June 2018 Message for Congregations and Lay and Rostered Leaders
Dear Beloved of God –
Soon we will gather in Convention in Camrose – UofA Augustana Campus – June 14-16, 2018 under the theme based on I Cor. 13:13, “Faith, Hope, Love: and the greatest of these is love.” I am appreciative of the work of Wendy Christensen-Grosfield who has again been contracted to serve as Convention Manager.
This month I share more Convention highlights, in addition to those mentioned in my May 2018 Message.
Worship is a significant focus of Convention as we will begin and close each day with worship. A Worship Committee, chaired by Carolyn Ethier and including Chaplain Jeff Decelle, Colleen McGinnis, Rev. Kathy Calkins, Robyn Simpson-Mohr, and Dr. Joy Berg has planned a series of unique services to bless and enrich our worship time together.
The celebratory Opening Eucharist with organ and brass begins in the Chapel at 2:00 pm on Thursday, June 14. We gather again in the chapel for Thursday evening’s Jazz Vespers, a time of prayer as well as remembrance of those who have died. Each day we share in Morning Eucharist with a time of Dwelling in the Word in the convention hall. Our brief Sending Worship, with installation of Synod Council, Synod Secretary and Lutheran Theological Seminary rostered representative and Blessing of the Bishop, is scheduled for 3:00 pm on Saturday, June 16. Offerings will be shared equally between the Lutheran World Federation Endowment Fund and the ABT Synod Bishop`s Discretionary Fund.
There will be a Convention choir singing at the Opening Eucharist service that you are welcome to join. The practice for the Convention choir will be held in the Convention Hall at 12:30 pm on Thursday, June 14. Dr. Joy Berg will lead the choir.
We will gather Friday evening for a celebratory banquet honouring those with ordination anniversaries, as well as the first recipient of The Synod of Alberta and the Territories Stephen D. Wildfang Leadership Award.
Video presentations highlighting our four mission priorities through story will be shared throughout the Convention and each delegate/congregation will receive a DVD of the same and discussion guide for use in their own context.
New this year: Registrants to the Convention are invited to register for Friday and Saturday “Lunch and Learn” events. Up to 25 registrants will meet in identified rooms for lunch and further conversation with: National Bishop Susan Johnson on ELCIC Global Mission, President Bill Harrison from Lutheran Theological Seminary, The Rev. Dr. Brian Rude, our guests from Colombia, CLWR and Jeff Pym with ELFEC (Evangelical Lutheran Foundation of Eastern Canada). All other registrants will have their lunch in the cafeteria.
Also new for this Convention is an invitation for submissions of artwork to be displayed in the convention hall, reflecting the theme of the convention. Thanks to each contributor. I am looking forward to walking through the art gallery.
Throughout the Convention as you worship, listen, pray, discern and share stories registrants are invited to write their thoughts to the following two statements on sticky notes and to post them to the large print paper in the convention hall: “I am hearing God say to us…”, and, “I sense that one of the places the Spirit is inviting our Synod to join with God in God’s work is…” These will be gathered and reviewed for action at the September 2018 retreat of Synod Council.
As we gather from across our Synod it is my prayer that together we will be open to the Spirit’s work among us…shaping…transforming…reworking…guiding…and that we will know the reality of the words of Paul to the church in Rome (15:13): “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.”
In Christ Jesus – Shalom,
+Bishop Larry Kochendorfer