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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

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE ELCIC'S NATIONAL CHURCH
COUNCIL MARCH MEETING

Winnipeg, 17 March 2007--The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)'s National Church Council (NCC) is meeting in Winnipeg from March 15-17. The following is an overview of highlights from the second day of meetings:

NCC commenced on March 16 with prayer at 9:00 a.m.

Roger Kingsley, Vice-President of NCC and Council Chair, opened the business session 9:15 a.m. and noted quorum was achieved.

Council heard reports from all five ELCIC Synod Bishops. The reports were part of the Council’s environmental scan; Bishops provided highlights and concerns for their respective synods. Topics ranged from starting new, creative missions to concern for pastor care. Conversation also included the impact of recently released Statistics Canada Census Data and how that information could be reviewed and evaluated relative to our church and used for future mission development. National Bishop Raymond Schultz also provided his perspective and a national level environmental scan.

Council welcomed Dennis Brown, Account Manager at Aon Reed Stenhouse. A presentation and opportunity for questions was provided to Council on the recent communication from Aon to ELCIC congregations regarding congregations’ adoption of the ELCIC’s National Policy for the Protection of Children, Youth and Other Vulnerable People; it was advised that congregations who received the letter have till March 31 to advise Aon of their intent to comply with the National Policy.

Council welcomed Hildy Thiessen, Executive Director of Group Services Inc. (GSI), who presented a report on GSI.

Council recessed for lunch at 12:10 p.m. and reconvened at 1:00 p.m.

Council welcomed Bob Granke, Executive Director of Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR). An electronic vote that approved The Memorandum of Understanding between the ELCIC and CLWR was affirmed by Council. Bob Granke noted that constructive conversations took place around the development of the Memorandum of Understanding and that CLWR is looking forward to future areas of collaboration with the ELCIC.

Council heard from Ryan Andersen, Assistant to the Bishop for Stewardship in Public Life, who provided an update on the Social Statement Task Force. It was reported that a full complement of committee members is almost complete. A progress report from the Task Force will be presented at the 2007 National Convention.

In September 2006, Council approved the establishment of the Program Committee for Mission in the World. At this meeting, Council was updated on the March 2007 meeting of the Program Committee where the terms of reference were finalized; the terms of reference were approved by Council.

Council received the Treasurer’s Report.

Council received the Secretary’s Report.

During the presentation from the Executive Director of Group Services Inc. (GSI), several motions were brought forward. Council reviewed those motions and affirmed GSI’s nominations and appointments which will be brought forward to the 2007 National Convention.

Council received the Report of the Evaluation of the National Bishop and NCC. A yearly review of the National Bishop by Council is mandated as part of the new governance process that was adopted last year by NCC. Council thanked the working group that prepared the evaluation.

Council was provided with an overview of the National / Synodical Officers Consultation, which will commence at 1:00 p.m. on March 17 at St. Benedict’s Retreat Centre in Winnipeg.

Council approved a motion to establish the ELCIC’s Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA) Endowment Fund. The fund will provide GHDA with a way of supporting the justice work of the ELCIC.

Council received recommendations for changes to Section 29 of the ELCIC’s Corporate Bylaws pertaining to the Election of Delegates. The recommendations were to change the wording of “ordained” in the document to “rostered” – in reference to ministers, and would see an addition allowing for alternate delegates to fill in for clergy delegates if, after November 30, they are unable to attend.

National Bishop Schultz spoke to Council about the 10th Anniversary of the Evangelical Declaration. Council approved a proposal to bring a 2007 version of the declaration, newly titled In Mission for Others: An Evangelical Theology of Mission, to this year’s National Convention to be reaffirmed as a theology of mission for the ELCIC for the next ten years.

An overview of administrative items pertaining to the 2007 National Convention, including a draft agenda, was provided to Council. Council approved a motion to accept the ELCIC’s Standing Rules of Orders, which is derived from Bourinot’s Rules of Order, for use at National Convention. Gloria McNabb, ELCIC Director of Finance and Administration and National Convention Manager, reported to Council that there are 189 clergy and 220 lay delegates registered for the National Convention.

Treasurer Norm Thompson presented an overview of a draft three-year budget. Council approved a motion to present the budgets to the 2007 National Convention.

Council approved the Report from the Nominating Committee for NCC.

Council adjourned for dinner at 5:00 p.m. and reconvened at 7:00 p.m.

Council was provided with an overview of the recognition reception that will take place on the Saturday night of the 2007 National Convention. Council was advised that on the ELCIC’s joint day with the Anglican Church of Canada, June 21 at National Convention, the offerings will be shared by the ELCIC’s Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA) and the Anglicans Primate’s Fund, and on the Sunday of National Convention the offering will be designated for the Canadian Council of Churches (CCC).

Council approved bringing forward a motion to the National Convention regarding the Stewardship of Creation initiative. Key components of the initiative were provided to Council; this initiative is aimed at increasing the ELCIC’s commitment to and understanding of environmental stewardship.

Council reflected on discussions that took place earlier in the day with Aon Reed Stenhouse; a motion was approved by Council to request from Aon a written clarification of the liability of the ELCIC and Synod Offices if congregations choose not to comply with recent policies.

Recent correspondence sent to NCC was received and recognized by Council.

Council received for information the Council of General Synod’s (Anglican Church of Canada) proposed resolutions regarding the St. Michael Report.

Council discussed a report on the ELCIC’s and ACC’s Joint Commission 2001-2007. Council approved a motion to extend the mandate of the Joint Commission.

Council approved the creation of a Governance Committee for NCC. The committee will review the recent adoption of NCC’s governance model, develop terms of reference and ensure appropriate issues of governance are attended to by NCC.

Council adjourned at 8:45 p.m. with evening prayer.

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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