LCC Convention begins with witness in Hamilton

by James Morgan

Led by LCC's Processional Cross, convention participants walked the kilometre through the streets of Hamilton to the opening service.

Delegates from all over Canada gathered late on Friday afternoon at the Hamilton Convention Centre to begin Lutheran Church Canada’s ninth convention. During the brief installation ceremony, LCC President Dr. Rev. Bugbee referred to the first chapter of II Timothy to instruct delegates of their responsibility to the church over the next three days. “Guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us,” he said, and then, with three hits of the gavel, the President exclaimed with each hit; “Father, “Son,” and “Holy Spirit,” the convention was open. Guests from LCC’s partner churches were also welcomed, including The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod President Matthew Harrison who will join the convention later in the weekend.  Representatives from partner churches in Nicaragua and Peru were unable to attend due to visa difficulties.

“It’s not about that we are here, but why we are here,” said East District President Rev. Paul Zabel in his welcoming remarks, further emphasizing the responsibility delegates have in the decision making process. President Bugbee then gave a lesson in parliamentary procedure for delegates that would stand up well in any political science course or in an orientation session for newly elected MP’s.

Following dinner, delegates and guests made a great testimony of faith walking in a procession the kilometre from Copps Coliseum along Cannon and James Streets to Christ’s Church Cathedral, which served as the venue for the Opening Divine Service.  A mass choir from area Lutheran congregations led by Bradley van Middelkoop, along with the voices of those in the pews filled the historic Anglican cathedral with sounds of praise. Convention Chaplain Rev. Jim Schnaar served as celebrant.

President Robert Bugbee preached at the opening service. (Photo by Chris Bruer)

President Bugbee’s sermon was based on St. Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 24, verses 44-53. Most striking in the sermon was the president’s emphasis that the church exists not to advance social causes or political agendas, but simply to bring the message of salvation that can only come through Jesus Christ that leads sinners to repentance. President Bugbee noted that it is all too easy for those of us who are part of Christ’s Church to become focused on things that are not central to our faith and become apathetic about the real reason the church exists.

Reflecting for a few moments on the theme “In Your light, we see Light” the president noted that “only God’s light can illuminate the truth about the complex situation all around us, how to analyze it properly so you grasp the best way to respond. Only God’s light can make clear where the cure will come from.”

Offering at the opening Divine Service went towards LCC’s two seminaries.

The service concluded with a singing of the hymn “Up through Endless Ranks of Angels” that was nothing short of thunderous in the old cathedral. The congregation then departed for the evening, set to begin the business of the convention on Saturday morning.

Posted By: Matthew Block
Posted On: June 4, 2011
Posted In: Headline, National News,

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