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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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National Worship Conference Opens to Sold-Out Crowd; Engaging Youth in Worship Is a Focus of Workshops

Regina, 14 July 2006 -- Making All Things New, the National Worship Conference presented jointly by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and Anglican Church of Canada (ACC), commenced on Wednesday, July 12 before a sold-out crowd of 205 attendees, workshop leaders and volunteers. Taking place in Regina, Saskatchewan from July 12 to 15, highlights at the conference include keynote speakers Rev. John Bell, an ordained minister of the Church of Scotland and member of the Iona Community in Scotland, and Rev. Dr. Richard Leggett, a priest of the Diocese of New Westminster and Professor of Liturgical Studies at the Vancouver School of Theology.

The conference features 15 workshops on topics ranging from 'Renewing Worship and Beyond', which includes material from the new Evangelical Lutheran Worship book, to 'The Sacred Circle', a workshop where attendees can experience an Aboriginal-Christian liturgical form which involves a basic medicine wheel prayer and talking circle. In addition, several of the workshops are geared towards engaging youth and children in worship.

Helena-Rose Houldcroft, an Anglican priest serving the congregation of St. Phillip’s Anglican Church in Regina, along with two young adults, Jennifer Andreas and Erik Bjorgan, conducted a workshop titled “Involving the Missing Generation in Worship”. Young adults were defined as the "missing generation", and with the aid of a filmed set of interviews and ample discussion with the attendees, areas of similarity, both positive and negative, were pinpointed. For many, coming together, love of the music, “doing something for others”, and interest in the sermons and readings were what were attracting young people to church – if they came.

The presenters also discussed the main deterrents keeping youth from being involved with their church, which included “being told what to believe”, people thinking spending an hour in church is sufficient to living a Christian life, and general boredom.

Houldcroft stressed the important contribution children and young people can make to the church and that they are wholly capable of doing so.

Two relevant resources were suggested to the group: “Act and Imagine”, a 10-day program offered out of Huron University College, London, Ontario - http://www.askandimagine.org - and “Generations”, a recently-launched website where young people can discuss and ask questions about their faith - http://www.generation.anglican.ca.

Making All Things New takes place until Saturday, July 15. On Friday night, conference attendees will attend a banquet featuring the presentation of the Companion of the Worship Arts award to this year’s recipient, Debbie Lou Ludolph.

For more information, please contact:

Ms.Trina Gallop, Manager of Communications
302 - 393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6

In full communion with The Anglican Church of Canada
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