April 11, 2019
To All West Region Congregations and Pastors,
The Board of Directors of Lutheran Church-Canada extended an invitation to the pastors and congregations in the Edmonton area to join us for a Town Hall meeting in Leduc April 4, 2019. However, the format that we decided to employ was not a Town Hall meeting, properly defined, but rather that of an open house. We failed to communicate clearly the format that we would use for the meeting, and that left a number of people confused, hurt and angry. It did not help when this was announced, without any explanation, at the meeting that night. We understand how this caused offence. We are saddened that our attempt to improve relationships in our Synod instead made things worse.
We, the people you have entrusted to serve within our church, accept the responsibility for our decisions and actions that led to offending you and we are truly sorry. We seek your forgiveness, not because we deserve it, but because we need it. We seek God’s forgiveness in this also. In hurting you, we have also hurt His heart.
We truly do want to hear from you. To this end, we are arranging to have a second meeting May 23, 2019 at 7:00 pm. Concordia Lutheran Seminary has graciously agreed to host this meeting. Specific details, including the format for the meeting, will follow in the next several days.
It is our hope that those whose voices were not heard in Leduc will be able to join our Synod President, Vice President, Secretary, Administrator and Regional Pastor for this meeting (The Chair of the Board of Directors is also planning to join us via video conference).
Please pray for us. We are sinful people trying to navigate difficult waters. We ask you to join us in praying to the Lord of the Church to grant your servants the wisdom we need to make better decisions and take actions that are in accordance with the Word of God. We also ask that you pray for LCC as we face the challenges from within and without, that the bonds of unity and peace may be restored.
President, Lutheran Church – Canada Chair,
Board of Directors LCC
The following article was published in the Canadian Lutheran – all emphasis is mine:
Board of Directors Meet and Greet Members in Leduc, AB
LEDUC, AB – Approximately 100 people attended an Open House on Thursday, April 4 at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Leduc, AB. The event was held as part of the Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) Board of Directors meeting and invited members of LCC to share their perceptions of the present relationship between the congregation and the synodical leadership. Board members also sought input regarding “congregational needs” moving forward, to be considered in their strategic planning. The event started with an opening devotion by President Timothy Teuscher; followed by an introduction of board members and synodical staff.
After the introductions, attendees were able to speak with members of the LCC Board of Directors and staff on an individual (one-on-one) basis. The open house format for encouraging dialogue, was changed from what was advertised as a Town Hall setting. The Board of Directors wishes to apologize for failing to communicate clearly the format they would use for the meeting, which left a number of people confused, angry and hurt. The meeting format was changed to be less formal and individuals who participated expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to speak directly with Board members and to pose questions on a variety of issues.
The event lasted for more than two and a half hours and board members, staff, and other representatives fielded questions on various subjects. Some of the responses discussed at the event included: Missions and Outreach; Regions and Circuits; Resources; Communication and Transparency; Care and Concern for Pastors/Church Workers; Community; Congregations with Vacancies; Areas of Concern; and Additional Ideas.