Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)’s National Bishop Raymond L. Schultz has announced that he will retire as of September 1, 2007 following the election of a successor at the 2007 National Convention.
Bishop Schultz was elected to his first term as ELCIC National Bishop at the 2001 National Convention in Waterloo. At the 2005 National Convention, delegates reaffirmed their faith in the leadership of Bishop Schultz and re-elected him to a second term. The announcement of Bishop Schultz’s retirement comes as the Bishop reaches the usual retirement age for pastors within the ELCIC.
Bishop Schultz noted that the decision to retire prior to completing his second four-year term is based primarily on personal health and family reasons.
In a letter issued to the ELCIC’s National Church Council (NCC) on January 1, 2007, Bishop Schultz advised the council of his decision and asked that council begin the process to have an election for his successor take place at 2007 National Convention. ELCIC national staff members and Synod Bishops were advised of the Bishop’s announcement in person. In his announcement, Bishop Schultz noted that, “a transition plan and other succession information will be ready for the bishop-elect as soon as that person is ready to move into the office.”
A special meeting of NCC has been scheduled for January 18-20, 2007 in Winnipeg. Among the topics on the agenda will be the discussion of the upcoming election that will take place at the ELCIC National Convention which is scheduled for June 21-24, 2007.
The ELCIC holds a National Convention every two years in which delegates meet to discuss and vote on matters of the church. The national bishop serves as the chief pastoral leader of the National Church and the chief executive officer of the corporation. The ELCIC constitution specifies that elections are by ecclesiastical ballot.
Prior to his election to National Bishop in 2001, Bishop Schultz was Bishop of the British Columbia Synod from 1998 to 2001. Bishop Schultz holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Saskatchewan, Masters of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Seminary and did his post graduate studies at the Vancouver School of Theology.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 182,077 baptized members in 624 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.
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For more information, please contact:
Trina Gallop, Manager of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
Email: [email protected]
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