Members Anglican United Church dialogue

Members of the Anglican-United dialogue (from left to right): The Rev. Elisabeth Jones, the Rev. Dr. Gordon Jensen, the Rev. Dr. Andrew O’Neill, the Rev. Stephen Silverthorne, the Rev. Dr. Sandra Beardsall, the Rev. William Harrison, Dr. Gail Allen, the Ven. Bruce Myers, the Ven. Dr. Lynne McNaughton, the Rev. Donald Koots. Missing: Ms. Lorraine Kakegamic and the Rev. Dr. Paula Sampson.

A new round of official theological dialogue is underway between the Anglican Church of Canada and The United Church of Canada.

Representatives of the two churches enjoyed the hospitality of the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine, meeting at their convent in Toronto May 14-17, 2012. In addition to theological conversation, the newly constituted group shared common prayer, meals, and fellowship.

This new round of Anglican-United Church dialogue builds on six years of formal conversations concluded in 2009, the results of which are summarized in the St. Brigid Report. At the request of the 2010 General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, and affirmed by the United Church’s Theology and Inter-Church Inter-Faith Committee, this latest iteration of the bilateral dialogue is focussing on “the doctrinal identities of the two churches and the implications of this for the lives of the churches, including understandings of sacraments and orders of ministry.”

The dialogue’s objective is to explore and recommend to the Anglican and United churches ways in which they can together be more effective in mission and ministry. In doing so, models for a closer relationship between the two churches may emerge.

The United Church of Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada already work jointly in a number of multilateral ecumenical initiatives, especially in the area of social justice. There are also several Anglican-United Church ecumenical shared ministries across the country. In 1975 a plan to merge the two churches into one failed to receive the necessary ratification.

The dialogue will next meet in January 2013 in Vancouver. It will focus its discussions on the manner in which each church’s doctrine, worship, and life is informed by credal statements.

Representing the Anglican Church of Canada:

The Rev. Dr. William Harrison (co-chair)
The Rev. Dr. Gordon Jensen (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada)
The Ven. Dr. Lynne McNaughton
The Rev. Dr. Paula Sampson (unable to attend)
The Rev. Stephen Silverthorne
The Ven. Bruce Myers (staff)

Representing The United Church of Canada:

The Rev. Dr. Andrew O’Neill (co-chair)
The Rev. Dr. Sandra Beardsall
The Rev. Elisabeth Jones
Ms. Lorraine Kakegamic (unable to attend)
The Rev. Donald Koots
Dr. Gail Allan (staff)