ELCIC National Bishop Susan Johnson Opens Special Convention / Assembly 2023

June 28, 2023

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) opened the 2023 ELCIC Special Convention / Assembly 2023 with an introductory evening session on Wednesday from the University of Calgary.

Meeting in full communion for just the second time, delegates from the ELCIC Special Convention and the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) General Synod are gathering together under the theme Let There be Greening at the MacEwan Conference and Event Centre inside the university campus.

Over the coming days, delegates to the ELCIC Special Convention will conduct the business of the church, while jointly participating in a number of sessions with ACC delegates, including presentations, worship, fellowship, Bible study, and general discussion.

ELCIC delegates have before them recommendations from the ELCIC Task Force on Carbon Neutrality, the Task Force Addressing Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, the Task Force Addressing Racism, White Supremacy and Racial Justice, and the Task Force Addressing Ableism. Additionally, delegates will also look to finalize an agreement between Lutheran and Anglican Churches in North America and the Northern Province of the Moravian Church. If approved, the ELCIC, the Anglican Church and the Moravian Church will move toward full communion.

As part of ELCIC National Bishop Susan Johnson’s Report to Special Convention on Wednesday, she reiterating the apology shared at the 2022 ELCIC National Convention to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

“Today I apologize to the members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community for the ways we have not lived up to our commitments and to the ways we have treated you in the past and even now,” Bishop Johnson said. “With this apology I acknowledge the harms we as a church have caused and those harms we continue. We have work to do and I cling to a hope that the entire church will learn from the past and work toward a future where all generations will feel acceptance, affirmation, and celebration for the gifts they bring our church as valued children of God.”

She asked delegates to consider the current direction of the church, its synods and congregations, while also pointing to the 2025 National Convention, when a new National Bishop will be elected.

“It is an honour to serve you as your National Bishop,” Bishop Johnson said. “If we continue to pray fervently, do justice passionately and face challenges head on, I think that is a great message for this world at this time. Let’s not be afraid. Let’s continue to grow, whether that’s in depth or in numbers. Let’s just strive to be as faithful as we can for our loving God.”

The ELCIC and ACC gathered for joint evening prayer following their individual sessions as Anglican Archbishop and Primate Linda Nicholls and National Bishop Johnson led the assembly in song and prayer.

The livestream for Assembly 2023 – including the ELCIC Special Convention and ACC General Synod – is available to follow along with the proceedings virtually. The livestream link can be found on the ELCIC Facebook page, the ELCIC YouTube Channel, and through the 2023 Assembly website: https://assembly.anglicanlutheran.ca/elcic/live/

The full Assembly 2023 agenda, and ELCIC Special Convention Bulletin of Reports, Plenary Session Overview and daily highlights can also be found at AnglicanLutheran.ca/assembly

Matthew 10:40-42


40 “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous, 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

John 15:12-17

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing, but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

John 21:15-19

Jesus and Peter

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Luke 11:33-36

The Light of the Body

33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a bushel basket; rather, one puts it on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but if it is unhealthy, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore consider whether the light in you is not darkness. 36 But if your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its rays.”

Matthew 8:1-4

Jesus Cleanses a Man

8 When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him, and there was a man with a skin disease who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be made clean!” Immediately his skin disease was cleansed. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”