Current Issue

Dec 2015










VOL 30 NO 8

Encourage, Support and Enable: National Bishop Susan Johnson's First Eight Years In Mission For Others.

Mission Statement

As the magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the mission of Canada Lutheran is to engage the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada in a dynamic dialogue in which information, inspiration and ideas are shared in a thoughtful and stimulating way.



Kindling: 2014 Bible Study Series


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Encourage, Support and Enable
A conversation about the ministry of National Bishop Susan Johnson

National Bishop Susan Johnson was elected to an unprecedented third term as National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) at its 15th Biennial Convention, July 2015. She was first elected at the 11th Biennial Convention, June 2007, and became the first woman to serve as National Bishop.
Bishop Johnson has guided the church through a time of turmoil and worked hard to keep

this church focused on being a church In Mission for Others. Her re-election and the decisions made at the 15th Biennial Convention are an affirmation of how well she has done.

This issue offers a glimpse of who she is, her thoughts about what has happened in the last eight years and her hope for the future.

In our feature article Bishop Johnson offers a willingness to be vulnerable as part of the unique perspective of being a woman in her role as National Bishop. Her ability to talk about her own feelings has helped others give voice to their own.

I will long remember a moment one evening during the ELCIC’s convention during the 2013 Joint Assembly with the Anglican Church of Canada. Weary delegates were hopeful for an early adjournment when the business of our convention had been completed unexpectedly early. Bishop Johnson surprised everyone by suggesting that we take time to sit quietly and pray for a while and then sing.

I’m sure the request reflected how she was feeling but she also reflected how others were feeling too. I have never been involved in an experience like it at any of the many, many conventions and meetings I’ve at-
tended over the past 40 years. A wide variety of people quietly came to microphones and led us in prayer as they felt moved; a palpable change could be felt in the room.

At the time I noted, “I am getting a sense that there is a new spirit growing among us. While no one is blind to the difficulties ahead, a quiet determination to trust God and get on with life and mission seems to be emerging.”

Some items in this issue that caught my eye:

Concerned about the plight of Syrian refugees? Welcoming the Stranger at Christmas (pg. 9) and Muslim/Christian Dialogue (pg. 6) and an article on the Beaverbrae Reunion (pg. 25) will help.

In Christmas and Santa Claus (pg. 8,) I discovered a link to the Nativity I had never known.

Spend some time with Waiting With Zechariah (p. 15). It offers a new appreciation of Advent.

This is the last of the series Kindling: A Bible Study. Our thanks to Rev. Daranne Harris for providing award-winning material over the past three years. The material from this series is available online for continued study.

Write for Us!
We’re looking for articles for Practising Our Faith. Do you have a story or idea about how you or the people around you handle life’s challenges and opportunities through faith? Inform and inspire others by sharing your story. Each article needs to be around 650 words and we do pay for them. Articles that are accepted are subject to editing to conform to ELCIC style. Send your articles to with “practising our faith” in the subject line.


Kenn Ward, Editor