God has entrusted to us. Special appeal offerings were down very slightly in 2004, but with the extraordinary generosity which people demonstrated with the tsunami catastrophe, I hope that 2005 will show a generous increase.
|Undesignated GHDA Offerings
|Special Appeal Offerings
Along with generous responses to disasters, please prayerfully consider your weekly support to GHDA so that the programs which help to provide healing and hope in the lives of our neighbours are not jeopardized.
The proposed GHDA budget for 2005 is included in the overall budget proposal for this church in the next triennium (2005–2007), and reflects an increase of slightly over 7% above the budget for 2004, but far below actual giving for 2004. As the ministry of GHDA is clearly important to ELCIC members, it is hoped that the budget is very conservative and that actual giving will far exceed the budget.
Through GHDA, the ELCIC remains committed to KAIROS: Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, and the budget reflects this commitment we share with our ecumenical partners, including the Anglican Church of Canada, the United Church of Canada, and the Presbyterian Church in Canada. The only increases in this section are very small and in our very modest commitments to Project Ploughshares (www.ploughshares.ca ) and the Church Council on Justice and Corrections (www.ccjc.ca).
The KAIROS Global Partnerships Program (GPP) is supported by the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (ACC), the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, the Mennonite Central Committee, the Presbyterian Church in Canada, the United Church of Canada and the ELCIC. In cooperation with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the GPP supports international programs in two areas: economic justice; and peace building and human rights. The GHDA coordinator represents the ELCIC on the Monitoring Committee which manages the CIDA contracts related to this program. In the 2005 budget, $10,000 has been allocated to support the GPP (under Special KAIROS Support). The current commitment to this program is for two more years (2005, 2006); therefore, $10,000 will be budgeted in both 2005 and 2006 to support the program.
The proposed GHDA budget will allow the fixed costs of our present commitments to be met and the allocation to CLWR will be maintained at 70% of undesignated GHDA giving through the synods, as decided by National Church Council in March of 2004. All gifts to GHDA, which are designated for a specific appeal, are forwarded to CLWR at 100%, if it is a joint GHDA/CLWR appeal. If it is solely a GHDA appeal, for example, the recent Guyana Flooding, 100% is forwarded to the appropriate local partner, in this case, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Guyana.
The proposed budget also allows for the delayed GHDA Consultation; such a consultation has not been held since 1999. This event will bring together the GHDA consultants from the synods and the national coordinator along with representatives from CLWR and KAIROS. One representative from each synod will be funded by GHDA but synods are invited to send additional participants at their own cost. The event is, of course, entirely dependent on the hoped-for re-mandating of GHDA by the National Convention.
At its meeting of March 2005, NCC recommended to this convention that the mandate of the Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada be extended to 2009. NCC will bring that motion to the convention floor.
We celebrate the ministry of Rhonda Lorch, as GHDA Coordinator from 2002 to 2004, and give thanks for her commitment and competence. The ongoing work of Barb Fast should also be noted with thanksgiving, in her very capable role as primary communicator for GHDA. Regretfully for this church, Barb will be retiring in October of 2005. We wish her great joy in the new things God has in store for her, and for the continuing use of her many gifts.
Thank you for your support. Please consider increasing it, if you give regularly to GHDA, and if you do not, how about it? In supporting GHDA, ELCIC members are in mission for others. With each gift you follow Jesus across the street and around the world. Thank you for your generous support of GHDA. You are making a difference for a multitude of people in Canada and throughout the world.
The Rev. Paul N. Johnson
Assistant to the Bishop for Ecumenical Relations
ELCIC Office of the National Bishop