November 17, 2010
On July 6, 2001, Canadian Anglicans and Lutherans proclaimed their full communion relationship with the signing of the Waterloo Declaration. 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of this historic and holy moment. Signed by members of the House of Bishops (Anglican Church of Canada) and Conference of Bishops (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada), the following pastoral letter offers a word of encouragement to our churches and suggestions for deepening our full communion relationship. Congregations are encouraged to read the pastoral letter during worship on the weekend of November 21, Christ the King / The Reign of Christ Sunday.
The text of the letter follows:
To the faithful of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada:
Grace and peace to you.
On July 6, 2001, in the Waterloo Declaration, we Lutherans and Anglicans proclaimed our full-communion relationship. Next year marks the tenth anniversary of this historic and holy moment.
In many parts of Canada, we are already seeing a variety of expressions of full communion —from occasional joint services in adjacent congregations to parishes sharing a building, program, priest or pastor. Perhaps your community enjoys one of these expressions of full communion. Wonderful! Perhaps your community is looking for some encouragement in that direction. Here it is!
Does your community have an accessible, neighbouring full-communion partner? Consider...
regular shared Bible or Lectionary study (The three-cycle begins anew this year!);
a joint youth group or shared women’s or men’s ministries;
occasional pulpit or other leadership exchanges;
joint worship in Advent or Lent, during the summer or at other times;
a joint web presence or Facebook page;
a program of shared community outreach (eg. food bank, litter-walk..);
joint participation in the 2012 Canadian Lutheran-Anglican Youth Gathering (Saskatoon);
joint participation in the 2012 National Anglican-Lutheran Worship Conference (Winnipeg).
Perhaps your community does not benefit from the presence of a neighbouring full-communion partner. At very least, every congregation, whether Lutheran or Anglican, could be invited to pray its way through the Anglican-Lutheran Cycle of Prayer. Copies are posted on our national websites and are available from synodical and diocesan offices. Your bishops would be grateful for your prayers!
Perhaps your community might even think of some manner of full-communion expression others haven’t dreamed of. Let us discern the possibilities... together!
As we look forward to the 10th anniversary of Anglican-Lutheran full communion with a great celebration on May 1, 2011, and to the joint meeting of General Synod and National Convention in Ottawa in July, 2013, may God who is bountiful, merciful and gracious empower us, encourage us and lead us in our faithful journey… together.
With our prayers for a holy and blessed Advent.
A pdf version of the letter is available at the following link: http://www.elcic.ca/Documents/documents/Pastoral-ReignofChrist2010.pdf
Produced by the Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission, the Anglican-Lutheran Cycle of Prayer (2010-2011) is designed for use in communities of the Anglican Church of Canada and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. For each Sunday, there are intentions for specific dioceses, synods and/or groups. While we pray for our world and neighbours without ceasing, we are invited to pray especially for our Anglican sisters and brothers with whom we are in full communion. The Anglican-Lutheran Cycle of Prayer can be found online at the following link: http://www.elcic.ca/Documents/Anglican-LutheranCycleofPrayer2010to2011-October2010.pdf
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada's largest Lutheran denomination with 152,500 baptized members in 607 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.
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