Thursday, March 12, 2015

Looking for a Summer Vicar?

SUMMER VICARAGE is an opportunity for a congregation to receive help with congregational or other ministry projects from a seminarian on summer break.
Seminarians are licensed to preach (with manuscript supervision) and conduct worship (but not consecrate the elements in Holy Communion or do any "Official Acts" like Baptisms, weddings, and funerals). Summer vicars generally lead worship and preach, teach Bible class, participate in Summer VBS, work in youth ministry, and are involved in congregational visitation. Some churches use a summer vicar for a special project or to test out a new or unique ministry. 
This program has a long history and rich tradition with the seminaries in LCC. A summer vicar can provide a congregation with some additional pastoral needs while a pastor is on sabbatical or having extended travel. Seminarians are not expected to do a summer vicarage, but since courses are not offered over the summer, most students seek a summer job.
A summer vicarage is in lieu of other employment, so a fair stipend, transportation, and housing is expected. A summer vicarage provides additional financial support to students while giving them experience and another aspect of formation as a pastor-in-training.
Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton, has a few students who have expressed interest; please contact President Jim Gimbel for more information at jgimbel@concordiasem.ab.ca or 780-474-1468 x 224.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Attention Congregational Treasurers

THANK YOU for being partners in our ministry and mission through your donations. We continue to need donations in support of general operations, financial aid ... and our recovery from the fire and other related infrastructural work (an additional $55,000). If you are planning to support our ministry, please do not channel monies earmarked for us through the ABC District office (they will return it); please send it directly to Concordia Lutheran Seminary, 7040 Ada Blvd N.W. Edmonton, AB T5B 4E3.  If it is part of a larger pool for other ministries of LCC, please send it on to Lutheran Church-Canada, 3074 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3K 0Y2.  Thank you again.

2014 Tax Receipts

Tax receipts for January - September 2014 have already been mailed. Tax receipts for October - December 2014 are being mailed in the next few days. We apologize for our delays, and appreciate your patience.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Seminary Cooperation Continues

ST. CATHARINES, Ontario - Cooperation between Lutheran Church–Canada’s two seminaries continues to bear fruit, as evidenced by recent meetings in St. Catharines, Ontario. On January 26, the Boards of Regents of Concordia Lutheran Seminary and Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary held their annual joint meeting, followed the next day by individual board meetings. On January 28, representatives of the seminaries as well as LCC’s Board of Directors met as part of the regular review of the 2011 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

“We’ve come a long way from the difficult days leading up to the 2011 Synod Convention when the future of seminary education in Lutheran Church–Canada was in question,” noted LCC First Vice President Nolan Astley, who serves on the MOU Committee. “Over the last few years our seminaries and the Board of Directors of Synod have, by God’s grace, begun to work together in many important ways.”
Vice President Astley highlighted a number of recent seminary successes:
  1. Continued fiscal responsibility. The two seminaries have demonstrated a strong commitment to fiscal responsibility and sustainability, both in seeking out opportunities to reduce expenses and being diligent in developing donor support for their programs. Both schools finished recent fiscal years in surplus positions.
  2. Greater resource sharing through technology. Over the past four academic years, the two seminaries have shared a number of classes via the internet, with Edmonton students able to take courses taught from St. Catharines and vice versa. Better equipment has been purchased and students and faculty are growing more comfortable with the technology. 
  3. Renewed focus on recruitment. At 2013’s National Church Worker Conference, church worker recruitment a session topic, focusing especially on the role of current pastors and deacons in raising up candidates for church work vocations. The ABC District has developed a website focusing on recruitment (isgodcallingme.ca), and CLTS and CLS have produced a series of posters for display in churches. 
  4. Responsible approach to faculty hiring. Both schools are seeking new faculty to replace retiring professors, and this process is being carried out with consultation between the schools and Boards of Regents. 
The committee also reported plans to revise the current MOU document to provide ongoing guidance for the seminaries and Synod as they work together to provide cost-effective sustainable seminary education in LCC. It also noted its desire for the establishment of a more permanent committee.

“The intention would not be to go back to the old method of having a Board for Higher Education, which reduced seminary autonomy and did not report to Synod’s BOD,” Vice President Astley explained, “but there is a case to be made for the creation of a synodical committee that would coordinate our work in the training of future church workers, much as the Committee for Missions and Social Ministry Services guides LCC’s mission work.”

The MOU committee has set September 2015 as the target date for the completion of a new document to guide seminary education in LCC.

The committee also wished to address misconceptions that they are committed to the immediate amalgamation of LCC’s two seminaries. Concerns raised in the Task Force’s report continue to militate against amalgamation in the near future, and so the present focus remains on cooperation and operational unity, rather than institutional merger.

The preceding article has been copied in its entirety from Canadian Lutheran Online.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Seminary and the ABC District Church Extension Fund (CEF)

In light of recent ABC District Church Extension Fund news, this information may be helpful to our Concordia Lutheran Seminary (CLS) family.

1) Concordia Lutheran Seminary is a corporate entity independent of ABC District, and although we are a seminary of Lutheran Church - Canada, we are not structurally incorporated with ABC District.

2) Concordia Lutheran Seminary owns the property and building at 7040 Ada Blvd NW, and has no current debt against the building.

3)  CLS has endowment money and restricted capital invested in two sources: LCC-FM (the financial Foundation of Lutheran Church-Canada in Winnipeg)  and ABC District Church Extension Fund (CEF).  Roughly 78.5% of our money is with LCC-FM and 21.5% is with ABC CEF.

4) Roughly $898,000 of our assets are invested in ABC CEF. These assets are currently frozen (like all investor assets in the ABC CEF). After the decision is made, whether the short-term or long-term solution is chosen, we lose a significant amount of money.

5) Because of the nature of this investment (two term notes), we have NOT been drawing from this ABC CEF money for daily or annual operations costs like we have been upon the investments in LCC-FM that pay out semi-annually.

6) We had anticipated accessing some of the CEF monies for capital improvements in the Missionary Study Centre and other parts of the building after the fire.

7) Although we are deeply affected by the CEF situation in real financial losses, we are reminded that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and promises to provide for all of our needs of body and life as He raises up supporters. We strive to be good stewards and managers of your finances ... good fiscal management is an important part of our commitment and your trust in our leadership.

8) We are heavily dependent upon our support base: a) direct donations from so many wonderful visionary Christian people; b) LCC direct subsidy to help support the Seminary mission; and c) support from each of the three districts (ABC, Central District, and East District), as well as agencies like LWML and congregations. THANK YOU!

9)  We assure you that the mission at Concordia Lutheran Seminary continues. Our students study and learn and are being prepared to minister to a church that will need long term support rooted in the Gospel of Christ.  We still "form servants for Jesus' sake."

10) We need your continual partnership with us in broad Gospel ministry, in your prayers and support, but especially in your financial contributions -- directly, but also, continuing to support the mission and ministry of the Lutheran Church-Canada, all three of her districts, and all of the congregations that are part of God's "ministry on the ground" to people who need to connect regularly with Word and Sacrament ministry.

Regardless of how anyone may be feeling right now, we all serve a trustworthy and changeless Christ in this changing world. Christ's ministry still takes place through His Church and her seminaries, using the tools of His Gospel. We "lift high the cross" and "proclaim Christ crucified" even in, and especially at times like these. Thank you for your continued partnership and support in our mission. 

May God bless you,
Rev. James R. Gimbel, Ph.D., President
Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton

Monday, December 01, 2014

A New Church Year; Update

Throughout Scripture Christ reminds us that the end is near (especially at this time of year), and we should expect difficulty and challenges of all sorts, yet the resounding message of Scripture is that of God's promise to be with and strengthen the elect for such a day.
I anticipate that the Last Days will be far worse than these, and the impact will be global. Yet fire started by an intruder, relocations for classes and office spaces, minor schedule changes, heavy soot and smoke damage, massive cleanup and some loss, the outage of two rooftop heaters and one boiler pump and regulator, clogged/frozen sewer lines, cleanup containers in the parking lot, and the three-day snowfall of roughly 35 cm of new snow all accumulate to a small question, "how much, O Lord?"
Yet before those words are framed, God has already answered with the strength of His example in the Bible (Job, Daniel, Moses, Paul -- Jesus) showing His fidelity to the Promise of strength and peace.
On Tuesday, Nov 25, we moved back into the upstairs offices and chapel, the lower level classrooms and lunch area, and sectioned off a new study area. We are all glad to be back "home," and re-developing our routines.
The library and other areas within its footprint (the photocopy room, Eifert classroom, study tables and carrels, and Missionary Study center) are all cordoned off. As of today, most of the upstairs books have been dusted and removed for the remainder of the smell removal treatment. The stacks downstairs need to be dusted and treated, and then the shelving, lighting, ceiling tile, and carpet will be removed for painting and replacement.
With endings come new beginnings (the New Year ... the next life that is truly life). The major gutting provides us an opportunity to reconfigure our library and resource/study space, but we have scant little time to determine the next best layout and design. We will lose some of our books and periodicals, and will be broadening our titles for more e-resources without abandoning the traditional hard-bound resources.  We are hoping for good information on the impact that ozone treatments (for smell) have upon the book binding glues (we don't want our pages falling out in five years).
Our chapel closet full of albs, paraments, and stoles is all at a specialty cleaner. So are linens and fabric portions of the displays from the Missionary Study Centre and Library. Our photocopy machine and most of our electronic equipment that was in the building are toast. The office and kitchen supplies have largely been thrown away by the reclamation team. The student food pantry was a loss except for canned goods, and some donated clothing has been tossed. We re-keyed the building and added a sign-in process as a first next steps in increased security.
And through it all, God is good. The text appointed months ago for the November 27 chapel reminded us to "enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise" -- we celebrated, and then followed up with a meal of thanksgiving after chapel (sponsored by faculty and staff).

No one has been injured. Our partnerships have deepened with the ABC District Office and staff and the CUCA connections across the street. Student formation continues to be as strong or stronger with the added challenges. Faculty and staff have risen to the challenges. And we are fully convinced that God has shown once again an example of how strong He is when we are weak, and what it means to "trust in God above all things," having eyes opened to see what He means by His promised ability to do "immeasurably more than all that we could ask for or imagine" (Ephesians 3:20-21).
Thank you for your prayers and support. Please continue to approach the throne of grace on our behalf ... for strength, resolution of many new challenges, faith-building courage and wisdom to face these tests and trials, guidance in re-design and construction, financial resources to fully recover and move forward, and ongoing commitment together in our ministry of "forming servants for Jesus' sake."
And we also realize that while our challenges have been unfolding, many others around the community, the Church, and global Christendom are facing far more difficult and trying challenges. We continue to pray for and support them as well. May God bless us all to to be united in spirit and commitment to be faithful to the end, through Christ the Victorious One. And together we pray, "Come, Lord Jesus, Come!"
God bless ...
Rev. James R. Gimbel, Ph.D., President
Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Returning Home - an update


Today we returned to our beloved seminary after the fire.

Psalm 137:3 reflects the spirit of what we've gone through ... like those in Babylonian exile, it is hard to "sing one of the songs of Zion ... in a foreign land." It just isn't the same. Yet we are thankful that we can sing praise to God who is everywhere ... from anywhere. And the ABC District Office and CUCA have been a great second home where we built new bridges and relationships, singing songs of joy amid our loss.

In Ezra's day, when the rebuilt (second) temple was seen by those returning from exile, there were two kinds of tears -- those of joy over the return and restoration mixed with and indistinguishable from the tears of sorrow in the memories of what had been lost (Ezra 3:13). We may have a mixture of tears as well ... we are back home, but it isn't yet quite the same.

It is good to be home, and sing the songs of joy in God's blessing.  However, some things are different as we return:
1) The library is closed, and likely will be for the remainder of the calendar year and possibly some time beyond as we adapt the facility for better use after the fire.
2) The study areas are still being cleaned as well. For now, the Eberhardt room will be open for study when it isn't being used for class.
3) Some of the supplies in the food pantry are clean and useable. Other things were not salvageable. God has provided; he will "re-provide."
4) Our habits and patterns need adjusting: more new spaces, new settings, new adjustments ... but, God is good and will guide us.

We again want to indicate our thanks to the ABC District and CUCA for helping us during our time away from the seminary.

Thanks be to God in our midst ... our eternal strength, even in the upcoming days of readjustment once more.
I am confident that God has used this for growth and good, whether we see blessing in its outcome today or not. As always, things for God's people ultimately point to Christ, who "did not consider equality with God as something to be grasped, but humbled himself" (Philippians 2:6) to come to earth, displaced for us. He was tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin ... (Hebrews 4:15) and will help us in our time of need, continuing to need patience and strength.
This is never easy; at the end of the semester, even more so. But God is faithful, and will not give us more than we can endure with His help (1 Cor 10:13).
To that end, we have hope and strength from Him.

in His hope and joy,
Dr. Gimbel


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Restoration Update

The air scrubbers hum and whir as cleaning crews make great progress on the office areas and classrooms.
We hope to be back in the offices, chapel, and classrooms by Monday, November 24.
The library, however, is sealed for the more complex process of reclaiming books, periodicals, and our other resources. Our reserve books and e-resources on NEOS are still available for student coursework.
Although God's people were dispersed to Nineveh, Babylon, Egypt, and the Mediterranean basin and the world, God was present for His faith-filled people in every place. He is also with our CLS family wherever we work, study, and serve.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Seminary Update

Wednesday night's fire only burned a small area in the library basement, but it left a huge mess: the smell and residue of burnt plastic, ash, and soot that found its way to cover every surface and pollute the air in every room.
The restoration crew arrived on Friday morning to begin reclamation: 15 large capacity air filtration units (OmniAire 2000V HEPA Negative Air Machines) have been running non-stop since then, needing blackened filters changed periodically.
The smell has improved greatly - a huge first step.
The cleanup of offices has also begun, and classrooms, chapel, and other public areas will follow.
The rich library resources are still covered, waiting the next series of decisions about how best to move forward.
For today, as wonderful as the ABC District and CUCA have been at welcoming us, everyone looks forward to getting back into the offices and classrooms soon.
 
Concordia Lutheran Seminary 7040 Ada Blvd, Edmonton, Alberta, T5B 4E3 HOME CONTACT