October Message

October 2017 Message for Congregations and Lay and Rostered Leaders


Dear Beloved of God –

Soon we will be gathering across our Synod, the ELCIC, and indeed, around the world to Commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.

Already much has taken place, for example: the Common Prayer service in Lund, Sweden in October 2016 with His Holiness Pope Francis, Rev. Dr. Martin Junge – General Secretary of the LWF and Bishop Munib Younan – President of the Lutheran World Federation; and of course, the international Lutheran Commemoration during the 12th Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation in Namibia this past May.

Closer to home and within our Synod two Hymn Festivals were held in Calgary and in Edmonton using the Hymn Festival commissioned for our 2016 Synod Convention.  I know of many other congregations who have used or will be using this Hymn Festival, too, within their own context and inviting their sisters and brothers in Christ from other congregations to join them.

Already in Lent 2016 Roman Catholics and Lutherans in Edmonton gathered for study, conversation and Evening Prayer focusing on the joint Roman Catholic and Lutheran document, From Conflict to Communion.  And this past year with a resource prepared by the ELCIC and Roman Catholics, Together in Christ, other Roman Catholics and Lutherans from across the Synod gathered during Lent or at another time.

Many lecture series, workshops, presentations and worship are being prepared for this October.  Wonderful! As these are further opportunities for learning, reflection and relationship building.

Please do forward posters or information to the Synod Office for inclusion in Wednesday’s Word.

And I prayer that many will gather for three ‘larger’ events within our Synod, Common Prayer, together with the Roman Catholics and Anglicans:

  • Sunday, October 29, 2017 5:00 pm Cathedral Church of the Redeemer, Calgary with Bishop William McGrattan, Archbishop Greg Kerr-Wilson and myself.
  • Monday, October 30, 2017 7:00 pm All Saints Anglican Cathedral, Edmonton with Archbishop Richard Smith, Bishop Jane Alexander and myself.
  • Thursday, November 16th, 2017 7:00 pm Sacred Heart Cathedral, Whitehorse with Bishop Hector Vila, Bishop Larry Robertson and myself.

Similar Common Prayer services are happening across Canada.

I encourage you to join in on the Commemoration.  Invite your neighbor.  Join me in Calgary, Edmonton and/or Whitehorse as we make this milestone and perhaps more importantly, look forward.

Rev. Dr. Martin Junge, preaching at the Commemoration Service of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, Federation of Lutheran Churches in Switzerland, September 10, 2017 says it well:  “The Reformation continues. But it is not about how right we are, and how wrong are the others. Instead, it is about what we have in common in Christ.”

Blessings as you gather to commemorate what we have in common in Christ.

In Christ Jesus –
+Bishop Larry Kochendorfer

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