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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 182,077 baptized members in 624 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches, and the World Council of Churches.

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A NEWS RELEASE
From National Office of the ELCIC

ELCIC AND LWF READY TO WELCOME
ASSEMBLY GUESTS TO WINNIPEG

Winnipeg, July 18, 2003 (ELCIC) -- LWF General Secretary, Rev Dr. Ismael Noko and ELCIC National Bishop, Raymond Schultz welcomed journalists at a pre-Assembly press conference yesterday.

Bishop Ray said that hosting the international event is an opportunity for Canadian Lutherans both to be educated and to discover how the gifts we've been given can be used around the world. "We may discover gifts we didn't know we had - organizational and political."

Schultz pointed out that concern for international peace and justice issues is very Canadian. The Assembly will be a chance for us as the church to see where we can fit in.

Dr. Noko pointed out how appropriate the theme of the Assembly, "For the Healing of the World" is in our world, and in Canada. He said that the ELCIC, a strong church coming from a history of many ethnic groups, is a good example of how differences can be healed.

"Voices will be heard from many communities, from women who are victims of violence, from youth who wish to hear from Canadian youth, " said Dr. Noko. He also voiced his disappointment that some delegates are still denied visas by the Canadian government. "The empty seats will also have a voice. It will be a part of the Assembly atmosphere."

Dr. Noko stated that the visa denials had very little to do with individuals and much to do with the politics of their home countries. "Visa problems were not anticipated, but the world has changed,", he said.

Discussion at the Assembly will take place in 'village groups'. "We chose the term 'village' carefully," said Dr. Noko, "A village is a place where each of us has the right to speak, cry, celebrate and be accepted."From those discussions will come perspectives and committments that will guide the work of the Lutheran World Federation for the next six years.

The media accreditation desk as well as the media information desk will be open in the lobby on the ground floor (Main Concourse) of the Winnipeg Convention Centre, July 19, 17:00 to 18.30, July 20, 17:00 to 18:30 , July 21,08:00 to 11:45 and 18:00 to 20:00. July 22 - 31, registration for accredited media representatives will continue in the LWF Communication office, Room 2F/G on the 2nd floor of the WCC.

More information, see http://www.elcic.ca/lwf/index.html, http://www.elcic.ca/lwf/july27.html, or http://www.lwf-assembly.org/


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