Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Directory   Search  
 

Minutes of National Church Council, March 4-6, 2004

St. Benedict's Retreat & Conference Centre, Winnipeg MB

Participants

Present:
Officers: Bishop Raymond Schultz, National Bishop
Rev Susan Johnson, Vice President (Chair)
Donald Storch, Secretary
Norman Thompson, Treasurer
Council: Judy Baribeau
Tom Brook
Margaret Fast
Rev Sonja Free
Maaike Froelich
Rev Nolan Gingrich
Elizabeth Hachborn
Rev Roger Haugen
Rev Lynne Hutchison
Rev Dr Gordon Jensen
Dr Roger Kingsley
Judy Kochendorfer
Rev Ilze Kuplens-Ewart
Rev Dr Peter Mikelic
Carl Sorenson
Judy Wry
Synod bishops: Rev Cindy Halmarson, SK Synod
Rev Stephen Kristenson, ABT Synod
Rev Gerhard Preibisch, BC Synod
Rev Michael Pryse, Eastern Synod
Rev Richard Smith, MNO Synod
Guests: Kathy Magnus, Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Regional Officer for North America
Rev Les Weber, Associate Executive Director, Division for Church in Society, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
Ruth Vince, Executive Director, Evangelical Lutheran Women
Hildy Thiessen, Executive Director, ELCIC Group Services, Inc.
Walter Schultz, Director, ELCIC Group Services Inc, Board of Directors
Tom Dooley, ELCIC/GSI Legal Counsel
Staff: Rev Elaine Sauer, Assistant to the Bishop, Synodical Relations
Rev Paul Johnson, Assistant to the Bishop, Ecumenical Relations
Doreen Lecuyer, Director of Finance
Rhonda Lorch, Director of Administration
Regrets:
Anglican Church of Canada Representative: Grant Hyslop,

Thursday, March 4, 2004

The following National Church Council committees met prior to the opening of the Council meeting.

  • Task Force on Convention Renewal
  • Communication
  • Public Policy
  • Finance

Bishop Raymond Schultz presided at a Eucharistic worship service.

After welcoming the Council, the Bishop advised that Rev Susan Johnson, Vice-president, would chair this meeting.

The agenda for the meeting was reviewed.

The following items were removed from the consent agenda:

  • Adoption of Draft Disability Policy for Rostered Ministers
  • Adoption of Draft Policy to Protect Children, Youth and Other Vulnerable People in the ELCIC
  • Adoption of the Draft Discipline Manual re: Rostered Ministers
  • Establishment of Court of Adjudication Reserve
  • Appointments to WLS

CC-04-05   MS  That the consent agenda be adopted as presented.

Carried

The following actions were approved as part of the consent agenda:

CC-04-06        That the Rev Leon Gilbertson and the Rev Paul Johnson be appointed to serve on the Board of the Lutheran Council in Canada for a three year term, ending December 2006.

CC-04-07        That the criteria for the Cora Martinson Scholarship Fund be expanded to include students enrolled in appropriate studies at Augustana University College and who intend to serve as leaders and pastors to the Chinese Lutheran communities of the ELCIC.

CC-04-08        That the Rev Mark Harris be appointed to represent the ELCIC on the Board of Directors of Canadian Lutheran World Relief for a three year term, beginning June 2004.

CC-04-09        That Bill Risto be appointed to represent the ELCIC on the Board of Directors of Canadian Lutheran World Relief for a three year term, beginning June 2004.

CC-09-10        That the location for the 2007 National Convention to be held concurrently with the Anglican Church of Canada General Synod, be Winnipeg, Manitoba.

CC-09-11        That the 2004 Operating Budget for the Global Hunger and Development Appeal be approved as presented.

Rev Susan Johnson reviewed the balance of the agenda with the Council.

MS  That the agenda as presented be adopted.

CC-04-12   MS  That the agenda be amended by adding:

  • Approval of in camera minutes in an in camera session
  • Review of CC-03-90 (November 2003 meeting)
  • Report about Augustana University College
  • Process for discussion of human sexuality (CC-03-88)
  • Review of correspondence provided in the docket
  • Discussion related to breach of confidentiality

Amendment Carried

CC-04-13   MS  That the agenda be further amended by creating a standing order at 10:00am on Saturday morning to deal with the adoption of the Draft Policy to Protect Children, Youth and Other Vulnerable People in the ELCIC.

Amendment Carried

Amended Agenda Adopted

CC-04-14   MS  That the minutes from the November 2003 National Church Council meeting be adopted as circulated.

Carried

Council members participated in a personal check-in time and then shared in a social time.

Friday, March 5, 2004

Rev Nolan Gingrich, Chaplain, opened the session with devotions.

Report of ELCIC Group Services Inc

The Group Services report was made by GSI Executive Director Hildy Thiessen, Director Walter Schultz and ELCIC legal counsel Tom Dooley. The Executive Director outlined the communication plan related to the pension plan deficiency and fielded questions related to the plan.

The National Church Council expressed their appreciation for Hildy Thiessen and the manner in which she has steered the process to handle the pension deficiency.

Rev Susan Johnson, Vice-president reminded the Council that the discussions around this issue are an extension of what occurred at the in camera January 22, 2004 meeting and that the 'blackout' on public discussion around the issue still exists. The blackout will be lifted once the communication plan is implemented.

Reports of the Synod Bishops

The Synod Bishops gave reports about the business and life on their territories.

Report about Augustana University College

Bishop Schultz shared an update about the transition process at Augustana University College with the Council.

Report of the Evangelical Lutheran Women

Executive Director Ruth Vince shared a report from the Evangelical Lutheran Women.

Strategic Planning Session II

Rev Elaine Sauer, Assistant to the Bishop for Synodical Relations shared the report from the National/Synodical Officers' Consultation with the Council.

Bishop Schultz made a presentation related to his proposals for the strategic direction of the church.

MS  Our vision is to be a church for others. The strategic directions by which we seek to do this are:

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

CC-04-15   MS  That the wording be amended to say "Our vision is to be a church in mission for others."

Amendment Carried

Amended Motion Carried

CC-04-16   MS  That NCC appoint a Bishop's advisory committee of Bishops Michael Pryse and Cindy Halmarson, Rev Susan Johnson and Don Storch who will flesh out the directions.

Carried

CC-04-17   MS  That a consultant be hired to prepare a governance policy manual to clearly outline the governance/management parameters necessary to carry out the strategic directions and present it to the National Church Council at the September 2004 meeting.

Carried

Office of the Bishop Report

CC-04-18   MS  That a one year renewable term call be issued to Rev Fred Gehrs as a chaplain with Corrections Services Canada for the period Feb 21, 2004 to Feb 21, 2005.

Carried

CC-04-19   MS  That National Church Council move in camera.

Carried

In Camera Session

Motions CC-04-20 through CC-04-24 are minuted in a separate document.

The following motions were moved to the public record:

CC-04-01        That National Church Council commit the ELCIC to taking all reasonable steps to maintain the current commitments to the retired portion of the ELCIC pension plan.

CC-04-02        That National Church Council support ELCIC Group Services Inc. in increasing the supplemental employer contribution from the current 2% to a higher level once the triennial actuarial review as of December 31, 2003 has been completed and notice can be given to the employers of such an increase.

CC-04-03        That $2Million be allocated from the Benefits Reserve Fund of the ELCIC for use by ELCIC Group Services Inc. to sustain the retiree portion of the pension plan subject to GSI receiving satisfactory approvals (such that the current registered status of the Pension Plan will not be jeopardized) from the Provincial Regulator and from Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) for such contribution.

Report of the Conference of the Bishops

MS  That the Draft Disability Policy for Rostered Ministers be approved as presented.

CC-04-25   MS  That the title be amended to read 'Short Term Disability Policy'

Amendment Carried

Amended Motion Carried

Rev Ilze Kuplens-Ewart asked that information about similar policies from other denominations be provided to National Church Council at the September 2004 meeting.

Journey Together Faithfully Study Session

During the evening session Bishop Cindy Halmarson led the Council in a study based on the ELCA resource Journey Together Faithfully.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Chaplain Rev Nolan Gingrich led the Council in opening devotions.

Rev Susan Johnson reviewed the agenda with National Church Council.

Report of the LWF Regional Office for Noeth America

Kathy Magnus shared a report of her work with the LWF Regional Office for North America.

Committee Reports

Faith, Order and Doctrine Committee

Rev Sonja Free led the Council through the report.

CC-04-26   MS  That the practice of carrying reserved sacrament from one congregation to another will not be instituted by National Church Council and further, that the ELCIC will not engage in any practice which might obscure the essential connection of the elements to the proclaimed Word of promise received in faith.

Carried

Public Policy Committee

Rev Roger Haugen spoke to the Committee's report.

CC-04-27   MS  That National Church Council endorse the declaration "What does God Require of Us?" and that the National Bishop be asked to communicate the endorsement to the Canadian Council of Churches.

Carried

CC-04-28   MS  That National Church Council receive this report and commend it to the Bishops to encourage discussion and study in synods and congregations and with politicians and those in public life.

Carried

Finance Committee

CC-04-29   MS  That $15,000 from the 2003 surplus in the Operating Fund be appropriated to establish a reserve for future requirements of the Court of Adjudication. Each year, for inflation purposes, the reserve account shall have interest accrued at the LIFE term rate.

Carried

Audit Committee

Roger Kingsley provided a verbal report of the Audit Committee.

Constitution Committee

MS  That the Draft Conflict of Interest Policy for National Church Council be adopted as presented.

CC-04-30   MS  That the policy be amended in the 8th paragraph to read "shall be excluded from the meeting".

Amendment Carried

Amended Policy Adopted

Standing Order

CC-04-31   MS  That the Policy to Protect Children, Youth and Other Vulnerable People be adopted as presented.

Carried

Roger Kingsley asked that the following concerns he has about the policy be recorded to inform the policy review process:

  • The greatest vulnerability is "the church was negligent in the supervising or monitoring of its personnel or membership", (Appendices page 9).
  • Volunteers should also undergo a police record check; the reasons stated for exempting volunteers from the police record check are inadequate.
  • Police record checks must include the standard "acceptable to work (or volunteer) with youth.
  • Police record checks should have an expiry date.
  • Police record checks should be clean; the candidate can seek a pardon.

Communication Committee

MS  That National Church Council encourage the Synods to invite the lay members of NCC to synod conventions to provide a visible communication link between NCC and the synods beginning in 2004.

CC-04-32   MS  That the motion be amended to read: 'That National Church Council encourage lay members of NCC to attend synod conventions beginning in 2004 to provide a visible communication link between NCC and the synods.

Amendment Carried

Amended Motion Carried

Convention Renewal Task Force

CC-04-33   MS  That the Proposed Model Two in the document to be presented to the constituency be amended to add synodical bishops as part of the synodical delegation.

Carried

CC-04-34   MS  That the Proposed Model Two be amended to add the national officers to the voting delegates list bringing the total to 54.

Carried

CC-04-35   MS  That the Convention Renewal document be distributed in the ELCIC to gather input from the constituency about the renewal of national conventions;

That the document be distributed to:

  • Each congregation;
  • Delegates at the synod conventions, and;
  • Synod councils;

That responses are requested to the National Church Office by August 15, 2004; and

That a report of the compiled responses will be available to National Church Council at the September meeting after which the Constitution and Bylaw Committee will craft the necessary Administrative Bylaw amendments for the 2005 Convention.

Carried

Report of the Office of the Secretary

CC-04-36   MS  That the Draft Manual re Discipline of Rostered Ministers be adopted as presented.

Carried

Report of the Office of the Bishop (cont'd)

MS  That no appointment be made at this time to fill the vacancy in the church-at-large position on the Waterloo Seminary Board of Governors and that an evaluative review be made regarding ELCIC appointments of church-at-large members to the seminary boards.

CC-04-37   MS  That the motion be amended to add: including alternatives such as board to board liaisons and joint faculty meetings.

Amendment Carried

Amended Motion Carried

Additional Business

CC-04-38        That CC-03-90 be rescinded.

Rescinded

MS  That National Church Council affirm the Conference of Bishops' interpretation of the ELCIC's present policy as stated in their pastoral letter of July 2003. National Church Council recognizes the pressing need to review present policy and if appropriate, to develop a new directive. The church is encouraged to engage at all levels in the process outlined in CC-03-88 as a means of doing so.

CC-04-39   MS  That the motion be divided into two motions.

Carried

MS  That National Church Council affirm the Conference of Bishops' interpretation of the ELCIC's present policy as stated in their pastoral letter of July 2003.

CC-04-40   MS  That the motion be amended to read: That National Church Council affirm the Conference of Bishops' pastoral letter of July 2003.

Amendment Carried

Amended Motion Carried

MS  That National Church Council recognizes the pressing need to review present policy and if appropriate, to develop a new directive. The church is encouraged to engage at all levels in the process outlined in CC-03-88 as a means of doing so.

CC-04-41   MS  That the motion be withdrawn with the permission of the mover and seconder.

Carried

Motion Withdrawn

CC-04-42   MS  That National Church Council request the National Bishop to provide a report to the September NCC meeting advising on the process to develop a social statement for the ELCIC on sexuality, marriage and the family.

Carried

CC-04-43   MS  That the National Bishop issue a news release that reiterates the information given in the release issued after the November 2003 meeting and that advises that the National Church Council offers Journey Together Faithfully and an accompanying resource that sets the ELCIC context related to the material as an option for study within the ELCIC.

Carried

CC-04-44   MS  That National Church Council invite ELCA Bishop Mark Hanson to attend the September 2004 National Church Council meeting.

Carried

CC-04-45   MS  That the National Bishop communicate to the Lutheran World Federation that the ELCIC chooses not to nominate a candidate for the position of LWF General Secretary.

Carried

CC-04-46   MS  That National Church Council direct the Officers to review the legal counsel for the ELCIC and to make any necessary changes.

Carried

CC-04-47   MS  That the Bishop's Office communicate to Canadian Lutheran World Relief the concern of National Church Council about the representation of the ELCIC in their annual report and that the report was distributed to ELCIC congregations outside of the Memorandum of Understanding between ELCIC and CLWR.

Carried

Next Meeting Dates:

September 16–18, 2004

March 3–5, 2005

Chaplain for the September meeting: Rev Dr Peter Mikelic

The Council joined Bishop Schultz in thanking Rev Susan Johnson for her able chairing of this meeting.

Chaplain Rev Nolan Gingrich closed the meeting with a hymn and prayer.

Respectfully submitted,
Rhonda Lorch
Recording Secretary

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