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April 28, 2012

ELCIC Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario Synod Meets in Convention

The Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario (MNO) Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) is meeting in convention April 26-29 in Beausejour, Manitoba. The 2012 MNO Synod Convention commenced on Thursday evening with opening worship. MNO Synod Bishop Elaine Sauer preached and presided.

On Friday, delegates had a full agenda of business before them. Brian Lorch, incumbent synod council chair was re-elected on the first ballot. Allan Francis, incumbent synod council treasurer was re-elected also on the first ballot.

ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson addressed delegates in her Report of the National Bishop, sharing highlights of the National Church’s ministry in each of the five strategic priorities (effective partnerships, spirited discipleship, focused framework, diverse faces and compassionate justice). Delegates also received greetings from Bishop Don Phillips, Diocese of Rupert's Land, Anglican Church in Canada; Rev. Dr Kevin Ogilvie, President, Lutheran Theological Seminary; Rev. Roger Haugen, President, Lutheran College Bible Institute; and Robert Granke, Executive Director, Canadian Lutheran World Relief.

Friday morning, delegates heard presentations regarding structural renewal from the National and Synodical Implementation Teams. The ELCIC has been in discussions regarding structural renewal for over three years when at a February 2009 meeting of officers and bishops of every synod and the National Church it was agreed that they should ask NCC to set up a task force. The Structural Renewal Task Force worked for two years to look at possible options. Last year at the ELCIC National Convention, a plan was adopted by the National Church in principle.

Friday evening, delegates considered the following motion on structural renewal, “be it resolved that the MNO Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada be wound up and dissolved effective the 29th day of May, 2014.” Delegates prayerfully considered the motion. Following almost an hour of discussion in which arguments were presented both for and against, the vote was called. Conducted by written ballot, 114 votes were cast. The motion needed two-thirds in favour to pass. The motion received 44 yes votes, 69 no votes, 1 spoiled ballot. The motion did not pass.

On Saturday, delegates will participate in a day-long renewal event on the topic of the convention theme, Receive the Spirit – Be the Witness . The renewal event picks up on the ELCIC’s Call to Spiritual Renewal which calls us to Pray, Read, Worship, Study, Serve, Give and Tell.

Over 120 rostered and lay delegates are in attendance at the MNO Synod Convention, as well as many volunteers from the Beausejour region.

Photos and further highlights from the convention can be viewed on the ELCIC’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/CanadianLutherans

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada's largest Lutheran denomination with 145,276 baptized members in 594 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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