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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

'ACCOUNTABILITY' AND 'KEEPING THE PROMISE' STRONG THEMES
AT AIDS 2006 CONFERENCE AND PRE-CONFERENCE;
ELCIC PARTICIPANTS PREPARE TO ATTEND



Winnipeg, 9 August 2006
--Faith-based participants, including three from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), are preparing to participate in the International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2006) which will take place in Toronto from August 13-18, 2006. The conference theme, "Time to Deliver" is a reminder to participants of the past and present commitments for action on HIV/AIDS and an emphasis on the accountability of the responses to those promises. A global, two-day Ecumenical Pre-Conference, taking place just prior to the conference on August 10-12, will examine how participants can contribute to the fight against HIV and call upon governments, corporations and agencies to keep the promises already made to address the AIDS crisis.

Under the theme, "Faith in Action: Keeping the Promise", over 500 faith-based participants will attend the ecumenical and interfaith pre-conference taking place at the University of Toronto's 89 Chestnut residence. This sold-out pre-conference will address the central challenges to participants' responses to HIV and AIDS, including working with the most marginalized people living with HIV, cooperating with multilateral and civil society organizations and networks, and fulfilling the promises faith groups have made in response to AIDS.

During AIDS 2006, faith-based representatives will join over 20,000 other participants from the academic, scientific and medical communications; corporations; policy makers from governmental and intergovernmental organizations; national and international non-governmental organizations and movements; and positive people's networks. Sharing the latest research, initiatives and best practices; participants will identify key areas for further advocacy.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada will have three individuals in attendance at the conferences. Rev. Paul Johnson, Assistant to the Bishop for Ecumenical Relations will be attending the Ecumenical Pre-Conference. Rev. Brian Rude and Rev. Bob Shantz will be attending both the pre-conference and AIDS 2006. Rev. Johnson and Rev. Rude will attend the conferences as participants, Rev Shantz will be attending as a conference chaplain.

The ELCIC also had representation on the planning committee for the pre-conference. Rev. Brian Wilker-Frey and Rev. Sonja Free were both part of the local planning committee for the Ecumenical Pre-Conference.

Information on the conferences, including comments and personal reflections from ELCIC participants will be available on the ELCIC's AIDS 2006 Blog - http://elcicataids2006.wordpress.com/.

-with information from Canadian Council of Churches, Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance and AIDS2006.org

For more information, please contact:
Ms.Trina Gallop, Manager of Communications
302 - 393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

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