Welcome to our Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada! (Because the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is quite a mouthful, we usually shorten it to the ELCIC, and I will do that in most of this book.)
I'm going to assume that you've picked up this booklet because you are curious about us. Whether you are a visitor, a new member or a long-time Lutheran who wants to learn more about our church, this book's for you. It provides a brief introduction to our church, what it practices, and what it teaches. You can learn more about the ELCIC at our website. www.elcic.ca
My name is Kenn Ward. I was asked to write this for you in a personal style. I have already written that way, about the subject in more depth, in my book This Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ours (Wood Lake Books, 1994).
Let me introduce myself. I am a lifelong Lutheran, so you'll have to excuse my obvious bias. When I wrote this, I was serving the ELCIC as editor of our national magazine Canada Lutheran. Before that, I was a parish pastor for 18 years and am currently pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church in Camrose, Alberta .
I am very proud of being a Lutheran. We are justifiably proud of our long heritage. However, my main source of pride is the wonderful people who have been my Christian sisters and brothers in this very special family of believers that God brought into being through our baptisms.
I don't remember my baptism. I was a baby. My mom was Lutheran and my dad was Anglican. I was baptized on Sunday, August 26, 1946, at my parent's home by a Lutheran minister, Dr. Clifford S. Roberts, from St. John's Lutheran Church in Waterloo, Ontario.
My earliest memory of church is that of my mother taking me to Sunday school on my birthday when I was quite young. The teacher made me feel right at home, and I've been going ever since.
I can't spin you any tale about a memorable conversion experience. I grew up in the church, and I'm still growing. Along the way God has placed a number of people in my path who have challenged and enriched my faith. Certainly I've had dry times when I have had some strong doubts. However, by God's grace, my faith continues to grow.
I hope that this booklet will help you to get to know us. However, it can't substitute for sharing in the life of one of our congregations. Please spend some time with us. I hope that you will find us to be a caring and welcoming family of faithful followers of Jesus.