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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'S LONG-TERM MISSIONARY IN THAILAND
CURRENTLY IN CANADA ON HOME LEAVE

Winnipeg, 21 September 2006 - While recent events in Thailand have thrust the country into political unrest, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) is able to advise that Long-term Missionary Lori Endress, who serves in Chiang Mai, Thailand, is currently back in Canada on home leave.

On Tuesday evening, Thailand's army commander staged a military coup and ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra while he was in New York attending a United Nations session. In what is being called a peaceful coup, Gen. Sondhi Boonyaratkalin declared martial law and revoked Thailand's constitution. A spokesperson for the commander said that Gen. Boonyaratkalin will serve as acting prime minister for two weeks until a new leader is found, an interim constitution would be drafted within that time and Thailand's foreign policy and international agreements will not change.

Reports say that the coup took place without any shots being fired and with no sign of resistance being shown in the hours after it was announced. It has been speculated that King Bhumibol Adulyadej endorsed the coup but the only statement issued on the situation was from coup leaders who announced that, "the king endorsed Gen. Boonyaratkalin as head of the temporary government."

Lori Endress' service as a Short-term Missionary in Chiang Mai, Thailand began in 2002. She now serves as a Long-term Missionary in Chiang Mai at the invitation of Payap University, an institution of the Church of Christ in Thailand. At Payap’s McGilvary Faculty of Theology and Seminary, Endress develops and teaches English programs for specific needs to faculty, graduate students, pastors in upgrading programs and staff.

Endress left Thailand in August to begin her three-month home assignment. She is now on her mission interpretation tour and making presentations primarily in sponsoring congregations.

After spending some time in the Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario Synod, Endress proceeds to the Saskatchewan and Eastern Synods to continue with her Canadian travels. Upcoming presentations on her schedule so far include:

September 22 Grace Lutheran Church Women, Ashern MB
September 24 Christ Lutheran Church, Winnipeg MB
September 28 Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon SK
October 1 Christ Lutheran Church, Regina SK
October 2 Trinity Lutheran Church, New Hamburg ON
October 11 Trinity Lutheran Church, Walkerton ON
October 15 Resurrection Lutheran Church, Ottawa (Orleans) ON
October 16 St Peter’s Lutheran Church, Ottawa ON
October 17 Lutheran Church of Our Saviour, Dartmouth NS
October 18 St John’s Lutheran Church, Mahone Bay NS
October 21 Grace Lutheran Church, Oakville ON
October 22 Faith Lutheran Church, Hamilton ON

Endress will return to Thailand on October 29 as long as the security situation there remains stable. For further information contact Kelvin Krieger, ELCIC Mission in the World Program Coordinator (kkrieger@elcic.ca).

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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