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March 19, 2009

ELCIC and CLWR Strengthen Partnership; New Memorandum of Understanding Formally Signed

Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada's (ELCIC) National Church Council and Canadian Lutheran World Relief's (CLWR) Board of Directors approved a new Memorandum of Understanding at their respective meetings this March. The strengthened partnership will see the ELCIC and CLWR working together in new and exciting ways to enhance cooperation and effective programming between the two organizations.

“By integrating the work of the ELCIC’s Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA) into the work of CLWR we will present one clear message to ELCIC members, avoiding the ongoing confusion between GHDA and CLWR,” says ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson. “Our resources will be better utilized and more focussed, with better results.”

In addition to the integration of the ELCIC's Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA) into the work of CLWR, the new partnership will see the establishment of a Joint Program Committee which will plan and implement activities related to leadership development and training, development education, advocacy, and international partner projects. The strengthened relationship will also allow for the creation of a shared approach to generating resources within the ELCIC in accordance with the ELCIC and CLWR principles of stewardship.
To advance their collective witness and service CLWR will act on behalf of the ELCIC in regards to the resettlement of refugees in Canada; responding to global emergencies; and gathering donated commodities such kits and quilts to be sent overseas. International development programming, including support for projects of ELCIC international partners will be undertaken by CLWR in consultation with National and Synodical bodies.

Both CLWR and the ELCIC are committed to raising awareness within the ELCIC membership on issues related to international development and the root causes of hunger and poverty and have agreed to adopt a shared approach to development education and advocacy. The sale of alternative trade products within ELCIC congregations and related organizations through Four Corners alternative trade will continue to be encouraged.

Robert Granke, CLWR Executive Director, notes “Both the ELCIC and CLWR bring unique areas of expertise and efficiency to this partnership and by working more closely together we will be better able to engage the members of the ELCIC in their call to serve those in need.”

The new memorandum of understanding was formally signed by ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson and CLWR President Rev. Mark Harris on March 13, 2009. The terms of the agreement will be implemented starting July 1, 2009.

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada's largest Lutheran denomination with 162,100 baptized members in 611 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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