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