Anglicans and Lutherans collaborate on common mission

From April 1 to 3, the executive councils of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) will hold their first joint meeting in Mississauga, Ont. This meeting of the ACC’s Council of General Synod and the ELCIC’s National Church Council marks an important step in deepening the full communion relationship between the two churches.

Working under the theme “Growing Together,” the councils will meet together for Bible study, Eucharists, and several items of business including a proposed joint Anglican-Lutheran office and the joint Anglican-Lutheran national meeting planned for 2013 in Ottawa.

The ACC and ELCIC councils will also meet separately to address committee reports, strategic planning, and pensions, among other matters.

At the end of the joint council meeting, Anglicans and Lutherans will plant a tree on the grounds of the Queen of the Apostles Renewal Centre to symbolize their hope for future cooperation. Members have been encouraged to bring vials of water from their home communities to sprinkle on the tree after it is planted.

The year 2011 marks 10 years of full communion between Anglicans and Lutherans in both Canada and the United States. In 2001, the ACC and the ELCIC signed the Waterloo Declaration. In that same year The Episcopal Church, USA, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America signed a similar agreement, Called to Common Mission.

In Canada, the ACC and ELCIC allow interchangeability of clergy and confirmations are mutually recognized. Led by the Primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz (ACC) and National Bishop Susan Johnson (ELCIC), the churches have sought more cooperation in national program work and have collaborated on initiatives including the promotion of the Millennium Development Goals. Archbishop Hiltz and Bishop Johnson offer joint Christmas and Easter greetings, often in the form of web videos.

On May 1, 2011, the leaders of Anglican and Lutheran churches in Canada and the U.S. will celebrate 10 years of full communion with parallel services in Fort Erie, Ont. and Buffalo, N.Y. They will mark the anniversaries and honour the possibility for future collaboration.

All Anglicans and Lutherans across Canada are encouraged to find ways to celebrate 10 years of this unique full communion relationship.

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