||Michael Pryse (Co-chair)
||Paul Johnson (Staff)
||Fred Hiltz (Co-chair)
||Alyson Barnett-Cowan (Staff)
||Sandra Beardsall (UCC Partner)
The members of the joint commission have met on four occasions since the last ELCIC Biennial Convention and a total of seven times since ratification of The Waterloo Declaration by our respective denominational bodies in July 2001.
In fulfilling its mandate to coordinate the implementation of The Waterloo Declaration, the joint commission continues to frame and review its work in light of the nine commitments of the declaration and identifying areas where those commitments may have specific implications for our shared life and ministry. It is our hope that we will be able to help our churches to live out these commitments as we fulfill our six-year mandate to nurture our growth in communion, to coordinate the implementation of this Declaration, and report to the decision-making bodies of both our churches.
Commitment 1: to welcome persons ordained in either of our churches to the office of bishop, priest/pastor or deacon to serve, by invitation and in accordance with any regulations which may from time to time be in force, in that ministry in the receiving church without re-ordination.
- Articulating protocols for clergy serving in one another’s churches.
- Addressing shared ministry issues.
- Addressing common discipline issues.
- Determining eligibility for electoral processes in one another’s churches.
Commitment 2: to invite one another’s bishops to participate in the laying on of hands at the ordination of bishops as a sign of the unity and continuity of the church, and to invite pastors and priests to participate in the laying on of hands at the ordination of pastors or priests in each other’s churches.
- Ensuring that invitations are issued in a timely and effective manner.
- Publicizing the fact of such participation as effectively as possible.
Commitment 3: to consult with one another regarding developments in our understanding of the ministry of all the baptized, including the ordained ministry.
- Engaging in shared studies and reflections concerning ordered ministries.
- Exploring the development of alternate forms of lay and ordained ministry.
- Establishing a joint task group on confirmation.
Commitment 4: to work towards a common understanding of diaconal ministry.
- Reviewing present status of diaconal ministry in our churches.
- Developing shared standards for theological education and formation.
- Engaging in consultation with ACC and ELCIC diaconal ministers.
Commitment 5: to establish appropriate forms of collegial and conciliar consultation on significant matters of faith and order, mission and service.
- Encouraging continued joint meeting of bishops.
- Consultation with ACC and ELCIC bishops on issues of social justice in Canada.
- Encouraging joint study days for clergy.
- Encouraging development of provincial/synod/diocesan implementation committees.
- Taking action together on significant issues of church and society.
Commitment 6: to encourage regular consultation and collaboration among members of our churches at all levels, to promote the formulation and adoption of covenants for common work in mission and ministry, and to facilitate learning and exchange of ideas and information on theological, pastoral, and mission matters.
- Developing guidelines for common worship.
- Addressing shared ministry issues.
- Encouraging more co-operation in theological education for ordered ministers.
- Encouraging more co-operation between ACC/ELCIC committees at various levels.
- Encouraging more cooperative work in new church development.
- Developing a shared forum for theological inquiry.
Commitment 7: to establish a joint commission to nurture our growth in communion, to coordinate the implementation of this declaration, and report to the decision-making bodies of both our churches.
- Continuing to work at implementing and evaluating our work.
- Collecting and telling stories.
- Ensuring that the joint commission meets on a regular basis with local representatives of our respective churches.
Commitment 8: to hold joint meetings of national, regional and local decision-making bodies wherever practicable.
- Encouraging joint meeting of national and diocesan/synodical councils.
- Encouraging a shared 2007 General Synod/National Convention.
- Promoting collaboration between staff in all expressions of our churches.
Commitment 9: to continue to work together for the full visible unity of the whole Church of God.
- Inviting Anglican participation in the LWF Assembly.
- Communicating with other ecumenical colleagues.
- Communicating more effectively to the wider community.
- Including an ecumenical partner on the joint commission.
To these ends, the joint commission notes the following developments:
- The joint commission has prepared a document entitled Guidelines for Anglican and Lutheran Priests and Pastors Serving Term Appointments in Each Other’s Churches. The ELCIC National Church Council and the Anglican Council of General Synod have now approved these guidelines and made them available for general use.
- The joint commission has prepared a document entitled Guidelines for Common Worship. The ELCIC National Church Council and the Anglican Council of General Synod have now approved these guidelines and made them available for general use.
- The joint commission continues to seek ways to learn from the experiences of congregations that already serve in shared or collaborative ministries. It is our continued hope that we will eventually be able to draft appropriate guidelines to govern such shared ministry relationships.
- We hope to convene a meeting of diocesan and synodical ecumenical officers in 2006.
- The bishops of our respective churches continue to meet with one another on an annual basis and have, to this point, made sure to include a significant portion of agenda time to addressing items identified by the joint commission.
- The joint commission has asked our respective national councils to consider the possibility of holding a joint meeting.
- Anglican representatives played a significant role in the planning and execution of the LWF Assembly in Winnipeg July 2003.
- Held joint meeting with the U.S. based Lutheran Episcopal Coordinating Committee in February 2005.
- Lutheran participation in 2003 ACC Ecumenical Strategy Consultation.
- Joint sponsorship of regional stewardship conferences and National Worship Conference.
- Representatives of Anglican youth were invited to participate in the 2004 Canadian Lutheran Youth Gathering in Hamilton, Ontario.
- Anglicans provided counsel and consultation on ELCIC/ELCA Renewing Worship project.
- Plans have begun to ensure that these events will run concurrently in the 2007.
- The commission notes the high levels of shared participation levels in episcopal ordinations. We do, however, identify a need to remind diocesan and synodical bodies to invite full communion partners to participate in the ordination of presbyters and the ordination/consecration of diaconal ministers.
- The joint commission has engaged the bishops of our churches in conversation on two occasions and has surveyed those persons who are serving in diaconal ministry within our respective churches.
- The joint commission has considered the possibility of publishing this work by 2007 and is committed to helping our churches move further toward the goal of articulating a common understanding of diaconal ministry.
- The United Church of Canada continues to support our work through the participation of an official representative to our joint commission.
- The joint commission is also working in support of initiatives that might lead to the establishment of a full communion relationship with the Moravian Church.
- We are exploring the possibility of having a Lutheran partner added to the Anglican/Roman Catholic Dialogue.
- We are exploring the possibility of having ELCIC and ELCA representation at the next Lambeth Conference.
- The joint commission has surveyed the theological colleges of our churches and shared the collated materials with the Anglican Heads of Colleges and the meeting of Lutheran seminary presidents and bishops.
- We continue to seek opportunities to meet with leaders of our theological institutions to encourage the development of further collaborative efforts between Anglican and Lutheran institutions.
- The joint commission established a joint task force to undertake a study of the theology and practice of confirmation in our two churches. Neither partner is able to provide adequate resources for the proper continuance of this work. As such, we are working on articulating a more limited mandate.
- The joint commission has requested that our churches make the necessary constitutional and canonical changes to allow: a) for Anglican and Lutheran clergy serving in a congregation of the other church to be eligible for the same rights, responsibilities and privileges of clergy serving similar charges in their originating church, and b) to provide for parity in the eligibility of clergy for election to the office of bishop in either church. This work is progressing slowly.
- The joint commission has further requested that the respective churches consider adopting interim measures to make such participation possible until constitutional and canonical changes have been made.
- We are beginning preparations of recommendations concerning the re-mandating of the Joint Commission from 2007–2013.
The members of the joint commission are very appreciative of the opportunity to serve the shared life and mission of our respective churches through this body. We look forward to embracing the work that remains to be done in the next two years of our mandate.
Especially, however, we look forward to celebrating and giving thanks for the new opportunities for faithful discipleship and mission that will, in part, come to fuller realization as a result of the very significant action that was taken by our churches in July 2001. To God be the glory!
Bishop Michael Pryse
Bishop Fred Hiltz