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Pastor Vida was a delegate to the ELCIC National Convention which was held online this year from July 15 - 16. The Convention limited itself to conduct the essential business of the church with a special in-person Convention to take place in 2023 to allow time for a fuller gathering experience. 

A highlight of the Convention was National Bishop Susan Johnson's apology to members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Bishop Susan apologized "for the ways that we have not lived up to our commitments and to the ways we have treated you in the past and even now. I want to acknowledge the harms that members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community have experienced in our church.”

Bishop Johnson acknowledged the times members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community did not receive welcome, had been denied sacraments, vocation, marriage rights, and when proper gender identity had not been affirmed.

“I acknowledge the harms that we do not know and that people have not shared,” she continued. “I acknowledge the harm experience by those who still feel the need to be closeted and not live out their full identity in our church.”

“With this apology I acknowledge the harms we as a church have caused and those harms we continue to cause,” she said. “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.”

Bishop Johnson indicated her hope for a similar apology to be carried out in-person at next year’s planned in-person convention. 

Another hightlight was the report from Rev. Dr Karin Achtelstetter, Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) executive director.  

Touching on the war-torn nation of Ukraine, poverty in Palestine, food insecurity and famine in Burundi and weather disasters in Ethiopia and El Salvador, Achtelstetter shared stories of resilience and creativity, as well as that of greening – connecting to the convention theme: Let There be Greening.

“We’ve seen the world come together in some inspiring ways, and we’ve seen a world feel incredibly divided and fragmented—including within our own country,” she said. “But I’m here today, in part, to offer thanks, because of your steadfast support over these last years." 

There were also elections to National Church Council:

  • Bruce Cook was elected as Vice Chair
  • Linda Grainger was elected as Secretary
  • and Gene Blishen from our own BC Sybnod was  elected as Treasurer

For further Convention highlights visit the ELCIC page here.