Anglicans, Lutherans celebrate relationship

Nearly 1,000 Anglicans and Lutherans spent a day together in worship at the Winnipeg Convention Centre Thursday to celebrate six years of full communion between their two churches — and also to consider global warming.

The Anglican Primate, Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, and National Lutheran Bishop Raymond Schultz, both of whom retire this week, took part in the liturgy with the theme of the “water” running through it.

Both the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada are holding their major decision-making conventions in Winnipeg this week.

In a presentation entitled “Global warming: A Theological Problem,” Dr. Sallie McFague, distinguished theologian in residence at Vancouver School of Theology, told the gathering that there is no time left for further denial or delay in dealing with global warming. “We know something has to be done and done soon,” she said.

This call for action is aimed at bringing the church back down to earth, she said, as it must become “ecological through and through.”

Care for the earth must become our primary vocation, because “God loves the world and expects us to do so as well.”

A different world is possible and Christians should want to bring it about.

“If the church is ecological, it must take public stands on issues that affect the well-being of creation and its inhabitants.”

She said that economics is the most important of all human studies, adding that planetary economics is about the “just” sharing among all of the basic, needed resources in a sustainable way.

She also pointed out the central difference between ecological and neo-classical economics:

The first says that for all creatures to have the good life, sharing and limitations are necessary, while the second says that the good life is reserved for the few who can control the resources, with justice and sustainability secondary.

The three most important economic rules were: “Take only your share, clean up after yourself, and keep the house in good repairs for others.”

During the liturgy, the hymn of the day was “From the Waters of Creation” which was the winning entry in a competition for a hymn to celebrate the two churches’ six years of communion. It was composed by Keri Wehlander.

Anglican Bishop Fred Hiltz of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, co-chair of the Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission, said the two churches were “well ahead”  in their progress in coming together.

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