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Lutherans welcome new president

Monday, September 22, 2008

Church bells, processions (indoors and outside), banners, stirring music and earnest prayers will mark the Installation Festival which will see Rev. Robert Bugbee installed as president of Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC). The 6:30 p.m. installation service on Sunday, September 28 will incorporate two church buildings which stand across the street from each other in downtown Kitchener, Ontario. To accommodate the expected attendance, the service will be held in St. Matthews Lutheran Church, (54 Benton St.) followed by a reception at LCC’s Historic St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (137 Queen St. S).

Retired LCC presidents, Rev. Dr. Ralph Mayan and Rev. Dr. Edwin Lehman will conduct the Rite of Installation, and President Bugbee will preach the sermon. Upon installation, the new president will install members of the church body’s Board of Directors. Pastor Bugbee, elected at LCC’s June convention, is the church body’s third president since its formation in 1988, and the first from eastern Canada.

“The president’s role is both pastoral, as he serves the church, and administrative, with day-to-day oversight of LCC’s office in Winnipeg.” explained LCC communications director Ian Adnams. “Many other church bodies use the term ‘bishop’ for this position.”

For the past 14 years, President Bugbee has served Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Kitchener one of LCC’s largest congregations. Musicians from Holy Cross will perform special music at the Installation Festival, which is based on a Lutheran Vespers Service.

Rev. Bugbee was born in Toledo, Ohio, where he received his primary and secondary education. As part of his studies at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, he spent his third year in Bonn, Germany. He graduated from Wartburg in 1977, receiving a BA in German language and literature. He then studied sacred theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. During that time he participated in an exchange program at Lutherische Theologische Hochschule, Oberursel, Germany. Concordia Seminary awarded him the Master of Divinity degree in 1981. Following graduation he served congregations in London and St. Catharines, Ontario; Albertville, Minnesota; and Holy Cross in Kitchener.

Lutheran Church–Canada is the second largest Lutheran church body in Canada with 324 congregations from Nova Scotia to Vancouver Island and more than 75,000 members. It was formed in 1988 by Canadian congregations of St. Louis-based The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.

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