Our Okanagan "Circuit"
Concordia belongs to a group of congregations across Canada called Lutheran Church—Canada (LCC). We have about 300 congregations from BC to the Maritimes. We are described as a "Synod", which literally means "walking together". We are a group of churches who agree to walk together in many important ways. We have a common confession of faith, and work together to do things—most specifically training church workers and international mission work—that none of us could do on our own. The office where our national staff works is in Winnipeg. (These are not "headquarters", as the national staff exist to serve congregations, not command them.)
The Synod is then dvided regionally into three districts: Alberta—British Columbia (ABC), Central (covering SK, MB, and a bit of Eastern ON), and East (covering ON, PQ, NS, NB). Each District has an office; ABC is in Edmonton, Central is in Winnipeg (in the same building as the Synodical staff), and East is in Kitchener.
Then, each District is grouped regionally into Circuits. These are groups of congregations that are fairly close geographically, and who work together in more "every-day" ways. Concordia is a member of the Okanagan circuit, which includes our LCC congregations in Kamloops, Revelstoke, Vernon (with mission work in Salmon Arm), Kelowna, West Kelowna, Summerland, Penticton (that's us), Oliver, Osoyoos, and Grand Forks.
The circuit exists so that congregations can be supported by one another in our work. Our church workers meet once a month for worship, prayer, mutual encouragement, and business. (You may hear this called a "winkel", a German word meaning "corner", as our workes gather together in a proverbial corner for support.) There are opportunities to get together as congregations in the circuit. Circuits are represented at Synodical (national) conventions by delegates elected from each circuit.
Our Synod and each District have an elected President who serves as a leader, guide, mentor, and pastor. They are elected at conventions every three years. Each Circuit has a Circuit Counsellor who is a pastor in one of the circuit congregations. The Circuit Counsellor assists the District President serving as a guide and mentor to the congregations and workers of that Circuit.
Aug. 17, 2014
We recently received news that our current Circuit Counsellor, Pastor Richard Klein of Revelstoke, would be unable to complete the 3-year elected term due to the sad news that the Revelstoke congregation will be closing on Sept. 1, 2014. In cases where a Counsellor is unable to fulfill the term, a new one is appointed by the District President. We've just found out that Pastor Darren Siegle of Osoyoos has been appointed, and will serve as our new Circuit Counsellor until May 2015, when a new Counsellor will be elected by the circuit.