French Lutherans Elect New President

Officers of the synodical board are installed. (Photo: Eric Préaud).
Officers of the Evangelical Lutheran Church–Synod of France are installed. Officers from left to right are: Andrianhery Rakotoniaina (Treasurer), Rev. Philippe Volff (Vice-President), Rev. Martin Jautzy (President), and Rev. David Maffett (Secretary). (Photo: Eric Préaud).
President Martin Jautzy. (Photo: Eric Préaud)
President Martin Jautzy. (Photo: Eric Préaud)

FRANCE – Representatives of the Evangelical Lutheran Church–Synod of France (Église Évangélique Luthérienne–Synode de France – EELSF) held their synodical convention May 6-8, 2016 in Châtenay-Malabry, during which the church elected Rev. Martin Jautzy as their new President.

President Elect Jautzy serves as pastor at Paroisse de Sion in Schilldersdor, Alsace. Prior to his election as synodical President, he served as a regional president.

“President Martin Jautzy was elected president with a clear majority,” noted outgoing President Roger Jones. “Our church will greatly benefit from his pastoral qualities.”

“It was a great privilege for me to serve our Church the last four years,” President Jones continued, noting his ability to work only part-time in recent years following a serious stroke in 2014. He expressed thanks for the prayers of the international Lutheran community during his recovery. “I thank you for your support and well-wishes which were a great encouragement. With God’s blessings, I am able to continue to serve.”

Also elected during the convention was Rev. David Maffett, who will serve the ELCSF as Secretary of the Synodical Board. Rev. Philippe Volff and Andrianhery Rakotoniaina were reelected to serve as Vice-President and Treasurer of the synod respectively.

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LCC meets in convention, reelects President Bugbee

bugbee-elected
President Robert Bugbee addresses the convention. (Photo: Gabor Gasztonyi)

VANCOUVER – From June 6-9, Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) held its triennial national convention on the campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. The event saw lay and clergy representatives from across the nation gather together to conduct the business of the church, during which time President Robert Bugbee was acclaimed to another term without opposition.

Reflecting on the election, President Bugbee noted that, when he first entered the ministry years ago, he “never expected to serve as President of Synod, an honor which has been bestowed on me three times by our convention.” “I deeply appreciate your kindness, dear brothers and sisters,” he went on to say. “I cannot say that I understand it exactly, and I’m not even sure I agree with the action you’ve taken in re-electing me, but I do deeply appreciate it. And I am willing once again to embrace it.”

The opening worship service, held at Holy Rosary Cathedral in Vancouver.
The opening worship service, held at Holy Rosary Cathedral in Vancouver. (Photo: Gabor Gasztonyi)

Rev. Dr. Robert Bugbee was first elected President of Lutheran Church–Canada in 2008. He was acclaimed without opposition to a second term in 2011. Since 2010, President Bugbee has also served as Vice-Chairman of the International Lutheran Council, a global association of confessional Lutheran church bodies of which LCC is a member.

“In some small way, I hope that the task God is entrusting to me for the coming three years will help our pastors and our people see the glory in the Gospel, and in the work you share in Alfalfa Junction, or whatever your town happens to be called,” he continued. “Thanks again for the honour you have done me with this election. God in Christ pour out on you all His joy and grace and blessing!”

Rev. Nolan Astley was reelected to serve as Vice President for the East District and Rev. Thomas Kruesel was reelected to serve as Vice President for the ABC District. Rev. Mark L. Smith was newly elected as Vice President for the Central District, succeeding Rev. Rudy Pastucha. Rev. Astley will serve as First Vice President, Rev. Kruesel as Second Vice President, and Rev. Smith as Third Vice President.

2014-logo-bannerThe convention gathered around the theme “Come to Him who answers prayer” (Psalm 65:2). Rev. Kurt Reinhardt of Kurtzville, Ontario served as one of the convention’s essayists, giving a presentation over two days entitled “As Dear Children Ask Their Dear Father.”

Also serving as an essayist for the convention was Deacon Jennifer Shack, who presented on the history and biblical foundation of the diaconate in Lutheran Church–Canada. The topic was particularly relevant, as a number of resolutions adopted by the convention focused on the diaconate. The convention voted June 7 to make provision for deacons to serve on Synod’s boards, commissions and committees. On June 8, the convention adopted a resolution “to study and provide for diaconal voting at Synod and District convention.” Currently LCC’s voting structure allows for equal pastoral/lay representation at convention, but does not make allowance for deacons to vote.

LCC was pleased to receive a number of international guests during the convention, including President Chul-Hwan Kim of the Lutheran Church in Korea, President Vannarith Chhim of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cambodia, Bishop David Altus of the Lutheran Church of Australia, President Matthew Harrison of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, and Rev. Dr. David Wendel of the North American Lutheran Church. The convention also welcomed letters of greeting from the Anglican Network in Canada, as well as Lutheran church bodies from India, Japan, Chile, England, Germany, and Ukraine.

Lutheran Church–Canada has 65,000 members in more than 300 congregations across the nation, served by approximately 250 active pastors and 95 deacons.

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