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Tenth Biennial Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
July 21 - 24, 2005
Winnipeg, Manitoba

In Mission for Others
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REPORT OF THE NATIONAL CHURCH COUNCIL

This report of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) National Church Council (NCC) provides an overview of the activities of the council for the period from July 2003 to March 2005. It also makes specific recommendations that require action at the convention.

Officers           Term ends at Convention
Raymond L. Schultz, National Bishop
2005
Susan Johnson, Vice-President
2005
Donald Storch, Secretary
2007
Norman Thompson, Treasurer
2007

National Church Council

Judy Baribeau 2005 Eastern
Tom Brook 2007 SK
Margaret Fast 2005 SK
Sonja Free 2007 Eastern
Maaike Froelich 2007 Eastern
Nolan Gingrich 2007 BC
Elizabelth Hachborn 2005 Eastern
Roger Haugen 2007 SK
Lynne Hutchison 2005 MNO
Stewart Miller 2005 ABT
Roger Kingsley 2007 MNO
Judy Kochendorfer 2005 BC
Ilze Kuplens-Ewart 2005 Eastern
Peter Mikelic 2007 Eastern
Carl V. Sorensen 2007 ABT
Judy Wry 2005 ABT

Advisory Members (Synod Bishops)

Cynthia G. Halmarson SK
Stephen Kristenson ABT
Gerald Preibisch BC
Michael J. Pryse Eastern
Richard Smith MNO

Anglican Church of Canada Representative

The Very Rev Peter Wall, Dean of Niagara, Anglican Church of Canada

Lutheran World Federation Representative

Kathy Magnus, Regional Officer

Committees

To facilitate the work of the council (NCC), a number of committees and task forces were established:

Constitution and Bylaws: Don Storch, Stephen Kristenson, Raymond Schultz, Carl Sorenson, Maaike Froelich, Judy Wry, Gloria McNabb
Faith, Order and Doctrine: Stephen Kristenson, Cam Harder, Mark Harris
Nominating Committee Dorothy Frook, Doug Schweyer, Clement Mehlman, for 2005 Convention: George Johnson, Helmut Nachtigall, Elaine Miller, Faith Brace, Allyn Langager, Pamela Hegedus-Pederson
Communications: Margaret Fast, Nolan Gingrich, Peter Mikelic, Judy Kochendorfer, Judy Baribeau
Communications Task Force: Phil Heinze, Don McLeod, Richard Nostbakken, Bill Raunsky, Barb Fast
Public Policy: David Pfrimmer
Convention Renewal: Susan Johnson, Don Storch, Lynn Hutchison, Judy Wry, Ray Schultz
Finance Committee: Norm Thompson, Tom Brook, Gloria McNabb
ELCIC Audit Committee: Roger Kingsley, Elizabeth Hachborn, Ken Day

Meetings

National Church Council met in person on the following dates:

November 2–4, 2003
March 4–6, 2004
September 16–18, 2004
March 3–5, 2005

In this report, NCC actions are referenced by their number in minutes of NCC, for example, CC-O4-15, means the fifteenth motion passed in meetings of 2004.

National Church Council Actions

Other actions of NCC are in the area of responsibility of the convention and these recommendations are presented as motions for your debate and decision, as listed in Section E. One item of attention has been the development of an overarching sense of mission and vision for the National Church to assist in focus and prioritizing the work of this church. To that end the following Vision and Strategic Priorities were adopted by NCC: (CC-04-15).

Our Vision: To Be a Church in Mission for Others.

Strategic Priorities

  1. To identify and raise up an apostolic model of leadership beyond exclusively congregational models of pastoral leadership.
  2. To be a public voice of the Lutheran Church in Canada speaking to the compelling questions and issues facing our global community.
  3. To share our energy and gifts as a church to re-energize the ecumenical movement in Canada and internationally.

Our report to convention tells you of the actions we have taken and presents a series of recommendations for your consideration and vote.

Strategic Priority #1 To identify and raise up an apostolic model of leadership beyond exclusively congregational models of pastoral leadership.

"Apostolic" leadership refers to an outward looking, mission-driven "sentness" resembling Jesus’ own mission into the world at his father’s direction. Its concern is evangelization of the church, where the church has lost its sense of mission, and of the world through the church. Its concern also is interacting in the public arena as a witness to the gospel.

The church’s historic association of apostolic leadership with the office of Word and Sacrament implies that this form of leadership is restricted to the ordained. All Christians and not just those called to Word and Sacrament ministry are candidates for apostolic leadership by virtue of their baptism. In our day, special consideration will be given to those who in the past might have been overlooked as candidates to practice an apostolic model of leadership: youth and young adults, women, and visible minorities.

Strategic Priority #2 To be a public voice of the Lutheran Church in Canada speaking to the compelling questions and issues facing our global community.

Council spends some time at each meeting in discernment/reflection/learning. The issue of same-sex blessings has occupied much time and reflection. This is an issue upon which there are many opinions and ideas of what is the Lutheran way to proceed.

Part of this discussion dealt with the current status of the LCA, 1970 document, Sex, Marriage and Family. It is the understanding of NCC that this document was approved by the Division of Church and Society (DCS 86-41) as “a resource for instruction and guidance for the life and witness of the ELCIC”. As the development of a social statement for our church is a lengthy and expensive process, and since we understood the will of the church to be one of action at this time, and following much thought, prayer and discussion, the following resolution is presented to you. At the same time we thought it responsible to explore the possibility of being included in the processes of the ELCA in developing a Social Statement on Sexuality (CC-05-40).

Resolution and supporting material presented to the Convention in Motion CC-05-38 is found in Section –National Church Council–Motions.

Issues concerning the ordination of openly lesbian and gay persons were deferred for discussion until after the 2005 Convention (CC-04-81).

Other issues that were considered include:

Endorsement of the Health Covenant for All Canadians (CC-03-80);

Affirmation of the Not-For-Profit delivery of health care in Canada (CC-03-81);

Endorsement of the declaration What does God Require of Us? a publication of the Canadian Council of Churches (CC-04-27);

That a policy to "Protect Children, Youth and other Vulnerable People" be adopted for use in this church (CC-04-31).

Endorsement of the Canadian Council of Churches program of the “Micah Call” as a unique opportunity to bear ecumenical witness together.

Strategic Priority #3 To share our energy and gifts as a church to re-energize the ecumenical movement in Canada and Internationally.

To more clearly live out the intent of The Waterloo Declaration several actions were taken.

That the representative of the Anglican Church of Canada to NCC to be provided with full voice and vote, (CC-05-07).

That a joint meeting of the NCC and Council of General Synod (COGS) be set at a mutually satisfactory time (CC-05-08).

That the 2007 ELCIC Convention be held in Winnipeg June 21–24, 2007, in order to overlap the 2007 General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, so that there is opportunity for joint meetings, worship and study. (CC-05-05).

Further that a representative of the ACC be invited to sit on the Faith, Order and Doctrine Committee of this church, with voice but not vote. (CC-05-09).

Leadership

Other areas of leadership involved the management of our church affairs, and to that end motions Numbers relating to the constitution are presented for second reading.

Other Issues Brought Before NCC:

Rite for Ordination and Consecration of a Bishop was adopted (CC-03-87).

NCC was solidly in support of the strategies developed by ELCIC Group Services Inc (GSI) to maintain the pension fund. Two Million dollars from the Benefits Reserve Fund were given to GSI to provide for the transition period while the increase rate of contributions were being developed and in order to mitigate the impact upon individual congregations (CC-04-03):

The carrying of reserved sacrament from one congregation to another was not approved as a practice of this church (CC-04-26).

A study of the retirement age for rostered persons with a consideration of raising the age from 65 to 69 was authorized (CC-04-60).

A consultant was retained (Rev. Les Stahlke) to assist in the development of governance procedures and strategic planning (CC-04-60).

The motions of council not reported here dealt with matters such as acceptance of minutes, setting dates and times of meetings and other routine parts of NCC business.

Calls were Issued to a Number of Individuals:

Sister Anne Keffer, Special Service to Director of Deaconess Community ELCA
Rev Arthur Leichnitz, special service to the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus

Council also Appointed Individuals to Serve this Church
on Various Committees:

Gordon Jensen, observer at the Anglican/United talks for 2003–2007
Denis St Onge, Board of Directors of CLWR for 2004–2008
Sonja Free, representative to COGS of the Anglican Church for 2004–2006
Leon Gilbertson, Board of Lutheran Council in Canada for 2004–2006
Paul Johnson, Board of Lutheran Council in Canada for 2004–2006
Mark Harris, Board of Directors of CLWR for 2004–2006
Bill Risto, Board of Directors of CLWR for 2004–2006
Phil Hink, CECF Advisory Board for 2005–2006
Ray Niebergall, CECF Advisory Board for 2005–2006
Guenter Dahle, CECF Advisory Board for 2005–2006
Richard Smith, CECF Advisory Board for 2005–2006
Roger Haugen, CECF Advisory Board for 2005–2006
Cindy Halmarson, observer to the ELCA Task Force for Studies on Sexuality
Richard Crossman, observer to the ELCA Task Force for Studies on Sexuality
Faith Rohrbough, Board of Directors of CLWR for 2005–2006
Kayko Driedger-Hesslein, Board of Canadian Council of Churches for 2005–2007

On behalf of the 2003–2005 National Church Council we present this report and the motions for your consideration and vote.

In full communion with The Anglican Church of Canada
© Copyright 2007 Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada