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President Elect addresses ABC District convention; final election and resolution results

May 26, 2015 No Comment
President Elect Glenn Schaeffer address the convention.

President Elect Glenn Schaeffer address the convention.

CALGARY – On May 24, the final day of the 2015 ABC District Convention, President Elect Glenn Schaeffer addressed delegates to formally respond to his election a day earlier.

“I do not stand here today as a leader,” President Schaeffer said, quoting Leonard Sweet. “My fundamental identity is this: ‘I am a follower. I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. I’m a servant of a Servant. For there really is only one leader in the Church.”

“I pledge to lead by following,” President Schaeffer said, “by following the Leader, the Head of the Church: Jesus Christ.”

President Schaeffer explained that, as recent as this past week, he had contemplated removing his name from the ballot. He said he understood that that some people might mistrust him because of his past involvement with District leadership, given the recent events facing the District.” He pledged to seek reconciliation with such people, and to work for the healing of division.

President Schaeffer said that the Church must be adaptable in these difficult times, noting that we must be grounded in the Word of God and focused on evangelism. He said he was looking forward to serving with all the newly elected board, as well as with the soon-to-be-appointed Interim Pastoral Leader.

“I want to thank you for electing me to this office,” President Schaeffer said. “I thank you for your prayers and support. I look forward to serving you as your next district president—as a follower of Jesus Christ.”

President Schaeffer will take office September 1.

Convention Essayist

Vice President Astley speaks during the 2015 ABC District convention.

Vice President Astley speaks during the 2015 ABC District convention.

Rev. Nolan Astley, First Vice President of LCC, served as essayist for the convention, focusing on the idea of “The Praying Pilgrim.” Over two sessions he traced the teachings of Jesus on prayer, reflecting on how these teachings inform our own pilgrimage of life.

That does not mean we always make prayer the priority we should, of course. “We don’t pray as often as we ought,” Vice President Astley noted, “and sometimes we just tire of the whole thing. But Jesus picks us up. He carries us along in our prayers… He doesn’t just teach you. He prays with you and for you.”

The final day of convention opened with a communion service celebrating Pentecost. The host congregation was Foothills Lutheran Church and Rev. David Bode preached and officiated. Assisting were LCC President Robert Bugbee, ABC District President Donald Schiemann, ABC District President Elect Glenn Schaefer, and outgoing ABC District Third Vice President Craig Tufts.

The day ended with a service of installation.

Election and Resolution results

Elections for positions for clergy, diaconal, and lay leaders on the Board of Directors began on May 23 and were completed the morning of May 24. Elected to serve as members of the board were Revs. Mark Hennig and James Paulgaard (clergy); Deacon Mirian Winstanley (diaconate); and Aaron0Ball, Judith Burns, Melanie Kuhn, Nicolas Steinke, and William Fraser (laity). These members join the president, vice-presidents, and secretary elected earlier in the convention.

On May 24, the convention elected its circuit counsellors for the coming triennium. Elected to serve are Rev. Mark Lobitz (Calgary); Rev. James Avery (Edmonton); Rev. Laverne Hautz (Fraser Valley); Rev. Ron Abresch (Kootenay); Rev. Noel Smith (Peace River); Rev. Robert Willie (Vancouver Island); Rev. Clint Magnus (Cariboo); Rev. Fred Rink (Vancouver); Rev. Vince Moore (Elk Island); Rev. Steve Brummett (Stony Plain); Rev. Brian Amison (Wetaskiwin); Rev. Andrew Craig (Lethbridge); and Rev. Lee Loveridge (Okanagan).

Elected to the Committee on Nominations—District were Revs. Wayne Lunderby, Matt Ziprick, and Neil Stern (clergy); Deacon Tara Sadoroszney (diaconate); and Lynn Giese, Joel Haberstock, and Lynn Gergens (laity).

Due to time constraints, the convention was unable to hold elections for the Committee for Convention Nominations – LCC. The Convention waived its right to vote on members of this committee, instead instructing the new ABC District Board of Directors to make the necessary appointments to fill these positions.

The convention also considered a number of resolutions during its final day of business.

Resolution 2015-01-09, “To re-emphasize ecclesiastical leadership as a priority within our structure” was also adopted, as a long-term direction for leadership in the District. The resolutions committee clarified that the resolution was not intended to undermine a resolution adopted earlier in the week to request Interim Pastoral Leadership. Members speaking from the floor suggested the resolution should instead be understood as an “admonition” to those tasked with examining the structures of Synod and District.

Resolution 2015-01-10, “To avoid scheduling conventions during major church festivals,” was also adopted. The resolution notes that holding convention during a major church festival prevents many congregations from being able to hold communion.

Two additional resolutions (Resolution 2015-01-14 and Resolution 2015-01-15) expressed thanks to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and School for hosting the 2015 District Convention, and to leaders of the District for their service over the past three years respectively.

A number of resolutions declining overtures were also adopted by the Convention: Resolution 2015-01-03A (“To respectfully decline Overtures 2015-01-03, 2015-01-04, 2015-01-015, 2015-01-16”), Resolution 2015-01-04a (“To respectfully decline Overtures 2015-01-06, 2015-01-07”), and Resolution 2015-01-06 (“To decline Overture 2015-01-13 ‘To Elect an Entirely New Board of Directors’”). The first of these resolutions noted that “District has already reduced staff due to financial constraints” and that “there currently exists a restructuring committee constituted by the District and approved by the court to address the matter of reorganization and staffing.” The second noted that “the court appointed monitor has oversight of the operating finances of the ABC District,” that “decisions have not yet been made regarding the restructuring of District finances and ministries,” and that the Districts have “requested the Synod to conduct a thorough review of the structure of LCC and its Districts.” The last noted that District already elects a new Board of Directors every three years.


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