Tenth Convention of Lutheran Church–Canada

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Lutheran Church–Canada will meet in its tenth convention June 6-9, 2014 on the campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C. The news and information on this site will assist members of synod and delegates to prepare for the event.

The live-stream of the Convention has now completed. Interested parties can now view all sessions as initially broadcast by visiting: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/lutheran-church—canada. At a later date, individual videos of special clips (eg, Rev. Kurt Reinhardt’s two presentations, Deacon Jennifer Shack’s presentation, etc) will be uploaded individually.


Convention Essays Now Online

Convention-Essays-web Deacon Jennifer Shack and Rev. Kurt Reinhardt.

ONLINE – Lutheran Church–Canada is pleased to announce that the essays from the 2014 National Convention are now available for download.

Rev. Kurt Reinhardt’s presentation—”As Dear Children Ask Their Dear Father”—focused on prayer. The two-part essay is available for download now as a pdf. Rev. Reinhardt’s presentation was accompanied by two hymns written specially for the occasion. The first of these—As Dear Children of the Father—is now available for download. (Check back later for the second hymn).

Deacon Jennifer Shack’s presentation—”The History and Biblical Foundation of Lutheran Church–Canada’s Diaconate—is also now available to download. Get the pdf here. Deacon Shack’s presentation was accompanied by a Powerpoint, which is also available for download (as a zip file).

You can also watch both presentations online. Watch Rev. Reinhardt’s presentation here (Part 1 and Part 2). Watch Deacon Shack’s presentation here.

Video from the convention’s opening worship service is also now available online. To watch video of the convention’s seven sessions, visit synod2014.lutheranchurch.ca/convention-session-videos-online/.


Catching up on convention news: Video now online

Delegates to the convention vote.

Delegates to the convention vote. (Photo: Gabor Gasztonyi)

CANADA – Were you unable to attend LCC’s Convention in Vancouver? Trying to catch up on important news from the convention?

2014-logo-bannerThe easiest way to find out what you missed is by viewing the news stories posted online at The Canadian Lutheran. We’ve posted information on the acclamation of President Robert Bugbee to another term, his response to the reelection, the results of vice presidential elections, and elections for other boards, commissions, and committees.

We’ve also reported on the presentations of the Convention’s two essayists, Rev. Kurt Reinhardt and Deacon Jennifer Shack, as well as greetings from LCC Presidents Emeriti and international guests. Finally, we’ve highlighted some of resolutions adopted by the convention, including naming the Lutheran Laymens League of Canada as an official LCC auxiliary, praying for families of those affected in the recent Moncton shooting, and providing for diaconal service on synodical boards, commissions, and committees.

You can catch up on another news by reading the Daily Newsletters published throughout the Convention. Need more details than that? See the minutes of the convention (including all the resolutions adopted in their final amended forms) in the Today’s Business releases.

You can also catch up on video from the convention by visiting http://synod2014.lutheranchurch.ca/convention-session-videos-online/. This website includes full video of every session of the convention as originally broadcast online, including devotions, greetings, votes, convention essays, and more. Separate videos (of convention essayists, sermons, and more) will eventually be uploaded to YouTube individually at a later date.

The above videos do not include the opening worship service. This service will be uploaded to LCC’s YouTube account at a later date.


Convention welcomes international guests

President Robert Bugbee (LCC), President Matthew Harrison (LCMS), Bishop David Altus (LCA), and Rev. Dr. David Wendel (NALC).

President Robert Bugbee (LCC), President Matthew Harrison (LCMS), Bishop David Altus (LCA), and Rev. Dr. David Wendel (NALC). (Photo: Gabor Gasztonyi)

VANCOUVER – Lutheran Church–Canada was pleased to welcome several international guests to its 2014 National Convention.

Attending the convention on behalf of their church bodies were President Chul-Hwan Kim of the Lutheran Church in Korea, President Vannarith Chhim of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cambodia (ELCC), Bishop David Altus of the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA), President Matthew C. Harrison of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), and Rev. Dr. David Wendel of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC).

President Chhim.

President Vannarith Chhim (ELCC).

On Saturday, delegates were privileged to hear from Bishop Altus, who conveyed the greetings of national LCA Bishop John Henderson. Bishop Altus also gave the devotion at Monday morning’s session. On Sunday, President Harrison brought greetings from the LCMS, and Dr. Wendel expressed gratitude on behalf of the NALC and its Bishop John Bradosky for the growing friendship between the North American Lutheran Church and Lutheran Church–Canada. President Chhim brought greetings from Cambodia on Monday morning.

The convention also welcomed letters of greeting from the Anglican Network in Canada as well as other Lutheran church bodies from India, Japan, Chile, Canada, England, Germany, and Ukraine.


Convention recognizes outgoing BOD members

President Robert Bugbee, Deborah Belden, and Rev. Dr. Karl Keller.

President Robert Bugbee, Deborah Belden, and Rev. Dr. Karl Keller.(Photo: Gabor Gasztonyi)

VANCOUVER – On Sunday, the convention recognized the work of outgoing Board of Directors members: Rev. Dr. Karl Keller (Walnut Grove, B.C.), Anne Taylor (Ottawa, Ontario), and Lorne Wirth (Regina, Saskatchewan). Of the three, only Dr. Keller was able to be present for the event.

The convention also recognized the service of BOD member Frank Belden (Summerland, B.C.), who sadly passed away in 2013. Frank’s wife Deborah was present at the convention as a voting delegate, and was honoured in Frank’s stead.


LCC Presidents Emeriti Greet Convention

President Emeritus Ralph Mayan.

President Emeritus Ralph Mayan. (Photo: Gabor Gasztonyi)

VANCOUVER In the midst of convention work Sunday, attendees heard greetings from Lutheran Church–Canada’s first two presidents: Rev. Dr. Edwin Lehman and Rev. Dr. Ralph Mayan.

Dr. Lehman is still recovering from surgery earlier this year and was unable to attend in person. He therefore sent his well-wishes in the form of a letter, which Third Vice President Rudy Pastucha read aloud to the convention.

“It is a fortunate coincidence that our synodical convention is being held over the Pentecost weekend,” Dr. Lehman wrote. “As the delegates hear reports about the challenges facing our congregations—and, for that matter, churches around the world—it is important to remember that it is through the work of the Holy Spirit that God’s Church is created, strengthened, and preserved. Our most ambitious resolutions, inspiring speeches, and far-reaching resolutions can only be tools which the Holy Spirit might choose to use. The power to face whatever the world and its culture throw at us is not within ourselves but is a gracious gift from God.”

His letter goes on to assure delegates that will he keep them in his prayers. Dr. Lehman served as LCC’s President from its founding convention until 1996.

Later on Sunday, Dr. Mayan addressed the convention. Drawing on the words of St. Paul in the second chapter of 1 Timothy, Dr. Mayan encouraged convention-goers to see the connection between prayer and mission. It is the Church’s job, he said quoting St. Paul, to pray for ‘all people.’ “No one is to be excluded from the Church’s prayer list,” Dr. Mayan explained. “Our God is a God who wants to save all people…. We pray for all people because God wants to save all people. To pray is to be in mission, and to be in mission is to pray.”

“Pray for the world,” he continued. “Pray for the mission of the Church. Pray for our missionaries, in country and out of country. It pleases God, because our God is a God who desires to save all people.”

Dr. Mayan served as President of Lutheran Church–Canada from 1996 to 2008.

President Bugbee thanked Dr. Mayan for his words, and encouraged LCC members and congregations to hold him in prayer. Dr. Mayan has just been diagnosed with bone marrow cancer.


President Bugbee reacts to reelection

President Robert Bugbee addresses the convention.

President Robert Bugbee addresses the convention. (Photo: Gabor Gasztonyi)

Editor’s note: President Robert Bugbee gave the following address on Sunday, following his reelection on Saturday.

by Robert Bugbee

I remember six years ago when I was first elected to this task that my very gracious predecessor gave me two days to think about what it all meant before he asked me to come forward on the Sunday afternoon of the Convention and to deliver a more thought-out response to the delegates.

We shouldn’t be silly about these things. We all realize that re-election to a third term does not carry with it the drama that was there the first time around. I personally don’t feel quite the same suspense I felt in those summer days of 2008 when I wondered what all of this might mean. I imagine the church’s expectations may not run quite so high as they did then, either. After all, you pretty well know what you’re getting, and the incumbent president’s shortcomings are by now just as evident as any virtues I might bring with me into the new triennium.

I told the delegates in 2008 that my godly teachers at the Seminary had trained me basically to be a pastor and a preacher. I was absolutely thrilled at the prospect of doing that work when I graduated, and I tell you quite frankly that I feel there’s nothing else quite like it. What greater privilege could there ever be than to be permitted on a weekly basis to stand up in a public place and to point out to fellow sinners the way to heaven? My own beloved spiritual father, Pastor Harold Roschke of Waverly, Iowa, showed me in his preaching when I was a college student what a relief it is to be able to run and hide yourself by faith in the open wounds of Jesus, crucified for us. That Christ Who died in our place has been the animating joy of my life since I came to know Him well 40 years ago. I thank Him for the many years He allowed me to do for others what Pastor Roschke did for me, and that is to hold out to people the Saviour of the world.

That Christ Who died in our place has been the animating joy of my life since I came to know Him well 40 years ago. I thank Him for the many years He allowed me to do for others what Pastor Roschke did for me, and that is to hold out to people the Saviour of the world.

I never expected as a young preacher I would be doing things like getting invited to a state dinner for Queen Elizabeth at the Royal York Hotel in downtown Toronto, or sitting across the table at the Vatican with the Cardinal who runs the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. I never expected to spend a Saturday afternoon drinking tea with two old Cree grandmothers way up at Sucker River, Saskatchewan, or to run back and forth between the pulpit and the pump organ in the little Anglican cathedral chapel in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, which was borrowed for our Lutheran services and where the Synod president had to do that running because the regular organist for the day wasn’t there. I never expected to be sitting in a cramped, hot car on a country road in northern Mozambique, where a young African Christian man was explaining to me for the first time just why AIDS is such a threatening problem on that continent, and how the Good News of Christ provides the ultimate liberation from that threat, a lesson I never understood before until he explained how these things work. I never expected to receive so much undeserved affirmation from my predecessors, Presidents Lehman and Mayan, in spite of the fact that their work, in my view, stands head-and-shoulders above anything I have been able to do.

In short, I never expected to serve as the President of Synod, an honour which has been bestowed on me three times by our Convention. I deeply appreciate your kindness, dear brothers and sisters. I cannot say that I understand it exactly, and I’m not even sure I agree with the action you’ve taken in re-electing me, but I do deeply appreciate it. And I am willing once again to embrace it. Please believe that.

I never expected to serve as the President of Synod, an honour which has been bestowed on me three times by our Convention. I deeply appreciate your kindness, dear brothers and sisters. I cannot say that I understand it exactly, and I’m not even sure I agree with the action you’ve taken in re-electing me, but I do deeply appreciate it. And I am willing once again to embrace it.

With all due regard to those marvelous experiences I have had in Canada and abroad these past six years, the big thrill for me is still where it always was: in seeing beautiful faces like yours in front of me when I got to preach downtown the night before last, and in laying the healing body of Christ into the mouths of regular, run-of-the-mill people who come to the Lord’s Table because they need Him as desperately as I do. I can only hope that the pastors of our Synod feel this joy at being privileged like that. I can only hope that our deacons have a deep sense of the honour of serving as teachers and encouragers in the faith. I can only hope that the lay men and women and boys and girls across our church would treasure what a wonder it is that God’s holy Son, Who didn’t owe us a dime—because we were the crooks and the thieves—would come down into our world and give Himself to be our everlasting Rescuer.

In some small way, I hope that the task God is entrusting to me for the coming three years will help our pastors and our people see the glory in this Gospel, and in the work you share in Alfalfa Junction, or whatever your town happens to be called. Thanks again for the honour you have done me with this election. God in Christ pour out on you all His joy and grace and blessing!


Convention Election Results

VANCOUVER – Yesterday, The Canadian Lutheran published the results of the presidential and vice-presidential elections at Lutheran Church–Canada’s National Convention. What follows are the rest of the election results from Synod’s Convention.

Board of Directors:
Cindy Sholdice (Central)
Arnold Drung (East)
Alan Schmitt (East)
Rev. Kurt Reinhardt

Committee for Theology and Church Relations:
Rev. Joel Kuhl (East)
Rev. James Heinbuch (East)
Cliff Pyle (Central)

Committee for Adjudication
Rev. Harold Borchardt (Central)
Rev. Richard Frey (East)
Deacon Monica Schultz (ABC)

Board of Regents of Concordia Lutheran Seminary
Rev. Daryl Solie (Central)
Rev. Scott Lyons (ABC)
Ian Lande (ABC)

Board of Regents of Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary
Rev. Cameron Schnarr (Central)
Rev. Dan Abraham (East)
Bruno Korst (East)


Convention Essay: The background and role of the diaconate

Deacon Jennifer Shack.

Deacon Jennifer Shack. (Photo: Gabor Gasztonyi)

VANCOUVER – On Sunday, Deacon Jennifer Shack presented an essay outlining the history and biblical foundation of the diaconate in Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC), and the role of its members in our church body today.

In part one of her presentation, Deacon Shack reviewed how the position of deacon was established in LCC, beginning with a Task Force struck in 1993 to study the role of congregational workers (a role that had been in existence since the 1950s). The official diaconate of Lutheran Church–Canada was established in 1999. Church work training programs were introduced in Canada in 1989, and deacons became rostered members of the synod in 2002.

Using several New Testament references, the Biblical foundations of the two offices of “overseer” and “deacon” were compared. It was noted that the New Testament deacons held a secondary leadership position created to meet the needs of the local congregation, and examples of this office were cited.

Concluding with a discussion on the role of the diaconate in LCC today and into the future, Deacon Shack noted that the approximately 95 rostered deacons in Canada serve the Church in such varied areas as pastoral care, catechesis, administration, music, and an “office of love.”

Deacon Shack’s full presentation (both text and video) will be made available online at a later date.

Also of note regarding the diaconate, Sunday saw the Convention adopt a resolution “to study and provide for diaconal voting at Synod and District conventions.” Currently the voting structure allows for equal representation from parishes regardless of size, and equal pastoral/lay representation (one pastor and one lay representative from each parish), but does not make allowance for deacons to vote. The resolution calls on the CCMS to prepare a report on recommendations which would “preserve our fundamental principles of governance while providing voting privileges for deacons.” The report is due for 2017’s convention.

Earlier on Saturday, the Convention voted to make provision for deacons to serve on Synod’s boards, commissions, and committees.


Lutheran Laymen’s League of Canada becomes LCC auxiliary

Executive Director Stephen Klink and the LLL Canada display.

Managing Director Stephen Klinck and the LLL Canada display. (Photo: Gabor Gasztonyi)

VANCOUVER – On Saturday, Lutheran Church–Canada’s (LCC) 2014 National Convention voted unanimously to accept Lutheran Laymen’s League of Canada (LLL Canada) as an official LCC auxiliary.

Stephen Klinck, Managing Director of LLL Canada was on hand for the event and addressed the convention immediately following the vote. He thanked the convention for officially welcoming LLL Canada as an auxiliary of LCC.

“Since its incorporation in 1967, the Lutheran Laymen’s League of Canada has sought to assist in the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and equipping and encouraging congregations and individuals as they do the same,” Managing Director Klinck said. “The action of the convention to grant us auxiliary status is both affirming and encouraging and I am sure that the men and women of LLL Canada will appreciate it as much as I do.”

The International Lutheran Laymen’s League has long been an auxiliary of LCC, but until this convention the Canadian organization—affiliated with but separate from the Missouri-based International LLL—has never received the same status. The Canadian agency recently petitioned LCC’s Board of Directors to become an auxiliary—an act the Convention was more than happy to approve, welcoming the new auxiliary and giving “thanks to God for the ongoing work of the Lutheran Laymen’s League of Canada.”