One of the items that snuck under everyone’s radar in the District’s insolvency was the archive. During the District convention in May, delegates voted to offer the archive to the Synod. The funny thing about that is District didn’t know that the archive – formally called the Lutheran Historical Institute (LHI) – actually was part of District, as opposed to a separate entity.
The archive has languished in the collective ignorance of most Canadian Lutherans because…I don’t know why…probably it just didn’t seem important. But now the archive, which contains tens of thousands of pages of documentation, may hold clues as to the root cause of the insolvency. Unfortunately, for now, LHI is shuttered. It ran out of money and stopped operating.
Archives are big unwieldly things. They contain documents, artifacts, and all kinds of awkward stuff…like the first TTY (text to speech for the hearing impaired) machines in Canada. Yes. The first deaf people able to use phones in Canada were Lutherans. Who knew? The archive knew. The archive is currently housed in the up-for-sale District office building. The proposed plan (not the archive’s idea) plan is to interim mothball the entire archive in a storage locker somewhere.
Now, there may be new hope and a possible home for LHI. Synod is willing to take ownership of the archive, if it’s legally allowed to. So now, we wait: there’s lawyerin’ to be done.
Andreas Schwabe is editor and publisher of SolaGratia.ca, and an Edmonton-based multimedia & communication strategist and producer. His focus for SolaGratia is on administration, governance, and issues of faith. For clients, he writes or produces just about anything.