June 12, 2007
Letter to 2007 ELCIC Convention Delegates
June 5, 2007
Keith R. Odegard (email@example.com)
43 Hollyburn Road S.W.
Robert W. Schmidt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
124 Pump Hill Landing S.W.
Dear 2007 ELCIC Convention Delegate,
"Out of zeal for the truth and the desire to bring it to light, the following propositions will be discussed at Wittenberg, under the presidency of the Reverend Father Martin Luther..."
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses, introduced by the above statement. The responsibility for leaders in the church to bring truth to light has a long history. In describing the qualifications for church leaders, Paul in 1 Timothy 3:9 states, "They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience." In Titus 1:9 Paul writes, "He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it." As the two delegates from Lutheran Church of the Cross, Calgary, Alberta, we have wrestled with both the authority and responsibility placed on us by the Scriptures, the Lutheran Confessions and the Constitution and Administrative Bylaws of the ELCIC.
The ELCIC Bulletin of Reports includes The Constitution and Administrative Bylaws (Page D-5 to D-40). These documents outline the rules in respect of the organizational structure and operation of the ELCIC. The most relevant section of the Constitution for convention delegates is Article X, Section 1. (Pg D-12) which states, "The convention of this church shall be its highest legislative authority." This means that the responsibility for the future direction of the ELCIC rests with you and the other convention delegates. For over 200 years, tens of thousands of men and women have faithfully supported various Lutheran churches in Canada that have merged into the ELCIC. These forefathers in the faith have given you both the authority and responsibility to "hold firmly to the trustworthy message,…..and refute those who oppose it." One of the legacies they have given to you is the supreme power of the elected delegates acting in convention. You and the other delegates are solely responsible for determining the future direction of the ELCIC.
At this convention, you will be asked to make many choices that will have a profound impact on the future of the ELCIC and the faith journeys of thousands of Christians across Canada. Our prayer is that you will acknowledge the truly awesome responsibility God has placed on all the delegates to the convention. The opinions of one person or a small group of people, no matter how erudite, vocal or seemingly powerful, will not determine the future of the ELCIC. Only the will of the convention delegates can decide the direction the ELCIC will take from June 24, 2007 onward.
In preparation for the convention, we urge you to review the official Bulletin of Reports and the information contained on websites such as elcic.ca and solid-ground.ca. Our prayer is that the decisions made by all of us as delegates, through the voting process, will be consistent with the will of God, as documented in the current Confession of Faith (ELCIC Constitution, Article II (Pg D-6).
Yours in Christ!
Keith R. Odegard; Robert W. Schmidt