Policy on Addressing Issues and Concerns in the Congregation – Revised

Policy on Addressing Issues and Concerns in the Congregation

“But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.” Ephesians 4: 15-16

In order to fulfill its responsibility to “promote congregational unity and good will (and) foster mutual understanding in times of conflict” 1, the Congregational Council has adopted this policy for addressing issues and concerns regarding the life and ministry of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Stratford, Ontario:

  • All members affirm their right to express their opinion about the life and ministry of the
  • The congregation operates with a direct democracy that supports members in sharing their opinions openly with the Pastor, congregational council and at congregational meetings.
  • When a member of the congregation expresses an opinion to a council member, the council member shall ask – “what action would you like congregational council to take with this information?”
  • When the member desires to have the information taken to the congregational council, the member shall be invited to bring the information/opinion/issue to the next council meeting and the date and time will be given to the member. The concern, presentation and action taken will be recorded as part of the Minutes.
  • When the member does not wish to appear in person, the council member in question may present the information/opinion/issue on behalf of the member at the next council meeting. The member will be required to review the prepared submission by the council member and make any corrections, if necessary, to ensure the accuracy of the submission.  Once agreed upon, the member will sign the submission.  The concern, presentation and action taken will be recorded as part of the Minutes.
  • If the member desires that the council member present the information/opinion/issue at the next council meeting, the member must give permission to the council member to share the member’s name as part of the presentation. If the member desires to remain anonymous, the information/opinion/issue will not be addressed by the congregational council.
  • A member also has the option to put in writing, signed and addressed to the Chairperson of the Congregational Council, the information/opinion/issue the member wants addressed.
  • In this case, the Chairperson will acknowledge receipt of the correspondence and will share this correspondence with the Congregational Council Executive, who will assess the issue or concern and take appropriate action, or refer it to the Congregational Council.

Amended and adopted by the Congregational Council of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church on December 12, 2018.

The Constitution and Bylaws of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, amended February 1, 2015, Article X, Section 7E.

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January 2019 Calendar

January 2019 Calendar

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December Newsletter

December 2018 Newsletter

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December Calendar

December 2018 Calendar

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Synod – Our Ministry Story 2018


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Zion Lutheran Church Endowment Fund

Did you know that the Zion Lutheran Church Endowment Fund is devoted to serving God and God’s people both in our congregation, in our community, in our country, and around the world? Did you know that in the over 25 years since the Endowment Fund was created with a $900,000 gift from the estate of the son of Sophia Pauli, that due to prudent financial management, that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been given to church and social agencies to further their work?

To learn more about our Endowment Fund and how you too can leave a legacy of faith and love, please speak to anyone of the Zion Lutheran Church Endowment Fund Committee.

We are: Marg Lamont (chairperson), Gerald Cook (secretary), Mervyn Dietz (advisor), Norma Hansen, Gerry Rehberg, Bill Hoffard, Kevin Tuer (ex-officio), Pastor Jeff Laustsen (ex-officio).

P.S. Over the coming newsletters, we will share with you some of the work that the Endowment Fund has done for people in God’s name.

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Our Ministry Story: Eastern Synod 2013

An important part of our church budget goes to support the work of the wider church through your benevolence offerings. Recently one of our Zion members asked for more details. Here is a synopsis:

Like any organization of its size, the Eastern Synod uses a budget to manage its financial affairs. Synodical budgets are approved by the biennial Assembly of the Eastern Synod, to which each congregation may send at least two voting delegates. Full financial information is distributed to delegates before the Assembly, and it remains on the Synod’s website for anyone to view.

Most of us aren’t too interested in the details of budgets or audited statements. We want to know the story behind the budget, the priorities on which we plan to spend a total of $2,185,000. Here is our story for 2013.

Capable Leaders – $1,010,000 (46%)Almost half of the annual budget is devoted to developing a corps of leaders who will provide vision and energy to meet the challenges of ministry in the 21 st century. Specifically, we will:

Support Waterloo Lutheran Seminary’s theological formation of lay and ordained leaders; Sustain outdoor ministry and leadership development for children, youth and adults at Camp Mush-a-Mush in Nova Scotia, Lutherlyn Camp and Conference Centre in eastern Ontario; and Edgewood Camp and Conference Centre in southern Ontario; Create opportunities for youth and young adults to grow in faith and action, at national and synodical youth events; Nurture and guide candidates through the process leading to ordained and diaconal ministry; Underwrite health benefits for retired pastors; Facilitate networks of chaplains in prisons, hospitals and the military; Foster continuing education for lay and clergy leaders through Luther Hostel.

Effective Mission Partnerships – $600,000 (27%) As a synod we know we can’t do everything by ourselves; we need partnerships with other organizations to maximize our effectiveness. Our major partner is our national church, the ELCIC, which coordinates global mission, ecumenical efforts and ministry rosters. The ELCIC’s partners thereby become our own, including:

Canadian Lutheran World Relief; Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Anglican Church in Canada; Kairos: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives; and other ecumenical partners.

In addition, we maintain a companion synod agreement with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana for mutual learning and assistance.

Vibrant Local Ministries – $520,000 (24%) Most local ministry is carried out by congregations, organized into ministry areas. Synodical personnel will devote the largest proportion of their time to supporting congregational ministry. In 2013 they will:

Nurture newly-planted mission congregations; Help congregations find pastors well matched to the needs of their specific situation;Encourage local community outreach; Lead discussions with congregations interested in collaborating in new forms of ministry; Mediate when congregations are in conflict or crisis; Provide workshops and materials for congregational ministry. Local ministry includes creative ways to link congregations with students on post-secondary campuses in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto, Waterloo, and London.

Focused Framework – $55,000 (3%) The Synod’s infrastructure supports all of the programming priorities listed above. In addition, it serves to:

Communicate with members and the general public via the Synod website and Easter Synod Lutheran newspaper; Govern the synod through Synod Council, standing committees and task forces; Ensure efficient administration of the Synod office.

If you’re interested in seeing financial results from previous years,budgets for 2013 and 2014, audited financial statements and reports of congregational remittances, visit www.easternsynod.org and click on the Assembly 2012 button. Financial information is in section 8.

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National Bishop Susan on Structural Renewal


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Dare to Share Because We Care.

If most of us were truly honest with ourselves and each other we would have to admit that we truly live in abundance.  To prevent further erosion of the work we do as the national expression of our church it is time to pass some of that abundance along.  I just did a quick calculation, if I give up only  one of my two daily indulgences of direct trade americano coffees, I will save $260.00 to pass along to the ELCIC praise appeal at the Synod convention in July.  There are 1000 baptized members in the congregation here at Zion,and 78,000 in the Eastern Synod.  You do the math!  Wow that didn’t even hurt!

Click here to read –> Bishop Mike’s Request.

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