Anglican Church of Canada

Anglicans and Lutherans act against homelessness

The Anglican Primate and the Evangelical Lutheran National Bishop call on the members of their respective churches to advocate for affordable housing solutions for the homeless with letters and visits to their Members of Parliament.

In a letter sent to the Minister of Human Resources and Development Canada, Monte Solberg, on Feb 27, 2008, the leaders urged the government “to address homelessness in Canada as part of a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy.”

The letter follows the tabling of the federal budget which left the estimated 150,000 to 300,000 homeless people in Canada out in the cold, and another 1.5 million Canadians in desperate housing need without relief.

The joint Anglican-Lutheran initiative takes inspiration from the prophet Isaiah who asks what true religious observance is: “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house?” (Isaiah 58:7).

“Our vision,” the leaders’ letter concludes, “is to go beyond the prophet’s call, to create a society where the hungry are able to eat their own bread, and the homeless poor are brought into their own house.”

“Being in full communion means more than worshipping together,” says Archbishop Fred Hiltz, the Anglican Primate. “Members of both our churches give generously of their time and money to help people who are homeless. They run thrift shops, food banks, overnight shelters, and hospitality programs. But they know that charity isn’t enough. Advocating together for justice is also part of being in full communion.”

“I’m so excited by this initiative,” says ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson. “It demonstrates how working together in full communion we can make a much larger impact and a stronger witness, hopefully inspiring our government to address the realities of homelessness in Canada.”

The joint initiative is modelled after a campaign of the diocese of Toronto encouraging Anglicans to visit their local MPs to express concerns about housing and poverty.

Hiltz and Johnson are inviting Lutherans and Anglicans to write or visit their federal MP, and where possible, to do this jointly. The purpose is to ask the Government of Canada to:

On line resources are available to help people participate in this initiative:

For more information, contact:

Trina Gallop 
Manager of Communications
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
888.786.6707 ext 172
tgallop@elcic.ca

Maylanne Maybee
Coordinator of Ecojustice Networks
The Anglican Church of Canada
416.924.9199 ext 219
mmaybee@national.anglican.ca