In preparation for the upcoming Synod Convention, please take time to read and review this information before arriving in Camrose, June 16 – 18, 2016.
The years 2015-17 have been identified by The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) as a time to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The Synod of Alberta and the Territories will echo and support the Lutheran World Federation theme of Liberated by God’s Grace and the three subthemes (Creation – Not for Sale, Salvation – Not for Sale, and Human Beings – Not for Sale) at our Convention and as we participate in this international and ecumenical commemoration. The commemoration gives us the opportunity to remember and reflect on the Reformation and what it means for us now, living as Lutheran people within the whole body of Christ.
Convention highlights include three keynote presentations and opportunities for conversation around the subthemes of “Creation-Not For Sale”, “Salvation-Not for Sale”, and “Human Beings-Not for Sale”, led by National Bishop Susan Johnson (via video), the Rev. Dr. Gordon Jensen, whose participation is sponsored by the Bethany Group, and the Rt. Rev. Mark MacDonald, National Indigenous Anglican Bishop. Be prepared to be inspired, to listen, to contribute to the conversation, to be challenged with questions, and to be liberated by God’s grace.
Other highlights include uplifting worship services, an opening Hymn Fest sponsored by Canadian Lutheran World Relief, a Welcome Reception sponsored by the Good Samaritan Society, a celebratory banquet honouring milestone ordination anniversaries, video presentations and discussion on our mission priorities, a “take-home” DVD and discussion guide on mission priorities, a late-night Convention spot hosted by the Synod Campus Ministry Team, a Wellness Fair hosted by ELCIC Group Services, interesting and informative displays from many Synod affiliated groups, and, of course, plenty of opportunities for food and fellowship.
For the 16th Biennial Convention we return to the University of Alberta—Augustana Campus in Camrose, and look forward to the familiar hospitality of this first class facility.
Camrose is a charming city with a strong Norwegian-Lutheran heritage. If you are able to visit the area before the Convention begins, you will find a friendly host city that has a variety of shops, parks, golf courses, restaurants and museums. Booklets about Camrose and area will be available at the Convention`s Hospitality Desk. If you have a smartphone or tablet, you may want to download the CamroseNow App from iTunes or from Google Play. It’s the app that puts Camrose in your pocket!
Worship and Offerings
Worship is a significant focus during Convention. We will begin and close each day with worship. A Worship Committee, chaired by Carolyn Ethier and including Chaplain Daranne Harris, Colleen McGinnis, Rev. Ron Flamand, Robyn Simpson-Mohr, and Dr. Joy Berg has planned a series of unique services to bless and enrich our worship time together.
The Opening Worship, which will be held in the Chapel at 2:00 pm on Thursday, June 16, features a Hymn Festival and the Eucharist. The Sending Worship with Eucharist is scheduled for 3:00 pm on Saturday, June 18. Offerings will be shared equally between the ELCIC`s Reformation Challenge – LWF Endowment Fund, and the ABT Synod Bishop`s Discretionary Fund.
Bulletin of Reports
The Bulletin of Reports is now available for download from the Synod website at (no longer available). Please make yourself familiar with the information in your Bulletin of Reports to ensure you can fully participate in the business of Convention. Delegates and visitors may either download the Bulletin of Reports to their preferred device before they come to Convention or print off a hard copy and bring it to Convention. The Wi-Fi on campus may not be strong enough to download the Bulletin of Reports on campus, so please either download or print it before heading to Camrose. Please note, there will be no hard copies of the Bulletin of Reports provided at Convention.
We have a limited supply of ELW hymnals on-site for Convention. Therefore, if you have your own copy of the ELW (cranberry coloured) hymnal or can borrow one from your own congregation, we ask you to bring your own copy along for your use during worship. Please ensure any hymnal you bring along with you is labelled so it can be returned to you if misplaced while at Convention.
There will be a Convention choir that you are welcome to join. Practices for the Convention choir will be held in the Convention Hall at 12:20 pm both Friday and Saturday (at the beginning of the lunch break on both days). Dr. Joy Berg will lead the choirs.
The Chaplain for Convention is the Rev. Daranne Harris, Vice President and Chief Mission Officer for the Bethany Care Society and Synod Ecumenical Officer – South. If you have a prayer request during Convention, please speak to Chaplain Daranne.
Registration and Information Desks
The Registration check-in Desk, located beside the café in the newest part of the Faith and Life Centre, will be open to serve you as of 10:30 am on Thursday, June 16th. The Registration Desk will provide you with your colour-coded nametag, which will also serve as your meal pass and designate whether you are a registered delegate, a visitor, a guest, or a staff/volunteer, as well as your room key and information if you are staying on campus. Close-by you will find the Information/Hospitality Desk which will remain open throughout the Convention for your convenience.
Orientation for First Time Delegates
An orientation for first time delegates will be held in the Convention Hall at 1:00 pm on Thursday, June 16th. A short orientation of all delegates will be held at the beginning of the First Sitting of Convention, beginning at 3:30 pm on June 16th.
Accommodations and Amenities
Unless you have booked a hotel room at one of the Convention hotels, your registration covers accommodations in the residences at Augustana campus beginning on Thursday evening. These rooms are designed for double occupancy. If you have not indicated a room partner, you will likely be assigned a roommate. Please note that the residence rooms do not have private baths, but on-floor access to common bathrooms. Bedding is supplied, but you may want to consider bringing your own pillow and/or foamy. Please also bring all of your own towels and toiletries.
Your name-tag will include a meal voucher for each of the meals while at the Convention, beginning with Thursday dinner. Visitors who have registered online were able to select which meals they will require. Each delegate also has one seat reserved at the Friday evening banquet.
Delegates are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles and coffee cups to the Convention for use at the Refreshment and Hospitality table. Although a limited supply of disposable cups will be available, we ask you to consider reducing our impact on the environment by bringing your own reusable drink holders.
Banquet and Ordination Anniversary Celebration
A celebratory banquet will gather delegates, visitors, guests and ordination anniversary honourees at the Norseman Inn (6505 – 48 Avenue) on Friday, June 17 at 6:30 pm. Ordained clergy who have served the Church for 50 or 60 years will be honoured at the banquet. Ordained clergy who have served 25 and 40 years of ministry will have been recognized during the Convention program. Doors for the banquet will open at 6:00 pm. Seating for ordination honourees will be reserved at the front of the banquet hall.
Delegates receive one banquet ticket with their congregational registration fee. Additional banquet tickets were available to be reserved via the registration process for purchase by delegates or visitors at a cost of $45.00 per ticket. If you have any special dietary needs that you have not already let us know about which we need to be aware of for the banquet, please contact Gail Berg, our Banquet Lead at email@example.com.
Late Night Convention Spot
On Friday evening, after the banquet, the Synod Campus Ministry Team is hosting a Late Night Convention Spot at the Camrose Railway Museum at 4404 – 47th Avenue. Beer from the Troubled Monk Brewery of Red Deer will be offered with grace (free!) at the Late Night Spot. Generous donations to the ELCIC Reformation Challenge will be gratefully accepted at this event.
Convention Newsletter and Synod Website
There will be two newsletters distributed during Convention. A welcome newsletter that sets the stage for what to expect during Convention will be available on tables in the plenary when delegates arrive. Highlights from Thursday and Friday will be captured in a newsletter distributed to Convention attendees on Saturday morning. An online version edition of the Convention newsletter, capturing all the highlights and events will be posted to the Synod website after Convention rises. Select photos from Convention will be streamed on the Synod website.
Travel to Convention and Expense Reimbursement
If you are a delegate travelling more than 200 km to Convention, you are eligible for a reimbursement of $0.12 per km. Forms for reimbursement will be available on-site from the Stewards or can be accessed after the Convention, online on the Synod website at www.albertasynod.ca. Please note that any travel reimbursement claims must be received in the Synod office no later than June 30, 2016. Reimbursement cheques will be issued by the Synod office and mailed out to delegates who have submitted a reimbursement form.
PLEASE NOTE: expense cheques endorsed back to the Synod are NOT eligible for a tax receipt. You are encouraged to provide a personal cheque for a tax receipt, or you can donate directly online at our website, www.albertasynod.ca. Look for the CanadaHelps button (Donate Now) on the bottom middle of the home page.
Parking is available in the visitor lots at the north end of the campus.
We encourage everyone to plan their arrival for sometime on Thursday prior to 2:00 pm. However, if distance or other circumstances require you to travel on Wednesday, please advise the Synod office as soon as possible of your travel plans, your estimated arrival time, and a cell phone number where you can be contacted. This information can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wi-fi connection is available anywhere on campus for free under Guest@UofA. Data download is limited to 1 GB every 24 hours per user, so please remember to download your Bulletin of Reports or any other items to your mobile devices before arriving on campus.
Take Homes and Post Convention
Delegates will be taking home Hymn Fest resources, a copy of the video series on mission priorities (one per congregation) and an accompanying discussion guide, and lots of experiences and stories to share. A link to an on-line evaluation of Convention will be forwarded to delegates electronically after Convention. Your feedback on the evaluation will help us plan and deliver the next Convention in 2018.
Blessings to each of you as you prepare to travel and attend the Convention next week. Please pray for God’s blessings on the convention and for those who are planning and preparing for it. Looking forward to seeing you there!
In Christ Jesus –
Bishop Larry Kochendorfer
On behalf of the 2016 Synod Convention Planning Team.
Convention Delegate Expense reimbursements. Delegates are eligible for travel reimbursement at a rate of $0.12 / km for round trips of over 200 kilometers. Reimbursement of $0.02/km is available for each delegate passenger in travelling in your vehicle. Please fill out the following form before June 30, 2016 to request your reimbursement. A cheque will then be mailed to you.
PLEASE NOTE: expense cheques endorsed back to the Synod are NOT eligible for a tax receipt.
You are encouraged to provide a personal cheque for a tax receipt, or you can donate directly online at our website. Look for the CanadaHelps button (Donate Now) on the bottom middle of the home page.
City of Camrose website: www.camrose.ca/
U of A, Augustana Campus website: www.augustana.ualberta.ca/
U of A, Augustana Searchable map: www.campusmap.ualberta.ca/?l=53.011404,-112.822573…
– choose Augustana Campus