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March 31, 2011

Lutherans and Anglicans Collaborate on Common Mission

From April 1 to 3, the executive councils of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) will hold their first joint meeting in Mississauga, Ont. This meeting of the ELCIC’s National Church Council and the ACC’s Council of General Synod 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 ELCIC and ACC councils will also meet separately.

At the end of the joint council meeting, Lutherans and Anglicans 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 Lutherans and Anglicans in both Canada and the United States. In 2001, the ELCIC the ACC signed the Waterloo Declaration. In that same year the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The Episcopal Church, USA, signed a similar agreement, Called to Common Mission.

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

On May 1, 2011, the leaders of Lutheran and Anglican 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 Lutherans and Anglicans across Canada are encouraged to find ways to celebrate 10 years of this unique full communion relationship.

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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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