By Julia Hilgendag
The 2017 ELCIC was my first time going to this convention. I did not know what to expect and had very little knowledge on what I would be doing at this convention. I knew that I would be exposed to different church representatives from all over Canada. Coming from a local Lutheran church community I knew that this trip would test my comfort zone of traveling away from the people I know and to expose myself to different people of similar beliefs in God. Of course from not knowing what ELCIC would be about, I learned a lot of what they do and how they help others, not just in Canada, but globally.
The key factors discussed at the convention were CLWR, Kairos, Refugee sponsorship and the Reformation Challenge. The ELCIC is very involved with those in need such as sponsoring the Syrian refugees. Also last year they donated money to people who lost their homes in the Alberta Wildfires. This brought people together to help those in need. I was surprised that not only they cared about people but also the environment! The Reformation Challenge was brought up about the tree planting project that is still a goal for 2017 to plant 500,000 trees. I can relate to that because our Bay Area churches have planted 2000 trees for the same purpose, on Earth Day April 22, which I am very proud to have been part of.
Going to this convention allowed me to understand more of what ELCIC is all about. I was anxious how people would perceive me or how I would get along with others. Once I got there however, I found I was able to start conversation and gain confidence with speaking to many members of this convention. I made a lot of friends. I had a great experience getting to know others and have the opportunity to feel like a family away from home.