From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ELCIC joins Jubilee 2000 campaign

Date 22 Oct 1998 06:53:01

Debt forgiveness emphasized

GENEVA, 19 October 1998 (lwi) -We believe "that the approach of a new
millennium presents an extraordinary opportunity for giving new hope to the
impoverished people of the world," wrote the National Church Council (NCC)
of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) in a letter to
Canada's Minister of Finance, Paul Martin, and his Commonwealth

At its meeting in Winnipeg, from September 17 to 19, the NCC decided to
include the ELCIC in a broad international initiative known as the Jubilee
2000 campaign, reflecting, according to the Council letter, "our invocation
of the biblical tradition of Jubilee".

Council members signed a Jubilee 2000 campaign petition which calls upon
the leaders of lending nations to cancel the backlog of bilateral and
multilateral debt owed by the 50 most indebted poor countries by the year
2000. It also urges these leaders "to take effective steps to prevent high
levels of debt from building up again".

ELCIC congregations are being called upon to circulate the petition among
their members so that they may sign it as well. The petitions will be
presented to the leaders of the Group of Eight industrial nations at the
June 1999 Summit in Cologne, Germany.

NCC members also decided that the tradition of Jubilee compels them to
examine ELCIC practices to assure that the church reflects the values that
the sworld leaders are being urged to live by. To this end, the NCC has
requested a review of existing mortgages held by the ELCIC as well as
recommendations for the next NCC meeting about what might be done to
relieve the burden that these mortgages are causing several struggling

INCC decided that the theme for the 1999 ELCIC National Convention in
Regina would be Jubilee: In Christ called to a new beginning. The previous
convention had instructed that the theme appertain to discipleship, and the
council said that it felt that issues and actions stemming from the Jubilee
theme are both timely and pertinent to discipleship.

Among other things, the NCC:

-    Approved support for building a seminary in Slovakia through Directed
-    Approved amendments to the constitution of the World Council of
Churches (WCC) that more clearly define WCC expectations of member churches
such as the ELCIC;
-    Requested articulation of the ELCIC's mission strategy and
development of a plan for an increased support base for mission
-    Approved spending authority for the 1999 budget at $1,181,069. This
is about $200,000 less than 1998's budget proposal.

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Lutheran World Information
Editorial Assistant: Janet Bond-Nash

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