Missed a service? Would like to know what is happening at ELCIC? Each week we post a sermon and news updates from across the ELCIC.
Missed a Service?
The sermon for Sunday, January 14th, by Rev. Tim Wray. who serves Lutheran Church of the Master in Airdrie, AB. The YouTube Link for direct sharing and posting online: https://youtu.be/Q-UI-KXjGZY
Please find attached to this email the final Christmas sermon for this weekend, for use on Monday, Christmas Day. Thank you to Pastor Nolan Gingrich, retired, who has prepared and shared this sermon for Ascension Lutheran in Nelson, BC. The YouTube Video link for direct sharing and posting online is here: https://youtu.be/Efx0M7aWHqc
January 2024 - Message from Bishop Larry
Beloved of God, May grace and peace be yours in abundance (1 Peter 1:2a).
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling (Ephesians 4:4). I send you greetings in the Name of the One who is the light of the world, Jesus our Lord, as you gather for your Annual General Congregational Meeting. When you gather, know that I am filled with gratitude to God for you; that I am thankful for our partnership in the gospel and that you continue to be in my prayers as I know I remain in yours.
When you gather, you will be making decisions about your priorities for ministry. You will be adopting budgets that enable ministry that joins in God’s mission of reconciliation in the world. You will be supporting your partners in ministry – the rostered ministers of this Synod, and especially those who serve among you as they, first and foremost, seek to equip you for the work of ministry: the building up of the Body of Christ.
Joining God’s mission means that your ministry is among the people with whom you live and move and have your being. Your ministry is done each day in the living out of your baptismal identity as God’s beloved children through your service in word and deed.
Ministry continues beyond the neighborhood and congregation through the many faces of the church and many facets of its ministries: our Synod and its staff, our National Church expression, the Lutheran World Federation, and our Companion Synod – The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Colombia.
As you gather, you will also be electing lay and youth delegates to participate in our Synod Convention, and nominating delegates to the National Convention in 2025 who will be elected at our Synod Convention.
We will gather June 6-8, 2024, at the University of Alberta – Augustana Campus in Camrose for the 19th Convention of the Synod of Alberta and the Territories under the theme: One Body, One Spirit, One Hope (Ephesians 4).
This convention marks the end of my current term as Bishop and concludes my ministry as Bishop. Although I am concluding my term as Bishop, I will not be retiring. I am open to the Spirit’s leading and to the Spirit’s call and am looking forward to new ministry opportunities and possibilities either within Canada or globally, following our Synod Convention and a time of transition with the bishop-elect.
When I was first elected to serve as Bishop, I committed to doing so (you will remember if you were present) only if you…the Synod…would commit to walking with me by affirming our baptism together; to continue in the covenant God made with us in holy baptism:
to live among God’s faithful people, to hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s supper, to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed, to serve all people, following the example of Jesus, and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth.
Beloved of God, you have continued in the covenant God made with you in holy baptism in times of challenge and wonder, as you have in times of opportunity and possibility. Thank you for your example to me. I have sought to continue in this covenant, and I ask your forgiveness and blessing where I have failed to do so.
Continue to be humble and gentle with one another. Honour each other. Make space for lament. Welcome moments of joy. Help each other live into hope. Learn from this journey we are walking and let the learning lead us forward. Trust that God is at work in this time and look for the new things God is doing even now.
As you gather, be sure to join others across the Synod as you:
Receive and share the 2024 Synod Narrative Budget.
Review the Synod Council Meeting Highlights. https://albertasynod.ca/synod-councilhighlights/
Together participate in the 3-session Discerning the Call of a Synod Bishop prepared for us by Deacon Dr. Fatih Nostbakken and Rev. Davide Saude. https://acrobat.adobe.com/id/urn:aaid:sc:US:fe748948-7eed-4a71-92a1-da75624a668d
Subscribe to our Synod’s e-mail newsletter: Wednesday’s Word. Subscribing is easy on our Synod’s website. www.albertasynod.ca
Participate in learning and conversation for the Rostered Leaders Zoom Gathering the first Wednesday of each month, and/or the Lay Members Zoom Gathering the first Tuesday evening of each month.
Perhaps at this year’s Annual General Meeting you might reflect, name and give thanks for the gifts and mission into which God has invited you and your congregation. Consider taking a few moments in small groups to listen to each other and then share with all, your gathered reflections on the following:
Share about a time or situation when you or your congregation recently experienced God’s love.
What have we learned about what is important in our life together as the body of Christ?
We do not know the future, but we have what we need. Jesus is feeding us. The Spirit is guiding us. We have the Scriptures. We have water. We have bread and wine. We have each other. Jesus is with us.
Know that I continue to be inspired and excited by the creative ways in which you have proclaimed the Gospel, offered pastoral care, knit together the body of Christ, and served the neighbor.
Know that you are held in prayer.
Most importantly, know that God is with you and even now is planning and nourishing seeds of resurrection life. God is again doing a new thing.
My support, prayers, and thanks accompany you. May God bless us and strengthen us to be the church we are called to be.
By God’s grace, we still have several months to walk together in this work. I look forward to journeying with you and trust that the Holy Spirit will continue to lead, sustain, and guide us all.
The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).
In Christ Jesus
Shalom, +The Rev. Dr. Larry Kochendorfer, Bishop
Synod of Alberta and the Territories Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Spirit-Led Leadership - Hope-Filled Discipleship- Innovative Tradition - Collaborative Partnerships