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Nolan Astley appointed Interim Pastoral Leader for Alberta and British Columbia

June 30, 2015 One Comment
First Vice President Nolan Astley.

First Vice President Nolan Astley.

CANADA – On June 25, Lutheran Church–Canada’s (LCC) Board of Directors voted to appoint Rev. Nolan Astley as the Interim Pastoral Leader for Alberta and British Columbia. Rev. Astley also serves as First Vice President for LCC.

LCC President Robert Bugbee had announced his recommendation for Interim Pastoral Leader earlier in June. The Alberta-British Columbia District Convention in May adopted a resolution separating the pastoral and corporate functions of the District President, acting on a recommendation from LCC’s Board of Directors. The Interim Pastoral Leader (who was to be appointed by LCC’s President and BOD, in consultation with District leadership) would provide ecclesiastical oversight in Alberta and British Columbia, while the District President would focus on the corporate responsibilities of the District.

In a statement to LCC members in Alberta and British Columbia, Rev. Astley noted the church was entering uncharted territory. “Because this is so new to all of us, I am not entirely sure what to say as contemplate the beginning of my service as Interim Pastoral Leader in the ABC District,” he writes. “I do not have a great master plan for how I will fulfill the work I have been asked to do. But, I do know at least two things will be very important to me. First, I very much want to be out among the people of the District. I hope you invite me to your congregations, to your meetings, and to circuit meetings and other gatherings. I want to be out with you so I can listen to you. That’s the second thing I know will be very important to me—listening. I hope to listen to our pastors and deacons, our lay leaders and most especially I hope to listen to those who have been caught up in this whole mess. As one who is now come from across the miles to the District, the only way I will be able to speak to the pain you feel is to first take time to listen.”

He continued: “When the time for speaking comes, I know I could do far worse than to remind you of the words God gave Joshua as he prepared the people to enter the Promised Land: ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.’ Consecrate yourselves. Be in the Word day by day. Our Heavenly Father has so much to say to people who come into hard times. As you are in His Word, He will speak calm to your troubled heart, no matter how this crisis has affected you. Receive the gifts His Word gives as it comes with bread and wine, feeding us the very Body and Blood of the Saviour. As you receive His Word, let our Lord give you the words and actions to faithfully proclaim what He has done and still does in the life of His people.”

“The Lord will do wonders among you! He will drive you and me to our knees in repentance and He will raise us up again with His forgiving love shown us in Christ. He will journey with us as He journeyed with His people long ago. He will work all things for the good of those who love Him.”

Vice President Astley will begin official service as Interim Pastoral Leader on September 1, in keeping with the ABC District’s new triennium and change of officers. He noted that he is looking forward to working with District Staff, especially President Elect Glenn Schaeffer.

At its recent meeting, LCC’s Board of Directors determined that the salary of the Interim Pastoral Leader position would be paid by Synod. They expressed appreciation for the offer of the ABC District Convention to pay the salary for the position, but noted that, given the legal complexities of the current situation in the ABC District, it would be best if LCC covered the cost.

Those wishing to contact Vice President Astley regarding Synod and District matters may contact him at nolan.astley@lutheranchurch.ca.

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